Is the Tea Party Over?

For the answer, watch Rick Perry.

Comments: 125

  1. Oh, I'd have to say that the Tea Party is alive & well, and a whole lot healthier than the NY Times or the DNC. The Tea Party isn't out mortgaging its foundations to Mexican financiers, isn't screaming nonsense to its choir, and isn't spinning nonsense it must retract day-after-day, and has quite a few more voters both listening and paying attention to it than the Times or the DNC - I give you November, 2010 ax Exhibit A.

    And on 11/7/12, I will give you Exhibit B.

  2. If independents vote for Perry and he is elected, the United States deserves to fall apart entirely and descend into chaos, which it would.

  3. The Republican primary is a race to the bottom.

  4. Unless I missed an actual logical reason in this article, it would appear that the reason Tea Party is "over" is because Rick Perry (in the opinion of Bill Keller) isn't really a Tea Party person and neither is Romney, so the Tea Party is out of luck in 2012.

    I have a news flash for you Bill. The Tea Party will be excited about, and work 24/7 for whomever the Republican Party chooses to nominate to run against Obama - even if they nominate my cat.

    As the great "Senator Blutarsky" once said, "Over? Did you say over? Nothing is over until we decide it is!"

  5. You must be joking. The Tea Party isn't over.

    We have no need for further public demonstrations against the Lefties who are destroying the nation. We've already made up our minds. We threw as many Dems and RINOs out of office as possible in 2010, and we'll get the rest of them in November 2012.

    In the meantime, go ahead and believe what you want to believe. On polling day, we'll show up again and you'll be stunned, saying, "This came out of nowhere."

  6. Yep, the Tea Party is gone.

    They are just like the astroturf Coffee Party, the OFA union party, the Occupy Wall Street connected to the OFA party.

    Keep dreaming.

    Obama one and done.

  7. Bill, the Tea Party spoke loudly and clearly in the last mid-term elections. The Party's not over, and the Tea Party will no doubt play a role in 2012 election.

  8. Bill,wake up. You're having that same dream again. You really must stop this wishful thinking and get on with your life. The liberal dream is dead. There are only 22% of the population who call themselves Liberals or Progressives since we've seen your ideas through Obama's eye's.

  9. Mr. Keller, you come to a lot of sarcastic conclusions in your essay. Some may even pan out for you. My question to you is: we have currently a Man in the White House who fervently believes in global warming and ditto for evolution, but is He good for the country? How is the economy doing under his rule? Are we better of now then we were 4 years ago?
    Do let us know your opinion, please.

  10. One has to trust that taken in the overall the American electorate can see through simple answers for complex and far reaching issues. Hopefully, despite disappointments, they have the ability to realize that 2 unfunded wars, a housing crisis and a financial meltdown would have been quite a challenge for any incoming administration - even the tea party favorites.

  11. Is the Tea Party Over? I hope so.

  12. The Tea Party has almost from the beginning been an extension of the Republican Party attempting to look populist, but funded by larger corporate interests in an attempt to do their bidding on eliminating any barrier to their roadtrip of stripping the American population of all wealth and security, while fostering a total sense of fear and terror so they would turn to the corporate interests for protection, thus giving up all their civil and legal rights at citizens.

  13. The Republicans are doing everything in their power to get Obama re elected. I'd rather they presented a serious challenger. The country needs it.

  14. Tea Party is now firmly behind Herman Cain.

    They abandoned Rick Perry due to his liberal immigration policies.

    Herman Cain is the Tea Party's official nominee. He will win the nomination and defeat Obama. Action #1 is to repeal Obama's horrible job killing Affordable Care Act.

    Affordable Care Act = Obamacare = penalties on jobs without a more costly federally controlled healthcare with increased benefits and no exclusion of people who already have very costly healthcare needs

    It was a mistake to pass a law during a recession that imposes unprecedented federal penalties on the creating or saving of any job UNLESS it includes a new more costly federally-controlled healthcare plan!

    Prior to the first full month in which Obamacare was law (April 2010), the economy added an average of 67,600 jobs per month during Obama’s presidency (which includes several months during the recession). Following the first full month in which Obamacare was law, however, the economy has added an average of just 6,400 jobs per month under Obama’s presidency — less than one-tenth the previous rate.

  15. If the Tea Party today's version of the Know Nothings is over, it will be replaced by something else. The social and racial fissures that run through America are permanent, mutable but everlasting.


  16. "Rick Perry is the Tea Party’s dream candidate" You obviously haven't been paying attention.

  17. Plus Romney and Perry look exactly alike---I can barely tell the difference in photos. I don't think this is immaterial, actually: People tend to vote with their eyes.


  18. Remember "guns and religion?"

    In April 2008, while still in a battle for the nomination with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama said: "You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And it’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

    The Tea Party wasn't even born then, but Obama was right, and Rick Perry will be the beneficiary of all that clinging. All he needs to do is perform much better in the debates and find a way to diffuse the issue of providing state tuition rates to the children of illegal aliens, which should be a lot easier than Romney's need to get past Massachusetts healthcare reform and changing positions on several social issues.

  19. Great column. Thanks for bringing up Perrycare, as well as his neverending hypocrisies. Molly Ivins was right then and is right now.

  20. we and you are the 99% Occupy a town near you. It is the only way. Don't devide us by labeling. Dems, Gop, teas, black, white, latino, asian, indigenous peoples, left, right, liberal conservative, we all have one thing in common...our humanity. Occupy!

  21. As a Texan I don't understand all the flack over the tuition thing. Granted, I've not researched the guidelines lately, but when I was in college all that was required for in-state status was... you know, living in the state - for a certain period of time.

    Unless this issue hinges on the length of time spent as a Texas resident, unless it shortens that period for immigrants' children vs. the period required for transplants from other US states, what possible justification could there be for denying Mexican transplants the in-state rate?

  22. "And a hat tip to Fox News, which has helped trivialize the campaign by offering a platform to one not-ready-for-prime-time Republican semi-celebrity after another. On behalf of journalism, sincerest apologies for wasting so much of your time."

    On behalf of the intelligent portion of the American public, we recognize clowns when we see them and pay attention only for the comedic value, which is substantial (if one can stomach the underlying tragedy).

