Thursday, March 31, 2011

If That's an Odd Couple...

OK, I'm completely stumped today. On what basis does the New York Times believe that Tea Party organizations and business lobbyists are an "odd alliance"? Or that "The Tea Party movement is as deeply skeptical of big business as it is of big government"?

Are there any issue positions associated with Tea Partiers that could fairly be described as anti-business, including big business? Are Tea Partiers out there marching for strict enforcement of antitrust laws? Union rights? I suppose it's possible to see anti-TARP sentiment as "skeptical of big business," but it's not as if Tea Partiers were for Dodd-Frank -- or alternative, tighter, regulation. TARP talk for them is anti-government, not anti-business, rhetoric.

(Unless, of course, reporter Mike McIntire is implying that Tea Partiers aren't really skeptical of big government either, which one can make a case for on social issues, civil liberties, national security, and other issue areas. But he's not really doing that -- and it would 't explain the headline, either).


  1. Thank you for pointing this out. I wondered the exact same thing myself when I read that.

    Catch of the Day award to you!

  2. Some tea-partiers opposed the Citizens United ruling.

  3. The NYT is a great newspaper in almost every regard except one: their coverage of domestic politics long has and still does suck. Their reporters and/or editors have a tin ear to American politics. At least AdNags is no longer doing his weekly variation on "Democrats in disarray."

  4. I've a couple of 'tea-party' friends; Evangelical Christians, and they're starting to question things. The two that have jumped out at me recently are food issues -- they pretty much think junk food (soda pop, etc.) ought be taxed and not covered by food stamps, etc., and subsidies that go to industrial agriculture instead of small farmers; the second is energy issues; they're looking at the resistance to alternatives and reliance on oil as a national security risk, though not necessarily an environmental risk.

    Both areas where the GOP is missing their calling as they try to divide their allegiance between big business and the Tea Party.

  5. "Are there any issue positions associated with Tea Partiers that could fairly be described as anti-business, including big business?"

    They are against amnesty for illegal immigrants.

    The Tea Party looks like a nationalist movement to me. The times quote the group in their article saying:

    “More regulation and U.S. corporate welfare do not benefit American consumers, Asian companies or those in Southeast Asia who desperately need employment,” he said."

    I don't think the TPM cares about what benefits Asians or Asian companies. They are more like Ross Perot who worries about US jobs going to other countries. They are probably skeptical that globalization benefits ordinary Americans.

    There are many voters, possibly the majority, who question whether globalization benefits the US. Politicians are currently are ignoring them because they believe in free trade dogma and don't want to turn down corporate money.

  6. Some tea-partiers opposed the Citizens United ruling.

    But a large percentage of them danced in the streets.

    As for McIntire's misconception, a lot of people think the tea party people are anti-business because they were against the Wall Street bailout. Thing is, they were against it because the government was involved. They didn't think the bank business was evil; they thought it consorted with evildoers when it took government cash. Remember, they think the crash was caused 100% by Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act.

  7. I stand corrected. It seems to me that there does exist a Ron Paul contingent within the TP (with shards of its influence expressed through Rand Paul), but it's heavily marginalized.

  8. Somewhat off on a tangent here, but I think this is a good example of the "secular, liberal, elite" East Coast reporters being out of touch with the "real America".

    Usually that charge is levied by "heartland conservatives" (or their East Coast elite punditocracy---Limbaugh, Ingraham, Gingrich, etc.).

    But this is an example of how it hurts "heartland liberals", and moderates for that matter. Now we've got to expend time and energy persuading reporters---who should know better!---that the tea partiers are and always have been working hand in glove with reactionary big business interests.

    If there were more reporters with working-class backgrounds at places like the Times, this wouldn't happen nearly as often as it does.


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