2016 Democratic Convention

Bernie Sanders' "Revolution" Won't Change the Democratic Party the Way the Tea Party Changed the GOP

Sanders doesn't have enough allies in Congress and isn't even a Democrat. Besides, the Tea Party has basically fizzled out with rise of Donald Trump.

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Bernie's bust
Reason/Anthony L. Fisher

Where does the Bernie Sanders' "revolution" go from here?

Will the over 12 million people who voted for Sanders in the Democratic primaries and caucuses maintain their passion after the next president is inaugurated by becoming the next Tea Party and radically changing the agenda of the party's establishment? Or will they fizzle out like the much-publicized but hardly effectual Occupy movement of 2011, whose central complaint about income inequality (We are the 99%!) was the backbone of the entire Sanders campaign

Writing for Vox, Andrew Prokop calls the Sanders movement/Tea Party comparison "apt" because the latter "was motivated partly by a deep and growing frustration with the way things are going in this country, and a sense that the party establishments weren't up to the task of fixing it."

That may be true, but there are important distinctions. First, Bernie Sanders IS his movement. There are no other members of Congress willing to openly wave the banner of Sanders-style "democratic socialism," whereas in 2010, 87 newly-elected Congresspeople took office as loosely-affiliated members of the Tea Party. 

With so much of Sanders' movement invested in what his supporters believe is his unimpeachable personal integrity — as well as a very convenient villain to oppose in the form of the compromised, corporatist, war-mongering Hillary Clinton — it's tough to imagine scores of fresh-faced political outsiders being able to drum up as much support at the local level promising things like free public college tuition without the force of personality Sanders exhibited during his presidential run.

Also, Sanders will return to a Congress where only nine current members of the House and only one of his Senate colleagues endorsed him over Clinton. Such overwhelming support for his primary opponent owes a great deal to the fact that Clinton is a larger-than-life figure within the Democratic Party, but also the more obvious fact that she is an actual Democrat, as opposed to Sanders, a once-and-again proud Independent, who merely rented the Democrat tag to run for president.

The long-ambiguous state of Sanders' party affiliation was put to rest yesterday, as he made clear he intends to return to the Senate as an Independent who will caucus with the Democrats:

Though Sanders supporters (and even many Clinton supporters) are proud that they were able to exert their influence in the creation of the most "progressive Democratic platform" to date, party platforms introduced at the quadrennial conventions are only mission statements, born of negotiations within the party that have little to do with how the elected members of the party will legislate afterward, when they have to negotiate and compete in the arena of votes and ideas against an antagonistic party. 

#DemExit
Reason/Anthony L. Fisher

Additionally, even though FiveThirtyEight reports that 90 percent of Sanders supporters intend to vote for Clinton, a loud chorus of disgruntled "Bernie or Bust" demonstrators have been urging their comrades to abandon their Democratic Party registrations in an effort they have been hashtagging on social media as #DemExit.

It's too early to tell if Sanders' motivated and engaged base of voters will continue to be politically active, either by running simpatico candidates in local elections or even voting at all, but if the the Occupy movement's brief moment in the spotlight is any indication, it doesn't look good for democratic socialism's electoral prospects. In 2014, Mark S. Mellman wrote in The Hill of the divergent political paths forged by the Tea Party and Occupy:

Perhaps the most important difference was the choice each made about politics. The Tea Party was avowedly political. It participated in campaigns and ran its own candidates, some of whom were successful (though others were spectacular failures). But the end result was Tea Partiers in the halls of power and almost every Republican lawmaker looking worriedly over his or her right shoulders at every vote. The Tea Party had power in the sense defined by my teacher, Yale's Robert Dahl, who died last week at 98. "A has power over B to the extent that he can get B to do something that B would not otherwise do." The Tea Party demonstrably got Republicans to do things that they would not otherwise have done. 

Occupy Wall Street moved in the opposite direction, actively eschewing politics. Its members saw no place for themselves in the electoral system and often shooed away elected officials who attempted to visit their encampments, displaying contempt for politics and politicians. As a result there were no Occupy members of Congress, nor did anyone look over their left shoulder worried about a primary threat from Occupy.

Therein lies the big difference. Sanders ran an insurgent campaign and forced Hillary Clinton to pivot much further left than she seemed to want to, just as Tea Party candidates forced the GOP establishment (briefly) to bend to its will.

My Reason colleague Elizabeth Nolan Brown visited the Democratic Socialists of America's "Socialist Caucus" yesterday in Philadelphia, where one speaker insisted their movement had to become the Tea Party of the next electoral cycle. They are correct that for any meaningful influence on the Democratic Party created by Sanders' run to survive, they need to have more avowed democratic socialists in office.

But since its birth in the early days of the Obama administration, the Tea Party has become such a mish-mash of personalities all tenuously held together by opposition to the federal government's bank bailouts and runaway government debt that the label has become almost meaningless. Absurdist former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has been described as a "darling" of the Tea Party movement and the much-loathed by his own Republican colleagues Ted Cruz might have been the movement's last best chance at the presidency, but Tea Party "favorites" have also included thoughtful libertarian-ish types such as Rand Paul, Justin Amash, and Thomas Massie. This was never a coaltion built to last. 

And with the rise of Donald Trump, a demagogue of incoherent political philosophy who is certainly no fan of limited government, you could make the argument that the Tea Party's wave of outsized influence over the GOP has crested and isn't exactly an ideal model to follow. But unlike the Occupiers, they did have their moment. 

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  1. JESUS Anthony

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  2. First, Bernie Sanders IS his movement.

    This is the problem…the “revolution” is not based on ideas, but on a specific person’s ideas. The Bernie supporters apparently crave a leader, a single person, to bring their ideas across, rather than working solely from a set of principles. Says a lot.

    1. A whole lot of enthusiasm for personality cults these days on all sides

      1. What’s really odd is that Bernie’s got very little personality, for a guy with his own personality cult.

        Unless “old man yells at cloud” counts as personality these days.

        1. but he’s bae!

          Am I using that correctly?

          1. You attempted to use that word. That is never correct.

            1. I go to the box and feel shame now.

              1. That’s barely a euphemism.

              2. my roomate’s ex-wife makes $64 an hour on the internet . She has been without a job for six months but last month her payment was $17848 just working on the internet for a few hours. go to the website >>>>>>>. Wisejs.com

          2. I have no idea.

    2. You know who else craved a leader, a single person, to bring their ideas across…

      1. Deal a Meal?

      2. Market America?

      3. Famous Dave’s?

  3. Will the over 12 million people who voted for Sanders in the Democratic primaries and caucuses maintain their passion after the next president is inaugurated by becoming the next Tea Party and radically changing the agenda of the party’s establishment?

    Can we break this up into maybe like… four sentences?

    1. Perhaps you’d like it put into list format? Maybe accompanied by animated gifs? How about if he just twits this thing out in 140 character segments? Is that our level now?

      1. 140 characters? Slow down, Samuel Johnson. I’m thinking the whole thing could be done with a couple of emoticons.

  4. I think it’s more likely that the Democratic Party will (continue to) move gradually in the direction of Bernie Sanders rather than be taken over by a left-wing Tea Party-style movement. Sanders tapped into very real and widespread sentiment within the Democratic Party, particularly among young voters. A candidate with the same core policies, but without some of Sanders’s weaknesses and/or running in a year where there wasn’t one opponent with unified support from the establishment could very easily win.

    1. A candidate with the same core policies, but without some of Sanders’s weaknesses and/or running in a year where there wasn’t one opponent with unified support from the establishment could very easily win.

