Sunday, October 20, 2013

10 reasons the tea party is so unpopular

alternet | Now that the federal government has reopened and its debt limit raised, the Tea Party is more unpopular with Americans than ever—including among moderate Republicans—polls are finding, with analysts asking if the Tea Party is part of the GOP at all.  

“The Tea Party is less popular than ever, with even many Republicans now viewing the movement negatively. Overall, nearly half of the public (49 percent) has an unfavorable opinion of the Tea Party, while 30 percent have a favorable opinion,” the Pew Research Center For People And The Press said in its latest poll and report.

“For Republicans, the decline is steepest among those who describe themselves as moderate or liberal. Today, only about a quarter (27 percent) of moderate and liberal Republicans have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party movement, down 19 points from June,” Pew said, after surveying 1,500 adults over 18 across the country between Oct. 9 and 13. “Yet the Tea Party’s ratings have also declined among conservative Republicans, from 74 percent favorable in June to 65 percent now.”

Since the standoff ended, there’s been no shortage of media reports about the Republican Party tearing itself apart—with rightwingers accusing leaders in Congress of “surrender” and finger pointing at usual targets such as the media's supposedly liberal bias. Tea Party leaders such as former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, now president of the Heritage Foundation, vowed in a Wall Street Journal column Friday that the fight to destroy the Affordable Care Act will continue. Meanwhile, another Tea Party darling, Kentucky’s Sen. Rand Paul, is AWOL in this fracas, perhaps nursing his 2016 presidential bid.

But no one should think that the Tea Party’s latest failures will make them go away. This faction, as epitomized by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz declaring that the shutdown was a victory, is unapologetic, arrogant and proud of it. As Pew notes, Tea Partiers share 10 beliefs and causes that make most Americans cringe—not just Democrats but millions of moderate and liberal Republicans. Let’s look at those views and values, according to Pew.


Tom said...

The Republican party became a national force by capitalizing on resentment in the wake of Johnson's concessions to black leaders on civil rights. How much of that capital remains? We're racist, but are we racist enough to throw away our own kids' future just to make somebody else's kids somewhat more screwed?

Tom said...

And so my point is that's why the GOP needs the lunatics. Without lunatics it's game over.

ken said...

I think if I were in alternet's biased corner and I would have stayed with the tactic and skipped the 10 issues or reason why the tea party is so unpopular. The tea party appears to be with the side of the majority 8 out of the 10 issues according to the pew poll alternet sited, certainly the tea party's positions on most of the issues is not unpopular according to the pew poll. And even the ones they differ with the majority, a little more information or a deeper dig into the nuance of the question might have the majority with the tea party. I think for example, the public wants to find alternative energy, but still would be for expanding traditional energy sources in the meantime.

Politically, it's a long way from the 2014 midterm elections, and the tea party should be pretty happy the American people mostly feel the same way they do.

ken said...

"In other words, the only strategy that makes sense for the average American is to reject the theories of Ronald Reagan and the Right. Rather than seeing the government as “the problem” and higher taxes on the rich as “bad,” the American people must come to understand that, to a great extent, government has to be a big part of the solution."

Ronald Reagan's theories were people were taxed too much across the board, and argued it was one of the main causes to the double digit inflation and double digit unemployment he inherited. We have a spending problem, even raising the taxes on the rich DOUBLE what Obama wanted would only be about 140 billion more or 10% the yearly debt, if it were possible to guarantee nothing would happen to the economy by doing that.

If we want to fully wind back Reagan's "screw up" or "wrong headed theories" perhaps a look back at the tax rates for all incomes is worth a look:

Just a little note, I figured the average family made maybe 30,000 in 1980. So just for an example for the 24k to 29k if you filed married jointly your federal tax rate before the Reagan tax cuts was 32%. That would be a little over double from the current rate for the same couple making 60k today.

CNu said...

lol, the "American" people decidedly do not feel the same way the nutty baggers do. The Pew data you underscored applies only to republicans and those who lean republican. It's already been firmly established in the last two national elections that, taken as a whole, republicans themselves no longer comprise a viable electoral majority of Americans.

Outside their little heavily gerrymandered whitetopias, the nutty baggers don't comprise an electoral majority anywhere.

Vic78 said...

There was more to it than taxes. There was policy as well. Inflation has gone up while income has been stagnant. What that means is everything costs more while you're making the same money. A lot more people are living on disability right now. This country has been fighting two wars for over ten years. The current president can't even get needed infrastructure bills passed. Public schools are slowly being phased out. Employment offices don't get the funding they used to get. The Feds can't get away from their dumb ass drug policies. There's more to it. Everything I just pointed out are the results of neocon policies.

