The Tea Party Test Case

by: David Sirota

Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 09:00

What is the Tea Party? Many have tried to answer that question ever since CNBC's Rick Santelli first launched the backlash with his trading-floor rant against the poor.

Democratic operatives, for instance, say the Tea Party is merely a Republican Party facade. As proof, they point to GOP-linked corporate groups' involvement in Tea Party events, and cite the absence of Tea Party deficit and bailout protests during George W. Bush's presidency.

Social scientists, meanwhile, suggest that the Tea Party is not the entire Republican apparatus, but specifically the extreme conservative edge of the GOP. The data add credence to that argument: As the Public Religion Research Institute and the University of Washington report, Tea Party followers are disproportionately part of the Christian right and are more racially resentful than the general public.

For their part, Tea Party activists brush off these pesky facts with nostalgic paeans about the Constitution and indignant bromides against partisanship.

"Although we are conservative in political philosophy, we are nonpartisan in approach," insisted a Tea Party leader in a typical platitude. "Both parties need to rededicate themselves to the principles of our Founding Fathers.'"

Thus, with both sides at loggerheads, the only way to objectively define the Tea Party is to find a test case. And as I say in my new newspaper column, thanks to Wisconsin's Senate race, we have exactly that.

Read the full column here.

David Sirota :: The Tea Party Test Case

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You left out the most important criteria plus the baggies don't have "faith" in logic. Nice try, though (0.00 / 0)
Johnson wears a flag pin, doesn't support gay marriage & is anti-choice on abortion (except for rape or incest).  Apparently, fiscal & security concerns take a back seat until these vitally important fundie issues are voiced FIRST.  

Once that's established, the baggies talk money.  Ron Johnson (R-Big Bank Account) rich businessman, environmental nightmare & plenty-o-portfolio doesn't want to cut Pentagon budget, only entitlement programs to citizens.  Grants & loans to businesses are stimulating; helping taxpayers is depressing.  

I hope Wisconsin remembers what great things Feingold has done for them - the rest of us remember but can't cast a vote.  

Exactly that? (4.00 / 1) is running a photo journal of tea baggers.

It looks to me like "Obamacare" is actually their biggest complaint. It's certainly one of the biggest.

How could you possibly miss that?

It'd be nice if there were polls which asked the question, of conservatives, Tea Baggers, etc., "Would you support just the regulatory reform elements that are in the HCR, but without the mandate? (e.g.)" Likewise, it would have been nice if the NY Times / CBS poll had asked if Tea Baggers would support the dark-skinned Republican Colin Powell. Or if they think the US government has helped poor white people, enough (not just poor black people).

I'm deeply suspicious of the state of polling in the US. If you wanted to design a system of polling that supported the partisan division of America (by making talking point laden, stereotypical categorization more plausible than it should be, since the questions are in line with the stereotypical framing), I don't see how you could do much 'better' than what we have. And how often do we see a poll that tests for actual knowledge of the poll subject, at hand? At a recent job, nobody knew about Obama's back-stabbing deal with Tauzin. In fact, none of my coworkers, in my area, even knew who Tauzin was. Both the people who supported it and the people who did not just regurgitated the familiar talking points.

Well, till we have more serious polling and investigative media, we'll have to just guess what Tea Baggers think of the actual reform elements of HCR, and whether they'd vote for a black man that represents their values (which is not what you'd expect if they're mostly racists), why even a Nobel prize winning economist like Krugman refers to the tea baggers as "affluent" (when 10 minutes with an Excel spreadsheet would inform him, otherwise), etc., etc.

Quite frankly, I think that suits lefties like you and righties like Rush Limbaugh just fine. Wielding your ideological axes and stroking your own tribalism is more important to folks like you and Limbaugh than understanding and nuance. And God forbid either of you would use access to a public forum to facilitate the promotion of compromise and determining a common ground. Can't have that!

While I'm glad that let Tea Baggers speak for themselves, they couldn't be bothered with asking them reasonably challenging questions, either. Think about that - they've got their tape recorder on, and even a  photographer there, but they can't be bothered to ask them questions, after their initial statements, to see if they know what they're talking about, or if they hold any contradictory notions (which is a red flag for hypocrisy). What a waste!

I may rewrite a diary somewhat related to points I've raised in this post, but for now, I'll just refer folks to my diary on 911blogger Call for investigation of Left HATEKeepers (and Right HATEKeepers, too)

435 Dem Primaries 2012
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Thanks for bringing up Obama's backstabbing deal with Tauzin (0.00 / 0)
I hope more people learn about this disgraceful episode in American history as we get closer to the 2012 election.

And don't forget about Obama's other backstabbing deal with Chip Kahn!

[ Parent ]
You're welcome, but (0.00 / 0)
the fact that you feel motivated to thank me just underscores how badly is the lack of organized, truth-telling, political dissent in the US. If these betrayals were common knowledge, because organized efforts to inform the American public had run their course (in spite of mass media's failures), you'd be wondering why I'm repeating something that everybody knows.

IMO, speaking about these betrayals constitute a sort of litmus test of political organizations purporting to be progressive. If they won't speak truth to power on such important items, of what use can they possibly be? (Other than helping Democrats - no matter how corporatist - get elected)

I had argued for the need for an Operation Expose Obama to precede Dump Obama, though it's OK to start both at once. Clearly, though, an Operation Expose Obama would motivate many previously ignorant Americans to join a Dump Obama movement.

435 Dem Primaries 2012
Coffee Party Usa

[ Parent ]
I agree that an Operation Expose Obama is totally necessary (0.00 / 0)
if for no other reason than to make sure that pro-Obama voters know exactly who and what they're voting for.

I don't understand why these betrayals aren't bigger news.  I mean, shouldn't FOX News at least have run with it?  Did they?

[ Parent ]

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