New Orleans The New York Times pumped a couple of rounds into the Tea Party in a front page story today. They missed the heart, but they were probably aiming more to cripple, than kill. Despite the palpable anger so clearly motivating a vast national, though embryonic, movement, David Barstow, the reporter on the story had no trouble painting most of them not simply as cute neophytes in politics, but as whacko-fringe rabbits running outside of the fence lines of American politics. This was a hatchet job with a blunt blade, but the Tea people have done it to themselves.
A conservative blogger asked me my opinion of why the Tea Party was getting traction, and the Minutemen were not? My answer was simple: guns. You cannot build a mass movement in America to create political power with guns. Period! End of sentence. The majority of Americans understand guns, and many of them own guns and are comfortable with them, especially in the West and South, as opposed to the East, but nobody, absolutely nobody in their right mind believes that guns should be anywhere around politics. This is a bright line dividing principle of contemporary American politics and separates the citizen activists from the right wing nut.