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Schizophrenia in the Two Party System?

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Much is being made in the mainstream media about a perceived schism in the Republican party due to the advancement of the TEA Party movement. With the primary victory of Christine O’Donnell, many in the so-called establishment fear that the TEA Party is causing more harm than good by advancing a candidate who is principled, though considered to be unelectable in a moderately blue state. So is this causing the GOP a schizophrenic breakdown, or are the voices inside their collective head nothing more than Jiminy Cricket? Also, is the GOP the only party plagued by internal divisions? Are the Democrats immune to internal strife or even mutiny?

Last year, I took the opportunity to attend my first local tea party. There were mostly good, old-fashioned people who were concerned about their country. But in a crowd of any size, you’re seldom short of a minority of dubious types (i.e. the overweight gentleman in a Guy Fawkes costume). Generally, they have the same principles as most dinner-table Republicans have always had: pro-life, pro-gun, pro-family, anti-tax, anti-big government, etc. These values aren’t unusual, they’re not outside the mainstream, they’re not extremist. In fact, you can find these same ideas in the Republican party platform. The TEA party is simply serving as the conscience of the GOP, a reminder to politicians of the principles they were sent to Washington to protect. And they are achieving results.

For the GOP, the TEA party is a correction of the course in the conservative movement. It’s not a hijacking of right wing extremist loons, at least not yet. Indeed, I suppose there’s always the possibility of that happening. But in some cases, I’m not exactly sure I would pass one of them up for a seasoned politician who votes in such a way that would nauseate me consistently.

Now on to our friends in the Democratic party. Considering the inevitable political doom they face in November, shouldn’t they be the ones concerned about division within their own party? After all, a lack of unity would only exacerbate their troubled status quo. If the media is ready to report on the perceived division in the GOP, what about the Democrats who are running away from their party leaders like Obama and Pelosi?

Right now, Democrats are spending more on criticizing ObamaCare than they are propping it up. The bipartisan opposition to the health care law continues, even after it has passed. But health care reform isn’t the only area where Democrats are going against the party grain. A significant portion of House Democrats are refusing to vote for the Pelosi tax reform. And in red states, some Democrats are avoiding Obama’s visits to their home state.

For those concerned about the TEA party causing a third party movement which will negatively affect the GOP, I would advise you to consider the possibility of a fourth party uprising, within the Democratic party. Moderate Democrats are finding fewer places to go if their party is tacking too far to the left of them.

Personally, I believe that the divisions in both parties are a matter of their respective consciences catching up with them. If this leads to an unavoidable psychological disorder, they should either divide themselves formally or seek professional help. But I think it’s possible that Jiminy Cricket or the angel on their shoulders are finally getting the attention they deserve.

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About Braden

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Braden,

    The Tea Party, is in fact, a group of anarchists who would destroy all that this country has accomplished for everyone. The blind leading the blind, can’t see that THEY are everyone.

    But hey, they are securing a second term…

    JD

  • pablo

    Gee Jeannie I sure would like to hear what YOUR subjective definition is of anarchy. So I am politely asking for one.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Well, PABLO, I will politely decline giving YOU one.

    :Q snark!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    All one would have to do(if half a mind) would be to look at all of the American social programs that benefit us all directly and indirectly that are being systematically demonized to the point where, T people, would eliminate them altogether unmindful of who they would hurt.

    IMO, the Tea Party is living in their own ethnocentric fog…

    JD

  • pablo

    Not surprising Jeannnie, not surprising at all. I only asked because to equate the Tea Party as a group of anarchists shows just how shallow your political acumen really is dear. Thanks for showing your stuff though dear. :)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    So, yes Pablo, the Teas are by the very fact that they wish to tear-down and destroy, rather than build, ANARCHISTS, in my opinion.

    :D Does that clear it up for you?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    You haven’t read #6 yet. :D and stop calling me dear, I don’t want your girlfriend to get jealous.

  • Mark

    Although jeannie’s view of anarchists displays an ignorance of the principles of the movement and reflects the impact of ruling class ideology on her thoughts, I don’t think that the use of anarchist to describe the tea party movement is that far fetched. It is a group of voluntary associations cooperating in the achievement of a goal.

