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Who will join Michele Bachmann's Tea Party Caucus?

The fallout begins. On Friday, I noted that Rep. Michele Bachmann’s decision to form a Tea Party Caucus in the House would put her GOP colleagues in a tough position. Many Republicans would like the Tea Party to rally right-of-center voters to the polls without having to identify directly with some of its more radical supporters or positions. Bachmann, however, is forcing a “you’re with us or you’re against us” choice.

And that’s already causing some heartburn. Writing this morning in Politico under the headline “GOP Leery of Tea Party Caucus,” Jonathan Allen and Jake Sherman note: “The uncertainty in the House GOP leadership underscores the risk -- and reward -- of identifying with a movement that electrifies the conservative base yet may turn off moderate Republicans and political independents with controversial slogans and billboards perceived to be insensitive to racial and religious minorities.”

Among those who have decided not to join: House Republican leader John Boehner. Happily for Boehner, he had already announced he would not join any of the many caucus groups that get formed on the Hill. “As a personal policy, Boehner is not a member of any caucus other than the House Republican Conference,” a spokesman told Politico, which also reported that Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor and his chief deputy, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, are undecided.

How Republicans deal with the Tea Party will be one of the important factors in deciding this fall’s election. Until recently, the movement was mostly a gain for the Republicans. In the coming months, the gain will be matched by some pain, and some tough choices.

By E.J. Dionne  | July 20, 2010; 9:49 AM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
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Comments

The Tea Party will be the undoing of the current GOP (Thank God!)

Posted by: rcc_2000 | July 20, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Maybe when Boehner came out of his daily fog, even he realized that the deck from which Bachmann is dealing is a couple of cards shy.

Posted by: rpmcestmoicoxnet | July 20, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

According to the Committee on House Administration's website, (http://cha.house.gov/member_orgs111th.aspx), there are approximately 320 recognized caucuses in the House.

The same website defines a caucus as "voluntary organizations whose membership consists of Members of Congress. They do not have any explicit basis or direct recognition in House or party rules. Caucuses may serve any of several functions, including: compiling, analyzing and distributing information; developing and mobilizing support for legislative proposals; advocating positions and issues; and providing representation for specific elements in national as well as Members' constituencies."

So forming a caucus hardly seems newsworthy.

Thus, I'm not sure why Mr. Dionne is so concerned about another caucus with what will assuredly be a small number of members.

Posted by: MDLaxer | July 20, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Be careful about what you wish for. Many Republicans may live to regret their initial support of the tea party when they realize just what the consequences are, including Michelle Baumann as a caucus leader. That prospect must be giving Boehner and Cantor nightmares!

Posted by: Aquarius1 | July 20, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

MDLaxer: I know you're really not that stupid, but I'll humor you.

This is newsworthy because Michelle Bachmann is a high-profile congresswoman and her use of the term "tea party caucus" was a deliberate provocation designed to attract attention, like most of what she does.

Hope that helps.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 20, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Bachman is certifiably looney. I'd never willingly join an organization that she started or had any leadership role in.

Posted by: steve1231 | July 20, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Will any Republican stand up and disavow any association or connection to the extreme radical Right? Not likely. TEA party IS the Republican party.

They all deserve repudation. Or is it repudability? Refutrocious!!

Posted by: thebobbob | July 20, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Michelle Bachmann is another wackadoodle wing-nut and her forming a Tea Party Caucus is much a kin to donning a day-glo dunce cap.

It's just that much easier to point this moron out in a crowd now for when the guys with the coats and the very long sleeved jacket finally show up to escort her away.

Posted by: 1FLWB2 | July 20, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"also reported that Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor and his chief deputy, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, are undecided."

Cantor has already figured out he needs to keep a low profile, TP'ers don't exactly believe his type should be involved in government or finance.

Republicans should be concerned, if TP'ers start asking question and demanding caucus members speak out in favor of TP positions as sen Vitter did recently, they will be viewed as extreme.

