Third Party Tea Party: Independence or Co-dependence?

A new poll from Rasmussen presented respondents with a three-way generic ballot test, asking them to choose between Democrats, Republicans and a Tea Party candidate. The generic third party tea party candidate came in second place:

In a three-way Generic Ballot test, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds Democrats attracting 36% of the vote. The Tea Party candidate picks up 23%, and Republicans finish third at 18%. Another 22% are undecided.

Among voters not affiliated with either major party, the Tea Party comes out on top. Thirty-three percent (33%) prefer the Tea Party candidate, and 30% are undecided. Twenty-five percent (25%) would vote for a Democrat, and just 12% prefer the GOP.

Among Republican voters, 39% say they’d vote for the GOP candidate, but 33% favor the Tea Party option.

The poll also found that a large plurality of voters desire a third party:

Forty-one percent (41%) of all voters nationwide say Republicans and Democrats are so much alike that a new party is needed to represent the American people. Republicans are evenly divided on this question, while Democrats overwhelmingly disagree. However, among those not affiliated with either major party, 60% agree that a new party is needed, and only 25% disagree. Men are far more likely than women to believe a new party is needed. [Emphasis added.]
Consider duopolist Republican ideologue Ed Morrissey's take on these findings at Hot Air:

Fortunately, there is no such thing as a Tea Party, er, Party, which Rasmussen asked respondents to assume when answering this survey. It would take too long to form such a party, and as the results above show, it would be a self-defeating process, especially in 2010. This reflects the damage done to the GOP during 2001-6, when voters thought they were electing small-government, fiscal-restraint politicians, and wound up instead with porkers who spent hand over fist. [Emphasis added.]

Morrissey's solution to the problem faced by the GOP is quite telling:

The key in 2010 is to have the GOP represent the Tea Party brand, and the only way to do that is to firmly insist on fiscal restrain and reduction of government as the platform for the election. The Right needs to put aside all of its usual hobby horses and focus on the message from the Tea Party movement. If they need an excuse, call it a moment of national crisis as the Democrats attempt a takeover of the health-care and energy industries.

It is difficult to imagine a more cynical political ploy than that which is proposed here. Morrissey admits that the problem with the Republican Party is that they say they stand for small government and fiscal restraint but do not in reality act in line with that rhetoric. His proposed response is not fiscal discipline, the limitation of government and the expansion of freedom, but rather a "rebranding" campaign bolstered by alarmist hysterics, the declaration of a national crisis. This is a call for nothing but more of the same. And thus Morrissey is nothing but a craven apologist for the political status quo. It is no coincidence that his position stands upon the three pillars of duopoly ideology that I outlined back in October: historical fatalsim (third party activity is "a self-defeating process"), hysterical alarmism (it's a "national crisis") and political impatience (it would "take too long" to build a third party). Ironically, in actuality, continuing to support Republicans and Democrats in the hope that one day they will act in accordance with their rhetoric or the Constitution is a self-defeating process; it is already too late to reform either of the major parties, indeed, there is little if anything in them worth salvaging rather than ravaging; and the dictatorship of the Democratic-Republican Party is the greatest political crisis facing the people of the United States.

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