      This was supposed to be Obama in 08. It even featured the same “opponent with unified support from the establishment.” That’s why we’ve had to listen to these people whine about what a disappointment he’s been for the last eight years.

      1. Obama is not as far left as Sanders is. Obama was just accused of being a socialist, Sanders identifies as one openly.

        1. Does it really matter if one of them lies about being a socialist or one doesn’t? I mean, it’s pretty clear Obama has those tendencies. I think it’s more likely Obama is just more pragmatic and inherently dishonest than Sanders, which is why he won and Sanders was defeated handily.

          1. I don’t think Obama is a socialist. Does he support increasing the size of government and redistribution? Yes, but those things aren’t the defining features of socialism – yes, socialists generally support them, but so do members of other ideologies.

            Sanders’s platform actually wasn’t really even socialist aside from the health insurance industry, but his continued identification with the term along with his involvement in actually socialist groups and full-blown “collectivize the means of production” socialist statements that continued right up until a couple years before he ran for Congress lead me to believe that he’s actually a real socialist.

            I think Obama is just a standard left-wing progressive. In favor of expanding social programs and increasing government regulation of the economy, but not actually wanting to destroy markets and private business and property entirely, even if only for pragmatic reasons. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he sympathized with far left groups, but my inclination is that he doesn’t view their solutions as realistic. I’ve definitely met left-wing people like that, who sympathize with the goals of socialism and communism, but think that destroying capitalism and implementing one of those systems in real life would be ineffective and counterproductive.

            1. They never intend to destroy markets, business or property but their voluminous regulations, interventions and redistributive policies result in heavily distorted markets and yes, destroyed property rights. They do all this in the name of equality, but they will never achieve it, and so they are forever pulling this lever here and tweaking that knob there, until we find ourselves in a complex morass of rules that nobody likes but are impossible to untangle.

              1. To an extent, yes, but I still think it’s naive and stupid to pretend there’s no difference between social democratic parties and countries (like Western Europe) and outright socialist parties and states like Venezuela, Cuba, and the former Eastern bloc. I’m not saying Obama and those like him cause no damage to markets, I’m just saying that it’s not to the same way/degree someone like Sanders would, or his counterparts in socialist countries actually have.

                1. I think it depends on the endgame really. One can, in theory, be a social democrat and philosophically disagree with socialism. I maintain however that this is more of a rarity than it seems. Many, perhaps most, social democrats seem to tacitly agree with the ideal of socialism, but disagree with socialists about the immediate practicality of it. Among the Democrats, that seems to be the default response to Sanders supporters. Not “socialism doesn’t work” but rather “America isn’t ready for socialism yet.” Now, Obama’s support for some free trade agreements and a few other things may suggest he genuinely does not see his social democracy as part of a path toward socialism, but it is possible, and over all, I think the ethos of the Dem party has moved in that direction. Even fairly moderate Dems seem to more or less admit that Sanders is right “in principle” and that socialism or something close to it is where we’ll go “eventually”, but there are just a few intermediary steps on the way there.

  5. Besides, the Tea Party has basically fizzled out with rise of Donald Trump.

    The ‘Tea Party’ was a headless, amorphous thing that eventually distilled into Trump.

    The Occupy Wall Street crowd distilled to Bernie – where it goes now I don’t know, but it will still be there in the body politic ready to coalesce around the next totem.

    1. The ‘Tea Party’ got people like Rand Paul, Justin Amash, Thomas Massie, Mike Lee, Nikki Haley, Ted Cruz elected (all of whom are anti-Trump). If you want to say it distilled into nominating Trump, OK, but the point here is that it did lead to a bunch of new conservative blood beating incumbents and winning influential positions.

      The same can’t be said of OWS. There has been little attempt to gain seats, and what attempts there were have failed. Maybe Kshama Sawant counts as a win, but that was contingent on the uniquely crazy politics of Seattle. Ditto de Blasio, who only won because Weiner couldn’t keep his vices in check.

      1. “who only won because Weiner couldn’t keep his vices in check.”

        Come on, you missed a golden opportunity here.

        1. I’M TRYING TO HAVE A SERIOUS CONVERSATION

      2. All pretty good points MJ. I think people should just give up trying to figure out why Trump is. My personal opinion is people are so done with the two party system they’re just swinging Trump shaped sledgehammers.

        On the left there’s still the appearance of party unity, but what’s really happening is that they’re shutting out large portions of their supporters out in the cold and telling them it’s for their own good. That may fly this time around, or it might not, but long term they’re going to need to figure it out or we’re looking at the reverse situation when Barak got his supermajority; I.E. very bad things.

        Also, it’s worth noting that OWS are a bunch of whiney socialist Che lovers so the odd’s of them running a candidate is functionally zero. These are the types that are more likly to start shooting politicians or starting riots than putting forward candidates, historically speaking. It’s a testament to their restraint that they didn’t firebomb anyone if we’re being honest.

        Why would Conservatives do anything except work within the system? That’s their thing!

        1. I don’t think we’ll see a Occupy candidate (truth be told the only reason they had a champion in Bernie is because the old school socialists like him had more discipline and will than the ones today do, and they got lucky that one was still around who held a position of power).

          But, there are people like Liz Warren and maybe this Brooks guy who might gladly pivot left and become socialists in all but name to win the votes of the radicalized portion of the party base. We’ll see that next election I think, and in 4 years the ‘moderate’ may not be able to pull it off like Clinton did.

  6. The reason Bernie’s movement never went anywhere is because 1) he didn’t drink any prune juice (haha, get it…movement…bowel movement…he’s old…poop joke…brilliant), and 2) he broke with the Five Jewish Bankers at the Center of the Earth who secretly control the world. A Jew isn’t supposed to actually be sitting on the throne, they rule from behind the curtain. Bernie got greedy, and ignored his masters’ instructions to stay in the senate – he was seduced by the limelight. And so they cast a kabbalah spell and manipulated currency markets and bought off superdelegates, and he failed.

    1. Only Five? I thought each tribe got representation?

      1. Only the five real tribes. The others were created as part of a distraction and misinformation campaign to befuddle their enemies.

        1. As a Levite, I can assure you that… wait… what? Sorry, the Elders are on the horn and they’re hopping mad. I’ll get back to you later, shaygetz.

        2. Actually, didn’t like 11 of the tribes get eradicated 3,00 years ago or something? I thought only a few actually made it out of the desert?

    2. Jim,
      You left out Putin; he’s gotta be in there somewhere.

      1. Putin’s strings are being pulled by the secret jew, Medvedev.

    3. Oh, and the guy on the grassy knoll!

      1. Well, the guy whom the guy on the grassy knoll worked for.

        1. Cruz Sr.?

      1. Cmon, you know the Rothschilds are the ones in charge.

    4. Which tribe is Bernie from?

    5. So, you’re saying any movement down the toilet.

  7. urging their comrades to abandon their Democratic Party registrations

    If’n I’m to b’leve what I’ve read in the medias, many of those Sanders supporters have been Democrats about as long as Sanders was a Democrat.

    1. Obama and Bernie may have accidentally reunited National Socialism and Ku-Klux Christianity, judging from the looks of this thread.

  8. Bernie sanders is the future of the democratic party no matter how much reason wants to stick their fingers in their ears. Their precious millenials are the most socialist friendly generartion in decades and they are more than willing to have their debt-financed english majors ‘paid’ by the government.

    1. The good thing about Socialism is, that if you actually enact it, it’s pretty effective at wiping out its own support. Often through famine and bread lines.

      1. If only folks would remember the last time.

        1. Maybe eventually we’ll evolve anti-socialism genes.

          1. Come on now, everyone knows IT TAKES A VILLAGE!

        2. The last time we had bad luck, or were ruled by the wrong people?

          Oh yeah, they totes remember that time.

