April 20, 2011
The winning electoral coalition assembled by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s has been compared to a three-legged stool, the legs being social conservatives, fiscal conservatives and national security conservatives. As the 2012 Republican race takes shape, another leg has been added to the stool — the "tea party" movement. Last week, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney announced that he was setting up an exploratory committee (though it's hardly a secret what he'll discover), as did former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
April 17, 2010 |
One of the things journalism teaches you over and over again is that nothing ruins a good story quite like the facts. Consider, for example, this week's renewal of the chattering classes' infatuation with the "tea party" movement, timed to coincide with the deadline to file federal income tax returns. The group is conventionally portrayed as a burgeoning populist expression of discontent that sprouted spontaneously from the grass-roots and cuts in new ways across sectional, class and gender lines.
May 22, 2010 |
Ever since he resigned his speakership and House seat in disgrace nearly 12 years ago, Newt Gingrich has prowled the margins of electoral politics like a wolf, hungry and opportunistic. He's tried on a variety of ideas and ideological colorations in those intervening years, but this week, with the publication of his new book, "To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine," he explicitly linked his fate to the "tea party" movement. Given the fact that Gingrich has said he is weighing a presidential bid, it's a safe bet that others, similarly ambitious, will carefully watch how he fares.
May 19, 2012
Re "Alternative presidential bid falters," May 16 It always seemed quixotic to launch a grass-roots movement from the top. In the unlikely scenario that a candidate was elected president, what sort of clout would she or he have in a Congress that lacked even a single supporter? By contrast, consider the "tea party. " Whether or not you agree with its agenda, it is undeniable that the dozens of representatives it helped elect have made their presence felt. Americans Elect should endorse candidates already running for Congress - whether Democratic or Republican - who meet its criteria, and put up candidates of its own in districts where none do. H.A. Drake Santa Barbara ALSO: Letters: Eugenics in America's past Letters: The media and Mitt Romney Letters: California courts feel the cuts
August 27, 2012 |
TAMPA, Fla. - Defeated Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain told a Tea Party Unity rally here Sunday night that the conservative movement they championed in the primary election season has lost none of its power and will be fully engaged in the fall campaign to defeat President Obama. Bachmann told the rally of about 1,200 tea party activists gathered at the River Church that they had “already won” by forcing the Republican Party to adhere closely to the activists' goals of small government and reduced taxes.
September 22, 2010 |
In an afterword appended to the White House diaries he published this week, former President Carter muses, "It may be difficult for some younger readers to realize how much the Washington political scene has changed in the last 30 years. " Carter points out that the congressional bipartisanship on which he relied for his considerable number of legislative achievements no longer exists and that the "pernicious effects of partisanship have not been limited to Washington; American citizens have also become more polarized in their beliefs.