Tea party

Where Ukip went wrong

[audioplayer src=”http://rss.acast.com/viewfrom22/angelamerkel-sburden/media.mp3″ title=”Freddy Gray, Sebastian Payne and Owen Bennett discuss where Ukip went wrong” startat=685] Listen [/audioplayer]What’s happened to poor Ukip? Not so long ago, they seemed unstoppable. They were revolting on the right, terrifying the left and shaking up Westminster. The established parties tried sneering at them, smearing them, even copying them. Nothing worked. Then came the general election, the centre held, and Ukip seemed to fall apart. Farage failed to win his target seat in South Thanet, the focus of his whole campaign. He resigned, then farcically unresigned, three days later. The ‘Ukip wars’ followed: after an unseemly row over ‘Short money’ — the funding provided by the

Is Nigel Farage becoming Ron Paul?

I think I have seen Nigel Farage’s future, and it is not pretty. A copy of Farage’s The Purple Revolution reached my desk today. The cover instantly reminded me of a cover manifesto for Ron Paul, the once inspiring libertarian radical who has turned into something of a crank. On Farage’s book, the word LOVE has been mirrored on to the word Revolution. Ron Paul posters used to employ the same silly trick. As did Russell Brand. It is becoming a sort of logo for anti-establishment feeling. It is also hilariously crap. ‘Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket,’ said Eric Hoffer. The quote certainly

How America’s right wing is becoming a lot more like Britain’s

   Washington DC [audioplayer src=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_20_Nov_2014_v4.mp3″ title=”Michael Lind and Sebastian Payne discuss the growing similarities of the Britain and American right” startat=1350] Listen [/audioplayer]Amid all the commentary about the Republican party’s triumph in America’s midterm elections, a remarkable fact was ignored: in style and substance, the American right is rapidly becoming a lot more like Britain’s. And that might be the key to its success. In the last generation, American right-wingers have stood proudly apart from their counterparts in Europe, Britain, Canada and Australia. They were more religious, and more supportive of mass immigration. But that is changing. Exhibit A is the dwindling influence of the religious right in the US.

With a hangover like this, my soul is ready to be saved

 Island of Rhodes When I’m on the water, I feel I was born to it. Yachting has always been a way to enjoy the sea and the nature associated with it. The motion through water, the breeze and spray on the face, the looking forward to a landfall, the sheer beauty of leaning into the wind and watching the bowsprit plunge in and then emerge shaking water off itself like a puppy. These are some of the pleasures. Well, I’m on a gin palace, and none of the above is happening. I’m a guest of John and Darcy Rigas, whose chartered megayacht accommodates 16 in pasha-like comfort, and to my

Boehner’s concession exposes the GOP’s divisions

The New York Times reports that House Speaker John Boehner has urged his colleagues to reach a deal with President Obama over raising the ceiling on the national debt. So far, Republicans have been resisting Obama, fearful that tax rises and compromise would damage the party’s chances in next year’s election, which is expected to hinge on restoring America’s public finances. Boehner’s retreat has incited the presidential candidates, who have been campaigning this weekend. The New York Times has the full details, but here’s a brief summary. Michelle Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty averred their opposition to raising the debt ceiling; a stance designed to court the party’s purists. Predictably, Mitt Romney

America’s right still hates Hillary Clinton. And it still can’t stop her

 Atlanta, Georgia Who thinks Hillary Clinton is the nastiest woman in the world? The American Spectator once called her ‘the Lady Macbeth of Arkansas’ while US News and World Report described her as ‘the overbearing yuppie wife from hell’. But that was back in the nineties. Surely such vitriol is a thing of the past? No. The founders of ‘StopHillaryPAC’ say on their website that they want to ‘save America from the destructive far-left liberal cancer’ that Mrs Clinton represents. Do they wish her actual harm? Well, they plan to ‘STOP Hillary dead in her tracks’ but, you know… just politically. They’re not the only ones. The similarly named group ‘StopHillary2016’

