Republicans Vs. Tea Party: Round 1

by Stuart Shapiro

The insider sniping started immediately after the election as Republican insiders have been quoted as blaming South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint and the Tea Party for preventing a Republican takeover of the Senate.  But that will be nothing compared to the potential fight over the #4 spot in the House Republican caucus.

House Republicans look like they’ve largely been spared any uncomfortable leadership races as they cruise into their robust new majority, except for one little speed bump: Michele Bachmann.

The often fiery and always unpredictable Bachmann, a tea party favorite, is trying to make a contest out of the battle for the Republican Conference chairmanship, a job that is critical for setting the party’s message and is seen as a steppingstone to higher leadership positions.

The favorite is Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, and top Republicans are making it clear that he is the insider’s choice.
I’ll be rooting for the Queen of Crazy, but look for the GOP establishment to win this one and any other battle where their goals are opposed to those of the Tea Party.  The Republicans want “change” but despite the rhetoric, they don’t want that much change.

About Stuart Shapiro

Stuart Shapiro Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels. Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush.

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