  • Clavos

    Never thought I’d see the day I’d agree with Pablo, but he’s right, Jeannie, the TEA party folks are anything but anarchists — your opinion notwithstanding.

  • Clavos

    That’s a hell of a stretch, Mark…

  • Baronius

    Mark – The Tea Party movement is an anarchy. They are not anarchists.

  • Jordan Richardson

    It is a group of voluntary associations cooperating in the achievement of a goal.

    Well that narrows it down…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    anarchists… What else would you call the deconstruction of our institutions(at least the ones not associated with war)?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Your on your own…any structure at all is looked on as, *The Man* oh, except for church and Fox News, they will survive, although I’m not sure in what order.

  • Mark

    Baronius, your distinction is well taken, however, having attended Parties in my home town and in Albuquerque, I can attest to the fact that there are indeed potential bomb throwers in the group.

    Jordan and Clavos, I was looking for the big-tent definition.

  • pablo

    13 jeanna you said

    “anarchists… What else would you call the deconstruction of our institutions(at least the ones not associated with war)?”

    I would call that the deconstruction of our instituions, although I do not agree with that assessment of them either.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Definition of the Tea Party:

    These people are being led by the nose toward one goal, that they themselves can’t see, the destruction of our government. This most certainly is an anarchistic party of fools.

    Conclusion: The Tea Party itself is anarchy, and anyone pledging allegiance to it is an Anti-American-Anarchist.

    JD

  • Baronius

    I went to a couple of tea party sites to get an actual definition. The National Tea Party Coalition and the Tea Party Patriots had virtually the same slogan: limited government, fiscal responsibility, free markets.

    You can’t be an anarchist and support limited government.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Here is just one of the tea Party favorites:
    “I dabbled into witchcraft. I never joined a coven,” she said. ” … I hung around people who were doing these things. I’m not making this stuff up. I know what they told me they do,” she said.
    “… One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn’t know it. I mean, there’s little blood there and stuff like that,” she said. “We went to a movie and then had a little midnight picnic on a satanic altar.”- O’Donnell

    I, don’t care what this nut believes, however, the American public will know all of the facts about who they are holding up to us as the moral police (who are going to clean-up this secular country).

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Baronius,

    Did you think that they would call themselves by my-definition of them?

    :D

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    The Tea Party is most-certainly anti-American. What would you call this lust for the dismantlement of our country? I call it anarchy.

    JD

  • Clavos

    What would you call this lust for the dismantlement of our country?

    Obviously you’ve never read any TEA party literature…

    “Dismantling” the country is not their goal.

    Dismantling the liberal infrastructure and agenda is.

  • http://www.fourthestatepost.com/ Dean Stephens

    @#18 “You cant be anarchist and support limited Government”

    Hold on I’m confused. The definition of Anarchy is an absence of government. Anarchist’s are individuals who desire a return to the Hobbesian state of nature. So Teabaggers wanting to limit the power of the federal government and eliminate “entitlement programs”, doesn’t that constitute aspirations toward anarchy. Jeannie comments may be a bit of a hyperbole but she is right. Teabaggers could be viewed as being ever so slightly anarchist.

  • http://www.fourthestatepost.com/ Dean Stephens

    And another thing. Is everyone in the political section of this site, a bunch of conservatives? I should start writing more political articles to balance out the crazy. The last BC needs is to become a part of the right wing media.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Please do, Dean, your voice is most welcome. Yes,this site is chock-full of GOPs/Conservatives/Libertarians/Democrats, and a few Liberals.

    :D Thanks for your comments in regards to my definition.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    The last BC needs is to become a part of the right wing media.

    quoted for truth…

    :D Have a wonderful, Sunday!

  • Baronius

    Dean, I’d say the site is more populated by the left than the right. But by all means, we can always use more good articles.

  • http://bradenpace.wordpress.com Braden

    Jeannie, with all due respect, the level of ignorance behind the conclusion that the TEA party movement consists of anarchists is staggering. Either you don’t understand the proper definition of the term “anarchy” or you don’t understand the TEA party movement. I’m honestly not sure which at this point.

    The TEA party movement is no more anarchist than say… James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and John Hancock.

