That didn’t sit too well with the Tea Party faithful who see themselves their own party.
Gingrich, who embraced the Tea Party on tax day, now angers them with the reference that they may be future Republicans.
Hell, being called a Republican — present or future — would anger most sane people but the uproar shows just how touchy the Tea Party faithful have become. Anyone who has said or written anything they don’t like finds their email inboxes overflowing and a verbal diarrhea of threats flooding over the transom.
Call a Tea Party type violent and he or she will start a fight to prove you wrong. Suggest — as Bill Clinton has — that they are domestic terrorists in training and they will threaten to blow up your house.
Washington Post Media Columnist Howard Kurtz asks “are the media serving you too much tea?”
He adds another question: “Are journalists so revved up on caffeine that they’re breathlessly hyping the importance of a group that has little clout?”
Kurtz acknowledges that the Tea Party, in some sense, represents the growing anger of the American public over government spending, health care and Barack Obama and says the press is “overcompensating” now for not covering the anger in its beginnings.
Politico adds to the argument of overcompensation:
2009 was the year when many journalists concluded they were slow to recognize the anti-government, anti-Obama rage that gave birth to the tea party movement.
2010 is the year when news organizations have decided to prove they get it.
And get it. And get it some more.
Part of the reason is the timeless truth in media that nothing succeeds like excess. But part of the reason is a convergence of incentives for journalists and activists on left and right alike to exaggerate both the influence and exotic traits of the tea-party movement. In fact, there is a word for what poll after poll depicts as a group of largely white, middle-class, middle-aged voters who are aggrieved: Republicans.
I think anger — not the Tea Party — is the real story here. America is an angry nation right now. Some of the anger is anti-government, some anti-Obama and some just plain frustration over the many challenges, changes and choices that America now faces.
This nation faces a massive change from a free-spending, consumer-oriented, spend-like-there’s-no-tomorrow culture into a new paradigm where excess no longer dominates our society.
We Americans, like our government, lived on shaky credit, ignoring the reality that one day the bill would come due. We watched, without concern, as jobs moved out of the country because — at the time — it did not affect our ability to drive new cars and buy larger, more expensive homes with no-document loans from sub-prime lenders.
We loaded up our Visas and Mastercards and when those cards maxed out we simply obtained new ones from the “pre-approved” offers that arrived the mail each week.
We all contributed to the mess and — when the inevitable crash came — the blame did not lie solely with George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, either political party, Wall Street or any single person or institution.
The fault lies with all of us who ignored the warning signs because we were living large and that — at the time — was all that mattered.
So now many of us are not living so well so we’re mad and looking for someone to blame.
There’s a lot of blame to go around and if want to find someone to blame we should all start by looking in the mirror.
Then we should trash the anger, the trash talk and the finger pointing and roll up our sleeves to work to fix the problem.
We won’t fix anything by dressing up like Uncle Sam or waving signs bearing slogans created by political consultants who want to get rich. We won’t fix anything by tossing rocks through windows and threatening elected officials. We won’t solve the problems by sending money to candidates who don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning.
First, we need to calm down, take a hard look at ourselves and the situation around us and find a way to start working together.
We can’t accomplish anything out of anger but we can accomplish a lot through determination.
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