Monday, June 14, 2010

Old Whine in New Teabags

The Washington Post had an article over the weekend pointing out the fractious state of the various Tea Party parties around the country.

The national tea party movement has never had a central organization or single leader; in fact, it has boasted the opposite. But Tuesday’s primary results provided fresh evidence of the amorphous network’s struggle to convert activist anger and energy into winning results. Frustrated and lacking agreement on what to do next, self-identified tea party leaders say the movement may be in danger of breaking apart before it ever really comes together.

The problem is that it really isn’t a movement per se; besides not having a central organization or single leader, they don’t really have an agenda. Other movements in recent history — civil rights, anti-war, women’s liberation, gay rights — at least had a goal. So far all we’ve seen from the tea party is that they “want our country back,” but they really don’t say “back” to what… unless you discern that the subliminal — and often not so subtle — message is that they want the country back from the Black Guy; they want “lower taxes,” which 95% of the country got from the stimulus bill they opposed; and they want the economy fixed, which they claim the government must do, therefore going against one of their other basic tenets of keeping the government from doing anything. No wonder they can’t get their act together.

What you basically have is a bunch of whiners who suddenly woke up from their eight-year high of W’s folksy platitudes and bulging-crotch butchness to find that the cowboys and frat boys had trashed the place, puked on their shoes, and stuck them with the bill. And they have the nerve to get defensive when the Party of Personal Responsibility is told that they were responsible for inviting them in. That’s not a movement, that’s a temper tantrum.