It looks as if the Tea Party phenomenon is going the way of the hula hoop. With their apparent acknowledgement that it would be political suicide to block a debt ceiling increase, the radical group is left in limbo. Ruining the global economy was the only “leverage” they had and the money men who make the movement viable aren’t about to let that happen.
The Tea Party was useful when Big Business needed “grassroots” support in the battle against Obamacare. And Tea Party foot soldiers played a valuable role in recent elections. But their usefulness has been outweighed by the damage they’ve caused. Tea Party proclamations played a big part in the defeat of Mitt Romney and the Republicans last November. American voters were turned off by crazy pronouncements about “legitimate rape” and so on.
It has become obvious that the alliance between Big Business and the Tea Party activists cannot survive.
Tea Party representatives in Congress have their own agenda, and it is incompatible with the goals of the global plutocrats who’ve been funding them.
Activism can be a powerful political force. By getting out the primary vote for radical Republicans, the Tea Party struck fear into the hearts of the moderates and shoved the party sharply to the right. And this was OK with the money men as long as their interests weren’t threatened. But when the Tea Party crowd started targeting the financial foundation on which the wealth of the elite depends, it was obvious they had crossed the line.
President Obama was shrewd enough to recognize this fact, and refused to negotiate over the debt ceiling. Go ahead and wreck the economy, he dared them. See how your rich backers will like it.
Obviously, the rich backers have let the Republicans know they’ve gone far enough and the time had come to pull back from their radical positions. And the Republicans are paying attention. Word is coming out of the House GOP retreat in Williamsburg, Virginia that they will agree to extend the debt ceiling without a fight – even if only for a few months.
My bet is there will be no future fight over what has been up to now a merely procedural vote. The debt ceiling has no impact on government spending; it is simply routine approval to pay outstanding bills. By voting against this measure, House Republicans would severely damage America’s credit and send the global finance system reeling – without having much impact on future government spending.
This kind of economic sabotage would undoubtedly result in a severe backlash at the polls in 2014. And, more to the point, it would inflict financial damage on the people who fund the Republicans, including the Tea Party troublemakers.
There will be future fights over the budget, of course. But the spending cuts demanded by Republicans will target the old, the poor and the sick – those of us with little political influence. The ax will not fall on areas that enrich the elite – such as the military-industrial complex, for example.
After all, even radicals need money to operate. And radical Republicans get their money from Big Business.
As their usefulness to Big Business wanes, the radicals’ influence will decline. Eventually, the Tea Party will have served its purpose and will be heard of no more.