A Few Observations About the NY Times Tea Bugger Poll

I’ll have more to say about the rally tomorrow (short version: as was said in more civilized times, meh.). But I think it’s worth noting that the Tea Partyers are even more wingnutty than Digby thinks:
1) The NY Times poll graphic compares Tea Buggers with all respondents. But keep in mind that the real Americans Tea Buggers are 18 percent of the total sample. So….
2) Race, not in the form of lynching, but in the belief that blacks are social parasites is a huge difference. When asked, “In recent years, has too much been made of the problems facing black people?”, 52% of Tea Buggers responded yes, while 28% of all respondents said yes. Once you remove the Tea Buggers from the rest of us, only 23% of non-Tea Bugger respondents agreed.


3) On the question of the size of the gummint, “If you had to choose, would you rather have a smaller government providing fewer services, or a bigger government providing more services?”, four percent of Tea Buggers wanted larger government, while 45% of non-Tea Buggers wanted larger government.
4) While I have your attention, does anyone remember this kind of exhaustive polling about and non-stop analysis of people who supported healthcare or opposed the Iraq war? I don’t. There were a lot more of us, yet we were marginalized. You Only Get Polled If You Are a Republican? (YOGPIYAAR).
5) This has nothing to do with the poll, but here’s one sterling example of human decency (italics mine):

Some defended being on Social Security while fighting big government by saying that since they had paid into the system, they deserved the benefits.
Others could not explain the contradiction.
“That’s a conundrum, isn’t it?” asked Jodine White, 62, of Rocklin, Calif. “I don’t know what to say. Maybe I don’t want smaller government. I guess I want smaller government and my Social Security.” She added, “I didn’t look at it from the perspective of losing things I need. I think I’ve changed my mind.”

As Digby put it (italics mine):

When they lose they stage a national hissy fit of epic proportions and persuade the Village (where they are perceived as the personification of the heartland of America) that they are something very important. Now that they have their very own TV and radio networks featuring crazed right wing demagogues 24/7, they are more successful on those terms than ever. But they are nothing new, nothing new at all. They are mostly a bunch of cranky, white men with money who are trying desperately to hang on to their privileges. Same as it ever was.
They are what we have called “Republicans” for at least the last 30 years.

I only hope that their overexposure reminds people just how idiotic they are.

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5 Responses to A Few Observations About the NY Times Tea Bugger Poll

  1. DGKnipfer says:

    I only hope that their overexposure reminds people just how idiotic they are.

    You don’t actually think that will happen, do you.

  2. williamh99 says:

    There is no contradiction between wanting smaller government, and wanting SS benefits. In the past, they were forced to pay some of their hard-earned money to government in return for a promise to pay them some money back when they retired. In other words, the government forced them to buy a government-run pension. In the future, as, presumably in the past as well, they would rather government be smaller, and leave people free to buy their pensions and otherwise provide for their own retirement as they please. You know, there are limits on knowledge, and government shows no monopoly on knowing what is good for us. Members of government should know, if anyone does, what is good for themselves, but they are unlikely to know what is good for us. I think Teabaggers, like many of us, want choices, to make our own decisions rather than have government make them for us.

  3. williamh99 says:

    By the way, you may be interested in this exposure of Media’s treatment of Teabaggers
    “How ABC, CBS and NBC Have Dismissed and Disparaged the Tea Party Movement”
    http://www.mrc.org/specialreports/2010/TeaParty/ExecSumm.aspx
    It makes one proud to be an American and see the smarty-pants that live in New York and control the Media treat them them the way they do.

  4. Troublesome Frog says:

    There is no contradiction between wanting smaller government, and wanting SS benefits. In the past, they were forced to pay some of their hard-earned money to government in return for a promise to pay them some money back when they retired.

    I suppose there’s no contradiction in wanting those two things. I want infinite government services and no taxes at all. The contradiction is in believing that those two things can simultaneously happen. What they’re asking for is for some generation to pay double (for both the previous generation and their own generation) as long as as that generation doesn’t happen to include themselves. Wanting that makes total sense. I just can’t see how anybody with half a brain would view it as a respectable policy position.
    Krugman had it right: If you look at the budget, the federal government is basically a giant insurance company with an army. People who rail against the ancillary expenses and “waste” but demand the insurance and military simply don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.

  5. tawaen says:

    William @ 2:

    There is no contradiction between wanting smaller government, and wanting SS benefits. In the past, they were forced to pay some of their hard-earned money to government in return for a promise to pay them some money back when they retired. In other words, the government forced them to buy a government-run pension.

    So, teabaggers would have no problem then with a modification to Social Security, effective immediately, that says only the amount paid in to SS (adjusted for infaltion) will be paid to SS recipients?
    Because I would find that frankly horrific and would never support taking the limited income from the very poor and elderly, but if that’s what they’re suggesting at least it would make sense. Of course, the public would take a hit on the amount already paid out to people who are over their limit. And it would be utterly inhumane. But at least it’s a proposal rather than a complaint.

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