The Tea Party Has Won — And That’s Great News for Liberals

boehner-tea-partyWith the news breaking that House Speaker John Boehner has embraced (or caved) to the idea of threatening to shutdown the government in a futile attempt to defund the Constitutionally-upheld Affordable Care Act, it’s now crystal clear—the tea party has won.

No, they haven’t defeated Democrats or the liberal movement.  In fact, their “victory” is great news for liberals (more on that in just a minute).  But they’ve “won” in the sense that they’ve finally taken full control of the Republican party.

Sure, since 2008 they’ve had a fairly strong influence that seemed to have culminated in 2010 when they took back a lot of power in Congress, but since then they’ve fallen out of favor nationally with almost all Americans — aside from the very far right conservative base.

But even with their popularity, the more “mainstream” Republicans still hadn’t let the radical right-wing movement take over their party. Yes they still had some influence, but they were more like a gnat buzzing around rather than anything that had any meaningful impact.

Well, that’s changed.  The moment I read that John Boehner caved into a feeble (and radical) tea party supported plan to shutdown our government, I then realized the tea party had won.

All indications before the summer started were that Boehner had enough sense about him to avoid linking a possible government shutdown in with the GOP attempt to defund “Obamacare.”  He had seemingly gone out of his way to avoid even saying the words together in the same sentence.  Well, not anymore.

It seems Boehner has fully embraced the idiotic idea that Republicans can somehow shutdown our government and this will lead to President Obama giving in to their blatant attempts at blackmail.

What was once just the pathetic rumblings of people like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul has now apparently become the leading “strategy” Republicans plan to utilize, in an effort to prove that they really don’t care about this country or Americans.

On an issue so large, normally the Republican party would push aside tea party radicalism and embrace some kind of compromise that resembles real governing.

Alas, that does not appear to be the case any longer.  Republicans have gone “full tea party.”

Something that I believe liberals really shouldn’t fear.

Sure, on some levels it’s a scary thought to see the most radical fringes of the conservative movement controlling one of the two largest parties in the United States.  And yes, they’re going to win a few “battles” along the way due to the simple fact that millions of Americans still do support the GOP.

But when it comes to national elections, these babbling idiots are going to fail—and fail miserably.

They’re going to push out moderate conservatives (many of which will in turn side with Democrats) and they’re going to continue to march out the most ridiculous political specimens we’ve ever seen.  At that moment the majority of the GOP will be comprised of people like Michele Bachmann, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio.

People that, while very popular in their conservative districts, are a disaster nationally.  And once you go down this road of basing a political party around the fringes of your voters, it’s nearly impossible to turn back.  Especially when those voters often turn out in very high numbers—especially during primary season.

For a great example of this we need to look no further than during the GOP presidential primaries.  A whole host of tea party favorite candidates were put on stage.  One by one, each candidate “took the lead,” and almost as soon as that candidate was put under the national limelight—they were quickly replaced with the next “big thing.”

Once upon a time Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann were “GOP frontrunners”—that was until the public got to know them better and realized they were babbling radical idiots.

So after all the tea party momentum, the “movement” and all the hype, Republicans ultimately chose—Mitt Romney to be their candidate.

Has there ever been a candidate that was basically picked only because he was the lone candidate who didn’t seem completely insane?

A political party which had based much of its opposition to the current president on the issue of “Obamacare” selected a man who was the architect behind “Romneycare”—which is basically a blueprint for the Affordable Care Act.

It’s irony that the most creative writer would have trouble inventing.

And if this “shutdown the government” plan is what Republicans want to run with, I say go for it.  Trust me, independents won’t blame Democrats or Obama—they’ll blame Republicans.  These are the same sort of tactics Republicans tried to use in the 90’s against Clinton, which massively backfired on them and gave Democrats more power in Congress.

Then if they want to take their pathetic attempt to defund Obamacare a step further and default on our debt by not raising the debt ceiling, go ahead.  Because purposely ruining our economy is a perfectly logical response to try to block a law which Republicans say will ruin our economy.

Completely rational, right?

So while Republicans go “full tea party” and embrace the most fringe elements of their party, liberals shouldn’t fear too much.

While the rhetoric that will continue to come from these individuals will no doubt be maddening, rest assured that the more Republicans continue to allow the tea party to take over their party—the less relevance they’ll have nationally.

And while Republicans rush to embrace the worst parts of their party, liberals must rush to energize theirs.  Because as the GOP seems determined to allow the tea party to run the show—we can’t get complacent and let them.

Come 2014, liberals must make damn sure tea party Republicans know we’re done letting them treat our government like a three-ring circus.

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.


Facebook comments