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Why is the Tea Party crowd in Illinois so wimpy?

The tough talk we used to hear from Tea Party folks here in Illinois seems to be a thing of the past. As a group, they’ve turned into political weenies.

There was a time not so long ago when the Tea Party people were mad as hell about how establishment politicians had messed up everything in this country. They fumed about the bailouts, especially TARP, and they vowed to exact revenge on the villains.

Well, that was then, and this is now: In this week’s Illinois Republican primary, Mitt Romney defeated Rick Santorum among Tea Party voters by a margin of 11 percentage points, according to exit polls. That’s the same Mitt Romney who just the other day sang the praises of the TARP bailout. That’s the same Mitt Romney who enjoys the backing of the dreaded GOP establishment.

And in the 16th Congressional District of Illinois, where Applesauce World Headquarters is located, the candidate endorsed by the Tea Party lost to a guy whose voting record has been somewhat less conservative, a guy whose candidacy was boosted by the Republican establishment in Washington.

So what gives here? Have Tea Party groups in other states been neutered to the same extent as the Illinois bunch?

Perhaps the whole movement has been co-opted by the Republican establishment.

Weenies.

 

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13 Comments

  1. They tend to ebb and flow with the gurgitations of Rush Limbaugh.

  2. Gee Pat you almost seem disappointed.

    Could it be that the Tea Party types are most focused on finding a candidate that can get elected/defeat Obama?

    I would guess that many left wingers would say that Obama has not been a perfect liberal President, but many liberals will still cast their vote for him in November.

  3. doc: One problem with your theory: Etch-A-Sketch Romney can’t beat Obama. He can’t even get the Republican base excited. The guy is a world-class flip-flopper, and nothing he can say or do will erase that image.

    If you don’t think the Obama crowd is licking its collective chops at the prospect of going up against Romney, you know even less about politics than I suspected. Sure, Santorum would be an even weaker rival, but that ain’t gonna happen.

    Mitt completely lacks an ideological core. As Gertrude Stein once said of her former hometown of Oakland, “There’s no there there.” That describes Romney to a T.

  4. doc: Furthermore, barring some unforeseen developments, Obama will prevail by wide margins among blacks (of course), Hispanics, women, young people and the better-educated. The only group Romney is likely to carry is white folks, especially white males. That ain’t likely to suffice. And his Mormonism might hurt him a bit among white evangelicals. I think a sizable portion of the Republican base will just sit it out (as many of them have in the GOP primaries).

  5. I never said Romney would win, in fact, in the past, I have predicted he would be the nominee and lose.

  6. doc: Forgive me for misunderstanding your conjecture that “Tea Party types are most focused on finding a candidate that can get elected/defeat Obama.”

    Apparently, you think those folks are just deluding themselves. Right you are.

  7. Spend a little time on the Rockford Tea Party’s Facebook page, which is an open page BTW. The members come off as foaming-at-the-mouth knuckle draggers who are just bitterly angry at anyone and everyone. I’m amazed that most of them are able to drag themselves out of bed in the morning, considering how miserable they all seem.

    Yet, in all of their ranting, they never seem to provide any real solutions to any issues. From my read of their posts and discussions, Obama is the anti-Christ and the GOP is made up of nothing but RINOs. Everything else doesn’t really matter. Given that, it’s not surprising that whatever momentum they may have had a couple of years ago is now gone. Anger only goes so far w/o concrete solutions that appeal to a cross-section of voters.

  8. “foaming-at-the-mouth knuckle draggers who are just bitterly angry at anyone and everyone.”

    Sounds an awful lot like your basic high profile liberal, insert Keith Olbermann, Rosie O’Donnell, Bill Maher. I wouldn’t say the right has the corner on that kind of attitude Monkey.

  9. shawnnews

    I think the Tea Party’s biggest success was to energize the Republican Party after the Dems became complacent after the 2008 election. I think they are a party movement now woth their own caucus rather than the “grass roots” movement they started as. This happens naturally because they had to endorse candidates.

  10. bejer50

    Shawn, I agree with your statement and would add:

    The Tea Party movement which began as a populist movement was quickly co-opted by wealthy politically motivated interests such as Dick Armey, the Koch brothers, and their lapdogs in Congress (see J. DeMint, P. Ryan, M. Rubio, et al..).

    They resemble nothing more than a front group for far-right powermongers.

  11. And the left has been co-opted by front groups of far left power mongers like George Soros and SEIU. So what’s your point?

  12. Michelle

    The Tea Party is alive and well in IL! We are working hard to open peoples eyes to what the progressive democrats are doing to destroy our Constitution and our freedoms! You call us weenies! We are Americans who love this country and don’t want to see it destroyed by this president, Van Jones, OWS, Soros, Cloward & Piven, Bill Ayers, Dorn, Sharpton, Jackson, Mayer, Hollywood Hypocrites and all the other America haters! We don’t want to live under Socialism/Marxism! Oh we are here don’t kid yourself and we are growing! Every tea party is autonomous but we are linking together to defeat Obama in Nov. Our group has not been co-opted by the republicans, we are independent! I can’t explain why Romney won, maybe the democrats who control IL want Romney to run against Obama! We are far from being neutered, we are strong and growing STRONGER!! Keep telling yourself that we are weenies!!!

  13. roscoeguys

    So, Pat Cunningham says:
    “And in the 16th Congressional District of Illinois, where Applesauce World Headquarters is located, the candidate endorsed by the Tea Party lost to a guy whose voting record has been somewhat less conservative, a guy whose candidacy was boosted by the Republican establishment in Washington.”

    Yes, Pat, and did you notice that the Illinois Tea Party, which had for 3 years resisted endorsing candidates, came out and endorsed Manzullo? They knew they could not depend on local media to draw the strong comparisons between these different men, though I give Chuck Sweeny kudos for his perceptive comments on the race.

    Eight Tea Parties from the new 16th Congressional District were committed to support of Manzullo. Kinzinger benefited from $200K in a weirdo independent PAC which opposed entrenched incumbents on principle, without regard to their positions. The Illinois Education Assn REQUESTED ITS MEMBERS VOTE IN THE PRIMARY FOR KINZINGER. We put up a brave fight. We were outgunned.

    So how does that make us neutered, Pat? It makes us merely defeated. For now.

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