A full discussion of the issues raised by Taylor Marsh’s personal expedition into further-left space (“Obama: The Party’s Over”) will have to await some other day, but one oddly phrased sentence struck me:
George W. Bush inspired the rise of the Tea Party, so one hoped that Barack Obama’s repeated applications of conservatism would unleash a requisite uprising on the left.
The economic and political circumstances left behind by the Bush presidency obviously contributed to the eventual rise of the TP – as to a whole lot else – but W was comfortably in retirement by the time Rick Santelli ranted his famous rant calling for a “tea party” while primarily targeting a possible bailout by the “new administration” of distressed homeowners. Since that time, the Tea Party has taken on a much different form and wider range of issues than Santelli seemed to be envisioning, but, as for Marsh’s point, as far as I can tell the name “Bush” only occasionally comes up in TP circles. The TP is an Obama Era phenomenon.
If you want a leftism that stands in relation to Obama and centrist liberalism in approximately the same way that the Tea Party stands in relation to establishment Republicans, or if you maybe just want to promote a discussion of the idea, you will need at least some credible understanding of the historical moment you’re modeling. Why and how one president, but not the other, would “inspire” the further-right to muster under a new label with new recruits, but would leave the further-left relatively divided and uncertain, may in fact be your true starting point.