In this penetrating new study, Skocpol of Harvard University, one of today's leading political scientists, and co-author Williamson go beyond the inevitable photos of protesters in tricorn hats and knee breeches to provide a nuanced portrait of the Tea Party. What they find is sometimes surprising.
the tea party and the remaking of republican conservatism
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The election of Barack Obama in 2008 was startling, as was the victory of Donald Trump eight years later. Because both presidents were unusual and gained office backed by Congresses controlled by their own parties, their elections kick-started massive counter-movements. The Tea Party starting in 2009 and the "resistance" after November 2016 transformed America's political landscape. Upending American Politics offers a fresh perspective on recent upheavals, tracking the emergence and spread of local voluntary citizens' groups, the ongoing activities of elite advocacy organizations and consortia of wealthy donors, and the impact of popular and elite efforts on the two major political parties and candidate-led political campaigns. Going well beyond national surveys, Theda Skocpol, Caroline Tervo, and their contributors use organizational documents, interviews, and local visits to probe changing organizational configurations at the national level and in swing states. This volume analyzes conservative politics in the first section and progressive responses in the second to provide a clear overview of US politics as a whole. By highlighting evidence from the state level, it also reveals the important interplay of local and national trends.
This highly original work considers the rhetoric of political actors and commentators who identify digital media as the means to a new era of politics and democracy. Placing this rhetoric in a historical and intellectual context, it provides a compelling explanation of the reinvention and thematic recurrence of democratic discourse. The author investigates the populist sources of rhetoric used by digital politics enthusiasts as outsiders inaugurating new eras of democracy with digital media, such as Barack Obama and Julian Assange, and explores the generations of rhetorical and political history behind them. The book places their rhetoric in the context of the permanent tensions between insiders and outsiders, between the political class and the populace, which are inherent to representative democracy. Through a theoretical and conceptual research that is historically grounded and comparative, it offers rhetorical analysis of candidates for the 2016 presidential election and discusses digital democracy, particularly discussing their origins in American populism and their influence on other countries through Americanization. Uniquely, it offers a sceptical assessment of epochal claims and a historical-rhetorical account of two of the defining figures of twentieth-century politics to date, and reveals how modern rhetoric is grounded in an older form of anti-politics and mobilises tropes that are as old as representative democracy itself.
From the start of Barack Obama's presidency in 2009, conservative populist groups began fomenting political fractiousness, dissent, and surprising electoral success. The Tea Party was one of the major characters driving this story. But, as Khadijah Costley White argues in this book, the Tea Party's ascent to major political phenomenon can be attributed to the way in which partisan and non-partisan news outlets "branded" the Party as a pot-stirrer in political conflicts over race, class, and gender. In other words, the news media played a major role in developing, cultivating, and promoting populism's brand, particularly within the news spaces of commentary and opinion. Through the language of political marketing, branding, and promotion, the news media not only reported on the Tea Party, but also acted as its political strategist and brand consultant. Moreover, the conservative press acted more as a political party than a news medium, deliberately promoting the Tea Party, and aiding in organizing, headlining, and galvanizing a conservative political base around specific Tea Party candidates, values, and events. In a media environment in which everyone has the opportunity to tune out, tune in, and speak back, The Branding of Right-Wing Activism ultimately shows that distinctions between citizens, journalists, activists, politicians, celebrities, and consumers are more symbolic than concrete.
The Tea Party showed its strength in the 2010 mid-terms. Despite the opposition of leading Republicans like Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Lindsey Graham, 140 Tea Party candidates ran for Congress. Of the sixty House seats which moved from Democratic to Republican control, twenty-eight were won by Tea Party candidates. At the movement’s height, 29 percent of Americans had “some ties” to the Tea Party, while 2 percent identified themselves as active members. The Tea Party first attracted the media spotlight with Rick Santelli’s televised rant against the government’s bailout of mortgage borrowers on February 19, 2009, which instantly went viral as a video. As the authors document, however, “tea parties” associated with the Ron Paul movement had already been gathering momentum for more than a year. Beginning as a protest against government spending sprees and ballooning deficits, the Tea Party’s sudden fame forced it to define itself on many issues where the membership was seriously divided. The Tea Party is a coalition of different outlooks, united only by belief in small, debt-free government and low taxes. Fiscal conservatives, who were usually liberal on social issues and against American military interventions, battled social conservatives, in an uneasy series of maneuvers which continues unresolved and is described in the book. The Tea Party Explained, written by two Tea Party activists who know the movement inside and out, is aimed at the intrigued and curious reader who wants to find out more about this unique phenomenon. The book gives a well-documented account of the Tea Party, its origins, its evolution, the bitter squabbles over its direction, its amazing successes in 2010, and its electoral rebuff in 2012. Maltsev and Skaskiw analyze the demographics of the Tea Party, the many organizations which have tried to represent, appropriate, or infiltrate the movement, and the ideological divisions in its ranks. The authors evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the Tea Party and its likely future impact. A movement with strong local roots in many cities, firmly supported by a quarter of the US population, will not evaporate after one big defeat, and can be counted on to influence events for decades to come.
