New York Times Magazine has a pretty revealing--and entertaining--profile of Dick Armey, the former Republican House majority leader who now chairs Freedom Works, a conservative grassroots organization that's been the major principal group in facilitating the tea party protests this year and, in so doing, has risen to prominence as one of the most influential groups in American politics today.
In it, Armey tells writer Michael Sokolove a lot about his ideas...and those, in turn, tell us something about the movement he's now part of. For one, he says that "The largest empirical problem we have in health care today is too many people are too overinsured."
He also criticizes GOP leaders for pressing a socially conservative agenda after he retired from the House in 2003. "When Republicans are fighting against the power of the state, we win. When we are trying to advance it, we lose," he says. Which is emblematic of why the present conservative movement is so disconnected from and distrustful of the Republican Party establishment: the concerns of fiscally conservative tea partiers have little in common with the socially conservative campaigns run by President Bush in 2000 and 2004, and the increased spending under his administration.