Tea Party Major Force in Political Landscape
ColorLines' Kai Wright believes that the Tea Party has brought the actual change promised in 2008 by President Barack Obama. With President Obama's historic win, many believed that change to the political landscape would be coming from the office of the president. Wright argues that President Obama's election coincided with the historic rise of the Tea Party, which has had a greater impact on the political and social milieu of this country.
One need only examine the struggle over raising the debt ceiling. Check out an excerpt from Wright's editorial. Do you think the Tea Party has been more influential than President Obama during his administration?
But what's most striking to me this morning is how drastically wrong so many people were about what history was being made in 2008. Three years later, it seems the most consequential force entering the American political landscape was not the then-remarkable Barack Obama but, rather, the right's response to him: the tea party.
There's obviously no questioning the historic import of Obama's election and -- more crucial, to my mind -- the incredible expansion of people and communities who participated in our democracy. Those were certainly revolutionary developments in the moment and, in the long run, may prove lastingly so. But nothing has shaped the terribly consequential times in which we live so much as the tea party's rise.
Much has been written about the fake populism that has fueled the tea party -- the billions in corporate money behind it, the outsized microphone Fox News provides it, the unearned credibility mainstream news media lent it during the health care debate. All of that is now beside the point. What matters is that it has conspired with the Democrats' caution to lend a small band of zealots control over our economy -- and with lasting consequences.
This debt deal will certainly hinder any effort at an equitable recovery -- but the White House has been doing that on its own for a while, given its refusal to force foreclosure relief or fight for a meaningful jobs creation initiative. What's most significant is that it will make that reality normative for many years to come. It is the second half of a one-two punch that the president has twice leaned in to take ...
Read the entire editorial at ColorLines.
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