The Tea Party is five years old this election season, which means it’s done teething and spitting up on itself, but still prone to temper tantrums, irrational outbursts and threats to take its toys and storm off if it doesn’t get its way.
As a movement, it is down to a couple of former talk-radio hosts running for office in two states of the old Confederacy, Texas and Mississippi. And in the latter, the Senate candidate, Chris McDaniel, has given a keynote to a group that considers Abraham Lincoln a war criminal. It’s not hard to make the case that the Tea Party has been distilled down to it logical essence.
“They don’t want to go to the moon,” said the comedian Bill Maher. “They want to howl at it.” Still, the Tea Party has also been around long enough to have a record, of sorts. Let’s look at the legacy:
“As a movement, it is down to a couple of former talk-radio hosts running for office in two states of the old Confederacy, Texas and Mississippi.”
It would be a grave mistake to deem the Tea Party dead. It is far from dead. The GOP is what’s dead and the Tea Party is the golem that inhabits it. Gone are all the moderates. Gone, even, are the conservatives of yore. With a few exceptions, all of the GOP’s elected officials are extreme right-wing libertarian neocons. The probable election of McDaniel in Mississippi just completes the victory of the Tea Party over the GOP. The fringe is the new Republican majority and there are fringe candidates running and winning primaries in each of the red states.
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Curated from www.nytimes.com