Nixon’s lessons for today’s Republicans

If the past few weeks are any indication, conservative Republicans learned very little from the 2012 election. While the party’s establishment tries to claw its way back from defeat, tea partiers and neoconservatives have decided to double-down on obstructionism. Less than a week after nearly derailing the fiscal cliff negotiations, tea partiers threaten to drive the U.S. into default in the coming debt-ceiling showdown. Meanwhile, neoconservatives are sharpening their knives over foreign policy realist Chuck Hagel, whom President Obama nominated this week for Secretary of Defence. Mired in ideological infighting, how can the Republican Party rescue itself? The answer, surprisingly enough, is Richard Milhous Nixon. Nixon, born 100 years ago

The Tea Party claims another scalp

They may have failed to install one of their candidates as the Republican’s presidential nominee, but the Tea Party is having better luck in other elections. Last night, Ted Cruz — backed by Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul — beat Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst 57-43 in the Republican primary for Texas’s senate election in November. Despite being outspent nearly three-to-one, Cruz — who has never run for office before — achieved a remarkable turnaround. In the first round of the primary just nine weeks ago, Dewhurst beat him 45-34 (as neither got more than 50 per cent it went down to last night’s run-off). In the second round,

Romney stretches his lead in endorsements

He may be trailing Newt Gingrich in the national polls, but there’s one metric by which Mitt Romney is dominating the 2012 Republican field: endorsements. He’s already bagged the two biggest ones announced so far: Chris Christie and Tim Pawlenty. He also has the backing of several key Republicans in New Hampshire, including current Senator Kelly Ayotte and two former Governors. And yesterday he added another big name from another early state to his list: South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Haley’s support for Romney is not wholly unexpected: she backed him in 2008 and he endorsed her early in her campaign for Governor last year. It is significant, though: a

Newsflash: Americans and Europeans like each other

A decade has passed since the attacks of 9/11 and so much water has flown under the proverbial bridge. Today, ordinary Americans don’t want to have a leadership role in the world, and Europeans aren’t too keen on it either. And having dithered over what to do about Guantanamo Bay, most people in the US and Europe don’t trust President Obama’s counter-terrorist policies. Right? No, actually wrong. According to the tenth-annual public opinion survey of the general public in the United States, Turkey, and 12 European Union member states – the Transatlantic Trends – 54 per cent of respondents from European countries surveyed want the United States to show strong leadership in world

An open letter to Will Straw about deficit reduction…

…or why the US cuts are actually faster than, and just as deep as, ours. Dear Will, We hope you don’t mind us writing a letter-form response to your latest post on Left Foot Forward, which argues that the “coalition government’s cuts are deeper and faster than the Tea Party’s”. But, as we see it, there are several problems with your figures which are easier to explain in a conversational format. Here they are, as best as we can express them: i) The first obvious problem comes when you say that Obama set out $83 billion of deficit reduction for 2012 in his March Budget. Actually, he didn’t. The Congressional

Alex Massie

Department of Bad Ideas: Polly Toynbee Writes About American Politics

Surprise! Polly Toynbee’s column on the Tea Party today is a mess. You wouldn’t expect La Doyenne to agree with the Tea Party’s thirst for deficit reduction, nor with its willingness to take the United States to the edge of a technical default. That’s fine. Equally, there’s certainly a strain of conservative thinking immune to logic or reason. But much the same could be said of certain classes of Guardian readers too. This, however, is dreadful or, at best, simply lazy: The founding fathers built a constitution of checks and balances believing reasonable men would agree; how could they foresee Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann or Glenn Beck? To the British

Meanwhile, in America…

We really oughtn’t let the weekend pass without some mention of political events across the Atlantic. As you’ve probably heard, a US government shutdown was avoided on Friday evening, and all thanks to a budget compromise which saw Barack Obama slash a cool $38 billion from his spending plans. Although the debate over who has credited or discredited themselves is still ongoing, it’s striking that the Republicans — urged on by the Tea Party corps — achieved around two-thirds of the cuts that they demanded. Yet disaster, or at least the prospect of it, has still not been averted. The Tea Party has already claimed several fiscal scalps along the

