Category Archives: Tea Party and the Primaries

The March essay dialogue focuses on the role of the Tea Party movement in the 2012 Republican Primaries. Contributors were asked to address such questions as: How has the Tea Party approached the primaries? And, What impact, if any, is the Tea Party likely to have on the outcome of the Republican contest?

The Tea Party and American Politics: Origins, Outcomes, and Perverse Effects

By David Meyer

Protest movements sometimes have perverse effects, hastening outcomes they don’t want.  The contest for the Republican presidential nomination has to be scored as a disappointment for the broad Tea Party movement, and perhaps a sign of its dissolution.

Social movements capture the imagination of participants and audiences, engaging and enlarging our sense of the possible.  But, particularly in liberal systems, movements that succeed in reaching mainstream public discourse are ultimately consumed by it. Continue reading


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