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.