Tea Party Republican Debate

Hey, there’s another thrilling GOP “debate” taking place tonight in Tampa, Florida.

This one is billed as the “Tea Party Republican Debate”… whatever that means. Presumably, the candidates will have to out-crazy one another. You know, more than usual.

Update: The night’s event in 100 seconds…

Aside from Herman Cain, I didn’t see a single black person in that crowd at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Curious.

Oh well, never mind that. Weren’t those theatrical biopics introducing the candidates beyond incredible? Mitt Romney (“The Early Frontrunner”), Rick Perry (“The Newcomer”), Michele Bachmann (“The Firebrand”), and so on… That was just hilarious.

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28 Comments

Filed under 2012 U.S. Election, Republican Party

28 responses to “Tea Party Republican Debate

  1. Paul Raposo

    Conservatives in general, and Republicans in particular are always accusing the Dems of pandering to “special interest groups”. What exactly is the RNC doing, if not pandering to the “Tea Party”?

  2. Tea Party = John Birch Society.

  3. RedneckTory

    GERP DERP HERP DERP!!!!!

    HUUUUUUUUUUUPPPPERP

  4. I did ask nicely, Jimbo, but you’re obviously too much of a retarded fuckwit to get the message. You’re now blacklisted.

    Buh bye!

    p.s. Translating my comment verbatim into German and trying to re-post that is beyond lame. As I said, you’re blacklisted so you might just as well spare yourself the effort and bugger off now.

  5. tofkw

    Aeneas, yes they do seem to be very similar if one adds in an irrational fear of ‘Islamofascists’ with that of anything deemed to be ‘communist’. Though it could be argued the two amount to the same thing among the teabagger types.

    There is however one big difference in (what’s left of) the John Birch Society which makes them less nutty. That would be their ongoing opposition to the USA’s foreign military adventures, right from the Vietnam war days to today’s hostilities. Oh don’t get me wrong, the JBS is big on US military might. But they correctly identify these foreign hostilities as money-wasting follies that accomplish nothing, aside from draining the treasury while simultaneously jeopardizing American long-term security.

    Between this and their call to dismantle the Federal Reserve System, I’d say the JBS is closer to Ron Paul libertarians than to outright wingnut teabaggers. In other-words somewhat crazy, but not completely insane.

  6. TofKW: Opposition to interminable wars, military adventurism and “foreign entanglements” in general is something that increasingly crosses party lines. I don’t know too many liberals who would disagree with Ron Paul’s stance with respect to America’s foreign policy, but once he starts talking about issues on the domestic front, that’s where he tends to come across as “crazy” in the sense of being an impractical ideologue.

  7. Extremism is their common inheritance.

  8. Certainly makes our politics seem eminently sensible and moderately pragmatic by comparison.

  9. Peter

    Not extremism, but certainly extreme rhetoric by comparison, plus a predeliction for conspiracy theories.They are children of a revolution and love nothing more than to appeal to the high-falutin’ promise of their constitution and Bill of Rights. An American pol who proposes to cut back social services will talk of the forefathers, freedom and tyranny, while a Canadian will just apologize that there is no money. But their actual politics is all about checks and balances, brokering, horse-trading and the art of the possible, When one of them does try to break out (Roosevelt, Johnson, Reagan, Bush), half the country starts screaming that they have betrayed the Founding Fathers. You want real extremism? Try Europe.

  10. Peter … you are describing an America of long-ago.The USA of Lyndon Johnson and Everett Dirksen. The United States is in the current grip of full-bore lobbying power, money-politics, and pressure from radical groups. The Tea Party are extremists.

    And yes, I agree that in many European countries, political extremism still exists – quite vibrantly in fact.

    But my baseline for comparison is the English-speaking world. Within that sampling, the USA is now an outlier.

  11. The idea that the political economy of 1789 America must be defended, safeguarded, preserved – and by some versions returned to – at all costs seems quite ridiculous to me.

  12. Peter

    We shall see, Aeneas. It’s wise to be mindful of one of George Grant’s great quotes, which I can’t find, but which went something like: “The left is always predicting the advent of fascism in America, but when the real thing comes, it always seems to descend on Europe”. We’re all sitting here telling bogeyman stories about the Tea Party, robber barons and American decline (not again?), but across the pond the whole EU project is starting to unravel in a fit of economic incoherence, acrimony and xenophobia. And, unlike the States, they have a track record.

  13. Lars

    I believe that the quote was “The dark night of fascism is always descending upon America, but it always lands on Europe”. I remember it from a Tom Wolfe essay, but he was explicitly quoting someone else, who is unlikely to be George Grant, given Wolfe’s mental horizons.

  14. Grant would hardly be in defence of the American way.

  15. Peter

    My bad, apparently. It looks like the leading candidates are Tom Wolfe, Jean Francois Ravel and Gunther Grass.

