What Tea Party Backers Want

From The New York Times:

The latest New York Times/CBS News poll focusing on Tea Party supporters found most of them very angry, generally well-educated, financially secure and deeply pessimistic about the direction of the country. We asked political analysts and historians what they found most illuminating about the poll’s findings, and whether the views of the Tea Party backers have commonly run through American politics.

Past Grievances, Present Hype

Rick Perlstein

Rick Perlstein is the author of “Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America” and “Before The Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus.”

Watching the rise of the Tea Party movement has been a frustration to me, and not just because it is ugly and seeks to traduce so many of the values I hold dear. Even worse has been the overwhelming historical myopia. As the Times’s new poll numbers amply confirm — especially the ones establishing that the Tea Partiers are overwhelming Republican or right-of-Republican — they are the same angry, ill-informed, overwhelmingly white, crypto-corporate paranoiacs that accompany every ascendancy of liberalism within U.S. government. “When was the last time you saw such a spontaneous eruption of conservative grass-roots anger, coast to coast?” asked the professional conservative L. Brent Bozell III recently. The answer, of course, is: in 1993. And 1977. And 1961. And so on.

More here.