Will the Republican party survive the Tea Party?

Mother Jones, if you haven’t seen it yet, has a great piece on Congressman Bob Inglis. Inglis, a Republican from South Carolina, recently lost his reelection bid – something which he credits in large part to the Tea Partification of the GOP. Here’s a clip:

…It was the middle of a tough primary contest, and Rep. Bob Inglis had convened a small meeting with donors who had contributed thousands of dollars to his previous campaigns. But this year, as Inglis faced a challenge from tea party-backed Republican candidates claiming Inglis wasn’t sufficiently conservative, these donors hadn’t ponied up. Inglis’ task: Get them back on the team. “They were upset with me,” Inglis recalls. “They are all Glenn Beck watchers.” About 90 minutes into the meeting, as he remembers it, “They say, ‘Bob, what don’t you get? Barack Obama is a socialist, communist Marxist who wants to destroy the American economy so he can take over as dictator. Health care is part of that. And he wants to open up the Mexican border and turn [the US] into a Muslim nation.'” Inglis didn’t know how to respond.

As he tells this story, the veteran lawmaker is sitting in his congressional office, which he will have to vacate in a few months. On June 22, he was defeated in the primary runoff by Spartanburg County 7th Circuit Solicitor Trey Gowdy, who had assailed Inglis for supposedly straying from his conservative roots, pointing to his vote for the bank bailout and against George W. Bush’s surge in Iraq. Inglis, who served six years in Congress during the 1990s as a conservative firebrand before being reelected to the House in 2004, had also ticked off right-wingers in the state’s 4th Congressional District by urging tea-party activists to “turn Glenn Beck off” and by calling on Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) to apologize for shouting “You lie!” at Obama during the president’s State of the Union address. For this, Inglis, who boasts (literally) a 93 percent lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union, received the wrath of the tea party, losing to Gowdy 71 to 29 percent. In the weeks since, Inglis has criticized Republican House leaders for acquiescing to a poisonous, tea party-driven “demagoguery” that he believes will undermine the GOP’s long-term credibility. And he’s freely recounting his frustrating interactions with tea party types, while noting that Republican leaders are pushing rhetoric tainted with racism, that conservative activists are dabbling in anti-Semitic conspiracy theory nonsense, and that Sarah Palin celebrates ignorance….

Here’s Inglis recounting one particular conversation with Tea Partiers from South Carolina:

…I sat down, and they said on the back of your Social Security card, there’s a number. That number indicates the bank that bought you when you were born based on a projection of your life’s earnings, and you are collateral. We are all collateral for the banks. I have this look like, “What the heck are you talking about?” I’m trying to hide that look and look clueless. I figured clueless was better than argumentative. So they said, “You don’t know this?! You are a member of Congress, and you don’t know this?!” And I said, “Please forgive me. I’m just ignorant of these things.” And then of course, it turned into something about the Federal Reserve and the Bilderbergers and all that stuff. And now you have the feeling of anti-Semitism here coming in, mixing in. Wow…

Speaking of the lunacy of the Tea Party, it appears that in Denver, they’re fighting mad over – if you can believe it – bicycles. Here’s a clip from the Denver Post:

…Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes is warning voters that Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s policies, particularly his efforts to boost bike riding, are “converting Denver into a United Nations community.”

“This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed,” Maes told about 50 supporters who showed up at a campaign rally last week in Centennial.

Maes said in a later interview that he once thought the mayor’s efforts to promote cycling and other environmental initiatives were harmless and well-meaning. Now he realizes “that’s exactly the attitude they want you to have.”

“This is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms,” Maes said.

He added: “These aren’t just warm, fuzzy ideas from the mayor. These are very specific strategies that are dictated to us by this United Nations program that mayors have signed on to”…

According to the Colorado Independent, it was a “bike-sharing” program that he was referring to, and not just cycling in general, but it’s still fucked up. As I believe the Colorado primary doesn’t take place until August 10, I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the voters think. If people are bright, they’ll send him home, like we here in Michigan did yesterday with our Tea Party candidates for Governor, Peter Hoekstra and Mike Cox. I’d like to think that we’ve turned a corner as a nation and that some Republicans are beginning to pull back from the precipice, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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  1. dragon
    Posted August 4, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Shape of earth, views differ.
    “There you have it from both sides, folks. We’ll have to leave it there.”

  2. Peter Larson
    Posted August 5, 2010 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    This just shows that being “conservative” in American politics has very little to do with actually being conservative at all. I’m sure that Tonsor would get hung out to dry by these people.

