Or, as Steve Benen put it:When they lose they stage a national hissy fit of epic proportions and persuade the Village (where they are perceived as the personification of the heartland of America) that they are something very important. Now that they have their very own TV and radio networks featuring crazed right wing demagogues 24/7, they are more successful on those terms than ever. But they are nothing new, nothing new at all. They are mostly a bunch of cranky, white men with money who are trying desperately to hang on to their privileges. Same as it ever was.
Now, I can see why politicians take these lackwits seriously. Something to do with fools and money being easily parted, I should think. However, that's no excuse for the Villagers. We must assume their adoration of the Teabagging Masses is due to their being not so much Villagers as Village Idiots.If you were to make a Venn Diagram of the issues Tea Party members care about, and the issues Tea Party members are confused about, you'd only see one circle.
These folks claim to be motivated by concerns over taxes, but Tea Partiers tend not to know anything about the subject. They claim to be angry about the Affordable Care Act, but they don't know what's in it. They claim to hate expensive government programs, except for all the expensive government programs that benefit them and their families.
It's inherently challenging to create a lasting, successful political movement predicated on literally nothing more than ignorance and rage. In the case of Tea Partiers, we're talking about a reasonably large group of people who seem to revel in their own ignorance, but nevertheless seek an active role in the process.
Following up on an item from a few weeks ago, this is important to the extent that there are still some who believe the political mainstream should do more to listen to the Tea Party crowd and take its hysterical cries seriously. But how can credible people take nonsense seriously and hope to come up with a meaningful result? How can policymakers actually address substantive challenges while following the advice of angry mobs who reject reason and evidence?
The bottom line seem inescapable: Tea Party activists have no idea what they're talking about. Their sincerity notwithstanding, this is a confused group of misled people.
The Venn Diagram Steve mentions should be drawn in black, to represent the black hole of stupidity that is the Teabaggers and their admirers. Let's just hope the rest of the country doesn't get sucked in to it.