That’s the gist of this very provocative article entitled, ‘Three New Facts about the Tea Party’ at the The American Prospect. Hat tip: Paul
Author Abby Rapoport begins with this lead-in:
The first large-scale political-science survey of Tea Party activists shows the movement isn’t going anywhere—and the GOP had better brace itself.
For a movement that’s helped to reshape the Republican Party—and by extension, reshape American politics—we know shockingly little about the people who make up the Tea Party. While some in the GOP once hoped to co-opt the movement, it’s increasingly unclear which group—the Tea Party or establishment Republicans—is running the show. Politicians have largely relied on conjecture and assumption to determine the positions and priorities of Tea Party activists.
Until now. The results of the first political science survey of Tea Party activists show that the constituency isn’t going away any time soon—and Republicans hoping the activists will begin to moderate their stances should prepare for disappointment.
And here are three things snipped from the piece that our reader and informant, Paul, found most informative. (I appreciate Paul doing this for me, so I can be lazy this morning!)
“…the Tea Party activists doing work for the Republicans are surprisingly negative about the party they’re helping.”
“…the Tea Party cares more about what nominees believe than whether they can win—and compromising on politics means compromising on principle.”
“On some issues… the establishment Republicans are actually closer to Democrats than they are to the Tea Party respondents. That’s a gap too large to be overcome by a few political action committees and gestures of goodwill.”
As the Tea Party movement matures, I hope it doesn’t find itself becoming just like the GOP with insider shenanigans by a handful of “ruling class” wannabes—alas I’m hearing rumblings of that happening in Virginia.