Government Spending

The Surprising Popularity of the Non-Existent Tea Party

|

In a column that laments the fact that "Americans have lost faith in their institutions" (as if that's a bad thing!) and declares his non-fandom of the Tea Party movement, The New York Times' David Brooks nonetheless sketches out some interestingly fluid political context:

[S]tate governments are in disrepute and confidence in Congress is at withering lows. As Frank Newport of the Gallup organization noted in his year-end wrap-up, "Americans have less faith in their elected representatives than ever before." […]

The public is not only shifting from left to right. Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year. […]

Don't look back, David Brooks. Something might be gaining on you.

[The tea party movement] is now more popular than either major party. According to the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 41 percent of Americans have a positive view of the tea party movement. Only 35 percent of Americans have a positive view of the Democrats and only 28 percent have a positive view of the Republican Party.

The movement is especially popular among independents. The Rasmussen organization asked independent voters whom they would support in a generic election between a Democrat, a Republican and a tea party candidate. The tea party candidate won, with 33 percent of independents. Undecided came in second with 30 percent. The Democrats came in third with 25 percent and the Republicans fourth with 12 percent.

Over the course of this year, the tea party movement will probably be transformed. Right now, it is an amateurish movement with mediocre leadership. But several bright and polished politicians, like Marco Rubio of Florida and Gary Johnson of New Mexico, are unofficially competing to become its de facto leader. If they succeed, their movement is likely to outgrow its crude beginnings and become a major force in American politics. After all, it represents arguments that are deeply rooted in American history. […]

In the near term, the tea party tendency will dominate the Republican Party. It could be the ruin of the party, pulling it in an angry direction that suburban voters will not tolerate. But don't underestimate the deep reservoirs of public disgust. If there is a double-dip recession, a long period of stagnation, a fiscal crisis, a terrorist attack or some other major scandal or event, the country could demand total change, creating a vacuum that only the tea party movement and its inheritors would be in a position to fill.

Whole thing here.

Advertisement

NEXT: The Polycentric Parking System

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “The public is not only shifting from left to right. Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year.”

    That is seriously one of the douchbaggiest comments I have ever read. It reads very sincere.

    1. True, because it sounds like “only educated people put their faith and trust in the government”-style blather.

      Some of the comments after Brooks’ piece are even more frightening than those you find here. Even Chony on their collective worst days can’t match some of the commentary on the NYT.

      1. I’ll say this much for Brooks; he knows how to write for his audience.

        If a NYT op-ed piece doesn’t have fawning and self-deluding aggrandizing of the intellectual class (read liberal arts undergrad degrees, JDs and MDs), it rarely makes it to print.

        1. You mean, something like this?

          1. You mean, something like this?

            An Iowahawk classic. Talk about “slapping the enlightened”!

        2. I should have included “especially their online threads”, but yeah, the columnists are bad enough.

      2. Really? Because I read that as “Only people who agree with me count as ‘educated’.”

        1. Yeah, I could just feel my M.S. withering like a taint under the curse of the URKOBOLD.

    2. The people that Brooks is calling the “educated class” are nothing of the kind. They’re a circle-jerk pseudo-intellectuals, whose purpose in their pretense of sophistication is to mask their desire to push other people around.

      The real educated class are the engineers, tradesmen, entrepreneurs, and anyone else who engages in productive activities to create the wealth that these fucking kleptocrats are skimming.

      -jcr

  2. Yo, fuck David Brooks. Maybe “Americans have lost faith in their institutions” because it’s become obvious that the institutions are not “theirs” to have any say in, thanks to Brooks’ “educated class.”

    1. Brooks thinks an ‘education’ is sticking books up his ass.

      I went to a top 20 school and most of those people are idiots.

      1. OMG PROOF, you sound like one.

        1. Good eye, WSH. Kindred spirits tend to stick out, eh?

  3. Once a “bright and polished” politician gets hold of it, the Tea Party Movement will become a whole lot less popular.

    1. Would you prefer one that’s “dark and dirty”?

  4. The public is not only shifting from left to right. Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year.

    The educated class believes in global warming, so public skepticism about global warming is on the rise. The educated class supports abortion rights, so public opinion is shifting against them. The educated class supports gun control, so opposition to gun control is mounting.

    The story is the same in foreign affairs. The educated class is internationalist, so isolationist sentiment is now at an all-time high, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The educated class believes in multilateral action, so the number of Americans who believe we should “go our own way” has risen sharply.

    WTF? He and his “educated class” can suck my “educated” cock. What a fucking elitist asinine set of comments. This fella has the warmest ears in the country, somewhere around a comfortable 98.2F. Since his head is resting somewhere between his transverse colon and his appendix.

