Opinion | Conservatives think they've found their new tea party - The Washington Post

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  jbb  •  3 weeks ago  •  31 comments

By:   Washington Post

Opinion | Conservatives think they've found their new tea party - The Washington Post
The manufactured rage over critical race theory will eventually peter out, and then they'll have to find something else.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



The early days of the Biden presidency have been unsettling for many on the right, not only because a Democrat is in the White House making policy but also because conservatives have struggled to find a unifying theme to their opposition. They've failed to persuade even their own people to loathe Joe Biden with the boiling intensity they felt for Bill Clinton and Barack Obama; their preferred insult is that President Biden is a doddering old man controlled by others, which doesn't exactly stir one to heights of terror and rage.

But now they think they've found the key, the controversy that will bring them back to the glorious days of the tea party, as Politico reports:

Former top aides to President Donald Trump have begun an aggressive push to combat the teaching of critical race theory and capitalize on the issue politically, confident that a backlash will vault them back into power. [...] "This is the Tea Party to the 10th power," Steve Bannon, Trump's former adviser who has zeroed in on local school board fights over critical race theory, said in an interview. "This isn't Q, this is mainstream suburban moms — and a lot of these people aren't Trump voters."

Bannon is blowing smoke; there's no evidence that "mainstream suburban moms" are the ones screaming at their local school boards in protest of an imaginary curriculum their children are not actually being taught. But the comparison with the tea party is instructive, not so much for what the conservatives' con over critical race theory actually is, but what they're hoping to turn it into.

The tea party erupted after the election of Obama, and one of its most important purposes was to give paper-thin cover to a mass right-wing panic over a Black man getting elected president. It presented itself as worried about government spending (though it was strangely unconcerned when George W. Bush was ballooning the deficit) and devoted to the principles of the nation's founding. Substantively, the latter consisted mostly of a bunch of absurd Founding Father cosplay, often in the form of nincompoops running around in tricorn hats.

In contrast, the anti-CRT eruption (it's far too early to call it a movement) has race right up front; there's no pretension to a policy agenda other than passing laws forbidding teachers from discussing the existence of racism. In some ways it's the natural landing point for the right after the Trump presidency: After four years spent worshiping someone who barely tried to hide his bigotry, conservatism has now devoted itself entirely to White grievance, at least for the moment.

One way the anti-CRT effort is definitely like the tea party is that elite Republicans are dashing to the front of the parade. It's not just semi-fringe white nationalists like Bannon; everyone on the right is getting in on the act. The website of the Heritage Foundation now features a whole section devoted to critical race theory fear-mongering.

And, of course, Fox News was central to both. The network relentlessly promoted the tea party in 2009 when it began, pounding home the message to conservatives across the country that they should get on board; at one point management had to tell Sean Hannity that for him to literally headline tea party rallies was probably going too far. Today Fox has set aside a good portion of its schedule to decrying CRT; according to the liberal group Media Matters, the network mentioned it no fewer than 1,300 times in the past few months. Then as now, GOP elites saw the rage of the party faithful as a tool they could wield for their own benefit, even if keeping it under control might not always be easy.

What particularly excited the tea party's adherents was the association with righteous principles and rebellion against power; by embracing it you could imagine yourself the heir to a noble tradition dating back to the country's founding. But if you say the same about opposition to any discussion of the way racism operates in institutions, you'd pretty much be making the critical race theorists' point for them. Oh, the irony!

That brings us to a critical point of divergence. The tea party was relentlessly focused on Obama, and just as Democrats found eight years later, opposition to the president as an individual can be incredibly powerful. He's in the news every day, doing things you don't like; it's easy to stay mad at him.

That anger sustained itself for two years, which is why Republicans managed a huge wave election that gave them control of the House in 2010. Democrats did the same in 2018, fed by their anger at Donald Trump.

But try to imagine that a year and a half from now, the Republican base will still be so mad about critical race theory that it will swamp the polls and deliver yet another wave election for Republicans. It seems unlikely.

Not that Republicans may not get their wave election; they well could. But it'll be built on other things the base is mad about. There's only so long they'll be able to sustain the rage at critical race theory before it peters out and they have to find a new target.

