<spam>The Tea Party Gets Its Information from Enablers of Bushism
Fox News and talk radio allied with the GOP establishment during the aughts. Why do populist reformers still trust them?
A faction of movement conservatives regards the Bush-era Republican Party as a reckless embarrassment because of its profligate spending, bungled wars, and embrace of K Street. Many of these people identify as supporters of the Tea Party and see themselves as reformist alternatives to an unprincipled GOP establishment.
Another faction believes that the Tea Party can't be trusted to govern responsibly. A less ideologically rigid populist movement would have sought compromises with President Obama on health care and debt reduction, they argue, rather than refusing to negotiate and losing without any concessions. They see the shutdown and the threat of default as confirmation that the Tea Party picks irrational fights that ensure Americans will never entrust it with power.
Renewal on the right will require conservatives to see that both critiques are correct. The Republican establishment was corrupt and unprincipled during the Bush years. And while a populist movement like the Tea Party is a needed corrective, there really are good reasons to doubt that Senator Ted Cruz and friends are now capable of governing responsibly, especially given their recent behavior.
One observer who understands all this is Ross Douthat, whose analysis of the government shutdown and debt-ceiling fight has been smart, subtle, and insightful. His latest column explains why recent Tea Party behavior is so irrational—among other reasons, there was never any prospect of a useful victory.
"Admittedly, just because the Republican strategy has been irrational doesn’t make it inexplicable," he continued. "The trends that brought us to this point are clear enough: the discrediting of the Republican establishment during the Bush era; the rise of a populist right that often sees opposition as an end unto itself; the willingness of too many media figures, activists and politicians to stoke that wing’s worst impulses; and the current Republican leadership’s desire both to prevent an intraparty civil war and avoid a true national disaster like default."
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If the White House staffers, Washington think tanks, and establishment-media figures who enabled Bush-era excesses have all lost credibility, why not the movement-conservative talkers who carried water for the same flawed governance?
There is no better example than Rush Limbaugh.
The TEA Party blames Bush for selling out to the Democrats and giving them their CRA program that collapsed our economy after two years of oversight by Democrats Dodd and Frank, from whom we heard a constant stream of lies right up to the collapse.
What the TEA Party thinks the Republicans should have done is, just let the Democrats do what they did throughout the Cold War and sabotage the United States during a time of war. After all, the system of lies the Democrats invented about Vietnam had been exposed, and it would have been an obvious connection to make between the Democrats sabotaging the United States during a time of war now and the Democrats sabotaging the United States during the Cold War.
That would have saved our economy and prevented the Marxist communist allies of Al Qaeda from getting into the White House.