Republicans to Activists: Don't Throw the Tea Overboard


If you're a liberal wishing the Tea Partiers would leave the GOP, split the vote, and hand the Democrats some extra victories in November, Dave Weigel has some disappointing news for you:

Tea Party activists aren't acting the part. On the contrary, any attempt to break away and split conservative votes for the midterms is met with several megatons of force, from the courts to the Fox News studio….

When [Virginia independent congressional candidate] Jeff Clark made his debut appearance before Tea Partiers, he was roundly heckled for giving Perriello a potentially easier path to re-election. In New York, rather than being rewarded for running a good race and looking for a rematch, Tea Party favorite Doug Hoffman has turned to raising chickens and is being brusquely shoved aside for a newer, prime-time-readier candidate. The Tea Party, far from being disgruntled, takes after third party insurgents like blue crabs take after the one smartass who tries to evade the barrel.

The full article is here. The Libertarian Party gets a shoutout at the end of the story:

"I was registered Libertarian," shrugs [Nevada-based Tea Party activist] Eric Odom. "I voted for Bob Barr in 2008. So that third-party option has already been tried. Doing that doesn't outweigh the benefits of beating Democrats."

Discuss: Does this mean the GOP has co-opted the Tea Parties, the Tea Parties are taking over the GOP, or some complicated combination of the two?

NEXT: Predators: Big Hunt

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  1. The Tea Party, far from being disgruntled, takes after third party insurgents like blue crabs take after the one smartass who tries to evade the barrel.

    Weigal knows all about how that works.

    1. Thread over.

  2. Dave Weigel has some disappointing news for you

    Just chumming the waters a bit, eh Jesse?


        (Doesn’t roll off the keyboard like Dondero 🙁

  3. FYI, Weigel is conducting a live chat about journalism as we speak.

    1. Ye gods, Matt. What have you done?

      1. Um, shared information with interested readers?

        1. I don’t know, given the insanity that Weigel seems to bring out in some people here…

          1. It’s not like those things aren’t moderated, ya know.

        2. “Um, shared information with interested readers?”

          Even the ratfuckers among us?

        3. Funny how you guys don’t rush to link to Julian Sanchez or Damon Root…

          1. Damon Root is a full-time employee of Reason.

            1. Does he have a benefit package? How’s the dental?

            2. You know what I mean.

        4. Are you on the chat?

  4. Does this mean the GOP has co-opted the Tea Parties, the Tea Parties are taking over the GOP, or some complicated combination of the two?

    In other words, who is getting rat fucked?

    1. We’re getting fucked.

    2. How about the fact that the Tea Partiers were always Republicans to begin with? They are basically just a modern version of the John Birch Society, IMHO.

  5. It means the GOP has learned its lesson and will try to be slightly more conservative on the fiscal front. But don’t touch Medicare and Social Security. Or the military bases. Or the War on Terror.

    1. Or farm subsidies.

  6. FYI, Weigel is conducting a live chat about journalism as we speak.

    Cauliflower and Ham Crustless Quiche


    * 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
    * 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    * 1 cup chopped white onion, about 1 medium
    * 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
    * 4 ounces deli boiled ham, cut in 1/4-inch cubes
    * 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    * 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
    * 2 cups half-and-half
    * 2 large eggs
    * 2 large egg yolks
    * 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    * 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    * Freshly ground black pepper
    * 4 ounces grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese, about 1 cup


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower florets and cook until very crisp tender, about 1 minute. Drain in colander and rinse with cold water. Shake off excess liquid.

    Heat the oil in a large skillet, over medium-high heat. Add the ham and the onions and cook until lightly brown, about 6 minutes. Add cauliflower and parsley and set aside to cool slightly.

    Brush a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie pan with the soft butter and evenly sprinkle the bottom of the pan with the grated parmesan Place pan on a baking sheet. Whisk the half-and-half, eggs, egg yolks and flour in large glass measuring cup. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread half the cauliflower mixture evenly in the pan, top with about half the cheese; repeat with remaining filling and cheese. Pour the custard over the fillings.

