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teaparty

The people who most support the Republicans and the Tea Party carry a secret burden. Many know that they are one medical emergency or broken down car away from ruin, and they blame the government. They vote against their own interests, often hurting themselves in concrete ways, in a vain attempt to deal with their own, misguided shame about being poor. They believe “freedom” is the answer, even though they live a form of wage indenture in a rigged system. I was poor, but a GOP die-hard: How I finally left the politics of shame

It is not even conceivable that progressives could do the same to Nancy Pelosi despite the fact that she has often betrayed progressive interests. Tea partiers are willing to vote their values. Their values may mostly be retrograde, but they vote them. As a result, they have power. Reports of the Tea Party’s death were premature. I guess the Tea Party isn’t finished

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What is the tea party, exactly? That’s not so clear. There are a constellation of groups, like Tea Party Patriots, FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, who sometimes associate themselves with the movement or are associated with it. But their agendas can range from libertarian to populist and do not always align. As in Missouri, they often do not endorse the same candidate. Nor do they always endorse the candidate who self-identifies as member of the tea party. Is the tea party opposed to the Republican establishment or has it been co-opted by it? ‘Tea Party’ Has Outlived Its Usefulness

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These movement professionals don’t need to win races to exert their influence. They only need to scare incumbents and establishment pols into doing their bidding. They would prefer that their candidates, win or lose, aren’t badly vetted grass-roots kooks like Todd Akin or Christine O’Donnell, if they can help it. What they prefer are far-right radicals who don’t look too crazy. People like themselves — professionals. It’s fine for a Tea Partyer to run around the mall dressed up like Martha Washington spouting platitudes about freedom. But in order to please the right people (the Big Money Boyz) and get the job done (cut those taxes) the candidates need to be able to tell the difference between playing to the rubes and getting down to business. There is a whole lot of money at stake — for the political pros especially — so it’s important that they make those choices as much as possible. Democracy is just another product for these people. Wingnuts’ identity crisis: Why far-right activists are driving the political pros mad

To understand the anger of the tea-party movement, just imagine how you would feel if you learned that government physicists were building a particle accelerator that might, as a side effect of its experiments, nullify the law of gravity. Everything around us would float away, and the Earth itself would break apart. Now, instead of that scenario, suppose you learned that politicians were devising policies that might, as a side effect of their enactment, nullify the law of karma. Bad deeds would no longer lead to bad outcomes, and the fragile moral order of our nation would break apart. For tea partiers, this scenario is not science fiction. It is the last 80 years of American history. Jonathan Haidt

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