Opinion Brief

Maine's GOP: A 'wack job' Tea Party takeover?

Republican delegates in this moderate state have unexpectedly adopted a party platform full of "fringe" ideas and "conspiracy theories." What does it mean?

At the convention of Maine's traditionally moderate Republican Party, delegates surprised nearly everyone by approving an unorthodox Tea Party–friendly platform instead of the policies endorsed by state GOP leaders. The new platform, described by ex-state GOP attorney Dan Billings as "wack job pablum" and "nutcase stuff," calls for abolishing the Federal Reserve and Department of Education, adopting "Austrian economics," and fighting "efforts to create a one world government." What does this Tea Party takeover mean for Maine's GOP? (Watch Maine's delegates vote for the new platform)

Republicans will pay for this: This alliance of Tea Partiers and "Ron Paulbot" libertarians is "a nightmare" for the Maine GOP, says Rick Moran at The Moderate Voice. At their best, Tea Partiers could emerge as a "vital" voice demanding "fiscal sanity." But when "paranoid loons" succeed in taking over the GOP, as they did in Maine, "failure is the real outcome.""Our Tea Party patriots at work"

This platform reflects the party — but nobody will pay attention: The "extremism" of the Tea Party platform is "unsettling," says Mike Tipping at Maine Politics, but both parties often include fringy planks, and nobody pays any attention. Just don't say this "mix of right-wing fringe policies, libertarian buzzwords, and outright conspiracy theories" doesn't represent Maine's GOP — the "vast majority" of delegates voted for it."Maine Republicans adopt Tea Party platform"

Good policies, bad presentation: Well, "Maine isn't exactly a red state," says New York blogger Lonely Conservative, and the delegates who wrote the platform, "to put it bluntly, aren’t experts in politics." The ideas in the platform should be winners, but the Maine GOP needed to work with the Tea Partiers to craft a "more subtle" and "palatable" means of achieving them."Did the Tea Partiers overstep in Maine?"

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