Obama Threatened by Tea Party; White House Frets about Coming Republican Majority

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), July 13, 2010 | Go to article overview

Obama Threatened by Tea Party; White House Frets about Coming Republican Majority


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Reality won a rare victory against the White House on Sunday when President Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, admitted

that the November 2010 congressional elections will be a tough time for Democrats. There's no doubt there are enough seats in play that could cause Republicans to gain control, he said. There's no doubt about that.

The sea change in the public mood has come about because the ruling party's policies are deeply unpopular. Democrats and willing media outlets are promoting the idea that an anti-incumbent mood has seized the public, but this is not true. Incumbents aren't the problem; Americans are objecting to the hard-left policies, programs and legislation pushed by the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress. Analysts peddled the same generic anti-incumbent line to explain Democratic defeats in the 1994 midterm election until they noticed that not a single Republican in Congress had lost a seat. A throw the bums out election may target a very specific group of bums.

The Tea Party movement has crystallized public discontent. It arose as a genuine grass-roots citizens protest, of the type that Obama supporters extolled ad nauseam in 2008 until their grass roots withered. Democratic operatives denounced Tea Party adherents as bitter, racist, white-trash losers, the kind of people who, as then-candidate Barack Obama said in 2008, cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations. This exercise in racial profiling was short-circuited by an April 2010 New York Times poll that showed Tea Partiers tend to be better educated and more affluent than the population as a whole. Liberals had to come to grips with the fact that those who opposed their enlightened rule were not just dimwitted red-state rubes.

Kentucky Republican senatorial candidate Rand Paul, a Tea Party stalwart, argued last weekend that the movement's issues reflect the concerns of mainstream America. To those who want to paint us as extremists, he said, I defy them to go out and poll those questions. …

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