  23. Hilarious reading. But should Perry win the Republican nomination, which is not beyond the imagination, the question for the Non-Tea Party Nation is, "Do we want a 'doofus' for President?" Let us hope an electoral college majority of voters answers no.

    As the Texas governor before Perry proved, in dangerous times, the nation cannot afford a dangerous president.

    The Constant Weader at

  24. You have to wonder why the Tea Party wants a president at all, or why they even feel the need to live in a county, period. Perry came closest to embodying this view when he talked about secession, so you can see why the Tea Party would embrace him. They'd like nothing better than to wander off and live anarchic lives in the desert, eat roots and berries, and die young from starvation, childbirth, and abscessed teeth like our ancestors did before medicine and, well, evolution.

    But they do need government. They need it not to build a better world for all the citizens, but to make it less good for people they don't like. The sad irony is that they are the very people who will need government the most when their deeply held belief that they will all be lottery winners is ultimately shattered.

    Cain reflects the lottery-winner view most clearly, although the premise is at the heart of all conservative philosophy: lazy OWS protesters are jealous of rich people's success, and are against capitalism. If we lower taxes and eliminate corporate and financial regulations, then everyone who works hard can be rich. This ludicrous view is what conservatives would like to sell to the voters. But most Americans are not entrepreneurial wizards, or lottery winners, or have advanced degrees. Most are just ordinary people who need to work for a living. Setting up the rules to favor only the lucky and the wheeler dealers automatically excludes the majority of the population from an expectation of having a home, raising a family, and living a healthy life in retirement.

    The ship of state is taking on water, but the Tea Party is gripped by the delusion that their end of the boat isn't sinking. Perry and the rest of the Republican field are telling them they need to drill a hole in the boat to let the water out. As Tom Lehrer once said, we will all go together when we go.

  25. Very interesting column. Having observed first-hand the "Perry Persona" in action, he will run on fire and brimstone as far as that will get him, but in the end, he will out-flip flop Romney as fast as the money men make him tumble. Perry will do "just enough" and will run on the same big three "G's" that W used - God, Gays and Guns. Perry has earned the attention from Flynt and others - maybe soon enough we will see which of the three G's takes the lead in his campaign. (The spokesperson ranting about Mormons may be a hint.) The reference in the column to Molly's admonition bears reinforcement, in at least noting that Perry does not equal Progress for this country in any significant area needing attention over the next 4 years.

  26. Awful piece. Great as a reporter, solid as an executive editor, but if this is the kind of columns he is going to write, he should stop right now. Cliche after cliche, and no analysis whatsoever.

    The reason the tea party is finished is because their politics is absurd, and because there is a counter movement on the way. Even the Times editorial was forced to register this, yesterday.

  27. Short answer: no.

    Long answer: No group with as much fundraising potential is going anywhere.

  28. The GOP electorate is still casting about for a candidate, because the media has eclipsed the one they are seeking. Ron Paul's ascendancy reminds me of the Ronald Regan campaigns. The party that now brags about Regan fought conservatives tooth and nail right up to the floor fight at the convention, which resulted in that unholy compromise of making George H.W. Bush the VP nominee. The party hacks and the media laughed the Gipper off as just an actor, a dreamer and clearly unelectable. Today, despite the groundswell of support for Ron Paul, the party hacks and the pundits in the media call the good doctor an unelectable fringe candidate. However, after my experience of campaigning for Ronald Reagan for almost 12 years, I know what is possible on a third run for the presidency. We the People will have our say and the establishment will once again be dumbfounded.

  29. Thank you for reminding us of Molly Ivins. How we miss her and her popping the balloons of pompous, phony politicians!

  30. Riding the bucking bronco of present-day American politics is a job cut out for a Zen master, not a cowboy. Mixing the metaphors Perry, while not a faux aw-shuckster as was Bush, is still All Hat No Cattle, and as soon as he opens his mouth and opines, his boots find a very nice use: right down his own throat.
    Meantime the populists having actual impact - unsupported by the oligarchs "main-stream" media system, and not Astro-turfed with corporate money paying for tri-corner hats and phony costumes - are those now camped out by Wall Street and all the other little uprisings across the country. Whether Obama can mollify them after his kow-tows to the Masters of the Universe is an open question.

    But Mr Perry, gunslinger that he is, might be concerned that his well-armed posse just might soon take note of who is really cleaning their clock: it's Perry and his corporate sponsors.

  31. For those who don't know, Bill Keller brought rain to Texas - the natives are considering where to place his statue.

    The Tea Party may be over, but it will be because it was never designed to do anything but repeat the far right's role in Clinton-Gore's first term, which was to be in vociferous attack mode, constantly staking out the most radical rightist position and demonize anyone who was not in your camp - especially Bill Clinton.

    The tactic worked well enough for the right that a cable network sprang up in '96 with the same agenda, and during Obama's first term has facilitated the same effort with shrillness and attempted re-branding of the GOP from the disastrous two-term Shrub presidency.

    To fill air time and maintain sensationalism, anything could be said with a straight face, in the shrillest terms to become part of a drum-beat of un-compromising extremism uttered by people who are starting to fade away, having done their 2-3 years of damage of baseless innuendo, lying and dis-crediting.

    That the drum-beat of the radical rightist GOP'ers disguised as Tea Partyers has produced mal-formed candidacies and under-mined faith in the country's institutions among even its own voters shows how mis-begotten this strategy is - the fruit of the tree tells all.

  32. The possibility that any present Republican candidate might wind up President would be a nightmare worse than living in a community like the one portrayed in Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery". The winner would be the first to cast a stone with anyone who opposed the Tea Party's insanity. What a disaster if Perry should win in this ongoing American lottery we call an election.

  33. Molly Ivins was the best of Texas. Long live Molly!

    The tea party and the current crop of republicans are dangerous. The nasty "L" word is not liberal or left it is libertarian. Ron Paul may out of the running but his ideas are mainstream in the gop. Is freedom only the freedom of the market place?

    The recent New Yorker has an article by Jane Mayer, "State for Sale". Are we going to be a people governed by rich oligarchs or we the people.