    Bake until the quiche is just set in the center, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool on a rack before serving.

    1. I’ve found this sort of thing works better in a cast-iron skillet than in a pie pan. Develops a better crust.

      Also, spinach or broccoli work very nicely in place of cauliflower.

    2. I’m jewish. I don’t do ham. Replace the recipe with a more culturally sensitive one or I will have to appeal to Reason to have you censored.

      1. Bacon wrapped scallops

        * 12 large sea scallops, cut in half
        * 12 pieces of bacon, cut in half
        * garlic powder
        * lemon pepper (optional)
        * teriyaki sauce
        * cayenne pepper
        * olive oil spray

        Cut large scallops in half. Wrap each scallop in half a strip of bacon and secure with a wooden toothpick. (Smaller scallops may be left whole).

        Spray lightly with olive oil spray and sprinkle with teriyaki sauce on both sides. Dust lightly with garlic powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

        Place in baking dish and bake at 425?F, turning once for 20 to 30 minutes or until done.

        Serve with sweet and sour sauce.

  7. I think we are witnessing Weigel Fatigue.

    1. Back in your box Wiegel Puppet!

    2. No, we had a lengthy refractory period last week. It’s about time for another thrust.

      1. Lie back and think of England.

  8. “Does this mean the GOP has co-opted the Tea Parties, the Tea Parties are taking over the GOP, or some complicated combination of the two?”

    I think it means that once again the republicans are co-opting the libertarian party, actually. Yay for us, double the pleasure of social conservatism.

  9. like blue crabs take after the one smartass who tries to evade the barrel

    What the hell does this mean?

    1. You obviously don’t live near the chesapeake.

      1. That clears it up. Thanks.

      2. Yes, this was possibly the Delawariest phrase ever written. Maybe I could have worked in Caesar Rodney and kicked it up a notch.

        1. Yes, well, I’m sure your readers in Henlopen Acres are chuckling. For the benefit of the rest of us: what the hell does it mean?

        2. You got a lotta guts coming back here…

        3. Why does no one drop my name when they want to talk up their Delaware bona fides?

          1. As soon as someone is opening a convenience store we will be in touch asking for accent lessons.

          2. Aren’t you from Scranton?

    2. I will trust that Weigel knows more about crabs than I do, even if I don’t understand his metaphor, here.

  10. Still holding to my prediction, that the GOP will either gain very little, or actually lose seats in the next election.

  11. Paul you are retarded. Paultard.

    1. I for one can’t wait to see how all these little Sarah Palin’s do. I wonder if they’ll have the same electoral success she did?

  12. The GOP has tried to take over the tea party which was basically started with the ron paul campaign successes(money bombs in particular)and the GOP has had some victories. Sarah Palin was one of the deliberate establishment attempts to gain some leadership of the movement. Dick Armey with freedom works was another attempt to gain leadership. Glenn Beck was on the case as well…but it was too obvious to be really successful…so he has had to try and gain credibility by having ron paul on the show and recommend real books like road to serfdom. It is well understood by intelligence agencies that a infiltrator may have to do things they would rather not do to gain leadership of groups they wish to control. a blood infiltrator has to kill a crip…a DEA double agent has to sell a lot of coke before he gets higher level clearance…etc

    They would rather not try this strategy and it will back fire if too many people actually read “Road to Serfdom” or Carroll Quigley…so Moynihan tries to do some damage control by claiming everything Beck recommends is insane-conspiracist-mormonism…including Carrol Quigley…which is crazy, but that is what they are doing.

    So yes the pro-war crowd is having some victories as they always have…but you know the paultards are having victories as well whenever you see David Brooks get mad about “populism” or “conspiracist”…those are some key words handed down in the talking points…the anti-semite smear has lost it’s hold…and the fearsome “white Al-Qaeda” has not taken off as quickly as the illuminati had hoped.

