Where Did They Come From? The Rise of the Tea Party | Common Dreams
- December 29, 2011 by CounterPunch
Where Did They Come From? The Rise of the Tea Party
US press coverage has usually cast the Tea Party as an authentic expression of popular anger against Washington insiders. Anthony DiMaggio’s new book, Rise of the Tea Party, shatters such myths, demonstrating that the Tea Party has never been a genuine social movement or political outsider but rather an elite-dominated group that was closely linked to the Republican establishment from its inception three years ago. The Tea Party’s goal has been to aid a struggling Republican Party in its efforts to further roll back the social safety net and funnel more wealth and power from workers to the rich. The book’s relevance extends well beyond just the Tea Party, though. DiMaggio uses the group as a case study to explore broader issues of corporate media bias, the rightward shift of US politics in recent decades, and the effects of material and non-material factors in shaping people’s attitudes. The study is really two books in one: an authoritative examination of the Tea Party phenomenon and “a grand theory of public opinion and the larger social forces that influence it” (p. 29)....