The tea party — now officially in lowercase as per The Post style manual — was a wild, disruptive force in 2010. Its chief methodologies — the protest and the midterm voting — aligned well with its chief message, which was a widescale, dispersed but fervent “bleargh.” Bleargh to taxes and the Affordable Care Act and establishment Republicans and all Democrats and illegal immigration and the federal debt. They got a lot of more-conservative Republicans elected, and they have their own caucus now. But Marco Rubio, former tea party cozier, now Florida senator, has strayed from the message (bleargh to paths to citizenship for illegal immigrants).
So now, as Dana Milbank reports in his column today, the message has become bleargh to Rubio.
Is it a sign of a lowercase-tp strengthening, or weakening? Commenters, as you might have guessed, are divided.
Wait… so gullible morons who supported the guy because of his anti-intellectual disdain for government immediately turn on him when he has an actual policy position, backed with facts that happens to counter their racist xenophobia? I’m shocked!
It’s appropriate to call the hand of politicians when they divert from what they promised. Democrats should try it sometime.
So Marco Rubio is no longer the great Latino hope of the GOP. That leaves the presidential field to Rand and Cruz. OMG!!! Hello President Hillary.
Just goes to show that the Tea Party stands by their principles and does not “flip flop” to protect their own.
Malibu1149 wonders why the right’s rejection of Rubio isn’t compensated for by a leftward embrace:
I’m still surprised to see no love for Rubio from the left. He moved towards your position on immigration, is getting hammered for it from the extreme right of his party, and you just sit back and watch? Good luck finding another Republican to move left on an issue. If you scream for bi-partisanship, you’ve got to provide some cover to the guy from the other side making the attempt.
And some commenters just don’t think the tea party’s opposition to Rubio’s (and others’) plan is practical, in their interests, or even all that conservative:
1stRuleAboutBush=YouDon’tTalkAboutBush may have a longer handle than an antique 18th-century bed-warming coal pan, but he or she also makes an interesting point: Ronald Reagan, the conservative icon, offered a form of amnesty.
WWRD: What Would Reagan Do? Oh, sorry – what DID he do?
The reason undocumented immigrants come here is to work. The reason they can find work is that a lot of employers are willing to hire them. The reason they are is because they know the government won’t punish them for doing it. It’s not Democrats who won’t enforce the law, it’s GOPers. Why? Because they don’t want to “burden employers with govt. red tape”. The status quo is a win-win for the GOP. Undocumented workers anger the bigots who make up the GOP base, which helps motivate them to vote and support GOP candidates who pander to that bigotry. Meanwhile, allowing employers to get away with illegally hiring undocumented workers keeps the cost of doing business down, which is more important to the GOP than protecting the rights of legitimate workers.
So, if you want to stem the tide of undocumented workers, vote Democratic. The GOP likes things the way they are. That’s why there will be no immigration reform this time around.
And Pthomas2mm has a lengthy post about what would have to change for him or her to feel good about voting Republican again:
I am conservative for the most part (which I guess means that conservatives would say I am not). I disagree with just about everything the left thinks is a good idea. I have little patience for moral superiority and snarky labels like “goobers” and “Repuglican” and shooting the messenger when you can’t argue the facts.
But frankly, enough is enough. It truly is sad that the Tea Party has been hijacked by the extreme right. The Tea Party was originally upset about ACA and the stimulus and the bailout. They have now devolved into an angry mob that politicians whip up into a frenzy to satisfy their messianic complex. Living in Nevada I have seen the Sharon Angle debacle keep Harry Reid in power. It is time for the real politicians (the RINOs as they are called) to stand up and explain the facts of political life to this crew. A few more committee assignments should go away. Let the Tea Party members disappear on sub-committees picking the next postage stamp for a while. A few safe GOP Congressman should be encouraged to vote with Dems on issues the majority of the House agrees with. Take away their “power” systematically, dump as much money as necessary to dwarf their “primary” tactics and suck the money away from the lunatic fringe’s campaigns. They should be held up to ridicule by their own leadership. Having their hands held and their rumps kissed certainly hasn’t worked.
Which is met with some — you guessed it — bleargh.
Go join the Democrats, you gutless whiner.