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Saturday, November 27, 2010

 
Tea Party Priorities

by digby

The Tea Party agenda was ostensibly about economic issues, but that was always a dicey proposition. It was necessary for the far right to downplay their essential social conservatism during the election cycle in order to pretend to be something other than they were. But all the people who follow the far right closely knew that their "libertarianism" was a beard for their real concerns --- which are the same as they ever were.

Here's how it's playing out in the states:

Incoming GOP governors and legislative leaders across the nation insist they intend to focus initially on fiscal measures to spur the economy, cut spending and address state budget problems.
[...]

But the pressure to go further, as soon as possible, is only slightly below the surface in states where conservatives' top social goals have been foiled for years by Democratic vetoes and legislative obstacles.

The tension is particularly visible in Kansas, where the victory by Gov.-elect Sam Brownback, a strong opponent of abortion and gay marriage, has created strong expectations among evangelical supporters.

A similar scenario is taking shape in strongly conservative Oklahoma, where a Republican governor will replace a Democrat, and to a lesser extent in Michigan, Wisconsin and several other states.


It all depends on the meaning of the word "conservative" you see. A whole lot of these Tea Party conservatives are defined by social conservatism, law and order, war, xenophobia and more than a little racial resentment. There are gun advocates who care about the second amendment and some Militia types who are concerned about black helicopters and all these strains mesh together into the rightwing stew. But since the commies (other than Obama) went away, the economic side of the equation has been reduced to a vague belief that government is making it impossible for them to be rich because it's giving all their money to the undeserving. It's not well thought out beyond putting the concerns all humans have about their security and prosperity into an amorphous package of "small government."

It's the culture war issues that really motivate them and they are not in a mood to wait any longer for results. They want action and if the standard bearers don't give it to them, they'll find someone who will:


Brownback's economy-first approach in Kansas has put him in the rare position of disappointing conservative allies.

Rep. Owen Donohoe, a Republican from the Kansas City-area suburb of Shawnee, sent colleagues an e-mail saying Brownback's legislative agenda "may not be as conservative as we wish."



I didn't know it was possible to be any more conservative than Sam Brownback, but apparently it is.

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