... by and large, those sympathetic to the tea parties were white, wealthy and affluent people, whose political views represent approximately 29 percent of the electorate. ...
"Only six percent [of tea party participants] reported having to worry about buying food for their families in the past year, compared to 14 percent of voters nationwide, 37 percent of blacks, 21 percent of youths, and 39 percent of low-income voters," they added.
These angry white men are one legion in a grassroots movement that has rewritten the political equation of the 1990s, and in the process helped to transform the Republican Party ... An army of conservative grassroots groups has mobilised middle-class discontent with government into a militant political force, reaching for an idealised past with the tools of the onrushing future: fax machines, computer bulletin boards, and the shrill buzz of talk radio. They have forged alliances with the Gingrich generation of conservatives and strengthened their hand as the dominant voice within the GOP family. Like a boulder in a highway, the conservative populist movement has become an enormous, often impassable obstacle in the path of President Clinton. No single factor in the Republican revival ... has been more important than the party's success at reconnecting with and invigorating the profusion of antiWashington and antigovernment movements sprouting in every state.
Anyone who thinks the Teabaggers' unhinged "anger and bitterness" will subside in the face of an improving economy really needs to take a closer look at objective polling on the Teabaggers and review the 1990s.
The '90s was a time of economic prosperity, but because there was a Democrat in the White House, the far-right was in full freakout mode. Back then, Clinton/Gore's black helicopters were coming for their guns and right-wing "patriots" like Tim McVeigh and Eric Rudolph roamed the countryside.
The 9-12 formations lack the same sort of national structure present in the Tea Party movement. The national 9-12 formations are important peripheral forces, but as organizational actors they do not appear to play a notable role in the internal movement infrastructure. Moreover, much of the 9-12 group momentum was co-opted by the Tea Party movement. Following the 9-12 rally in 2009 in Washington, D.C., many local 9-12 Project groups hitched up with one or more of the national Tea Party factions.
"First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection." - MLK, Letter from Birmingham Jail
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