Dear Commons Community,
Bill Keller in his NY times column today asks an interesting question: Is the Tea Party Over? at least as far as the Republican presidential primary is concerned. Assuming that the Tea Party could never really support Mitt Romney, he casts barbs at the candidates of the month who could possibly be endorsed by the Tea Party:
“In a spectacle about as deliberative as speed-dating, candidate after candidate tried out for the role of Not Mitt Romney — including, at times, Mitt Romney. We had the Sarah Palin tease, replaced by the short-lived Michele Bachmann infatuation, after which everyone swooned, briefly, for Rick Perry. Herman Cain is having a little fling now, though even voters who like his style don’t think he can win. Rick Santorum, who is in some ways the moralizing social conscience of the Tea Party, and Ron Paul, who plays its geeky libertarian id, have settled into single digits and bit parts as debate foils. Newt Gingrich is the class cutup, blowing raspberries at journalists.”
And with a shot to the media:
“To be fair, some of this unedifying scramble can indeed be blamed on the press corps. Special props go to the hyperactive political news sites that crave a fresh narrative every 15 minutes, even if it’s a sitcom like Donald Trump. And a hat tip to Fox News, which has helped trivialize the campaign by offering a platform to one not-ready-for-prime-time Republican semi-celebrity after another. On behalf of journalism, sincerest apologies for wasting so much of your time.”
His conclusion is that don’t underestimate Rick Perry and that he can possibly win the Tea Party endorsement (probably begrudgingly), the Republican nomination (not likely) and the presidency (we might as well move to Canada). The comments in parentheses in the above sentence are mine.