The Tea Party Explained: From Crisis to Crusade
The Tea Party first attracted the media spotlight with Rick Santelli’s televised rant against the government’s bailout of mortgage borrowers on February 19, 2009, which instantly went viral as a video. As the authors document, however, “tea parties” associated with the Ron Paul movement had already been gathering momentum for more than a year. Beginning as a protest against government spending sprees, the Tea Party’s sudden fame forced it to define itself on many issues where the membership was seriously divided. Fiscal conservatives, who were usually liberal on social issues, battled social conservatives in an uneasy series of maneuvers that continues unresolved and is described in the book. The Tea Party Explained, written by two Tea Party activists, gives a well-documented account of the Tea Party, its origins, its evolution, the bitter squabbles over its direction, its amazing successes in 2010, and its electoral rebuff in 2012. Maltsev and Skaskiw analyze its demographics, the many organizations which have tried to represent, appropriate, or infiltrate the movement, and the ideological divisions within.
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