Stuff to Read

The New York Times asked a number of political analysts and historians to give their impressions of the Tea Party movement. With the exception of The Usual Corporate-Sponsored Hackery (TUCSH?) dished up by Steven Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute and Amity Shlaes of the Council on Foreign Relations, the responses provide some good insight.

Alan Wolfe acknowledges that the Tea Party movement vindicates Richard Hofstadter.

Michael Lind wrote,

Pitchfork-wielding populists like William Jennings Bryan they are not. They are more like the affluent members of the Liberty League who vilified President Roosevelt in the 1930s — a sullen, defensive mobilization of the Have-Somes who dread the Have-Nots. The Tea Partiers put the “petty” in petty bourgeoisie. They are disgruntled conservative Fox Republicans.

Alan Brinkley:

This is a profile that matches other highly motivated protests over many decades — the supporters of Joseph McCarthy, for example, in the 1950s. Today, the target is not communism, which is no longer a major issue for the right (although “socialism” appears to have taken its place). But what seems to motivate them the most is a fear of a reduction in their own status — economically and socially.

See also comments from Rick Perlstein, Paul Butler, Lorenzo Morris, and Bob Moser.

11 thoughts on “Stuff to Read

  1. “…what seems to motivate them the most is a fear of a reduction in their own status — economically and socially.” I think they ought to have some real and legitimate concerns about the changes taking place currently in the United States. Unfortunately, our media has become so obsessed with profits that real thoughtful conversations about our future have become im-practical (not profitable). Likewise, politicians are generally too obsessed with the next election cycle to make a bold statement about our future. This void appears to be filled with a bunch of lunatics motivated by short-term book sales that don’t really address our real problems. I for one am tired of it all…

  2. moonbat — one of my favorite lamebrain righties, Gateway Pundit, has a post about all the “infiltrators” run out of tea party rallies yesterday. One guy who appeared to be a genuine neo-Nazi klansman was identified as a “leftist” and asked to leave. I figure all of the tea baggers will out each other as “infiltrators” eventually, and then I guess they will all have to go home.

    Also, some of the people identified as “infiltrators” were obvious counter-protesters, a subtlety lost on the Pundit.

  3. My observations based on “Tea Party” sympathy of people I know well are as follows;
    Christian religion is important in their lives.They believe in the power of prayer and “God’s plan”.
    They fly the American flag at their residence.It is a security blanket.
    They are or once were small business owners who are fed up with the myriad of government agencies that appeared to be aligned against them, from the IRS, to the local fire marshal.( if you have ever operated a small business, you can relate to this gripe, it is a never ending assault.)
    They LOVE all things military.
    They have lead a prosperous, comfortable life due to their business and savy investing, but that has now gone south.
    They are afraid of militant Muslims.( actually ALL Muslims)
    They are afraid of illegal aliens, and hispanics in general; they don’t like blacks.
    They want things to be as they were when real estate was king and the economy was riding high.
    They blame poor people who got low interest loans with variable rates for the great recession.
    They talk shit about the UAW members, but have no problem with over paid doctors, lawyers, and bankers.
    They don’t think highly of trial lawyers due to law suits they have delt with.
    They understand that our economy is teatering on the brink, this scares them to death.
    They do indeed watch FOX news, and believe it to be the truth.
    They think “Global Warming” is a hoax.
    They believe in charity, but loath welfare.Charity is sending$20.00 a month to “Save the Children” and giving a couple of hours on a holiday at the local soup kitchen.
    They don’t like “entitlements” but love the VA benefits, S.S., and Medicare they receive.
    They “want their country back”, which means they want the Republicans in office.
    They play golf often.

  4. “They “want their country back”, which means they want the Republicans in office”

    I think they’d settle for just a white guy in the white house!

  5. For Teabaggers, when it comes to empathy, it’s an atom thick, when it comes to logic, it’s about a centimeter wide, but when it comes to anger, it is miles deep.

  6. I think they’d settle for just a white guy in the white house!

    That’s exactly right! According to my analysis the predominant common denominator with the Teabaggers against Obama is Obama’s skin color. Because they are stifled by social mores in their ability to openly express their racism. It’s a case of having to rely on, “I don’t have anything against blacks…some of my best friends are black”. It’s a simple case of the Teabaggers feeling they have been put out of the nest, and somebody less deserving is getting what used to be theirs.

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  8. Teabaggers demand massively expensive government spending on the military and aggressive wars, beefed-up border patrols, VA benefits, Social Security and Medicare, then pretend that all these things aren’t financed by evil taxes, but by Magical Money Jesus.

  9. I think they’d settle for just a white guy in the white house!

    I think that this would slightly attenuate, but certainly not eliminate, their anger. These are, for the most part, the same people who hated Bill Clinton.

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