Tea Party Delaware Senate Candidate Christine O'Donnell

Republicans (and their supporters) should take note of a potentially dangerous influence within their party, with an innocuous-sounding yet simultaneously – thanks to the blessings of history – menacing name: The Tea Party.

Comprised of ardent opponents of current president Barack Obama and the Democratic agenda, future historians may well be surprised that the Tea Party began as a protest movement against the policies of a Republican president: George W Bush. Bush managed to run up over a trillion dollars worth of debt in war alone, to say nothing of what would become known as his other excesses, including a sizable expansion of prescription drug benefits under Medicare. Having experienced some six years of both a Republican presidency and a GOP-controlled congress, with little to show for it from a fiscal conservative standpoint, a significant faction of the Republican party had had enough. Naming themselves after a famous historical tax revolt, the TEA Party (then short for Taxed Enough Already, though this acronym is almost never used anymore) demanded sharp reductions in spending and a return to their approximation of responsible fiscal policy. Though their opponents bitterly decried them and even called them demeaning names such as “teabaggers” (a jab made easier, it must be admitted, by the decision of some Tea Party members to wear actual tea bags on their persons), the Tea Party quickly rose to prominence within the GOP, and became a force increasingly difficult to ignore. There was even fear that they might officially splinter off, forming a true Tea Party with its own candidates. Thus far this has not happened, though as we will shortly see, in many ways it may as well have.

The Tea Party has undergone some fundamental changes over the years, primary among them the embracing of the religious right. What began as a protest against liberal spending policies (of, again, a Republican president and congress) has solidified into a movement championing a wide array of traditional American Christian values, among them opposition to abortion, support of Second Amendment gun rights, and yes, continued calls for reduced spending. But the views of many of those within the Tea Party have become increasingly extreme, and the positions of their politicians have followed suit. Thus we have witnessed such spectacles as congressman Paul Broun stating that evolution and the big bang model (scientific theories in disagreement with the teachings of the Christian Bible) are “lies straight from the pit of Hell”, and former representative Todd Akin claiming that women are able to “shut down” their body’s reproductive system when they are raped. Cases such as these are worrying for the Republicans, because such positions are often not only tolerated, but positively demanded by the ultra-religious Tea Party before a candidate will be considered for nomination in the primaries. Unfortunately, it is difficult for these candidates to divorce themselves from such extreme statements in the general election, when they must answer to voters with decidedly more centrist views.

The dilemma for Republican politicians is glaring: Please the Tea Party, at the risk of saying things that may prove self-destructive in the general election, or maintain middle-road electability and face the danger of never being nominated? One need only reference the case of Eric Cantor, whose out-of-nowhere loss in his own primary shocked the GOP (and sent ripples throughout American politics), to understand the ongoing influence wielded by the Tea Party within the modern Republican tent. How can this very pressing issue be addressed? Only time will tell.

  • Sentry Virginia

    Love it. Nov 6th, 2014. The day after the Tea Party earthquake destroyed the Dem party for the next two years.

    • ryukage99

      Meh,Wait until Hilary wins in 2016

    • IndependentOne

      Right. A couple of questions:

      (1) What is the GOP going to do now for the American people?

      (2) Who are they going to vote with? The GOP took out all of the moderate Democrats. There’s no one left on the left to vote with for the GOP. Meaning, they will have to pass unilateral legislation….if they’re willing to do any…ANY work for the American people.

    • Donella Lawson

      I AM A DEMOCRAT AND IN THE ELECTION AFTER I MUST VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT I WILL BE CASTING A REP VOTE ON MY DEMOCRATIC TICKET. I AM SURE THAT IT WILL NOT BE FOR A TERRORIST LIKE IS IN OFFICE NOW. I CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHY HE IS NOT IN JAIL ROTTING AWAY!!!! I VOTED REPUBLICAN IN 2014!!!!!

