Here’s an interesting take on where the Tea Party movement might be headed.
Keep in mind that there isn’t one big monolithic tea party movement; this convention is being run by Tea Party Nation — which, as the Washington Independent’s David Weigel and others have pointed out, is being accused by other teabaggers of an excessive focus on money (RedState’s Erick Erickson has disparaged the high ticket prices and the exorbitant fee paid to Sarah Palin) and too cozy a relationship with the GOP.
Well, isn’t that precisely what Rupert Murdoch wants? …the supposedly non-partisan tea party movement is a Judas-goat operation meant to gull right-wingers into reembracing precisely the party they began (sort of) souring on during Bush’s waning days and during the McCain campaign. Certainly this aspect of it fits that bill.
Here’s how it’s going to happen: the Murdoch media and the slicksters at Tea Party Nation are going to build a brand of tea-party-ism that’s more and more Republican … and a lot of people will undoubtedly just follow along. The rebel cachet will still be there, but tea-party-ism (or this aspect of it) won’t really threaten the GOP. Eventually, you’ll look at Fox, the GOP, and the movement and it will be impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins. Fox looks radical; the GOP looks radical; the movement becomes less and less threatening to established interests.
This isn’t what a lot of teabaggers want. But it’s what Murdoch wants. And he’s going to win this battle.
This makes a lot of sense. Republicans need to find a way to harness the energy being generated by the Tea Party movement without giving the appearance of a takeover. The little guy holding the ‘Obama-is-Hitler Mao Stalin’ sign wants to see himself as a patriot fighting for the very survival of his nation and not as an established party stooge. From a teabagger’s perspective, everything Glenn Beck says is the god’s honest truth and they feel they’re the last defense against the socialist takeover of their country. For the schmuck on the battle lines, it’s all too real.
The key for Republicans is to find a way to let teabaggers retain their ‘patriot’ spirit and illusion of independence while they actually run the show. The idea is to meld Republican-ism and TeaParty-ism into Bullshit-ism which they’re convinced would give them back Congress and the White House.
Its success will depend on how the stooges react.
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