So this probably won't be the new tea party, though it might resemble it in some ways. But don't worry: Right-wing rage is always ready to reignite. Republicans just have to keep finding new sparks.


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JBB
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JBB    3 weeks ago

Steve Bannon says, "CRT is the gop's new tea party!

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2  seeder  JBB    3 weeks ago

So far this year the right has ginned up their Trans Crisis then the Border Crisis and now the CRT Crisis. After the BIG LIE their outrages fizzle over and over. 

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
2.1  Ender  replied to  JBB @2    3 weeks ago

Wanna bet that after the midterms they don't harp on it as much.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2.1.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  Ender @2.1    3 weeks ago

What? The gop is already celebrating their win!

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
2.2  Hallux  replied to  JBB @2    3 weeks ago

You left out the LGBTQ2S+ Potato Head and Nurse Zeus.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2.2.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  Hallux @2.2    3 weeks ago

Yeah, the gop's daily outrages were all on NT.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
3  Bob Nelson    3 weeks ago
The manufactured rage over critical race theory will eventually peter out, and then they'll have to find something else.

They'll find something. 

Their audience - TrumpTrueBelievers - want... something, anything... to stoke their rage. Most TrumpTrueBelievers don't want to be openly racist, so a dogwhistle like CRT is ideal... but as you say, eventually that particular fake news will run its course.

CRT is, objectively, a nothingburger. But the the Republican American Fascist Party has demonstrated that it can make TrumpTrueBelievers froth at the mouth over nothingburgers. Hannity could say that Biden is causing the sky to fall, and the TrumpTrueBelievers would be in the streets the next day. 

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
3.1  Ender  replied to  Bob Nelson @3    3 weeks ago

I am thinking you are right. It seems some people just want anything to rage about.

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
4  Tacos!    3 weeks ago
their preferred insult is that President Biden is a doddering old man

To be fair, that’s also what Democrats said about him.

38-year-old Eric Swalwell insinuates that Joe Biden is too old to be president

Is Joe Biden Too Old?

Do Democrats Think Joe Biden is Just Too Old?

Julián Castro goes there on Joe Biden’s age: ‘Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?’

But try to imagine that a year and a half from now, the Republican base will still be so mad about critical race theory that it will swamp the polls and deliver yet another wave election for Republicans.

Then maybe stop talking about it. Maybe get teacher’s unions to stop trying to inject it into the curriculum. Every time the Left brings it up, they do so with the allegation that somehow our children aren’t learning about the history of racism and discrimination in our country. That’s ridiculous, and everyone knows it.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
4.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  Tacos! @4    3 weeks ago

Nice completely irrelevant whataboutisms you got.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
4.1.1  Tessylo  replied to  JBB @4.1    3 weeks ago

As always.  It's so tiresome.

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
4.1.2  Tacos!  replied to  JBB @4.1    3 weeks ago

What I wrote is not how whataboutism works. I didn’t suggest that what Republicans are doing is ok or that it should be ignored. But you might consider how hypocritical it is to criticize them for attacking Biden’s age when the Democratic Party did it for a whole year first.

I guess that’s all you got out of all those words, huh? Wow.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
4.1.3  Tessylo  replied to  Tessylo @4.1.1    3 weeks ago

Plus twist and spin

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
4.1.4  Ender  replied to  Tacos! @4.1.2    3 weeks ago

I think Biden even knows it. He said at the beginning he would probably not want to run again.

And yes, if donald ran again we all know everyone would bring up his age.  Haha

On a weird note, I always use to say that congress needs some young blood. Yet looking at the crop of young blood I am starting to rethink that.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
4.1.5  Bob Nelson  replied to  Ender @4.1.4    3 weeks ago
Yet looking at the crop of young blood I am starting to rethink that.

AOC is cool... 

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
4.1.6  seeder  JBB  replied to  Ender @4.1.4    3 weeks ago

True, MTG is two Gohmerts shy a Full Bobert!

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
4.1.7  seeder  JBB  replied to  Bob Nelson @4.1.5    3 weeks ago

AOC is beautiful, kind, popular and brilliant and that is why she terrifies throwbacks in the gop...