    Fucking assclown

    1. Yep, they’re still pushing the idea that only educated people are worthy to comment. Anyone with a high-school education is a knuckle-dragging racist mouth-breather, and God forbid you went to a community college.

      Yet they will insist they are NOT elitist, all the while browbeating you for not believing The Holy Words and their current mouthpiece in the White House.

      1. TLG you have a serious habit of using the term “elitist” derogatorily against anyone smarter than you or anyone who dares believe that truth is made up of facts.

        1. There is some serious truthiness to that.

          Or not.

          1. Notice how the Tonys of the world barely hide their disdain for those who either only graduated high school, or went to a *gasp!* community college.

            Of course, it has to be the RIGHT kind of college, and one has to have that certain attitude, that parental haughtiness one exudes when looking over their glasses perched at the mid-nose point – think Carl Levin, for instance., or Babs Boxer.

            Despite Tony’s insistence, I don’t care how educated/uneducated someone may be… it’s what they stand for, that’s what matters. And if I needed some goddamned D.C. busybody to run my life, I’d vote for one.

            1. Are you serious?

            2. I’ve never once indicated that I give a crap about your level of education or what school you did or did not attend. You’re the one who’s a bigot against those educated differently than you.

              1. Bullshit. It’s you liberals who are “bigoted” against those whom you consider to be your intellectual inferiors.

                Besides, you’re using the word bigoted in a tortured fashion.

                1. Like the way AGWorshippers look down on those who refuse to hew to The Cause?

                  1. The Cause is Just. Even if I lied about the total meltdown of the entire northern ice cap – which was a necessary lie – it’s still for The Greater Good.

                    And my bank account.

                    1. anyone smarter than you sounds pretty elitist, Tony.

                      Even if it isn’t *you* doing it, it’s still being perpetrated by those you support the most – the current ruling class in D.C. and media.

                  2. You mean people who reject mainstream accepted science in favor of stupid conspiracy theories? Sorry, I don’t believe in affirmative action for ignorance.

                    1. And I don’t believe in affirmative action, a “crime” for which I have been branded a racist in the recent past – by people who think the way your side does.

                    2. Like many of the most noted physicist, cosmologists, inventors, and scientists in human history? The catholic church had a consensus at one point. Along with you know who. Godwinined without a Godwin.

                      I prefer to try and not repeat the mistakes, or sins, of the past and keep an open mind across the board.

                    3. Like many of the most noted physicist, cosmologists, inventors, and scientists in human history? The catholic church had a consensus at one point. Along with you know who. Godwinined without a Godwin.

                      I prefer to try and not repeat the mistakes, or sins, of the past and keep an open mind across the board.

                    4. FUCKING HELL. why in the fuck does this site do that.Only fucking site that does. How about less threaded comments and more not freaking out and allowing double posts.

                      FUCK

                    5. I strike again!

                2. I take experts more seriously on their appointed subjects than random idiots. If that’s bigotry, then you’re the one using a tortured definition. You’re the one calling people names by labeling them “elitist” for the crime of having an education.

                  1. Not necessarily – it’s also about attitude, a sense that We Know Better and will use the power of the state to make you behave the way we want you to.

                    Your fellow, Chad, said in another thread that we libertarians try to make people live the way we want them to, when he knows damned well the libertarian philosophy is about NOT telling people how to live. If that isn’t an elitist attitude, then I can’t play Merriam-Webster for you.

                    1. You advocate a radical restructuring of my way of life (for my own good or otherwise), don’t pretend otherwise. You justify it by calling taxation stealing, i.e., making a moral argument. Government not doing something is still making a policy choice that affects people.

                    2. Not the same thing, Tony, and you damned well know it. Stretching definitions isn’t going to make your case.

                      Besides, it is immoral to tax the fruits of one’s labor. Which is why we need a consumption tax. But you’ll disagree, of course.

                    3. So, Tony, what things aren’t the duty of government to perform?

                      This should be a really short list, so I’ll provide you a space to list everything you can think of:

                      [ ]

                      Leave as much spacing between words as you feel comfortable with. I’m feeling generous.

                    4. D’oh! Back to HTML Community College for me!

                    5. Sheesh, get your ass of the dole and there won’t be a facet of your life that “we” will restructure.

                    6. You advocate a radical restructuring of my way of life

                      If by “way of life”, you mean that you want to do as you please without attacking your neighbors or delegating government goons to do so, then we can get along just fine.

