Would tea party accept a Bill Clinton-brokered deal with Obama?
Chastened by Obama’s win, Republicans are taking a hard look at the impact of the tea party wing on the party brand. The real story may be whether that makes the GOP more amenable to a deal.
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Indeed, moderate Republicans and right-leaning independents have argued that the tea party has pulled the GOP too far to the right while indulging out-of-the-mainstream scuttlebutt around Obama’s citizenship, racialized commentary, off-putting declarations about rape and women’s bodies, and xenophobic immigration talk.Skip to next paragraph
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“President Obama was forced in the debates to call himself the president of reining in big government. That was unthinkable four years ago,” Mr. Meckler said. “The entire nature of the debate in the United States has changed because of the tea party movement.”
National Review Online columnist Michael Tanner suggests the reelection of vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan back to the House (even as Wisconsin overall leaned to Obama) suggests that the core tea party message – smaller, less expensive central government – still resonates.
According to exit polls Tuesday, some 51 percent of voters say government already does too much, versus 44 percent who believe the government should do more.
“It’s important that Democratic efforts to turn the Ryan budget and Medicare into a bludgeon failed,” writes Mr. Tanner. “Democratic gains in the House were negligible; nearly all Republicans who voted for the Ryan budget were reelected,” and Romney fought Obama to a draw on Medicare issues in Florida.
The GOP’s civil war between moderates and small government tea party insurgents may come into focus quickly, and burn brightly, suggests Ms. Nacos. Yet Obama will hardly be able to stand idly by, enjoying the show, she adds.
“We will see very quickly with a lot of important issues in Congress whether there is less or more influence of the tea party, but this also depends what the Obama administration and Democrats do,” she says.
“The president really has to use his political capital the right way,” she adds, “and he now has an opportunity to be a better communicator, to explain to the public what is at stake and why things are not being done.”