Poll: Tea Partiers and the less-educated are more fearful of Ebola than other Americans

For some reason, THIS doesn’t really surprise me: According to a new national poll, the more educated you are, the less you fear an Ebola outbreak in a major U.S. city, while the less educated, the greater the fear. Well that’s what the latest Reason-Rupe national poll shows anyway, along with the fact that Tea Partiers fear the coming Ebola apocalypse more than Democrats and Republicans. Interesting. So in case you were wondering why your neighborhood preppers have stopped shooting at you when you mistakenly take a run on top of their hideouts, it’s because, yes, they are now hiding out. And you thought all those grenade family packs and 2,000 single servings of powdered meat they were hoarding were a joke!...

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Former GOP lawmaker, a friend of John Boehner, says Tea Party is run by a gang of grifters

The word “grifter,” if you don’t know, is defined as a con artist or swindler. It’s not a word you would expect a Republican politician to apply to members of his own party. But that’s exactly the case in THIS ESSAY by former Republican Congressman Steve LaTourette of Ohio (above): Over the last few years we have seen the rise of a new grifter—the political grifter. And the most important battle being waged today isn’t the one about which party controls the House or the Senate, it’s about who controls the Republican Party: the grifting wing or the governing wing… Political grifting is a lucrative business. Groups like the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and the Tea Party Patriots are run by men and women who have made millions by playing on the fears and anger about the dysfunction in Washington. My former House colleague Chris Chocola is pocketing a half-million dollars a year heading the Club for Growth; same for Matt Kibbe heading up FreedomWorks (and I don’t think Kibbe’s salary includes the infamous craft beer bar that FreedomWorks donors ended up paying for). The Tea Party Patriots pay their head, Jenny Beth Martin, almost as much. These people have lined their pockets by promising that if you send them money, they will send men and women to Washington who can “fix it.” Of course, in the ultimate con, the always extreme and often amateurish candidates these groups back either end up losing to Democrats or they come to Washington and actually make the process even more dysfunctional.    ...

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Noted political centrist offers a perfect characterization of the Tea Party movement

Norman Ornstein (above) is no political ideologue. He’s a resident scholar of the American Enterprise Institute and a political scientist with a reputation for centrism. Ornstein offers a characteristically measured analysis of this year’s Republican congressional primary elections. He notes, for example, that despite House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s loss the other day, “the batting average for ‘establishment’ Republicans this year will still be over .900.” But perhaps the best part of Ornstein’s LATEST ESSAY on these matters is where he offers a spot-on definition of a certain insurgent movement: The tea-party movement is not a Republican movement, or a conservative movement. It is radical, anti-institutional, anti-leadership, anti-government. It is driven by suspicion of the motives and actions of all leaders, including those in the Republican...

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Does the Tea Party movement really exist as a formal political organization?

The answer to the question in the headline above would seem to be no. The Tea Party has become — or perhaps always was — a more amorphous political entity than either the Republican or Democratic parties. The political philosophies most frequently associated with the Tea Party movement existed before the Tea Party entered the public consciousness five years ago and probably will exist after the Tea Party label fades away. And the chance that it will, in fact, fade way seems ever more likely. A recent poll shows that public support for the Tea Party is steadily declining and now stands at only 15 percent. Nate Silver argues HERE that the term “Tea Party” has outlived its usefulness: What is the tea party, exactly? That’s not so clear. There are a constellation of groups, like Tea Party Patriots, FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, who sometimes associate themselves with the movement or are associated with it. But their agendas can range from libertarian to populist and do not always align. As in Missouri, they often do not endorse the same candidate. Nor do they always endorse the candidate who self-identifies as member of the tea party. Is the tea party opposed to the Republican establishment or has it been co-opted by it? That’s also hard to say. The Tea Party Caucus no longer exists in a substantive way in the House. A group that called itself the Senate Tea Party Caucus did hold a meeting at some point last summer. The attendees included [Mitch] McConnell and [John] McCain  — those establishment stalwarts… Perhaps it’s time to discourage the use of “tea party.” Or, at the very least, not to capitalize it…    ...

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Poll: Support for Tea Party sinks to new low — even among Republicans

Just hours after most of their candidates lost to establishment Republicans in Tuesday’s primary elections, Tea Party folks suffered further embarrassment with today’s release of a new poll. HERE‘s the story: The tea party was an important factor in the 2010 elections, but its support may be waning, according to a new CBS News poll. Today, just 15 percent of Americans say they are supporters of the tea party movement – the lowest since CBS News began asking about the tea party in February 2010. The tea party reached its highest level of support (31 percent) in November 2010, soon after the midterm elections. The movement may be losing some of its core constituency — Republicans. 32 percent of self-identified Republicans now consider themselves supporters of the tea party – down 10 points from February and a decline of 23 points from July 2010, the summer before the Republican Party took control of the House of Representatives. The percentage of Republicans who identify as tea party supporters is now among the lowest in CBS News...

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