The United States has had not one, but two Foundings. The Constitution produced by the Second Founding came to be only after a vociferous battle between Federalists and Anti-Federalists. The Federalists favored a relatively powerful central government, while the Anti-Federalists distrusted the concentration of power in one place and advocated the preservation of sovereignty in the states as crucibles of post-revolutionary republicanism -- the legacy of the First Founding. This philosophical cleavage has been at the heart of practically every major political conflict in U.S. history, and lives on today in debates between modern liberals and conservatives. In The Lovers' Quarrel, Elvin T. Lim presents a systematic and innovative analysis of this perennial struggle. The framers of the second Constitution, the Federalists, were not operating in an ideational or institutional vacuum; rather, the document they drafted and ratified was designed to remedy the perceived flaws of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. To decouple the Two Foundings is to appreciate that there is no such thing as "original meaning," only original dissent. Because the Anti-Federalists insisted that prior and democratically sanctioned understandings of federalism and union had to be negotiated and partially grafted onto the new Constitution, the Constitution's Articles and the Bill of Rights do not cohere as well together as has conventionally been thought. Rather, they represent two antithetical orientations toward power, liberty, and republicanism. The altercation over the necessity of the Second Founding generated coherent and self-contained philosophies that would become the core of American political thought, reproduced and transmitted across two centuries, whether the victors were the neo-Federalists (such as during the Civil War and the New Deal) or the neo-Anti-Federalists (such as during the Jacksonian era and the Reagan Revolution). The Second Founding -- the sole "founding" that we generally speak of -- would become a template for the unique, prototypically American species of politics and political debate. Because of it, American political development occurs only after the political entrepreneurs of each generation lock horns in a Lovers' Quarrel about the principles of one of the Two Foundings, and succeed in justifying and forging a durable expansion or contraction of federal authority.
On tax day, April 15, 2010, hundreds of thousands of Americans took to the streets with signs demanding lower taxes on the richest one percent. But why? Rich people have plenty of political influence. Why would they need to publicly demonstrate for lower taxes-and why would anyone who wasn't rich join the protest on their behalf? Isaac William Martin shows that such protests long predate the Tea Party of our own time. Ever since the Sixteenth Amendment introduced a Federal income tax in 1913, rich Americans have protested new public policies that they thought would threaten their wealth. But while historians have taught us much about the conservative social movements that reshaped the Republican Party in the late 20th century, the story of protest movements explicitly designed to benefit the wealthy is still little known. Rich People's Movements is the first book to tell that story, tracking a series of protest movements that arose to challenge an expanding welfare state and progressive taxation. Drawing from a mix of anti-progressive ideas, the leaders of these movements organized scattered local constituencies into effective campaigns in the 1920s, 1950s, 1980s, and our own era. Martin shows how protesters on behalf of the rich appropriated the tactics used by the Left-from the Populists and Progressives of the early twentieth century to the feminists and anti-war activists of the 1950s and 1960s. He explores why the wealthy sometimes cut secret back-room deals and at other times protest in the public square. He also explains why people who are not rich have so often rallied to their cause. For anyone wanting to understand the anti-tax activists of today, including notable defenders of wealth inequality like the Koch brothers, the historical account in Rich People's Movements is an essential guide.
The political scene is changing rapidly in America. The religious right is on the defensive, acceptance of gay rights is at an all-time high, social conservatives are struggling for relevance, and more Americans than ever identify as nonreligious. What does this mean for the country and the future? With these demographic shifts, can truly progressive, reason-based public policy finally gain traction? Or will America continue to carry a reputation as anti-intellectual and plutocratic, eager to cater to large corporate interests but reluctant to provide universal health care to all its citizens? Fighting Back the Right reveals a new alliance in the making, a progressive coalition committed to fighting for rational public policy in America and reversing the damage inflicted by decades of conservative dominance. David Niose, Legal Director of the American Humanist Association (AHA), examines this exciting new dynamic, covering not only the rapidly evolving culture wars but also the twists and turns of American history and politics that led to this point, and why this new alliance could potentially move the country in a direction of sanity, fairness, and human-centered public policy.
This edition of Women and Elective Office offers the latest research on women as candidates and officeholders. It provides a comprehensive look at at the history and status of women in elective office, their prospects for the future, and why women in elected office matter to American democracy. It features all-new essays and up-to-the-minute research by leading experts in the field, including the latest political trends and events such as Hillary Rodham Clinton's run for the presidency, women's representation on the state and local level, the diversity of women officeholders' experiences and circumstances, and female judges. Women and Elective Office is an essential guide to understanding the past, present, and future of women in all echelons of government.
Ronald T. Libby's Purging the Republican Party examines Tea Party primary campaigns against Republicans including the defeats of Dede Scozzafava in New York and Bob Bennett in Utah, and the election of Marco Rubio in Florida. It includes an assessment of the Tea Party’s political prospects following the 2012 elections and beyond.