People will goof on Amanpour for booking this, but purely as spectacle, it’s a stroke of genius. Be honest: You’re dying to see how this meeting of the minds played out.
Two key moments. The first comes at around 2:45, when MegMac lays into Christine O’Donnell. For thoughts on that, see MKH’s wry tweet from this morning. The other starts at around 7:35 and runs through 9:30, when Will replies to her point that the tea party is “intolerant” and losing younger voters rapidly. In fact, it’s The One who’s lost 16 points among college students since last year; tea partiers do skew older demographically, but if the movement was as repugnant to young voters as Meg seems to think, the Democrats shouldn’t be having trouble motivating them to turn out next month. Will’s correct too, of course, that the tea party’s influence has led the GOP to reprioritize, moving fiscal issues to the top of the agenda while quietly letting hot-button social concerns slide. Whether that’ll be true for much longer is a different matter, though: Most tea partiers are socially conservative and grassroots icons like DeMint are working hard to cultivate that aspect of their politics. The more overtly socially conservative the TP becomes, the more it risks alienating socially libertarian younger (or older) voters who might otherwise sympathize with its goal of getting America’s fiscal house in order. But then, that battle to define right-wing factions has been going on forever; all they’re arguing about here is which side, the social cons or libertarians, is ahead when it comes to defining the tea party. Will’s right. For now.