Is the Tea Party over? If our guest tonight on ‘The War Room’ former Senator Arlen Specter has anything to say about it, the answer is “yes.” Specter has written a book entitled ‘Life Among the Cannibals,’ and had this to say on a recent episode of Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN:
PIERS MORGAN: Who are the cannibals?
SPECTER: The cannibals are the Tea Party, are the Club for Growth. I’m very specific in this book, led by Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina. They have – they beat Lisa Murkowski in the primary. She then ran a campaign on a write-in, unprecedented in American history, especially with a name like Murkowski. You misspell it with a Y instead of an I, the ballot is thrown out.
But she was able to demonstrate that if you acquaint the electorate with the problem and you motivate them to come out, they can take back the center. And you can get a Congress which will be functional.
Murkowski was one target among many, of course. Chris Cillizza at WaPo’s ‘The Fix’ blog runs through a few of the names today: Bob Bennett, ousted in a Tea Party challenge two years ago, Senator Dick Lugar in Indiana is facing a challenge from the right this year, as is Senator Orrin Hatch in Utah. And let’s face it, Mitt Romney escaped with the Republican nomination simply because the far-right could not find a suitable alternative to rally around in the primaries – and now Mitt finds that he must please the Tea Party base if he has any hope of keeping conservatives enthused about voting this November.
Recent polls indicate that the general electorate is catching on to the fact that the freshman Republican House members elected on the Tea Party wave have brought gridlock to Congress though, and perceptions of the movement have taken a downward turn. From the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll:
And from Cillizza’s article: “More than six in 10 people said they were not interested in learning more about the movement, and a majority said the more they learned, the less they liked. Both of those numbers have increased significantly over the past two years.”
Will America notice that Romney’s policies are aligned with the Tea Party’s wishes? President Obama plans to turn Romney back over to the Republican cannibals as he reminds us all just what is at stake in this election, and Mitt is going to find himself Etch-A-Sketching all over the place trying to please all audiences.
Join us tonight at 9/8c in ‘The War Room’ to hear Senator Specter tell us more about the fate of the GOP as they deal with their Tea Party problem this election year.