                      If, however, your “way of life” means you get to perpetrate force or fraud against others, then fuck you: you’re not entitled to maintain your criminal lifestyle.

                      -jcr

                    7. Chad, said in another thread that we libertarians try to make people live the way we want them to, when he knows damned well the libertarian philosophy is about NOT telling people how to live

                      Chad is really rather thick. It’s entirely possible that he still doesn’t know this fundamental definition of libertarianism.

                      -jcr

                  2. I take experts more seriously on their appointed subjects than random idiots.

                    That being the case, then you should defer to the Austrian economists, who have been correctly predicting the consequences of interference in markets by government since the 1930s, instead of the mental midgets like Krugman who can only sneer at them.

                    Want to talk about idiots? What else can you call someone who advocated a housing bubble as a “solution” to the dotcom bubble?

                    -jcr

                3. Maybe using the word elitist “in a derogatory fashion” should be considered a hate crime.

                  Then again, that would play against the use of terms like “hillbilly” and “teabagger”, so it would be a wash.

                  1. It’s okay if WE do it.

                    1. Even though it should be a hate crime to even utter the phrase “teabagger”, I agree with you, Nancy… as long as we’re the ones using the term.

            3. Notice how the Tonys of the world barely hide their disdain for those who either only graduated high school, or went to a *gasp!* community college.

              …or those who got a professional degree in some line of work in which their customers voluntarily pay for their services.

              -jcr

        2. Coming from someone who looks down their nose at “less-educated” working folks like me… that’s a laugh, Tony.

          I don’t care how educated someone is… I’ve met plenty of multi-degreed morons in my time, and some that aren’t like… well, like you.

          But that was a nice hypocritical slap you tossed into the middle of your post. Of course, you won’t acknowledge it, because I’m just a stoopid inbred red-stater. Right?

        3. HURR DURR NO HIGHER ED!!! YOUR STUPID!!! FREEDUMB!!!

        4. In case you’ve missed it, Tony, I don’t like anyone from EITHER party looking down on We the Unwashed Masses/Sources of Tax Income/Childlike Man-Beasts.

          If I haven’t made that clearer in the past, then my bad. But that’s how it be, dude. I can get up, dress myself, work (while I still have a job, Obama willing I have one tomorrow with the way he’s fucking the economy), pay my bills, buy things I need (and things, according to some of y’all, I *don’t* need and which should be taxed)… and all without the help of some overrated, overpowered, overpaid, self-appointed guidance counselor going by the title of State Rep or Senator or even President.

          Thanks anyway, though. Save it for the disabled and mentally-retarded, they need it worse than the rest of we functioning regular people you liberals pretend to give half a shit about. With other peoples’ money.

          1. YOU STUPID! WON’T TAKE WELFARE! HURR! DURR!!1!

            1. IMO, liberals are frightened and suspicious of people who aren’t plugged into The System. Hard to control those who aren’t dependent on handouts, much less get them to vote for you every two years.

              1. True, just as conservatives are frightened and threatened (at least in their minds) by people they consider hedonistic – gays, pot-smokers, and so forth.

                They and liberals are, therefore, keen on legislating things that don’t fit their control paradigms. One more reason this country is deteriorating.

              2. You’re dependent on all sorts of handouts. Even if you’re very wealthy you’re getting a pretty good deal for your tax dollars. Especially since they fund all those things that make your accumulation of wealth possible.

                I’ll buy your rugged individualist bullshit when you stop sucking the teat of government by enjoying the fruits of the civilization it protects.

                1. Not THIS horseshit again.

                  If I’m not on welfare, or any derivation thereof, I’m not dependent on anything.

                  I work for my pay. I don’t take Dime One out of your pocket – and I think that is what really gets you, Tony. You imagine this “enjoying the fruits” scenario to the point that it encompasses everything – even things that aren’t given by some government dispensary.

                  Nice jabs at “accumulation of wealth” and “very wealthy”, though. Just can’t help yourself, can you?

                  1. Apparently, those who depend solely on their paychecks are still – somehow – leeching off society.

                    Why a liberal would bitch about that, though, is a bit of a puzzler. They want people to be dependent – if they’re not, they won’t buy the government-as-provider-slash-parent sales pitch every election cycle.

                  2. You certainly are dependent on roads and police and the armed forces and the enforcement of contracts etc., etc. Parasite.

                    1. Using that definition… you are, as well, which also makes you a “parasite”.

                      I pay for those things, btw – why shouldn’t I get a return on my investment? Or should I just pay and NOT use them?

                      Very tortured thinking, Tony. Why don’t you see how silly you sound when you go off on these tangents?

