Tea party's wide publicity belies its limited scope Gauging the scope of the tea party movement in America - They spent a month trying to canvass all the tea parties but didn't find many-- I guess not. We sure didn't hear from them. Therefore, WE do not exist. How many others did they miss? They don't know.
Reason Magazine has this one about a whole convention just to analyse us. My, how our importance seems to have grown! I hope they figure us out, they will really be frightened just in time for Halloween.
Radical ShriekBless their hearts! They have a lot to learn.
Lefty academics convene in Berkeley to try to make sense of the Tea Party movement.
By David Weigel
BERKELEY, Calif.—On the night before we are scheduled to address this conference, the Tea Party experts are treated to a meal at the Faculty Club. It sounds fancy, and it is, with the feel and décor of a Sundance ski lodge. Over craft beers, wine, and cheese, we discuss that favorite topic of liberal academics: What the hell happened to Barack Obama? Why does the right have all the energy that he and the left used to own?
We sit down and we're given the full details for the conference: "Fractures, Alliances, and Mobilizations: Emerging Analyses of the Tea Party Movement." It's the first event of its kind hosted by Berkeley's two-year-old Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements. The San Francisco Chronicle's Debra Saunders and I are two reporters invited to speak; everyone else is an academic, a think tanker, or a political researcher. One of the authors of the NAACP's report on "Tea Party Nationalism" is here, as is Nixonland author Rick Perlstein.
But the focus is going to be on the academics and the activists, on and off the stage. They want to know what the hell is going on. They are in Berkeley, where they are used to venerating left-wing activism and putting up sandbags against the once-a-decade conservative wave—Reagan (twice), Proposition 13 (about property taxes), Proposition 209 (about affirmative action), George W. Bush. The Tea Party, though? A bunch of people who reverse-engineer Saul Alinsky and yell "Keep the government out of Medicare" and have conservatives shouting down politicians and filling street corners.