Home 2013 races Fruit of the Same Tree: How to Understand the Tea Party

Fruit of the Same Tree: How to Understand the Tea Party


( – promoted by lowkell)

The Tea Party is not some alien thing grafted onto today’s Republican Party.  True, there’s a civil war of sorts going on within that Party.  So the Party isn’t all of a piece.

But, more fundamentally, the nihilism and the craziness and the destructiveness that we see going on with the “extremists” within the Party represents a fuller flowering of what the Republican Party establishment sowed and cultivated.

The Tea Party didn’t even exist before Barack Obama became president.  But by then we’d already had, thanks to this Republican Party, eight years of the most lawless and the most destructive presidency in history (with the possible exception of Buchanan’s).

The Tea Party was not part of Congress until 2011.  But by then, we’d already had two years of Republicans in opposition taking the unprecedented step of making it their top priority to make the new president fail, to prevent anything good from being accomplished even if that meant voting against their own ideas.

The Tea Party should be understood, I believe, in two main ways:  

1) In its top-down (astro-turf) dimension, it represents the deliberate effort of the most cynical components of the right-wing force (like the Koch Brothers, who put forward the money to launch it, and like Rupert Murdock’s news empire, which publicized it into prominence) to enable the Spirit of Destructiveness to take further possession of the Republican Party.

2) In its bottom-up (grassroots) dimension, it represents the harvest of all the hatred and fear and delusional beliefs that the Republican establishment (e.g. Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove) deliberately cultivated for years.  They themselves may not be crazy, but their stirred up the pot, unleashing into the center of the Republican Party the kind of John Birch radical right energy that, in earlier eras, was kept in the background by the Republican Party and the conservative movement.

The disease is systemic.  The uprising of the nihilists is a natural result of the choice of the Republican Party, increasingly over the past generation, to make deals with the devil.


    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement on his vote for a clean spending bill to fund the government through November 15 and avert a government shutdown. The continuing resolution passed the Senate 54-44.  

    “Today I voted in support of a spending bill to continue funding the government and prevent an unnecessary shutdown of operations that would have serious economic consequences in Virginia and across the country.  The interim spending measure accepts the House’s proposed spending level through November 15. Since the Senate has accepted the House’s spending target, the House should now act promptly to accept the bill and avoid a shutdown.

    “Some in the House are unsatisfied with a clean spending bill and want to additionally use the threat of shutdown to defund the Affordable Care Act. Had the Senate wanted to, we also could have used the threat of shutdown to force a vote on a Farm Bill, or our immigration reform proposal. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to do business. We should have policy debates in the normal way and not let them intrude on basic responsibilities like operating government and honoring our fiscal obligations.”

    Throughout the week, Kaine urged his Senate colleagues to pass a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government. In remarks on the Senate floor, Kaine outlined the consequences of a shutdown. He also condemned the continued pattern of crisis-budgeting during a Senate Budget Committee hearing.

  • really says it all: every single Republican (except for two who didn’t vote) opted to shut down the government, de facto. This whole party is wacko.

  • Elaine in Roanoke

    The 2008 election made the Republican Party see that their strategy to power ever since 1968, the “Southern strategy” to collect the white vote that left the Democratic Party after the passage of civil rights laws, was breaking down as American demographics showed that the future of the nation would to a “majority minority” country. Almost immediately, those who were politically astute saw that to win power in Washington again, the GOP right wing needed two things: a gerrymandered nation (Hence, in 2012 Democrats running for Congress got one million votes more than Republicans nationally, but the GOP retained control of the House of Representatives.) and a suppression of the minority vote through draconian voter suppression laws.

    Then, those astute pols harnessed the discontent of people whose inchoate racism reacted violently to the election of Barack Obama. Big money and a compliant Republican Party were behind the so-called “Tea Party” movement. Now, the GOP is finding life intolerable in the bed they made for themselves.

  • YelowDawg

    the KKK faction of the GOP that gave up the hoods. Some of them are proud of the hatred within themselves, some of them are just not bright enough to keep their identity hidden while others are master manipulators of the ignorant and uneducated.