  34. It would have been wiser, Mr. Keller, not to write this editorial. Because any of the Republican candidates can beat your favorite, Mr. Obama, who has proved to be very incompetent.

  35. Bill Keller is bitter that his Hope 'n' Change candidate turned out to be a failure.

  36. 'The rest of us are left to recall the advice handed down 10 years ago by the late, wisecracking Cassandra of Texas politics, Molly Ivins: “Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention.”'

    Don't kid yourself, Mr. Keller. You don't have to be from Texas; the entire GOP has allowed itself to become infected.

  37. The 'shellacking' of 2010 was definitely a movement. The Senate will change hands in 2012 also. Call it what you want. Two thumbs down for this liberal junk article.

  38. Any opinion piece that can finish with a quote by Molly Ivans is alright by me. We might have a new Frank Rich in the making. Mr. Keller, please become a Sunday regular.

  39. Mr. Keller, I was amused by how well you know Rick Perry in your article. He is a politician and I am praying that he does not have a chance to become president. He has already told us all of the damage he plans to do to our great country if he is elected. Ditto for Mitt Romney. He put out a news release of all the people he would have on his national security team. It was a list of retreads from the previous administration. One person on the list was involved in the tale of saying that "Saddam Hussein was receiving uranium from Africa." That list is scary. I wonder if Rick Perry's list would be even scarier?????? We, the people, do not want to see any of the people on Mr. Romney's list ever participate in politics ever again!

  40. "It's hard to impress a movement that only knows what it's against," you say. How superficial of you, and with such lack of understanding. The TEA Party is OR limited government. The TEA Party, by its name, is FOR less taxation. These are positive goals.
    Rick Parry a TEA Party candidate? Really? He's not a conservative candidate with his action of giving illegal aliens reduced tuition.
    Molly Ivins? A liberal who made a living with her hateful assaults on those she hated and envied, the most notable target being George W Bush.

  41. Please be very careful in saying anything about Perry. His supporters are in the same vein as those who might support any so-called savior - ardent and implacable. They, true believers, will vote blindly for this idiot savant of government hate politics. His campaign craves publicity and the media are giving it to him, free. Make him pay for every word in the press. Drain his campaign treasury and take all the wind out of his sails. Make him shout even more dastardly claims and dismiss him with ridicule.

  42. I wish I could say 'read the news, you'll find the answer'. but you
    are supposed to be the answer. Your question is 'The Tea Party' over.
    That is superbly rhetorical....Move on. to something like : there
    is no one absolutely no one at present who is a candidate: Obama or
    Republican who is qualified to be The US President in 2012.

    What to do: Hold a Democratic Party Primary: and get serious about
    getting some people back to work; and keeping some from losing their
    jobs, like teachers, and police and other essential people needed
    to hold this nation together. Please stop being such clever editors.
    Cleverness like this is getting old. Old fashioned journalism; good
    sharp to the point up to the minute reporting is in: no one looks at CNN or MSNBC or FOX or even the PBS newshour: that's old rhetoric too. Journalism; on the spot journalism kind of like the BBC news: or Rhetoric we like: Charlie Rose has great interviews. But we would love to read journalism once more; we know you all can write.

  43. I read this article in order to see what the author means about the Tea Party being "over" and all I get is a diatribe against Perry. Where does the auther mention the Tea Party no longer being a viable factor in todays politics? Did I fall asleep while I was reading. Could be...

  44. An excellent, even brilliant analysis, but it omits the one point which journalists of all stripes are dancing around. Until it is discussed head on, none of the races, including the general election will make any sense. That is the question of why the American electorate is swaying back and forth, like a tall building in an earthquake, between messiah like saviors rather than voting their very clear economic and social interests. Obama is in many ways as much a product of this phenomenon as it Perry. There are good reasons for this fit of irrationality -- the end of the Cold War, the destruction of industrial culture, the outbreak of greed simulated by the Reagan credo -- but they must be much more carefully analysed. Here is where modern journalism meets it limits. The Fox news syndrome mentioned by Keller infects everyone. Not only because of laziness or because it sells, but because it is safe. Describe what is happening without risking trouble by telling us why. This is a great disservice to a very confused electorate.

  45. Poor Keller; so deluded as to think the OWS loons are the wave of the future. Meanwhile, his Savior, Obama is flailing around trying to destroy Keller's own free enterprise system which keeps him in Vodka! LOL The TEAS will be uniting with Pubs,Libertarians, Reagan Dems, and Indies to take out some of the useful idiots who hate America, support flacks like Keller and the Dems. See ya in Nov. 2012, pal when your socialist self loathers go down to defeat.

  46. Don't forget Texas's enormous dependence on regular cash infusions from government contracts. That's the real reason our economy looks positively rosy in comparison to the rest of the country, not Perry's shenanigans. Don't tread on me (by taking away that sweet, sweet shuttle contract).

    The man won his last election here in TX with 31% of the vote. Rich friends are the only friends he's got. But then, I guess that's all you need.

  47. Keller is whistling past the graveyard. The Tea Party helped deliver the house to republicans just last year and they may throw out the guy in the white house who took three years to worry about unemployment, giving the first trillion to his political cronies who unfortunately have nothing to do with reviving the private sector, the engine to prosperity. All he's done is show that a guy who throws half a bilion dollars at a company that makes solar panels for $4 and sells them for $2 is business illiterate.

  48. When I see the beautiful young people of Occupy Wall St., I have hope in my heart that the Old People's White Tea Party is over. (and I'm not so young myself.)

  49. While I have absolutely no insider information on Florida's Republicans, from simple observation I am not at all convinced they constitute an early primary win for Rick Perry. From conversation and from keeping eyes and ears open it seems there is a decent sized if unenthusiastic bloc for Mitt Romney here in Central Florida. I do not see any affirmative support for Perry. I do see the characteristic anger and loathing that drove turnout in 2010. But now they have to vote for rather than against, where "against" is what they find much more natural.

  50. Sarah Palin will jump back in at the last moment and win the nomination. Only question is which of the Republicans will subordinate their ego to their ambition and allow themselves to accept the second spot on the ticket -- my guess would be Romney who's abject cupidity seems to have driven him to disavow every belief he's every held.

