Originally Posted by justinskins
Nah, that was probably just my own frustrations coming out in an unfortunate late-night online political arguments. Although if the losers you mentioned in your post are what counts for the left-wing today, God help us all. Where are the Debs, the Gompers, the DuBois? There aren't any.
The thing is, we're talking about extremists in most cases on both sides. It's not fair to characterize the whackos as "left wing" or "right wing" without clarifying it with "extreme". The Tea Party folks aren't really extremists, they're just ignorant and disaffected. The Phelps Family -- now those are extremists. The strength of the Tea Party is in their numbers (which aren't really that great) and their ability to run a bullhorn and craft intellectually dishonest arguments. Still, their numbers haven't reached critical mass and they won't for the simple fact that, in the end, truth ultimately trumps ignorance.
The left had their share of angry, even militant whackos in the 1960s and 1970s. The right before that in the 1950s. The Tea Party folks are pussycats compared to most of those groups. They'll affect the primaries, but their numbers and their message won't impact the general election a fraction as much as the policies of incumbents or their ability (or inability) to communicate effectively with voters.