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Join the discussion: Has the tea party lost its relevance?

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  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 22, 2014 9:54 a.m.

    All of the so-called establishment Republicans who won these primaries have essentially adopted Tea Party positions on most issues. The Tea Party has not lost its relevance, it has simply taken over the Republican party.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 22, 2014 9:54 a.m.

    Has the tea party lost its relevance?

    ========

    They've always been the "Vocal MINORITY".

    They call Ronald Reagan a Saint,
    but commit the cardinal sin by breaking his 11th Commandment --

    "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican."

    They must now be punished for their own sins,
    and not for the GOP's transgressions...

  • Patrick Henry West Jordan, UT
    May 22, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    Let's hope so. But like most things the tea party insanity will take time to die out.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    May 22, 2014 10:11 a.m.

    When you elect Tea Party candidates and all they accomplish is to shut down the government over one issue, voters are not likely to trust you with power again.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    May 22, 2014 10:11 a.m.

    That presumes that the Tea party had any relevance in the first place. From what I've seen of it and its proponents, they didn't.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    May 22, 2014 10:54 a.m.

    Interesting not one comment of the principles of the Tea Party. Of course the Tea Party is not a monolithic organization, but usually they want a simplified tax structure and lower taxes, less red tape, and to head for a balanced budget. Such awful things.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    May 22, 2014 10:54 a.m.

    Don't forget history. The T-Party was the primary reason the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2010. If that had not happened, there would have been no check on Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Obama. That is what the American people voted for, some check or balance to government. So, for as long as the Republicans hold the House, the T-Party is relevent.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    May 22, 2014 11:26 a.m.

    Roland is right, as usual. When GOP incumbents consider the expense and work of getting dragged into a primary, the answer is to go even MORE right to make any challenge tougher. After all, most of the districts are drawn in such a way as to tip the field heavily that way. So it doesn't matter what the suits call themselves. They plan to stay as long as Strom Thurmond.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    May 22, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    The Tea Party was never a political party, but is instead a grass roots movement. While several candidates, groups, and other individuals pretend to represent the Tea Party, all they can really say is that they support some of the ideals that the movement espouses.

    If you want smaller government, more personal accountability, and simpler taxes and regulations, then you align with the Tea Party whether to attend a rally or not. Conservatives need to get behind candidates and issues that promote true conservative views and not fall for simple slogans and empty promises. That will drive everyone in the GOP to take the "Tea Party" seriously.

    I find it funny how a far right-wing candidate who says silly things and fails to win an election is widely reported in the press as a "Tea Party Defeat", but when a far-left candidate does the same kinds of things, the press downplays their radical views and promotes them as "Moderate".

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 22, 2014 11:57 a.m.

    I don't know of anything the Tea Party wants that anybody wouldn't want. I don't know why leftists feel such an irresistible venom for them, or the need to vilify them.

    GOOGLE "Tea Party Movement Platform"

    1. Eliminate Excessive Taxes
    2. Eliminate the National Debt
    3. Eliminate Deficit Spending
    4. Protect Free Markets
    5. Abide by the Constitution of the United States
    6. Promote Civic Responsibility
    7. Reduce the Overall Size of Government
    8. Believe in the People
    9. Avoid the Pitfalls of Politics
    10. Maintain Local Independence

    What's so "EEEVIL" about that???

    Those who say they're a racist organization... are just mis-informed or political hacks...

    ====

    You understand it's not a "Party" (as in a "POLITICAL Party"). It's a movement. A group of people with a cause they want to promote. Not a "political Party".

    The "PARTY" in the movement name.... comes from "Tea Party" (the one that happened in 1789 -- remember your history)... Since the people starting this movement had similar concerns and goals (one protesting King George, other protesting todays Congress)... they took the name of that symbolic event for their movement name... it's NOT a "Political Party".

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    May 22, 2014 12:20 p.m.

    Agree with Roland. If the Tea Party wants to exist, it will need to become even more extreme (which seems to be what it is doing), because the GOP has simply adopted all its former craziness.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2014 1:18 p.m.

    2 bits: "What's so "EEEVIL" about that???"

    Nothing at evil about those general goals. Even liberal Democrats can get behind them (and President Clinton did a good job on achieving the first three). The problems come in taking these reasonable centrist goals and applying them in extremis. "Eliminate Excessive Taxes" becomes "Oppose any and all taxation" in TP practice. "Protect Free Markets" morphs into "Oppose any business regulation" and "Avoid the Pitfalls of Politics" is rendered as "Shut the government down in a huff and discredit your allies as RINOs." And so on.

    The debate is nothing new. Recall the power struggle in the 1980s between the "realos" (realistic compromising coalition builders) and "fundies" (fundamentalists rigidly adhering to principle) in the West German Green Party.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    May 22, 2014 1:33 p.m.

    I don't see where the Tea Party is extreme. They are rooted right were most of the US lies, and that is conservative. The extremists are the liberals and their support of Progressive policies and their unquestioning support of Obama and other liberal leaders.

