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Ear to the Ground

The Tea Party Movement Is Here to Stay (for Now)

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Posted on Jan 7, 2010
Tea Party protest
Flickr / Street Protest TV

Get ready for a lot more tea-bagging jokes and riled-up right-wingers hoisting fanciful posterboard creations and marching on Washington. That’s right, the so-called tea party movement is here, evidently not queer, and while those opposed to its members’ politics may not “get used to it” as such, they’d better have some smart comebacks at the ready during upcoming election seasons.

As The Christian Science Monitor pointed out Wednesday, Sarah Palin has hitched her quirky Wasillan wagon (contents: lipstick, hunting gear, assorted biblical paraphernalia, etc.) to the tea party cause, and she’ll be a main attraction at next month’s Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tenn. However, conservatives aren’t united in their support for, or ideas about, the movement and its position vis-à -vis the GOP, as The Atlantic’s Heather Horn illustrates in her roundup of TP-related news and opinion on Thursday. Meanwhile, Horn’s colleague Mara Gay gets a read on whether the tea party could actually become its own, well, party—KA

The Christian Science Monitor:

On its face, the gig would seem a step down for Ms. Palin, one of conservative America’s most popular and polarizing figures (not to mention major thorn in the side of the Obama White House).

But with an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll ranking a generic “Tea Party” as more popular than either Democrats or Republicans, and Palin herself rivaling the charming Mr. Obama in poll popularity, many experts see the Tea Party event as a potential milestone for a mounting, even transformational, force in US politics.

“[W]ith two wars, a continuing terror threat, huge federal deficits, and a major healthcare overhaul in the works, there is no shortage of disaffection out there … and that could prove to be political dynamite,” writes the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz. Against that backdrop, writes Mr. Kurtz, “The tea types can either blossom into a Perotista-style third-party movement or be subsumed to some degree by the GOP.”

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JohnMcD's avatar

By JohnMcD, January 8, 2010 at 6:04 am Link to this comment

Just two years ago, the “Tea Party” idea was a grassroots primary fundraiser for Ron Paul.  It really doesn’t take long for the Republican party to hijack something quite anti-Bush and turn it into a new neocon platform, does it? 

While the current “tea party” crop of nativists and nationalists scares me more than a little bit, I can’t help but smile at the way its driven a wedge down the middle of the Republican party.  They wanted to incorporate the motivated protesters, but now they’re realizing that the insanity of the thing just makes them look bad. 

Far as I’m concerned, modern Democrats are conservative/neo-con enough.  Keep them as a party, ignore the Republicans, and find an alternative party with some politicians we can actually trust to do America’s business - rather than the business of their biggest corporate contributors.

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By lkinva, January 8, 2010 at 5:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t know if enough people are taking this movement seriously. Sure we laugh at the know-nothingness of the majority of them, but the majority of Americans are not truly aware of facts. I know so many people in VA who take Fox news literally,and nothing I say will ever persuade them. A network that is actually influencing public opinion to the degree that they are is extremely frightening. Read Umberto Eco’s “Uber-Fascism” and see how the whole essay seems to describe the right wing and Fox News as well. Scared the bejesus out of me.

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By Commune115, January 8, 2010 at 1:05 am Link to this comment

Instead of just making fun of the Tea Party people, serious leftists, not so-called liberals like what you see on MSNBC or Obama himself, should wake up and do some real organizing to counter the message these people put out there. The reason the Tea Party is still around is because they take advantage of real grievances in middle America.

Noam Chomsky made an excellent point about this in October:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2zYaKXeyXE

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By nanacyle811@hotmail.com, January 7, 2010 at 11:23 pm Link to this comment

Against the Health care plan? express your opinion at http://www.obamahealthcareplan.org

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, January 7, 2010 at 11:12 pm Link to this comment

The “tea-party movement” is only here to stay BECAUSE of it’s falicious origins, ahem…..”$$$$$”.  The biggest bogus orchestrated event perpetrated upon the American citizenry since Willy Vanilli.

There isn’t any validity to it.  In this case of course, the mantra is “we ALL think this, therefore of course YOU do to”..... don’t you?  Why…. look what’s happening…. don’t you care….. do you really think THAT!  All perpetrated upon those least able to defend themselves.  Disgusting.

On the other hand, the fact that they perpetrate this crime upon the least, tells us quite EXACTLY who the perpetrators are and their MO’s.  If you get my drift….

What does it say when Sarah Palin endorses it?  Yeah, Homer is screamin’ ahhhhhhh…

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the lord my thoughts to keep
And if I should rise before the morn
Please deprive me of her horns.  Amen.

Unreal.

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By b-political, January 7, 2010 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These people are truly loony. Today they banned everyone from their website who doesn’t strictly agree with their platform. Any post slightly off message - banned - in order to “protect free speech”. They also began sanitizing some of the craziest posts. When you look at the crazy shit that is left you’ll wonder what was crazier.

They are arguing over whether or not to make their own party. They have apparently decided to stay within the GOP and kick everyone who doesn’t agree out so as not to “split the vote” [because those they kick out will apparently not vote anymore I guess].

These people don’t seem to even understand basic arithmetic let alone more complex issues like breathing with their mouths closed.

Update: They have now taken their site down, I assume to purge “tha libruls”.

B

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By glider, January 7, 2010 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment

The issues are different than this article states.  It is don’t remove our Bush trickle-down tax cuts (imaginatively funneled by Fox News into math challenged middle class anger), don’t dilute my personal Medicare Socialism (opportunistically harnessing the greed of the Alzheimers hazed senior citizen beggar class unaware these benefits would be privatized away by their movement leaders), and dont take away my guns paranoia.  There is no significant anti MIC agenda other than that from a small spattering of Ron Paul types, that are present for these other platforms.  The Teabaggers are likely more easily manipulated into a widening of the “war on terror” MIC welfare program.

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By gerard, January 7, 2010 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

With Palin, the Repubs will have everything from “Gotterdammerung” to “General Hospital.”  What with the horrors of Armageddon for Christians only,  and the door-crashing bargain-hunting verve of Walmart Inc., on Black Friday, the US could go under with a huge splash.  Just think of the tie-ins:  $1500 a pop for End-of-the-World slack suits. Air Force wings—special training rate. Kill witout risk—Learn to fly Predators!  Afghanistan needs your expertise!  Shoot people not polar bears! Winkie, dinkie parlez Arabic!  (Excuse me.  I have to throw up now.)

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