Tea Party Shoots Self in Tea Bag?

The Mona Lisa (or La Joconde, La Gioconda).

Image via Wikipedia

Bill Buckley, asked in 1968 who he would vote for, replied “The wisest choice would be the one who would win. No sense running Mona Lisa in a beauty contest. I’d be for the most right, viable candidate who could win. If you could convince me that Barry Goldwater could win, I’d vote for him.”

Typical for our world today, this has been sound-bited into the “Buckley Rule”, most recently stated by Charles Krauthammer, writing in Jewish World Review, as “Support the most conservative candidate who is electable.” Mr. Krauthammer then dissects the primary win of  O’Donnell in his article, The Buckley Rule. It’s worth reading (Krauthammer is eminently readable, go ahead) and as is his wont, he makes his case methodically and logically.

But, what is electable is not always known. Why? Because the American Voter is fickle and given to flights of fancy. Is there a more easily led group of people on the planet today? Do you own a pair of $100 + tennis shoes? Yeah.

However, the Buckley Rule, as originally stated above, is somewhat meaningless without context. One assumes the context is conservative candidates in opposition to a liberal or progressive candidate. But, is voting for the obvious winner really the right thing to do? Krauthammer argues that the O’Donnell win is a Pyrrhic victory; a win that is a loss in effect. If voters behaved other than herd animals, I would agree without hesitation. But a herd vote is hardly indicative of the actual mindset of the people. When disturbed from our troughs of Jersey Shore and Dancing With the Stars, we can remember we are people and not sheeple. The Tea Party is an example of people saying, effectively mind you, “You don’t represent me.” The Republican Party has misread the Tea Party and assumed automatic support, a la the Democratic Party and the Black Voter. Those in power in the Democratic Party have effectively told the Black Voter for years “We will pay attention to you during the weeks leading up to election.” And, that’s all they’ve said. The Democrats over the past 40 years have been the party of the disenfranchised, knowing as they do that the disenfranchised in this country, today, are self-disenfranchised. Which means, in practice, that they don’t know and don’t care that they are being used.

The Tea Party movement is made of people who know they are not disenfranchised, which is why they started these non-partisan movements. Beware labels. These people are mostly conservative in politics, not necessarily Republican. What they want neither party really wants. What they want is strict Constitutionalism. Which means people in power have less of what they hold most dear: power. The O’Donnell primary win is not a Pyrrhic victory. It is, rather, a simple statement to both parties: “You are not representing us!”; the corollary of which is: “So, I’m not voting for you, even if you can win.” It is the beginning of the end of herd voting.

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2 responses to “Tea Party Shoots Self in Tea Bag?

  1. So, is it the opinion of The Glob that, due to disenchantment (not the other D word), there has to be a third party? That’s never been the goal of most tea parties. I don’t know if or when the time for that may come. But because of tea party reluctance, I have to think they are courting a current party vote.

    Certainly not liberal. Must be conservative. The closest any party comes to conservative values is the Republicans. That’s why I justify closing my eyes sometimes and voting straight party Republican tickets.

    I know the tea party movement is in its infancy. I really hope it can grow and mature and gather respect as a formidable voice in politics. I hope that voters can shut out the drum beat of irrelevant news feeds from MSM. And focus on what has to be done to change the path we are on. If the tea party movement can help accomplish that– and I think with the right leadership it can–then it will have a venerable place in history. Is that right leadership in place now? Time will tell.

  2. No, it is not necessary that there be a third party. What is necessary is that the parties represent their constituency. In this case, the Tea Party did not create a third party. The “party” in Tea Party is not the same “party” in Republican or Democratic parties. It is, rather, a statement of “You people are not representing us.” Remember the Boston Tea Party was fundamentally about representation.

    If the Tea Parties have the clout to affect the primary as they did, Republicans (and Democrats) need to wake up and smell the tea brewing. Their constituency is changing – which means that what they assume to be their power base is shifting. The way in which the constituency is changing is they are using their minds.

    The march toward “socialism light” is not appealing to anyone that can read a history book. More importantly, it is unnecessary. And certain voters are remembering they have a voice, and they are also remembering if they don’t exercise their voice, government will simply happen to them. Again, those that can read history know that it’s never been a good thing, ever, for government to happen to people. This is supposed to be government by the people, not to the people.

    We don’t need a three party system. What we need is what we have with the Tea Party Movement. Involved voters that are voting for whom they want, not for whom they are told. They could very well want either Republicans or Democrats in office, if the person represented them. The two parties need to field candidates that represent the people. If the candidates do not represent the people they are supposed to serve, why would those candidates expect those same people to vote in their favor? The short answer is that, until now, the parties have fielded candidates and said “Here they are. Now vote for them.” The voter has been taken for granted.

    At it’s most basic, the Tea Party is an inevitable and necessary evolution – lest the powers that be forget they are public servants, first and foremost.

    FB

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