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Sat Jan 25, 2014, 08:32 AM

Tea Party Neo-Confederate Backlash Still Stirring up a Cup of Chaos


Tea Party Neo-Confederate Backlash Still Stirring up a Cup of Chaos
by Bill Berkowitz | January 24, 2014 - 10:36am

They didn't unseat President Obama, their candidates didn't win as many major election victories as they would have hoped, and their numbers in public opinion polls sunk, but, to inelegantly paraphrase Mark Twain, "The Tea Party ain't dead, no way, no how."

"It was a year of countervailing winds and storms. ...The Tea Party movement rose and fell across the year. Though battered and bruised, the core membership of the Tea Party's national factions continued to expand in 2013, even as public opinion waxed and waned." Those are some introductory lines to "The Status of the Tea Party Movement," a comprehensive overview of Tea Party activities over the past year, prepared by the Institute For Research & Education On Human Rights (IREHR).

According to IREHR's Devin Burghart, "The Tea Party cemented its status as an institutional force driving a significant sector of the far right. Moreover, 2013 made it crystal clear that this movement is not about debt and taxes, or even healthcare. It is filled with racists and racism, xenophobes and bigots, and it has had a deleterious effect on political and social questions. And the portfolio of issues, particularly guns and nativism, expressed a (false) sense of white dispossession."

Tea Party-backed candidates didn't fare as well as they had in 2010. The Tea Party failed to unseat President Barack Obama, and while 80% of Tea Party endorsed candidates in the House of Representatives were victorious, eleven of the thirteen TP-endorsed Senate candidates lost.

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