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According to an article in the Washington Post this week, the Tea Party will be making its “last stand”in the June 3rd Mississippi Senate primary.  It’s not really a last stand but the match-up between longtime Senator Thad Cochran and Tea Party favorite Chris McDaniel is drawing a lot of attention and, more importantly, money from Tea Party groups looking to salvage what has been a poor showing thus far in 2014′s primary season.

But why, after some success in recent elections, has the Tea Party done so badly this time around.  The answer: the Republicans they haven’t already beaten in a primary are too similar to Tea Party candidates.

To illustrate this point, let’s take a closer look at four candidates and their issue positions taken directly from their websites: Cochran, McDaniel, Mitch McConnell, and his defeated opponent, Tea Partier Matt Bevin.


Cochran: “Thad continues to fight against Obamacare. He has voted to oppose, defund or repeal Obamacare’s overreach 102 times on the Senate.”  (Thanks for using the Senate’s time and taxpayers dollars so well…)

McDaniel: “Obamacare is a train wreck and must be repealed immediately. Chris was a leading opponent of Obamcare in Mississippi, volunteering his free time as lead counsel in a suit against Obamacare.”

McConnell: “Mitch McConnell has given over 100 speeches against Obamacare on the Senate floor.”  (See previous parenthetical message.)

Bevin: “Obamacare isn’t even fully implemented, and it is already a disaster…We need to defund Obamacare immediately and repeal Obamacare as quickly as legislatively possible.”

So, which ones are the establishment Republicans and which are the Tea Partiers?  Exactly.


Cochran: “In fact, he is one of three Senators in history to vote against every comprehensive immigration reform bill that sought to provide amnesty…Thad believes that the United States needs to improve its legal immigration policies and consistently enforce laws already on the books so that we remain globally competitive.

McDaniel: “Chris opposes amnesty and believes we most enforce the laws on the books.”

McConnell: “Mitch McConnell has voted to secure the border and has opposed amnesty.”

Bevin: “An effective plan that stops the failed cycle of amnesty would include immediate enforcement of all the laws on the books.”

McConnell doesn’t have an “enforce the laws on the books” under his issue position page.  What a lefty!!

Second Amendment

Cochran: “The National Rifle Association gives Thad an “A+” rating. Thad believes that the Second Amendment right of the American people to keep and bear arms is not negotiable.”

McDaniel: “Chris is a proud supporter of our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and will oppose all efforts to undermine this crucial right.”

McConnell: “Mitch McConnell is ‘A’ rated by the NRA for his support of Second Amendment rights.”

Bevin: “Matt is a proud conceal carry gun owner and he believes the Second Amendment is the lynchpin of the Bill of Rights, as it was designed to protect all of the other Amendments.”

Bevin apparently would have proudly carried his gun to the Senate chamber and made sure he got his way (not really).  Because if there is one thing the Founding Fathers loved, it was ruling people using weapons.


Cochran: “Thad is pro-life and helped launch the Hyde Amendment to bar the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortions…The National Right to Life Committee strongly supports this legislation and gives Thad a 100% rating for voting to protect unborn children.”

McDaniel: “Chris is unabashedly pro-life and believes we have a responsibility to protect innocent unborn life.”

McConnell: “Since 1998, Mitch McConnell has a 100% pro-life rating by National Right to Life…co-sponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act to ban federal funding for most abortions.”

Bevin: “Matt is pro-life and believes we have a duty to protect unborn human life…In the U.S. Senate, Matt will vote against any bill that contains federal funding or other material support for abortions.”

Remember folks, abortions in any case are unacceptable.  People getting killed through lax gun control laws, malnutrition overseas, or unnecessary wars is totally fine.

Gay Marriage

Cochran: “Thad also is a cosponsor of the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, which would bar the federal government from discriminating against individuals and organizations based upon their faith-founded belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”

McDaniel: “Chris believes marriage is between a man and a woman and will vote to protect traditional marriage.”

McConnell: Doesn’t appear on his issue page but he has a clear record of opposition.

Bevin: “Matt supports marriage as traditionally defined between a man and a woman.”

