Wednesday, December 26, 2012

High Tea Party

 New York Times article today on the future of the Tea Party, which apparently is going to involve crypto-secessionism and conspiracy theories about UN treaties --

surveys of voters leaving the polls last month showed that support for the Tea Party had dropped precipitously from 2010, when a wave of recession-fueled anger over bailouts, federal spending, and the healthcare overhaul won the Republicans a majority in the House.

Above is what's widely considered as the crystallizing moment of the Tea Party, with the financial news channel CNBC's Rick Santelli leading highly paid Chicago securities traders in a rant against relief on negative equity mortgages -- the kind of thing that a post-property crash economy might need.

The Tea Party as a political movement -- as opposed to it being the latest manifestation of the paranoid strain in American politics -- always had more to do with the preferences of the economic and financial elite than one particular set of policies. With conservatives again circulating a CNBC video clip to rally the cause, this time of Maria Bartiromo supposedly winning an argument with a Democratic senator over the fiscal cliff, bear in mind CNBC's core constituency and thus the credibility of any "populist" credentials emerging from it.