Maine’s Tea Party Coup

May 11th, 2010 at 7:42 am | 29 Comments |

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The inmates (the tea partiers) are now officially running the asylum (the Maine GOP). Maine Politics reports that delegates attending the Maine Republican party convention voted “overwhelmingly” to rewrite much of the party platform to reflect their less than mainstream views. The new Maine GOP platform now calls for, among other things, getting rid of the Department of Education, and the Federal Reserve. It also rails against “the UN Treaty of Child Rights” and “Law of Sea Treaty” on the grounds that we must push back against “efforts to create a one world government.” The tea partiers also took the opportunity to call for an investigation of (this is an actual quote) the “collusion between government and industry in the global warming myth.” Also, we’ve adopted Austrian economics… whatever that means.

It’s hard to even know where to begin. On one hand, it is not exactly new news that Tea Party people have some unconventional views. What is news is that Tea Party values are imposing themselves on mainstream Republican party values. Up until now, the primary question for mainstream Republicans is whether the Tea Party would break off from the Republican Party and form their own movement. The events in Maine raise the possibility that the Tea Party is looking to ideologically transform the GOP to reflect their (gulp) “unconventional” ideas.

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29 Comments so far ↓

  • franco 2

    Really Jeb you should get out from under you statist academic cloud and look at the real world, and gulp, accept what is happening to your country.

    Let me ask you Jeb, should we NOT push back against a one-world government, and if not why not? Looking forward to hearing your response.

  • TerryF98

    Franco, your tin foil hat is slipping.

    The black helicopters are overhead, quick hide under the bed!!

  • ottovbvs

    ……These sort of “coups” are music to the ears of the Democrats……how long before they start primarying Collins and kick her out like they have Bennett in Utah……it’s only a matter of time

  • TerryF98

    I say “bring it on” to use a phrase popularized by a certain Cowboy President.

    RW nutters please take over your convention and produce policy that only 20% of the population could support. Get rid of your moderates. Get Snowe and Collins out of radical Maine!

  • chicago_guy

    The Tea Partiers are simply the crazy aunts in the cellar that have been living in the GOP asylum for the last 30 years.

    In an effort to shore up an eroding party, the powers that be decided to let them out of their confinement, but now they’re having to deal with with the consequences of having the nutters loose in the house. The problem is that no one in the Republican Party feels confident enough in their own ability to lead that they’re willing to call the Tea Partiers out on their craziness.

    Too bad, since a common-sense Republican party that doesn’t fall back on meaningless mantras like “Government is the problem” ( no it isn’t – INEFFICIENT government is the problem) would still have the potential to be a force for good in this country. But with the nutters in charge of setting the agenda, all the Republicans can be now is the opposition, standing up only to talk about what they hate about their fellow Americans rather than providing genuine alternatives.

  • forgetn

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.

    or in modern speak: LoL

    “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt!” (A. Lincoln)

  • franco 2

    Boy there are a lot of deniers here. The GOP is eroding? We’ll I’m not a big fan of the GOP of itself, but there are going to be a LOT more members of congress with an “R” after their names after November. Count on it!

  • franco 2

    No, there’s no push for one-world government. No that’s ridiculous. (sarc off) I love how these lefties do everything to promote a one world government, in cahoots with statists who also stand to gain, and then DENY we are moving that direction. For these people America is somehow impervious to foriegn forces, even when it’s obvious to everyone that we are not, and when they are actively trying to bring this about.

    If America isn’t sovereign and exceptional which is what the lefties assert then what is it?

  • CAPryde

    I’m starting to think that the Tea Party may be the single most powerful force for reducing Democratic losses in the fall. The ads write themselves–you just throw out some quotes from the Maine document, put up some pictures of black helicopters, and then put up a picture of the Republican in question, and watch the voters go the other way.

    This is your problem, franco. I’m your typical youngish, college-educated independent who voted for Bush the first time and has, in the past, voted ever so slightly more for Republicans than Democrats. I’m a Texan and a Christian who goes to church every week. I read the Maine platform document online this morning. You guys seem CRAZY to me. Your sarcastic assertions about “one world government,” as if it is self-evident, are not terribly convincing to someone for whom it is NOT self-evident, and the tone just seems nasty–it’s the words of Angry Guy who always wants to talk politics at the party, always starts turning red and getting loud, will not let anything go, and makes these jokes that aren’t really jokes so much as poorly-veiled insults and quasi-racist allegations.

    No one wants to get caught next to Angry Guy. When people seem like they are avoiding you and getting quiet, it’s not because you’re so right that they cannot contest your positions. It’s because they think you are slightly nutty and don’t want to set you off.

    Prediction: You heard it hear first. Angry Guy doesn’t win as many elections as he expects to.

  • TerryF98

    Crist is now at 37% and Rubio at 32% Dems and independents are moving to Crist who has gone up 12 points from mid March.

    How is that teabaggy nuttery thing working out for you Franco of the tinfoil hat.

  • medinnus

    I think this is a marvelous political experiment, and look forward to watching how it develops, secure in the knowledge that its Maine… I mean, how much damage can they do?

