Democrats and Republican Establishment Misread the Tea Party Movement

New York City Mayor Bloomberg calls the Tea Party Movement a “boomlet.” He tells The Hill:

In a wide-ranging interview published Saturday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg characterized the recent increase in Tea-Party rancor as a temporary development in American politics.

“I think these boomlets come along when the public is dissatisfied,” he told the New York Times. “There was a Ross Perot boomlet, there was a John McCain boomlet, there’s the Tea Party boomlet.”

Bloomberg may actually believe that, and I’m sure he fervently hopes he is right. As far as his town is concerned it may not even rise to the level of a boomlet. But in the real world it’s a phenomenon that neither Democrats nor establishment Republicans understand very well. The Tea Party is an awakening. It’s represents a change from rational ignorance of politics to rational engagement by voters across the nation. Just ask the question, “Who is the leader of the Tea Party Movement?” The answer is nobody. It’s spontaneous.

The Tea Party Movement is not a bunch of angry hicks as Mayor Bloomberg would like to think. Those who come out to Tea Party rallies, support conservative candidates in challenges not just to Democrats but also in primary challenges against establishment Republican favorites such as Mike Castle in Delaware, Bob Bennett in Utah, and Lisa Murkowski in Alaska are angry alright, but it is not anger that drives them. They are driven by their opposition to the policies of the old guard politicians who have been imposing big government unaccountable waste and fraud upon us for years. The Tea Party is simply showing the world how a civilized people conduct a revolution without guns, bombs, riots and mobs. The Tea Party is “We The People” in peaceful assembly petitioning for the redress of grievances, which is a right guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic suggests that Obama, having failed in his attempt to demonize Rep. John Boehner, should use the Alinsky strategy on Sarah Palin in an attempt to link her social policies to the Tea Party. Doctor Zero hopes Obama will do just that since it will be another spectacular failure and more likely will give a boost the Tea Party, if it needed any. Palin’s most memorable statements have been on economics and politics more than social issues, which have not figured prominently in her speeches except maybe to ask the media to stop making rape jokes about her daughter.

Doctor Zero makes this point, striking in how well it rings true:

Obama would be making a deadly mistake by calling out Sarah Palin for a political cage match. Let me put this bluntly: virtually no one in America gives a damn what Barack Obama says about anything at this point. What could be more predictable, and less interesting, than Obama’s opinion on any given subject? Who wants to contemplate the economic wisdom of a guy who looted the Treasury for a trillion dollars, with less benefit than we could have achieved by stuffing hundred dollar bills into random cereal boxes? Who’s excited to hear about the next plan to convert taxpayer dollars into Democrat campaign funds? Who’s hungry for another hour of tedious excuses about permanently broken markets and the titanic dead hand of George W. Bush? Who wants a lecture on ethical business practices from the titular head of the party that gave us Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters? What use is another hollow foreign-policy speech from a man who sees no global adversary to rival the menace of Arizona? Even Obama’s supporters don’t hear anything he says any more. There’s nothing left to hear.


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