  51. Articles such as this leave me scratching my head. Is Mr. Keller unaware that Perry's numbers are plummeting as fast as Tea Party favorite Herman Cain's rising? Does he not see the thousands of people in the street complaining about crony capitalism, a principal tea party complaint? Is he unaware that Perry's open embrace of government sponsorship for the college education of illegal aliens was a non-starter for 80% of Americans and nearly 100% of the Tea Party? Does he really believe that Perry's fall had anything to do with anything else?

    Mr. Keller, have a good look at all those people out in the streets in cities all over the country. Once you weed out the communists, anarchists, and anti-capitalists, who most Americans would rather ignore, you will find most of them pitching the same message coming out of the Tea Party. Though the Unions may have thrown their weight behind the movement, next year you will find that you can't march against corruption in government without railing against the party in power, and last time I checked, it is still the Democrats lead by Barack Obama.

  52. Mr. Keller, the Tea Party is alive and well. We made our point. The Conservatives are everywhere now taking elections. We do not need to march. We now communicate via text/email /twitter etc. We do not need your acknowledgment or approval. We are everywhere fighting to limit government. You clearly are affected by inside the Beltway bias. Even the 2010 elections couldn't sway you. We do not care about you. The 2012 election will be even more dramatic. We will take the Senate and the Presidency and keep the House. My guess is you will be physically ill before that evening is over. If I had any doubts, watching the mentally deficient fools of Occupy Wall Street being interviewed allayed my fears you actually had a Progressive following of import. Please keep writing this drivel. You have about 12 more months before your Progressive world is completely shattered. Of course the NYT might be bankrupt by then as well! I hope!

  53. You might also mention that many of the tea partiers have grown tired of being fleeced by Palin and others whom they now realise were in it for the money more than anything else.

  54. Bill Keller asks if the Tea Party is over, then rather than answering his question with cogent thought and observations, he gives the readers a rambling laundry list of criticisms directed at the Republican Presidential candidates. Since Bill Keller did not answer his question I'll answer it for him. The Tea Party folks have made their point in the 2010 Elections and are currently busy with their jobs, when they are not working or seeking work in a miserable economy, they are in church or spending time with friends and family. The core belief of the Tea Party is that Government should live within its means and abide by the US Constitution. These right wing radical beliefs are a threat to the status quo in Washington, but are common here on Main Street. The Tea Party is waiting to see what the Congressional Super Committee will do with debt reduction. We have not bothered getting active protesting against Obama's Stimulus # 2 package, because that won't pass even the Democrat controlled Senate, much less the Republican House. The Tea Party is not just controlling the Republican Party, we also control the blue dog Democrats. Pretty soon we will control both houses of Congress and the Oval Office. Mr. Keller, the Tea Party is not over, it has barely gotten started.

  55. Yo Bill, looks like you slept through 2010, when the Dems lost the House, several governorships, some Senate seats and various and sundry state legislatures.

    And in 2012? Unfortunately, Obama has to run on his record--ewwwwwwwwwwwwww! So good luck with that, bro.

  56. The reason the Republican line-up is a joke is because the party is all over the place, noisy but not really serious. The leadership is anti-Obama no matter what and the rank and file is just cranky about everything. It's really depressing to see how low the party has sunk.

  57. You wish.

  58. The Tea party is the white supremacists, dressed up in tricorn hats and knickers. To suggest that they are "done for" is to ignore hundreds of years of American history.

  59. This is an excellent column and I hate to quibble with it. Oh, well, if I must.

    It is just dead wrong to call tea party adherents "members". First, there is no tea party. There are a loosely affiliated series of groups flying that banner. If there were a Tea Party, it would have to define and defend itself as another, functioning party. You know, nominate people, take policy positions and beg for money from Washington lobbyists, like the rest of them do. The tea party is nothing more than a radical extension of the Republican party, period.

    This confusion on what the tea party groups are has congealed into a glob of confusion on the part of the major media and, subsequently, the American public. It is as if the media are trying to make up for, one, having missed the take off of this anti-government, anti-democracy movement and, two, are always bending over backwards to prove that they aren't too liberal. No one really knows what the tea party, as a whole, is, so, in the absence of evidence, these groups are given a pass. Misunderstanding, compounded.

    Does Texas have a "tax and regulatory environment out of the Wild West"? You bet. That is one reason that businesses like it so much. Anything goes. Whenever I am driving in Texas and see a spill of some strange orange/green power alongside the road, I stay away from it because it could be highly toxic chemicals. If you want to dump something, Texas is the place to do it. This is one factor behind Perry's ability to brag about jobs: sure there are jobs, but they come at a very high price, particularly for the long term when people might want to still drink water and breathe air. Otherwise, no problem.

    Whatever the tea party is, it is headed for an implosion. For one thing, the leadership of the Republican party now realizes that Koch money and mischief have created a big mess, one they can't control. Time to pull back and let the pitchfork people find their own way home.

  60. Isn't amazing how the willing cohorts, not only supporters but actual accomplices of the criminal organization aka the party of democrats continue to commit perpetual fraud after their Historic Shellacking in 2010?

    No, when you are a party of perpetual fraud who cannot win elections on merit or honesty this behavior is "EXPECTED".They will continue to divert attention from the incompetent and exposed criminals in power who are destroying this Country by ruining our economy with their failed policies. These people simply fiend for power and tax payer dollars like drug addicts and must be voted out and thrown out of positions they have entrenched themselves in at all levels of Government.

    These willing accomplices are part of the problem, not the solution.

  61. Bill Keller is an ideologue. He's also a dope wishing against hope tha t this president can succeed.

  62. A very clever article in support of Mitt Romney. He sets up a pairing between Perry and Romney as the only two legitimate candidates and then proceeds to spend the rest of the article trying to destroy Perry, this leaving Romney standing all alone. The marginalization of Herman Cain was well done. He simply inserted him into the list of candidates that are at the bottom of the pile, giving him less attention than even Bachmann or Gingrich.

