March 27, 2010

Protest Envy

Marc Comtois

Poor Jim Spencer and Curtis Ellis: they've been waiting for a poll to confirm their preconceived notions and CNN provided it, so now they can write the column they've been yearning to write:

Now (finally!), a poll conducted by CNN gives us some hard data on the Tea Party Nation.

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 percent 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.

The tell? Oh, that the Tea Party is composed of Baby Boomer white guys reliving their '60's protest heyday. Unfortunately for them, the more recent Quinnipiac poll undercuts their basic premise about a bunch of angry white guys leading the charge. Turns out, it's a bunch of angry white women, as, according to the poll, 55% of Tea Party members are females and women have taken a leading role in many of the local organizations.
“For years, it has been the liberal women who have organized and been staunch grass-roots and policy advocates,” Rebecca Wales, a spokeswoman for Smart Girl Politics, a new group formed to train and mobilize women in the tea party movement. “No longer is it only the liberals. Conservative women have found their voices and are using them, actively and loudly.”

Melanie Gustafson, an associate professor of history at the University of Vermont who has studied and written about the role of women in politics, said the tea party has provided a more direct way for conservative women to have influence than the Republican Party, where she says “women have always struggled for inclusion.”

Sorry guys.

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White males?
What a surprise!

Wealthy people who enjoy the Bush tax cuts?

Another surprise!

Middle age or older (Beck, O'Reilly and Limbaugh have average listener ages of 56-66)....?

Wow, I never would have guessed.

As we have heard many a time from the right, schooling does not mean common sense! One thing for sure - they have a lot of time on their hands.

I'll bet if we really did a deep profile, we'd find a lot of unhappy people.

Posted by: Stuart at March 27, 2010 3:58 PM

From the study:
""The Tea Party movement is mostly made up of people who consider themselves Republicans," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "They are less educated but more interested in politics than the average Joe and Jane Six-Pack and are not in a traditional sense swing voters."

Republicans who are less educated? You must have missed that part!

Posted by: Stuart at March 27, 2010 5:44 PM

It is a tremendous tribute to the power of the Tea Party movement and the fear it engenders in the loony lib world that we have a 24/7 smear campaign ongoing by the state run media. I literally turn on the state run media to laugh out loud and be entertained by their foolish lies. The network news and libby print media have become a modern day version of Benny Hill with a Soviet dialect.

To RI Tea Party founder Colleen Conley et al, you have my profound respect and admiration.
You got 'em nervous as hell. Outstanding!!
Keep doing exactly what you've been doing my proud American brethren.
Your numbers will only grow as Marxist Obama and his policies crush the working class Democrat, Independent and Republican in this nation.

PS - a bit of advice for the Tea party members. When you are interviewed by media make sure you record all interviews so the record can be corrected after the loony libs cut/paste/edit what you really said. Also do not be afraid to confront those working in the state run media over their obvious agendas. Throw it right back in their faces if they cop attitude with you.

Posted by: Tim at March 27, 2010 5:48 PM

Sheesh Stu-Stu, first you cite and seem to prefer the CNN poll over the Quin. poll because it states that the TP is white male driven while the Quin. poll says the TP is female driven. All because it feeds your preferred angry white male meme. Then you go with the Quin. pollsters quote about less-educated while ignoring your previously preferred CNN poll's finding that TPers "are more highly educated and wealthier than the rest of America." In two comments, you managed to cite conflicting things from two different polls and want both to be true! Talk about picking the facts you like! As for me, I could care less about anyone's education level, so long as they're right ;)

Posted by: Marc at March 27, 2010 6:24 PM

I sent my daughter to Quinnipiac. (She's 30, today.) Their poll must be right because they have a lot of my money to fund it.

As for tea party members being somewhat older, with age comes wisdom. I don't recall many twentysomethings among the founding fathers.

Posted by: michael at March 27, 2010 6:47 PM

>>>> I don't recall many twentysomethings among the founding fathers.

