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The Inseverability of the Tea Party

The Inseverability of the Tea Party

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I finally got around to watching this Intelligence Squared debate over the motion '€œThe GOP must seize the center or die,'€ with David Brooks and Mickey Edwards arguing for, Laura Ingraham and Ralph Reed against. Their arguments will be familiar to most, the former arguing the party has become too extreme, alienating growing demographic groups, the latter  that standing on principle is the way to success and moderates lost just as badly as conservatives in the last election.

The numbers paint an interesting picture of how the Republican Party'€™s problems are both more intractable than many realize and misperceived by most. Before the debate, 14 percent voted against the motion, afterward, 28 percent did, whereas the percentage of people voting for the motion remained at 65 percent, meaning the side opposed to the motion changed more minds, and won.