    Are you familiar with the concept of the social contract? Or perhaps the Declaration of Independence where it says “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

    Indeed, the TEA party movement is much less radical than that. I have yet to encounter a single anarchist in the midst of a TEA party rally. I’ve been to a few, I know people in the movement. Not a single one is an anarchist.

    So Jeannie, I really do enjoy the discussion you bring to my posts. But seriously, don’t discredit yourself by labeling the TEA party movement as anarchist. You’re smarter than that.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    That would be holding a constitutional convention that you are actually referring to, Braden, a proposal that is always scoffed at here when ,Joel Hirschhorn( a brilliant writer suggests.)what is he nuts? we ALL have a voice?

    Yes, ALL, being the optimum word. Not just the voices belonging to a group of disgruntled(among other things) taxpayers…

    So, read MY definition with a grain of salt, Braden, it still stands.

    JD :D

  • Clavos

    So, read MY definition with a grain of salt, Braden, it still stands.

    But as Braden, Baronius and I have pointed out: erroneously.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Not everyone I speak to sees things the same as You, Baronius, and Braden.

    Why soo anxious to silence my voice? Isn’t this what we ALL want, free speech?

  • http://bradenpace.wordpress.com Braden

    Of course, no one is trying to suppress your free speech, Jeannie. But when YOUR definition of anarchy conflicts blatantly with the REAL definition of anarchy, I deem it necessary to employ my free speech to point out that yours is well… unfounded and quite frankly, the least bit ridiculous.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Braden-Your definition of what all Americans want, based on TP association, defers greatly from reality…

    Work on your own definition, and please leave mine alone.

    The Tea Party movement backed by corporations and special interests groups is basically a bunch of anarchists.

    :D I’ll call it as I see it.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Is this objection to my definition of what an anarchist is coming from the same people who call Obama and anyone who isn’t Tea party, socialists?

    pot kettle black.

  • Baronius

    Jeannie, you mean like Merriam-Webster’s? Partisan hacks, all of them.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Baronius-What did you think of that Forbes link I gave to you yesterday?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I know I comment a lot, but I have so much to say and so little time. Please forgive me, BC…

    JD

  • http://bradenpace.wordpress.com Braden

    Dictionary definition of anarchist:
    a person who seeks to overturn by violence all constituted forms and institutions of society and government, with no purpose of establishing any other system of order in the place of that destroyed.

    This does not describe the TEA party nor anyone involved in it. Have you ever been to a tea party rally? Do you know anyone involved in it? I don’t know who feeds you this mindless nonsense about the TEA party, but I assure you that it’s completely untrue and unfounded.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    It most certainly does, Braden, by the very fact that not one of you have given the slightest hint as to what you would do, if you ever became a political party and not just a movement from the top.

    JD

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    All that seeks to destroy is anarchistic in nature.

  • Mark

    Braden #38, don’t trap and limit yourself in ideology. There are other anarchist traditions and experiments to look at that don’t fit your dictionary definition. Check out what these guys have to say, for example.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    recruitment-time…

  • Mark

    I’m recruiting Braden to inform himself; having read some of his work, I hardly expect him to agree with Graeber and Grubacic.

  • http://bradenpace.wordpress.com Braden

    Actually, if you look on most TEA party websites, they tell you exactly what they will do: cut taxes, scale back entitlements, cut spending, and reduce the size of government. The TEA party movement is not from the top, it’s from the bottom. If it was from the top, why would it supposedly be giving the establishment GOP such a headache?

  • Mark

    I attended ‘events’ in the early spring before the centralization of the message, prefab signs, slick and web sites, etc. There was more of an anarchist feel back then, I guess. The off-message extreme types hadn’t been sifted out yet.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    It’s corporate inspired and funded, Braden, open your eyes.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “they tell you exactly what they will do: cut taxes, scale back entitlements, cut spending, and reduce the size of government.”

    Do they tell you how? That’s the real trick. If not, then it’s just empty sloganeering

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Braden,

    This article is from the Christian Science Monitor. This is a reputable site, yes?