Posted by: knjincvc | July 20, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

We don't need toxic advice from a poison dwarf like EJ.

Posted by: carlbatey | July 20, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Typical of Republican leadership to USE Teabaggers for donation$ and votes, but won't align with them.
This has been proven with McConnell's team "educating" Angle and Paul after they won Senate primaries and began touting their faRRRRRR right extremist positions.

Posted by: angie12106 | July 20, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Surely, Teabagger candidates who won their primaries will PROMISE to join the Tea Party Caucus, if elected. Big IF.

And there are several GOP senators who SHOULD join. Notably, Sen. Grassley who parroted Palin's LIE about "death panels" in ObamaCare.

Posted by: angie12106 | July 20, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: "thebobbob" ... "Will any Republican stand up and disavow any association or connection to the extreme radical Right? Not likely. TEA party IS the Republican party. They all deserve repudation."
========
"Will any Democrat stand up and disawow any association or connection to the extreme radical Left? Not likely. The SOCIALIST party IS the Democrat party. They all need to be condemned.

Posted by: rsthomas | July 20, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: rcc_2000, "The Tea Party will be the undoing of the current GOP (Thank God!)
======
Chronic Socialist legislation will be the undoing of the current Democrat Party. (Thank God!)

Posted by: rsthomas | July 20, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: rcc_2000, "The Tea Party will be the undoing of the current GOP (Thank God!)
======
Chronic Socialist legislation will be the undoing of the current Democrat Party. (Thank God!)

Posted by: rsthomas | July 20, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Be careful about what you wish for. Many Republicans may live to regret their initial support of the tea party when they realize just what the consequences are, including Michelle Baumann as a caucus leader. That prospect must be giving Boehner and Cantor nightmares!Posted by: Aquarius1
=======
Be careful about what you wish for. Many Democrats will live to regret their support of Obama's Socialist legislation when they realize just what the result becomes, including E.J. Dione as their cheerleader. That prospect is giving Pelosi and Reid nightmares!

Posted by: rsthomas | July 20, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. Pete Sessions hem and haw and try to launch a load of platitudes rather answer Meet the Press Gregory's questions. And then--be still my heart--Gregory actually calls them on their obfuscation and tells them they didn't answer the question.
GREGORY: I think what a lot of people want to know is, if Republicans do get back in power, what are they going to do?
SESSIONS: It’s quite simple that Americans do know the agenda that is before us. They understand what the President and the speaker stand for, and they understand what Republicans stand for. Republicans…very strong, standing with the American people back home. [...]
GREGORY: Congressman, congressman, that’s a pretty gauzy agenda so far. I mean, what specifics — what painful painful choices are Republicans prepared to make? … How do you [balance the budget]? Tell me how you do it. Name a painful choice that Republicans are prepared to say we have to make.
SESSIONS: Well first of all, we have to make sure as we look at all we spend in Washington, D.C., with not only the entitlement spending, but also the bigger government we cannot afford anymore. We have to empower the free enterprise system.
GREGORY: Congressman, these are not specifics, voters get tired of that.
SESSIONS: Oh they are. They are. … Let’s go right to it.

GREGORY: Do it!

THE PARTY OF NO and the TEA PARTY Have NO ANSWERS.

Posted by: sherardg | July 20, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: steve1231 ... "Bachman is certifiably looney. I'd never willingly join an organization that she started or had any leadership role in.
=======
Pelosi is certifiably looney. I'd never willingly join an organization that she started or had any leadership role in.

Posted by: rsthomas | July 20, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm from Minnesota, but thankfully not in Michelle Bachmann's district. I am embarrassed for my state because of her idiotic actions and find myself apologizing when traveling outside of Minnesota. Though I am not responsible for electing her, we should all be responsible enough to call her out on her dangerous talk and actions taken. More's the pity that the Republican party welcomes her nonsense instead of calling her out. They will all be sorry shortly. Notice that not many have joined this caucus. They understand fully the poisonous positions taken by the Tea Party but are using them all to get elected. Where is integrity when you need it? It is much lacking these days in the Republican party.

