Saturday, June 26, 2010

Teabaggers Are Republicans

The Teabaggers are a confused bunch, to be sure, but based on my understanding of this poll's phrasing [PDF] and how weasel words work, I'm not sure they're guilty of the particular confusions imputed to them by this ThinkProgress piece, to wit:

Seventy-four percent of self-described Tea Party Supporters would support a “national manufacturing strategy to make sure that economic, tax, labor, and trade policies in this country work together to help support manufacturing in the United States,” according to the poll, put out by the Mellman Group and the Alliance for American Manufacturing. Likewise, 56 percent of self-described Tea Party Supporters “favor a tariff on products imported from other countries that are cheaper because they came from a country that does not have to comply with any climate change regulations in the country where the products were made.”
The Teabagger version of this "national manufacturing strategy" could translate to little more than "crush labor and reduce taxes on the rich," and notice how the stuff about tariffs comes with a hypothetical -- new climate regulations in place -- that to a typical Teabagger would come across roughly the same as would "what rule changes would you support for your basketball league after we remove your dominant arm and poke out your right eye?"

All of which is to reaffirm what this poll really says -- the same thing as every similar poll, and voting patterns, rhetoric, signage, common sense, and every other visible indicator of how Teabaggers view the world: Teabaggers are American conservatives.

To the extent they depart from the Republican party, it manifests as a greater willingness to support the candidacies of relatively unknown lunatics and reject longstanding party hacks. This is a small difference, as will become apparent (I confidently predict) when Teabaggers vote in lockstep with Republicans in November.

Speaking of lockstep, these images are taken from each of the poll's findings that calls out a "Tea Party Supporter" result. The pattern is pretty hard to miss:

Teabaggers are right-wing Americans in a momentary tiff with the Republican party because the Republican party failed so colossally in the 2008 election. Does anyone think we would have anything calling itself a "tea party movement" had that election been closer -- say, had the GOP gained control of either the house or the Senate? I don't. Hypotheticals are like assholes, so whatever.
The ideological alignment of "tea party supporters" and self-labeled Republicans is not hypothetical but demonstrably factual. It's a strange game we're playing to pretend they fill some previously vacant niche in the body politic or merit a separate label.

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