    JD

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Good point, EL.
    cut taxes, scale back entitlements, cut spending, and reduce the size of government. but, I hear they want to eliminate programs that people have worked all of their lives paying into. Also, if elderly people, men, women, and children don’t have, food, heat, or a family to fall back on, then who cares? Certainly not this movement.

  • Baronius

    - Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does.

    – Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures.

    – Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike.

    – Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words-the length of the original Constitution.

    – Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in a complete audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities, or ripe for wholesale reform or elimination due to our efforts to restore limited government consistent with the US Constitution’s meaning.

    – Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth.

    – Defund, repeal and replace the recently passed government-run health care with a system that actually makes health care and insurance more affordable by enabling a competitive, open, and transparent free-market health care and health insurance system that isn’t restricted by state boundaries.

    – Authorize the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation, lowering prices and creating competition and jobs.

    – Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark.

    – Permanently repeal all tax hikes, including those to the income, capital gains, and death taxes, currently scheduled to begin in 2011.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Baronius,

    Is there a point? Who are you quoting?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    BINGO!

    Defund, repeal and replace the recently passed government-run health care

    The rush to reverse is centered around this bill. Thanks to Bill Clinton, who reminded us on, Meet The Press, why; so that they can once-again take more for insurer costs out of every dollar spent on actual health-care.

  • Baronius

    Those are the ten points in the tea party’s Contract From America.

  • John Wilson

    Baronius, you should do some reading before proposing these things. For example, the actual constitution. For another, the histories of various similar schemes that have been attempted.

    Here’s what’s wrong with the first three suggestions:

    “- Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does.”

    This is a no-brainer. If nothing else, the ninth amendment will serve, but there’s plenty of constitutional cover for almost everything.

    “- Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures.”

    Huh? How you gonna know the outcomes of regulations without trying them? All the theorizing in the world won’t do. Even with empiricism it’s hard to know since everything changes in the interim.

    “- Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike.”

    This is a prescription for suicide since it allows a minority to frustrate the worthy as well as the unworthy. It is this that has lead California to the edge of bankruptcy.

    Maybe, if I have a few minutes to waste, I’ll look at your other naive proposals.

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    Baronius,

    They are obviously naive proposals; gosh darn, they don’t even have union support! How could they possibly be worth considering.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Baronius

    John, I should have posted sooner that those aren’t my proposals, but the proposals of the tea party. Sorry. Also, the second one makes more sense with its original title, which is something like “Reject Cap and Trade Legislation”.

    For the record, I wouldn’t support all of them. I just thought that El B and some others would like to know what the tea party has in mind.

  • Clavos

    Do they tell you how? That’s the real trick. If not, then it’s just empty sloganeering…

    I disagree. They are citizens petitioning their government for redress of their grievances. It’s not incumbent upon them to present solutions to problems, it’s the responsibility of the government to listen to them and then resolve the problems.

    That’s what we pay taxes for.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Those are not the proposals of “the tea party,” but the proposals of one state tea party org. They may have been adopted by a few others, too. [And giggled at with accompanying eye-rolls by smart liberals everywhere, and probably a few sensible Republicans too.]

  • Clavos

    There’s no such thing as a “sensible Republican.” If they were sensible, they wouldn’t be Republican…

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “I disagree. They are citizens petitioning their government for redress of their grievances.”

    Go back a little farther and read Braden’s comment: “if you look on most TEA party websites, they tell you exactly what they will do”.

    Not what they want to have happen but what they will do so it is incumbent upon them to present solutions

  • zingzing

    braden: “Dictionary definition of anarchist: a person who seeks to overturn by violence all constituted forms and institutions of society and government.”

    that’s an odd (or anachronistic) definition… violence certainly isn’t inherent in anarchy. it was once defined as such, but only by those who wished to politically disparage the idea.

    “The TEA party movement is not from the top, it’s from the bottom.”

    oh, psh. it may (may) have started that way, but it’s been co-opted by a host of corporate and “top”-end entities.

  • Clavos

    I’m confused (most of the time — I’m old) isn’t saying what they will do “presenting solutions?” At least what they think are solutions?

    In any case, why do you expect solutions out of TPs? Aren’t they apostate Republicans? Or at least conservatives? Maybe even a libertarian or two?

    Buncha whiners…