Who Are The Tea Partiers?
Bruce Bartlett looks at a new poll. This should have been obvious to anyone paying attention:
What I think this poll shows is that taxes and spending are not by any means the only issues that define [Tea Party Movement (TPM)] members; they are largely united in being unsympathetic to African Americans, militant in their hostility toward illegal immigrants, and very conservative socially. At a minimum, these data throw cold water on the view that the TPM is essentially libertarian. Based on these data, I would say that TPM members have much more in common with social conservatives that welcome government intervention as long as it’s in support of their agenda.
Of course, one longs for a small government movement that isn't fueled by these forces and can actually be honest about how deep the cuts in entitlement spending and defense will have to be if we are not to raise taxes. But that is a fantasy. And the gut instincts of many of these people repel me.