The Tea Party is dangerous

by Adele M. Stan


The impulse to dismiss the Tea Party movement is understandable, especially given the kook factor (something that every grassroots movement has). The wacky signs, the crazy rhetoric about health care as some form of tyranny: How could this add up to a force able to defeat the massive coalition that led to President Obama’s election? Charles P. Pierce, writing at Esquire’s blog, expresses this view with his claim that the Tea Party movement isn’t really a movement at all, but rather ‘the kind of noisy paranoid lunacy that used to be stapled to lampposts, or hollered about by people you would avoid in the public parks.’ Some of that is true, but it also feeds an attendant denial of the kind a damage such a movement — or non-movement, in Pierce’s view — can do...

The Palin-ization of politics

Mother Jones
by Kevin Drum


Palin is, in some sense, sui generis. And yet, I wonder if her press strategy is really such a unique consequence of her celebrity-hood or rather a sign of things to come? There’s no question that she’s pulled off her particular schtick better than anyone else in American politics, but there are others who have gone a ways down this road too. One is Barack Obama, who restricted press access to a startling degree during his presidential campaign. Keeping presidential campaign reporters on a tight leash is a trend that’s been building for years, with every campaign more tightly controlled than the last, but still, Obama pretty clearly took this to a new level. The other example who comes to mind (since I live in California), is Meg Whitman, who just ran a high-profile primary campaign in a big state with virtually no interaction with the mainstream press. She gave speeches, she ran ads (boy did she run ads), and she spoke to friendly reporters occasionally, but that was about it. And guess what? It worked. She proved that you really don’t need the press anymore to run a successful campaign...

The tea party’s march madness

Mother Jones
by Stephanie Mencimer


The tea party movement is not just a political juggernaut — it’s also become a big business. That quickly became clear following last September’s unexpectedly enormous rally in Washington organized by Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks, the event that helped put the movement on the map. With crowd estimates ranging from 75,000 to 2 million, the rally was such a hit that conservative activists are planning a sequel this year. A bunch of them actually. And these competing events have led to confusion and infighting among the tea party faithful...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Palin, Paul Expose Rift in Tea Party


Protofascism Comes to America: The Rise of the Tea Party

By Ted Rall

Tea Partiers haven't called for extralegal solutions to the problems they cite--but neither did the National Socialists prior to 1933. Then again, they're not in power yet. Wait.

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