                    2. I think you just hit on something – he wants us to pay for things we don’t use. It’s the perfect scam!

                    3. He wants us to pay for things and not use them, you mean. But, yeah, it is Ponzi-worthy, isn’t it.

                      “You dangerous, free-thinking individualists hate roads, but you use them, so you’re hypocrites!”

                      I can smell it coming…

                    4. It’s a “handout” if you pay taxes for your local library… then check out books at said library.

                      My God… we’re all parasites. Tony finally got something right.

                    5. I pay for those things, btw – why shouldn’t I get a return on my investment?

                      That’s exactly what I’m saying you should do, minus the bitching. All I’m saying is we should collectively invest in a few more things than you are ok with.

                    6. You certainly are dependent on roads and police and the armed forces and the enforcement of contracts etc., etc. Parasite.

                      No, you insinutated I shouldn’t be using things for which I pay taxes, lest I be a “parasite”.

                      One or the other, dude. Which is it?

                    7. shit.

                      insinuated

                      Oh, well, I make mistakes, and admit them… unlike, say, those politicians who helped create the housing bubble.

                    8. I was using the term parasite sarcastically, goofball.

                    9. Hard to tell, Tony… liberals don’t have much of a sense of humor.

                    10. What else is there left to “invest” in, Tony? What minute fraction of human existence is uncovered by some federal agency?

                    11. You certainly are dependent on roads…

                      It does not follow that because some product or service is provided by government currently, that it was or must always be so.

                      Give me back my payroll taxes, and I’ll take care of my own retirement, thanks. ( I know I will anyway, but the point stands.)

                      -jcr

        5. I hear you loud and clear, comrade. That’s why I intend to introduce the Elitist Protection Act, making it a federal crime to cast doubt upon, or mock or deride, anyone like you and I.

          1. And I’ll add an amendment to protect GLBT liberals… but only GLBT liberals. Right-wing homosexuals don’t deserve hate-crime protections.

            1. I still get all my taxpayer-funded jet planes, right?

              1. I have granted you Special Dispensation to use them, Nancy. Plus, yes, you should still have them provided at taxpayer expense, because you’re special just like the rest of us.

                Now, everyone else… they’re just killing Mother Earth. But we have a Job to do.

            2. Don’t forget the hypocrites! They need special protection too.

              1. All covered, Ted. Under My Watchful Eye, all is well.

        6. Hush, Tony… you’ll give away our secrets! That’s why I write these columns, you know!

      2. Yep, they’re still pushing the idea that only educated people are worthy to comment

        Well, it’s more insidious than that. The real idea is the same one that autocrats and their toadies have always pushed, which is that the nobility is entitled to tell everyone else what to do.

        The labels change over time, and so does the window dressing, but it all boils down to “do as I command, you ignorant peasant!”

        -jcr

    2. Funny, most of the “educated class” where I work takes the opposite position from his on almost everything, from our PhDs down to the lowly BS degrees. Funny, that.

    3. “Educated Class” refers to folks like MNG with terminal degrees in PolySci.

      1. Isn’t every degree in PolySci terminal?

  5. Yo, fuck David Brooks. Maybe “Americans have lost faith in their institutions” because it’s become obvious that the institutions are not “theirs” to have any say in, thanks to Brooks’ “educated class.”

    Well, it’s a generalization, I certainly know some very well educated tea-baggers – but essentially, it’s the truth. In fact I’d go so far as to say that if you wanted to restore freedom and representative government to this country, the single most effective thing you could do is execute the educated class.

    That is so good and so true, let me repeat it: if you want to restore freedom and representative government to this country, the single most effective thing you can do is execute the educated class.

    1. I have more guns than graduate degrees, will I be allowed to live?

      1. I have more guns than graduate degrees, I willbe allowed to live?I have more guns than graduate degrees, will I be allowed to live.

        fixed. No sense in asking.

        1. You call that fixed? Back to HTML post-grad for you!

          1. I fixed it, then promptly placed it in the wrong spot.

            When I fail I fail as much as possible. Momma said if ya gonna do it do it right.

      2. Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year.

        They might want to rethink the value of the education they think they have.

        I have more guns than graduate degrees, will I be allowed to live?

        Same here. I need more ammo.

        1. Yea, the question never enters the mind: “What have I learned in my education?” Just an assumption that education must be good because it cost money and gets me the respect of others who have the same. Kind of like those natives in Borneo who fashion their genitals into huge scuptures to proclaim their status.

