Thursday, December 17, 2009


Weep for your country, folks:

WSJ/NBC News Poll: Tea Party Tops Democrats and Republicans

The loosely organized group made of up mostly conservative activists and independent voters that's come to be known as the Tea Party movement currently boasts higher favorability ratings than either the Democratic or Republican Parties, according to the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll coming out later today.

More than four in 10, 41%, of respondents said they had a very or somewhat favorable view of the Tea Party movement, while 24% said they had a somewhat or very negative view of the group....

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party... has a 35% positive rating compared with a 45% negative rating.

... Republicans currently hold a 28% favorability rating compared with a 43% negative one.

To some extent, this fills me with despair. On the other hand, things suck in this country right now, and even if the teabaggers have all the wrong solutions, and the movement is just a big hydra-headed Judas goat leading its followers right back intro the arms of exactly the same GOP that spent most of the decade making things suck (as well as the corporate interests who've never ceded their power to make things suck), at least the 'baggers seem to understand that things suck, and have sucked for a while, and that they suck largely because people in power have contempt for ordinary citizens. That impression of the 'baggers is utterly fake -- they don't represent people power at all, unless by "people" you mean people such as Dick Armey -- but I guess, in a desperate time like this, it's understandable that poll respondents like what they think they're seeing and hearing.

It's why I have no patience for the conclusion of Jonathan Cohn's hand-wringing denunciation of the liberal kill-the-individual-mandate movement:

I'm all for a loud, angry left. If nothing else, we need it to balance out the loud, angry right. But there's a fine line between being constructive and destructive. This latest gambit, I think, crosses it.

Even if you don't agree with this course of action, just pushing the debate to the left is destructive? After it's been dragged so far to the right by so many forces for so many months? Jesus Christ -- it's an argument, not a freaking gun pointed at someone's head. Even if it's an argument for what you believe is a reckless and irresponsible course of action, let's at least talk about it. Or do you mean, Jon, that you're " all for a loud, angry left" unless that loud, angry left actually succeeds in making non-right-wing people loud and angry, at which point it upsets you and you want it to just sit quietly and be nice?

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