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Tea Parties Will Lead to 1964-Like Goldwater Debacle...No, Make that a 1972-Like McGovern Drubbing

On Wednesday, CBS's Bob Schieffer contended the rise of Tea Party candidates "is very much like 1964" when the Republican Party nominated Barry Goldwater who "was far to the right of most of the people in his party, and they lost in a landslide." On Sunday morning, another liberal media thinker moved ahead eight years to forward George McGovern's 1972 Democratic debacle as the proper analogy: "Sarah Palin is really the Republicans' George McGovern." (So, does that make Barack Obama the modern day Richard Nixon?)

On ABC's This Week, when host Christiane Amanpour wondered if the Tea Party is "a fad" or "something much deeper?", Peter Beinart, former top editor of The New Republic and now a senior political writer for The Daily Beast, as well as an associate professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York, asserted:

The Tea Party is now the Republican Party. I mean I think what we're seeing in the Republican Party is something akin to what happened to the Democratic Party between 1968 and 1972 in which the forces of George McGovern took over the Democratic Party, overthrew the Democratic Party establishment and moved it substantially to the left.

From the Sunday, September 19 This Week with Christiane Amanpour on ABC:

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: So is this a fad as, Mayor Bloomberg has said? Is the Tea Party a fad or is it something much deeper that one shouldn't under-estimate?

PETER BEINART: No, the Tea Party is now the Republican Party. I mean I think what we're seeing in the Republican Party is something akin to what happened to the Democratic Party between 1968 and 1972 in which the forces of George McGovern took over the Democratic Party, overthrew the Democratic Party establishment and moved it substantially to the left. What they didn't realize was that while they were able to take over the Democratic Party, they were pushing that party further away from where average Americans are.

The Republicans will do great in 2010, but I think Sarah Palin is really the Republicans' George McGovern, and when they go to a general election against Barack Obama in 2012 with a divided party, with lots of people like this gentleman here [Tom Ross, Delaware Republican Party Chairman], in fact, not very happy about the direction of the Republican Party, they will see that this has not been a positive development for them.

- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.