      3. Considering that pretty much the first thing the French and the Russians did after their revolutions was execute the intellectuals (probably with very good reason), if I were you I’d be advertising those guns – the degrees not so much.

        1. One of them is an MBA, so the libs will be out for my blood, too.

          1. I don’t have any grad degrees so it’s easy to have more guns than zero.

            1. Hmmm, I have 2 undergrad degrees and a a graduate degree to boot. But yet, that state-fellating asshat doesn’t conform to any of my views. He must be speaking of a different class.

        2. So, is it actual education and intelligence that you feel threatened by? I hate to burst your bubbles kiddos but there ARE people out there who are smarter and more educated than you out there. Maybe you should stop feeling ashamed or self-conscious of your ignorance.

          On a not-too related note, who invented firearms? Morons or geniuses? (I’ll give ya one hint: It wasn’t morons).

          1. Geniuses with college degrees or geniuses without college degrees?

          2. Smarter and more educated aren’t necessarily the same thing. The highly educated mostly comprise the cohort who might be too smart to be pushing a broom, but they aren’t smart enough to be the next Steve Jobs or Thomas Edison (neither of whom had a college degree), either. If they were, they’d be out working on their first billion instead of sitting in a classroom. Universities are a necessity for the mediocre, not the brilliant.

  6. I have more guns than graduate degrees, I will be allowed to live.
    Fixed. No sense in asking.

    Round 2 with preview.

  7. I still have that 1000 rounds for my SKS. Come and get me, you uneducated mouthbreathing bastards!!! 🙂

    1. Maybe NSFW language. sorry for late warning. Word “ass” used.

  8. Gosh, I have a terminal degree, was an academic at a major university, and read books and stuff, but I reject most of the “ideas” he thinks are part and parcel with being in the “educated class.”

    In any event, Brooks is ignorant of both American history and American culture. Faith in institutions is exactly what we haven’t had and, despite a recent trend towards more government control, we still don’t have. Our very system of government is based on distrust of those in power.

    1. In any event, Brooks is ignorant

      Pithy, ProL. Make it short and snappy, plus it’s just as accurate.

    2. Not enough expletives. You are clearly one of the “educated.”

      1. Educated men curse on the inside. They don’t show their weaknesses.

        1. Fuck. I gotta work on that.

            1. No fucking wonder Brooks doesn’t think of us as the educated class.

  9. Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year.

    That’s just nonsensical. Is governmental transparency pro- or anti-education? How about budget balancing? The fact that there can be intelligent people on either side of an issue seems to be far too subtle of a stance for Brooks to handle. “If it’s what my crazy redneck uncle likes, then it must be anti-intellectual!” seems a bit of an (anti-intellectual?) oversimplification.

    1. It’s total crap. One of the biggest mass delusions of the devoted left is this idea that they’re more intelligent than their opposition and that they’re a “reality-based” community. The right’s full of it, too, but they’re not quite so arrogantly ignorant across the board.

  10. Is governmental transparency pro- or anti-education?

    Only educated people can truly understand what the govt does; transparency just gives fodder to Beck and his uneducated mouthbreathers and is to be avoided.

    For their own good.

  11. Educated in no way implies wise, insightful, or intelligent. Even if, for the sake of argument, we grant that there is such a thing as an “educated class” and that they hold uniform beliefs about something or other, the proper response is, “So What?”

  12. I rarely read anyone who is not part of the tea party movement who actually understands it. It does not want a leader, it is not crazy, it is not out of control. It is simply a large portion of the ELECTORATE (they will all vote)that shares dissatisfaction with the governments failures and wants it to leave them alone and fill the potholes. That’s what it is.

    1. Perhaps, but this is what gets the press, and this is what the “educated” see.

      1. That, or it’s what the educated want to see.

      2. wonder what the sign said before he “fixed” it.

      3. Not a good idea.

    2. It is simply a large portion of the ELECTORATE (they will all vote)that shares dissatisfaction with the governments failures and wants it to leave them alone and fill the potholes. That’s what it is.

      I would add that it wants, above all else, for our government to reduce spending.

      1. I would add that it wants, above all else, for our government to reduce spending.

        I would add that every politician in the country says the same thing, but the tea party movement has given me no more reason to believe they’re serious than any of the more professional and polished liars.

        Ask them what they think about our not-so-cheap wars (on countries, or abstract ideas, or whatever) and you’ll find their desire to cut spending MIA. Ask them how they feel about free trade (not in those words, but about actual elements of it) and you’ll find some of the most protectionist people you’ve ever met.

  13. So brooks is saying, “Get your damn gov’t hands off my God given entitlements” will be the slogan of a real party? I can’t wait for that.

