Atlantic: The GOP Establishment Has Done Far More Damage Than the Tea Party
It's a mistake to blame powerless insurgents, however unhinged, for the dismal record of the Republican Party.
The modern-day Birchers are the Tea Party. By loudly espousing extreme rhetoric, yet holding untenable beliefs, they have run virtually unchallenged by the Republican leadership, aided by irresponsible radio talk-show hosts and right-wing pundits. While the Tea Party grew, respected moderate voices in the party were further pushed toward extinction."
This is mistaken analysis.
It made George W. Bush's nomination a fait accompli in the run-up to the 2000 primaries. Members of the establishment presided over the Bush Administration's ruinous foreign policy. In Congress, it was establishment Republicans who pushed the Iraq War, gave us the K Street Project, and signed off on a fiscal course that combined two costly wars, the budget-busting Medicare Part D, and tax cuts paid for with borrowed money.
The Tea Party arose in part as a response to some of those failures, along with the giveaway of taxpayer money to many of the people most culpable for causing the financial crisis. Among the Tea Party's many flaws is the fact that many of its members are too slavishly loyal in their partisan attachments, which is why they've done so little to effect actual change.