      • Steve Walker

        Oh my You do have your head in the sand. Killary is a super lying criminal that should be in jail and Sanders is a whacko socialist that will definitely kill the rest of this country that Obatshit hasn’t killed before he leaves office. Open you’re mind and wake up. Surely after voting TWICE for the ship that is in office would change your mind.. lol You Yellow Dog Democrats are especially what is wrong with this country now…

      • Sandra Stanislav

        hmm steve donella is saying that she is going to vote on the rep ticket not the demo ticket.

  • nobamanodemocrats

    Folks I got news for ya!! The Tea Party and Religious Right are the Real Reagan Conservatives what we have now are progressive Rino’s with the exception of Ted Cruz and some others

    • Vladimir Moscher

      The Tea Party are nothing but an angry bigoted mob that hated America. Their is nothing patriotic or Reagan about them.

      • Steve Walker

        You sound like an angry Libitard bro go away

      • Sandra Stanislav

        and just how many of us do you know? and how many of the hate filled left do you know? how can you judge us without even knowing us? WE want what is our constitutional rights and we want our laws to be adhered to. unlike the real haters like yourself who does not know us but you will sit high up on your hill and judge.

      • PoqVaUSA

        Vladimir Moscher: You must be talking about the “Black Lives Matter” movement that the Democrats seem so inclined to side with.

        Who else in this county can get away with crowds chanting “Pigs in a blanket. Try them like bacon”? or possible:

        “What do we want?”
        “Dead cops!”
        “When do we want that?”
        “Now!”

        It’s amazing to me that Democrats can side with an honest “angry bigoted mob” and elect a president who “hates America”, and then accuse the Tea Party of being exactly that.

  • William Barry

    To take a couple of idiotic statements from a couple of far right loons and attach them to the traditional values of the Tea Party just shows how pernicious the Democrats are. When people like Ed Shultz, Gloria Costello, or even Chris Mathews make hateful and spurious comments about Republicans, not a word is heard from the left. Got News For You! We’re feed up and you are going to lose!!!!

    • IndependentOne

      “….make hateful and spurious comments about Republicans…”

      And what do you think your comments about Democrats and Obama are? You don’t think people on the left or Independents see your comments as hateful???????????????????????????????????????

      ARE YOU SERIOUS?

      • Steve Walker

        Yes we are HATEFUL now. You tards just don’t take any responsibility as those that didn’t vote in last election do not take any responsibility. Wake the hell up

      • Sandra Stanislav

        we don’t care anymore what you think or how you feel about us. BECAUSE WE are going to win this one.

      • PoqVaUSA

        Sandra Stanislav: No, we don’t care about the loud mouthed idiots. However, let’s not forget the Reagan Democrats who were open to reason.

        I’d love to see a whole slew of “Cruz Democrats” help to turn the tide and “Reignite the Promise of America”!

  • Truth Seeker

    “Republicans (and their supporters) should take note of a potentially dangerous influence within their party????”

    Damn right the weak kneed and spineless RINOs of the establishment GOP should consider the Tea Party dangerous. Because we have and will continue to remove these worthless traitors from their self appointed thrones.

    • Ultmast

      You seem to have this backwards. Neocons are “Republican in name only”. You can’t sacrifice the core ideals of the party, become deeply hypocritical about fundamentals like states’ right and individuals’ rights, and claim that somehow, magically, everyone else is simply not an actual Republican (ignoring the nonsense logical fallacy to begin with).

      And “traitors”? You’re proving the point of the article. This is exactly the type of ignorance that is costing the party; costing our intellectual and moral leadership, and more importantly, costing us the voters.

      • Truth Seeker

        You speak of the “core ideals of the party”. So which ideals or values are you speaking of?? The ones you and your GOP traitors, yes I said TRAITORS, have distorted so they’re now 180 degrees out of phase with the founding fathers understanding of Republicanism??

