I read a headline the other day that blared something like:
Senate Likely to Turn More Conservative
But it was about the odds that some Tea Party-backed candidates were likely to replace some older, incumbent Republicans. And, here's a news flash, kids:
Tea Party ideology, if there can be said to be a single one, isn't conservative.
Not in the historical, generally understood meaning of the word, anyway.
Whether the ideology, philosophy, goals and game plan of the Tea Party are smart or dangerous to our country is a conversation I'm itching to have, but first we need to clarify what we're talking about.
The Tea Party is radical.
Kind of the opposite of conservative.
The Tea Party wants enormous change and it wants it now. Think of the word "conservative" for a moment. It generally means that someone wants to change everything, everything and he wants it to happen now, this afternoon, man, and if things get rowdy and a little crazy while we're overhauling the entire structure, well, hell, that's what happens, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet, boys.
That's what you think of when you think "conservative", right?
The Tea Party is radical bordering on revolutionary, which is why I admire them. Not what they want to do, not how they generally behave, o god in heaven no, but their revolutionary vision is something you don't see much these days in this country. And they're matching that vision with organization in a lot of places and that's even more rare. Occupy Your Mom's House could learn a few things from these guys.
The New Conservatives are really Clintonian Democrats, President Obama and Secretary Clinton being the leading figures of the cause. They're mildly progressive on the social issues, which defined the chasm between the Left and the Right over the past forty years or so, but when it comes to economic policy, foreign affairs, energy policy, education, everything that actually falls under the job of government, they want to keep things pretty much the same and maybe gradually make small changes, if those changes are deemed prudent and acceptable to most people. Very conservative way of doing business.
I don't know what you'd call the old Republicans getting overrun by the Tea Party crew.
Doomed, I guess. Soon to be extinct. The honest ones, anyway. Watching the rest of them run to that new money is a sad thing, like watching an old fat man trying to dance with the kids at a wedding. It's like,
"Dude. Just sit down and talk to your wife. You can't dance to that song."