The media coverage of the Tea Party convention being held in Nashville this weekend is interesting, to say the least. Outlets like CNN are emphasizing the perceived split in the movement. It is as though they are surprised that the standard mainstream media stereotype of conservatives - that they walk in lockstep - is not true after all. Surprise!
It is far too simplistic to expect any group of people to be completely in agreement on every issue. The GOP is not and neither is the Democratic party. How silly is it to expect that? While the liberal outlets have gone to "crash the party" - as a CNN anchor described their coverage - and take pleasure in poking fun at the attendees, the very fact that the coverage is happening points to the arrival of the Tea Party movement in today's politics. By the time the Obama administration realized the growing impact on public opinion made by the Tea Party protests and town hall meetings, the train had left the station. The administration and the Democratic leadership in Congress were reduced to belittling and demonizing ordinary citizens, newly awakened to the political process and mightily energized. Just as Team Obama is continuing on the false meme that the Republicans in Congress are the 'party of no', Obama wants the Democrats to believe the Tea Party participants are kooks, racists and dangerous. To this administration, 'right wing extremists' are the enemy.
Funny, during the eight years of the Bush administration, we were told that dissent was patriotic.
This administration is laden with those who have never faced meeting a payroll. This administration has a skewered ratio of those from academia/policy think tanks versus those from the real world. It is a foreign thought that regular working people would be outraged at the level of government spending and government takeover of private industry as now seen. This administration continues with the belief that 'government' creates jobs and a huge takeover of 1/6 of our economy - health care - is a "Christmas gift", as it was characterized by Speaker of the House Pelosi.
Conservatives have mobilized. The Tea Party movement is not a Republican party movement. It is a group who, though they probably are more in line with the Republican party when votes are cast, is comprised by members of both parties and mostly of those who see themselves as independents. These fiscally conservative people want to remind Team Obama that jobs are not created by government, but that government can create the climate for job growth. This climate is not created with government spending with strings attached. It is created by tax cuts and de-regulation so that employers can spend their profits by hiring more employees and providing a robust work force.
So, rather than remain open to all sides, the national media has flocked to Nashville, along with new media, and set about expressing their opinion. That opinion is not too favorable to those who would stop the agenda of their candidate of choice. This president was ushered into office due in no small part to a swooning media. Now they have too much invested to speak truth to power. Or, to report with integrity.