  16. tofkw

    It was Tom Wolfe who wrote that in “The Intelligent Coed’s Guide to America”. The exact quote was:
    “He sounded like Jean-François Revel, a French socialist writer who talks about one of the great unexplained phenomena of modern astronomy: namely, that the dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.”

    Also I have to agree with Aeneas. Knowing Mr Grant’s work, I find it difficult that he would defend the US. He may have quoted Tom Wolfe, but I’d like to know the context.

  17. tofkw

    Oh, should add that Wolfe’s line was spoken by Gunter Grass during a Princeton debate in 1965. Grass was a student during the Nazi rule in Germany, so he has some experience with actual fascists.

  18. Craig Chamberlain

    (George Grant! Reason again why this is a fantastic blog site!)

  19. ATY: The idea that the political economy of 1789 America must be defended, safeguarded, preserved – and by some versions returned to – at all costs seems quite ridiculous to me.

    It does seem rather absurd, but for some reason – perhaps because of the same affinity that so many Americans have for fundamentalist religion – our friends south of the border do seem captivated by the guiding thoughts of their founding fathers.

    That said, for Tea Party activists and suchlike ignoramuses to claim in blanket terms that “the founders” wanted this or that, is pure nonsense. One only has to look at the vicious schism between Hamilton and Jefferson to realize that there was little unanimity of opinion between them concerning almost every aspect of governance.

  20. Rotterdam

    -JBS has become old and irrelevant.
    -Teaparty- would be very happy with a Herman Cain/ Alan West ticket. The insinuation of racism is tired….the environmental movement -Green Peace, Sierra Club etc. have very few black faces.

  21. The beautiful thing about the Westminster System is that it allows us to progress unburdened by ideas dispelled by history. Westminster-style parliamentary democracy tends to the practical best suited for the times.

    As the great Canadian John Farthing wrote in his seminal “Freedom Wears a Crown”:

    “…There is no such pride and presumption in the ideal of kingdom. It knows nothing of absolute perfection, whether of the present state of liberty, or of a future state of communism. It seeks only to retain what it knows to be good and to attain to whatever is better. And meantime to perform the duties of the moment in which past and future are fused.”

  22. Rotterdanm: I don’t think the “Cain Train” is going anywhere near the point where consideration of a possible running mate is necessary, although the notion of Alan West as his VP is hilarious. That would be some batshit crazy ticket.

    As for the “insinuation of racism”… what can I say? I just calls ’em as I sees ’em. That audience was almost exclusively white. You can draw whatever inference you want from that.

  23. ATY: Great quote. That certainly helps explain the eminent sensibility of our system as opposed to those which strive for impossible ideals based on unknowable “first principles”…

  24. Peter

    Red, don’t make the mistake of imagining this fascination with the intent of the Founding Fathers is unique to the American right. They may be making the most noise about it these days, but the left can be just as prone to argue that the likes of Reagan, Nixon, Bush, etc. betrayed the “Jeffersonian ideal”. Whatever their differences, all Americans tend to believe 1776 was the highwater mark of history, from which the other side has diverted dangerously. Can you imagine anyone running against Harper on the basis he is betraying the intent of the Fathers of Confederation as set out in the Charlottetown debates? Anyone but Aeneas, that is? 🙂

  25. Peter: Good point. You’re quite right that reverence for the Founding Fathers isn’t exclusive to the Right in America. I think, however, that liberals and progressives take a somewhat different approach in terms of generally regarding the Constitution as a “living document” as opposed to the “strict constructionism” that’s more common amongst libertarians and those on the far Right (even though Jefferson himself was something of a strict constructionist).

  26. My main issues with Harper is his now covert fascination with the US Right on Economic Matters, his embrace of the long-term disaster that is FTA (and potentially the SPP), and his demagogic past utterances about Senate Reform. These are all classic LPC Positions. If he became more traditionally “Conservative” on any of these, then I might be induced to vote for the CPC, despite the existence of Rob Anders :>P

    I really liked the move to redesignate and reclaim the traditional nomenclature of the Armed Services; to that I say … BRAVO!

    However, I do worry that this was a sop – designed to attract older voters and Tory dissidents. I think SH has realised that if he can capture the Red Tory/Traditonal Tory voter, then he may have broken the code for electoral majorities sans Quebec.

  27. Rotterdam

    Heavy Democratic Wiener seat goes Republican. The “racist” tea party makes inroads.
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4122057,00.html

  28. Rotterdam: Not altogether surprising. That district isn’t actually “heavy Democratic” any more, demographically speaking. Also, it’s probably going to be re-districted out of existence in the near future because New York is losing a few seats and the 9th has been targeted for elimination.

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