A Tea Party with Raised Pinkies

A Tea Party with Raised Pinkies
Conventional pundit wisdom has it that the Republican midterm election sweep means the GOP Civil War between Tea Party extremists and the moderate business-oriented faction is over, and the moderates won. Charles Pierce disagrees:

Joni Ernst is not a moderate. David Perdue is not a moderate. Thom Tillis is not a moderate. Cory Gardner — who spiced up his victory by calling himself ‘the tip of the spear’ — is not a moderate. Tom Cotton is not a moderate. And these were the people who flipped the Senate to the Republicans. In the reliably Republican states, Ben Sasse in Nebraska is not a moderate. James Lankford in Oklahoma is not a moderate. He’s a red-haired fanatic who believes that welfare causes school shootings. Several of these people — most notably, Sasse and Ernst — won Republican primaries specifically as Tea Partiers, defeating establishment candidates. The Republicans did not defeat the Tea Party. The Tea Party’s ideas animated what happened on Tuesday night. What the Republicans managed to do was to teach the Tea Party to wear shoes, mind its language, and use the proper knife while amputating the social safety net. They did nothing except send the Tea Party to finishing school.”

— Charles P. Pierce, Esquire Politics Blog [links added]

Related:

“The Reasonable Extremists Among Us,” Jamelle Bouie, Slate

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Image (“2014 Midterm Tea Party, after Sir John Tenniel”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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