In 2009, one couldn’t turn on the TV or surf the interwebs without being flooded with news of angry white mobs holding up hilariously misspelled signs and screaming at Democratic Congresspeople at town halls. The failure of John McCain to beat Barack Obama in 2008 and, even more frightening, the creation of Sarah Palin, instigated a new wave of racism and far-right economic anarchism. Instead of hoods they wore tea bags, and they operated under the guise of “fiscal responsibility.” After 8 years of reckless spending under Bush, they were overnight Austrian economists.
No moderate Republican was safe, and certainly no progressive Democrat could possibly navigate through these turpentine-laced waters. Calling itself the Tea Party, this incipient movement claimed to be carrying on in the footsteps of the founding fathers, with its emphasis on combating tyranny in the form of excessive taxation. Sounds adorable so far, right?
The Tea Party and its adherents overlooked one all-important caveat with regards to the cause of the Boston Tea Party: the British subjects were lamenting taxation WITHOUT representation, not taxation on ridiculously-wealthy-people-during-an-economic-depression WITH representation. The Tea Party saw its zenith of power in the 2010 midterm elections, when unsuspecting voters bought the pink slime being sold as Angus beef.
Ever since the crazies took over the asylum, they have stopped at nothing to machete through the entire edifice of FDR’s New deal programs in order to get the Kenyan Socialist out in 2012. I wonder how that worked out for them? Since we’re not all speaking Mandarin, pledging allegiance to Donald Trump’s wig, or commuting to our jobs in Bangalore, it must mean that Mitt Romney lost. Even though Romney was a crappy Christmas sweater who was never quite embraced by the Tea Party, they might as well be shopping with Captain Capitalist at Costco since they appear to be just as finished.
According to a new survey, an unimpressive 8 percent of voters said they were Tea Party members. How could this be? Is the white part of Obama going to serve in the second term? In any case, Americans’ feelings toward the Tea Party have turned decidedly sour. According to a Rasmussen Reports poll, 49 percent have an unfavorable view of the movement and only 30 percent of likely voters had a favorable view. This is quite telling when compared to 2009, when the Tea Party had its highest favorability
That none of the popular Tea Party candidates won in the 2012 elections, combined with the election losses of Reps. Joe Walsh and Allen West, the Tea Party is definitely on the wane. But much like herpes, it can lay dormant and come back to cause an unsightly and painful breakout on America. After all, they still have Michele Bachmann running around as a member of Congress.
Michael is a comedian/VO artist/Columnist extraordinaire, who co-wrote an award-nominated comedy, produces a chapter of Laughing Liberally, wrote for NY Times Laugh Lines, guest-blogged for Joe Biden, and writes a column for MSNBC.com affiliated Cagle Media. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and like NJ Laughing Liberally Lab if you love political humor from a progressive point-of-view. Seriously, follow him or he’ll send you a photo of Rush Limbaugh bending over in a thong.