The Tea Party platform is amorphous because movements that define themselves as anti-elite and pro-people are by definition that way: anything or anyone in power must be bad because it's in power. And in Barack Obama they have their perfect foil. He's not only in power, of course, but he's beloved by many of the forces that are their arch-enemy — the mainstream press, the intellectual elite, and government workers. These new populists object to being called racists because their opposition to the current regime is anything but: doesn't American Idol welcome winners of all races? In the end, the Tea Partiers may not change American politics. But they'll always be good television.
Steven Stark can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org
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