The Democrats are not perfect but I am seeing less hypocrisy coming from their side of the aisle than from the Republican side. This morning I heard a radio show on Minnesota Public Radio on which someone who writes about the Tea Party denied that Sarah Palin is the head of the party. I would take issue with that. She is a sympolic head of the party and needs to be seen that way. The total hypocrisy of these folks thinking the 2012 ticket should be Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin is nauseating at best. As long as the Republicans refuse to "refudiate" Palin, Beck, Limbaugh and other talking heads, they are in deep trouble. If the looney toons take over, we will be laughed right out of our role as leaders of the free world.

Posted by: aggie2 | July 20, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

To rsthomas: Harry Reid will defeat nutbag Sharron "Right" Angle with ease. The more people learn about her freakazoid positions and her total lack of interest in issues that actually affect the people of Nevada, the less they want to send her to the Senate. (Thank God!)

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 20, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I find it amusing, and somewhat annoying, rsthomas resorts to plagiarism in order to mirror an opposite opinion. My 11 year old nephew can articulate original thoughts and ideas without resorting to copy and paste tactics or childish "I know you are, but what am I" strategies.

Posted by: mikescorpio | July 20, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

This has become such a side-show. It's distracting from the pressing issues that need to be dealt with NOW! What exactly is the Tea Party platform? Is it no government, some government, and if some, what parts? This country may not be governed perfectly, but why not talk seriously about solutions? What about putting some of those critical thinking skills to work. Most people still have them, though to look at the Tea Party, one might question it.

Posted by: valerie14 | July 20, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"…without resorting to copy and paste tactics or childish "I know you are, but what am I" strategies."

You know, you are exactly right. Instead of just being a jerk, why doesn’t rsthomas respond with a thoughtful well engaged rebuttal? I was starting to wonder if rsthomas was actually a plant because he is doing more damage to his "cause" then he realizes. All rsthomas is doing is annoying people, which, I am sure, was his/her goal. But in the end annoying people isn’t going to help your cause in the least. Instead, people will just ignore you.

Posted by: TheOtherGuyInSection117 | July 20, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Short answer: stupid people.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | July 20, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

“What exactly is the Tea Party platform?”

This, I think, is the crux of the matter. Since the TP is decentralized, they obviously have no central platform. It is not surprising then that in this situation in-fighting will happen as different splinter groups attempt to assert control over the movement as a whole. But without a centralized front or even a charter they are going to continue to be just an assortment of people who are mad at the Government for various and different reasons (both real and imagined) and with no real idea how to fix it. So what you have are a bunch of people who like to complain but are unable to offer anything of substance to address the issues they have.

Posted by: TheOtherGuyInSection117 | July 20, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse


Rsthomas

But whether you like it or not
whether you like the results or not, the
fact is that

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is regarded by both friend and enemy alike

as one of the strongest, and verifiably, the
most successful House leaders in many decades. Note the list of things this House of Representatives has done. That recent congresses failed to do.

DO you Tea Party types ever think before
mouthing off silly answers.. or repeat lines with names changed. You think it's
smart or funny? It's childish and not effective.

Such silly, snarky little snits. SO angry.

Posted by: whistling | July 20, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

rsthomas...

When older folks on social security, medicare, medicaid, disability, veterans benefits...All of which may be well deserved...bray against "socialism"...That's funny. When the spokesman for Tea Party Express writes a blog about "colored people preferring slavery" that's racist and when Michelle Bachmann opens her mouth "loony" comes pouring out. Those are not "fringers". Those are tea party insiders.

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | July 20, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

rsthomas:

When exactly are we going to get the socialist, marxist utopia the democrats have been promising us all these years?

Posted by: justing8880 | July 20, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to thank the teabaggers for nominating Sharron Angle and thereby saving Harry Reid's Senate seat.

Only the stupid blundering of the 'baggers could get Reid re-elected in a state where people don't really like him.

