Thursday, April 25, 2013

Does the Tea Party still matter?

By Richard K. Barry

Though not directly related to any one campaign, it might be significant election news that the House Tea Party caucus has decided to "relaunch" itself.  For a while they kind of went away. They lost ten caucus members in the 2012 general election, and high profile adherents like Michele Bachmann have been putting out their own brushfires.

But worry not. They're back.

This can't make other House Republicans very happy as they go through a rebranding exercise to make their party more acceptable to mainstream voters. 

As David Firestone at the New York Times writes:

The Tea Party, or what remains of it, has no interest in rebranding, and even the presence of a smaller, less influential caucus will exert on ideological tug on less radical Republicans.

All it takes is a handful of crazies to put the GOP off its game, if history is any guide.

(Cross-posted at Phantom Public.)

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