Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Few, The Loud, The Ignoramuses

Here's a breath of fresh air and a trend I hope continues. From an article in the NY Times about slipping support for the Tea Baggers:

Of course, politicians of all stripes are not faring well among the public these days. But in data we have recently collected, the Tea Party ranks lower than any of the 23 other groups we asked about — lower than both Republicans and Democrats. It is even less popular than much maligned groups like “atheists” and “Muslims.” Interestingly, one group that approaches it in unpopularity is the Christian Right.

Their brand is toxic, as the article says, so why is this small but vocal group holding our entire economy hostage? Because Obama has tried too hard and for too long to be bipartisan. Failing to pass reasonable bills would be better than passing any of the garbage that could possibly move through this House's blocked and gnarly digestive tract.

Plus, really, the Tea Party is not all about small government. They're about White America and the intersection of religion and politics.

So what do Tea Partiers have in common? They are overwhelmingly white, but even compared to other white Republicans, they had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president, and they still do.

More important, they were disproportionately social conservatives in 2006 — opposing abortion, for example — and still are today. Next to being a Republican, the strongest predictor of being a Tea Party supporter today was a desire, back in 2006, to see religion play a prominent role in politics. And Tea Partiers continue to hold these views: they seek “deeply religious” elected officials, approve of religious leaders’ engaging in politics and want religion brought into political debates. The Tea Party’s generals may say their overriding concern is a smaller government, but not their rank and file, who are more concerned about putting God in government.

My hope for the upcoming campaign season (I know, it's started already, I just can't acknowledge it for at least a few more months) is that Obama gets mad and goes partisan. It has to happen, because he's working alongside a Republican House (and all Republicans everywhere lately, who all seem terrified of the Tea Baggers) that believes he must fail, and they're willing to take our economy down to see it happen.

Tea Baggers: Party Before Country. It's pretty disgusting. And it's time to stop trying to work with them.

Show them for the fringe element they are and stop pretending they are mainstream America. Get mad. Before it's too late.

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