A few liberals get it. Stanley Fish had an interesting metaphor for the tea partiers and warned against the elites criticizing them because that will only make them more engaged.
These developments have led Time magazine to conclude (in its Sept. 27 cover story) that we are seeing a “shaking up [of] the Republican party,” and columnist Mark Halperin follows suit in the same issue when he says that the Tea Party success “spells danger for [the Republican party’s] long term future.”The elites want to ridicule this strange breed and react with their customary arrogance and derision for "the folks."
But this, I think, is the wrong conclusion and shows how far progressives will go to avoid looking directly at a phenomenon they have trouble believing in. It would be more accurate to say that the Republican party now sees where its future lies, and it will cozy up to the new kids on the block (as it has already done in the case of O’Donnell) and ride their coattails to a victory even larger than the one they have been looking forward to.
And the Democrats will be helping them by saying scathing and dismissive things about the Tea Party and its candidates. The Greek mythological figure Antaeus won victory after victory because his opponents repeatedly threw him to the ground, not realizing that it was the earth (in the figure of his mother, Gaia) that nourished him and gave him renewed strength. The Tea Party’s strength comes from the down-to-earth rhetoric it responds to and proclaims, and whenever high-brow critics heap the dirt of scorn and derision upon the party, its powers increase.
We the people hear this and know who is being talked about, and react with anger: “Don’t presume to tell me what to think and whom to vote for just because you have more degrees than I do. I don’t know much about these people but if you guys are against them, I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt.”Yup. They were able to stuff their policies down our throats and they are not happy that we didn't like our medicine as much as they told us we were supposed to. In fact, they just can't believe that those ignorant people over whom they believe they should rule don't just sit back in wordless gratitude for all that they have done for us.
And if they don’t exactly say that, the recently unveiled “Pledge to America” says it for them in its money quote: “An arrogant out-of-touch government of self-appointed elites make decisions, issue mandates, and enact laws without accepting or requesting the input of the many.”
Here is Barack Obama on what is motivating the tea party movement.
This week President Obama chimed in with another uplifting message about the American electorate. Mr. Obama told Rolling Stone that the tea party movement is financed and directed by "powerful, special-interest lobbies." But this doesn't mean that tea party groups are composed entirely of corporate puppets. Mr. Obama graciously implied that a small subset of the movement is simply motivated by bigotry.When people look at the actual results of the liberals' concept of stimulus and interference in the market place and dare to criticize, the elites were first astounded, then derisory, and now resentful. Rather like we have been feeling the past 21 months.
The President said "there are probably some aspects of the Tea Party that are a little darker, that have to do with anti-immigrant sentiment or are troubled by what I represent as the President." The tea party is now supported by a third of the country in some polls.