  • LFC

    Franco said… Let me ask you Jeb, should we NOT push back against a one-world government, and if not why not?

    Franco also said… No, there’s no push for one-world government. No that’s ridiculous. (sarc off) I love how these lefties do everything to promote a one world government, in cahoots with statists who also stand to gain, and then DENY we are moving that direction. For these people America is somehow impervious to foriegn forces, even when it’s obvious to everyone that we are not, and when they are actively trying to bring this about.

    Wow, I thought he was just a typical “lap up anything Rush and Sean tell me to” wingnut, but he’s actually WAAAAYYYY out in the tall grass.

    TerrF98 said… Franco, your tin foil hat is slipping.

    Yeah, but you can be pretty sure he’s got an assault rifle and several high capacity clips to go with it. It’s always those with the weakest grip on reality that are the biggest danger to our country.

  • Slide

    franco reminds me of the elderly guy in my old neighborhood waving his fist in the air and yelling to no one in particular, “get off my lawn”. Kinda crazy, kinda nasty, kinda out of it.

    Go teabaggers go. Gotta love it.

  • TerryF98

    It’s all about the black man!

    Amid complaints about high taxes and calls for a smaller government, Americans paid their lowest level of taxes last year since Harry Truman’s presidency, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data found.

    Some conservative political movements such as the “Tea Party” have criticized federal spending as being out of control. While spending is up, taxes have fallen to exceptionally low levels.

    Federal, state and local taxes — including income, property, sales and other taxes — consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8.% of income before rising slightly in the first three months of 2010.

  • jg bennet

    Turn out the lights the party’s over they say that all good things must end
    Let’s call it a night the party’s over and tomorrow starts the same old thing again
    What a crazy crazy party never seen so many people
    Laughin’ dancin’ look at you you’re havin’ fun
    But look at me I’m almost cryin’ but that don’t keep your love from dyin’
    Misery cause for me the party’s over

    Turn out the lights…

  • forkboy1965

    I don’t know….. one might be inclined to believe that this marked shift to the right would be met with mass skepticism by moderates in the Republican Party as well as Independents, but it’s funny how folks can get swept up with a crowd even when it’s collectively talking shit.

    I remain hopeful that smarter and cooler heads prevail in the Republican Party (for which I have no love anyway), but fear Republican candidates will perceive the political winds to be blowing strongly right and jump upon the bandwagon. I only hope it proves to be disastrous at the polls and convinces such candidates to renounce the Tea Party movement.

    Oh… and to franco_2: folks like you have been claiming for decades that the New World Order is coming and just around the corner. For decades. Ad nauseum. Don’t you think it’s time to stop beating this proverbial dead horse and move on? Or think of it this way…. if the U.N. couldn’t protect Bosnians what in the hell makes you think it could take over the U.S. of A.?

  • nhthinker

    Ron Paul Revolution is taking hold of the Republican party. No one is willing to debate him on the issues. Less federal government and less international government appeals to a majority of Americans- especially independents that do not have sacred cows.

    Paul’s problem in 2008 was most Republican primary voters wanted to finish Iraq with a win, instead of just cutting and running like Paul and the Democrats wanted to do. The same issue does not exist in 2010.

    Be afraid. Be very, very afraid if you fall into any of the following categories:

    Wall Street Republicans
    Defense Industrialists
    Labor Unionist
    Authoritarian federal government enthusiast on either side of moral issues (looking for the feds to pay for abortions or to define marriage)
    Global governmentalists
    Nanny state enthusiast

  • TerryF98

    Ron Paul has about as much chance of being President as my dead grannie (rest her soul)

    She also had more common sense in her little finger than Ron Paul.

  • andydp

    The Democrats had to learn the hard way the way to get votes is to win over the great middle gound. They lost in 1968 and 1972 because they listened to the fringe granola eating Brinkenstock crowd. I know I’m being simplistic, but when Richard Nixon wins an overwhelming victory even while under the cloud of Watergate, you can assume the Democrats were doing something wrong.

    The GOP lost in 2008 due in large part to voter dissatisfaction with their record. The Democratic party won because it appealed to the great middle gound. The solution for the GOP to win during this election cycle is to appeal to the great middle gound, a la Scott Brown. Instead, in the currrent “Bizarro World” of today’s GOP, they are appealing to the fringe right or, as they like to say, the “base”. Based on all the polls you can name, this is an extremely small number of voters. While some will win many more will suffer defeat.

    Look at the current Florida Senate race. The GOP has effectively been split in two giving the Democratic candidate much more viability that he would normally have.

  • balconesfault

    They lost in 1968 and 1972 because they listened to the fringe granola eating Brinkenstock crowd.

    Did anyone wear Birkenstocks in 1972?

    I know I’m being simplistic, but when Richard Nixon wins an overwhelming victory even while under the cloud of Watergate, you can assume the Democrats were doing something wrong.

    You have to remind yourself that Nixon went significantly out of his way to win over moderates with his opening of a dialogue with Mao. Plus, the man started up the US EPA, and offered up a healthcare plan that was probably more liberal than the bill that just passed.

