Tea Party critic ably defends his position against right-wing pot-shot artist


E.J. Dionne does a PRETTY GOOD JOB of defending himself against barbs from a Wall Street Journal columnist over the intellectual legitimacy of the Tea Party movement.

A few excerpts:

The Tea Party is just the latest incarnation of a strain of very conservative opinion that has always been part of the American political landscape. It’s the old American right with the additional advantages of a cable network of its own, new organizing possibilities created by the Internet, and expanded publicity that arises from the media’s fascination with Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Christine O’Donnell.


 I “get” the Tea Party. I just disagree with much of what it’s saying and would insist that it’s neither as novel nor as large as its supporters and some press accounts would suggest. And I’d urge thoughtful conservatives…to apply the example of their distinguished forebears, notably William F. Buckley Jr., by challenging the sometimes exotic extremism that is now taking hold on parts of the right, including parts of the Tea Party.



  1. Dionne is probably right in pointing out the lack of intellectual legitimacy in the tea party movement. Nonetheless, in all likelihood, the tea party movement saved the Republican party. Peggy Noonan explains:

    “The tea party did something the Republican establishment was incapable of doing: It got the party out from under George W. Bush. The tea party rejected his administration’s spending, overreach and immigration proposals, among other items, and has become only too willing to say so.”

    There is also this fascinating tidbit:

    “According to the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, four million more Republicans voted in primaries this year than Democrats, the GOP’s highest such turnout since 1970. I wonder who those people were?”


  2. David Hale

    Pat you must admit that there is a significant distance and divide between two strains of Americanism that exist in our country right now. One strain is the Tea Party Strain that truly seeks to retain conservative values while participating and encouraging progress for all. And then there is the other strain of Americanism which is the Big Government Statist type that has existed for 1000’s of years in various iterations and degrees of expression from Feudalism to Monarchism to Socialism and it the worst harshest form Chinese and Soviet Communism which are all now wrapped in a new form of American Socialism much softer than Soviet or Chinese Socialism most likely as a stepchild of the Gramchi School of kinder nicer socialism that nonetheless becomes socialism. If America marches toward the latter and forsakes the former so be it, but let America march. It needs to choose one form of Social Governance. The two are mutually exclusive. The two cannot strive together and that is being played out in the struggle that we have engaged with increasing fervor over these last two years.

  3. David – Am I understanding your post correctly, you think any form of government that has existed is ‘Big Government’? If so, you may want to look at conditions in Somalia. No ‘Big Government’ there.

  4. David Hale

    Henry…you would be reading me wrong so I am glad asked if you were reading me right.

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