This piece by Abby Rappaport amply highlights the crisis Republicans are facing. For the country-club wing, the Tea Party represents the most serious issue they face. They know the TP’ers are, let’s say, largely unprepared and undereducated for the demands of national political life. These are the people who, for example, lack an understanding about how things operate on the national stage. I have to say that, but it’s true. I’ve met a lot of TP’ers who don’t even know how a bill becomes a law. Perhaps they missed a certain Saturday-morning cartoon. It hurts to hear their arguments, mainly because they mainly serve to curtain how they really feel about Barack Obama.
I have friends who are Tea Party supporters. Sadly, I see some of the same traits in them. It’s just true. “Kill ’em all” is less an opinion than a revelation of the darker aspects of humanity. “Obama’s a secret Muslim” is so well-debunked it amazes me anyone could possibly believe that. Then, in knee-jerk fashion, their next comment tends to be “But I’m not racist.”
Nobody ever wants to say these things. Still, it seems legitimate. The TP might well fracture the Republican Party, and cut its power by half. I’m of two minds whether I think this is a good thing. On one hand, in this scenario it’s hard to imagine the Republicans holding onto enough power to maintain gridlock, while the TP would have a hard time getting organized enough to supplant the country-club, Wall Street Republicans.
When a political party insists on “ideological purity” rather than the good of the nation, it’s wrong. The nation suffers as a result. We can see it in the sequester, and all the foot-dragging we’ve seen from the Right. The Republican Party may not survive this crisis.