Fueled by Fringe, GOP in a Tight Spot

Protesters energize party, but make it look crazy
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 1, 2009 9:17 AM CDT
Evelyn Medlock cheers along with several hundred "Tea Party Express" protesters Monday, Aug. 31, 2009, in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/David Becker)
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(Newser) – Raucous town-hall protesters are energizing a Republican party damaged in the 2006 and 2008 elections—but they’re also opening the party to accusations that it’s being run by the fringe, Reuters reports. While some demonstrators oppose any sort of reform, many Americans actually want some form of change. If Democrats can label the GOP “obstructionist,” Republicans may again face a tough time at the polls.

Carrying signs like “Impeach the Fascist Dictator,” protesters like those on the “Tea Party Express” bus tour “have made the health care bills radioactive for Republicans,” says a political scientist. “They are the ones with the passion and the energy in the Republican Party. The party is riding a tiger and the question will be whether they can control these people or not.”