It is interesting to hear how the media and the talking heads have characterized the Tea Party movement as a grassroots movement predominately made up of folks who are really feeling the economic crunch.
Here's what Karl Rove had to say:
The movement arose spontaneously as ordinary Americas reacted to a rising tide of federal spending and debt, growing federal power, and the too-cozy relationship between Washington and corporate America.
So it is not surprising that a new CNN poll (via TPM) shows the true color of this movement.
The Tea Party convention in Nashville, Tenn. - the first ever annual convening symposium- is going forth within a conflict which calls into question the very future of the movement.
Once a grassroots movement of rugged individuals, it has become a celebrity laden top-down structure, which illuminates the GOP and major profit-making speakers, at the expense of its origins, some think.
The upscale lobster dinner is the greatest contradiction of the rugged individualist origins which the movement could undergo. The price is $549 to get into the convention, and $349 to hear Palin speak: The message is clearly that the rugged masses are not needed here.Looking more and more like a GOP Trojan horse to earn millions, the idea of the grassroots energy of the yeomen - the rugged heartland farmer who would also be constitutional scholar - of the Jeffersonian imagination has given way to the cult of personality, earning six figures for the likes of Sarah Palin, and ignoring the yeoman all together.
Despite the Tea Partier disdain for the Obama elitism and cult of personality which dominated 2008, their own movement has fallen into the same snare.
A majority of respondents who had donated to a Tea Party group or participated in a Tea Party event were male, white, and identified as Protestant/Other Christian groups.
Also, most went to college. 40 percent are college grads, compared to just 28 percent of total poll respondents, and 34 percent have some college. They make a ton more money than the other people interviewed for the study: 34 percent make over $75,000, while 32 make between $50,000 and $75,000. That’s way more than half pulling in over $50,000. So real, genuine Americans seem to be doing pretty well for themselves
None of this should be especially surprising. Most poor people scraping by in terrible, lowpaying jobs — or with no jobs — probably don’t have the time to don three-cornered hats and scream about communism.But there has been an MSM tendency to trumpet the movement as an eruption of populist rage by those crushed in the financial crisis.