    Two things are apparent here that are consistent among all of the left wing media pieces. One, the left loves Romney. They see him as essentially a second term Bill Clinton (and they are right.) Romney's victory in the GOP primary would guarantee them a democrat-minded person in the White House. Two, the left is absolutely terrified of Herman Cain. They try desperately to ignore him, but the most they can come up with as a reason is "he's going to be exposed" or "he's going to make mistakes." They really want him to crash and burn, but cannot point to a single reason based on the campaign so far as to why he will. They are clinging to this hope that something will happen to take him out.

    The left will do everything they can from here on out to promote a two man race between Perry and Romney and then try to tear down Perry. They realize hat Barack Obama is a lost cause and see a way to salvage their agenda in what truly is a blue-dog democrat running for the GOP nomination - Mitt Romney.

  63. This article is laughable in every way. Before the statist koolaid finishes you off, recognize that the Tea Party is the dominant force in politics today. The real question is, "the democrat party over?" Were you conscious when the 2010 election results came in or were you to busy carrying the water of the democrats that survived that slaughter of an election? Remember the "Ted Kennedy Seat"? or perhaps when democrats could win in even a blue state? How about those govenorships in VA and NJ? How about the GOP winning in NY9 and a district in NV that Reid won? Honestly, I have no idea what political situation YOU are following, but it has no basis in reality. The Tea Party isn't finished, Democrats are. Election after election, the TP rules...and 2012 is going to make you liberal clowns in your polluted, state-worshipping, crime-ridden enclaves think of 2010 as "the good old days". We've been energized ever since the Reid/Pelosi/Obama axis started to "fundamentally change" the nation into a 3rd world socialist utopia based on 19th century ideology. It's unconstitutional and unamerican, and the no-longer-silent majority has had enough. January 2013 will be the end of an error...and Pelosi/Reid/Obama will never be in a position to damage this country again.

  64. I have to disagree with Mr. Keller's apology on behalf of Fox News, which he claims "has helped trivialize the campaign by offering a platform to one not-ready-for-prime-time Republican semi-celebrity after another." It is not up to the media to vet candidates or decide which ones are fit for public consumption. It's an insult to voters to suggest that gatekeepers are required to prevent political riff-raff from infiltrating the scene. Fox put Donald Trump on the air because, unfortunately, people wanted to see Donald Trump. I don't pretend to know why, but "why" is really not the question the media need to be asking. The job of a newspaper or television channel is to present the candidates as they are. America can make up its own mind about whether those candidates are "worthy" or not.

  65. The Tea Party have been both their own worst enemy, and the enemy of the state of America's economy.

    For one thing, they are stupid enough to think that their "kitchen table" budgeting is something to be proud of. The problem is that they were duped into thinking they were balancing their own budget, but they were the players in the game of balancing their budget by using easy to get credit.

    How, for instance, did the Tea Partiers always have time to be at all of these town hall meetings across the country and on the Mall in DC? What working family has that kind of time?

    And they showed up at Democrat town halls with M16s? Do you know how much an M16 costs? It ain't cheap. And the weapon is easily converted to full auto fire.

    So my question is, were the tea bags emblematic of a movement, or dressing to distract the Secret Service's attention when President Obama was inside addressing a town hall meeting?

    As opposed to Michelle Obama, the last 3 years haven't made me proud to be an American. Thousands of threats on the President's life, questions about his birth certificate, a "do nothing" opposition, and a bunch of gun carrying whites at a black President's town hall all suggest that something is not right in America.

    And the Tea Party is what is not right. They don't appear to be anti anything, but rather misdirected, ill-informed, know nothing people that think their modicum of success was due to their own abilities, rather than the economy that carried many of them along in spite of their abilities.

    They are very close to the scum of the earth, throwing money at a terminally ill man, clapping for 234 executions, and shouting down a gay soldier's service. These are not the actions of Americans, nor of Americans professing to be Christians.

    Is the Tea Party over? The question is whether it ever should have been in the first place.

    Roger W. Norman

  66. I don’t know if their time has passed. I certainly hope so. The thing that strikes me is how similar he sounds to Bush II. I mean his voice. Not to be critical but every time I hear it I shudder and am taken back to that era and all the trouble it caused.

    I’m listening Molly...

  67. "Is the Tea Party Over?"

    In your dreams.

  68. The Tea Party created God in its own image: intolerent, anti-science/anti-knowledge, homophobic, angry, indifferent to suffering, hypocritical, materialistic, militant, jealous, greedy, full of pride, dogmatic and Very Sanctimonious.
    Jus' sayin'

  69. The answer to the Question of Is the Tea Party Over is NO.
    If you think that it is over you need to wait until the next election. The Democrats are going to lose worse than 2010. They are clueless to the anger in the country over the only president in my lifetime worse than Carter. Completely in over his head and clueless. The divider in chief that was elected as a uniter. The big brain that was going to get the best and brightest to lead us to the promised land, not happening. Unfortunately experience matters and he had none. Just a an intern should not be let alone to do a cardiac bypass, Obama should not have been left alone to run the country.
    Astroturf is what the Tea Party was called and what Occupy Wall Street is, the next election will put this all in clear perspective.
    Have fun pretending otherwise.

  70. Nice try at making a mockery of a healthy primary and strong field of candidates. One thing I'm noticing though, as Herman Cain rolls to landslide victories in straw poll after straw poll and takes a nationwide lead in the Zogby GOP poll, the left keeps frantically repeating he could never win the nomination - are they trying to convince themselves despite the facts? Are they hoping by saying it they can make it true? All I know is I see Cain surging and true panic on the left.

  71. Please take heed America and please pay attention to Molly Ivin.
    "Next time I tell you someone from Texas should NOT be President of the
    United States" listen to her !!!

  72. When it comes to clear and humorous analysis regarding TX politics, we do indeed miss Molly Ivins.
    When GW Bush was elected in 2000 the "Economist" noted: "If you want to see where the US in going, take a look at Texas." How right they were.
    Two months before that unfortunate election, we were taking part in a golfing program in AZ. The group included 3 or 4 Texans who said they might vote for GWB. When I asked - aghast - "Why?", they replied, "Just to get rid of him." To this day I have wondered how they finally did vote.
    I fear that the same result may happen - in Texas - this time around. Could we be so unlucky? Again.

  73. I hope the Tea Party is over. I think Donald Trump looks like a viable and sensible candidate compared with the ideological Tea Partiers.

