Thomas R. Eddlem
February 5, 2014
The establishment is gunning for Tea Party congressmen who back civil liberties and oppose war, and is putting tens of millions of dollars on the line to defeat them in 2014. Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) claimed on MSNBC’s Now With Alex Wagner January 15:
It’s often said this is not your father’s or grandfather’s Republican Party. It’s not even the Republican Party of five years ago. These folks have gone Tea Party over the edge and they’re obsessive. They’re extremists, and quite frankly, they’ve destroyed the Republican Party and used it only in name. The fact is, we haven’t done anything. We’ve only passed about 60 bills. Most of them are suspensions, post office namings and a few of them have been bills to simply reopen the government after they shut it down.
Ellison specifically complained on MSNBC about the unwillingness of Tea Party Republicans to back pet leftist causes, such as increasing the minimum wage, providing amnesty for illegal immigrants, and transforming unemployment insurance into a long-term dole.
Ellison and his cheerleaders on MSNBC — and other establishment television networks — have decried the increasing partisanship in Congress and attributed it almost exclusively to the Tea Party movement. But is the Tea Party responsible for this partisanship?