Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What if They Threw a Tea Party, And Nobody Came?

Jim DeMint Addresses the Masses. Image from source.
I've been saying for some time that the whole tea bagger phenomenon was waning. Like the supposedly forceful "PUMAs" that were going to elect John McCain in 2010, the Tea Party is over. Well, not over exactly. There are stragglers, and every once in a while it seems to get rolling again. But is this really a group that should be capable of holding the nation--the world's--economy for ransom?

This is a group that sprang up immediately after President Obama's inauguration, claiming that they were overtaxed, and that they were only responding to Obama's bad policies. Riiiight. Considering that he didn't really have any policies yet, the claim is rather dubious. The tea party started out loud and boisterous, not very organized, and kind of. . .Wal-Mart-ey? Quickly, political operatives got their tentacles into this amorphous group, and began to direct things from behind the scenes. The party split into factions, some more astro-turfy than others. And no matter what they did, the news media--the allegedly liberal mainstream media--gave them copious attention.

Liberal bloggers like me did it too, of course. The imagery was just to hilarious, the speeches too clueless, the whole spectacle too grody to ignore.  Like a train crash or a Sarah Palin word salad speech, it was like catnip. Meanwhile other protests and gatherings, often much bigger, much less vague than the tea baggers, got scant attention from any quarter.

So, the tea party was magnified in importance, because it was camera ready. And now that all the pizazz has gone out of the party, they're still given too much attention. They always were, but now it's just getting stupid.

Source: Slate

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