          1. Kind of OT: I read someone argue in a comments section – no joke – in defense of socialism that “Cuba is the only country in the world to successfully eradicate AIDS.”

            Cuba, renowned as the Mecca for AIDS treatment. AIDS patients from all over Europe and the US have been fighting to get into Cuba. I just wish the Cubans would share the secret ointment with the rest of the world. I bet Fidel discovered it himself, like how he invented the airplane.

      2. If only it was just the socialists who suffered from socialism . . . .

        1. Yeah, except then the jealousy takes hold and they start to wonder why they’re so fucked. It can’t be the humanitarian socialism that’s causing the problems, so it must be you! Oh, and they’re taking your TV.

          Predictable as ever.

          I actually know a couple that claim Socialism, and unsurprisingly they are dishonest and steal things when they either can’t or don’t feel like outright buying it. They have a trust fund too, so it isn’t lack of funds, it’s that they deserve those things or because it’s too expensive because of Capitalism. You know, the system that created their trust fund. Go figure.

  9. Absurdist former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has been described as a “darling” of the Tea Party movement

    Palin hijacked the TP which directly led to its downfall.

    1. The same thing happened in Venezuela.

      TP joke. Brilliant. Another point for me.

        1. And he slams his head on the pavement ever rotation.

  10. First? Maybe?

    I’m not sure you can call a movement that still has, I’m guessing, 80-90 congressmen/senators in their camp dead, or just ran a candidate who had a one in four chance of victory next election.

    And as much as you may dislike Trump, he’s going to be more favorable to Tea Party issues than Obama was or Hillary will be. Someone who agrees with you 20% and might be willing to compromise with you on 40% of things is someone who could, under the best case scenario, give you half of what you want. Which is better than they could do with Obama of just stopping/slowing down having what they don’t want shoved down their throats.

    The Tea Party still has its seat at the table. Whether they can make use of it is of course an open question, but I think tales of the Tea Party’s death may be overexagerated at this point.

    1. The Tea Party can’t seem to figure out what it’s actually about. Do Tea Partiers really care about lowering spending and debt, and shrinking the government? Or is it about limiting immigration, restoring traditional values, or just opposing Obama and the Democrats? I personally think it’s all of the above – some people in it no doubt do care about the former issues, but I think a lot of people with the label care more about those other things.

      If we go by the core issues of reducing spending and debt, Trump was probably the worst GOP candidate running. At least the issue was discussed in 2012 – it got almost no attention this time around. Projected spending under Trump is trivially smaller than under Clinton, and the debt would increase drastically higher under his plan.

      1. The Tea Party can’t seem to figure out what it’s actually about.

        The ‘Tea Party’ is just a catch-all amorphous label with no address, up for rhetorical grabs, half-living in one of the political parties. Michelle Bachmann was a Tea Partier if you asked her, so was/is Rand Paul, a lot of Trumpers would call themselves Tea Partiers. None of them are wrong, or right.

        1. I agree, which was my main point.

      2. You hit the nail on the head Cali. The Tea Party was a reaction to Tarp and the explosion of government under Bush and Obama. It was not, however, a homogeneous group. It was an umbrella for a lot of different issues and grievances. It did not last because it could not come up with a coherent ideology that satisfied all of its members.

        1. The Tea Party was a Republican catspaw so that people could pretend the world sprang into existence on January 20, 2008 and complain about Obama without ever having to address the failings of the Bush administration.

          1. Ron Paul and Dave Weigel both date the origin of the current Tea Party movement to December 2007.

            1. It may have had its earlier roots around then, but that wasn’t when most people jumped on. I do think there were a good number of people seriously concerned about the issues, but a lot of people just cared about opposing Obama.

              1. Which as it turns out was a pretty great idea all along.

          2. The Tea Party was a Republican catspaw

            Which is weird, because establshment Republicans absolutely loathe it and have torpedoed several TP candidates in favor of Dems.

            1. Forget it, Dean, it’s Stormytown.

            2. I’m not sure why you think the RNC hating the “true believers” that make up the Tea Party is inconsistent with the Tea Party being a catspaw? The entire point of a catspaw is that the paw is unwittingly being used for the benefit of the wielder rather than for the benefit of the paw itself. Contempt would be almost necessary in such a situation.

              1. The entire point of a catspaw is that the paw is unwittingly being used for the benefit of the wielder

                But in this case, the “catspaw” has been used by the Republican Party to (a) throw some pretty significant elections to the Dems and (b) unseat longstanding Republican elected officials.

                Tell me why the panjandrums of the Republican Party would do that?

          3. Err I don’t see how you can call it a catspaw, given that it screwed a decent number of established Republicans out of their seats. It was, I’d say, genuinely grass roots; more than anything it was an attempt to reinvent the Republican label to avoid association with the Bush administration. It had the issue, not uncommon in popular movements, of knowing very well what they hate, but no clue what they actually want.

            To its credit (and in contradiction to your claim) for like the first moment of the ‘movement’ it did seem primarily concerned with cutting the size of the state and the national debt and whatnot, against the fiscal philosophy of Bush and Obama. It than rapidly degenerated into nativism, protectionism, foreign policy adventurism, and a bunch of other stuff that had nothing to do with fiscal austerity.

        2. As if it’s members have no responsibility to come up with a coherent ideology of their own. No, the “Tea Party” has some somehow satisfy the contradictory predilictions of it’s members.

          Movements grow because people come up with a coherent ideology and coalesce around it, not because a party comes up with a sufficiently large grab bag of random crap to give everyone who wants some a piece of candy.

          1. I give you the next president of the united states: hillary clinton.

      3. Substitute libertarian for tea party and change around some social issues on the margin and your post is equally valid.

  11. Tea Party has become such a mish-mash of personalities all tenuously held together by opposition to the federal government’s bank bailouts and runaway government debt that the label has become almost meaningless.

    If the tea party was truly focused on those things, I’d be a tea partier. I believe the TP is a mish-mash of MUCH more divergent things like hostility to immigration, War on Terror etc.

    Opposition to the bank bailouts and runaway government debt is something that anyone with a functioning brain cell should hold.

    1. My recollection is that it was largely born out of opposition to bank bailouts and runaway government but then decided that runaway government was good when it came to defense and some social issues.

      1. On the surface it was “the government is doing too much!” but under scrutiny that turned out to be “the government is doing too much for people who aren’t me.”

    2. I’m not sure how much more you could have reasonably expected the Tea Party to do.

      They targeted and eliminated in the primaries scores of Republicans who voted for TARP.

      They shut the government down over the budget and implemented the sequester.

      http://tinyurl.com/gn8apt4

      Just because the progressive press denounced them for being homophobic, anti-abortion freaks doesn’t mean they didn’t crush the Bush era traitors for supporting TARP and didn’t do everything they could to cut spending.

      In the end, Boehner took Obama’s side and was fighting against the Tea Party to get them to accept more spending.

      They couldn’t sign the budget themselves–they needed Obama to do that. After an all out revolt over Boehner, whom they considered a big spending guy, they finally got rid of him and replaced him with a consensus guy.

      I’m not sure how much more they could have done to cut spending.

      1. That is a fair analysis, and also I think hits one an important issue that is sometimes (including by me) forgotten: the Tea Party was a reaction to the Republican Party of Bush, and much of the actual political activity was focused againt that: the people the Tea Partiers considered Rinos.

        If you look at the data, https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43869.pdf, they sucessfully got rid of a lot of old time “weak” republicans: The average length of service went from 10.3 years in the house and 13.1 years in the Senate in the 110th congress to 8.8 and 9.7 in the current 114th congress. That’s a lot of long term career politicians gone.

