The Tea Party’s Not-So-Civil War – NYTimes.com

12 Jan

When you talk to activists around the state, as I did recently during a weeklong visit, you hear a lot about Romney’s record on health care, specifically, and about his ideological squishiness in general. But you also come to understand that the antipathy in Tea Party circles is more visceral. It’s a reaction to what they perceive as Romney’s synthetic and calculating persona, the sense that he somehow embodies everything that’s false and impenetrable about the parties in Washington. And so South Carolina, which will hold its presidential primary Jan. 21, is the place where two powerful political vehicles — Mitt Romney’s establishment-backed campaign and the three-year-old Tea Party insurgency — will collide full force. It’s here where Tea Party activists have expected to assert their influence over the party’s nominating process. For most of them, that means, above all, stopping Mitt.

The problem is that they’ve had a hard time settling on any obvious alternative to Romney, in a way that might transform the primary into a clear, binary choice.

via The Tea Party’s Not-So-Civil War – NYTimes.com.

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