Thursday, September 16, 2010

Explaining the Tea Party

Let me try to offer the pithiest possible explanation of the Tea Party:

Conservatives: "We want small government!"

Liberals: "Hypocrites! The Republicans have always grown government tremendously!"

Conservatives: "Right; that's why we're so pissed!"

Much as Ralph Nader was disgusted with both parties, considering them both too conservative, and hoped to either start a third one or pressure the Democrats leftward, the Tea Party folks consider both too financially liberal, and hope to either start a third one or else pressure the Republicans rightward (at least fiscally). Because, as liberals often remind us all, Republicans have wildly expanded government, too.

The Republicans are trying desperately to subvert the movement by merging the populist fiscal conservatism with social conservatism to yield, paradoxically, blandly mainstream Republicans. Results thus far, per the entry below, have been messy.

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