Tuesday, February 9, 2010


This article made me smile. It's a great explanation of who the Tea Party is and isn't and why it exists and how it got its legs. It's worth a read, but I'll give you a bit of a taste with a snippet from here and there.

Upon his reaction to being at a Tea Party event,
And that grass-roots, “never-done-this-before” sense of excitement and empowerment is the first thing that really hits you. These are the most regular, decent people you’ll meet, and with very few exceptions not one of them has been involved in politics in any way. It’s just that — like so many of us — They’ve just had enough!
Regarding their temperament....first, who they are:
The people I have met at these events were generally the happy, decent, hard-working people that make up the vast middle of Silent America. They are not bitter, and they are not “consumed with rage.”

But they — I mean, we — are angry.
...and secondly who they are not,
"Of course, the media coverage has tried very hard to portray the normal, average, every-day Americans of the Tea party rallies as dangerous and angry racists and Wal-Mart knuckle-draggers, while identifying the mass-produced signs, the mass-produced T-shirts, the mass-produced members of bused-in wiccan nihilist anarcho-Maoist lesbian eco-weenie anti-war protestors as somehow the genuine voice of the American people.
Regarding the reason for their rage,
You want to know why we’re angry? What once was a social compact between the people and their representatives has rotted away into this: a people no longer paying a reasonable price for the limited number of things that only a government can provide, but rather victims of identity theft — people who open a monthly credit card statement only to discover fifty thousand dollars of vacations not taken, and jet skis and plasma TV’s paid for but never delivered. That’s why there’s a Tea Party..
They see the theft of our kids' and our kids' kids' wealth,
[They see our taxes as] their money to spend as they see fit — and not just all the money you send in taxes today, or next year, or the next ten years — they — Democrats and Republicans too — have spent all the money you will make in your lifetime, and then spent all of the money your kids will make, and the pool of work that your grandkids will do in 2060 or so — that’s mostly been spent too.
Regarding the reward of the work,
"Now, was Scott Brown the perfect conservative candidate? To many — even many who supported him — he was not. That’s not the question we should be asking. The question we should be asking — and did ask, it seems — is not whether Scott Brown is more conservative than Ronald Reagan. The question is whether or not Scott Brown is more conservative than Ted Kennedy or Martha Coakley.

He is, and by a very wide margin. That’s a win!

Victory is a ratchet. To retake this country we need every gain we can get — no matter how small — and to give up as little as possible. If Scott Brown — Republican senator from Massachusetts — turns out to be the most liberal man in the Senate then we’re living in paradise. That’s why there’s a Tea Party. And that’s why being a part of the Tea Party movement is, when it is all said and done, just plain fun."
And finally, how the movement got its legs,
"And a final note: do you know who we owe the remarkable success of the Tea Party movement to? We owe it to Rachel Maddow, and Keith Olberman, and Chris Matthews. We owe it to Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, and Barack Obama — not just for the political motivation, but because they decided to make it personal.

By calling us Tea Baggers, and racists, and Nazis, and rubes, and hicks… by pretending we’re just a fringe group of dangerous radicals, or saying — as the President did, twice, and apparently with a straight face — that he was unaware that tens or hundreds of thousands of hard-working American patriots were clogging the streets of the city he lives in — well all of these geniuses poured can after can of lighter fluid on to what might have been some old, wet charcoal — nearly impossible to light — and turned it into a wildfire that will likely remake the landscape of this country. That’s why there’s a Tea Party.
For some, it's hard, due to the diversity of the effort, to nail down who and why the Tea Party is, but I think this article does that.

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