  3. Knox
    Posted August 5, 2010 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Reagan, who talked about a planet without nuclear weapons, would be attacked by these people. Let’s not kid ourselves. This is institutionalized mental illness fostered by the likes of Rupert Murdock for political and economic gain. What they’re doing is treason.

  4. Posted August 5, 2010 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    It’s said that mental illness strikes every thirty seconds. It happened at birth for TP believers.

    You can’t argue with the insane. Political debate is impossible with people who get their “history” from Glenn Beck. Up is Down. Green is Orange. The Earth is flat and your SS # is bank collateral against your earning as determined by the Bilderbergers. WTF? My liberal empathy makes me feel sad for middle of the road conservatives like Rick Snyder who must feel that their politics are being hijacked by the tea party.

    This too shall pass.

  5. EOS
    Posted August 5, 2010 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Neither party will survive.

    It’s seemingly easy to ridicule others on issues where you lack understanding, but your ignorance can be overcome by investigating the issues yourself. The STRAWMAN was invented in 1933 when our financial system went bankrupt. All individuals, collectively, have become the collateral for the Federal Reserve’s printing presses. The Federal Reserve is not even a part of our Federal government.

    Neither Peter Hoekstra nor Mike Cox were Tea Party candidates. Hoekstra voted for the enormous bank bailout and Cox is still trying to spin Kwamee’s party as an urban myth. Snyder is not a conservative.

  6. Dirtgrain
    Posted August 5, 2010 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro” (Hunter S. Thompson).

  7. Posted August 5, 2010 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    What was once liberal is now “socialistic”.

    What was once conservative is now the middle.

    What was once paranoid, tin foil hat, black helicopter, white separatist christian, go live in a cabin in Idaho, perversion of conservatism, wingnuttery is now the TP.

  8. Posted August 5, 2010 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Gotta wonder how TP’ers get a Social Security check and are on Medicare or Medicaid?

    How many earn under the Federal minimum to pay income taxes and get full refunds.

    How many went and possibly graduated from public schools?

    And how many of them don’t realize, don’t care and don’t want to know that they’re just simple tools getting their chains yanked to further the interests of a bunch of rich white guys and their boards of directors?

  9. Stephen
    Posted August 5, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    As was mentioned here a few days ago, 47% of tea partiers pay zero in federal taxes.

  10. Oliva
    Posted August 5, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Wow. Thanks, Mark. It’s actually still so shocking, this tea party insanity. (Am so grateful that Hoekstra was soundly defeated.)

  11. Edward
    Posted August 5, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I think this must be what it was like to live during the witch hunts.

  12. TT
    Posted August 5, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    I feel better about Republicans in Michigan now that they’ve selected Snyder. I suppose that some of that could be due to and Democrats crossing the line and voting in their primary, but I still think it’s good that Hoekstra – a member of the Tea Party Congress – didn’t win.

  13. Wally
    Posted August 5, 2010 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    You guys sound scared of the Tea Party.

  14. Brackinald Achery
    Posted August 6, 2010 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    I’m amazed anyone has survived it, what with all the calls to violence from Glen Beck, and the swine flu on top of that.

  15. Robert
    Posted August 6, 2010 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I don’t mind crazy people as long as they are hot women.

  16. jeff davis
    Posted August 6, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    hey mark,

    Can’t believe the low voter turnout to choose who will lead our dear city for the next 4 years.
    Some parts of the city only had 10-14% turnout. i’ve been noticing more & more businesses going out around town. We need someone to inspire the mass population of this great city. We need to attract more people to Ypsilanti. And we need to be able to be proud to say that we live in YPSILANTI..! As a former backyard wrestler turned pro wrestler & underground mma fighter i have dabbled in politics before. In 96 i was a write in for Dexter TWP. supervisor & in 98 i was an asst. campaign mgr. for a state house election. A few people over the last 24 HRS have suggested that i should run as write in on the November ballot for Mayor of Ypsilanti. The only way that i would run is if it would inspire our city’s citizens to get out & vote. You being one of the only news sources left in Ypsi. i thought i’d ask what you & your readers think first.


    Jeff Davis. AKA. Bash Boulder.

  17. Posted August 7, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Jeff, at this point the only way to be on the November ballot is as a write-in candidate. You would need to stop by City Hall to register yourself as a write-in, so all votes for you would be counted.

    You can also choose to be a write-in candidate for the city’s proposed charter commission.

