My new friend Michael recently blogged about “The Ideological Evolution of the Republican Party,” in a post that echoced my own (2005) post, “The Neocon / Theocon Axis: Winning and Losing.” Michael updates the theme, discussing the Party Line in the context of the Tea Party:
With the onset of the Tea Party Movement, a new transformation of Republican Party values has begun to take place. The transformation is still ongoing. The Tea Party Movement is nominally non-partisan, but let’s be honest – the tenets of the movement are in alignment with traditionally Republican territory: lower taxes, smaller government, combating the national debt and opposition to nationalized healthcare and the stimulus package. The movement is calling itself non-partisan because the Neocon-Theocon Hegemony neglected these values. Although the movement began with the presidential campaign of Ron Paul – indeed, it is downright shameful to understand the Tea Party without mentioning him – it has expanded beyond his base since the last election. The movement expanded first in response to Bush’s Big Government policies and accelerated under Obama’s. Obama made the miscalculation of thinking that a close election victory and disapproval of Bush constituted a mandate for him to push a liberal agenda forward, which was not the case at all. President Obama’s approval among political independents is now in the low 40s and shows no signs of rising in the near future. Even though the Tea Party is conservative for the most part, the expansion beyond the Ron Paul base means the more moderate crowd are participating. When the movement first began it was littered with truthers, birthers, kucinichers, radical global warming deniers, anarchists, neo-nazis, conspiracy theorists and other wackos. Now the base is more sane and the time has come to take out the trash. The movement, though no less courageous and outspoken, is coming into the hands of the respectable crowd. Debra Medina, the Tea Party candidate for Governor of Texas, unfortunately may have made the possibly fatal mistake of hesitating to shun the truthers on Glenn Beck’s program. But the movement is very spread out and not easily undermined by one missing bolt. The movement is grassroots bottom-up and there are no real leaders of the charge. But as the Tea Party opts for reform, there are others who are trying to use it to further themselves.
Thanks for the great blog, Michael!