What Does The Tea Party Represent?—Will Centrists & Independents Support Tea Party Backed Republicans?
Above you see what the Tea Party presents itself to the public. The billboard you see here was paid for by a Tea Party group in Iowa.
I’m very liberal. I’m not going to vote for any Republicans in the upcoming November elections. I’m upfront about this fact.
If you’re somebody who could vote either way depending on the candidates and the office up for election, you’ve got to decide what you’re going to do.
Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, who is up for reelection, recently said that he would support lawsuits looking to see if President Obama was really born in the United States.
The economy is a mess and Louisiana is under siege from all the BP oil, yet this is what Senator Vitter is talking about. This is how beholden Republicans are to the Tea Party/far right wing agenda.
Let’s say you don’t agree with this or that you don’t like the NAACP. Fine.
“You’re dealing with people who are professional race-baiters, who make a very good living off this kind of thing. They make more money off of race than any slave trader ever. It’s time groups like the NAACP went to the trash heap of history where they belong with all the other vile racist groups that emerged in our history,”
The NAACP is not some revolutionary outfit. They don’t profit off race as did slave traders. They are not a “vile racist group” like some other groups in our American history.
The Tea Party, lead by Glen Beck, is going to hold a rally next month at the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream speech.
Why would the Tea Party they do this other than to mock the memory of the day? What’s the point but to anger people? A rally could be held any other day and any other place.
It seems apparent Democrats will lose seats in Congress in 2010. Democrats are not going to be promoting a big agenda in the next session of Congress regardless of whether they hold on to their Congressional majorities or not.
The Republicans seem to be almost fully under the thumb of their most extreme ideological supporters.
I predict that these Tea Party supporters will prove to be far to the right, that many politically centrist and independent Americans will choose not to support Republicans in the 2010 elections.
The Tea Party represents an angry ideological extremism out of step with the majority of Americans.
Ask the Republicans in your life why they are okay with people dying because they have a pre-existing condition and can’t get health insurance, and why they are okay with people dying because they cannot afford health insurance.
How is that Republican friends and family members can think you have value, but that it is okay for others to die?
I know we often try to keep these issues out of our personal lives, but haven’t you had enough?
The chance for universal coverage is going away. And at core it is going away because many average people in this country sided with insurance companies and Republicans at the expense of basic compassion and decency.
Republicans so often talk about being accountable for one’s actions.
Let’s hold the Republicans in our lives accountable for the harm they have caused.
The switch of Arlen Specter from Republican to Democrat leaves Republicans with just 40 Senators in the 100 seat Senate. After Al Franken is seated in Minnesota there will be 58 Democrats and 2 independents who mostly vote with the Democrats in the Senate.
( Above–Arlen Specter with Martin Luther King. Please click here for the best Martin Luther King reading list on the web.)
This weak Republican presence in the Senate is not out of line with Republican membership in the Senate since the 1929 stock crash. Beginning with the 1930 election, the first after the crash, Democrats have reached 60 or more seats in the Senate 11 times. Mr. Franken’s seating will make that 12 times.
The peak of Democratic control was the 76 seats won in the 1936 election.
(Below–Charles McNary of Oregon was leader of the very small Republican Senate minority after the 1936 election.)
The Republican high since 1930 is just 55 seats. This mark was reached in the elections of 1996, 1998 and 2004. The last time Republicans were as strong in the Senate as are Democrats today was after the election of 1920 when they had 59 seats. The Senate at that time had only 96 seats as Alaska and Hawaii were not yet part of the union.
Democrats have won more than 55 seats in the Senate 20 times since 1929 in contrast to the inability of Republicans to win as many of 56 seats since that year.
( Here is the link to the web home of the U.S. Senate. There is a lot of information to be found at the Senate site. Here is a link to the divisions by party going back to the beginning of the Senate in 1789.)
The last time Republicans reached 60 seats was the election of 1908. Republicans won 60 seats that year in what was a 92 seat Senate.