    As of January 2014 38% identified themselves as conservative, and 23% identified as liberal, with the remainder considering themselves moderates. And that was a Gallup poll, which tends to bias liberal to begin with.

    The fact is that the Tea Party speaks to the single largest ideological group, but the very loud and vocal left wing extremists want us to believe otherwise.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    May 22, 2014 1:55 p.m.

    Lagomorph: "Nothing at [all] evil about those general goals. Even liberal Democrats can get behind them (and President Clinton did a good job on achieving the first three)."

    Really??

    Can you name ONE of those 10 goals that Obama, Reid, Polosi, or the other liberal Democrats in office is willing to get behind?

    And by "get behind", I don't mean that they give a speach about "Believe in the People" or "Avoid the Pitfalls of Politics" and then turn around and do everything in their power to take away power from the people and to play political games all day long.

    While I admit that few Republicans are doing much with these goals, every action from the Dems these days is about piling on another layer of taxation, writing another book of regulations, and concentrating ever more power in Washington D.C. away from local control.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    May 22, 2014 2:13 p.m.

    RedShirtCalTech
    Pasedena, CA
    I don't see where the Tea Party is extreme. They are rooted right were most of the US lies, and that is conservative.

    As of January 2014 38% identified themselves as conservative, and 23% identified as liberal, with the remainder considering themselves moderates.

    The fact is that the Tea Party speaks to the single largest ideological group, but the very loud and vocal left wing extremists want us to believe otherwise.

    1:33 p.m. May 22, 2014

    ========

    "The tea party was an important factor in the 2010 elections, but its support may be waning, Today, only 15% of Americans say they are supporters of the tea party movement - the lowest ever.

    The movement may be losing some of its core constituency -- Republicans. 32% of Republicans now consider themselves supporters of the tea party - down 10 points from February and a decline of 23 points from July 2010." ~ CBS News May 21, 2014

    But you're right about one thing --- You can see that.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    May 22, 2014 2:24 p.m.

    2 bits

    I really think that the vitriolic attitude against the T-Party is because of the success they had in taking away a lot of the dreams of the liberals/Democrats. After the 2008 election, they had it all. White House, fillabuster proof Senate, and the House. All run by some of the most liberal leaders this country has ever had. That's how the ACA got passed by the way. Commentators were actually saying that the Republican Party had lost its national influence and had become a "regional party". Well, along comes Scott Brown, who had the audacity to win Ted Kennedys seat in the Senate as a Republican, and then the 2010 elections. The Democrats and liberals saw that they had squandered a huge opportunity to get anything they wanted passed, because they believed that they were going to have all the power from that time onward. Didn't happen, and it leaves a bitter taste for them. The object of their frustration is the T-Party. Hence, the anger toward it.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 22, 2014 3:06 p.m.

    @happy2bhere,

    They didn't only ruin the dreams of some liberals/Democrats. They also derailed some ineffective Republican incumbents who expected to hold onto their seats in Washington forever.

    They had the audacity to actually DO what most liberals posting to this page were demanding at the end of the Bush era... Kick them ALL out.

    Evidently the liberals were just giving lip-service to this cry to throw out all incumbents... but the Tea Party people took it seriously... and actually did it. And now the left HATES them for it...

    I just don't get it. Tea Party was able to replace mostly ineffective Republican incumbents (but because they also got a few Democrats)... the Left hates them for doing it! And they were the ones demanding it!

    ===

    Tea Party ideals and the people who adopt them, are not perfect. But neither are Democrats (OR Republicans).

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    May 22, 2014 3:27 p.m.

    To "airnaut" those are some nice numbers, but they don't address the issue.

    Since the Tea Party principles are conservative, and the largest ideological group is conservative, that means that their ideas are mainstream. Since their ideas are mainstream, that means that the liberal/Progressive ideas are the extreme because they are so far away from the mainstream ideas.

    Explain how ideas that conform to the political ideals of the largest group can be considered extreme. To help you, here is the definition of extreme "very far from agreeing with the opinions of most people : not moderate" Remember most people are CONSERVATIVE, followed by moderate, and then liberal.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 22, 2014 3:28 p.m.

    What is so amusing thing is I see all these people extolling these "tea party values" like they are something unique to this group of people. The idea of a balanced budget has nothing to do with the Tea Party. In fact, the only time we had one in recent history was when Republicans and the Clinton administration compromised on a budget plan. It was not started by any fringe group. The main stream of both parties did that.

    Pretending the Tea Party somehow extolled values that 95% of Americans don't share is delusional.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 22, 2014 4:01 p.m.

    Has the Tea Party lost in relevance?

    The Tea Party and the kind of people it attracts are still relevant . . . as a negative force . . . a dark side to America.

    TP folks are essentially just Republicans who are a little more irrational than the average irrational Republican. And they are even more motivated by the basic Republican motivators . . . Hate and a desire for retribution.

    Mitch McConnel is not a TP guy, yet it was he who voiced the attitude adopted by the Republican Party. "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." Defeating Obama became the goal of the Republicans, not helping the nation.

