Sunday, January 15, 2012

- Liberal Mythology In Real Time



It isn’t every day you get to see liberal mythology being written in real time. Actually... maybe it is. But it's usually it’s an ex-post thing. I guess the Tea Party looks too threatening to the left to leave the ‘story’ until after the fact. I get the impression that liberal outlets like the New York Times have been waiting since the 2010 election to write the legend of the disappearing Tea Party, and to do it in a format that makes it seem that the entire movement was a momentary reaction that will be ancient history by the 2012 election. Lord knows they really need it to be.

But what liberals don’t get about the Tea Party is that the people involved are not political people. They don't dedicate their lives to community organizing or public protest. They devote their lives to running their businesses, taking their kids to soccer practice, and coaching little league teams. The left thinks that if there are no demonstrations, there’s no movement. With the Tea Party, nothing could be further from the truth.

The presidential election was always going to show a bit of mean reversion as the opinions of millions of people are aggregated into a single candidate. And with such a weak field in the running it was unlikely to produce a conservative messiah. All the Tea Party favorites, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christy, have all decided to give a presidential run a pass this year. But none of that means the movement’s influence won’t be paramount in the election.

There is a broad streak of practicality in the Tea Party, that venue’s like the Times never give them credit for. Scott Brown owes his election to the tea party movement, and he’s certainly no Barry Goldwater. But the tea party rightly figured that in that election, for that state, he was the best thing available. The same will be true of the Tea Party’s choice in the presidential election.

What’s more, if it is Mitt Romney who gets the Republican nod, it will be a more conservative leaning Mitt Romney who moves into the Whitehouse thanks to the Tea Party. He’ll know that his every step will be watched by an electorate that’s just waiting for an excuse to give him a primary challenger for his re-election bid. He’ll know that there is a grassroots movement that will require some tribute from him in the form of meaningfully smaller government. So even if his every move is dictated only by political expediency, all his flops to the right will be slightly bigger and more meaningful than his flips to the left.

The modern left lives in a fantasy world, and they spend much of their time trying to convince the rest of us that it’s reality. But the thing that is most frustrating for them about the Tea Party is that the movement represents a group of people who don’t need to be told what the truth is.

They don’t take their marching orders from Rush Limbaugh or some trilateral commission run by the Koch Brothers, the Queen and Colonel Sanders. Each person in the tea party has looked at reality and has independently come to the same conclusions about what path would be best to take. To liberals, who believe that even reality is subjective, that kind of verifiable objectivity seems like to big a coincidence, so they imagine it being secretly ruled from above. But it's just more liberal imagination.

The Tea Party doesn’t need a big rally to know who to vote for. They don’t need public displays of political might to have a focused message. In truth, the movement doesn’t even need a movement at all. We all know what we have to do and who we need to put pressure on. The Republican candidates can take their cues from the Times editorial pages and scoff at the tea party if they really want to. But they’ll only be able to do that once.

They need to remember that while the Democrat Senate majority leader may be able to eak out an election against a Tea party favorite, but no Republican can. And if they try, they’ll be doing it at their peril.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bingo. I am a Tea Partier, and not Mitt's biggest fan, but he is the best chance to win against Obama, and that - as a practical matter - leads me to support his nomination.

What the NYT article misses is that Repubs are poised to take over the Senate and House, and many Tea Party groups are working hard and focused on those local races elections. So an end result of controlling Congress and moving it further to the right works hand in glove with a new Republican president, even if he tends to be more of a moderate.