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  #11  
Old 05-13-2010, 05:19 PM
bramble bramble is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 31
Default Why Tea Party People will drink coffee in the end

In the discussion about the Tea Partiers, Wright and Pinkerton forgot to mention the key characteristic of the Tea Party type. Tea Party People are powerless. That's what unites them. Their powerlessness can be considered from two angles.

1. Conservatism suffered a huge defeat in 2008. The tea parties gave people who felt angry and resentful about Obama and the Democrat's landslide victory a venue to express those emotions. The tea parties were like the various Iraq war protests. The garnered a lot of media attention, but ultimately they affected the policy of the Iraq War very little.

2. The collapsing economy stoked deep insecurities about the health of the country. This can be seen in all the paranoid populist themes on protest signs. Tea Party people don't share Brink Lindsey's basically sanguine view of Neoliberalism's progress from the 1970s to the present. When you get right down to it, a lot of Tea Party people seem to want to return to the economic policies (and in some cases, the social mores) of the Guilded Age, which, to be fair, may just be shorthand for "Anything else but the current system." Since this ambition is quixotic in the extreme, nobody takes their radicalism seriously. Democratic partisans mock it, and Republican partisans try to exploit it.

My hypothesis is that once a) the Tea Party people perceive that conservative power has been restored to any degree and b) the end of the recession calms their economic anxieties, they won't have much psychological motivation to "take back America." In other words, they will give up the tea and go back to their Starbucks.
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