    In fact, Republicans tacitly agreed that the very best way to defeat Obama would be to harm the nation, and they did, by blocking every Democratic initiative that would have created employment. They hurt the nation much more than they hurt Obama.

    The cavalier attitude the TP showed about shutting down the government, thereby wasting billions for no good reason further demonstrates the general TP attitude.

    The Tea Party and the Republican Party are synonymous, and the impulsive evil they embody is still relevant.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2014 4:12 p.m.

    @2bits
    "1. Eliminate Excessive Taxes
    2. Eliminate the National Debt
    3. Eliminate Deficit Spending
    4. Protect Free Markets
    5. Abide by the Constitution of the United States
    6. Promote Civic Responsibility
    7. Reduce the Overall Size of Government
    8. Believe in the People
    9. Avoid the Pitfalls of Politics
    10. Maintain Local Independence"

    It's not so much that liberals disagree with these (a few would be argued like 2, just get debt:GDP under control and we're good) as it is that there are sharp differences as to how to go about these things. Some examples... liberals want campaign finance reform as part of 6 and 9. Abortion rights fall under 5 and 8. There's massive differences on how liberals and conservatives want to go about doing 3.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2014 4:16 p.m.

    @2bits
    "Evidently the liberals were just giving lip-service to this cry to throw out all incumbents... but the Tea Party people took it seriously... and actually did it. And now the left HATES them for it..."

    Well yeah. When liberals wanted to throw out all incumbents it was to put in more Elizabeth Warren types, not Ted Cruz types. As far as liberals are concerned, the tea party only made things worse because they're in the opposite direction that we wanted.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2014 4:26 p.m.

    @Redshirtcaltech
    "Since the Tea Party principles are conservative, and the largest ideological group is conservative, that means that their ideas are mainstream. Since their ideas are mainstream, that means that the liberal/Progressive ideas are the extreme because they are so far away from the mainstream ideas."

    If the tea party is mainstream and liberal is extreme, then why do we not have Senators Miller (Alaska) Angle (Nevada) O'Donnell (Delaware) Akin (Missouri) Mourdock (Indiana) Buck (Colorado), those guys who were running in Montana and North Dakota in 2012 (I forget their names but somehow they lost to Democrats) or a President Romney? It would suggest that the tea party doesn't appeal to moderates very well.

  • wingnutty Casa Grande, AZ
    May 22, 2014 4:29 p.m.

    The TEA party is rhetorically and not so rhetorically threatening to shoot up the place if they don't get their way which is apparently to have an even larger military and not be taxed at all. They also want to be able to do whatever they want while throwing most other people in jail for non violent offenses.

    Ya, so complete irrationality has always been irrelevant.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 22, 2014 4:29 p.m.

    GaryO,
    Were you equally angry when Democrats shutdown the government (4 times) during the Reagan Administration... rather than give him even 50% of the spending cuts he requested???

    Republicans aren't the only ones that have shutdown the government over a budget impasse... it's actually happened 17 times (besides the most recent one). It happened 6 times in the Carter Ford era.

    Google "Government Shutdowns History"... Wikipedia outlines all 17.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 22, 2014 6:24 p.m.

    @2 bits – “Republicans aren't the only ones that have shutdown the government over a budget impasse.”

    True, but they are the only ones who have tried to kill a passed & constitutionally upheld law by shutting down the government simply because they hate the law and its namesake… that little unique event in American history they are the sole owners of.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2014 7:46 p.m.

    Angry rhetoric and extreme positions never relevant. So they have actually never been relevant.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 22, 2014 9:11 p.m.

    The tactics of the Tea Party over the last 24 months unfortunately moved them from a principled cause to childish brats. What is shameful is many of the causes brought up by the Tea Party were just. They forced the discussion of the debt problem to the forefront. But that message was soon mixed in with birther rants, and at times down right racist behavior. While not representative of the heart and sole of the majority of the movements members, angry old white men become the face of the movement. The unrepentant rant of the 82 year old Sherifs department board member from New Hampshire only solidified what many thought of what a "tea party" member was really about - undoubtably wrongfully so.

    I never supported the Tea Party, but I welcomed their voice to the debate. But the attempted purge of so called RHINOs went too far, and ultimately the internal civil war within the Republican party had to come to an end. Anger and hate overwhelmed the good parts of what the tea party was about.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 23, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    I don't think the tea party movement EVERY had relevance (as a political party). They never CLAIMED to be a political party. They were a special interest group that wanted to rally people for their cause, in HOPES of influencing people on BOTH sides of the isle.

    It kinda worked... but it kinda didn't.

    Both sides saw them as a third political party, and a threat, and attacked them (hint... they never were a political party).

    But in a way it worked... because they at least got BOTH parties at least THINKING about the budget... and and taxes. That was a GOOD thing.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 23, 2014 11:31 a.m.

    The Tea Party is relevant at a local and even a state level. They can sway many of those gerrymandered house districts. At the national level, they helped President Obama defeat Mitt Romney by forcing him to go hard right and stay there to try and appease them. There may be large pockets of America that are believers, but America as a whole does not believe in the tea party approach.