        Spoken like a true minion of the establishment Republicrats who wouldn’t hesitate a moment, selling your soul to the Devil and compromising every semblance of integrity, character and honor you had in order to “win” voters. If this is the caliber of the electorate you’re pandering to then you deserve all the impending consequences as well.

        In a world of compromise, some men and women won’t. But then again you wouldn’t understand any of this because it’s a Conservative sort of thing!!

        Adios to the unfaithful tramp called the establishment GOP. So continue to whore around with the dems you so love to imitate.

      • Ultmast

        So which ideals or values are you speaking of?

        Individuals’ rights, states’ rights, less government intrusion in our lives. All of those the neocons have infringed upon, and all of those the tea party have been hypocritical about.

        you and your GOP traitors

        Nice rhetoric, but I’m not seeing a lot of critical thought or support for anything you’re blustering about.

        yes I said TRAITORS

        Because fundamentally you’re a coward.

        Spoken like a true minion of the establishment

        More useless bluster.

        selling your soul to the Devil and compromising every semblance of integrity, character and honor you had in order to “win” voters

        I’m simply going to laugh at the hypocrisy of you attempting to claim any of the moral high ground you surrendered. You certainly have not demonstrated any integrity or honor, either; quite the opposite.

        If this is the caliber of the electorate you’re pandering to then you deserve all the impending consequences as well.

        Your hypocrisy runs pretty deep. Pandering and fear mongering are the modus operandi of the tea party.

        In a world of compromise, some men and women won’t. But then again you wouldn’t understand any of this because it’s a Conservative sort of thing!!

        More bluster. Your main problem seems to be conflating conservatism with ignorance. You’re no “truth seeker”; you’re the worst kind of intellectual coward, and you’ve surrendered all the moral and intellectual authority the party once possessed in the name of useless partisanship.

        Adios to the unfaithful tramp called the establishment GOP

        Adios to your electoral power. The GOP will wake up and right itself soon enough, or never retain the presidency again.

        So continue to whore around with the dems you so love to imitate

        Or you know, evolve and grow, like humans and their societies should.

      • PoqVaUSA

        Ab_Iorwerth: Dude, what have YOU been smoking? Or maybe it’s the Kool-Aid?

        Or maybe you’re just a Liberal troll who wants to stir up trouble in the GOP?

      • Ab_Iorwerth

        Dude, what have YOU been smoking?

        You just replied to an 8 month old comment, and with all that time and possibility, you settled on “nuh uh”. Bravo, sir/madam.

        Or maybe you’re just a Liberal troll who wants to stir up trouble in the GOP?

        Or maybe I stated my actual beliefs and have been entirely consistent and you’re simply not smart enough to challenge my post.

  • DnttrdONME

    This is the kind of dem-troll miss-information that is infiltrating
    the collective reasoning of the republican party which consequently is
    pushing the individual ideology of the Libertarian to rise.

    Nate Parkhouse is an (Republican In Name Only)

  • Manuel Pedroza

    I agree. There are RINOs all around the Republican Party. They are on the Obama train and will not stand up for what the rest of the Republican People want.

    • Raymond Levine

      Unfortunately for you, the “Republican People” do not elect our leaders, the American people do. You may be able to win your crazy congressional districts by moving to the right, but you will NEVER win a national election for POTUS unless you move to the center.

      • Jackson Brown

        What and give away the government store. Only reason gems get votes is free government programs, no more work, no more immigration, no more health worries. Just wait and see what america looks like in 5-10 yrs. A country with terrorists, a country with so many illegals, a country where so many deadbeat people, collect welfare, food stamps, medical and no tax. God, how do you folks live, no moral or ethical values anymore. You sound like my parents, Oh, well, the government needs to do something, they are poor, they come from countries who don’t care about their people, etc…. wake up, government doesn’t owe you anything.