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
4.1.8  Ender  replied to  JBB @4.1.6    3 weeks ago

Even Matt Gates I would consider in the young blood category. Plus that Cawthorn dude, the guy with the eye patch....

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
4.1.9  Bob Nelson  replied to  JBB @4.1.7    3 weeks ago

Yup 

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
4.1.10  seeder  JBB  replied to  Ender @4.1.8    3 weeks ago

Madison Cawthorn is the one in the chair...

He is so damn vacuous he pulls a vacuum!

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
4.1.11  Ender  replied to  JBB @4.1.10    3 weeks ago

That came out wrong. I meant plus the guy with the eye patch. His name escapes me at the moment.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
4.1.12  seeder  JBB  replied to  Ender @4.1.8    3 weeks ago

Dan Crenshaw is the angry eye patch crank...

His eye injury isn't service related, by the way.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
4.1.13  Sean Treacy  replied to  JBB @4.1.12    3 weeks ago
is eye injury isn't service related, by the way.

Are you kidding? He was hit by an IED device in Afghanistan and lost an eye.

The crazy shit left-wingers believe.....

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
4.1.14  seeder  JBB  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.1.13    3 weeks ago

I stand corrected. He is still an angry crank...

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
4.1.15  Tacos!  replied to  Tessylo @4.1.1    3 weeks ago

Guess what else is?

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
4.1.16  Tacos!  replied to  Ender @4.1.4    3 weeks ago

I mean, I don’t even care if these guys are old. There’s a lot to be said for age and experience. It’s honestly kind of shitty to assume someone is senile just because they are 70+. Slower? Sure. But it’s not like we need the president to think or act all that quickly.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
6  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago

The greatest fear whites have had in the 21st century is the so called "replacement" . Although they present it in a conspiratorial way, it is something that has always been inevitable. It has been a long long time since white Europeans have emigrated to America in huge numbers. They are basically happy where they're at. Quality of life in most western European countries is at least as good as it is in the US.  They even have "Sweden's Got talent" and so forth for US style entertainment. 

It is the "colored" people who want a new life in the US. Couple that with the declining white birth rate and it has been predicted for a long time that America would become a so called majority minority country. All the various non white ethnicities in combination would overtake whites as the majority population here. 

The concept was not taken all that seriously though until Barack Obama hit the scene. Suddenly there was a politician of color who was as smart and charismatic and savvy as any of the white politicians. This was an actual threat. 

So we got the tea party, and birtherism, and obstructionism, and white grievance hasnt looked back since. 

It is all in vain in the long run though. The younger generations clearly dont care about race as much as their parents and grandparents do. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
6.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  JohnRussell @6    3 weeks ago
The younger generations clearly dont care about race as much as their parents and grandparents do

Bad news for Democrats. Where would the modern party be without their racial obsessions and push to balkanize the US into racial groups? 

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
6.1.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  Sean Treacy @6.1    3 weeks ago

That is what the author says the gop is doing!

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
7  Sean Treacy    3 weeks ago

[deleted] to remind everyone of the Democratic Party's long standing commitment to racism. IT's truly astounding over 150 years since the Democrats were defeated in the Civil War and the Nazi's race obsessed regime was destroyed, the Democratic Party would take up the racialist mantle and fight tooth and nail against attempts to remove racial indoctrination from classrooms. Day after day, post after post, the left here demands that the next generation, in the words of Greg Lukianoff, be immersed  "in a  philosophy that relies on genetic essentialism, overgeneralization, guilt by association…shame and guilt tactics, and deindividuation."  It would be so much for our country if  modern Democrats could reject, like our forefathers did by destroying the Nazis, genetic essentialism and biological determinism and recognize that individuals are in fact individuals and not defined by their race. Please get past your racial obsessions. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8  CB     3 weeks ago
"This isn't Q, this is mainstream suburban moms — and a lot of these people aren't Trump voters."

No, Bannon - it's clever (questionable) manipulation. And yet, liberals are SUPPOSED to be the one's getting their information from a 'plantation boss.'  C'mon, some conservatives press in here and defend Bannon's CRT disinformation plot if you dare.

Our spanking new 'Tear new behind' counter is set and ready to begin counting.

 
 
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