The Definitionally Centrist Tea Party
With a big picture of RI Tea Party organizer Colleen Conley clearly caught in the act of that dangerous right-wing activity of listening to somebody speak, Ed Achorn puts forward a theory about whom the tea party types actually are:
… because middle-class Americans, for as long as I can remember, have been too busy (some say apathetic) to protest against the loss of their money and choices. Usually, they just shut up, pay and obey. And professional politicians from both parties, for their part, have long grasped there is a middle America that cannot be pushed around too abruptly. Worried about re-election, the wiser heads from both parties have edged the country gradually toward the bigger, bossier Washington they favor.
But the wiser heads are no more. The more ideological, less pragmatic pols running the show today — undeterred by such flashing-red warning signs as the massive defection of independents in the polls, furious constituents at town-hall meetings and the loss of elections in Virginia, New Jersey and (almost unbelievably) Massachusetts — have so brazenly ignored the public’s concerns that they seem to have awakened a slumbering giant. Middle-class Americans have coalesced around the rather amorphous Tea Party movement, and intend to turn out in large numbers around the country on Tax Day, including at the State House in Providence, to protest the country’s direction.
I say that we should turn back the Big Government time bomb about a hundred years. That’ll give us a century to focus on other things than how much more money we have to make to pay off the government and which of our habits Uncle Obama is going to target for penalties next.