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Chan Lowe: The Republican establishment takes it on the chin


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“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”

It's no longer the Republican Party of your father or grandfather. One has to laugh ruefully at the hubris of the mainstream GOP (conservative as it already is) in assuming it could co-opt the grassroots Tea Party movement and ingest it into the “big tent.”

This may end up looking more like the gnat wagging the party by its elephantine tail. Too late, the establishment turned on the upstarts and attacked them mercilessly, not realizing that every calumny leveled at them was tantamount to an endorsement in the eyes of angry primary voters.

The phenomenon defies all the standard, cynical political logic. These extremists can’t win in the general election, say the experts. Don’t people have any sense? Do they have a death wish?

The experts are playing by the wrong set of rules. Those who voted for the Tea Party candidates don’t care if they win, and they have no particular affection for the Republican Party in its current form. They would rather go down in defeat now, knowing that having flexed their muscles as an internal force, they will drag the party even further to the right the next time.

Eventually, Americans will be forced to vote for the new breed of conservatives because they have no other choice except (Horrors!) moderate Democrats. Moderate Republicans, practically extinct today, will have ceased to exist.

Then, both houses will be filled with members whose sworn oath it is not to cooperate with anyone who does not agree with them in every way.

You think we have gridlock now? In a few years, our current session of Congress will look like a Girl Scout sing-along by comparison.


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>>>The experts are playing by the wrong set of rules. Those who voted for the Tea Party candidates don’t care if they win, and they have no particular affection for the Republican Party in its current form. They would rather go down in defeat now, knowing that having flexed their muscles as an internal force, they will drag the party even further to the right the next time.>The phenomenon defies all the standard, cynical political logic. These extremists can’t win in the general election, say the experts. Don’t people have any sense? Do they have a death wish?>>Eventually, Americans will be forced to vote for the new breed of conservatives because they have no other choice except (Horrors!) moderate Democrats. Moderate Republicans, practically extinct today, will have ceased to exist.<<<

What MODERATE democrats?
However I like how you say "Americans" as in ALL Americans. This country in general is still conservative and believe it or not, defending those who want to build a mosque on ground zero while attacking those who exercise their freedom (look, I don't agree with the burning of Quran, but it's either or, can't be both) and unions who demand more money for taxpayed workers will not help the "moderate". It's these kinda things who will make people more conservative than the tea party itself.



I've heard it said, and do believe it, that if Ronald Reagan were alive today, he would be considered too liberal to get the Republican or the Tea Party vote...

Do you people even listen to yourselves?


Reagan too liberal for today's GOP?

And JFK would be WAAAAY too conservative for the dem party.


Good point TPM. If the Tea Party movement is about 1 thing it is the rejection of Keynsian Economics. Kennedy & Reagan were Supply Side Economic proponents. Obama even ridiculed Kennedy for saying "A rising tide lifts all boats" - he said "We have to lift the boats up to let the tide come in." Tea Party people are simply saying to the gov't "Stop lifting the boats - stop spending!!!" I really don't know why people who have never left their couches continue to demonize & whine about Tea Party People. So intolerant.


Just as there was anger over the previous administration which paved the way to the Obama victory,there is even more anger now from people who don't have government or union jobs ,or don't receive welfare.These people would vote for a 'couch' rather than an establishment candidate that has betrayed them.


Tha whackos being supported by the Tea Party just allow us to vote for the lesser of THREE evils, at least, this time around. Hopefully, the Tea Party will force the Reps and Dems to field candidates, in the future, who are interested in serving their constituents and the nation, for limited terms, rather than the Party bosses and their special interests. Like MLK, we have a dream, where the Govt. is of, for and by the people. Nieve? Maybe, but it appears the silent majority is awake and on the move. No wonder the 2 main Partys are getting scared!


Has anybody seen the Tea Party candidates birth certificates yet?

hey, just sayin'


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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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