    A big battle has only just begun…the debt crisis is getting worse, keynsianism is not going to “fix” the economy. More debt will not fix the problem and yes things will be bad without more debt as well…especially if the current oligarchy keeps it’s power and demands debt payment through higher taxes(VAT, CO2)…both of which have already been approved by establishment libertarians like Tyler Coward.

  13. I agree with the first part of Geotpf’s assessment above – the Tea Partiers by and large have never represented grassroots opposition to big government, they’re mostly GOP voters who want to pretend they care about limited government now that Republicans are out of power.

    I’ve always thought it was unfair to call tea partiers racist. A much more damning criticism is that they’re utterly insincere and hypocritical about cutting government spending. I’m sure most tea partiers wouldn’t blanch at the idea of spending hundreds of billions to continue our endless wars, or to militarize the southern border…

    1. No, I think they do really care about cutting government spending. And they are more than willing to take down GOP leaders that they don’t think are sufficiently small-government.

      They just happen to be philosophically inconsistent from a libertarian perspective. Such as supporting the War on Terror and being anti-immigrant.

      1. Indeed.

        It is possible to dislike both what the Bush Administration did and what the Obama Administration did, and yet not be a libertarian.

        It’s also true that Tea Partiers have a wide variety of views; however, being pro-immigration is relatively rare, since it’s relatively rare in the broader electorate.

        1. The one thing that unites them is opposition to the bailouts and stimulus packages.

          They aren’t exactly putting lots of effort into fighting gay marriage or or immigration or supporting the war on terror, because there are divergences between the Ron Paul wing and the more stalwart GOPers on those issue. The compromise is to focus exclusively on spending issues.

  14. Wow, I thought that both the Washington Post and Reason were done with this dickhead, but it looks like neither one is the case.

    Honestly Matt, what the hell is it about this guy, does he have compromising photos of someone important or something? It makes no damn sense to me.

  15. Does this mean the GOP has co-opted the Tea Parties, the Tea Parties are taking over the GOP, or some complicated combination of the two?

    It’s complicated, largely because neither the Tea Parties nor really the GOP have something to “take over.” The Tea Parties aren’t organized at all, which of course leads to incoherence. Thanks to primaries, the GOP (and the Democrats) can be “taken over” fairly easily– even easier in the case of caucus-using states like Utah.

  16. Poll after poll shows that the Tea Party is just the Republican base rebranded. They needed rebranding, what with completely trashing the country and all.

    1. When I finally become president, I’m going to change all of that!

    2. Yes Tony, we already know what the Huffington Post wants everyone to believe.

      1. Care to dispute these polls with facts of your own? If not, don’t blame me for continuing to mock you for being pragmatic butt buddies with Republicans beyond all sanity.

        1. I would think that using homophobic slurs is unbecoming of a high-brow liberal like yourself?

          1. I’m gay, I’m allowed to use any homophobic slur I wish.

            1. I’m gay, I’m allowed to use any homophobic slur I wish.

              Well, come on now, Tony, so are many an elected Republican, and we don’t like it when they use homophobic slurs.

            2. Incidently, he’s also allowed to use the term “retard”.

        2. It would be easier for someone to dispute your polls if you actually linked to them. Or would you consider yourself equally refuted if someone made up their own facts?

        3. So you agree that the Republican base is 23% minority, roughly in line with the overall US population?

          I didn’t realize that you thought that the GOP base looked like America that much. (While that article calls them “overwhelmingly white and Anglo,” it also notes that minorities make up almost one-fourth of the membership, in which case the Tea Party membership would be perfectly proportional.)

  17. So, Wiegel is writing at Slate now, eh?

    Why am I not suprised that he keeps getting fired upwards every time he reveals his Team Blue colors?

    1. As a libertarian do you not have a problem with people being purged from a movement for not agreeing with every single official party line?

