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Hullabaloo


Monday, April 07, 2014

 
Rand and Ted's excellent Tea Party adventure

by digby

In case you missed it, I wrote a piece for Salon today about the Paul vs Cruz battle for the soul of the Tea Party:
There’s been a lot of chatter recently about certain GOP presidential hopefuls’ religious pilgrimage to Sheldon Adelson’s Venetian palace in Las Vegas to beg for dispensation from the Republican Jewish Coalition and ask for financial support from billionaire Adelson — who promises to spend millions on the person who professes his willingness to outlaw online gambling, unequivocally support Israel and bust unions whenever possible. But another GOP religious mission last week got less notice, though it may be more significant in determining who wins the GOP primary: Senator Ted Cruz traveled to Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University and gave what everyone considered to be a fiery sermon about the gathering threat to religious liberty in America.

That address was received much more rapturously than the last time a 2016 presidential hopeful appeared at Liberty U — when Rand Paul made his infamous Wikipedia-lifted “Gattaca” speech – and points up one of the two major battle lines between the two main contenders for the Tea Party primary. In this first skirmish, it is obvious that it’s Cruz who has his finger on the pulse of the Christian Right.

But what’s that got to do with the Tea Party, you might ask? The movement is supposedly kaput, having retreated with its proverbial tail between its legs after Ted Cruz embarrassingly read “Green Eggs and Ham” on the Senate floor. And anyway, Liberty U is the Christian Right, not the Tea Party.

But that fundamentally misunderstands what the Tea Party actually is.
Click over to read the whole thing. It's got stuff about three legged stools and pogo sticks and hawks and doves and all kinds of numbers about Tea Partiers and Republicans. The upshot is that Cruz is right in the sweet spot. I'm not sure what Paul's doing but whatever it is it will not result in the GOP being more sane --- or him getting the nomination for president. Republicans don't like him any more than we do.

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