J.M. Bernstein answers critics:
In a highly recommended response that was scathingly critical of the Tea Party, BR of Times Square (5) stated that, nonetheless, “Their [the Tea Party’s] motivations and their passions are noble.” This sort of generous recognition of something worthwhile underlying Tea Party excesses was an element in lots of left-leaning responses. I take the motivations and passions that BR find noble to be those that bespeak a desire for more democracy. Left and right are in angry agreement that our democracy is being hijacked, that rather than the voices of concerned citizens it is corporations, lobbyists, special interests, party hacks, entrenched privilege, business-as-usual politicians, noisy media pundits, and, sure, sometimes even big government itself that are determining policy, creating a massive democratic deficit.
...I would be more convinced that the Tea Party really was committed to radical democracy if their most notable achievement to date was not to wreck one of the few remnants of Jeffersonian democracy the town hall meeting.