      • Acoach22

        I completely agree. I would add that “Republican people” aren’t clearly not serving the American people. So many seem convinced they are serving God. The separation of church and state is a basic principle in our government, its the foundation of our society. So many of these folks seem to live in a parallel universe to Islamic fanatics. “lets serve God by imposing our world view on all you heathens, lets return to traditional values.” Whose values count most? Any small mind who says “mine values are right yours are wrong is in danger of giving themselves permission to behave in a way that will create a lot more evil than we have already.”

        Politics in a democracy isn’t designed to solve religious differences. So quit screwing up the GOP, it is a political party not a platform for imposing a minority ideology. The GOP can’t solve any real issues while its hijacked by zealots with a moral fixed agenda.

        The gridlock and the dirty fighting is screwing us all. Why can’t we all just agree to elect only people who demonstrate the ability to compromise?

        On the other hand, I find the Democrats well meaning but not fully understanding that subsidizing poverty and taxing success creates more poverty and results in less success. Likewise subsiding sickness and taxing wellness is to be avoided or we will be in even more of a mess. We also need to discourage the liberal bleeding heart mentality that confuses compassion with soul stealing condescension.

        So somebody needs to debate how to subsidize what we want and tax what we don’t want. How do we throttle the greedy without destroying personal initiative.? How do we use what works in this country to fix what needs fixing.

      • Steve Walker

        You are saying the Demotards are the “American People?” lol that is too rich and I think I will have to puke now. No I did not read all of your diatribe past that statement. Grow a pair and wake the hell up. It is people like you that voted for OBatShit TWICE lol.

      • Acoach22

        My “people” got behind Donald Trump. I never imagined he’d be my hero, I feared he might be a fascist. But instead he’s a good guy, albeit with a bad Twitter habit, who would agree that gridlock is destroying the country. Here we are a year later, same old shite.

        I really want Trump to succeed. He is fighting this same battle I was talking about here. Ultra conservative dimwits battling the center from one side with liberal numbskulls battling from the other side.

        God save this country from being a sinking ship whose politicians argue over whether to bail out the water with a bucket or a mechanical pump.

        Trump is serving his political apprenticeship, hopefully he’s a quick learner.

      • Sandra Stanislav

        i see so you believe in your kids being taught on how to be a muslim in school and how to beat and kill their mother or sister because they were raped? wow your right I never want to live in the same state as you just stay in ny or calif where you fit right in.

      • Acoach22

        I want children taught to respect the law, so do the overwhelming majority of Americans, including Muslims.

      • Sandra Stanislav

        you had better start doing some math. look up exactly how many real votes has been cast in any poll for the demo party they are leaving the party in droves and coming over to our side. good luck but you had better open your eyes and mind to a real party that you have to know how to think. because you can’t

    • PoqVaUSA

      Manuel Pedroza: I think it is actually that both the Democrats and the Establishment Republicans are following the big money lobbyists. It’s just that the Democrats are more honest about not caring about the Constitution, or the national debt.

      Ted Cruz in 2016!
      (Oh wait. I already posted that!)

  • benben

    Republicans better wake up, get their heads out of their butts and get on the same page again or risk The Hillary (or some other anything goes liberal) actually winning this election and that would be BAD, BAD, BAD.

    • Sandra Stanislav

      The only way we are standing together right now with every ounce that we poses is that WE ARE STANDING together as one in unity AGAINST the liberal communist left and this is what we get when we do they are trying to tell us that we aren’t just like in the past BUT we have finally learned and we have A TRUE CONSTITUTIONAL CANDIDATE WHICH IS MR TED CRUZ YYYYAAAAAA YIPPEEE AND YAWHOOOOO EEEE MR. TED CRUZ.

      • PoqVaUSA

        Sandra Stanislav: Reignite the Promise of America!
        Ted Cruz in 2016!

  • Equalthruliberty

    Says the Progressive Republican.

  • KevinZ

    Is the author’s point that, “the wife and kids are messing up the family?” The principled people who are faithful (‘religious’) and (the Small-Government, Responsibility (Tea Party) groups… A R E the family !!