Now as for taxes, Reagan had them lowered but increased spending on programs he liked. That money's got to come from somewhere. And he cut programs he didn't like. Rates were higher back then but it's meaningless if the governing's incompetent.

When you look at what Obama wants you have to do the math over a ten year period. The projections for his tax plans come out pretty good.

ken said...

the "American" people decidedly do not feel the same way the nutty baggers do.

Then it should be simple, there should be no need to demagogue tea party members with racism, or being nuts, simply nail them on their unpopular issues. Show their stupidity of being concerned about the national debt, or the desire to have a smaller government, or laugh at them for considering Obamacare to be a massive government intrusion into our privacy and economy and too big for the government to handle. Tell the American people how unwise it is to seek for our own domestic supplies of energy, and instead to just ship it in from other countries. Let the people see how silly it is for them to have their own guns when you have a government that will protect you.

Show the people that the way to get the economy going is by regulating and taxing business more. I think after you stick with the issues that are important to tea party members and let the American people see how out of whack their ideas truly are with their own, there shouldn't be any need to just keep the argument at name calling.

ken said...

"The current president can't even get needed infrastructure bills passed."

Have you ever considered maybe Obama is not serving up good bills. Could you give me your reflections on this news?

Remember now the article is talking about the senate where the democrats hold the majority. Did you know that there has been no budget since Obama has been in office? All categories have been replenished the same they had the year before times the inflation rate times the population growth rate, since we have no budget. So public schools received the same amount plus the multiplier each year, employment offices like everything else keep receiving the same plus the multiplier.

Dale Asberry said...

Hey ken, you're letting your futty-as-nuck show through... I'd see to that.

Please, take this as an admonishment to fix the crazee problem in your head. And, no, you are not capable of discerning your own sanity no matter how capable you "feel".

Vic78 said...

The things I described were a result of conservative governance. If you need 10,000 dollars, should you be happy if you're getting 25?

ken said...

That's a good question, and no I wouldn't be happy if I needed 10,000 dollars and I only got $25. Can you give me an example of where a request similar to that was made and a similar answer like you exampled was delivered?

Now here is a question for you...How long would you expect any organization to be able to survive borrowing 46 cents for every dollar it spends? And what if I told you that the organization that accomplishes this, does this at the very same time it brings in record revenues; what would be the method you use to prolong the existence of the organization?

Nakajima Kikka said...

ken, I think what Thom Hartmann is saying is that 30 years of Reaganomics turned the U.S. from Bedford Falls into Pottersville.

ken said...

Ahhh yes winning wars at the water coolers. I realize Hartmann wasn't a fan of Clinton's economy either, but it would be interesting how many others would fall into the trap of giving Clinton credit for his economy. and then crediting Reagan with the mess were in today. Anyway, Thom's version of the United States when Reagan won the election doesn't seem to include, double digit inflation and double digit unemployment and a Soviet Union that made Americans believe they would soon dominate us. (Around 1:30 to 2:00).

Today we are the world's biggest debtor... what is Hartmann's ideas on turning this around? 4:50... good on China on figuring out how to make things work...and what methods of government ideas and working conditions does Hartmann think we should embrace in China? 5:00 Ronald Reagan spent us into oblivion, with a santa clause theory...he exploded our debt...and Reagan is why we don't have entrepreneurship anymore.

Really Naka, you don't think it's time yet to start giving responsibility to the leader who is getting close to the lame duck status in the office now? Will Thom ever consider Obama's no budget government as spending us into oblivion? Thom is a farce who won't say the truth. I think it's time to quit looking to the glorious past of double digit inflation and double digit unemployment and a world with communism increasing and us building crap for cars and planes crashing in the desert and more than 400 hostages held over a year, those were the good days I am sure, and Carter deserves credit for the upswing we experienced then. Reagan is now dead, and hasn't held office for 25 years.

We have had 3 presidents since then, and all have been treated as though they were responsible for what was going on when they were in office, why do you think Obama is not given the same consideration?

Nakajima Kikka said...

ken, spending us into oblivion has never been simply a one-man show. It is a life-long process. Reagan got the ball rolling, with each president in turn proceeding to take the next step. No president after Reagan seriously challenged the underlying economic and social premises of Reaganomics. The key president in all this was actually Clinton, not Obama, as he was the one who brought the Democratic Party around to making its peace with Reaganomics (all the campaign rhetoric notwithstanding).

By the time we got around to Obama, engaging in enormous quantities of deficit spending was pretty much all a president could do. The entire U.S. economy is now completely dependent on debt for its survival, and both political parties are themselves completely dependent on the U.S. economy for THEIR survival. The perfect un-virtuous circle is now in operation. At this point, this country is going to go right off the cliff, ken, pedal to the metal. There's No Way Out anymore...No Exit. Just like in that movie Thelma and Louise.