      1. Wiegel clearly hasn’t been purged.

        And I’m not saying he doesn’t have some libertarians tendancies. IMO he just happens to primarily be a Democratic Party loyalist, the way mean right-libertarians are Republican loyalists.

      2. The only movement he was purged from is the journalistic movement of pretending to be unbiased even when rooting for Democrats.

      3. Hard to be purged from a movement one was never part of.

        I imagine Mr. Weigel would agree on this.

      4. As a libertarian do you not have a problem with people being purged from a movement for not

        He didn’t get purged from a movement, Tony. He quit that hotbed of GOP cheerleading, the Washington Post.

      5. I don’t agree with every single official party line and have said so in public. For instance, I disagreed with the LP’s support of NAFTA, which, I felt, was the LP’s version of the “we must do something, anything,” approach that I have excoriated Demos and GOP for taking on other issues. But I am libertarian from way back and also do not hide any disdain for self-proclaimed libertarian poseurs.

        For two people to regard each other as fellow libertarians, they must agree on something fundamental (other than the bureaucratic fact of having an LP membership card or a “hello, I’m a libertarian” badge stuck to their breast-pocket, I mean). The principles of self-ownership and non-aggression, I have found, are excellent fundamentals. If people disagree about the details of whether a particular prescription violates self-ownership or constitutes aggression, they can still be libertarian, as long as they find a way to square their individual positions with the fundamentals, and they can consider each other libertarian if the squaring rationale maintained by one is at least reasonable to the other.

        For instance, the decision to go to war in afghanistan, it seems to me, was marginally justifiable in terms of libertariansm. We had been attacked, we thought we knew where the attackers were, we were told that the government there wouldn’t cooperate in bringing those responsible for the attack to justice. We had cause to retaliate for the attack. I preferred an international police action. Some other self-proclaimed libertarians wanted to take stronger measures. Fine. I can still work with and break bread with those people, as fellow libertarians. We didn’t have cause, however, to be in afghanistan for nearly a decade, or to follow that military action with the takeover and continuing occupation of iraq — which was a war of choice, in which even the basis for choice (the alleged existence of WMDs) was deeply flawed. Try as hard as I might in an attempt to be fair-minded, I cannot square a position supporting that war and the subsequent occupation with fundamental libertarian principle. Thus, I must doubt — if not dismiss, outright — the libertarianism of those who maintain that position.

        It’s possible to take libertarian positions for non-libertarian reasons: that doesn’t make you a libertarian, but it does make you someone, with whom I might be able to cooperate. On the other hand, you really can’t maintain a non-libertarian position for libertarian reasons. You can SAY that you do, of course, but when it comes right down to examining the arguments, I’ve found that non-libertarian positions do not stand up against comparison with libertarian principles. One of the other must yield. And, of course, you can be fully aware of the schism between a position and principle, yet decide to go with the position for pragmatic reasons — to get something. Do that a few times in your life and the worst that someone could say is that you’re a sometimes inconsistent libertarian, or even occasionally hypocritical. Do it often enough, however, and you appear to lack either the full understanding of your professed convictions, or at least the courage of them.

    2. I dunno, Hazel. I don’t think going from WaPo to Slate is an upward move.

      Still, I’m glad for him that Dave found another outlet.

      1. I do. Print media is on the way down. Slate is more prestigious as an online blog. The WaPo blogs are kinda sewers.

        1. Not if we start subsidizing and reorganizing the industry.

  18. Tea Partiers showed their true colors when they endorsed Brown in the Massachusetts US Senate race and then actively piled on the LP guy (named Kennedy, you may recall), in an attempt to get him to quit the race. The LP candidate had been an early participant in Tea Party organizations, and had believed he might secure their endorsement by legitimately being one of their own and sincerely talking their talk.

    It became very clear to me then, that, however many true believers the Tea Party phenomenon included or attracted, it would always be the GOP’s bitch, the populist face necessary to appeal to a certain class of voter, but nothing more. They would certainly never get to sit in the drivers’ seat, much less chart the route.