        At this point, I’m not sure one can argue that the Tea Party has failed: it more or less achieved its initial objective regarding the Republican side: I’m not sure the current republicans on congress would be able or willing to Vote on another Tarp or bailout. Not anymore.

      2. And then they got bored and voted for Trump….

      3. Just because the progressive press denounced them for being homophobic, anti-abortion freaks

        This is pretty much an unconscious reflex for the press these days.

  12. Bernie reminds me of Fidel, except without the charisma.

  13. Two points:

    1) The Tea Party arose outside of the Republican Party and was only assimilated into the Republican Party when they went to fight against Republicans in the primaries who voted for TARP.

    If the Bernie people aren’t on board with targeting their own Democrats in the primaries, they can forget about having influence. Sorry Bernie Bros. If you want influence in the Democratic Party, you need to get on board with the unions, especially the government employee unions: cops’ unions, fireman’s unions, teachers’ unions, . . .

    2) The Tea Party has not faded into the background because of Trump. The Tea Party’s primary mission was to punish Republican politicians who supported TARP.

    With John Boehner having been relieved of the Speaker’s chair, their mission is largely accomplished.

    P.S. I believe McConnell is more or less under Rand Paul’s protection due to horse trading. McConnell used his leverage in the Kentucky legislature to make it so Rand could run for President without Rand losing his seat in the Senate, and in return, Rand Paul used his influence with the Tea Party grass roots in Kentucky not to go after McConnell’s seat and with Tea Party members in the Senate to help McConnell remain the head honcho. They certainly seem to have helped each other get what they wanted.

    That’s how sausage gets made–libertarian or otherwise.

  14. This is why Trump and his supporters blindsided me. I thought tons of people actually cared (or at least said they cared) about government spending what with the Tea Party and all, but a lot of Trump’s supporters shrug it off and couldn’t give a damn. Mentioning Trump’s praise for TARP, the auto bailouts, Obama’s stimulus, etc. doesn’t faze them a bit.

    What happened to these Tea Party types railing about TARP and the stimulus package and govt spending in general? Do they/Did they predominantly shun Trump? Do they support him mildly/strongly? Are they divided on Trump? That’s what I’d like to know.

    1. Well a lot of the anger at TARP was anti-elitist sentiment blown up by the panic of the crash (the big banks are getting bailed out, but we suffer?). And Trump’s not really running on promising big spending programs, is he? Hell, he says the Mexicans will pay to build the wall, not us.

      1. Trump hasn’t ran on majorly expanding government programs, but he’s also said no changes should be made to entitlement programs (other than Obamacare) and he’s shown no indication of reversing any of his cronyist positions. Also, his plan would massively increase the debt, even compared to its current trendline.

        1. I’m sure, and I know he’s talked about not being a big meanie and cutting benefits. But his big pitch is getting Americans working and getting better “deals,” which is what I think a lot of Tea Partiers in 2009 cared about. And, y’know, “hands off my medicare!”

          1. So basically he’s proving that the Tea Party was just as dumb as everyone said it was.

        2. Also, his plan would massively increase the debt, even compared to its current trendline.

          Are there any plans that have any kind of reasonable chance of getting enacted that would NOT?

          1. Note the term “relative to the current trendline.” Pretty much all plans that would get passed will continue to increase the debt massively, because that’s what the current trajectory is and no one wants to significantly alter that in a positive direction. Trump’s plan increases the debt massively compared to that already massive increase.

    2. Two things that are worth considering:

      1. Donald Trump got the most total votes of a candidate in a Republican primary, ever
      2. Donald Trump got the lowest share of the vote for a winning candidate in a Republican primary since 1968

      A fuckton of people showed up to vote for Trump. A lot of them weren’t Republicans, or at least weren’t Republican primary voters, before 2016.

      At this point in the election game, it’s not Trump vs. Better-than-Trump, it’s Trump vs Clinton, and there’s little doubt in most Republicans’ minds that Clinton will be worse.

      1. For comparison, George W. Bush won the 2000 primary with about 12,000,000 votes, which amounted to 62% of the vote, so there were about 19,300,000 total votes that year. Donald Trump won the 2016 primary with about 14,000,000 votes, which amounted to 45% of the vote, so there were about 31,100,000 total votes this year. That’s a 60% increase over 2000 despite the population increasing only 15% during that timeframe.

        Perhaps even more notable, is that the number of votes cast in the Republican primary this year was also 60% greater than the number cast in 2012, and 46% greater than the number cast in 2008, the last time there was no incumbent President running for reelection. If the 10,000,000 additional votes in this year’s primary vs. 2008 were subtracted from Donald Trump’s total, then he loses the primary election handily to Ted Cruz.

        1. Not that I think Cruz is anything special, or that he “should have” won, but I also think it’s a stretch to say that Trump speaks for identifiable Republican constituencies of the past. He speaks to a Republican constituency of 2016, not 2012 or 2008.

        2. I don’t think you can assume that all 10,000,000 additional voters were Trump supporters. They probably were disproportionately, but I don’t think it’s that simple.

          Also, I don’t think all of Ted Cruz’s votes were Tea Party votes. A lot of people voted for him because he was the best choice for socially conservative evangelical types.

          1. Agreed on both counts; my extrapolations are speculative. Nevertheless, this primary election was materially different from those we’ve seen lately. I don’t even know if any GOP primary in semi-recent history (i.e., post-Eisenhower) can compare. Even the “heavily divided” primaries of 1964 and 1968 were between established factions of the party.

            It’s possible that the difference in turnout is just because of (a lot) more enthusiasm and energy among Republican voters, or that a bunch of people went from being “not Republicans” (Democrats, Independents, kids too young to vote) to Republicans this year for various reasons other than Trump. Maybe Obama is really that loathed.

            But it seems awfully unlikely to me for those explanations to entirely account for an upsurge of 10,000,000+ votes at the same time a political outsider (NTTAWWT) who generally leaned Democratic before recently wins the Republican primary, without those two things being connected.

            1. I think Trump was definitely a big part of it. But in general, I think people on the GOP side were more excited about their choices this time around. How many people were excited to vote for Romney, Gingrich, or Santorum? I think Trump and Cruz, and to a lesser extent Rubio (maybe even Kasich) were more exciting picks for people compared to the main contenders four years ago. You could maybe even say the same thing about 2008 (which wasn’t a good time for the GOP, so I’m not surprised turnout wasn’t too high).

              Another thing that muddies comparisons is that the primary race ended sooner in those years, so there was no incentive to vote in many states. Doesn’t explain everything, but it partially explains the gap.

              1. Another thing that muddies comparisons is that the primary race ended sooner in those years, so there was no incentive to vote in many states. Doesn’t explain everything, but it partially explains the gap.

                That seems more like a consequence, not cause, of the primary dynamic this year. Trump was leading fairly early on. I’d have to dig into the numbers a little more deeply, but as I recall the drastic increase in turnout was actually bolstered more by the early-mid primaries and not the later ones.

                1. I think it’s some of both. I’m not sure about your last sentence, but I checked a couple of the late states, and they had much higher turnout compared to 4 years ago (also, the calendar changes, so not all states voted at the same point in the race).

                  1. Ok. Between that and the poll you dug into more below, I think you’re right that the story is deeper and different than I made it out to be.

