The Deeper Consequences of the Tea Party Movement
washingtonmonthly.com — At the risk of paying too much attention to a phoned-in op-ed, I’d note Joe Scarborough’s pandering argument at Politico that the Tea Party Movement has been good for the GOP because (a) it has been associated with electoral success, and (b) it was responsible for preventing the GOP from totally caving in to Barack Obama’s agenda. Argument (a) is at least plausible, though highly vulnerable to a post hoc ergo propter hoc objection. Argument (b) is pretty ridiculous given the decision by the Republican congressional leadership from practically the moment of Obama’s inauguration to fight him on every front. But what Scarborough fails to address at all is a consequence of the Tea Party Movement and its virtual conquest of the GOP that goes a lot deeper than tactics and strategy, or any one or two election cycles: it is in the process of all but abolishing ideological debate within the GOP.