Oh, only the one who basically set up the entire structure of our economy.........

Hamilton was about 20 when he became a hero in the revolutionary way, and about 30 when he was in Congress, etc.

James Monroe and James Madison were both in their early 30's when the founding occurred.

Hamilton and Madison produced the Federalist Papers, which form the basis of a LOT of the American Republic.

I guess the "less educated" part of the Tea Party survey may have some truth!

George Washington was consider one of the old men in the room - at 55. Furthermore, he was eventually laughed at by the Jeffersonians as a thoughtless and feeble old man...yes, they attacked him relentlessly - just like the right does today - when he was a sitting President.

Anyway, to correct that view, some of the PRIMARY founders were quite young, and in fact the Federalist Papers - arguably the blueprint for American, were written by 30 somethings.

Even Einstein had his best years before he was 35. The Founders of Google are now about 35. I could go on - so although some wisdom comes to SOME with age and experience, the folks who typically accomplish the big things are not over 50 (although I am!).

Posted by: Stuart at March 27, 2010 7:10 PM

In the days of the Founding, men had to grow up quickly to shoulder the responsibilities of life. Unlike today, when perpetual adolescents like Stuart can blather childish nonsense.

Posted by: BobN at March 27, 2010 7:54 PM

Old Stuart has worked since he was 18, and never lived at home since then either.

Fact is, the older brain becomes stale - especially for those who never developed it - like the tea party folks, etc.

Also, let me make an educated guess - since these tea folks are quite old, let me guess that EVERY ONE of them will take their SS and Medicare and very much appreciate it. Still, they fight tooth and nail against such programs.

That does not make sense to younger and smarter people.

Oh, another thing - it should be the younger folks who take over things. Old folks trying to hang onto power (McCain, Reagan, etc.) are just so sad...we need fresh minds and hard work, not alzeimers and incontinence.

Posted by: Stuart at March 27, 2010 9:15 PM

Stuart is taking a bit of known truth, that geniuses do their best work in their youth, and expanding beyond the known parameters. For instance, Mozart and Einstein. This is most evident in mathematics (and related sciences) and music. I am not sure that it applies in all cases. For instance, I have difficulty in thinking of a youthful philosopher.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at March 28, 2010 12:21 AM

Let's see-Stuart worked since he was 18,but has also said he attended Valley Forge Military Academy,a junior college-which was it Stuart?

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 28, 2010 7:04 AM

>>>youthful philosopher.

So, Faust, what happened to Nietzsche when he aged?
"At the age of 24 he was appointed to the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel"
"In 1889 (at 55) he went insane, living out his remaining years in the care of his mother and sister until his death in 1900."

I could go on, but hopefully you can do your own research.

Back to the Tea Party. I can assure you that these are not baby boomers reliving their pasts! In general, these are unemployed and older - although some are younger too - but they do not fit the profile of the 60's folks.

There is a good article - actually two - in the Sunday Times which profiles some Tea Party folks. Quite accurate, IMHO.

These are folks on social security and medicare - folks who lost their jobs - and folks who have "found community" in the tea party. They feel like they are appreciated and part of something - which can be a great pull for older and unemployed people.

You can call that bad or good - I'm not putting a value judgement on it except to say that much of it is misplaced anger. They somehow don't see the fact that THEY are government financed by ss and medicare and unemployment as being hypocritical.

Remember, also, that the Nazis were largely the result of high unemployment and discontent. It is quite natural that people get angry when life fails them.

Personally, most of the good people I know are hard at work and almost none ever attend any rallies of any sort since they are out there making our world work....and their families happy, etc. etc.

In no way do I critique the rights of people to assemble and protest. Have at it. But please try to make some sense and don't do the "populist" thing.

Posted by: Stuart at March 28, 2010 10:25 AM

BTW, here is one of the articles about the tea party participants. It is good journalism:

Posted by: Stuart at March 28, 2010 10:28 AM

I said "many," not "any."

Posted by: michael at March 28, 2010 11:28 AM
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