          2. Which is borne out by the fact that evangelicals broke for trump in most states especially in the south.

            1. It’s not quite that clear. Cruz still won the evangelical vote in many states (Trump’s wins were disproportionately in states with exit polls, so there’s more data in them), and probably won the overall evangelical popular vote (see below for analysis). Also, the data also indicated that Cruz did better among evangelicals who frequently attended church.

              http://www.ethicsdaily.com/tru…..-cms-23359

              Regardless, whether or not Cruz beat Trump among evangelicals is irrelevant to whether or not there were many evangelicals (and non-evangelical social conservatives) who voted for Cruz primarily because of social issues. They’re not mutually exclusive scenarios.

      2. there’s little doubt in most Republicans’ minds that Clinton will be worse.

        While there’s a fair contingent of apparatcihik NeverTrumpers who are quite open about preferring Hillary to Trump, I think they just learned that they don’t have the stroke over the rank-and-filers that they thought they did.

        1. Yeah, I’ve interacted with some of the “Hillary is better” people and it’s frankly a little bizarre. I’ve heard someone argue that Trump would be worse because he’ll pull us out of NATO* which is bad because Russia is resurgent**. But Hillary, who has literally sold her own country out, won’t do those things***.

          * = Apparently, Donald Trump will dissolve the U.S. Senate and grant himself treaty-making powers
          ** = Europe, now and forever dependent on, and supported by, the U.S. taxpayer
          *** = And she’d never unwittingly give Putin or his proxies inside access to the U.S. government

          1. Trump can’t dissolve NATO, but as commander-in-chief he could decide to not honor its obligations if a member state was invaded. Which is effectively withdrawing.

            1. Yes, I suppose anything is possible. I also have no reason to believe Hillary might not do the same thing. Sure, she was in the Balkans (under sniper fire, no less!) before, but she can weasel her way out of anything. Hell, whether or not Russia is even an enemy of concern depends on the day of the week to the Democrats.

              I don’t think Russian tanks cruising through Poland would be ignored by any President, except maybe idiot internationalist Sanders (although cf. France’s Hollande), but there is also the rest of Europe there to do something about it.

              1. Poland, maybe not, but I don’t think it’s as clear cut for the Baltic states.

                1. Poland, maybe not, but I don’t think it’s as clear cut for the Baltic states.

                  Yeah, I left them out for a reason. I wonder if any President (recent past, current, or likely future) short of a Bush (either one) would do something about an invasion of e.g. Estonia. Even Reagan has a mixed record (invade Grenada, pull out of Lebanon), and of course Estonia was still a Soviet client state while he was President.

                  1. Hillary is of the establishment, and the establishment let the Baltics into NATO, and they know how the game is played. They might let Russia launch some sort of low-level proxy war in the Baltics and deny it is happening, but if Russia invaded Estonia, NATO would respond, and Hillary would jump at the opportunity to prove her chops as “Commander in Chief”.

                    But it would never get to that point because NATO would make it perfectly clear to Russia that they would respond if Russia crossed that line.

                    Which is one reason why were are currently moving NATO forces further east – we’re sending a signal to Russia that we’re going to defend the Baltics. Which means the establishment is commited to defending the Baltics, which means Hillary Clinton is commited to defending the Baltics.

                    Jesus, It’s like talking to a twelve year old who just got done playing Model UN and thinks he understands international relations.

                2. Obama made it pretty clear he didn’t care how many Russian tanks rolled into the Ukraine.

                  1. Ukraine isn’t a member of NATO.

              2. I also have no reason to believe Hillary might not do the same thing.

                Exhibit A. This is the level of delusion that Trump voters have to conjure up to justify supporting him over Clinton.

                You fucking crazy or on drugs if you think Hillary would pull out of NATO or NOT get the US involved in a war defending a NATO member state.

                1. You fucking crazy or on drugs if you think Hillary would pull out of NATO or NOT get the US involved in a war defending a NATO member state.

                  If this was 2000, I would agree with you. But 16 years have passed since then. Hillary is not Bill, who on second thought probably should have been included in my list of Presidents who would respond above. And she won’t necessarily be helming a government directed as much by a forceful Congress as by the President, as Bill was in the 1990s.

                  Hillary is not of “the establishment”. She defines her own establishment. She is like Obama in that regard. The cult of Hillary will do what Hillary wants, much as the cult of Trump will do what Trump wants, and the cult of Obama does what Obama wants. She can’t be shamed into doing something, because she has no shame. Neither does Trump or Obama, for that matter.

                  Your calculus is based upon the strawman Hillary in your head, or maybe the Hillary of the 1990s, not the real one that actually exists and is running for President in 2016.

                  1. Hillary doesn’t have a cult, kbolino.
                    Really? Where do you think she gets her power? She doesn’t have a following.
                    She is winning because she has *connections*. If the *connections* decide that she’s not doing their bidding she would have nothing.
                    She is NOT like Obama at ALL. She does not have a cult of personality. People hate her. She’s up there because the establishment knows her and trusts her and undoubtably has secured all sorts of assurances that she will do things their way.

                    1. If all these people actually hated her, then she would be in Federal supermax by now.

                      Maybe you’re onto something, and it’s more that she has collateral on everyone around her. But that doesn’t (fully) explain how she managed to get the State Department bent around her finger; that’s a lot of GS civil servants who she would have no dirt on and only a limited amount of power to fuck with. It’s one thing to get them to do things that are inconvenient. It’s another thing to get them to do things that are blatantly illegal. They had to believe in her, or at least in her ability to protect them.

                      And if we’re going to start talking about Hillary’s connections, then Trump’s lack of them is also noteworthy. In order to maintain her connections in the government, Clinton surely has to give as well as receive*. How thoroughly compromised is she already?

                      * = I threw up a little in my mouth right there

                    2. I would also like to point out that, just because Hillary is not broadly liked, doesn’t mean she can’t or doesn’t have a cult of personality. It doesn’t take huge numbers, it only takes dedication.

              3. Sure, she was in the Balkans (under sniper fire, no less!)

                One thing this shows is that there are crappy snipers in the Balkans.

          2. Trump is worse because he is basically not supportive of free markets in any meaningful way, which changes the two party dynamic from socialists vs. capitalists to national socialists vs. international socialists.

            If you want to throw in the towel on capitalism, by all mean, vote for Trump.

            1. If you want to throw in the towel on capitalism, by all mean, vote for Trump.

              If the choice is solely between Clinton and Trump, then the future of capitalism in this country is certainly not advanced by choosing her, instead.

              Trump is the modern Nixon. Nobody expects him to be ideologically motivated. They expect him to oppose the other side forcefully. He doesn’t carry the banner of capitalism.

              1. If Trump wins, what do you think will become of the Republican party’s commitment to capitalism?

                What do you think the Republican establishment will do when they realize they can win elections on a platform of nationalist socialism?

                You think they’re going to keep fighting the good fight for smaller government and against crony capitalism, out of the goodness of their hearts?

                1. Nixon imposed price controls, for fuck’s sake, and yet the party still nominated Reagan in 1980. Trump winning the election is not going to radically alter the fiber of the party. Although it is quite possible that he is a symptom of that fiber already having changed.

                  1. Nixon was impeached (or would have been if he hadn’t resigned). Can we get Trump impeached? I hope that’s the plan.

                    Step 1: Nominate Donald Trump to lead the Republican party
                    Step 2: Elect Trump President of the United States
                    Step 3: Impeach Trump
                    Step 4: ……
                    Step 5: More libertarianism!

                2. “If Trump wins, what do you think will become of the Republican party’s commitment to capitalism?

                  That’s the least of our problems!

                  If Trump wins, half the Republican Party will start sucking blood out of people’s necks, and the other half will turn into werewolves every time there’s a full moon.

