A new poll says that the Tea Party’s public image has dimmed now that the people they elected have actually been in office and done something.
This is a good time to back up, look at the big picture, and see what you can do if you have corporate money and the conservative media empire — Fox, Limbaugh, the Washington Times, et al — behind you.
At the end of the Bush administration, the Republican brand was dead, and deservedly so. Bush and a Republican Congress had implemented the full conservative agenda: tax cuts for the rich, de-regulation for corporations, and two new wars to keep the Neocons happy. It was an across-the-board disaster. The wars dragged on with no clear goal, the tax cuts never had any effect beyond making the rich richer and the deficit bigger, and a de-regulated Wall Street managed to make trillions of dollars disappear by financial sleight-of-hand.
But rebranding means never having to say you’re sorry, so instead of apologizing for the carnage, conservatives said, “We’re not those old Republicans, we’re the new Tea Party.”
Instead of that Washington-centered lobbyist-driven Republican Party, the Tea Party was a fresh and energetic movement of real downhome Americans who wanted to cut rich people’s taxes, de-regulate corporations, and keep fighting wars. (Oh, and by the way, from Day 1 they were organized the same Republican lobbyists and funded by the same Republican billionaires.)
So if the Tea Party is getting a bad image now too, why not do it again? Any day now you should expect to see a hot new Constitution Party or Freedom Party or something. It will have vast anonymous funding and Fox will anoint it the new “voice of real America”. If it gets power, what will it do? Cut rich people’s taxes, fight wars, and de-regulate corporations. But it will be “new”, and none of the old failures will stick to it.