The Tea Party Goes Underground
The nascent tea party is witnessing the professed members of its movement dwindle, and massive national protests and rallies are diminishing in number and intensity. There are a few good reasons that the tea party is less at the forefront of national politics, and none of them should concern those of a patriotic persuasion. Instead of dissipating into thin air, the tea party has simply moved out of the spotlight and is focusing its energies in different directions.
After the 2010 elections, the tea party appeared to be sated, having wiped out the Democrat majority in the House and having made substantive inroads into the Senate. The Republicans subsequently took their new clout in the House and frittered it away – in budget resolution and debt ceiling negotiations, which did little if nothing to change the big picture disjuncture between projected government intake and spending. The people who comprised the once very visible tea party are currently not blowing a gasket, but they are seething below the public surface.
A series of two Gallup polls taken in August 2011 show that while tea party self-identification has steadily declined, the identifier “conservative” has held rock steady. Liberals are at the same old twenty percent they have been for years, while “very conservative” outnumbers “very liberal” nearly two-to-one. [Continued on Political Crush]