    There is a reason why many of us who consistently vote D today voted R back in the 70′s. Nixon would be target #1 for today’s Tea Partiers.

    I’m actually looking forward to mid-terms with the maximum number of Tea Party approved candidates on the Republican side. Non-Tea Party Republicans are more likely to temper their language when discussing their desire to undermine the New Deal. Tea Partiers have the certitude that they are right, and if they only scream their truths louder everyone else will understand their brilliance. The screaming should make for an entertaining fall.

  • mpolito

    Jeb: With all due respect, if you are mad about this, you should maybe stop whining and actually do something about it. This is how party platforms are written. You want to change the GOP, and so do they. But they show up at the state convention, and you (or others like you) do not. Who is to blame here?

  • CAPryde

    “Tea Partiers have the certitude that they are right, and if they only scream their truths louder everyone else will understand their brilliance. The screaming should make for an entertaining fall.”

    +1, Balcones, for a piece of analysis both amusing and insightful. I’m going to be quoting that first sentence, which I think exactly captures the TP’s perspective problem.

  • Oldskool

    Chris Mathews is calling out Dittoheads now, asking any Republican politician to come on his show and take a stand, any stand, against the things Rush Limbaugh has said. I expect crickets.

    And it’s the same with the teabaggers, they’re not people who will listen to reason because they’re pissed off and no one is going to take that away from them, even though most of their anger comes from dubious and unreliable sources. The only thing they have left are their resentments and however misguided they may be, they want those resenments to be nursed, not challenged.

  • Slide

    One of the Teabaggers main concerns seems to be taxation right? Well, why aren’t they happy with Obama? He has reduced taxes on the vast, vast, majority of Americans and currently Americans have the lowest tax burden since 1950. You would think that taxes could hardly be such a galvanizing force NOW. Hmmmm….. maybe the Teabaggers aren’t so angry about taxes… maybe it’s because who is in the White House that’s got them all frothing at the mouth. Think race has anything to do with it? Nahhhhh…must be taxes right?

    http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2010/05/11/US-tax-burden-at-lowest-point-in-years/UPI-74091273594893/

    WASHINGTON, May 11 (UPI) — The U.S. tax burden has shrunk to its lowest level in 60 years, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said.

    Including state, federal and local taxes — with sales tax and property tax thrown in — the average tax bill came out to 9.2 percent of personal income in 2009, USA Today reported Tuesday.

    That’s down from an average of 12 percent over the past 50 years. The tax burden has not been this low since 1950, the newspaper said.

    “The idea that taxes are high right now is pretty much nuts,” said Michael Ettlinger, head of economic policy at the Center for American Progress.

    The tax rate has fallen 26 percent since 2007, a sharp drop that reflects progressive tax rates passed during the Clinton and Bush administrations and the 2009 federal stimulus bill that cut taxes by $800 for married couples earning up to $150,000.

  • Maine’s cracked Tea Party platform – Salon | REPUBLICAN.GNOM.ES

    [...] apostate conservatives who are no longer willing to humor the crackpot fringe the way Taranto does, writer Jeb Golinkin concludes the Maine Tea Party platform takeover means “the inmates are now running the asylum.” [...]

  • ktward

    So, I’m guessing Snowe & Collins are getting ready to clean out their GOP desks. Come to think of it, I bet the Dems will like those gals way better than Arlen.

    If this event doesn’t deserve a snarkfest, I don’t know what does:
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/5/11/85123/1668

    Last Saturday Maine’s Republicans got together in Portland to shake their groove thang and…well, god only knows what all they do at their annual convention. (But we can definitely say it was not held at a lesbian bondage strip club—sadly, we don’t have any up here, although my permit application is working its way through City Hall.) The big news of the day was the passing of a new party platform, drafted and enthusiastically adopted as a realignment “back to constitutional conservative values” (Read: “back to the ’50s as portrayed in ’50s TV shows”) by the tea party crowd. To me it reads like something a bunch of six-year olds would dream up in their backyard treehouse during summer vacation. (Wisely, they stopped short of “No Girls Allowed.”)

    It’s worth a click to read the whole crazy platform.

  • Demosthenes

    Wow! I always fondly regarded Maine Republicans for their pragmatism. Never mind. They are joining their crazy brethren in the Confederacy (and neo-Confederates like Arizona). The Maine platform is like reading Conrad’s Heart of Darkness after drinking a bottle of wine . . .

  • ktward

    It’s looking likely that this will not turn out well for the GOP within the Maine electorate at large:
    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2010/0510/Tea-party-backed-platform-sails-through-Maine-GOP-convention

    “If you’re not a moderate, you don’t get elected in Maine,” says political consultant Chris Potholm, a professor of government at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. “Any candidate who gets nominated is going to ignore that platform, or he or she is going to lose.”

    Democrats currently control the governor’s mansion, both houses of the state Legislature, and both US House seats. Barack Obama won 15 of 16 counties in the 2008 election. Democratic control of the Portland City Council is threatened not by Republicans, but by Greens.

    “If I was a Republican, I’d be a little nervous about this. And if I was a Democrat, I’d be cautiously optimistic,” says Mark Brewer, a political scientist at the University of Maine in Orono.