Senate thwarts both left & right to fund government

The Senate passed the $1.1 trillion spending bill, ensuring that the government will not shut down.  Both tea party conservatives AND populist liberals led by Elizabeth Warren opposed the measure.  So did every potential presidential candidate in the Senate of both parties .

(Question:  The Republicans have the tea party, who attack the GOP establishment for its lack of orthodoxy and ties to crony capitalism, to the point of being willing to shut down the government.  What do we call the equivalent on the left, who attack the Democratic establishment and are willing to shut down the government?  The chai party?  Propose something, and maybe it will catch on. [Read more...]

The tea party of the left

According to Dana Milbank, a tea party of the left is emerging, with liberal purists turning against Democrats in Name Only. [Read more...]

A liberal changes his mind on the Tea Party

The liberal MNSBC commentator Chris Matthews has declared, “”This looking down our noses at tea party people has got to stop.”  He says they have legitimate grievances and are responding to the corruption and dysfunction of the government just like Eastern Europeans did under Communism. [Read more...]

Populist conservatives vs. big business

The left stereotypes conservatives as the tools of big business, but, as I keep saying on this blog, there are many different kinds of conservatives, and a good many of them–especially the populists associated with the Tea Party– oppose powerful corporations for some of the same reasons leftists do.  Thus, the Washington Post reports that big business is mourning the defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and is dismayed at the rise of tea party favorite David Brat, a strong critic of “crony capitalism,” the partnerships between big business and big government.  (See this for Prof. Brat’s ideas about economics and Christianity.)

So is there the possibility of a left/right populist coalition?  The Republican elite and the Democratic elite mostly agree on the cultural issues, though possibly ordinary people in both parties–Catholic Democrats and evangelical Republicans– have more in common on these issues than they realize. [Read more...]

House Majority Leader beaten by Tea Party challenger

Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, lost his Virginia district’s Republican primary.  He was defeated by David Brat, a conservative college professor with hardly any money, who was supported by  Tea Party activists.   For other national primary results, go here. [Read more...]

Friend in the Senate

My friend Ben Sasse whom I’ve blogged about, won the Republican primary race for Senate in Nebraska.  Observers are saying he will be a shoo-in for election.  Pundits are calling this a “Tea Party” victory, but Ben is nothing like the angry-rabble of the stereotype.  He’s a scholar of public policy, the president of Midland University, and a former White House official.  (And, of interest to this blog, he is a Lutheran.)

Molly Ball, writing about Ben’s victory in the Atlantic, comments about the way the media keeps trying to make the elections fit the Procrustean bed of “Tea Party” vs. “Establishment.”  In reality, she points out, the best candidate tends to win against “rank incompetents” no matter who endorses them.  She calls Ben a “fusion” candidate that may be a herald of the future. [Read more...]


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