  74. If the tea party is what they say they are - voters who think we're spending more than we should, then the party is not over.

    If the tea party is what we hope they are - a pack of dumb racists, then it's over.

  75. Have you heard about the young Jewish guy who wants to run for the GOP nomination? He hasn't got a job or any other visible means of support, doesn't have a wife or a girlfriend, hangs out with a dozen other young men and has an agenda that calls for peace, love and social justice. Think he's got a chance?

  76. I'm a Democrat and intend to vote for Obama again. Contrary to the chorus of his critics among disappointed liberals and obstructionist Republicans, I think Obama has been a fine President. He has tried to move a legislative program through a hostile Congress. Not his fault when facing such obstacles. With respect to who will be his opponent, I hope it is Mitt Romney because if Obama fails to win re-election, Romney is an intelligent, moderate Republican, a president I could live with as my default choice. Perry is an embarrassment to the country. He belongs in a Sunday morning revival tent where his "speaking in tongues" can be appreciated (if not understood)and not in the White House. Enough of these good ole boys from Texas - we need a responsible, intelligent president in Washington, whether Democrat or Republican.

  77. You refer to a a Republican operative who states, "“[Perry] looked on paper like the Marlboro Tea Party guy....” Maybe it's just coincidence, but I just saw an ad on TV that was a replay of the old Marlboro Man ads. Knowing that such ads are now prohibited on television, out of curiosity I stuck in to see what was being hawked. Much to my surprise, it was Viagra. Probably a good metaphor for Perry after all.

  78. Was hoping to comment here but it looks like everybody went home. Guess nobody reads your column Bill

  79. A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.
    Thomas Jefferson

    A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit.
    Thomas Jefferson

    A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
    Thomas Jefferson

    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Thomas Jefferson

    All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.
    Thomas Jefferson Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Delay is preferable to error.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.
    Thomas Jefferson

  80. Rick Perry will be our next President.

    There is NO illusions in the TEA Party movement that Mitt Romney is our man. Furthermore, the liberal/progressive/socialist media knows that President Obama will not be re-elected, therefore they have to do what they can to insure Romney gets is their only chance to a favorable outcome for them...regardless of the winner. Rick Perry on the other hand, is their worst nightmare.

    Rick Perry will win the conservative vote, independents, TEA Party members, and a large part of the Hispanic vote. He knows the best way to create jobs in America. In addition, Governor Rick Perry is probably the single most qualified person in the country to deal with our energy, defense, education, social security, health care, and immigration problems.

  81. To be fair--if you're going to blame the press corps--give special props and a hat tip to the mainstream media which through abdication of responsibility helped elect one not-ready-for-prime-time community organizer to the Presidency.

    How about a sincere apology on behalf of journalism for that ?

  82. On behalf of journalism, sincerest apologies for wasting so much of your time.

    Mr. Keller please don't, as audience we love this show; furthermore, this stuff has nothing whatsoever to do with journalism. You see, during the severe economic downturns people need some dumb shows to take their minds off, be entertained, and escape from the dreadful reality.

    I wish the fat angry fellow, and the wispy romantic-looking-female lead with a gun did not have to leave the Island so early. But we still have the others: the pizza man, the jesus freak, the cowboy and the namby-pamby unleavened white-bread guy. But my guess is it is going to run at least 52 weeks and at the end we will have big pizza party.

  83. Is Bill Keller ticked that Republicans, tea partiers and conservatives are actually vetting their candidates?

  84. Molly Ivins was right. There hasn't been a qualified candidate from Texas running for president since 1964, and though LBJ's domestic policies were far better than most had anticipated, he never figured out that Vietnam would drag his presidency into the quicksand. But LBJ had a competence, on a scale of 1 to 100, of about 110 to Rick Perry's fraction. It scares this Texan to see that a large portion of the Republican Party seems totally ignorant of that fact.

  85. Whoa, Bill Keller, doing an analysis of the Tea Party and GOP. Sort of like Trotsky reviewing the new iPhone and the Yankees World Series prospects. What could Keller possibly know about what is going on among people he has never had an honest conversation with. What could Keller possibly know about concepts like "big government/small people." Keller only knows the USA from looking down from his skyscraper high above Manhattan. The NYT: written for leftists, by leftists. Still wraps fish well.

  86. I mourn for the Tea Party. Their obtuseness is only matched by their hate. There never can be an acceptable candidate, when all they know is what they are against. I can hardly wait for the "Gang of Six" Committee to reach an impasse, and then watch every government agency, including the military and a other TP favorites, get sliced and diced. All in keeping with Tea Party tenets.

  87. The Republican Party represents such a minute constituency it is hard to see how any of their candidates could be elected. Their only hope is that the election is a referendum on Barack Obama, however in bad times, the IQ of the general electorate seems to rise. It is a matter of survival. I am old enough to remember Wall Street when you bought a stock because you believed in the company. Now, even if the company makes money the stock doesn't necessarily rise and the reason for that is that the majority of stocks are bought and sold by institutions which bundle them in exotic ways and whether the rise and fall of individual stocks seems to follow the bundle. When the market is up, all the stocks are up, and when it is down all the stocks are down. The game is completely rigged, so the investor never wins. The S and P has been flat for ten years. Probably longer. As a supporter of the Wall Street demonstrations I'd like to point out that I am one hundred per cent a supporter of free enterprise which is a long way from what we have on Wall Street today.

  88. Keller is refreshing in that he tells the truth about the strangely unpresidential, scary array of Republican candidates for presidential nomination. I've been watching this nomination process since the 1930's and must honestly say that never has there been such a completely mediocre group of presidential hopefuls placed before the electorate. Some of them are remarkably, indeed frighteningly ignorant people. What most concerns me is the current flood of voter identification laws passed by Republican state governments this year. The Republicans are scared because they well know that they have a very poor, in some cases unelectable slate of candidates. Hence the assault on Constitutional guarantees of ballot box sanctity.

  89. Republican candidates are all toilet flushable. Who swirl around in that vortex going down and their turd like resemblance float back up emitting the same foul smell. Their innate perversity, hypocrisy, indifference, greed, evil, bigotry, racism, institutional discrimination, rights only of their malignant narcissist, chronic scapegoating and incorrigible kind.

