The Tea Party Comedy Show
For many years, dating back I guess to Richard Nixon’s days, the Republican Party has been an unholy alliance of racists, religious extremists, and plutocrats. For the most part the three groups have nothing in common — in fact, you would think that the religious extremists would be mightily offended by the racists (“Jesus loves the little children, Red and Yellow, Black and White….”) as well as the plutocrats (that “easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” thing). But somehow these three disparate groups have hung together to get the likes of Ronald Reagan and George Bush II elected, along with a slew of Republican congressmen. And for the most part, it’s been the rich simply taking advantage of these two groups of extremists — there’s always lots of talk about tightening immigration laws and eliminating programs for “welfare queens” and teaching creationism in the public schools and taking away a woman’s right to choose when it comes to abortion — all the issues that get the racists and religious zealots excited. But in the end, the Republicans never seem to deliver much to these groups, but instead use all their political clout to ensure that the rich get richer and more powerful.
You would think that sooner or later the racists and religious extremists would figure out that they have been taken for a ride — and sure enough, that’s exactly what this whole Tea Party movement is about. It started out strictly as a racist backlash against having a black man as President, and then sucked in a lot of the intellectually challenged religious types with the stories of Obama being a Muslim and/or not being born in the U.S. (which of course makes him non-Christian). At first glance this would seem like the undoing of the current Republican Party. Without these two groups of voters, any chance at winning elections would disappear. There just aren’t enough rich people in the country to keep the Republican Party afloat — at least as long as there’s some semblance of democracy where people and not money ultimately determine elections.
Where all this is headed, I have no idea. But I don’t see how this really impacts the Democratic Party in any fashion. There’s no way anyone who considers themselves a Democrat would have anything to do with these Tea Party extremists. This is strictly a squabble between the extreme elements of the Republican Party. My guess is that in the end the plutocrats will ultimately have their way. But if not and the Tea Party followers go their separate way, that can only be a positive for the Democrats, no? You just end up splitting the right-wing vote, giving Democrats a better chance of winning any given election.
Bottom line is that I find the Tea Party somewhat amusing in a way — it is sad to see so many people filled with so much hate and ignorance, but they are so far over the edge that about all you can do is laugh at them. But as far as them being a threat to the Democrats in the Fall elections? Doesn’t pass the common sense test.