Is the tea party still relevant

United States

Henrik guest

To person

Dr. phil., born 1979; Temporary academic advice at the Chair of Comparative Political Science, University of Regensburg, Universit├Ątsstrasse 31, 93040 Regensburg. [email protected]

Alexander Kuehne

To person

Dipl.-Pol., Born 1982; Research assistant and editorial assistant of the "Zeitschrift f├╝r Parlamentfragen" at the Institute for Political Science and Japanese Studies, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, 06099 Halle / S. [email protected]

Hardly any other movement has influenced US politics in the past few years as much as the Tea Party. Their sympathizers are mainly united by the passionate rejection of Obama.


There is hardly a movement that has determined the political agenda of the USA in the past few years as much as the Tea Party. [1] After the successes in the primaries (primaries) and the mid-term elections (midterm elections, Elections to the Congress) In 2010 it did not lose any of its political power in the day-to-day parliamentary business of the 112th Congress - even if a slight downward trend has recently emerged in surveys. During the negotiations to raise the debt limit in July and August 2011, their representatives were adamant and assertive. They torpedoed compromises between the Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, and President Barack Obama and called for radical cuts in the federal budget. In the end, they pushed through an austerity package of at least $ 2.1 trillion and prevented any tax hikes that Obama's Democrats had insisted on to the last. [2] Mitch McConnell, the Republican faction leader in the Senate, declared the Tea Party the "winner of this battle". [3]

The "Tea Party tidal wave," [4] by which the Senator Rand Paul on the verge of midterm elections Speaking in 2010, it is definitely having an impact. It is to be expected that the Tea Party will continue to set the political agenda, the direction of the Grand Old Party (the Republican) and possibly the Republican presidential candidate as well. The movement is also gaining relevance for political science and public discourse because it shows how far social polarization has progressed in the USA.

Although the Tea Party has the term in its name, it cannot be called a party: it has no party leadership, no elected board, no statutes and no hierarchical organization, but consists of loosely connected groups that are very heterogeneous. It is all the more astonishing that it has managed to put considerable pressure on the decision-makers in Washington. [5] But what drives the followers, and how did they manage to develop into a significant force in the American political system in a relatively short period of time?