  90. To me that reads just about right Mr. Keller. Many years ago I was in the Republican camp with President Eisenhower and me in Korea. When Nixon came along it was all over, and I have never looked back. I believe this will be a very bad election for my Republican friends. It is not even good theater.

  91. Indeed a very sad commentary on the country. I really don't think any of them can be elected. Surely not, but who knows? Ignorance is a mighty force with a lot of supporters.

  92. Headline has nothing to do with column. Your wishful imagination regarding the "decline" of the Tea Party movement is overwhelming your "training" as a journalist.

  93. So, the dude running Texas monthly is called Jake Silverstein?

    I'm an old NYC Jew and this has even me chuckling. Yea, guy like "Jake" Silverstein speaks for Texas.


  94. Assume the tea party is over at your peril. This vigilant group will not stop its work until this government is under control. Until bureaucrats stop spending our money like it is water. Until the government which has grown 30 percent under Barack Obama is re-sized. Until the government fraud, waste and duplication, as well as inane spending for the purpose of votes, is overturned. Until representatives of the people agree to listen to what is being said. Given the size of the challenge, it's impossible to think the tea party will be ending anytime soon!

  95. 'No Taxation without representation' also means the same as 'No representation without Taxation' so the people behind the Tea Party are stirring up a storm in a teacup, a very small storm and a poor facsimile of a teacup that doesn't hold any tea, or water for that matter.

    It's only the smoke and mirrors that make it look huge.

  96. Democrats should pray that the Republicans nominate Perry, Palin, Bachman or some other Tea Party devotee. This will wipe out the movement completely as an elected force. 20% of the electoral population might be that stupid, maybe 30%. So I say, 'Make my day. Nominate Perry.'

  97. Because The Obama has done SUCH a bang up job right?
    And really, what do you think Molly Ivans would have said about a president who decided he had authority to order the extra judicial murder of American citizens? Or a president who said he didn't need no stinking Congressional approval to wage war on Libya?

    Please Mr. Keller, next time I tell you not to elect a completely unqualified "community organizer" to the presidency, listen to me!

  98. Tea Party was always just another name for the extreme right wing of the Republican Party.

  99. I would rephrase this line: “You would see a very happy base — at least for the first term.”

    "You would see a very happy base -- at least until a large percentage of the base needs a service from the department or agency that no longer exists." For example, how sudden the interest in government intervention by former Sen. Lott when his home was one of those lost in Katrina. I'm sure Gov. Perry believes if you're stupid enough to build or buy a home on the Gulf Coast you deserve to have it destroyed every decade or so. If you're dumb enough to live in the Northwest, you deserve to have your house fall down around you if a big quake occurs. Sorry, not the federal government's job to help you. Maybe your neighbors can help you rebuild, Mr. Lott. But actually the best neighbor is one who never needs help.

    How sudden the interest of several conservative Republicans in expanding stem cell research when one of their family was stricken with a disease that might be cured someday by stem cells. I assume Perry would say, "Sorry, you evil people. What you're advocating is for the government to put to use cells that came from potential human beings to save completely formed human beings already born. We don't do that. Guess your father/sister/daughter will just have to die." Gee, what a wonderful country the United States will become under the leadership of Gov. Perry. A shining city on a hill, as it were. Perhaps Boot Hill.

  100. Molly Ivin's wisdom is sorely missed at this time.
    Will all the rugged individualists worshipping at the altar of the Utopian Wild West please read Louis L'Amour closely. The western heroes often had the US Marshall or the US Circuit Court as their ace in the hole. Yes, they shot and dodged and tossed off a right cross or two, but they also relied on the help of others to stitch them up and back their play.
    The glamour of the idea of the pioneers persists in this nation but when you read elsewhere in the NYT today you see how the native born Americans are unwilling to be the cowboys and ranch hands and field workers of today. All the rugged individualism lip service of Perry and others is not being backed up by the tough hard bitten close mouthed lonsome riding drifter because that fantasy character is the bottom 1%. I spent years running a shovel and a sledge hammer. I felt blessed when I got to switch to a 90 pound jack hammer. If you don't have ripped and bleeding blisters you ain't no rugged individualist in my book.

  101. He doesn't like government but he takes from government, he doesn't believe in evolution but he is Darwinian. Just like the Tea Party: they don't want government interference but love Social Security and Medicare!

  102. Bill Keller seems to have caught Rick Perry in his cross-hairs. He better be careful! His name is probably already in the Perry Database....

  103. So, in other words, if a candidate is from Texas, or the South, they are automatically disqualified? This is why Democrats keep losing in the South.

  104. Liberals simply do not understand the tea party. And Mr. Keller appears to be proud to admit it. Bold tactic.

  105. Yes, the Tea Party's time is over, make way for Occupy Wall Street. We are going to be the voice of dissent in America, representing 99% of our citizens. The Tea Party is just an old, worn out gaggle of elderly, rich, white racists and xenophobes who represnet only 1% of the people and who have overstayed their welcome. Mark Montgomery NYC, NY [email protected]

  106. The line about Mr. Cain not being able to win should really be the T.P.ers wouldn't want him to win. They look upon him with the same disdain they offer our President and that alone is the first reason the T.P.ers were formed and exist. T.P.ers will get weary, return to their backyards and continue to clip coupons to buy more salsa. T.P.ers depend on misinformation, even if it is about a GOP canidate, and or the flavor of the week.

  107. It's high time Journalism apologized to us all. Thanks, I guess. Are the Republicans next? Then maybe Fox News (which isn't Journalism)?

  108. I wish this was written by someone who actually knows and studies the Tea Party movement.

    The truth of the matter is that Cain and Bachmann are the ideal TP candidates. Now that Bachmann is going down in the polls, Cain is the man. It is no coincidence he is rising.

    The TP movement is here to stay, no matter how them liberal elite media tries to diminish it.