  14. Please, Matt — a Reasoned analysis of this movement.

    1. Hey, that looks interesting! In that whole, I-seen-a-thousand-things-like-that-go-fizzle-but-good-luck-to-’em kinda way.

  15. My problem with the “educated class” is that these people are not smart enough. Or rather not terribly wise, intelligent or frankly speaking well-educated. Climategate forced a number of supposedly sophisticated members of the media/educated class to explain why they put so much trust in the anthropogenic global warming. Turns out that “wise men” told them so. It is considered the height of sophistication to blindly believe in any pronouncements if the word science is attached to it. It appears that the “educated class” is completely unaware of the philosophy of science and ignorant of the concepts of predictability and falsifiability.

    1. I had someone from that “educated class” tell me that the government “granted” me my Rights in the Bill of Rights. Many can’t even understand the simple concept of unalienable rights. Granted, there’s a difference between natural rights and legal rights, but that is not what this person was referring to.

      1. You should have asked him who “granted” government it’s authority to begin with.

        1. It’s government all the way down!

        2. The people…

          1. You just keep thinkin’ that, Tony.

      2. Where do these so-called natural rights come from?

        1. “So-called”?

          1. How can rights that never existed throughout the vast majority of the history of humanity be called natural?

            1. If you’re going to be snotty about it, the there’s no point explaining it to you.

              1. That’s because there is no explanation that’s not unacceptably mystical. Rights are inventions of humankind. You only have them because a form of government was devised to protect them.

                1. Like the right to health care. Now there’s something someone pulled straight from their nether regions, just like most religions.

                  1. I agree. Modern society has invented the right to health care. One day America may join modern society.

                    1. You mean pulled it out of thin air… unless you’re going to say we have “rights” to food, shelter, clothing, and jobs, you’re being very selective.

            2. The same reason dogs have no rights. You can choose self realization or believe in a higher power granting rights. Pick one both are arguable and have been argued quite thoroughly. By people much smarter than you, and I for that matter. Since that seems to matter up thread.

              1. Whatever the hell “self realization” is, neither that nor God are adequate explanations. I can say the right to burn you at the stake comes from God. How is it different?

                1. Burning people at the stake deprives said people of their right to not die by murder.

                  Piss-poor example, Tony.

    2. I think “trained class” is closer to the mark than “educated class”. The words “educate” and “train” are actually synonyms, separated only by connotation and a slight nuance of meaning.

  16. Since when has Gary Johnson had involvement with the Tea Party movement?

    1. Guilt by association, Colin. Even if Johnson has never even MET a Tea Party attendee, he’s right-of-center and, therefore, a terrorist suspect.

      1. Suspect? Why do you enable terrorism? Being right of socialist makes you guilty.

        1. Agreed, ProL… I was speaking in terms of how Brooks and his crowd would view Gary Johnson, not as you or I would.

          1. Right. He’s guilty and needs to be dealt with by any means necessary.

            1. Sometimes, the end justifies the mean.

  17. Speaking of Rubio, there’s a good chance he’ll beat Crist for the Senate spot. Most of that is Crist, who I believe no one really likes. Even Crist may vote for Rubio.

  18. I recognize that tea pot. It was the Easter egg in the old Windows NT screen saver.

    1. Nah, that is the Utah teapot.

  19. You rubes and your silly ideas of having restrictions on governmental powers. Next you’ll be saying government costs should be scrutinized and… cut.

    Also… global warming.

  20. The interesting thing is that the more the “elite” and MSM types trash the tea party movement they more attractive they are to many people. There are plenty of intelligent people involved in the tea parties but they just don’t think like the sociology graduates claiming to be intelligent.

  21. The people who Brooks calls the “educated class” gave out loans to people who couldn’t pay them back, causing the recession, and are still collecting huge bonuses.

    They also gave us the stimulus debacle, want health care “reform” which will jack up prices, want cap-and-trade which will jack up prices, want open borders, to ban guns, and turn over our foreign policy to the UN. And the people don’t want it. Golly, why not?

  22. Funny, most of the “educated class” where I work takes the opposite position from his on almost everything, from our PhDs down to the lowly BS degrees. Funny, that.

    I see you problem right there. You said “BS degrees”.

    The “educated” class that Mr. Brooks is talking about doesn’t include people who have science degrees and work in a world were there are real and unavoidable constraints. He’s talking about people who know that by throwing enough elegant verbiage at a problem you can turn “Yea” into “Nay” and vice versa.

