Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Grand (Same) Old Party

Hi Everyone,

CNN's website has a story today about the "Reborn GOP." This is in keeping with the usual media story that the Tea Party has somehow revolutionized the Republican Party. But let us look at the leadership of the GOP pre and post Tea Party.

In 2008 the GOP was lead by:
John Boehner (House Minority Leader)
Eric Cantor (Minority House Whip)
Mitch McConnell (Senate Minority Leader)
Jon Kyl (Senate Republican Whip)

In 2011 the GOP is lead by:
John Boehner (Speaker of the House)
Eric Cantor (House Majority Whip)
Mitch McConnell (Senate Minority Leader)
Jon Kyl (Senate Republican Whip)

Do you notice any differences? I sure don't. The only difference is that the titles of House leaders changed because the Republicans won the majority in that chamber. But they have the same leadership now that they had when the got creamed in 2008. So the Tea Party has not changed who is in charge. It may have changed the policies that these leaders advocate.

So what of those policies? The Republicans insisted on a tax cut for the rich that put enormous pressure on the deficit. In that deal they compromised on a range of issues about which the Tea Party might have been expected to be especially concerned and unwilling to give ground: DADT, FDA authority, START. Representative King (R-IA) will be Chair of a subcommittee of the Judicial Committee in the House and wants to hold hearings about ACORN (an old wining complaint of the far right from 2008). It seems to me that this leadership is both the same in identity and policy perspective. Their only priorities are tax cuts for the wealthy and political vendetta.

This suggests to me that we should not expect a great deal of influence by the Tea Party on the actual practice of governance by the newly empowered Republicans in the House.


USwest said...

The Tea Party is the "splinter group" that everyone expects will go away. Newbies to Congress are always the same: they think they are going to "revolutionize" the party or the congress. When are they ever going to learn the biz? It's like Charlie Brown and the football.

That said, Republican Freshmen who won with Tea Party support are getting assignments on the Appropriations, Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce and Financial Services committees this session. Whether that will give way to any serious charge remains to be seen.

USWest said...

One more thought, do you remember when John Boehner's name used to be pronounced "Boner"? When did that change, exactly?

Reminds me of the BBC sitcom "Keeping Up Appearances" where the main character's name is Mrs. Bucket and she insists the pronunciation is "Bouquet".

Raised By Republicans said...

Speaker Bucket! ;-)

The Law Talking Guy said...

The Tea Party is just a far right group of ignoramuses which will fade to electoral insignificance shortly. The GOP knows this, which is why they have given it no particular place at the table.

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