From Pine View Farm

How Tea Gets Bagged 2

David McCumber analyzes the tactics of teabaggery and how the teabaggers, generally estimated at about a quarter of the electorate, rendered the Republican Party its servant.

A nugget:

The 22 percent of Americans who favor the tea party, as per the latest Gallup numbers, have learned how to influence policy to a degree once considered far beyond the grasp of their raw vote-getting numbers. And as a study just released by a labor-funded liberal advocacy group shows, they are increasingly running the legislative branch of government.

How? It’s called winning through intimidation.

Most moderate Republican lawmakers exist inside a dome of fear that they will draw right-wing primary opposition.


Two truths play into this: (1) Turnout is often light in primaries, and votes are sometimes scattered among three or more candidates. And (2) Zealots vote.

As the authtor points out later in the article, this is not a spontaneous grassroots effort.

It’s Astroturf: wingnut think tanks powered by billionaire bucks fund the freak show.



  1. George Smith

    January 26, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    The only thing excluded is how they gain federal power. Too many dishwater Democratic Party politicians, men of no substance and with no populist message. You recall the summer of the town hall meetings on health care. That’s when the Tea Party “populism” citizens started crucifying Dem pols in mortifying videos, one infamously by switch Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania. They almost brought down the US government, single-handedly were responsible for the shutdown. These are real accomplishments in absolute nihilism.  The picture in that AP piece, one I once used, is perfect: Visualization by arm, an ideology of punch-yer-face.  

  2. Frank

    January 26, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    They operate out of their safe base in the CSA and use glibertarian rhetoric to leverage that in the central parts of the country, where Republican myths have a solid hold. Overt and latent racism are central to their attraction.


    An example of one of those myths:  My friend and I like to watch Family Feud with Steve Harvey, mostly because Steve Harvey is quite witty and sometimes slapstick funny (a local station shows back-to-back episodes at 5 p. m.).  It’s a nice unwind at the end of the day:  we seldom get through an episode without several good laughs.


    Recently, one of the questions was, “What are things that keep going up?”  One of the big answers was, “the debt and deficits.”  People who pay attention know that that is not true–both go up and down (up under Republicans, down under Democrats).  But the public at large believes it; the letters section at my local rag reflects that regularly.


    If a lie is repeated often enough, it is taken as truth.  Republicans wield that truism as a strategy.