October 10th, 2013
06:55 PM ET

A Republican Party no one could control

By Fareed Zakaria

What’s happening today is quite unlike the “Contract With America” movement of the 1990s. The tea party is a grass-roots movement of people deeply dissatisfied with the United States’ social, cultural and economic evolution over several decades. It’s crucial to understand that they blame both parties for this degeneration. In a recent Gallup survey, an astounding 43 percent of tea party activists had an unfavorable view of the Republican Party; only 55 percent had a favorable view. They see themselves as insurgents within the GOP, not loyal members. The breakdown of party discipline coupled with the rise of an extreme ideology are the twin forces propelling the current crisis.

This explains why the Republican Party has seemed so unresponsive to its traditional power bases, such as big business. Part of the problem is that businesses have been slow to recognize just how extreme the tea party is. (They remain stuck in an older narrative, in which their great fear is Democrats with ties to unions.) But even if big business got its act together, it’s not clear that the radicals in the House of Representatives would care. Their sources of support, funding and media exposure owe little to the Chamber of Commerce.

Read the full Washington Post column

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soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. ✠RZ✠

    The question of there being a need for additional parties is certainly being voiced lately. And the question of a need for government reform also seems to be getting some attention. I would suggest that both would be very noble, righteous, proud, and praiseworthy goals better achieved through a planned process rather than by conventional historical means. Perhaps the highest esteem that can be realized by a truly democratic society is the ability to recognize the need for change, and following through accordingly, rather than fall to ruins first..

    October 10, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
  2. john smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    October 11, 2013 at 12:44 am |
    • ✠RZ✠

      Given all the existing animal species on this planet, none are more brutal and blood thirsty than humankind. Yet we are no physical match for the likes of lions, tigers, and bears just to name a few, nor comparatively speaking anywhere near the strength and ruggedness of a lowly ant. Clearly, it is our own minds and the experience, belief, and knowledge therein that must be reckoned with. Although greed and money have more recently received much notoriety, and rightfully so, historically and to this very day, it is both religion and education that can be held accountable for more atrocities, death, and bloodshed than is imaginable. And so therein lies the "root of all terror", and evil, and fear, and unimaginable devastation. And until these potential horrors are first dealt with accordingly and somehow made agreeable to all, there can be no peace amongst all the living on Earth. One can only wonder what difference might have come by dropping trillions of dollars in internet connections and iPads on other countries, rather than bombs and guns.

      October 11, 2013 at 7:22 am |
  3. Mike

    I've been waiting for 50 years to see anyone elected and able to vote their opinion. I'm sick of the likes of the Roves and the McCains who think their running this country, but from my view are killing the country. Congratulations congressmen for sticking to your guns!!!

    October 11, 2013 at 1:24 am |
  4. JAL

    Big influence and the manipulation of core relationships set to pasture and all gone haywire.

    October 11, 2013 at 9:48 am |
  5. rightospeak

    Republican Party " unresponsive to ........big business" – are you kidding ? The whole US government is run by the bankers and big business which keep us in endless wars till our treasury and people bleed. Their aim is to totally destroy us through wars in Middle East and to enslave the whole world. What you see in the media is a circus supported by propaganda.

    October 11, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
  6. j. von hettlingen

    The problem is that the US has been split down the middle for decades. This means that one needs only a small number of voters to shift allegiance. The GOP has been losing voters and the number is falling further year by year. So it needs the Tea Party in the Congress and is at the mercy of those ideologues and their hardliners, who are oblivious of the country's demographic make-up and the change of winds. They often work counter to the agenda of the established GOP leadership and cause headaches.

    October 12, 2013 at 5:55 am |

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