Though it wasn't the only factor in the transformation, Reaganomics played, and continues to play, a crucial role in establishing, and now maintaining, Money's full spectrum dominance in American life. Say what you will about pre-Reagan America, that world was much more concerned about virtue (what it is, how to practice it), and much less about money (how to get it, how to spend it) than today's world is. The focus on virtue gave Americans more and better opportunities to express their lives in interesting ways. Like the people in Bedford Falls did. Now that money is the focus, pretty much the only "acceptable" way Americans can express themselves is through mass-quantity consumption, consumption that becoming increasingly creepy on so many levels.

Pottersville, IOW. And there's no place in Pottersville for something like this, eh?

ken said...

"By the time we got around to Obama, engaging in enormous quantities of deficit spending was pretty much all a president could do."

Think about this, we all get 2009 as a big deficit year, our federal revenue dropped about a trillion dollars and we also spent 850 billion dollars on a stimulus bill, so it understandable with the recession that the debt that was 161 billion in 2007, went to 469 billion in 2008 and up to 1.4 trillion in 2009. With the one time stimulus and the drop in federal revenue from 4.6 trillion down to 3.6 trillion, alright clear why we had a big debt.

But then, with no stimulus and the 2010 revenues back up to 4.7 trillion we still stayed at 1.3 trillion in debt, and in 2011 with 5.1 trillion our debt still way above our average debt levels in the last years of under 200 billion still came in at another 1.3 trillion in debt, and in 2012 we only pulled in the same federal income and our debt with the help of the beginning of the sequestration started pulling us back to 1.1 trillion.

Obama could do more, he is the biggest political animal with the largest ego we have had in the white house. The first thing any family does who needs to watch their spending is they come up with a budget. This administration has offered no budget and has run up bigger deficits than any of his predecessors by far. Because we don't have a budget, we automatically raise each category, each department of spending, and so the stimulus money went to each department and then the next year those departments were raised from the new starting point after the stimulus.

So a real budget would help in reducing the deficit and with that allowing the economy to grow by actually making decisions that create market stability and offering ideas about the budget that more than zero senators would except for a proposal. Obama bears responsibility for his lack of leadership in providing any budget that would point us in a direction of reducing the debt.

Nakajima Kikka said...


First a historical correction. When Reagan entered office, the country had double-digit inflation, primarily due to the Iran hostage crisis, which caused oil prices to explode. The country did not have double-digit unemployment. The unemployment rate was 7.5%. Double-digit unemployment did not appear until September 1982, nearly two years after Reagan entered office.

Regarding the budget, the most that this President, or any president, can now do is trim around the edges a bit, because most line items in the budget has a significant constituency that effectively bars cutting. The best you can hope for on any particular line item is hold the line for a year or two. Huge government deficit spending is now tightly woven into the country's political and economic systems; neither can function without it anymore. And it's not just government debt. There's all the other kinds of debt (consumer, corporate, housing...), too.

Debt is the sea within which this society swims now. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, is financed by debt now. No consumer limits his consumption to that which he is able to pay for in cash anymore. No businessman (no sane one, anyway) limits any planned expansion to that which he is able to finance out of accounts receivable, anymore. For Republicans, all that "pay with cash/out of accounts receivable" ended around 1985 or so. For Democrats, it took a little longer, but Clinton got them on board by 1995.

Just look at that debt curve on Hypertiger's nice "Long Term Interest Rates Back to 1790" graph. Two visible "knees of the curve", one at 1985 (Republicans on board) and the other 1995 (Democrats on board). After 1995, with everyone now on board with debt-financing of everything, debt accumulation went supersonic. Talk about "fly me to the moon!"

With a debt curve that looks like that, ken, there is no possible way that any budget proposal could possibly "point us in a direction of reducing the debt" and make it stick anymore. What we've got here, ken, is a fundamental cultural change in Americans' attitudes towards debt, and debt-financed consumption. We're pretty much all Reaganomics, whether we care to admit it or not.

Of course, in the end, we both know that Reaganomics has only one possible outcome:


CNu said...

I grin from ear-to-ear inside whenever someone tirelessly cuts through mountains of self-calming partisan prattle and effectively slaps the silly duel disk card holder off an excited otaku's wrist...,

ken said...

"With a debt curve that looks like that, ken, there is no possible way that any budget proposal could possibly "point us in a direction of reducing the debt" and make it stick anymore. "

That might be true, but our leaders shouldn't be able to clearly say it one way

And then do it another way without explaining why it's different now. Of course shame on us and the public accountability team our press for not having our leader answer to what was likely said at every campaign stump speech, isn't this true today. Certainly when somebody said "read my lips, no new taxes" who was republican, we have precedence that our media wouldn't let us forget that and judge that person but what they said and if he followed through, he was responsible for those words, the accountability team made sure he was.

