Thursday, May 13, 2010

What's in a Tea Party?

From a comment in Glenn Greenwald's post today on erosion of U.S. Citizen rights, comes a link that took me to this:

So are the Tea Partiers ordinary people with no political leanings, as they say they are? Definitely not. The findings cited above and other data in the polls indicate that the Tea Party is overwhelmingly stocked with Republican supporters. They are by no means "ordinary people," although the public's perception that they are is one of their strongest suits.

Are they just economic conservatives then? The Winston survey tells us much about Tea Partiers‟ economic views, and the "Contract from America" released on April 14, 2010 focuses on taxes, federal spending, and big government. But if you Google the questionnaires that local Tea Parties send to candidates, you will almost always find more than questions about these issues. You will often discover inquiries about religion as well (e.g., Do you support school prayer? Do you recognize God‟s place in America?). And often there are questions about abortion and gay marriage and teaching Creation Science in public schools. And you run into queries about gun control, law and order, and immigration. So while Tea Partiers overwhelmingly take conservative economic stands, which bind them together most, many seem to be strong "social conservatives" as well. Local groups often speak of wanting only "pure
conservatives" or "100 percent" conservatives as candidates.


Mike at The Big Stick said...

I have not actually met anyone in person who is affiliated with the TP movement. All of my Republican friends are scratching their heads and saying, "WTF"?

I honestly just hink it's a mix of dissatisfied conservatives and their coherence is going to be short lived. I hope.

Philip H. said...

I think its a mix of dissatisfied ultra-conservatives, fiscal Libertarians, and whoever still thinks Ralph Reid is smart. Their rallies in DC are really small (even by Park Service counts which are notoriously under reality), but the squeaky wheel is getting the grease.

I think their staying power will be tied to the ocutcome of the mid-term elections. If the Republican Party moves more Right, even if it looses a ton of incumbents and seats, the TP folks will consider it a victory and keep going. If less ultra-conservative Republicans remain in power, or win more general elections, the TP MAY fall by the way side.

Of ocurse, ask Sen. Bennett or Gov. Crist, and you might get a different answer.