News / USA

Tea Party Offers Risks and Rewards for Republicans

Grass-roots conservative activists with the so-called Tea Party movement are on their way to Washington in a national bus tour.  Tea Party supporters launched their tour with a series of rallies in Nevada and Arizona.  VOA  attended some of the recent rallies and has more on what the Tea Party activists want and what their impact might be in U.S. congressional midterm elections in November.

Tea Party supporters tend to be conservative.  They are largely white, middle-aged or older, and have a deep suspicion of government.

They also tend to be very critical of President Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress.

"Socialism and tyranny, despotism, communism, and a closet Muslim," Rusty Green stated.  He travels the country attending Tea Party rallies and selling anti-Obama bumper stickers and t-shirts.

"I believe in maximum freedom, minimum government.  The government should be controlled by the people, not the people controlled by the government.  That is what the Tea Party is about in my mind," he added.

Green was among thousands of people who attended a recent Tea Party rally in Searchlight, Nevada.  Searchlight is the home of Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, and Tea Party activists used the rally to call for his defeat in the congressional elections coming up in November.

The Tea Party movement takes its name and inspiration from anti-tax protests of the past, especially the Boston Tea Party in 1773 when American colonists threw tea into Boston Harbor as a protest against taxes imposed by Britain. 

Tea Party activists do not like taxes, government spending or the Obama health-care plan.

But they do like former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. "And we are not going to sit down and shut up, and thank you for standing up!" she said.

Many in the crowd at the rally in Searchlight held signs urging Palin to run for president in 2012.

But most of the local Republican politicians who attended the rally were hoping to draw Tea Party activists into their campaigns.

Sharron Angle is a Republican running for the Senate in Nevada. "The Tea Party movement is like me.  They are just sick and tired of the way that the government has taken their Constitution and dragged it through the mud," she said.

But some of the Tea Party supporters are critical of the Republican Party for not doing more to control government spending when it held the majority in Congress.

Harris Holler came to the Tea Party rally from California. "I believe that the Tea Party movement is more aligned with the Republican Party, but I also believe that a lot of us people who are Tea Party-goers are not necessarily saying we are going to vote for the Republicans automatically.  It is just not there," Holler said.

Nevada Democrats are closely watching the Tea Party movement, trying to gauge its impact on this year's congressional elections.

Democrat Paul Schmier does not like what he sees. "I feel their violent attitude is not healthy for anybody, Republican or Democrat," Schmier said.

Political analysts are divided about whether the Tea Party movement will become a political party to compete with the Democrats and Republicans.

"They have kind of realized that the third party route is not a winner.  So I think you have seen this more or less agreement among the different groups here that we are going to try to remake the Republican Party, starting at the grass roots," David Damore explained. He is a political scientist at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

Experts say Tea Party activists could complicate the November congressional elections if they run their own candidates to compete with Republican and Democratic candidates.  Analysts say that would likely take votes away from Republicans and help Democrats.

"If they were to operate outside the framework of the Republican Party and run their own candidates, then that would be a problem for the Republicans," Peter Brown, Quinnipiac University pollster stated. "If they participate in Republican primaries, then that necessarily could be a help to the Republican Party."

In the meantime, conservative Republican candidates across the country are eagerly trying to embrace the Tea Party movement and tap into its energy, hopeful that enthusiasm will bring them victory on Election Day in November.

Related Report by VOA's Kane Farabaugh

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid