No one has any business being surprised.
From the Washington Post:
Tea Partiers' concerns are virtually identical to those of Republicans, poll showsThe idea that a whole Movement which had nothing to do with the scumbag GOP had just happened to materialize out of sheer, patriotic thin air -- fully-formed and hating the Kenyan Usurper with a shrieking, white-hot rage 10 seconds after he took the oath of office -- was always absurd on the face of it.
For some time now, the Post's E.J. Dionne has been valiantly making the case that the Tea Partiers, rather than representing some new political phenomenon, are essentially just right-wing Republicans. The only new thing about them, Dionne suggests, is the ham-handed revolutionary garb and the signs of Obama as the Joker.
Now we have some striking new data from Gallup that strongly supports this case.
Those arguing that the Tea Partiers aren't really anything new tend to point out that the vast majority of them are Republicans. But by itself, that isn't really surprising or conclusive. This new chart from Gallup, on the other hand, documents that the political concerns and priorities of Tea Party supporters are virtually identical to those of Republicans.
It's striking: Tea Party supporters and Republicans are almost in lockstep agreement on what constitute the biggest threats to America's well-being: The size of the Federal debt; the power of the Federal government; terrorism; and illegal immigration. The percentages are almost the same on all those issues.
Similarly, Tea Party supporters and Republicans are also in close agreement on the things that don't constitute serious threats: Unemployment; discrimination against minorities; and the power of large corporations.
But as the Conservative Movement has proven every day for the last 30 years, if you just keep repeating the same, ludicrous bullshit over and over and over and over and over Very Loudly, their imbecile Base will believe every fucking word of it, and the "liberal media" will report it as the gospel truth.
Truth is, it had the stink of yet another steaming load from the All-Purpose Karl Rove Playbook from the beginning.
There were, of course, the legions of pasty, white suburban rednecks in a ranting fury -- this time over the Deficit and the Constitution and the reach of Gummint -- which, after eight years of complicit silence and roaring applause over Republican debt, deficit, treason, catastrophe and one humiliating Conservative failure after another we were all supposed to just roll over and believe was something new under the Sun that had nothing to do with the fact that the GOP base are reprogrammable zombies. There was the omnipresent, slurring, bigoted face of Dick Armey at the head of this Shake-and-Bake Fucktard Army. There was the round-the-clock flogging of these astroturfed spectacles by Fox News programs and celebrities packaged as "fair and balanced journalism".
The only people who believed that this was some kind of Populist Athena springing fully formed from the head of Ronald Reagan were Conservatives -- who have to lie to themselves constantly these days just to keep from defenestrating themselves en mass -- and The Serious Media, which is still top-full of well-paid, credulous idiots whose fetishization of fake Balance and bullshit Objectivity means that they will still lend credence to the same Conservative shills who have shit on them over and over again.
Yet again, the only people who got it right were on the Left.
Me, from November, 2009:
....This wasn't exactly a hard one to figure out, so if you didn't -- if you jumped on the Tea Bagger bandwagon and pretended Real Hard that it was a Brand, New Thing -- then isn't it about time to stop looking for the roots of America's problems elsewhere and start asking yourself what it is about you that makes you such an eager fucking patsy from the same liars and con artists over and over and over again?
Snake-handling queer-hating Leviticans who think the GOP is too gutless because it won’t advocate rounding up Teh Gay and putting them in camps?
Pimple-faced 30-something John Galt wannabees who masturbate themselves blind to “Atlas Shrugged” because that hot chick in accounting won’t give them a second look, but won’t she be sorry when Objectivists stop the engine of the world and people like her will have to stand in like to offer their vajay-jays to the alpha studs wealth producers!
Klansmen who want to smoke a little weed?
America's compulsive political middle-children who have been taught so thoroughly to compromise their way out of any conflict that they will travel a 1,000 miles just to find a fence to straddle?
The opinionless little ciphers who just want to make sure they line up with a winner?
The moral cowards wouldn’t pick a side with a gun pressed to their heads, because of the terror of then being committed to actually doing something instead of snarking their way through life declaring "Well, ya know, bote sides are juss a buncha crooks anyway!" about every situation regardless of context and circumstances?
If asked, I guarantee you all virtually of those people would tell you that they think of themselves as “independent”.
And based on simple observation, guess who appears to be the largest group of late-blooming independents?
Those fucknozzles who, after giving Dubya the longest tongue bath in modern political history while calling everyone else a traitor, started gagging on the sheer tonnage of bullshit their creepy idolatry of George W. Bush was requiring them to swallow and obediently regurgitate every fucking day, that's who.
Most newly minted “independents” seem to be little more than Republicans who are fleeing the scene of their crime, but at the same time still desperately want believe in the inerrant wisdom of Rush Limbaugh. They are completely incapable of facing the horrifying reality that that they have gotten every single major political opinion and decision of their adult lives completely wrong, so instead they double-down on their hatred of women and/or gays and/or brown people and/or Liberals, and blame them for the miserable fuckpit their leaders and their policies have made of their live and futures.
Like German soldiers after the fall of Berlin, they have stopped running away from the catastrophe they created only long enough to burn their uniforms.
But they fool no one.