If anyone now believes that the Tea Party movement is some third party movement based on frustration with our two-party political system, and that it will send candidates to oppose even the Republican Party, is a fool.
Sarah Palin made that plain in the Q&A after her Tea Party Convention speech:
Palin: The Republican Party would be really smart to start trying to absorb as much of the Tea Party movement as possible.
Without Fox News, the teabagger "revolution" would have been a minor blip on the conservative Richter scale, but because Roger Ailes saw a golden opportunity to lash out at a newly elected and highly likable black president in a hateful fashion he jumped in--feet first.
Knowing that the media are too lazy to properly put them in context, and being able to hide behind them to cover his ass, Ailes put his weight behind them. As disappointed as liberals and progressives are in the Obama administration, Fox News ginned up the Tea Party protesters and gave them a huge media platform to help wield the blade that issued a tiny cut at a time. Knowing the economy would not bounce back, it's not a surprise that Americans would not be happy with the Democratic party, but the level of vitriol and hatred helped to it initially began with a blog post from a republican voter who knew conservatives were in trouble of being a bad memory for a while.
The Bill Kristols of the right have always longed for a right-wing populist movement that could make headway in America, but they also have believed they could firmly control them. That's why Dick Armey was dispatched with boatloads of cash, along with other right-wing billionaires, to pump in the necessary cash to keep it percolating.
The tea party movement is dead. The one I was familiar with anyway. Judson Phillips held it down and Sarah Palin drove a stake right through its heart live last night on C-Span in front of an unsuspecting audience.
Sarah Palin didn’t give a tea party speech last night. She gave a partisan Republican address. It was a purely political speech designed to position her for a presidential run in 2012 or 2016. Period. She wasn’t there to celebrate the organic nature of a movement she had nothing to do with creating. She was there to co-opt the name and claim the brand as hers. And she did.
The movement, that came to be officially recognized almost a year ago but whose roots go back further than that, has been snuffed out and replaced in the public mind. The movement that began as a people’s movement of angry independent, libertarians and conservatives will now be thought as the movement of people like Palin, Dick Armey, Judson Phillips, Mark Skoda, etc. Essentially, a wholly owned subsidiary of the “Official Conservative Movement” and the Republican Party.
Sarah Palin is no independent voice, but a GOP politician. The Republicans need to co-opt the movement completely in order to capitalize on them, because really most of the movement is based on the ideology of arch-conservatives who will never vote for anything that is progressive. Indeed, a lot of what drives them is the hatred of all things progressive. See Glenn Beck as only the most recent and glaring example of this.
Carl Cameron described the teabaggers on Fox yesterday as people who support the Constitution and conservative values. Yep, that's about right.
Bloggers on the left can try to align themselves with the Tea Partiers, but it will only happen on issues that will not otherwise endanger votes being taken away from conservatives. You won't see Grover Norquist do anything that would jeopardize his long-term strategy of "defunding the left" and turning every voter against progressive values. And he's more than happy to use progressives as props to achieve that. It's really that simple.