  18. Mike Shecket
    Posted August 7, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Hey Bash, might I suggest you try a write-in run for Washtenaw County Commissioner for the 6th district? In the general election for that race, we’ve got Democratic incumbent Ronnie Peterson, recently found liable for violating his tenants’ civil rights:


    And then there’s the Republican challenger who went unopposed in the primary, David Raaflaub, an attorney who has had his license to practice law in Michigan suspended for making outrageous, unfounded allegations of corruption in a criminal appeal (apparently, he had fallen in with some fringey anti-prosecutor libertarians):


    I think this race particularly could use a write-in candidate! Mark Nematevs might have a decent chance taking another crack at it, but if not, I say it’s all you, Bash!

  19. Meta
    Posted August 9, 2010 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Alternet has a column today entitled, “Should Democrats Use the Tea Party to Split the Right?”


  20. Andy1313
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    To all you Tea Party defenders out there:

    Please explain the Tea Party plan for cutting the deficit and balancing the budget without raising taxes. I would love to hear an explanation that didn’t boil down to the magic of supply side economics. Thanks!

  21. Kim
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    That’s easy, Andy.

    Stop government handouts to everyone that’s not me or someone I know!

  22. Teatard
    Posted August 11, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Dan Maes won yesterday’s GOP primary in Colorado.


  23. Robert
    Posted August 19, 2010 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Last Thursday the Tea Party quietly engineered a coup within the Michigan Republican Party. There has been essentially no media coverage of it – very bizarre.

    A reliable contact of mine who’s well connected in the MI-GOP said the take-over “was organized” and the Tea Party “people [were] ‘trained’ and not talking.”

  24. Knox
    Posted August 19, 2010 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Word has it that Michel Bachman is placing robocalls on behalf of Rick Snyder.

    (This rumor has yet to be substantiated.)

  25. Posted August 19, 2010 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    From blogging for Michigan:

    “The inmates are taking over the asylum.

    In a big and incredibly underreported story that some of us who count tea bags have been predicting for weeks now, the far right tea party caucus of the Michigan Republican Party is taking over.

    Thousands of cranky “tea party” types showed up at Republican County Conventions Thursday in large numbers and appear to be close to having effective control of the Michigan Republican Party.

    Earth to Rick Snyder: welcome to Republican reality.

    According to the MIRS news service, the first victim of the tea party takeover may be Michigan GOP Chair Ron Weiser who thoroughly dissed and reportedly denied a delegate spot at the state Republican Convention, scheduled for Aug. 28 in East Lansing.

    MIRS reported “massive” crowds jammed into local Republican conventions across the state Thursday night as tea party activists overwhelmed the local GOP establishment in Oakland, Washtenaw, Genesee and other counties.

    Reported MIRS:

    Someone was keeping score for the Tea Party folks in Washtenaw County. According to the leaders of the Willow Run Tea Party Caucus, the Ann Arbor Patriots and Campaign for Liberty, the Tea Party swept the 15th Congressional District and gained a two-thirds majority in the 7th District in the delegate election.

    The Tea Partiers claim to have defeated Michigan Republican Party Chair Ron WEISER in his bid to become a delegate, relegating him as an alternate.

    “It was a costly oversight for chairman Weiser to gaze through us as if we were not there,” said Dennis MOORE, director of the Willow Run Tea Party Caucus. “Our leaders across the nation will take in good direction, but there is one place we will never go: Away.”

    In Maine, where tea partiers took over the GOP, the party adopted a far-right platform at their state convention, promoting Big Oil, advocating government-supported religion, and a move to an “Austrian economy”–whatever that means.

    Crazy is as crazy does.”


  26. Mariana
    Posted September 7, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Based on tonight’s Republican debate, I’d say the answer is no.

  27. kwhitehead
    Posted September 20, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    the tea party is simply a party that wavies the klan flag in 2o12 and is keeping thier gang colors alive it will never be thier time to rise up. the USA is a melting pot of all diffrenet racsis and the klan wants to control them all throw decipstion. packit up tea party!

  28. Evil Tea
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    The Republican party didn’t even survive the 80s. That’s when the moderates started getting forced out. The Tea Party didn’t just spring out of nowhere. The conversion from a political party to an extremist organization has been ongoing for the past 30 years.

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] The Designated Conservative has many liberal friends and neighbors, and so hears often these learned men and women making completely ignorant comments about the Tea Party movement. […]

  2. By Voting out the sane Republicans on October 24, 2010 at 8:38 am

    […] We’ve talked about the Inglis/Gowdy race before.] This entry was posted in Environment, Politics and tagged Bob Inglis, cap-and-trade, Climate […]

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