    ‘Dad’ is there to SERVE the family, not to divorce it !!

  • D.l. Hannah

    Nawwww…..We are just trying to kill off the center left RINo’s…the dems vote in lock step on everything….so why not the republicans….good for the goose as they say. and right now we have the power. well accept for the rinos.

  • Jim Lockwood

    I believe the GOP is a mixture of ‘we the people’ and the ideas and solutions that everyone puts forth are important and critical. Mainline GOP’ers better wake up and realize that they don’t have all the answers and don’t know everything. Debate and compromise is supposed to produce some great results. The problem is that people aren’t willing to budge. If people would not only read but study the Constitution and Bill of Rights and the papers and articles that were written in discussing the issues, they would start to understand them and realize that they are still the gold standard of governing documents. It takes virtuous, educated (informed), talented and honest individuals to lead our country. Another problem is that people want what they want over what’s right for the common good! #WinBenWin #Carson2016

    • Sandra Stanislav

      so you say that illegal aliens taking our social security and stealing our money for the veterans is good right? and we on the right have to give and give while people on the left do nothing? you see this is the problem with people like you and your belief is that this is how we got selling live babies in abortions. where do we stop when we start selling your body parts as you lay on the operating table because someone with more money wants them? just how much do you want us to keep going to the left. NOT one move has ever been to the right and it is now or never. next year in 2016 your gov has signed into law (not legally) that we here in America will be under the global security laws and EVERY law office and child protective services will be under this law and they will have every right to take your guns and your child so why don’t you just keep telling everyone how we have to keep going left.

      • PoqVaUSA

        Sandra Stanislav: I think you misread Jim Lockwood. He is a supporter of Ben Carson, and he is calling for Establishment Republicans to listen to the conservatives, and to get a better fundamental understanding of how our constitutional government is supposed to operate.

  • Spencer

    As a party, the Republican efforts cannot succeed if they cannot agree within their own ranks. Democratic candidates will continue to win because the core issues that matter to them are identified and under discourse – allowing for party unity.

    Meanwhile the religious right is busy campaigning on the wrong side of history, and the Tea Party refuses to compromise on anything and is a minefield of quotes that make the entire party look overtly ignorant.

    Reign in the crazies filling up the ranks, or accept another Democratic president.

    • Steve Walker

      You too are a libitard POS. No more Demotards for POTUS

    • Sandra Stanislav

      just because you communist left say something does not make it true. WE are not fighting within our party you had better look at your own party because between hill and bernie they are going to have a knock out drag out fight to get what they want and we will be laughing all of the way

    • PoqVaUSA

      Spencer: Liberalism is crumbling under its own weight, as did the USSR. It took a zealot like Obama, trampling over the Constitution and the separation of powers to get this country to realize that the liberal agenda is bankrupt and is bankrupting this country.

      Think about it. The best 2nd place Democrat candidate is an open Socialist who thinks that any who believes in God is an idiot. How many people did Bernie Sanders just strike off the list of likely supporters with those credentials?

      The problem is that even the opposition party, the Republicans, has got a case of the contagion. The 2016 election is going to be a showdown.

  • Steve Walker

    The Republican has strayed too far from it’s root and direction. The Tea Party and Christian Right has brought the correct direction for the party. The GOP needs a big shake up…

    • PoqVaUSA

      Steve Walker: Thank you!

  • PoqVaUSA

    As far as ‘centrist’ Republican candidates, why on Earth would a progressive want to vote for ‘Socialist-lite’ when they can vote for a Democrat instead? So the conservatives stay home and the Democrats win.

    This country needs someone who will “fundamentally fix” Obama’s “fundamental change”. It there was ever anyone in recent history who had a radical agenda and still got elected, it was Obama. Why don’t the Democrats see a need for moderation in order to ‘win the middle’ and get elected?

    My vote is for Ted Cruz in the primaries. I hope he will add Ben Carson to his ticket in the general election.