                  1. Yeah, Ken, it’s just cray-cray to think that an elected President could influence and change the nature of the party he is elected by. Of course the Republicans won’t be changed by Trump at all. Everything will continue as normal. Like Trump never happened.

            2. I think Don Boudreaux made a valid point a while back that whatever failures Trump makes will be blamed on free market capitalism and, queerly, the reactions against his statist tendencies will be in the direction of socialism rather than classical liberalism, just because progressives have successfully recharacterized Trump as “right wing” and therefore capitalist, even though he’s anything but.

              If Trump wins and he’s as bad as Bush was, the Dem who takes over in 4 or 8 will be far more extreme than Obama, maybe worse than Sanders. Progs already convinced half the country that the 2008 recession was the result of capitalism. Add whatever Trump does to the list of grievances against “capitalism”, and we’ll get Occupy/Bernie bros on steroids in the White house in 2020.

    3. The Tea Party is really just an identity politics group for rednecks. All the talk about small government was just an attempt to rationalize it their existential yawp.

      The emphasis in “Fuck You, Cut Spending” was always first and foremost on the “Fuck You”, not the “Cut Spending”.

      1. “Fuck You, Cut Spending”

        is, as far as I know, a Reason meme, not a Tea Party one

        1. The specific words are a reason meme, but the general concept extends far beyond.

          1. That doesn’t make any sense.

          2. I guess you’re saying that your argument “extends far beyond” Reason but extrapolation from a local meme doesn’t work without some additional, external context.

            1. The phrase became a meme because it was emblematic of a certain way of viewing national politics. Many people (including most tea partiers) hold that particular view, even if they’ve never been exposed to the meme and thus have not expressed it in that specific combination of words.

              1. You’re just repeating yourself but more wordy this time. I get your argument. I’m saying it doesn’t stand up without something more than just your opinion.

                1. I believe “fake but accurate” or “truthy” is what she’s getting at.

    4. The polling pretty much showed that at least 1/3 of TP voters were backing Trump.

  15. I still wonder what role Obama’s ego played in his refusal to get behind the Berntards. I imagine that it was a big blow to his pride to see a bunch of people essentially trashing his administration’s ability to get anything done and riding it into power. Or he couldn’t handle the idea that a new cult of personality developed so soon after his.

    Hillary is in many ways a perfect successor. She won’t outshine him, she is in his pocket and owes her presidency to him. He can get her to run on his legacy rather than any dramatic shift in tone.

    1. I don’t see any reason why Obama would have ever supported Sanders. In addition to what you mention, Clinton is closer to him politically, served in his administration, and has been a key Democratic establishment figure for years, while Sanders only registered as a Democrat so he could run for the nomination.

      Most of the young Sanders supporters I know also love Obama even though they mostly hate Clinton. I think they tend to blame Obama’s inability to accomplish what they want on the Republicans (and maybe some establishment congressional Democrats) rather than him. I’m not sure how they expected Sanders to do better, but apparently they did.

      1. I don’t see any reason why Obama would have ever supported Sanders.

        Mainly because Sanders isn’t Obama.

  16. Yeah, that’s another thing that bothers me about the Trump supporters.
    You realize you people just destroyed the Tea Party, right? Either that or you exposed that the Tea Party was never really about limited government, or balanced budgets, or fiscal policy, in the first place, because Trump stands for none of those things. Which means you restraints on fiscal policy the Tea Party might have engendered. Nice going, assholes.

    1. Edit: Which means you destroyed whatever restraints on fiscal policy the Tea Party might have engendered.

    2. See my argument above.

      A lot of these people are not the same people who were there before. Although the Tea Party falling apart somewhat probably has something to do with it, too.

      1. The Tea Party concept was hijacked as a vehicle for standard issue GOP crap. Once that happened, any meaningful purpose it might have served died out. I can remember going to the local Tea Party rallies around 2010-2011, and at some point it went from a movement focused tightly on fiscal responsibility to a grab bag of righty hobby horses. When speakers started babbling about abortion, that’s when I knew the party was over.

        1. Yeah, you’re probably right about this.
          For a brief moment, fiscal conservatives got together and united around something, and the a horde of morons showed up and started babbling over top of them until all the fiscal conservatives got tired and left.

          Reminds me of the Reason comment boards.

          1. That’s how I remember it. For a very brief time, it was about fiscal policy. Then, in the blink of an eye, it was suddenly just revamped GOPism.

        2. When speakers started babbling about abortion, that’s when I knew the party was over.

          You could see this on a lesser scale when Ross Perot ran in ’92.

    3. I don’t understand what people mean by the idea that Trump destroyed the Tea Party.

      The Tea Party was about eliminating Republicans who voted for TARP, and they largely succeeded in doing that, going all the way up to punishing John Boehner by taking away his Speaker’s chair.

      The Tea Party was about cutting spending as best they could–and they did everything from shutting down the government to the sequester to accomplish that.

      Did you guys forget about the sequester? That wasn’t at John Boehner’s or Barack Obama’s insistence. That was over their objections.

      http://tinyurl.com/gn8apt4

      Those Tea Party is still in the House–and they aren’t going anywhere.

      I still think we have a better chance of Tea Party Republicans being able to cut spending with Paul Ryan (rather than Boehner) leading negotiations with the White House–regardless of whether Hillary or Trump wins. The reason the Tea Party’s influence on the budget was as limited as it was because of Boehner and Obama. They’re both gone come January.

      And I still think Trump is more likely than Hillary to sign a Tea Party approved budget.

      You know, just because we don’t like Trump doesn’t mean every nasty thing we want to say about his is true.

      I despise Hillary Clinton, but if she wins, it won’t destroy the Tea Party any more than Trump winning.

      Just because I despise her doesn’t mean it’s true that she eats people’s babies on a daily basis either.

      She only does that on Sam Hain and the Spring equinox.

      1. I don’t understand what people mean by the idea that Trump destroyed the Tea Party.

        Then you’re blind.
        Here’s how Trump destroyed the Tea Party…
        He exposed that the people who make up the Tea Party *don’t really care* about budget deficits or spending or limited government. The fact that those same people turned around and supported Trump, despite his being against reforming entitlements, against cutting spending, and against limiting government in any meaningful way shows that the voters aren’t really interested in those things.
        And if the voters don’t actually CARE about those things, then it was all an illusion, all along. So why the fuck should those Republicans in congress fight the hard fight over issues like entitlement reform? Indeed, what makes you think that those Tea Party candidates will survive now that the Tea Party voters have grown bored with fiscal conservatism and only care about immigration now?

        The sequester, incidentally, was repealed. It was a very temporary victory, and those gains have now been entirely reversed. The establishment bought out the Tea Party caucus. They lost, and their voters clearly don’t give a shit anymore, so why would they do anything like shutting down the government again? Time to join the establishment.

        The Tea Party is over. It failed. Trump helped it fail. People who suppoorted Trump helped it fail.

        1. “He exposed that the people who make up the Tea Party *don’t really care* about budget deficits or spending or limited government. The fact that those same people turned around and supported Trump, despite his being against reforming entitlements, against cutting spending, and against limiting government in any meaningful way shows that the voters aren’t really interested in those things.”

          The Tea Party also isn’t just whomever you want them to be.

          Trump won 45% of the vote in the primaries–and that includes all the Democrats that voted for him.

          http://tinyurl.com/jbrqvu3

          That means 55% of the votes went against Trump. The Tea Party does not make up a majority of the Republican Party and never did.

          Republican establishment voters didn’t have much to vote for in the primaries, but they seemed to be the ones complaining about Trump the loudest.

          I think Rand Paul, Rubio, and Cruz are all considered Tea Party candidates. I suspect Tea Party voters largely backed them.