Democrats have had two main periods of dominance in the Senate since was 1929. In the years between and including the first election of Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, and his final election in 1944, Democrats never fell below 57 seats.
( Below—Republican Robert Taft of Ohio was Senate Majority Leader at the time of his death in 1953. )
In 1958 Democrats won 65 seats and in 1978 they took 58. In between those years, they never went lower than 54 and seven times eclipsed 60.
(Below–Mike Mansfield of Montana was Majority Leader of the Senate 1961-1977. That is the longest tenure in that position.)
Republicans have only had two stretches since 1929 where they’ve won control of the Senate in consecutive elections.
In the Reagan years, Republicans ran the Senate after the 1980, 1982 and 1984 elections. After the Republican Congressional landslide of 1994, Republicans won at least 50 seats each election up to and including 2004. Though after the 2000 election Republican control was ended when Jim Jeffords of Vermont switched to the Democrats giving Democrats a 51-49 edge.
( Below–Howard Baker of Tennessee served as both Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the Senate.)
A qualification to all this could be that many Democrats in the years of Democratic control since 1929 were Southern Democrats who often voted with Republicans. True control of the Senate often eluded the more progressive elements of the Democratic Party.
There is truth to that qualification. But it must be said that the New Deal and Great Society programs that conservatives would like to undo were passed in these years. Civil Rights legislation also passed in these years though it took a long time and required the principled support of some Republicans in the Senate.
Today’s strong Democratic majority has moderate members, but nothing like the segregationists of the past.
For 40 years, since the Sunbelt driven election of Richard Nixon in 1968, we’ve been hearing about the supposed realignment of American politics towards Republicans. Well–Where is it?
Today’s Democratic majorities and the states that Barack Obama won come from all around the nation. In the South, Mr. Obama won North Carolina, Virgina and Florida. Senator Specter’s switch only adds to the 80 years and counting slump of the Republican Party in the U.S. Senate.
( Coming soon -A look at membership of the U.S. House of Representatives since 1929. The story is much the same as it has been in the Senate.)
(Below—Democrat Robert Byrd of West Virginia has seen a lot of Senate history since he entered the Senate in 1959. He is the longest serving Senator ever.)
I thought Republicans believed that in a time of crisis all Americans should rally around our President. I can recall Republicans who said we had to get behind George W. Bush and all his wars so we could avenge the attacks of September 11, 2001. I might even be able to recall suggestions—subtle and otherwise—that people who did not support George W. Bush were not fully loyal.
Well—This does not seem to be the case for Republicans anymore as President Barack H. Obama works to fight our economic crisis. Where is the Republican message of “country first” that John McCain kept pushing at us for all those months?
I guess supporting our President in these hard times for our nation is not as important as the Republican religion of tax cuts as the cure to every ill, and the Republican fear that a government that helps people will show a path outside of ceaseless brutal competition with each other.
Patriotism is sitautional with Republicans in Congress. That is if loyalty to the nation is what motivated them in the first place after September 11. Maybe what they saw was Karl Rove’s vision of a permanent Republican majority in a nation always afraid of another terrorist attack.
Barack Obama should not get everything he wants just because he says so. The Democratic majorities in Congress must be independent in a way that the previous Republican majorities were not. Just don’t expect much constructive input from Republicans. Whatever it is that truly moves them, the good of the nation is not so high on the list.
A Wall Street Journal poll reports that Republicans by a nearly two-to-one margin believe free trade hurts the American economy.
This is a shift away from previous Republican support of free trade.
These issues are difficult because we can’t pull back from the rest of the world.
I feel the core of the matter is that neither party is being up-front about what free trade really means.
We’ve lived at a level of consumption and debt that the realities of the world will no longer permit.
At the same time we’ve allowed corporations to get the upper-hand with workers.
As citizens we’ve not asked ourselves the tough questions of how should we live and about the well-being of people in emerging economies.
Will any political leader ever step up to the truth and the hard facts on these issues?
It is very difficult for average people to work this stuff out without help.