It is true — so true — as Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, argues in the Washington Post, that the doyens of the liberal press have been attempting to paint the Tea Party as the villains of the debt-ceiling confrontation. But this shouldn’t surprise. From the inception of the movement, liberals and Democrats have purported to see dark and dangerous trends afoot. The movement has been insulted as stupid and radical — and slandered as racist and nativist.
Perhaps liberals have a hard time understanding the tea-party phenomenon because it’s so at odds with the spirit of the times. Those funny 18th-century costumes they sport at rallies have a deeper meaning than simply a reference to the original Boston Tea Party. Unlike most 20th- and 21st-century political activists, tea-party members are not asking for anything from the federal government — not “full funding” for this or that program, not more research for this or that disease, not more tax exemptions for this or that industry. They simply ask that the federal government not spend more than it collects in taxes and not continue its suicidal expansion.
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