FIVE YEARS AGO, IN 2006, DAVID E. CAMPBELL AND ROBERT D. PUTNAM INTERVIEWED 3,000 AMERICANS and re-interviewed many of the same people again this summer. Their findings indicate what most of us already knew: that Teapartyers were far-right, social conservative Republicans (and still are). Or, as Jon Stewart said: “They’re just moral majorities in a tri-cornered hat.”
[W]e can look at what people told us, long before there was a Tea Party, to predict who would become a Tea Party supporter five years later…
Our analysis casts doubt on the Tea Party’s “origin story.” Early on, Tea Partiers were often described as nonpartisan political neophytes. Actually, the Tea Party’s supporters today were highly partisan Republicans long before the Tea Party was born, and were more likely than others to have contacted government officials. In fact, past Republican affiliation is the single strongest predictor of Tea Party support today.
What’s more, contrary to some accounts, the Tea Party is not a creature of the Great Recession. Many Americans have suffered in the last four years, but they are no more likely than anyone else to support the Tea Party. And while the public image of the Tea Party focuses on a desire to shrink government, concern over big government is hardly the only or even the most important predictor of Tea Party support among voters.
As so many have been arguing for the past 3 years, priority #1 is not small government with these people! So what do (rank and file) Tea Partiers have in common (from 2006 through today):
- They’re white and
- have a low regard for immigrants and blacks (*ahem* racist?!)
- are disproportionately social conservatives
- have a desire to see religion play a prominent role in politics
- seek deeply religious elected officials
- approve of religious leaders engaging in politics
- want religion brought into political debates
Absolutely no surprise. They’re the same weird, eccentric group of religious RWNJs with a brand new Koch-funded name: Tea Party Patriots. What rubbish. They have always wanted a form of government for the USA that’s a straight-up Christian Theocracy, and nothing has changed.
Sometimes it seems that teahadists needs to be reminded that Jesus Christ was not one of the founding fathers. And, newsflash! Their idea of Christianity is so far removed from mainstream belief that it borders on freakish: Jesus as a gun-toting, white-power, women-belong-in-the-kitchen, immigrant-hating, ‘get your own wine and fish’ conservative Deity, who gladly puts the world on hold to personally speak with politicians like GWB, Perry, Bachmann and Palin.
But here’s what’s funny — people have already figured out the teaparty:
Polls show that disapproval of the Tea Party is climbing. In April 2010, a New York Times/CBS News survey found that 18 percent of Americans had an unfavorable opinion of it, 21 percent had a favorable opinion and 46 percent had not heard enough. Now, 14 months later, Tea Party supporters have slipped to 20 percent, while their opponents have more than doubled, to 40 percent.
[...] the Tea Party ranks lower than any of the 23 other groups we asked about — lower than both Republicans and Democrats. It is even less popular than much maligned groups like “atheists” and “Muslims.” Interestingly, one group that approaches it in unpopularity is the Christian Right.
Read the rest….
With the growing disapproval of the teaparty in general, it’s nice to know that most of us ARE actually using the brains God gave us.