    In many ways, I saw Ronald Reagan as as an example of much the same thing — the attractive face that was tapped into a strong sentiment of the time, but that would never actually lead to smaller government — and so I passed on the “Reagan Revolution” and joined the Libertarian Party for the 1980 election. I never looked back, and I’m not sorry. Snide people from time to time ask, “how has that worked out for you?” And I’m a realist: not as well as I would have liked. BUT, had I gone with the GOP, following the illusion of hope and the promise of changing the system from the inside, I think I might have been demoralized and burned-out in only a few years. Taking the third-party path is the longshot move, and anyone who does so learns to appreciate small victories. To continuing being honest: The LP has had many of those, which is one reason I’m not sorry I bypassed the GOP in 1980.

    Tea Party talk is full of bluster, but the Brown v. Kennedy incident suggested to me that the TPers are actually very insecure. They thump their chests and vow to lend their strength of numbers and dollars to “real” candidates who share their values. But when push comes to shove, they hesitate to back — in fact, they often actively oppose — third-party candidates, I think, because they themselves suspect that they really aren’t that strong, and are afraid that association with an “outsider” candidate will sap whatever strength they have, relegating them, once again, to irrelevance. Yet, in order to try the “third-party option” properly, you really have to put support and money behind a third-party candidate. Barr’s campaign in 2008 didn’t qualify at all on that score, so Tea Partier Odom, quoted in the piece, is way off base in his criticism. Put the commensurate level of money and support that Ron Paul got behind a third-party candidate for lesser office than President (US congress, state legislature, governor, etc.), and then you can say the third-party option has been given a fair try and found wanting. Tea Partiers had an opportunity to test that theory THIS year, but they are clearly more into victory and power than finding (or making) a pathway for principled candidates to win. This is why I wouldn’t be surprised that they will always be the GOP’s bitch or neutered attack dog, at best.

    1. xxx “To continuing being honest…” should, of course, have been, “To continue being honest…”

    2. What do you expect from a movement that’s strongly linked to Sarah Palin?

      I was definitely concerned about the media’s treatment of the TPM and their (largely) false accusations of racism, but in the end, the coalition seems to have generally formed along lower taxes and a set of vaguely socially conservative themes.

      As libertarians, we don’t argue with the first, but it gets really hazy after that.

    3. The Tea Party people made a tactical choice that Scott Brown would be more likely to beat Coakely than Kennedy. The goal in that election was less in getting Brown elected than in denying the Democrats a veto-proof majority in the Senate.

      If you prefer ideological purity to electoral pragmatism, fine, but not choosing the pragmatist’s route when it makes sense gives the Progressives free reign.

  19. Dave Weigel has a + 50 comment enhancement.

    Dave Weigel I CHOOSE YOU!!!

    (did I do that right, only watched the pokeman cartoon in passing)

  20. “In New York, rather than being rewarded for running a good race and looking for a rematch, Tea Party favorite Doug Hoffman has turned to raising chickens and is being brusquely shoved aside for a newer, prime-time-readier candidate.”

    Even accounting for the fact that it’s he-whose-name-we’re-sick-of-hearing, this is a ridiculous statement. “[T]urned to raising chickens”? “[B]rusquely shoved aside”?

    Ummm… no, Not really. Not at all, in fact. He’s still running, this time as a Republican.

    Yes, the people that backed Scozzafava are backing someone other than Hoffman, but you would =expect= people who backed Scozzafava not to back Hoffman. Scozzafava’s backers don’t share the same ideals that Hoffman represents -and- they still resent his outsider campaign in the special election.

    But those who do back Hoffman? There are enough of them that they filled a banquet room in godforsaken Watertown last night. They managed to convince the WSJ last month that he’s not only not being “shoved aside” but that he is likely to win in November:


    They expect to turn in more than four times as many signatures as are necessary to put Hoffman on the primary ballet.

    He’s not even close to being reduced to “raising chickens”.

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