Posted by: ravenmocker | July 20, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

And can someone please explain to me what constitutes the extreme radical left? For me the political spectrum seems like it goes from slightly left of center to "I'm gonna bring guns to a protest" far right

Posted by: justing8880 | July 20, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Those Mama Grizzlies sure are acting kinda rabid, aren't they?

Posted by: ATLGuy | July 20, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Those Mama Grizzlies sure are acting kinda rabid, aren't they?

Posted by: ATLGuy | July 20, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are to teabaggers what Baptists are to Fred Phelps.

Posted by: areyousaying | July 20, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

The Black Caucus is more offensive than the Tea Party Caucus.

Posted by: hz9604 | July 20, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

So what you have are a bunch of people who like to complain but are unable to offer anything of substance to address the issues they have.

Posted by: TheOtherGuyInSection117

==========================================

Right now neither the tea party or the GOP have to offer proposals because there's enough of a coalition of people who simply want to stop Obama/Pelosi/Reid.

Some Republicans have offered ideas but after November they will need to offer more.

Posted by: bbface21 | July 20, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mikescorpio ... "I find it amusing, and somewhat annoying, rsthomas resorts to plagiarism in order to mirror an opposite opinion. My 11 year old nephew can articulate original thoughts and ideas without resorting to copy and paste tactics or childish "I know you are, but what am I" strategies.
=====
I find it disgraceful and dishonest to see how many socialist wing-nuts resort to bias and distortion to support their petty positions. My 14 year old granddaughter has a clearer understanding of the forces that shape our political debate than the foolish drivel we see on this post from liberals. Nothing in the world is more dangerous than the sincere ignorance and dogmatic stupidity of a Democrat.

Posted by: rsthomas | July 20, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Michele Bachmann is closely allied to the Tea Party express. We know what happened to that racist faction of the Tea party. The caucus she is forming will maintain that close alliance.

Posted by: dudh | July 20, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than the sincere ignorance and dogmatic stupidity of a Democrat. "
*******************************

Except maybe rsthomas.

Posted by: WK437 | July 20, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

rsthomas... democrats will pwn you for the rest of your existance! chew on that.

Posted by: bdubdc | July 20, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Lies, smears, disinformation.

That's about all Oboobma has going for him at this point.

Pathetic.

Posted by: thebump | July 20, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Oboobma is the most powerful man in the universe.

His apologists — having run out of excuses — are desperate to put the focus on private citizens.

Pathetic.

Posted by: thebump | July 20, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: justing8880 "When exactly are we going to get the socialist, marxist utopia the democrats have been promising us all these years?"
======
Its here now Justin. It took 77 years of liberal/socialist legislation enacted through democrat control of the three branches of government starting with FDR and the "New Steal" in 1933. LBJ and the "Great (Socialist) Society" reforms dug us in deeper in the sixties. Obama/Pelosi/Reid have, over the last 18 months, supplied the coup de grace which may now complete the transformation of our once great nation to a socialist "workers paradise." The chickens have come home to roost.

What? You silly liberals don't understand its here now and what you have done to our nation? Almost 50% of all Americans pay NO income tax. Cradle to grave support for millions who will never work in their lives at an honest job. Over 12 trillion in crippling national debt, an effective unemployment rate at over 23%, government takeover of banks, insurance companies, mortgage companies and 2/3's of the auto industry and you don't see it? You're either ignorant, blind, dishonest or all three.
For a liberal, honesty is an unpleasant way of hearing the truth. Instead of your snide, petty criticisms of the fringe elements of the Tea Party (which exist as a part of all political movements - ever hear of Saul Alinsky?); why won't you consider the core concern that is at the heart of the Tea Party movement, which is a return to fiscal sanity?
Liberals are very broadminded; they are always willing to give careful consideration to both sides of the same side of their opinion. The only solutions I ever read on liberal posts always conforms to the following ideology: For every sound idea there is an opposite government program to support and additional taxes from the citizens to collect and pay for it.
"For a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."
-Winston Churchill
Liberalism is what precedes experience and knowledge, conservatism is what follows. Unless your dishonest - hidden agenda is a socialist transformation of America.
"Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it."
- Thomas Sowell
"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." Winston Churchill

Posted by: rsthomas | July 20, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

You would think that the House Republicans distancing themselves or even hesitating to join Bachmann's caucus would finally clue in the Tea Party rubes to the fact that they will be used and discarded as handy tools to get establishment Republicans (re)elected.

