Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Who are the Tea Partyers?
Just who are the Tea Partyers? And how far will the Republican establishment go to prevent the resurgence of Reagan conservatism? Those are the two questions which will decide whether the Republican Party can make a decisive comeback in the next year. One of the Tea Party leaders from a western state told me last week that they were real conservatives, a reflection of the base. He could not be more wrong. The Perotistas were in 1992 -- and the Tea Partyers are now -- “kitchen table issue” voters. Healthcare is one of those issues that affects families directly, and most Americans feel strongly enough about it to become politically active. Their political activity is transient, and their votes -- to the extent they are cast -- are up for grabs. The question is whether Republicans can capture their anger and turn their energy into votes? Or will the Tea Partyers stay home in 2010 as they did in 1988? As one recent poll found, most Americans believe that their healthcare system will be better if Congress does nothing rather than pass Obamacare, and believe that members of Congress don’t have a good understanding of the subject. And all the political energy expended by the Tea Partyers in August seems to have gone for naught. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to pass a healthcare bill that will be – in all relevant terms – the same as the one that was the subject of all the August outrage...read more