Impact of the Tea Party

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  • Impact of the Tea Party
    • Origins
      • In 2008-9 ordinary Americans began to create their own small groups to fight for right wing fiscal conservatism
      • Felt that they had been let down by the Government
      • Groups have come together to form wider organisations which links them up
        • Tea Party Patriots, Tea Party Nation Tea Party Express, Freedom Works
      • These groups communicate via social media or by holding rallies and conventions
      • Have now got Congressional leaders, in the House Michele Bachmann was the accepted leader of the Tea Party Caucus
    • Political Issues
      • Returning to the original constitution and its division of powers between central and state governments
        • In 2010 89% of members blamed Obama for expanding the role of the central government
      • Strictly limited government
      • Cutting back on what the government spends
        • Totally opposed the Recovery Act which attempted to pump government money into the banking system after its collapse in 2008
      • Reducing taxes
      • Balanced Budgets
    • Political Protest
      • Local level, the earliest Tea Party events were organised locally by activists in 2009
      • National level, TV business news editor Rick Santelli attacked the government on live TV and Fox News support them
      • A Facebook page and site for the Tea Party protests to be organised
    • The Parties
      • Closer to the Republican Party and have sought influence inside the party
        • Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Paul Ryan identify with them
      • The influence of the Tea Party has helped make the Republican Party more right wing
    • Elections
      • Got a Tea Party candidate nominated for the Senate in Alaska in 2012
      • In 2010 Lise Murkowski won the election in Alaska as an independent against the Tea Party candidate
      • The Tea Party was even less successful in 2012 winning only 4 out of 16 seats for the Senate and they lost  1/5 of the seats they had gained in the House in 2010
    • Congress
      • The Tea Party Caucus was formed in July 2010 with 28 House members
        • Is led by Michele Bachmann and has grown to 61 members
        • Made the House more right wing
      • Little impact on the Senate
    • In retreat?
      • Lost 20% of the seats gained in 2010 in the House in 2012
      • The Tea Party Caucus ihas declined to 58 members and is now almost dead
      • 1000 Tea Party Groups in the country has gone down to 600
      • Humiliated in 2012 primaries when Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann were eliminated early on
      • An opinion poll in October 2013 showed 50% of Americans disapproved of them


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