    But there is worse. Geeks do mostly run the world, but they run it to the instructions of people like this. Isn’t that just peachy.

    1. “Educated” in the Brooks formulation of course means having some sort of History / English / Journalism / Philosophy credential from one of the proper coastal universities. In other words, a willingness to pay $200,000 for a $20 sheet of calligraphed vellum.

      Which of the following is most indicative of a nimble mind and intellectual curiosity?

      (a) a PhD in Semiotics from Brown
      (b) an MFA in Performance Art from Yale
      (b) a BS in Electrical Engineering from Mississippi State

      Discuss.

      1. I like the second b.

        1. Durrrrr. At Ottumwa Body & Fender we don’t study the alphabet too good.

      2. (b) a BS in Electrical Engineering from Mississippi State

        We can exclude this.

        They don’t even have electricity in Mississippi.

        1. Then how do they electrocute all of the miscegenators?

          1. They wait for lightning, like Gawd intended.

          2. We run ‘d extension cord over Alabama way, ’cause they already got that new fangled stuff.

            1. One more thing to love about H&R.

              Even when I do a bad gag post (with a worse gag handle), it will still get a couple of good responses.

        2. I go to a school with a gigantic, prestigious Engineering program. But that hardly means that just because you study math and science that somehow you glean the potential critical thinking skills from it – aside from being able to do math and science.

          Do science-based degrees impart critical thinking better than arts degrees? Yeah. I’m an liberal arts student and I’ll agree with that. But as with most things, you get out of it what you put into it. And most arts majors are satisfied with simply vomiting information all over an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of computer paper or a blue book. Science doesn’t afford you that luxury, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to apply those skills outside of a job.

          We’ve also run into the problem defining “educated” and “intelligent.” Anyone can be educated – that is, essentially, having some asshat sit in the front of the room and impart knowledge upon you, while you take notes and then regurgitate that information on the final. Being intelligent requires that you acutally can think about and form opinions and ideas from that information.

          That said, I’d rather be a member of the “intelligent class” rather than a well-trained member of the “educated class.”

          1. There’s something to be said for this comment. It’s how many disciplines are taught and how they are performed that is key. For instance, philosophy can be a extremely rigorous and intellectually demanding discipline. Or it can be a politically driven load of crap. Unfortunately, many disciplines, including a number of sciences, are being taught and practiced without much intellectual rigor.

            Another example of this, incidentally, is the law. Law school used to be a brutally demanding exercise, where over half of the students you started with would be long gone when you graduated. That’s not the case now, even at the premier schools. Nor is legal scholarship at law schools anywhere near as demanding as it once was. In many ways, law has become a trade.

          2. A good rule of thumb is to avoid any class or major including the word “Studies” or “Critical.”

            This is a sore subject for me, as I have a daughter matriculating in the Art program at the Columbia this Fall. Paid for by my Ottumwa B&F welding degree.

            1. I have some critical thoughts about such programs. . .and what they study.

              1. Ha! Apologist for the racist patriarchy you are.

          3. Science doesn’t afford you that luxury, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to apply those skills outside of a job.

            True. I had a woman with a Master’s in Nursing tell me she didn’t believe in evolution because the fruit flies in the lab never evolved. One of many, many reasons I don’t talk to her anymore.

            1. I’ve learned that of the many nurses I know, half are of the no-brained religious type and half are the quiet, take-no-shit type.

      3. I would say all could be equally so. The problem is the incentives offered in higher education that lead to way too many of (a) and (b).

        1. Nah. If the choices had been linguistics, art, and industrial engineering, I might agree. But the first two are really b.s. disciplines.

        2. Disagree. With a 6-year supply of LSD a Miss State EE would breeze through (a) and (b). I defy you to show me a Yale MFA who could hack it through the first midterm in Freshman Thermodynamics.

          1. Of course, some would argue that engineering is performance art.

            1. That comment somehow reminds me of the Alan Sokal Affair.

              1. Exactly.

                I don’t really share in the belief that one good in engineering or science is necessarily good at all other things, but if the discipline in question is mostly bull, then all an intelligent person has to do is to figure out the angle of that bull. Thus does gravity become a social construct.

          2. Knowing quite a few EEs, this is almost correct. Where it falls down is that EEs are magnificently intolerant of irrelevant bullshit. After a week of class they will have rewired the professor’s lecturn as a Tesla coil.

    2. Guys like Brooks are an insult to people who are truly educated.

      My suspicion is that he probably couldn’t even change a flat tire, or do anything remotely useful if his life depended on it.

