Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Tea Party for Real, For Now

Shimmy Blum

With November midterm elections just one month away, and with Democrats in danger of losing control of Congress, the “Tea Party” is getting more attention than ever. Are they a flash in the political pan, or will they be a force in politics and policy-making for years to come?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Tea party

They have been derided as irrelevant, racist, wacky — and a slew of other unsavory labels.

However, when Democratic former president Bill Clinton said in September that the Tea Party has a message that “everyone should hear,” all doubt about the movement’s potency had been erased.

In the bygone primary-election season, the Tea Party — actually a political movement of about a half-dozen loosely organized activist groups — coalesced in opposition to the spendthrift habits and politics-as-usual of the Washington establishment. The movement takes its name from the Boston Tea Party of 1773; American activists dumped three shiploads of tea into Boston Harbor to protest the high taxes that Britain had levied on its American colonies. The twenty-first-century version has unceremoniously dumped more than seven incumbents or “establishment” candidates either from office or from contention in the upcoming elections in thirteen different states.

Ironically, even though the average Tea Party activist might have been motivated by disdain for the Obama presidency and his Democrat-controlled Congress, all of the Tea Party candidates displaced Republicans, not Democrats, an indication that their disfavor is primarily with the system itself.

Bradley Smith, a former member of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and currently a Capital University law professor specializing in election law, says, “I’m fifty- two years old, and I’ve never seen anything like this on the political scene in my life. It’s an extraordinary time.”


To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Weekly Struggle
Shoshana Friedman Cover text: promise big and deliver what we promise
Only Through You
Rabbi Moshe Grylak A response to last week’s letter, “Waiting in Passaic”
No Image Available
Are You Making a Kiddush Hashem?
Yonoson Rosenblum In communal affairs, “one bad apple…” often applies
Chance of a Lifetime
Eytan Kobre I identify with the urge to shout, “No, don’t do it!”
No Image Available
Work / Life Solutions with Bunim Laskin
Moe Mernick "You only get every day once"
Seeking a Truly Meaningful Blessing
Dovid Zaidman We want to get married. Help us want to date
Shivah Meditations
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Equivalence between two such polar opposites is puzzling
Magnet Moment
Jacob L. Freedman Everyone’s fighting a battle we know nothing about
Secrets and Surprises
Riki Goldstein Top-secret suits Eli Gerstner just fine
Blasts of Warmth
Riki Goldstein Keeping the chuppah music upbeat in low temperatures
Behind the Scenes
Faigy Peritzman The intrinsic value of each mitzvah
Good Vision
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Good or bad, nice or not? What you see is what you get
Day of Peace
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz On Shabbos we celebrate peace within and without