Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Tea Party and Jimmy Carter

Bob Bennett has good reason to be resentful of the Tea Party for wrenching away from him his seat in the Senate, but as a conservative Republican, he has equal reason to hope for their success. This conflict is evident in his mischievous message to the movement and its future representatives, to be like Ronald Reagan, not Jimmy Carter.

Such advice might seem like a no-brainer for the Tea Party, who claim Reagan as their own, but for Bennett it is not a matter of ideology, but character. Where Carter was rigid and gloomy, self-righteous and self-isolating, Reagan was reflexive, bi-partisan, optimistic and mindful of Washington ways. Comparing the Tea Party to Jimmy Carter is a provocative act, but Bennett has nothing to fear from them now, except their own potential for failure in advancing conservative policy.

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