          1. The 55% weren’t all just anti-Trump, some would have voted for him as a 2nd option.

            Polling indicated that Trump either got the most votes from self-identified Tea Partiers, or was closely behind Cruz. So a lot of them did indeed vote for him.

            And if you subtract out the people who voted for Cruz based on social issues, and the establishment types who backed Rubio, what percentage of the party are you left with? Maybe 20%? Rand dropped out after one state, and he got 5% of the vote there.

            http://www.reuters.com/article…..SKCN0WH133

            1. “The 55% weren’t all just anti-Trump, some would have voted for him as a 2nd option.”

              Some 37% of voters in the primaries voted for Cruz and Rubio alone. Those were Tea Party guys.

              The Tea Party always made up a minority of the Republican vote, and concluding that Tea Party supporters backed Trump because he got 45% of the vote in the Republican primaries is just wrong.

              Meanwhile, I’ve seen studies (and so have you) suggesting that a significant portion of the people who voted Trump in open primary states were registered Democrats.

              1. Rubio started out as a Tea Party guy in 2010 but by 2016 he was seen as a pretty establishment figure. That’s who many establishment types supported after Bush fizzled out. I’m sure there were some sincere Tea Party fiscal conservatives who supported Rubio because they found him better than the alternatives, but that wasn’t all of his support by any means.

                And Cruz was the preferred candidate of many socially conservative values voters. Again, some of his support was definitely from staunch fiscally conservative Tea Partiers, but definitely not all of it.

                Ken, we’ve been through this before. Exit polls consistently showed that registered Democrats were about 5% of the electorate in most open primary states. Even if all of them supported Trump (which they didn’t), they would have been a fairly small portion of his voters.

        2. No question, the Tea Party agreed on a few principles–anti-TARP, anti-ObamaCare, and fiscal conservatism. However, there were always different factions. Some of them were libertarians–but the Tea Party was not. One of the prevailing rationales for fiscal conservatism in the Tea Party seemed to be about saving Social Security and Medicare. Just because people aren’t fiscal conservatives like libertarians are fiscal conservatives (or for the same reasons) doesn’t mean they aren’t fiscal conservatives. A lot of them opposed ObamaCare spending because they wanted to save Medicare and Social Security.

          I wish the Tea Party had been more libertarian. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

          One other unstated principle of the Tea Party was that it was anti-elitist, and I think that may be where Trump is getting some of their support. He’s made anti-elitism the central issue of his candidacy.

          If the Tea Party is over, it’s because it was exhausted on punishing people for TARP and on the sequester. Not everything that happens in the Republican Party is because of Trump–especially not when the establishment opposes him, and a majority of the voters went for someone else in the primaries.

          1. There’s no way to address the budget situation without reforming SS and Medicare, and/or drastically raising taxes. On top of that, Trump hasn’t proposed cutting or reforming any entitlements other than Obamacare.

            1. Even if the Tea Party supporters were wrong in their beliefs, that doesn’t mean those weren’t their beliefs.

              1. Frankly, I think we have to accept the fact that voters are very fickle. What the average Tea Partier believed six years ago is not necessarily the same as what he believes today.

                Is it possible that the very same person who purported to be angry about the deficit and overspending back then now purports to be angry about free trade with China and “too little” defense spending? Absolutely. A sad fact of politics demonstrated throughout history is that it is not difficult to hijack the ethos of a movement while completely altering the tenets of the movement.

            2. All we have to do is cut fighter jetz and our problems are solved.

        3. “The sequester, incidentally, was repealed. It was a very temporary victory, and those gains have now been entirely reversed. The establishment bought out the Tea Party caucus. They lost, and their voters clearly don’t give a shit anymore, so why would they do anything like shutting down the government again? Time to join the establishment.

          The Tea Party is over. It failed. Trump helped it fail. People who suppoorted Trump helped it fail.

          The Tea Party is largely a minority within the Republican Party in the House. That they were able to inflict something like the sequester on Obama, the Democrats, and other Republicans from their position of weakness as a minority in one half of one-third of the budget process is a remarkable achievement.

          My understanding is that the sequester is still in effect and runs through 2021. The budget is still growing even with the sequester, but it’s growing at a slower rate than it would be without it.

          Here’s a list of candidates, many of them Republicans, who were eliminated from office by the Tea Party. It’s extensive. Their efforts also gave the Republicans control of the House.

          http://tinyurl.com/gvemuek

          If that’s what failure looks like, I can’t imagine what you’d require for success. A balanced budget amendment? The repeal of ObamaCare (they sent that to the President a number of times)? Maybe they’d only be successful if they forced Obama to resign?

          The Tea Party was wildly successful.

          1. The Omnibus spending bill at the end of 2015 basically ended the sequester.

            1. I think if you’re looking for who killed the Tea Party, “Mr. Ryan in the House with knife to the back” might be the winning answer.

              1. Hazel thinks Trumposaurus Rex ruins everything.

                Thursdays, the Tea Party, birthday parties, the next Star Wars movie, . . . you name it.

    4. Haw haw haw je je je cough wheeze. Stop it! you’re killing me! NOTHING tickles me more than Klansmen and National Socialists cursing each other over upset applecarts… Gasp!

      1. WTF are you talking about? I loath Trump and his racist followers. I’m mad that the Tea Party is no longer a vehicle for pursuing fiscally conservative policies. It was the best thing going for restraining the size of government in years, and the fucking retarded Trump followers just blew it up.

        Tho to be fair, maybe what they did was rip the mask off and expose it for the gaggle of racism morons it always was. Proving, to my chagrin, that the progressive SJWs who claimed it was just a bunch of racists were right all along.

        Thanks again, assholes.

  17. Secondly, Bernie Sanders did not create his movement. The Progressive movement was in search of a leader, and it picked Bernie because he happened to run for President at the time that Obama was leaving office.

    Seriously people, Bernie is not a charismatic personality that just knows how to move a crowd and sway people to follow him. He’s more like an elderly half-cousin of royalty whose been gobsmacked by having the crowd spontaneously declare him King. The crowd was there. The political impetus to declare someone of that lineage King was there. He just happened to be around.

    1. ‘Cometh the hour, findeth the man’?

    2. Good point. My experience among idiot prog idealists the past few years was that Sanders was always second fiddle to Warren, and once Warren decided not to run, all that energy was transferred to Sanders. If she ran, Sanders would have fallen out before O’Malley.

    3. Translation: she is pissed that defunding Planned Parenthood and the Center for Disease Control got derailed, and that rubbers and birth control pills remain legal. To the Tea Party, a black lady dying of sepsis means one less food stamps recipient (maybe two).

      1. WTF are you talking about? I’m pro-choice.

        1. Well, you see, Hazel, ol’ Hank here’s a drinker.

          1. it comes across more like “syphilitic brain damage”

            1. He keeps yammering on about Prohibition, Hoover, and the KKK. I think he might be even older than Hihn.

    4. Seriously people, Bernie is not a charismatic personality that just knows how to move a crowd and sway people to follow him

      The people that follow Bernie don’t need a charismatic leader. They just need someone to repeatedly shout: Billionaires! Sugar shack, dirt floor! unsecured loans,! Prices are wrong! Fifteen Now! Race to the bottom!

  18. The GOP became God’s Own Prohibitionists in 1928, in a circling of dry wagons and lighting of burning crosses against the Dems’ Whiskey Al Smith. Only the wet Liberal Party forming in 1930 fired the Dems with desperate courage that resulted in the repeal plank. Shocked Republicans in 1932 adopted Hitler’s own scorn for “liberals” (plutocrats), and the only real change is that organized mysticism has found in fetus-forfeiture and the Saracen Berserker the avatars of Satan formerly personified by the Demon Rum, godless commies and LSD.
    As in 1928, the Klan in 2008 migrated to the GOP, whose entire platform is today dedicated to men with guns pointed inward at the citizenry.

