Support for the Tea Party has fallen from 24% of voters to an abysmal 8% – and those numbers are from a Republican pollster.
Things are so bad that the South Florida Tea Party – one of the largest Tea Party groups – has changed their name to the National Liberty Federation.
The Tea Party, even as co-opted by Fox News and corporate interests, pushed the Republican party so far to the right that the Democratic party was able to take over all the reasonable positions in the middle. This was bad news for progressives, since the Dems no longer needed to pay as much attention to their progressive base now that they owned the moderates. This wouldn’t have been so bad, except that the national discourse had been shifted so far to the right, that even Reagan would have been considered a liberal.
It is a relief to see the Tea Party’s cookie crumble, and to see Obama take advantage of this by moving leftward toward the moderate center during his second term.
Unfortunately, the cynical part of me realizes that the increasing irrelevance of the Tea Party is not just about the country moving back to the center after decades of disastrous radical right-wing policies. I think it has more to do with the growing realization among the corporate wing of the Republican party that feeding the Tea Party was no longer in their best business interests.