[FoRK] "Two faces of the Tea Party"

Russell Turpin russell.turpin at gmail.com
Wed Jun 23 07:33:39 PDT 2010

On Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 7:03 AM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
> So my dismay is two-fold:  first that Russell didn't apparently find the
> arguments convincing when somebody he has a long association with and who is
> vehemently opposed to these dorks made the points, and separately and moreso
> that he DID when it was made by them in their branded channel...

So let's be clear where we disagree. My suspicion is that the typical
tea party supporter holds "traditional" values, has some cartoonish
notion about how those are tied to American liberty, fears a
conspiracy of progressives is plunging the US toward dictatorship, and
generally is aligned with Beck and Palin, rather than being focused on
making an informed statement about fiscal policy and its long-term
consequences. That suspicion is generated by what I most often see
coming from tea party advocates, especially those who take a lead in
organizing the events, and by descriptions of tea party events. As I
said, you're hardly representative.

Admittedly, there's no way to know the exact breakdown without good
statistical data, of which there is only a little.

What I found interesting about the article I linked was the story of
the other side of the tea party. That's not so much an argument as it
is a narrative history. I have no doubt that there was a purpose to
presenting that sane side. As I said previously, I am not persuaded
that that sane faction matters much. Even were it as much as half of
the movement, which seems unlikely to me, when an equal part of sane
criticism is married with batshit crazy, the result is still batshit

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