- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 23, 2019

Some of you may remember that the conservative tea party was founded in 2009 after CNBC analyst Rick Santelli offered an unprecedented, on-camera rant from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, railing against the Obama administration and calling for the formation of a new “tea party.” Grassroots folks took the cue and a movement was born — complete with such very active organizers as the Tea Party Patriots, and Tea Party Express. With their good cheer, enthusiasm and devotion to founding principles, the tea party outreach proved so compelling and successful that some progressive groups even tried to emulate their tactics.

The tea partyers have another distinction, however. They have proved intensely and consistently loyal to President Trump, perhaps something for GOP strategists to consider as 2020 looms and the battle for voters — and party unity — gets underway.

“A decade after the tea party emerged as a political force, its former supporters are some of Donald Trump’s most stalwart Republican supporters, according to a new analysis of Pew Research Center panel surveys from 2014 through 2018,” the pollster says, noting that the tea party’s “very positive feelings” toward the president did not waver as the years went by.

“Republicans who had positive views of the tea party movement in 2014 or 2015 were among Trump’s most enthusiastic backers during the 2016 campaign. And, unlike Republicans who had mixed or negative opinions of the tea party, they continued to have very positive feelings about Trump through his first year as president,” the analysis said.

The pollster’s complex research has a grand finale, though. They also developed a “feeling thermometer” which gauged the temperature of feelings about the president, going from cold to hot, on a scale of 1 to 100. In 2018, tea partyers gave Mr. Trump a toasty 78 on the scale, up from 61 when he took office. Their positive sentiment is only increasing.



“These tea party supporters were more likely than other Republicans to say that Trump’s election made positive changes in what the party stands for in a 2016 postelection survey,” the Pew researchers noted.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Impeach-a-mania”

— Handy term coined by Breitbart.com for the Democratic Party’s obsessive fixation on impeaching President Trump above all else, and the nonstop news coverage that accompanies it.

A MOMENT WITH REAGAN

“Today, the United States stands as a beacon of liberty and democratic strength before the community of nations. We are resolved to stand firm against those who would destroy the freedoms we cherish. We are determined to achieve an enduring peace — a peace with liberty and with honor. This determination, this resolve, is the highest tribute we can pay to the many who have fallen in the service of our nation.”

— from President Ronald Reagan’s official proclamation for Memorial Day, on May 25, 1981.

HONK IF YOU LOVE INFRASTRUCTURE

The U.S. Travel Association has released new research revealing that Americans avoided an estimated 47.5 million auto trips due to highway congestion in 2018 — costing the economy $30 billion in travel spending and 248,000 American jobs.

“Heading into Memorial Day and the summer travel season, this suite of research shows that: one, the country is becoming less connected because of strained infrastructure; and two, there is a measurable economic cost to that problem,” said the organization’s president and CEO Roger Dow.

“The infrastructure discussion tends to grind to a political halt when it turns to resources. So we tested the funding question with polling. The interesting thing we found is that Americans are willing to pay more as long as their money is explicitly used to improve transportation in their region,” Mr. Dow says.

Among the findings: 66.1% of auto travelers would rather pay an additional $2-$3 each way to fund transportation projects than sit for an additional one to two hours in traffic each way. Another 60% said traffic congestion would be a greater deterrent to car travel than a 25-cent increase in gas taxes — while 80% said additional gas taxes will not have a negative impact the frequency of their travel by car.

“When told Congress is considering proposals to increase other taxes and fees on drivers that would result in transportation improvements, 64.8% of auto travelers are willing to support such proposals,” the research said.

“Our survey gave travelers a choice: would you rather pay more, or continue to sit in traffic? Two-thirds said they would rather pay a little more. We hope that gives Congress some encouragement to make difficult decisions, because data shows us that inaction is putting the brakes on connectivity and prosperity,” Mr. Dow notes.

THE WARRIORS SPEAK

Memorial Day weekend programming of note: Fox News Channel present a one-hour special called “Modern Warriors” on Sunday hosted by “Fox & Friends Weekend” co-host Pete Hegseth. The program features military veterans who will discuss border security, the challenge of the Islamic State, the Department of Veterans Affairs and what Memorial Day means to them.

And what veterans.

They include former Navy SEALs Marcus and Morgan Luttrell, retired U.S. Army Captain Chad Fleming, who served with the 75th Ranger Regiment; and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Illinois Republican. The lawmaker is an Air Force vet and pilot who served in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and is currently active in the Illinois Air National Guard.

The show gets underway at 8 p.m. EDT, with an extended “director’s cut” also to be featured at Fox Nation, the network’s online streaming service.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

Unique Mid-Century Modern-style home built in 1970 on half acre lot in East Point, Georgia. Three bedrooms, three baths, unusual open floor plan with dramatic stone and wood features, original wall paper, light fixtures, cabinetry, 10-foot vaulted ceilings; 3,176 square feet. Custom-made multi-angled roof, in-ground pool, workshop, garage, storage building. Priced at $435,000 from ColdwellBanker.com; find this home here

POLL DU JOUR

58% of Americans say they have “heard enough” about the Mueller report.

37% say they “want to hear more.”

53% say congressional Democrats should drop the “Russia matter” now and move to other issues.

44% says the Democrats should continue to investigate.

33% say the Mueller report has not “cleared” President Trump.

32% say it is too soon to say, 31% say the report has cleared the president.

Source: A CBS News poll of 1,101 U.S. adults conducted May 17-20.

• Have a productive Memorial Day and thank you for reading Inside the Beltway.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide