|Image from source, Wonkette|
Fairly quickly--aside from the Koch Brothers' backing and opportunistic hangers-on--it became clear that the Tea Party was really a rebranding of the GOP base, the rabid, religious right. Suddenly, abortion and gay marriage were in the mix. And the candidates being supported by them were bonkers. The crazier, the better! They had initial success (though some of the nuttier candidates didn't make it), and today are just as nebulous in purpose and form as they were in the beginning, other than being as extremely right-wing as is possible.
But think about this as you "celebrate" five years of this baffling movement: the Tea Party is 30 days younger than the Obama presidency. That's right, this "organic" movement sprung up to combat an oppressive regime that was a whopping month old. One thing I'll never concede is my belief that the whole enterprise was a reaction not to a Democratic president, but to a black president.
The Tea Party Is Five Years Old Today, And Finally Acting Its Age
Five years ago today, Rick Santelli went on your teevee and said “We’re thinking of having a tea party” to protest (ostensibly) the Homeowners Affordability and Stability Plan, which was something that helped people keep their houses, even if these dumb homeowners were personally irresponsible and got fired because the economy shed however many million jobs in 2008-9, the nerve of some people, being affected by massive economic shocks! . . .
Read more at: Wonkette
*And yes, friends and neighbors, I still gleefully use the term "tea bagger" and its variants. For more than one reason, chiefly, a) it really torques off tea baggers and b) because it was originally Tea Party members who tried using the term to disparage liberals. But it backfired on them, and stuck. That doesn't happen often, but when it does, it is a beautiful (and hilarious) thing.