Thursday, February 25, 2010


CNN polled the tea party folks recently, and I think Jim Spencer and Curtis Ellis, a couple of Democratic political consultants writing in the L.A. Times, are on to something -- but I don't think they've got the story exactly right:

Most 'tea party' followers are baby boomers reliving the '60s

... Neither "average Americans," as they like to portray themselves, nor trailer-park "Deliverance" throwbacks, as their lefty detractors would have us believe, tea partyers are more highly educated and wealthier than the rest of America. Nearly 75% are college educated, and two-thirds earn more than $50,000.

More likely to be white and male than the general population, tea partyers also skew toward middle age or older. That's the tell. Most came of age in the 1960s, an era distinguished by widespread disrespect for government. In their wonder years, they learned that politics was about protesting the Establishment and shouting down the Man. No wonder they're doing that now.

... The tea party is a harbinger of midlife crisis, not political crisis. For men of a certain age, it offers a counterculture experience familiar from adolescence -- underground radio, esoteric tracts, consciousness-raising teach-ins and rallies replete with extroverted behavior to shock the squares....

Yes, but is this experience familiar because today's protested did it in their youth, or because they didn't do it, and resented the ones who did -- quite possibly out of envy?

I think there are some teabaggers who were lefty protesters back in the day -- but I think a lot of these folks were on the other side then; they saw their lefty generational peers getting all the media attention and (or so legend has it -- I was in grade school so I don't know for sure) the good sex and good drugs, and they've never stopped feeling that that was unfair. They wanted an Age of Aquarius in which they were the center of attention -- and now they have it.

I've been saying for a while that the tactics of anti-Obama protesters seem sixties-oriented -- the use of live pigs as props, the naive calls for national strikes, the Alinsky envy, and so on. Oh, and did I mention the protest music?

From the YouTube page of the singer-songwriter, who calls herself ... er, cowgirlmoon:

... For more than 20 years, I was a Singer/songwriter/ entertainer and for several years, part owner of a popular, local music hall, called "The Little Ole Opry Co." Located near Burfordville, Mo.

Several years following, I interned with the Irish Republican entrepreneurial Star Travelers. A cosmically conservative, outlaw band, on the fringes of societal evolution, we set about the enormously, minuscule task of saving extremely, small, unimportant planetoids, from near distinction.
(Pluto was nearly, our most prestigious success)

Sometime during my association with the R.E.S.T., I was sucked through a Loop-hole and blown into a prison cell phone, where I had no choice, but to listen to monitored communications, with conviction.

Since my escape, I've continued to hide out in the old home town....

Burfordville is just outside Cape Girardeau, home to Rush Limbaugh. This strikes me as small-town wannabe leftiness, but I confess I can't really tell what the demographic tale is here. (I will note that her favorite books include Bury My Hart at Wounded Knee and -- gulp -- Jonathan Livingston Seagull.)

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