In this week’s Spectator

The latest edition of The Spectator is now out on iPad (click here for more info) and the newsagents (or £2, posted direct today). I thought CoffeeHousers may be interested in a small selection of the goodies we have in store.   1.  Andrew Neil on the conservative comeback in America. He spent the summer shadowing the Tea Party, and gives the best analysis you’ll read on what just happened – and what lies ahead. (You can read it here.) The Sunday Times’ Christina Lamb travelled across Nevada and California with the Tea Partiers, and tells tales from the campaign bus (one being that they only serve coffee). And Daniel

Victory, but there’s little triumphalism as Republicans look to court America

Hysteria has lapsed into disaffection: it was a bleak night for President Obama. But, despite the apparent immediacy of a ‘conservative moment’, there is caution in Republican circles this morning: both Clinton and Reagan won from similar positions in 1982 and 1994. The G.O.P’s leadership knows that elections are not won from the extremes, as Barack Obama has discovered to his cost, and it is trying to calm the party’s often excitable fringe, which will be no easy task if Rand Paul’s ‘Tea Party tidal wave’ is anything to go by. Ben Brogan recently highlighted the G.O.P’s growing ‘Stop Palin’ campaign, and David Frum adds his voice again. Chancers and

James Forsyth

Republicans take control of the House, Democrats cling on in Senate

The Democrats have lost control of the House of Representatives. The Republican party looks to have picked up more than 60 seats in the lower house, slightly more than they were expected to, and they will have a comfortable majority there. The Democrats have lost six seats in the Senate but held onto their majority in the upper chamber. These results are a blow to President Obama. The loss of the Democratic majority in the House will force him to compromise to get things done.  The results do seem to be a rejection of his agenda, 56 percent of voters in the exit poll felt that government is now doing

James Forsyth

Early signs are that it will be a good night for the Republicans and an awful one for Obama and his agenda

It is early in the night but things are looking good for the Republicans. Marco Rubio, the Cuban-American son of a bartender, has won his Senate race in Florida at a canter and confirmed his status as a rising star in the party. Rand Paul, a committed libertarian, has won in Kentucky. While it looks like the Republicans have also won in the Senate races in Arkansas, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. Although, it is worth noting that Christine O’Donnell—the eccentric Tea Party backed candidate—lost in Delaware in a contest that one would expect the Republicans to win in these circumstances. In the House, the Republicans seem almost certain to gain

Obama’s Hurt Locker

The backlash that Barack Obama is now experiencing seemed almost impossible when the neophyte senator swept into the White House. It was, in fact, predicted by some. In 2007 when Barack Obama was but an ambitious Illinois senator, American defence expert Kori Shake penned an essay called the Coming Crisis of High Expectations. It was about how the EU and the US would inevitably slide apart – but its message was broader. Beware of exorbitant expectations, she seemed to be saying. Reality hurts. How much it hurts will become clear today. It looks like a House of Representatives-sized hurt but not a Senate-shaped one. Harry Reid clung on to his

A conservative revival in the States

Election night two years ago was not a good night for the GOP. Not only had it lost the White House but also all those predictions about how social trends and demographics were making America more Democrat appeared to be coming true.  In the south, Virginia and North Carolina shifted to the Democratic column. In the mid-West, Indiana went for the Democratic candidates for the first time since 1964. I was watching the results come in that night with an informal adviser to the McCain campaign and that evening it was hard to see how the Republicans could get to 270 in future with the upper south moving into swing

Reading the Tea Party

Copyright BBC Tea Party America with Andrew Neil, Renegade Pictures for the BBC This Tuesday we will find out the electoral strength of the Tea Party, the insurgent political movement that has already toppled several favourites of the Republican Establishment. From this side of the Atlantic, it has been hard to get a handle on the Tea Party. Does it represent a right turn in US politics or is it just a rag-tag group whose policies and candidates are just too extreme to be electable? To answer this question, Andrew Neil headed to the States this summer; travelling to the states where the Tea Party has made the most impact.