Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Will The Tea Party Movement Fragment?

Along with several other issues, in an Examiner item, Glenn Reynolds points to some recent comments from Joe Scarborough on the Tea Party movement. The actual dynamics of both the original Boston Tea Party and this new movement are terribly misinterpreted by the element of today's American society that fancies itself the mainstream. Last week, Joe Scarborough wrote that the Tea Party movement might "tear itself apart." His evidence of this: Some squabbling over a Tea Party convention in Nashville, Tenn. Well, squabbling is normal in movement politics, particularly when people think they're being shortchanged on money and credit. But what's really striking about the Tea Party movement isn't that there's squabbling -- it's how little squabbling, overall, there has been. Scarborough's column, remember, was occasioned by the Brown victory in Massachusetts. A few Tea Party purists didn't want to support Brown, seeing him as insufficiently pure. But the vast majority made the entirely pragmatic determination that Brown, whatever his flaws, was vastly better than his Democratic opponent Martha Coakley, and just the guy to stop Obamacare in its tracks if elected. For starters, the movement can't fragment, because it is already fragmented. That's a strength, not a weakness. What it most represents is the majority of the American electorate, not some fringe insurgency. That was as true in Boston as it is today...read more

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