But the Democrats will never admit it

Tea Party folks are mainstream.

The Tea Party movement is beyond the pale no more.

It is now safe for metropolitan Americans to say—without fear of pillory, or of being waved away as wing-nuts—that the Tea Partiers are not a bilious, lunatic, unschooled, racist rabble out to sabotage our first African-American president, but are, instead, passionate, educated, middle-aged, middle-class and relatively prosperous critics of the Obama administration.

Permission to cease fire, and to refrain from abuse, has been granted by The New York Times, which—over a year after the Tea Party movement began to make its distinctive imprint on American politics—has finally mustered the decency to put aside its reflexive distaste for the movement, and bestirred itself to enquire (by way of a poll) into the precise demography and ideology of Tea Partiers.

I have Demmerkrat friends – Hell, I share an office with one – who have convinced themselves that all this Tea Party nonsense is a racist reaction to our first black president. What they don’t get, but they will in November, is that our anger and outrage has nothing to do with the race of our President, and everything to do with Republican and Democrat disdain for wage earning, tax paying American citizens.

12 Comments

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12 responses to “But the Democrats will never admit it

  1. FlyAngler

    Chris:

    As interesting as the NYT/CBS poll is, it is skewed.

    First, if would read the sidebar on the polls methodology it is quite illuminating. This poll finds that “about 18%” of those adults surveyed support the Tea Party. However, recent polls by AP-GfK, CNN, Gallup, Rasmussen, Fox-Opinion Dynamics showed TP support between 22 and 35%. The spread usually depended on whether you were asking “adults” (lower end of range), “registered voters” and “likely voters'(highest responses). Why is the NYT so low?

    The NYT pollsters used self-identified TP supporters from two poll periods, last week and back in February for in-depth questioning. My guess, they found a lower % of TP supporters in February when folks were either not angry enough or worried about TP stigma. Blend that low % with current data and you can get a poll result below comparable polls. Better the Times reports 18% than 30%.

    However, I still smell a fart here. It is well accepted at this point, as you point out, that the TP is widening and becoming more mainstream in temperment, income representation and education. By going back to February, one can assume that the NYT found nore ideologically driven tea partiers who were maybe less mainstrean or “normal” than new members. Rasmussen’s February poll found 24% TP support which grew to 32% in March after people got disgusted with the Obamacare debate and vote. Thus, among the 853 TP supporters that the NYT interviewed in-depth, there was likely a greater representation by those more ideological, wealthier and educated.

    So, while the NYT results seems as you point out, I believe that the Times’ results from April 7-12 showed “too mainstream” a result and they had to skew the numbers a bit by mixing in earlier tea partiers. Having a more mainstrean profile would not fit the NYT current narrative that the TP is populated by wealthier, more educated white folks who are just selfish and want the poor to pay more taxes, Grandma to lose Medicare, etc.

    What is ironic is that a wealthier than average and more educated than average groups sounds a lot like the NYT desired reader base – expect for the worldview of course.

  2. Anonymous

    “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” — Mohandas K. Gandhi.

    “We are living in their heads, rent free.” — R. Limbaugh

  3. '73Refugee

    And so, FA, the new line of attack is the Tea Partiers are elitist.

  4. FlyAngler

    Yes 73, see Dana Milbank’s Washington Post article from this week where he ridicules the TP as elitist. His “evidence” is the fact the Grover Norquist was a speaker at the DC event. In Milbank’s traditional MSM mind, the presence of the “elitist Norquist” destroys the TP’s image as a populist movement using guilt by association. He uses a couple of other examples of featured speakers to suggest the TP’s populism is a fiction and it is just the elitist GOP in another wrapper.

    What the Left and the Media are worried about is that support for the TP is growing and broadening. They convinced themselves that the public would support Obamacare after it was passed and that the TP would fade as well (see Farriker’s comment). But neither of those things have happened. Obamacare’s poll #s are getting worse and the TP has not dissolved away. But what they worry about is the 40-50% of Americans who still don’t have an opinion about the TP. The fear is that some portion of those undecideds will learn more about the TP and begin to “support” it.

    While maybe 100,00 people came out to protest on Tax Day, if 20% of the US population “support” the sentiments of the movement, that is over 70mm people. Dems took control of DC with a margin far smaller than even 10% of that 70mm.

  5. rachelle

    The membership of the TEA Party should include everyone with (1) a 3-digit IQ and/or (2) US citizenship or a valid Green Card and/or (3) a birthdate before 1970. Apart from those criteria, you may not have noticed that the change BO has wrought is bad news that becomes worse by the day. BTW, sharing an office with a liberal may result in a reduction in Item 1 above unless said liberal is trending toward the right/light.

    • Rachelle, I’ll admit to a certain seething resentment when accused of stupidity because of my political views. IQ tests may be of dubious value, but somewhere there’s a bar between idiocy and genius and, if you give the tests any validity, I’m no idiot. I give my political opponents the benefit of the doubt, and I wish they’d do the same for me. People of intelligence can, and do, disagree, and we might all get somewhere if we could proceed on that basis.

  6. ff

    Why is it important, nay vital, to deny unemployment insurance for millions because “we must pay for it”, but it has been perfectly patriotic to pay for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on the credit card, interest due in the trillions to the Chinese?
    For all the mania about “Socialism”, the wars have cost us $985 billion since 2003, of which ZERO has been “paid for”. Our budget deficit is $1.3 trillion. Throw in Medicare Part D, the zillion dollar Bush giveaway to Pharma, and we’ve balanced the budget.

    Can’t have it all, tea People. So what would you substantively do?

    I await your barbed reply

  7. ff

    By the way, you cheesed off the wife when you put the murderer’s face above the elite Farricker name. You do not want to mess with her, that’s just a friendly tip

  8. FlyAngler

    Elitist, terrorist some sort of “ist” for the TP. How about the following from Bill Clinton:

    And while the hard-core, anti-government radicals are still a minority, “they can communicate with each other much faster and much better than they did before. The main thing that bothered us since the time of Oklahoma City was that already there was enough use of the Internet that if you knew how to find a Web site – and not everybody even had a computer back then, but if you knew how to find it, you could learn, for example, how to make a bomb”….

    “There can be real consequences when what you say animates people who do things you would never do,” Clinton told the newspaper – pointing out that McVeigh and his conspirators “were profoundly alienated, disconnected people who bought into this militant antigovernment line.”

    So our former president is making a comparison between the OK bombers and the TP. At what point will such criticism jump the shark?

    HT InstaPundit

  9. Red

    This “Tea Party” just shows that anarchists can be on the left or the right.