The Tea Party Movement Is Dead, writes a Prince of the liberal media

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Eugene Joseph (E.J.) Dionne, long-time op-ed columnist for the Washington Post (WaPo) and a leading bell cow for the illuminati of the Progressive Left, has proclaimed the death of the Tea Party Movement. Well, that’s it then. Case closed.

E.J. writes,

The right wing has lost the election of 2012.

 

The evidence for this is overwhelming, yet it is the year’s best-kept secret. Mitt Romney would not be throwing virtually all of his past positions overboard if he thought the nation were ready to endorse the full-throated conservatism he embraced to win the Republican nomination.

 

If conservatism were winning, does anyone doubt that Romney would be running as a conservative? Yet unlike Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, Romney is offering an echo, not a choice. His strategy at the end is to try to sneak into the White House on a chorus of me-too’s.

 

The right is going along because its partisans know Romney has no other option. This, too, is an acknowledgement of defeat, a recognition that the grand ideological experiment heralded by the rise of the tea party has gained no traction.”

For a taste of E.J.’s case, a few more quotes are in order:

…a movement that won the 2010 elections with a bang is trying to triumph just two years later on the basis of a whimper.”

 

“It turns out that there was no profound ideological conversion of the country two years ago.”

 

“Romney knows that by substantial margins, the country favors raising taxes on the rich and opposes slashing many government programs, including Medicare and Social Security.”

 

“The bailout was the least popular policy Obama pursued — and, I’d argue, one of the most successful. It was Exhibit A for tea partyers who accused our moderately progressive president of being a socialist.”

You get E.J.’s drift, and you’ve heard it all before. In the immortal words of that departed master of satiric social commentary and black comedy, Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse-Five): “And so it goes…hi ho.”

There often comes a time, in any debate between diametrically opposed worldviews, when ontological arguments bounce off each other prefaced by “Yea, but what about…” lead-ins.  At that point, rebuttal becomes an exercise in futility.

Debating E.J. on the merits of his case is one such exercise in futility. Why? Well…

If, once upon a time, you were intent on developing the internal combustion engine, would you spend time debating a lobbyist representing the buggy whip industry?  Of course not.

WaPo is to the news business as the buggy whip industry once was to the transportation sector of the economy.

Crudely put – WaPo is circling the drain.

According to figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the Post’s daily circulation fell 7.84 percent from March 2011 to March 2012, representing the single biggest drop among the 25 biggest newspapers in the U.S…This decrease again put the Post ahead of all its competitors in terms of loss of readers.

 

{snip}

 

Over the last decade, the Post has struggled to transition in a changing media environment. Over nine years, there have been five rounds of buyouts, the most recent that only recently wrapped up and will see between 33 and 48 Post employees leave. Over the last three years, the size of the Post’s newsroom has decreased by 200 workers.”

Here are stats that tell the tale of a rapidly declining enterprise: In March 2011, total average WaPo circulation was 550,821; a year later it was 507,615, representing a decline of nearly 8%. But it gets worse for WaPo. As the dead-tree news business struggles to survive by (belatedly) re-deploying to the internet, only 40,165 of its 507,615 readers are “digital”. (By comparison, the New York Post has 147,000 digital readers.)

These are not good numbers for WaPo, or for E.J., either.  He sits in an elegant stateroom in the news-business equivalent of the Titanic, and the water level is rising around his ankles.

P.S. If Obama is re-elected, expect the dead-tree news business to solicit Congress for a bailout. The groundwork has already begun toward that end.