Days of Change

Day 1081 – Bizarro Tea Party

October 21, 2011

When the Tea Party started, their enemies had two reactions. They derided it publicly as fake and selfish and probably racist. They privately tried to figure out how in the hell to do it themselves.

The Tea Party seemed to be something of a specter (no pun intended) in its first year. Sure, a couple of Republican governors won in 2009, but the Republicans lost a solid GOP House seat because of the Tea Party. If anything, they were poised to split the vote three-ways, giving Democrats easy wins in 2010.

Then they found their issue. Taxes, debt and government intervention were all rolled into Obamacare. Democrats could see the potential for losing a decisive majority and passed the plan with public support as low as it is now before the elections. This is around the time the Coffee Party started. They tried to use the Obama sales pitch of non-partisan problem solving that wasn’t present in the “I won” administration. That fizzled. Who wants to organize if they’re not unified or angry?

Democrats were shellacked in 2010, of course. So they decided to go local. Since many Americans seemed to like the Tea Party in Congress, they picked on Republican governors in blue states. Demonizing Christie was a non-starter. The unions and the Democrats made their stand in Wisconsin over laws passed by a Republican legislature and governor. Protests and sit-ins were back. This time, the people affected by the legislation were actually fine with the results. Recall elections failed and unions eventually dispersed.

Now they have a failed movement of non-ideology and a failure of organized, impassioned ideology. What should they do next? It might be worth combining them. It sounds stupid, but maybe a group of people excited about getting together and talking could be manufactured. Still, there’s some secret sauce missing from this that the Tea Party has.

Let’s go back to something seemingly innocuous that I mentioned in the first paragraph. Sure, the Democratic Party influenced movements are fake, but they’re not selfish enough. When the Tea Party started, one of the criticisms was that those people were angry about their taxes and the regulations on them. Protests on the left had a healthy amount of empathy for others, real or imagined. The last part of this recipe is something that is politically liberal, unites a large number of people and affects most protesters and regular people.

Start with an economic issue, since the Democrats are now more pro-war than Republicans. Make sure it requires a government solution. Make sure it covers a lot of people, like at least 9 out of 10. Now, frame the meetings and protests in such a way that it doesn’t solve anything, kind of like a Coffee Party. Bring in the unions for support, but don’t let them take over.

This is Anti-Tea Party 3.0. It’s a group of people who have no clear ideology, no demands and no desires. They are perfectly fine with talking about issues with no resolution. They are .02% of the population, but claim 99% of it as their allies. It’s a Frankenmovement, where parts of it don’t know where they’re going and other parts don’t know why.

Let’s see how long this one lasts.

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