  23. As a note of caution, “[t]he Surprising Popularity of the Non-Existent Tea Party” isn’t that surprising. If it actually existed, and took positions, it would be less popular. Its non-existence allows people to imagine that the party would agree with their own views.

    This happens all the time in politics. Many GWB supporters were amazed at his immigration views when he made them known.

    More recently, President Obama won an entire election by never committing to a policy (and when he did, convincing people who disagreed that he didn’t really mean it and it was just for the rubes.)

  24. Anything which makes David Brooks uncomfortable is okay with me.

  25. The educated class Mr. Brooks mentions are graduates from just a handful of schools, not anyone with a professional or graduate degree.

  26. There are some ideas so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them.

    When i read aobut the intellectual background of communism, it occurred to me that most of the backers never had a real job, but were professional students. Really, would any man who actually worked for a living buy into the idea that the fruit of his sweat should be shared by some douche with a sprained wrist?

    1. I’ve never in my life met a genuine working man who was a pinko. Almost every diehard commie I know either went to law school or has a journalism degree.

      1. I’ve met quite a few Teamsters who fit the pinko template…

        1. I believe the Teamsters approach to redistribution of wealth is more akin to the Black Hand than the red one.

          1. Or the Black Eye…

  27. If there is a double-dip recession, a long period of stagnation, a fiscal crisis, a terrorist attack or some other major scandal or event

    And I mean really, what are the chances?

  28. creating a vacuum that only the tea party movement and its inheritors would be in a position to fill.

    And I would like to say that vacuums of power don’t always suck up the best stuff. A lot of tyrants with blood on their hands come out of vacuums of power.

    1. My vacuums have plenty of power! Try my Oreck XL for thirty days… if you don’t like it, send it back, no questions asked!

  29. Considering that the name “Tea” is available, I would expect a number of candidates in NY at least to appear on a Tea Party line on the ballot this fall. I doubt many of them will be backed by the same organiz’n, but rather just having petitioned for the line independently. I’d expect quite a few to be cross-endorsed by parties on whose lines they would’ve run anyway. What will be interesting will be to see if many appear as both “Democrat” (and/or “Working Families”) and “Tea Party”.

    How about in other states?

  30. Educated in this context = indoctrinated.

    i.e., indoctrinated idiots, or a superior idiot to the natural product.

    ref. MlR’s political dictionary.

  31. You advocate a radical restructuring of my way of life (for my own good or otherwise)

    Isn’t this what Republicans and Democrats do on a daily basis, Tony?

    Right now, it’s Team Blue doing the radical restructuring “for [our] own good”; more than likely, sometime in the future (unless liberals find a way to permanently cement a dependency-based voting bloc) your right-wing counterparts will have enough power to get back to their holy work of restructuring our way of life “for our own good”.

    WE say “don’t take other people’s stuff, don’t crap in their rose bushes, don’t beat your wife or starve your dog, and we’ll leave you alone”. We don’t go around telling people how to live unless they’re defrauding people or harming their persons or property… then it IS proper to tell them where they’re wrong.

    The far-left and the far-right are all about casting judgment and aspersions – and levying sanctions – on those they deem their lessers. THAT, Tony, is elitism writ large… and with the power of the state behind them, it’s even more egregious.

    Anti-gun laws, “fat” taxes, higher energy prices, anti-gay legislation, higher taxes, a desire to limit speech and though on “the public airwaves”, anti-smoking policies, mandatory this/forbidden that… if there isn’t already a law, there will likely be a redundant one written up soon. All served up by people who think they know better – and have either Rs or Ds after their names.

    Don’t we have enough of that already?

  32. The public is not only shifting from left to right. Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year.

    The tea party movement is a large, fractious confederation of Americans who are defined by what they are against. They are against the concentrated power of the educated class. They believe big government, big business, big media and the affluent professionals are merging to form self-serving oligarchy ? with bloated government, unsustainable deficits, high taxes and intrusive regulation.

    Let me lend David Brooks a clue .. Bernie Madoff .. not a single member of the “Tea Party” movement gave money to Bernie Madoff to invest. Now tell me who are the gullible ones ? Obviously “educated” doesn’t mean “smart.”

    1. not a single member of the “Tea Party” movement gave money to Bernie Madoff to invest.

      Maybe not directly, but Madoff robbed a bunch of pension funds, among other victims.

      -jcr

  33. …[declaring] his non-fandom of the Tea Party movement, The New York Times’ David Brooks nonetheless sketches out some interestingly fluid political context…

    Ugh. That one left a really bad taste in my mouth.

    1. I liked it.

  34. Kudos on the Satchel Paige tag, Matt.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.