What is a “Tea Party Democrat?”


Tea Party backers like to claim that the group belong to no real party, but are instead a grassroots hodgepodge of voters dissatisfied with both Democrats and Republicans.  Some even go as far as to state there are Tea Party members who are actually Democrats that just support the group’s belief in limited government.

But does the Tea Party Democrat really exist outside of Republican fairy tales?  The Washington Post says:

Republican pollster Dan Hazelwood said that just as some Democrats moved to the GOP because of social issues in recent decades, some are now moving to the tea party because of fiscal issues.

“They have the same populist point of view of the rest of the tea party movement,” Hazelwood said. “Their ideal would be a Dennis Kucinich-type who was anti-spending and for budget austerity. So they are people who are adrift on the left because of spending and on the right because of social issues.”

In essence, the “Tea Party Democrat” exists much in the same way that the “Blue Dog” Democrat or the “Reagan Democrat” exists — it’s the self-identified “Democrat” who almost always votes for the Republican party and stands with their issues rather than that of progressives.  The Heath Shulers of the political spectrum.

And it wouldn’t be surprising if ten percent of the Tea Party really were made up of Democrats once you look at that demographic.  In Nebraska alone there are a large number of self-identified Democrats who can’t name a single Democrat they have voted for in decades besides Sen. Ben Nelson.  In my own family, many of whom are registered Democrats, the biggest debate is over who would make a better president — Herman Cain or Ron Paul.  The only thing they do agree on is that either would be a vast improvement over Barack Obama.

Can the Democratic Party win back these Tea Party converts?  Not very likely.  But then again, they never really had them in the first place, at least, not in anything but name only.


jane richmond
jane richmond7 years ago

Some people will believe anything!

christopher murray

A Tea Party Democrat is like a Die Hard Florida Marlins fan. You hear about them, people claim to see them, but they don't exist.

Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart7 years ago

Tea partiers, regardless of their party affiliation are typical Americans, in that they are angry at the direction this country is heading, BUT their anger has been mis-directed by their naive willingness to accept the shallow propaganda they are exposed to once they become convinced that the "similarly angry" talking heads in the media have the answers. All they seem to believe is that if a pundit/politican personifies the rage on the airwaves that they are incapable of expressing effectively themselves, then that pundit is a "kindred spirit", without having to do the heavy lifting of examining the alternative solutions for their frustrations themselves. They have fallen into a trap, and have become the DISPOSABLE front line pawns for political forces that are selling them snake oil today, but will abandon them when their activism is no longer needed.
Simply put, "BLIND RAGE" is what they feel, is the glue that binds them together, and rage is the one thing they do not find enough of in the democratic party.
Progressives need to find a way to convey their own rage outside of the democratic party if they hope to ever tap into this pool of activism. Many people who were enraged by the cheney/bush regime perceived Barack Obama as a channel for their rage. THAT demographic base got Obama elected, but was abandoned after his inauguration, just as they will be abandoned by the GOP eventually.

Ruth R.
Ruth R7 years ago

It makes little sense from the outside.

criss S.
criss s7 years ago

Nonsense......they are Republicans.

Frances C.
Frances C7 years ago

What nonsense, There are no Democratic tea baggers. The so called Tea Party is solely the far right wing of the Republican Party, paid for by their wealthy corporate and wealthy individual donors. They have dragged the few moderate Republicans into their orbit by fear of losing an election. If not stopped they will bring the whole Country down, after they have taken away all the individual rights we have, and created even more unequal distribution of wealth.

Chris P.
Chris P7 years ago

I'm not even trying to understand what it all means.

Cheryl B.
Cheryl Bresney7 years ago

Will, time and time again it has been proven that the teabagger movement was spawned by the corporate backers who knew they could exploit your viterol hatred and fear of people of color to boost their agenda. This is a corporate coup and you are their weapons to kill democracy and destroy liberty and make this nation a debtor state from which there can be no escape. Do not claim to be an independant because that isn't who you are.

Guillermo Ramon
Guillermo Ramon7 years ago

Small government means you copy the model from Venezuela, Colombia, ar any third world nation. Low taxes, high crime. Gun ownership is highly recommended, unless you want to be mugged on regular basis. No maintenance of the infrastructure. This saves lots of money in taxes. Pot-holes, cracks, and garbage become an integral part of your view. No restrictions about cutting trees, so you can deforest the Amazon, your back yard, or any city park. After all, city parks cost money and belong to the government. Contraception becomes unnecessary because without public or subsidized medicine, people live much shorter lives. Another excellent consequence of the less government policies is that somehow, abortion becomes illegal. This produces thousands of unwanted children that can be abandoned and turned into VERY CHEAP child labor.
In other words, it’s a republican dream.

Diana C.
Diana C7 years ago

What does "small government" mean? No regulations? Everybody does as they please? Someone please explain.