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STATING THE FACTS OR VOICING WISHFUL THINKING?
December 27, 2011
It was a nice surprise when I read your article in the Ledger today in that I agree with much of it concerning the specious topics. After I finished reading it, I was puzzled as to its purpose or intent. Was it Newt, ethanol, cap n’ trade or those dastardly trouble makers, the Tea Party?
It is clear that you have an opinion on the Tea Party movement and that opinion does not align with mine. I’m not sure of either the origin or course of that difference. It could be your support for the Republican Party, or that so many Tea Partiers are bloggers (joke), or just the typical reaction that most media and journalists take. Understanding that you have been to many Tea Party events and you are well aware of the make up and character of the majority of those people, I suspect that the premier perception may be the impetus.
Certainly I’m on board with your remarks about Gingrich. The shine on his apple dimmed for me even before the GOP’s long knives were drawn from their collective scabbards.
It is correct, about 90% of the people in this country, are moderately or extremely uninformed. The rest don’t know nor care on which planet they dwell. And it might be true that every person who has joined or attended a Tea Party group may not be as informed and learned as say, your average newspaper reporter, I would stake a fortune on them being more informed than most. If one were to select 10 people at random from, maybe, the shopping mall and 10 people from a Tea Party event, give them a history and political science test, I know where I’d place my money. Anytime you would like to run this little experiment, I’d be glad to assist.
Getting back to the supposed Tea Party support of Gingrich and as you describe them, “clueless”. You seem to making the same mistake others have concerning the structure of the Tea Party. You speak of the movement as if it were a single entity, with a command center and a top down structure. Your choice of the adjective “clueless” may lend some to believe you may have an oblique agenda, which of course would adulterate any appearance of objectivity. Certainly, when I read your description, my first thought in relation to it, was “clueless”. But then again, I’m not a trained journalist.
There are many individuals in each of the thousands of Tea Party groups, both national and local, that have decided to back Newt. But the beauty of this movement is that each of them, whether leaders or members, are independent of the others. My gosh, some of these supposed American patriots even support Ron Paul. As more and more information on him comes out, his supporters don’t wane, they circle the wagons. Inexplicable!
As you may or may not know, TPATH did a week long on line poll where just about 1000 local Tea Party people took part. It was ‘on going’ just before Newt started taking the big hits. Michele Bachmann won our poll, though Newt was a very close second. I suspect that if we were to redo this poll, Newt would not finish near the top.
While it may appear to some that the Tea Party movement is dying or in fact is dead, that assumption is more aspirant reality than actual fact. While the GOP establishment, probably more so than even the left, would like to believe that, this coming primary election season will be pivotal in establishing the long term viability of the movement. A major news website just finished an on line poll where 1.6 million people took part and where only 23% had affiliations with a Tea Party. However, 86% of those taking the poll had a favorable view of the Tea Party. Of course that site is where conservatives go for their news, but that’s what Tea Party support stems from. Also, in contrast to your statement that Tea Party polls show Newt leading, you need to update. The largest national Tea Party just reported its members chose Michele Bachmann with Newt slipping to near the bottom.
Being a very proud Tea Party member and supporter, I can understand very well why the GOP is in such a conundrum. I can understand why they would view the movement as a threat and I do not hold those fears against them. My hope is that in the very near future, the goals of the Tea Party and the GOP will more finely coalesce. For too many years the Republican Party has been satisfied with following in the shadow of the leftists and settling for second place in a two horse race. The Tea Party, while ideologically in tune with the GOP, arose from non-politicians who understand that second place is what precipitated the mess this country is in.
Finally Paul, as to whether or not the Tea Party movement is dead and of no consequence, I suspect such thoughts are wishful thinking as opposed to fact. When is the last time so many large newspapers, TV shows and talking heads devoted space and time to the fact that the Whig Party may be finished? So keep in mind, if the Tea Party movement rates your effort to declare its expiry, you all just may be mistaken. Here’s a little secret, everyone of you knows it.
Regards and Happy New Year,