The raging idiocy of the tea party "movement" never ceases to amaze me. I have never - not even for a second - taken these people seriously. Despite the media's fascination with middle-aged white people in pointy hats yelling and screaming about how much they hate their black president and the government (but love their medicare), I have known all along that the tea party is just the religious right, repackaged with new clothes and slogans.
But fewer and fewer people are self identifying as a member of the tea party these days, and their events are turning out fewer and fewer "protesters." But, this movement - as ridiculous as it is - did elect more than 60 new Republicans into the House of Representatives, a handful of US Senators, and numerous state legislators.
Since these teabaggers came into government and and began implementing their Khmer Rouge style of tearing down the US government and its society in order to remake it in their image, the popularity of the "movement" has been in a nosedive.
In recent polling, the tea party has received a lower favor-ability rating than much maligned groups like Atheists and Muslims. It should be noted that I do not have negative feelings about Atheists and Muslims. The comparison is apt, though because the tea party considers both Atheists and Muslims to be less than real Americans.
In addition, the research shows that I have been right all along about the tea party. It is not non-partisan, at all. They are the far right, Republican base. From "Crashing the Tea Party:"
Our analysis casts doubt on the Tea Party’s “origin story.” Early on, Tea Partiers were often described as nonpartisan political neophytes. Actually, the Tea Party’s supporters today were highly partisan Republicans long before the Tea Party was born, and were more likely than others to have contacted government officials. In fact, past Republican affiliation is the single strongest predictor of Tea Party support today.
What’s more, contrary to some accounts, the Tea Party is not a creature of the Great Recession. Many Americans have suffered in the last four years, but they are no more likely than anyone else to support the Tea Party. And while the public image of the Tea Party focuses on a desire to shrink government, concern over big government is hardly the only or even the most important predictor of Tea Party support among voters.
So what do Tea Partiers have in common? They are overwhelmingly white, but even compared to other white Republicans, they had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president, and they still do.
The Republican party's attempt to re-brand itself after the devastating George W Bush presidency as the "tea party" fooled the media and many American people. But that is finally wearing off. People now see the group for what it is: disgruntled white Republicans.