Remember Scott Brown?

Posted by: VAreader | July 20, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

As a person of color, Boehner is justifiably wary of the Tea Party...

Posted by: js_edit | July 20, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

"So forming a caucus hardly seems newsworthy. Thus, I'm not sure why Mr. Dionne is so concerned about another caucus with what will assuredly be a small number of members. Posted by: MDLaxer"

Oh!, This caucus is serious all right. Boehner has stayed out of caucuses since the Republican reforms under newt, but he can see where this one is headed, and he stands no chance of avoiding butting heads with Bachman when she tries to use her caucus to tell John how to run the minority.

This is going to be a real barn burner, as both sides begin by burning each others tobacco barns and outhouses, including the ones with the little crescent moons, but it will certainly escalate.

Dionne, and the rest of us leftists aren't afraid, because this civil war will leave us alone. In fact it will strengthen leftist control of Congress, beginning before the November election if we are lucky,.

Bachman has her little cabal to back her, now she will try for control of the Republican contingent.

Posted by: ceflynline | July 20, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

"As a person of color, Boehner is justifiably wary of the Tea Party... Posted by: js_edit "

But it is lonely there at the top, and there isn't an Orangemen's conference for him to find solace in.

(Or are there enough Congressmen from Syracuse to welcome the Oompah-loompah from Westchester?)

Posted by: ceflynline | July 20, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

As a committed Democrat (or, at least, a committed non-Republican), I must say this is excellent news.

The TP Caucus will be the final nail in the GOP's coffin...their members can now either avoid the caucus, inviting the ire of the baggers (who are in essence the party's base), or join it and risk scaring off everyone else who don't like the idea of another Prohibition, or Social Security being privatized, or returning to pre-Civil Rights Act days.

Excellent news indeed.

I'd never thought I'd write this...but thank you Michelle Bachmann, thank you very much! You rock, also too.

Posted by: wagner3792 | July 20, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

MDLaxer (July 20, 2010 11:12) wrote: "So forming a caucus hardly seems newsworthy.

"Thus, I'm not sure why Mr. Dionne is so concerned about another caucus with what will assuredly be a small number of members."

Ha ha, good try MDL. Let me clue you in.

The reason this is different is because the GOP base (i.e. teabaggers) are much more, shall we say, passionate about their cause than are members of those other caucuses. And when GOPers reject the caucus, enraged baggers will call them RINOs and treat them as the enemy.

Hope that helps.

Posted by: wagner3792 | July 20, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Dr, FOXenstein clamps his hands to his mouth in horror! The new creation has broken its chains and is lurching off the TV table and onto its feet! It has its eyes on Dr. FOXenstein's buxom fiance, Miss Republican Party!

Go, monster!

Posted by: fzdybel | July 20, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Thats's a great Idea.* Michele Bachmann * * For President *

Posted by: Imarkex | July 20, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

whistling,

what i will agree with you on about Princess Pelosi is that she "is the stongest" SMELLING Speaker in decades AND the MOST DISHONEST piece of DIMocRAT trash in the US Congress. = she lies like a rug every time she opens her "5-gallon bucket size" mouth.
if the DIMocRATS cannot do any better than that particuliar "crook in a skirt", they are done permanently, as even a major political party, much less THE majority party.
(don't believe me? ====> check out how much money that she's taken from BP, since THE SPILL!)

standing beside her, even Congress-CRITTER Charles Rangel looks like a candidate for SAINTHOOD.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | July 27, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

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