This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus
I guess I will talk about the Tea Party, but as P.J. O’Rourke put it, there isn’t any one Tea Party. We are not talking the Republican Party or the Democratic Party or the Libertarian Party or libertarians. The Tea Party is a movement of people primarily from the South and Midwest, with the libertarian wing of the movement, wing of the movement that I somewhat respect, coming from the West. The Matt Kibbe and Dick Army wing of the movement. Their foot soldiers if you want to call them that, tend to be middle class, blue-collar working class people who perhaps are from an America that is disappearing and have decided they are going to fight back and bring that America back.
The foot soldiers of the Tea Party movement might be blue-collar working class folks, but their funders primarily are country club Republican billionaires who back people in these groups that they want to run for office. Without the Koch Brothers and the Tea Party, where is the GOP right now financially? Bankrupt perhaps begging President Obama the man they hate and represents everything they despise, like the New America with so many Americans who weren’t prominent in the 1950s when these traditional Americans who are now the Tea Party were running the country. Perhaps the GOP would be begging President Obama for a taxpayer bailout so their party can stay in business.
The Tea Party with their billionaire funders, are now the financial arm of the GOP. The foot soldiers might still be working class Joe’s and Mary’s, but their leadership are billionaires and represent the old school Republican Party. The good old days when the rich called the shots in the GOP and now have these working Joe’s and Mary’s out there with these rallies trying to convince Americans, especially Americans who look and live like them, that they are part of them and come from the same America.
But where is the Tea Party without the Koch Brothers and other billionaires? At home, pissed off, perhaps at their local tavern throwing their chicken wings and sandwiches at the tube every time President Obama and other Democrats from the same generation get up, give a speech or introduce some new policy. Generally speaking we are not talking about a group of people from normal economic and personal backgrounds who were pissed off over what is going on the country. And then got up and decided to organize their neighbors and community at the local dinner, bar or church. But people with strong political and financial connections, who organized the people through the internet to stand up and put this movement together. And that is the Tea Party movement.
OPC America: P.J. O'Rourke on The Tea Party