It takes a bit of time before a consensus opinion emerges on new political groups. After a year or so, here are a couple of views on the Tea Party movement. Here's John Judis writing
in The New Republic: (emp add)
The Tea Parties are the descendants of a number of conservative insurgencies from the past two generations: the anti-tax rebellion of the late ’70s, the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition of the ’80s and ’90s, and Pat Buchanan’s presidential runs. Like the Tea Partiers I saw in Washington—and the picture of the Tea Partiers put forward by the Winston and Quinnipiac polls—these movements have been almost entirely white, disproportionately middle-aged or older, and more male than female ...
And Joan Walsh
I'm getting a little weary of people insisting journalists must pay homage to the Tea Party as a great infusion of political energy, and not call them racist, and examine their ideas with respect. As I've stated before, it is pretty clear from polling that the Tea Party is just another name for the traditional Republican base -- older, whiter, heavier on males and angrier than the rest of the country. Aside from their costumes and protests, I don't think they're that revolutionary or newsworthy.
Even if the Tea Party movement isn't novel, it sure got a lot of press attention, didn't it?
The Perot vote in 1992 was also part of this tradition.
He got half as many votes as Clinton or GHWB, pretty amazing really.
Most of the tea party protesters were either toddlers or not even born in the late 1970s.
If the tea parties are the descendants of the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition, then explain the conspicuous lack of pro-life and anti-gay rhetoric.
If Pat Buchanan was really a darling of the Tea Party movement, you would think he would be a sought-after speaker at the rallies. He is not.
Aside from their costumes and protests, I don't think they're that revolutionary or newsworthy.
Yes you do, or you would be ignoring them.
"Most of the tea party protesters were either toddlers or not even born in the late 1970s."
No, most of them are old, angry white men born well before the late 1970s.