I’m a Liberal and I Love the Tea Party — No, I’m Not Crazy

crazy-people-tea-partyAlright, hear me out, because it’s true — I do love the Tea Party.

But obviously not for the same reasons many right-wing Republicans do.

Since the news broke that Michele Bachmann wasn’t going to seek re-election, many liberals have been celebrating.  It’s easy to see why — the woman is insane.  She believed God “told her to run for president” and that you can “pray away the gay.”  We’ve rarely seen such a well known politician from one of the two major political parties openly behave so radically, yet be accepted so strongly by the “mainstream” of their party.  Usually, characters like this are hidden away in Congress and rarely heard from.

But not Bachmann.  She quickly became a leading face for the Tea Party movement, and in essence, the Republican Party.

And that’s why I love the Tea Party.

It has put front and center the true nature of where conservatives want to take this country.

People like Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Rick Perry and a few others have become the face of the Republican Party.  While the legend of Reagan still gets brought up when Republicans try to cheer lead for their side, even his memory has begun to fade a bit as many of these out of touch right-wing radicals have become more nationally known.

It’s hard to continue to claim to be the “party of Reagan” when many who worked for, and with, President Reagan say he wouldn’t even win a Republican primary with the extreme right shift of conservative ideology these last few years.

I don’t fear the Tea Party — what I do fear are the moves being made by Republicans like Governor Chris Christie.  He’s recognized that a Republican can’t win a general election embracing these radical Tea Party tactics, and has made a conscious effort the last few months to try and appeal to the more moderate voters.

He’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

But Tea Party Republicans are fantastic for liberal Americans.  As our society as a whole continues to become more liberal, these radicals have made the most fringe parts of conservatism the cornerstones of the Republican Party.

Sure, in the short-term these Tea Party Republicans have been a giant obstruction for progress in the United States — but their popularity has plummeted since 2012, bringing the Republican Party down with them.  And while this has happened, liberal ideologies continue to become more widely accepted by the majority of Americans.

And we’re on the brink of maybe the best chance liberals have had to finally put a final nail in the Republican coffin.  We are headed towards 8 years of President Obama, and possibly 8 years of Hillary Clinton.  That’s 16 years of Democratic leadership.

As our economy continues to improve, the Affordable Care Act proves its doubters wrong and we continue toward a sensible plan to balance our budgets — what could Republicans say then?

The answer: Absolutely nothing.

They would be left doing what they’ve done since September — creating fake “conspiracies” that the majority of Americans don’t care about.

The Tea Party has been a great thing for liberals.  It’s taken the Republican Party and turned it against itself.  It’s created a situation where for these candidates to win their GOP primaries they have to appeal to the far right fringe of their party, but while doing this Republicans choose candidates who often struggle to win general elections.

So while it’s easy to celebrate the end of Michele Bachmann in Congress because she is insane, let’s not forget that her insanity being front and center of the Republican Party has been a great weapon for Democrats to use against the GOP.

Luckily for liberals, there are plenty of crazy Tea Party Republicans out there to continue to be the face of the GOP.

And that’s great news for Democrats all across the country.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • libertine

    I see your point, but on the other hand, I think real change comes with cooperation… so they may be good for winning elections, but not good for getting things done.

    • Colleen O’Neill

      Excellent point. Compromise. It is what made and saved this country countless times. We need to relearn the art of compromise.

  • So, everyone who does not believe like you is a radical. But those that are turned on by your bully style commentary will suck up this nonsense because they are fawning over your celebratory status. It’s tiresome that all you have to offer is stones, nothing intelligent to share, nothing of real value, you just throw stones. And you get paid to behave like a child towards other American’s. That is divisive and has it’s roots in hate. Worthless tripe.

    • Mr Middle America

      Cecile, are you making an ironic post? Bravo. Because if you put quotes around your comment and add “This is who Teapublicans are:” you could absolutely not have said it better. Seriously, excellent job. Because the only thing funnier than a Teapublican running from a fact is a Teapublican trying to explain their Teapocrisy towards everyone else.

    • S Stroer

      Also, learn proper English.

    • Steve W.

      Then what is your opinion of the Tea Party,
      the GOP and Republican Leadership ?

  • CommonCents

    Remember that time the all of the critics of the ACA were actually right? And how premiums have over doubled since it’s implementation? And how Senate Democrats haven’t passed a budget in over Four Years? Yeah, me neither…

    • Steve W.

      Due at least in part because of non-support from the Republican side of the aisle.

  • I have to tell you…the Tea Party changed me from a 35-year strong member of the Republican Party to a full fledged Liberal in a matter of 3 years. I was a REAL Reagan Republican. I even thought Rush made sense back in the ’80’s, [as she hangs her head in shame]. Over the past few years, these crazy right-wing extremists have TOTALLY opened my eyes to the Conservative agenda of the GOP, which they have been successfully promoting since “H Dubya” got into office..
    I didn’t vote for President Obama in 2004. I was still clinging to the “values” and the “entitlements” they were screaming about on FOX News…until I realized that the values of which they spoke, were not the values of being kind to others, and to be honest and loving towards everyone, it REALLY meant “Gay People are less than, and I’m superior to those who don’t think like me.” As for the wicked “entitlements”, far from being the support of the “welfare queen” myth, it means they want your SOCIAL SECURITY folks! George Carlin knew what he was talking about when he said “They’re coming for your Social Security” This ain’t your Momma’s Republican Party anymore!
    I denounced the Republican Party in 2007 after they started in with their hate language against gays, women, people of color, immigrants, foreigners, children, elderly and everyone else who isn’t a white Christian. Those are not MY values, and they CAN’T HAVE MY SOCIAL SECURITY!

    • nick jackson

      I don’t think anyone voted for Obama in 2004 XD, but I can relate to your point, I’m hoping my family realizes the same thing you did.

  • hzane

    The way I recollect, the original Tea Party was an independent grassroots organized to protest against the Bush administration! It had more in common with Occupy Wall St. than with Michelle Balkman. It’s just like the 70’s really. The Libertarian party was originally formed to express discontent with the Nixon administration. And the Tea party, similarly though even more so, was quickly subjugated on the national stage by the right wing. Amazingly – in no small part by the Koch family in both cases. And so the Tea Party become the JBS II. To the point where 90% of so called Tea Party members are completely misinformed and plain wrong about the genesis of this organization. It’s all such a huge clusterfuck of misinformation. This idea which we have arrived at where the REPUBLICAN PARTY is the underdog or anti-establishment party is such a chilling deception.

  • mike

    If you don’t understand the importance of having both crazy Republicans and crazy Democrats you might as well go back to grade school. Half and half is the best way to do it.