Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Could the Tea Party Be A Blessing for Democrats? The Cantor Omen


Photo: Steve Helber AP

The media has been in a frenzy over House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor's loss to a Tea Party rival, David Brat.  And, the media has been pushing the notion that the Tea Party is dead.

Now, with the stunning defeat of Cantor in the House, by a Tea Party candidate, now has everyone rethinking the Tea Party's strength in upcoming elections.

New victories may re-energize the far-right conservative base enough to debunk more moderate conservative incumbents from office.  A strong Tea Party with ultra conservative views is crushing the more moderate Republicans who are "caught in the middle" who need to capture more independent and moderate voters but who are also trying to appeal to the far right's political tastes.

What this amounts to is a bit of "civil war" inside the Republican ranks.  While the Tea Party is determined in pulling the party as far right as possible, more mainstream voters are demanding more moderate-to-liberal policy stances from elected officials who are seeking re-election.  The divide is so big that both sides have the politicians virtually talking two different stances out of both sides of their mouths - pandering to both ultra conservatives on the one hand, and more moderate voters on the other.

For Democrats, a divided and crowded field of political contestants may make wins on the Democratic side much easier - that is, if the Democratic Party can stay unified.  If the Republicans can't find a way to "moderate" more of their political policies and attract more voters of different walks of life and socioeconomic backgrounds, the party may find itself unable to win the Presidency and to be forever confined to a political party with regional dominance.

Contributor: Michael Hathman

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