I was just reading a very good article by Greg Sargent over at The Plum Line about the new Republican push to use the Debt Ceiling to enact policies they don’t otherwise have the political power to demand. Sargent believes it is all a game; the Republican leadership has already stated that they will not actually crash the economy, so it is a meaningless threat. I think he is being a bit optimistic. The Republicans are hardly consistent. And just because they know crashing the economy would effectively end their political party, that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t do it. Chauncey DeVega at AlterNet has argued, How the Modern GOP Is Like a Death Cult. And he’s right.
But I was taken by something that Sargent wrote about the haplessness of the Republican leadership. “They don’t know how to get House Tea Partyers to agree to any constructive way out of this mess.” Why do we refer to the “Tea Party wing of the Republican Party”? Do parties have parties? No, they don’t. We use this term because we are still accepting the original media framing of the Tea Party movement. The idea was that this was the rise of some previously uninvolved part of the electorate that was tired of the right and the left. Of course, it was no such thing. It was 99% pure Republican Party base. If it was unhappy with the Republican Party, it was only because it though the party was too liberal.
So I have a problem with referring to the “tea partiers” of the Republican Party. We should refer to them correctly as the extreme wing of the Republican Party. Because that is what the term means to people on the left. But it allows people on the right to think that the “tea partiers” are innovative thinkers who transcend the GOP, when they are more the opposite. They are the least transcendent thinkers in the conservative movement.
Only try to realize the truth.
There is no Tea Party. Then you’ll see, that it is not the Tea Party that bends, it is only yourself.