Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A little reading on who really controls the Tea Party

I just finished reading "Rogues of K Street: Confessions of a Tea Party Consultant." It was published in Playboy magazine online. I guess you can still read it for the articles. As I was reading it, I could not help but wonder why I was not reading about this in some other magazine better known for political coverage. I guess these days if you want some good writing on current affairs, you have to look in places like Playboy and Rolling Stone. The article is written by Anonymous, so take it with the appropriate grain of salt, but if you have done enough reading in other places about how the political machinery works in the United States, then this article will ring pretty true. In the end, the point is that the tea baggers (and I use the term aware that it may not be the preferred term anymore) are not as dumb as they appear. Actually, to be precise, the ones who are not as dumb as they appear are the ones whipping up frenzies behind the scenes and silently guiding the masses, who can be described by this graphic.

There were some lines from the article that caught my eye that I would like to jot down:

  • The consultant describes his people: "Combine the DNA of a flash mob, a news addict and a conservative who feels betrayed by the spending excesses of George W. Bush, sprinkle in some anxiety and you've got my people."
  • A very practical principle in politics: "donors don't contribute to lunatics." Some of those they contribute to may look like lunatics, but donors usually go with whoever looks like they have better odds of winning and then delivering what the donor wants. Those politicians may be devious, cheating liars, but they are not lunatics per se.
  • How the consultant does it, and herein lies the danger: "In other words, I talk to the same part of your brain that causes road rage."
  • Why you always need to be attentive, informed, and learn to read between the lines, so on: "It's what you won't see that's more important."
The article is certainly worth a look. I think readers may be interested also in the Michael Graham's book That's No Angry Mob, That's My Mom: Team Obama's Assault on Tea-Party, Talk-Radio Americans. I think the book was either on The Daily Show or Colbert Report, I can't recall which, but I was reminded of it as I read the article. I don't really think talk radio fans are being assaulted, but I may read the book anyways to learn a thing or two.

A hat tip to STFU, Conservatives blog.

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