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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Tea for Who?

The Party may be coming to an end, if you take a look at two polls suggesting the Mad Hatters have finally arrived on the political scene.

On the left hand, there's the Boston Herald-University of Massachusetts-Lowell poll showing Elizabeth Warren opening up a seven-point lead on Scott Brown in the race for "the people's seat" Brown snatched last year.

The Tea Party started to sour on Brown last year despite his work for Wall Street and bankers. And it's still quite early in the 2012 Massachusetts tussle, with millions in Karl Rove-financed attack ads yet to be launched at Warren, who has yet to truly emerge from her protective cocoon.

But it's the surging support by the Tea Party for Newt Gingrich, the ultimate Washington insider, that makes you realize the movement may be losing its coherence -- and (in)sanity.

Gingrich is obviously the last man (and woman) standing in the Anybody but Mitt sweepstakes that passes for a GOP presidential preference primary. The fact that Gingrich's flip-flops are as easy to catalog as Our Man Myth's doesn't appear to be relevant to voters who claim to be not only wary of Romney's flexibility but also skeptical if not downright hostile to anyone who has held elective office.

Speaker of the House of Representatives is chopped liver? Pollsters try to explain the Gingrich boom:
“Obviously, he’s really kind of taken over among that group,’’ said Jeff Jones, the Gallup Poll’s managing editor. “They’ve been casting about, looking for someone who is a better fit for them than Romney is. It looks like everyone’s had their chance and basically squandered it, so that leaves Gingrich.’’
Newt's rise comes at the same time the GOP establishment is trying to reassert control over the party, the Tea Party has lost faith in the GOP and the movement itself is faltering in the minds of the broad cross-section of American voters.

The result is the political schizophrenia we are seeing in Iowa -- and the first glimpse that sanity may be returning to the state that hosted the first, real Tea Party. And while it may be too early for Warren, it's almost showtime in Iowa.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the Tea Party movement was born it included a number of ideas under it's tent. Liberals wanted to brand the movement racist (I bet some people are), heartless, etc. One of the strong sentiments was anti-incumbent. If any politician were to pledge he would leave office after his term was over I think you would be surprised by the amount of support. I'd even vote for a Dem if he promised to introduce term limit legislation.

December 09, 2011 5:09 AM  

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