Calvin Freiburger

Kirsten Powers Defends the Tea Party: Is Her Fall to the Dark Side Reversing?

Posted on September 17 2010 9:00 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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When I last commented on Fox News Democrat analyst Kirsten Powers, I blasted her for abandoning her once-moderate posture and fully embracing the vile, smear-mongering ways of the hard Left. But in a new post on the Daily Beast, Powers issues a strong defense both of the moral seriousness and political potency of the Tea Party movement, begging the question: is there good left in her?

The Washington establishment has its nose out of joint because a rag-tag group of misfits have deigned to challenge the entitled incompetents who run the U.S. Congress. Somehow, because a few of the Tea Party candidates support abstinence training, or other garden variety right-wing notions, they are more dangerous than the people who were actually in charge of our country as it was being run into the ground economically.

We’ve been treated to obsessive coverage of Christine O’Donnell’s opinions on masturbation, and whether she had premarital sex, because we all know that these are the Very Important Issues facing our country.

Indeed. Why should a then-private citizen expressing her beliefs about sexual morality, making no mention whatsoever of government in doing so, be anywhere near as concerning as what the politicians she seeks to replace have done in office? Believing in the importance of teaching self-control to the young is no mark of insanity, and it’s nice to see someone on the other side speaking truth to power for a change.

In Kate Zernike’s new book, Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America, The New York Times reporter debunks the myth that the Tea Party is “Astroturf,” and a creation of Republican strategists. In fact, she describes it as a legitimate grassroots uprising.

Whatever you make of them, Zernike’s reporting makes clear that the Tea Partiers care deeply about the future of their country. They aren’t intimidated by difficult odds. Many of them had their first experience in political organizing when they put together their maiden Tea Party rally. They detest the Republican Party almost as much as the Democratic Party.

And the more they are mocked, the more determined they are to push forward. The derision of elites, to them, is a badge of honor.

In hindsight, the Astroturf charge was especially preposterous—one need only ponder the numerous internal struggles on the Right over Tea-Party candidates such as Christine O’Donnell, Rand Paul, and Debra Medina. The Tea Party is a motif many different people with generally overlapping ideas have adopted, not a single political machine. If it were the latter, it may have avoided some admittedly deserved embarrassments, but then it also wouldn’t be holding its alleged Republican masters feet to the fire “almost as much as the Democratic Party,” either. Let’s be honest: do we really think today’s GOP leadership is capable of putting together something as dynamic and influential as the Tea Party?

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