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Politico's Martin on Tea Party Victory, GOP Conflict

Politico's Jonathan Martin

We speak today with Politico’s Jonathan Martin, an On Point regular guest, about Tea Party wins in the Tuesday primaries and the wider implications for the Republican Party. Here’s the lead from his article today, “Soul-searching time: A GOP torn”:

Christine O’Donnell’s surprise victory in the Delaware Senate GOP primary Tuesday left Republicans in conflict, senior party officials openly fretting that the Senate is now out of reach and Democrats overjoyed that the opposition has handed them a late and desperately needed chance to reframe the national argument about the 2010 elections.

Listen to him chat with Tom today in a closing segment, and be sure to catch his whole election wrap-up.

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  • Alan Heggen

    Dear Tom,
    My wife and I are frequent listeners to On Point on Wisconsin Public Radio. We listened with interest to the discussion on the impact and implications of the Tea Party on the current political scene. I would like to call your attention to Fritz Stern’s THE POLITICS OF CULTURAL DESPAIR: A STUDY IN THE RISE OF THE GERMANIC IDEOLOGY. I would encourage you to look at the introduction to this book published in 1961 because he talks about the “power and importance of the Idology of Resentment” and the “political organization of resentment.” He wrote in a footnoot (p.xxi): The reason why historians have on the whole ignored the subject or turned to it only after it assumed the form of national socialism, is that they are trained to deal with ideas and events, no with the power of discontent as expressed in unreason and fantasy. But this kind of subterranean and neurotic force is intrinsically important…” He talks about the “conservative revolution” and how it has escaped historians…”Because of its very illogicality…The movement did embody a paradox: its followers sought to destroy the despised present in order to recapture an idealized past in an imaginary future…” Chris Hedges did an article on Fritz Stern in the January 6, 2005 New York Times. Stern was (is?) a survivor of the Holocaust and explored how a nation like Germany could fall into the ideology of Hitler and the Third Reich. I don’t hear anyone analyzing our current situation with the depth and insight of Stern. He describes the conservative/liberal struggle better than anyone I know. i think this would make a great program and I think it would influence you and your analysis of the political/cultural situation significantly. I realize you may already be familiar with Stern’s work. If not, give him a look. He says in the introduction: “I hope to show that ours is the age of the ‘political’ organization of cultural hatreds and personal resentments..”

  • Alan Heggen

    Dear Tom,
    My wife and I are frequent listeners to On Point on Wisconsin Public Radio. We listened with interest to the discussion on the impact and implications of the Tea Party on the current political scene. I would like to call your attention to Fritz Stern’s THE POLITICS OF CULTURAL DESPAIR: A STUDY IN THE RISE OF THE GERMANIC IDEOLOGY. I would encourage you to look at the introduction to this book published in 1961 because he talks about the “power and importance of the Idology of Resentment” and the “political organization of resentment.” He wrote in a footnoot (p.xxi): “The reason why historians have on the whole ignored the subject or turned to it only after it assumed the form of national socialism, is that they are trained to deal with ideas and events, no with the power of discontent as expressed in unreason and fantasy. But this kind of subterranean and neurotic force is intrinsically important…” He talks about the “conservative revolution” and how it has escaped historians…”Because of its very illogicality…The movement did embody a paradox: its followers sought to destroy the despised present in order to recapture an idealized past in an imaginary future…” I was introduced to Dr. Stern in an article by Chris Hedges in the January 6, 2005 New York Times. Stern is a survivor of the Holocaust and has explored how a nation like Germany could fall into the ideology of Hitler and the Third Reich. I don’t hear anyone analyzing our current situation with the depth and insight of Stern. He describes the conservative/liberal struggle better than anyone I know. He says in the introduction: “I hope to show that ours is the age of the ‘political’ organization of cultural hatreds and personal resentments..” This describes the 2010 US election climate very well.

  • Karen Henck

    Dear Mr. Ashbrook,
    As the wife of a lifelong libertarian, a man who is economically conservative yet socially liberal, I found the show on the tea party distressing. The commentators struck me as extremely condescending, particularly as they described the tea party movement as one that, in its rejection of the New Deal and the creation of the IRS, therefore also desires to resurrect the institution of slavery and overturn the granting of the vote to women. I am not a tea party supporter myself, but I do think those who govern our nation would do better to carefully consider the energy and motivations behind this movement and take its concerns seriously. Rather than dismissing the tea party so condescendingly, I think our leaders should take its concerns seriously and use the critiques it provides to help them re-evaluate and improve on our current practices where they are open to criticism.

  • arrtgrrl

    Tom, What scares me is that we accept the results of these elections no questios asked when we know the electronc voting machines can be hacked unless there is a paper trail. The pundits analyse these “false”( who really knows) results, then we are off and running basing wrong information on wrong information.

    On another topic, Thanks so much for your interview of Jeffery Goldberg. You took him to task when every other radio host fawned over him. You asked him tough questions and then gave him the space to hang himself which he did. What a pompous…Is he the Glen Beck of the right wing, Israeli misinformation squad or what?

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