Friday, September 24, 2010
Is The Tea Party Just a Big Scam?
Is the tea party one the most successful scams in American political history? Before you dismiss the question, note that word “successful.” Judge the tea party purely on the grounds of effectiveness and you have to admire how a very small group has shaken American political life and seized the microphone offered by the media, including the so-called liberal media. But it’s equally important to recognize that the tea party constitutes a sliver of opinion on the extreme end of politics receiving attention out of all proportion with its numbers. Yes, there is a lot of discontent in America. But that discontent is better represented by the moderate voters who expressed quiet disillusionment to President Obama at the CNBC town hall meeting on Monday than by tea party ideologues who proclaim the unconstitutionality of the New Deal and everything since. The tea party drowns out such voices because it has money—some of it from un-populist corporate sources, as Jane Mayer documented last month in The New Yorker—and has used modest numbers strategically in small states to magnify its impact...more