Why when Obama clearly has congressional backing to reduce the budget right now, does he instead fight against what he clearly told us was unpatriotic and irresponsible.

You call it impossible, and so therefore relieve all responsibility to Obama and instead blame Reagan. Craig considers that perspective non partisan, meanwhile our government instead of figuring out how to reduce debt triples it, and then takes over 16% of the economy and is expected to turn that profitable portion of the economy into an unpredictable heavy liability. And the people who oppose this action are called "nutty" and extreme, partisan. You are correct with mentality tipped so strongly for people to conform to driving this country off the cliff, its hard to believe it can be stopped. And although you video made it look romantic flying over the cliff, it didn't show the landing, and we should be forcing leaders to take their foot off the gas and consider that landing rather than the joy of being off the ground sailing through the air.

Obama's foot is on the gas, and right now he has congressional backing to take his foot off the gas, he has many who are coming up with budgets that make honest attempts to address the debt and budget problem. There are proposals that at the very least move the cliff the back and have us drive slower. He clearly does not care, there is no other way to put it. And he would put it this way if he was running for office against his leadership, you and I both know this.

Obama and the democrats with their own words explained how people should be considered when they add more weight to a budget that is already in the red. And like Harry Reid said somebody needs to argue why it's ok:

It may be impossible to stop, but being honest could be a start. And for the rest of us when someone isn't and we know it, they should be held accountable.

CNu said...

Do you miss the underlying logical structure in which I invoke Hypertiger as the objective ground on which all competing partisan narratives are being played out? Is that why you feel compelled to reduce my metanarrative to something "black and white" against which you can take your best lil'Terio shots?

ken said...

No I don't think so, what I do get is and appears you two here do also is that our current trajectory will forcefully put us into a position where we don't have any choices. I think Ryan and Geitner pretty much show the same type of trajectory in their discussion.

Nakajima Kikka said...

And although you video made it look romantic flying over the cliff, it didn't show the landing

That one was the romantic, 100% Americanist version. Thelma and Louise, like most Americans these days, were determined to "live free or die, blow this pop stand, check out on their own terms, with no regrets." This no doubt accounts for its great popularity among Americans.

But an alternative, more sober ending was also shot for it. It doesn't show the final impact, but it does follow the descent of the car much deeper into the canyon, and then shows, well, see for yourself:

As you can see, sometimes there is simply nothing you can do to stop an animal, or a person...or a nation, from accelerating into self-destruction. That's America now, ken. As a people, we're already past the point of no return on the debt. We're going off that cliff. Just look at that Hypertiger graph again, and just.let.the.image.sink.into.the.core.of.your.being. The moment the upward slope of that debt curve hits infinity....

As for "who's to blame? who's to blame?", it's not a question of Reagan or Obama. Both are culpable, as well as every president in between. Reagan kick-started Reaganomics, but every president after him bought into it. Each president proceeded to push harder on the accelerator than the one before him, and as American culture changed and became more comfortable with ever-higher levels of debt, pushing on that accelerator became ever easier. The next president will push it right through the floorboards. The American people, through their various cultural institutions, will demand no less.

So while America's leaders, by virtue of their offices, are "more responsible" than others, and history will hold them accountable, if we're REALLY looking for the guilty, ken, to find them we need only look into a mirror.

Truth be told, ken, there is no Congressional backing to reduce the budget; each member of Congress is only interested in cutting the pet projects of the person sitting next to him, and posturing for the cameras. It's not simply out of cynicism. The politicians sense that we can no longer avoid what is coming, but also do not want to prematurely inflict the coming economic and social agony on the American people. So they continue to go around and around, hoping for some kind of miracle to extricate the country from all of this in one fell swoop. That's not going to happen, ken.

Given that situation, is there nothing to be done then? Nothing at all? Actually, there is. You cannot at this point prevent the car from flying off that cliff. However, there is still time to personally jump out of the car.

That's exactly what I see a lot of Millennials doing right now. They are, to varying degrees, withdrawing from the larger American society into their own sub-cultures, supporting themselves with piecework, or part-time jobs, or compensated dating, and spending their free time in artistic endeavors, or gardening, or sports or martial arts. They all seem to love the movie "The Hunger Games", btw. I think they have a pretty good sense of what's coming after that debt curve hits infinity. Obama knows too; it's why he's so keen on building the Panopticon society. It's preparation, you see. For the world after infinity.

Stay warm, ken. I hear it's going to be another cold winter.

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