I’ve been accused of being all over the place regarding the Tea Party movement. I have called them, in no particular order, ignorant, racist, unfocused and fraternity/sorority boys and girls simply out for a good time. The one thing I didn’t give them credit for was having a small dose of sanity within their ranks.
Today, Politico published an article on rancor within the Tea Party movement. The article confirmed one of my strongest suspicions about the movement, namely that these folks cannot agree on why they are so angry. Such movements simply need the Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin type to get them fired up. They make their signs and show up for a good old-fashioned protest. They robotically cite lines about losing our country and its constitution. But look through the crowd and the signs themselves betray a total lack of focus. Some are upset about taxes (Obama so far has reduced taxes for the middle class), some are upset about gun rights (nobody’s guns have been taken away just yet), and a small but visible minority seem unhappy to have a black President.
One sentence in the Politico article jumped out at me:
In Granbury, Texas, local tea party organizer Josh Sullivan says he believes the movement’s effectiveness is being compromised by extremism.“You have some interesting folks in the Tea Party movement — some of them I can support, but some of them are kind of out there and radical, and I don’t want to associate myself with them,” he said.
Ah, could it be a voice of sanity within the whirling dervish crowd?
All you fans of this grass-roots movement can yell and scream until your faces turn blue. Until the Tea Party movement finds a leader and forgoes free-floating anxiety in favor of a well articulated platform, they will remain an entertaining and sometimes disturbing sideshow.