We've moved!

Social Icons

twitterfacebooklinkedinrss feed

Friday, April 16, 2010

South Dakota Tea Party: The Ground Is Already Done Shaking!

According to that Sioux Falls paper, last night's $15-a-head Teabagger program at the Sioux Falls Holiday Inn International Room drew about 250 people. The Teabaggers' July 2 anti-health-care rally drew maybe a thousand. Last year's free tricorner-hat circus on April 15 at Covell Lake drew maybe 4,000.

Ah, the sweet smell of success....

* * *
Related: Peter Beinart at the Daily Beast addresses a new NYT poll on Tea Bag demographics:

So the press has a problem: what to call this intriguing new force in American politics? What kind of adjective suits older, grumpy, well-off Americans who believe Democrats are communists, the poor have it too easy and white people are oppressed? The term “Republican” comes to mind [Peter Beinart, "The Tea Party's Phony Populism," Daily Beast, 2010.04.15].


  1. Yeah, here I thought they were misguided working class folks. Turns out Cory was right all along. Does it mean Michele Bachmann correctly describes them as sophisticated?

  2. Whatever psychological, physiological, and spiritual generalizations we might make about the tea-baggers, I suspect that in about a year we'll have a whole lot more of them around.

  3. Well, now, I think these generalizations are just a bit silly. I think it makes the writer look like more of a tea-partier than I am.

    Let's take a look, shall we?

    Peter Beinart, born 1971.
    Miranda Flint, born 1983.

    Winner: Beinart


    How does one measure grumpiness?
    If it's in terms of how many surly articles one writes, Beinart's got me beat again.

    Winner: Beinart


    Beinart: Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York and a Schwartz Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation.

    Me: Stay-At-Home Mom and occasional Freelancer, with a husband who works in tech support. Who do you think earns more? That's right!

    Winner: Beinart

    Believes Democrats are communists:

    Beinart: Apparently not.
    Miranda: Only some.

    Winner: Miranda

    Believes white people are oppressed:

    Beinart: Apparently not.
    Miranda: No.

    Winner: None

    So let's tally these up!
    Three for Beinart.
    One for Miranda.

    Beinart is the Tea Partier! Despite the fact that I actually attended a tea-party and he probably did not.

  4. Here's the thing: I've long waited for the rationale middle to get angry and a little militant, but this isn't it. Any group that takes Glenn Beck seriously, wants to hoot and holler with Michele Bachmann and listens in awe of Sarah Palin tells me they may have some advanced education and earnings potential, but they are emotionally driven, narrow minded, and other than being fiscally conservative don't share my values. I suspect there are many other fiscally conservative people similarly put off by those elements that would otherwise applaud the demand for our government to serve the middle.

  5. Oh, Miranda. Anyone knows there's a difference between telling funny stories about two people and looking at the results of a survey, which actually tells us more about the big picture. I could look at any cloud of gas and find two particles moving in opposite directions. But that wouldn't change the fact that the wind is blowing from the northwest.

    Back to Stats and Logic 101: Beinart does not say that any person who is older, whiter, etc. is guaranteed to belong to any political movement. The survey says that the people who identify themselves with this particular movement include a higher percetage of people with certain chracteristics.

  6. And Stan, back in November 1992 when I voted for Ross Perot, I expected we'd see a lot more Reform Party voters in 1996. Hmm....

  7. If the middle just hums they can drown out the crazies and shape something for themselves. But as long as loony people have the baton the moderate middle is not gonna join until/if that is purged. If the Tea Party goes that way, fine, but if our economy turns around, and it sure seems like Obama and the Democrats are working hard on the right issues, then the Tea Party will probably go the same way as Perot.

    Don't drink that tea, yet.

  8. True, Cory. But most people also know that broad, sweeping generalizations are bound to be inaccurate. And the fact that Mr. Beinart embodies many of the qualities that he criticizes is worth noting.

  9. Actually, Miranda, where Beinart does offer clear criticism is not so much on those demographic categories (old, grumpy, relatively well-off) as on the political beliefs more prevalent among those folks. Your criticism, while clever (I'm also Beinart's age and often grumpy; now if I could just land a nice job like his!) thus appears to miss the mark. Beinart is correct in saying that the political movement described is less populist than its slogans would have us believe.

  10. Maybe, Cory, but then, the quote you chose to feature doesn't show that.

    And Beinart's sort of an elite himself, isn't he? Furthermore, his reasoning leaves something to be desired. It goes something like this:

    "Being a populist means standing up for the little guy against ruling elites."

    "A lot of tea partiers have money, therefore, they cannot possibly be standing up for the little guy."

    The only piece of evidence he offers is a poll done by the New York Times, which does find that Tea Partiers are wealthier
    and more educated than the average American. Indeed, it does show many of the things Beinart claims it does.

    However, it also finds this:

    The Times/CBS poll offers a detailed look at the profile and attitudes of those supporters.

    "Their responses are like the general public’s in many ways."

    Well, now, isn't that interesting?

    "Their responses are like the general public's."

    How can they possibly be populist?

    And then a recent Gallup poll (http://www.gallup.com/poll/127181/tea-partiers-fairly-mainstream-demographics.aspx) reveals this:

    19 percent of Tea Partiers earn less than $30k a year. That's compared to 25% of all US Adults.
    That's a 6% difference - not exactly staggering.

    Meanwhile 26% earn $30-$49, which compares with 25% of all US Adults.

    Finally, 55% earn over $50,000 a year, compared to 50% nationally.

    The truth of the matter is that most Americans (75%) make over $30,000 a year. 45% of The Tea Partiers make less than $50,000. I don't think it's quite fair,
    then, to dismiss the whole movement as rich and elitist. Tea Partiers demographics are really quite similar to the demographics of the general public.

    There's a reason for that and that's that the Tea Parties have largely been made up of average Americans.


Comments are closed, as this portion of the Madville Times is in archive mode. You can join the discussion of current issues at MadvilleTimes.com.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.