  109. Rick Perry Announces
    13 August 2011 (original posting date)
    Today, 13 August 2011 in Charleston, South Carolina, Texas Governor Republican Rick Perry announced his candidacy for US Presidency in 2012. My predictions: 1) immediately, big money will start flowing to his campaign, 2) quickly, Democrats will become deeply demoralized and begin saying all sorts of foolish things, and 3) ultimately, Perry will beat Obama for the Presidency in the November 2012 US General Election. The 2012 Electoral College vote will be a landslide for the Texas Republican, Democrats 228, Republicans 310. Texas has created 49.5% of all jobs in the US in recent years. Texas has disallowed teaser mortgages and has not had a real estate melt-down. Texas enacted Tort reform limiting medical malpractice awards, thereby creating a positive business climate for medical doctors. As they used to say about California, Texas is just like the rest of the USA, only more so.
    The question now is whom will Perry pick for a VP running mate? VP candidates are (according to my wife): Rice, Palin, or Bachman. My guesses are: Rubio, Cain, both extremely capable.
    How is Romney going to argue against Obamacare, which is unconstitutional, therefore illegal, and modeled after Romneycare?
    Texas, under Governor Rick Perry, has created 49.5% of all jobs in the US in recent years.
    Tom Johnson

  110. The 'shellacking' of 2010 was definitely a movement. The Senate will change hands in 2012 also. Call it what you want. Two thumbs down for the article.

  111. Great article. I was just wondering what Molly Ivins would say about Rick Perry when I arrived at your last paragraph. Wish she were here.

  112. Bush43 vowed to never be out-religioned again; Perry will out Bush Bush.

  113. What she (Molly Ivins) said.

    Texas tourism used to have the tag line, "Texas. It's a whole 'nother country." I fervently believe that both Texas and the US would have been better off had it always remained one, or even had the Civil War not been "won" by the Union. Look at all the craziness we've had the last century and then take a look at how much of it started north of the Mason-Dixon line. (Not so much…)

  114. "he latest Fox poll offered Republican voters a menu of 11 candidates"

    Apparently Mr. Keller hasn't heard of the monthly straw poll.

  115. Mr. Keller likes to scoff - I guess that's what leftist pundits do - but as flawed as they are, every one of the Republican candidates (including Rick Perry) is advocating policies based on a sounder understanding of our free-enterprise economy than Obama (or leftist Democrats) will ever possess. Obama's idea of an economy is based on the socialist drivel that the average college student is taught today by his/her leftist professors. It doesn’t work. You can’t keep bleeding the private economy in order to give the government even more money to waste and expect that to result in jobs or economic recovery. At least a Republican candidate (whoever s/he is) knows that and will put a stop to these disastrous policies.

  116. Hi Bill. Say, would you mind helping me out? Remind me exactly what qualified BHO to be president? Was it 122 days in the senate? A few years as a state legislator...("present", anyone?)? Changing the filter in the coffee machine in the faculty lounge ( but don't they have a Kehrig?)? What was it?

  117. The Tea Party over? God I hope so and Molly Ivins is and was right.

  118. What you fail to mention, is that the "Tea Party" is actually backed by the likes of Dick Army, Karl Rove, the Koch Brothers, etc. These guys do not want to overthrow the establishment. They simply want to rule it with even more absolute power than they do today.

  119. Great column. Just to nitpick a little...when speaking of Perry's economic record, you write that it "was made possible by a quarter of America’s known oil reserves, a lot of low-wage immigrants, a reluctance to waste government money on frills like education and health care, and a tax and regulatory environment out of the Wild West."

    I think it is also very important (perhaps more than all of the above) for the media to mention, and for voters to understand, the important role that federal money has played in the TX/Perry miracle. Military spending is especially important, and TX is clearly one of the winners when there are two blank-check wars being fought, thanks both to its military bases and the lucrative war industry. None of this is Perry's doing, but he is enjoying the political fruit of a windfall funded by U.S. taxpayers.

  120. Bill, good job. The GOP candidates you couldn't trivialize, you demonized. Perry's an accident, Cain not qualified (I guess his resume doesn't have a check mark in the Community Organizing Experience box, Newt is the court jester or something akin to that.

    My conclusion from your piece is that Obama and the Dems will enjoy a walkover in 2012, what with the GOP field/Tea Party/GOP disarray. What's hard for me to grasp is why, with Obama in this catbird seat, is he already campaigning (desperately) like it's 30 October 2012 and he has a poll majority in only 2 demographic groups.....African-Americans and NEW YORK TIMES PUNDITS!

  121. I am tired of both sides propagandizing, when neither gets anything done. And I am tired of sycophants commenting like they KNOW someting when they don't and the American public is supposed to accept their analysis like its the last word and after all, "I am the media and I' m telling you the truth, and if you don't believe me you are just a dumb uneducated hick!"

  122. YES! It is so over. Those phony, self-righteous, shamelessly racist Tea Party's true colors have been exposed. The 99% have exploded all over the country and unlike the Tea Party, the 99% are a real, spontaneous reaction to the greed of Wall Street banksters who are destroying democracy. What's more, priests and rabbis have joined the 99% march to protest the outsourcing of American jobs. Looking at the crowds of 99% you'll see white people, black people, union people, young people, old people, etc. Real people who want just want to work and have jobs. The Koch Brothers be damned. The real American people are speaking.

  123. The problem, as I see it, with the "mythology of the frontier," "10th Amendment hyperfederalism," and "radical individualism" is that they are predicated, tacitly, on people behaving individually more ideally with one another than people are. There is lip service to believing in or even living according to certain values, but it just isn't being actually done. Until it is, and I am hesitant after all this time to think it's going to happen from continuing on the current path we're on, we need oversight, we need stuff to fill in where we as self-interested or even just ignorant individuals fail. To insist on individualism from individuals who are not able to behave in the way that would make that model work is to promote cruelty, I think.

  124. The Tea Party, built on anger, is more a convulsion than a political entity and will fade as our current agonies subside and life slowly gets better. Or even if life doesn't get better! It's easy to get angry, much harder to stay that way. And it's destructive, not constructive. So look at what has come of it; look at what trying to appease our lessor selves has come to,... this sorry, embarrassing, collection is the best it can do? It's hard to envision any one of them being a threat to Obama even in his reduced stature. I do believe the Tea Party is in end stage dyspepsia. Serves it right.