  19. Bernie Sanders’ “Revolution” Won’t Change the Democratic Party the Way the Tea Party Changed the GOP

    tl;dr

    but i think the headline is a very good point, and i expect makes for a good argument.

    the fact is that the internal-struggle within the left is much older, more-shopworn, something everyone is used to. The hard-left has been co-opted for decades. the brief flash of progressive-ascendance under Obama gave the Salon-ites an impression that they were 100X more important than they really are. Now, reality is setting in. Its happened before, it will happen again.

    Whereas, i think the schism in the GOP started w/ the Tea Party, and this more-recent split with the Trumpalos is something different entirely. A second faction which is exerting power to change the GOP’s fundamental makeup.

    whether it sticks in any way, i don’t know. But I do agree with at least the headline-sentiment that the “anti-establishment insurgency” in the GOP and Dem parties are very very different beasts.

  20. First, Bernie Sanders IS his movement.

    I think that’s right.

    the hard-left has a few possible figureheads (like Warren) but they’re different characters and don’t have the same necessary appeal as ‘outsiders’; sanders is very much a loner in the respect that he could afford to buck the DNC because he’s not really of it.

    they don’t have any more of those.

    I don’t really agree re: the complete fizzle of the Tea Party. It DID fizzle. but it was never meant to be some permanent fixture – it was organized around specific congressional elections, and intended to send a message to THAT congress. to the degree that the people they ushered in have failed to stick to the plan, yes there’s some disappointment there, but i think the threat the TP presented has gone a long way to achieving its goal – which says that “if you buck the base, they will rally and spit you out”.

    I think there will be more “1-shot” insurgencies like it in the future. The template the TP established is what mattered – not its actual ‘brand’ or organizational structure. Once Sarah Palin & Glenn Beck were pretending to be part of it, it was already dead.

    1. The Tea Party was (in retrospect) mostly a gaggle of fools who were momentarily transfixed by the idea of limited government, until some other brightly colored shiny object came along.

      1. They were a gaggle of fools who flipped congress to GOP control in 2010.

        you can complain that the subsequent congress didn’t do much about their core-issues, but the fact is that they achieved their political effect.

        1. Yes, their core issue was that their team control congress. What they did with it was secondary. Whether it involved fiscal policy was way down the list of priorities compared to keeping out the immigrants.

          1. Whether it involved fiscal policy was way down the list of priorities compared to keeping out the immigrants

            Actually, they had very little to say about immigrants in 2010.

            you’re projecting.

            1. Great. So where did all those fiscal conservatives from 2010 go? I don’t see the national debt getting any smaller.

              1. Unfortunately, those “fiscal conservatives” have never run the government.

                1. OK, so you’re saying they just threw in the towel and decided to back a national socialist to run the government instead.

                  Explain to me the logic behind that one.

                  1. I’m not debating whether or not the Tea Party’s candidates delivered the goods on what they were put into congress to do.

                    I’m just pointing out that the Tea Party succeeded in their effort to elect some young-blood, and consequently flipped congress to the GOP. The tea party minority has had *some* minor influence, but not enough to actually force any real policy (other than perhaps the ouster of Boener).

                    as i said immediately above =

                    the schism in the GOP started w/ the Tea Party, and this more-recent split with the Trumpalos is something different entirely. A second faction which is exerting power to change the GOP’s fundamental makeup.

                    IMO the 2014-now political insurgency in the GOP isn’t the “Tea Party” at all. Trumpalos come from an entirely different political set, and have very different demands/issues.

  21. While we’re talking about the Tea Party:

    One of the most famous things about the Tea Partiers was that ? as befits a relentlessly bourgeois protest movement ? they left things cleaner than they found them. […] If someone had told attendees they were expected to mow the grass before they left, surely some of them would have hitched flatbed trailers to their vehicles for the trip to Washington and gladly brought mowers along with them. This was the revolt of the bourgeois, of the responsible, of the orderly, of people profoundly at peace with the traditional mores of American society. . . .

    Yet the tea party movement was smeared as racist, denounced as fascist, harassed with impunity by the IRS and generally treated with contempt by the political establishment ? and by pundits like Brooks, who declared “I’m not a fan of this movement.” After handing the GOP big legislative victories in 2010 and 2014, it was largely betrayed by the Republicans in Congress, who broke their promises to shrink government and block Obama’s initiatives.

    So now we have Trump instead, who tells people to punch counterprotesters instead of picking up their trash.

    1. Hahahahaha,

      So if the Tea Parties are mad that Republicans “broke their promises” to shrink government, why are they voting for a big government authoritarian like Trump?
      Why didn’t they vote for Rand Paul, or Ted Cruz?

      1. Nobody is voting for Trump because of his positions, whatever they may be at the moment. They’re voting for Trump because he’s a big, orange middle finger with a mouth on it.

      2. Nobody is voting for Trump because of his positions, whatever they may be at the moment. They’re voting for Trump because he’s a big, orange middle finger with a mouth on it.

      3. So if the Tea Parties are mad that Republicans “broke their promises” to shrink government, why are they voting for a big government authoritarian like Trump?

        They’re not voting for Trump because of small-government promises (obviously), they’re voting for Trump because they played nice the first time and got shit on by every establishment hack who stepped in front of a microphone. So here comes Trump, fucking up the establishment and the media and basically telling the people who shit on the Tea Party to go pound sand. Of course he would have Tea Party appeal after that.

        1. Or, y’know, what Xeones said.

        2. Sure that’s the reason. Or he could have something to do with the moronic shit about the Wall and keeping out the Mexicans. It could be because his followers are every bit the morons they appear to be.

          It’s just possible that there isn’t some dark secret of why Tea Party people are supporting Trump. It’s just possible that everything actually is exactly as it appears to be on the surface: They support Trump because they hate immigration more than they hate big government.

  22. Is it just me, or does that pinata look more like Rothbard than Sanders?

  23. Its pretty stupid to buy into any cult of personality (there is no special kind of person who can or should control everyone; not even any rotund black astrophysicists), whats really baffling to me is how many people REALLY wanted to listen to an 80 year old Jew (brooklyn accent and everything) kvetch at them. I really don’t see any charisma in him at all. Nor in Trump, for that matter. Maybe you don’t have to be popular to be a populist?

  24. Important correction – the Tea Party did not “fizzle out.” It was actively suppressed by Obama, himself, not “the White House” or “the administration” nor even a “rogue Cleveland office of the IRS.
    Whatever other points you offer, that at least you cannot deny.

  25. Oh, that’s too bad, because if they did, then the GOP would be a shoe in in November and the Libertarians would have a darned good chance of picking up the slack.

  26. Re the SWAT killing of a 107 year old man, questionable on it’s face, I wonder as to exactly what the vaunted U.S. DOJ is doing to earn it’s pay and benefits these days?

    1. what the vaunted U.S. DOJ is doing to earn it’s pay and benefits these days

      Protecting its political masters from prosecution?

  27. Tea Party has fizzled out? I was thinking more of Trump as the stage two rocket putting the payload into orbit …

  28. All the “right people” denigrated the civil protests conducted by the TEA Party, and ensured that the next outpouring of criticism of The Ruling Class would not be so civil thereby inventing the Trumpsters.
    You’ve selected your Destructor – Enjoy!

  29. Andrew Prokop calls the Sanders movement….!!!!
    Andrew Prokop calls

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