What Can Dennis Green Teach Us About The Tea Party?

I have often wondered where was the Tea Party for the last eight years? You know the years where our Vice President actually said. “Deficits don’t matter” You know the Government that took a surplus and transformed it into a 1.3 trillion dollar deficit, through unfunded Wars and free giveaways like the prescription drug bill. They did this all while watching our economy swirl the toilet in a regulator free environment. You would think a grass roots movement would form in that environment. Nope, it somehow formed organically years after such events?

If this sounds fishy, it should. I have always thought the Tea Party is nothing new, and believe they have been around for some time, but not specifically named. They in my mind were that Conservative, mostly white, over 50 years old, of our society that makes up about 15%- 20% of our nation. A demographic who would never vote for a Democrat.

Well, a study was performed by the New York Times and CBS News recently and has confirmed much of what I have thought about the Tea Party.

E.J. Dionne Jr. wrote a piece for The New Republic.

Dionne writes.

“Their findings suggest that the tea party is essentially the reappearance of an old anti-government far right that has always been with us and accounts for about one-fifth of the country. The Times reported that tea party supporters “tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.” This is the populism of the privileged.

Tea party backers are far more likely than others to describe their views as “very conservative,” and are decidedly more inclined than the rest of us to believe that too much is made of the problems facing black people.”

I have written many times about how race has played a role, no matter how small or large it may be. Now combine race with the usual right wing hatred of anything liberal and you have a more heated situation.

Dionne continues with some interesting facts about the Tea Party.

“Saying this invites immediate denunciations from defenders of those who bring guns to rallies, threaten violence to “take our country back” and mouth old slogans about states’ rights and the Confederacy. So let’s be clear: Opposition to the president is driven by many factors that have nothing to do with race. But race is definitely part of what’s going on.

Here is the poll question in its entirety: “In recent years, do you think too much has been made of the problems facing black people, too little has been made, or is it about right?”

Twenty-eight percent of all Americans — and just 19 percent of those who are not tea party loyalists — answered “too much.” But among tea party supporters, the figure is 52 percent. Tea partiers are almost three times as likely as the rest of us to say that too much attention is being paid to the problems of blacks.

Among all Americans, 11 percent say that the Obama administration’s policies favor blacks over whites; 25 percent of tea party sympathizers say this. Again, more is going on here than race, but race is in the picture.

Tea party enthusiasts also consistently side with the better-off against the poor, putting them at odds with most Americans. The poll found that while only 38 percent of all Americans said that “providing government benefits to poor people encourages them to remain poor,” 73 percent of tea party partisans believed this. Among all Americans, 50 percent agreed that “the federal government should spend money to create jobs, even if it means increasing the budget deficit.” Only 17 percent of tea party supporters took this view.”

To use a phrase from Dennis Green, Ex-Arizona Cardinals coach, who said, in a rant after an NFL game. “They are who we thought they were!” speaking about the Chicago Bears in 2006.

Dionne points out in his article; the Tea Party is who we thought they were. They are not some vast organization or grass roots movement. They are the same 50 year old Conservative White Guys that have been complaining about anything Government for years now. They came out in number during Bill Clintons stint in office, and they are back again for Obama. But this time there are other factors that figure in the mix, the elephant in the room is race, and the other is a so called News Network that is a vessel for not only the Republican Party but anything Conservative.

Dionne continues.

“And this must be the first “populist” movement ever driven by a television network: 63 percent of the tea party folks say they most watch Fox News “for information about politics and current events,” compared with 23 percent of the country as a whole.

The right-wing fifth of the American population deserves news coverage like everyone else, and Fox is perfectly free to pander to its own viewers. What makes no sense is allowing a sliver of opinion out of touch with, yes, the “real” America to dominate the media and distort our political discourse.”

Coach Green was sick of answering questions about the so-called “Great” Chicago Bears back then, and went off saying exactly what I would like to say about the Tea Party. “They are what we thought they were!” they are nothing new, just like the Bears were nothing Coach Green hadn’t seen before. They are the same old right wing of the Conservative party.

William Armstrong
William Armstrong is a lifelong Michigan Fan now living in Tennessee, where he is starved for information regarding his Michigan Wolverines and the Big Ten in general. That is the reason he writes about University of Michigan Sport. Contact him at his blog hailtothevictorsblog.blogspot.com