Cochran’s is actually worded a little loosely (no pun intended) compared to the others but still pretty much the same.  (I lied. Pun intended.)

The list could go on but two key factors should be noted.  The first is the Tea Party was clearly successful in pushing the already right-of-center U.S. political elite (not the public) even further to the right in recent years and don’t have many areas where they can gain at this point.  They have knocked out the easy ones to beat and are having a tougher time with the ones they can’t paint as moderates.  While a similar list could be made with some Democrats in certain districts/states, the Tea party is trying to sell itself as a big change from the establishment when it really is not.

The second is the realization is now clearly hitting both the Republicans and Tea Partiers that their views are increasingly out-of-touch with younger generations and will one day be historically embarrassing.  And that’s true without even mentioning the harsh reality of climate change and the destructive views of the right concerning it.

While the Post is wrong that June 3rd will be the last stand of the Tea Party, they are correct in suggesting a decline is coming and its political power might be irrelevant sooner than we think.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Rs are the TBags now they're tea pubs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, Rashaverak, bepanda

    Don't know when because they have been becoming more evil, extreme & rotten every cycle. Moderates are being purged or converted. They have 2016 to complete their complete takeover.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:11:30 PM PDT

  •  it won't be necessary to rebrand (6+ / 0-)

    the same old Republicanism in a shiny new wrapper for this election, as it was in 2010. Disaffection with the Democrats will be sufficient to drive down turnout, and in low-turnout elections, the GOP wins.

    There was never any "Tea Party." It was just the same old same old ultra right-wing nonsense, repackaged by Dick Armey and the Koch brothers to make it seem like a grassroots movement responding to Obama's Wall-Street-friendly policies.

    Now the brand has outlived its usefulness and it's safe for mainstream Republicans to come out as the extremist lunatics they always were at heart.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:21:17 PM PDT

    •  I Wonder if Anyone Will Diary the Saturday (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Smoh, Rashaverak, StillAmused

      visit of a spokesperson for the "grassroots movement" of the Tea so-called Party on CNN? I have to wonder if it was possible for either the guest or the host to be more clueless about the organization.

      Only in 20th century motion picture mental wards do we routinely see people imagining themselves to be leaders of significant enterprises. In the movies they're often imaginarily Napoleon; in the 21st century industry, they're often Tea Party "leaders" or "spokespeople."

      The grass roots movement brought 30 million voters to DC a week ago. Or a bit less.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:16:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  McDaniel's going to get thrashed for one reason: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluto211, a2nite, Rashaverak

    What he did to Cochran's wife is beyond disgusting and reprehensible.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:22:30 PM PDT

  •  As I said on another diary: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Because we have a 2 party system (0+ / 0-)
    it is harder to define the "far right". Attempts to do so based on individual candidates or issue polling usually come up with guessing that the "far right" in America is about 25% also.
    The reason that the European far right gets about 25% of the vote and this is seen as alarming is that with a parliamentary system 25% is a meaningful amount. In America 25% of the vote is meaningless, so far right candidates (who are not lucky enough to be able to chose their spots) must "moderate" their opinions - they must appear to be moderate enough to not alarm the mainstream while remaining extreme enough to appeal to their followers.
    This is how the Republican Party has become essentially a far right party, though true far rightists are only a minority of its membership. Note also that this drift in the Overton Window also affects the Democrats, as it gives conservadems room to drift right without being punished.
    I would like to say that a parliamentary system moderates extremists by giving them a forum, while inducing them to assimilate, but this does not seem to be the case.
    I would also like to assume the process that has led to near if not outright fascism in the US could also work for a sufficiently popular left movement, but corruption pretty much negates that possibility.

  •  Just to put this all in perspective, (0+ / 0-)

    this would be the 'Tea Party'wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries — whose bleating sockpuppets mewled to Daring Darrell Issa that they were being 'targeted' by IRS for the venial offense of flipping the fucking middle finger to both the law and the (weakened) regulation governing their fraudulent applications for 501(c)(4) tax exemption.

    ... 'cause "social welfare" organizations.

    Can'tcha tell, in the tsunami of articles and reports documenting the ONLY fucking thing they do: POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS?

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