News / USA

US Republicans Embrace Tea Party

2010 is a congressional election year in the United States, and political experts are keeping close watch on a grassroots conservative movement known as the Tea Party.  Tea Party supporters favor a limited role for the central government and are fierce critics of President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress.  A growing number of congressional Republicans are embracing the Tea Party.  

Think of the Tea Party as a political movement, not a formal political party.  Tea Party supporters want to reduce taxes and government spending and in general want to limit the role of the federal government.

The Tea Party movement gained momentum during last year's debate over President Obama's health care reform plan, a debate that played out in numerous rallies and angry town hall meetings across the country.

Opposition Republicans believe that harnessing the energy and grassroots organizing success of the Tea Party movement will carry them to victory in this year's midterm congressional elections.

With that in mind, about 30 Republicans in the House of Representatives came together recently to form the House Tea Party Caucus, a group that will push the Tea Party agenda of limited government in the halls of Congress.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is leading the effort.

"They represent mainstream American people who have decided to get up off the couch because they want to take their country back," said Michele Bachmann. "They believe that we are taxed enough already, that the federal government should not spend more money than it takes in, and that Congress should act within the constitutional limitations as given to us by the Founding Fathers."

A recent poll by Democratic political strategists Stan Greenberg and James Carville found that Tea Party supporters are energized about this year's congressional elections and eager to help Republicans reclaim control of one or both houses of Congress.

Greenberg says the survey found a high number of Tea Party supporters among those who consider themselves likely voters in this year's elections.

"They will have an impact in this election," said Stan Greenberg. "They are 25 percent of the electorate [among likely voters], you know, self-identify as strong Tea Party supporters.  That is a big number.  Ninety-two percent disapprove of Obama's performance, 89 percent strongly."

Greenberg says the Tea Party movement at its core is a grassroots network of conservative activists usually inclined to vote Republican.

"It is not independent, it is not populist, it is not a populist revolt against the elites, it is not a working class revolt rooted in frustration with the recession, Wall Street and government," he said. "This is a grassroots movement within the Republican Party that is having a great impact on the party and beyond."

Republicans see the energy of the Tea Party movement as a key to victory this year.  But Greenberg says the Tea Party has plenty of critics as well, including a few moderate Republicans, who see the movement as too extreme and hostile to minorities and immigrants.

"Once you get beyond the Tea Party supporters themselves, it is not that popular," said Greenberg. "There is a majority who view them as extreme.  And when you get beyond the Tea Party supporters themselves, there is an even split on whether their motivation is a racial animosity to President Obama."

One of the country's leading civil rights organizations, the NAACP, recently called on Tea Party leaders to repudiate racist elements within their own ranks.  The National Tea Party Federation did expel the leader of one group over what it regarded as a racist blog post.

And Tea Party organizers are also highlighting the participation of minority members like Danielle Hollars, an African-American Army veteran from Virginia.

"I am here because I want to tell America that we are not terrorists, we are not racist," said Danielle Hollars. "We are Americans who care about our country and the future for our children and our grandchildren."

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is a favorite among Tea Party supporters, second only in popularity to former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican Party's vice presidential nominee in 2008.

Palin was the featured speaker at the first Tea Party convention earlier this year and some political experts believe Palin could use her base of support within the Tea Party movement to launch a campaign for president in 2012.

You May Like

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid