The GOP has what some are calling a "Tea Party problem." While the Tea Party's ability to deliver conservative support can come in handy, Tea Partiers allegedly made racist remarks during Sunday's health-care protests — the sort of "bigotry" the GOP hoped it had left behind, and has publicly condemned. Is it time for Republicans to sever ties with the Tea Party — before it's too late? (Watch Keith Olbermann's comments on the Tea Party's "racism")
The GOP must distance itself now: "Tea partiers drive news," says Katie Connolly in Newsweek, "and have a proven ability to shift the terms of the debate to GOP-favored territory (see: death panels)." But if Republicans keep "encouraging the anger" of the (often "sadly misinformed") Tea Partiers, they'll pay a price when potentially divisive issues such as immigration reform come to a vote.
"Tea Party protests: Loud, mad and dangerous (for Republicans)"
Republicans need the Tea Party: "Republican strategy" on health care was to sit back and let the Tea Party "scare the bejesus out of lawmakers," says Bill Golden on Republicans United. Well, it didn't work. And now the Tea Party considers the GOP "largely impotent." If Republicans hope to win big in November, they'll have to realize that some of the "cooler heads" in the Tea Party "have the basis for a winning plan" and work with them.
"Monday morning quarterbacking"
The relationship is only benefiting Dems: It's worked to the Republicans' advantage that the media portrays the Tea Party as a "monolithic grassroots uprising," says William K. Wolfrum in Dagblog, when it's actually a "relatively small bunch of political extremists." And when swing voters increasingly see the "ugliness and violence" for themselves on the news, they'll be "turned off as hell." Advantage: Democrats.
"Tea Party, Birthers and anti-government types an asset for the Democratic Party"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- California's epic drought
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- How to be the star of a cocktail party where you don't know anyone
Subscribe to the Week