-- Mohandas K. Gandhi
In 2009, they were ignored by the establishment and mainstream media, then ridiculed (not grass roots, but stroturf!).
In 2010 they were taken seriously enough to vilified as racist.* Then they began to win. And win, and win.
Even their electoral defeats -- in Delaware and Nevada -- were victories in a deeper sense. They resulted from primary elections in which Tea Party voters "imprudently" gave a black eye to the corrupt, disgraced Republican establishment, nominating (gasp!) unapproved candidates. In so doing, they made it very plain that electing Republicans is not their goal at all. They want to change things -- at least to reign in the worst excesses of the present corporatist system. You can't do that by being "prudentl"
Happy New Year everybody!
* As reported in the Washington Post, a UCLA graduate student carefully photographed every visible sign (about 250 of them) at a recent major TP rally. Among her findings: " ...There were uglier messages, too - including 'Obama Bin Lyin' - Impeach Now' and 'Somewhere in Kenya a Village is Missing its Idiot.' But Ekins's analysis showed that only about a quarter of all signs reflected direct anger with Obama. Only 5 percent of the total mentioned the president's race or religion, and slightly more than 1 percent questioned his American citizenship." If these data are indicative, they suggest that the TP as a whole is actually less racist than America as a whole.