It is beyond their capacity to admit it, but the Tea Party movement positively scares the left witless. Last spring and summer, the Tea Party movement was greeted by the elite left as an amusement.
Many observers have opined on the Tea Party movement's loose organization. There really wasn't one clearly identifiable leader of the Tea Party. It was, and still is, mostly a conglomeration of local activists feeding off of the energy of one another. More importantly, the Tea Party is not a political party, per se. It has no national committee. It has no chairman, subcommittees or fundraising organization. Some groups have filed the paperwork to gain recognition as a party in some states, but there is no national effort to create a bona fide third party made up of Tea Party activists. That creates some challenges for the movement, as its amorphousness and lack of national organization makes it difficult for a single, easily communicated message to emerge.
But the left's amusement at the Tea Partiers has changed. Amusement gave way to mockery. Mockery gave way to outright contempt. Contempt has grown into concern, and as I write this, the concern is morphing into abject terror. Why?
The left has a tried-and-true method of dealing with those who oppose its agenda of statist utopia. It is based upon a philosophy of identity politics that divides people into easily cubby-holed groups. These groups have leaders, or easily recognizable faces or icons to associate with the identity of the group. Favored groups are rewarded, unfavored groups are attacked and punished. ACORN is given free reign to commit election fraud. Sarah Palin is subjected to relentless personal attacks. Union thugs are free to trespass on executives' private property. Keith Olbermann is allowed to spew hatred to a (shrinking) national audience while Glenn Beck is viciously and falsely accused of promoting sedition. Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg and Wanda Sykes can openly espouse racism and wish death on conservative leaders. Rush Limbaugh is singled out and attacked by the sitting President of the United States. But the Tea Party movement is different.
What many point out as a weakness is actually the Tea Party's strength. The Tea Party has no object to vilify. Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh were faces known well before the Tea Party movement began. They aren't the Tea Party movement--it's bigger than them. There's no Tea Party "frontrunner" for any national election, so there's no past to dig dirt on. There's no chairman, so there's no party financial records to dig through for embarrassing expenditures. There are no fundraising committees, so there are no FEC filings to dig through to see what special interests can be smeared. There is no group of leaders to isolate, identify and attack. Attempts to paint the movement as racist are met with speeches from black Tea Party participants and growing support for black Tea Party-backed candidates. Attempts to paint it as an extremist fringe are met with interviews with retired grandmothers.
The traditional weapons of the left--Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals--are absolutely useless against the Tea Party movement. Every round they have fired has fallen harmlessly to the ground, while national polls show that the movement is growing and attracting an ever larger, more energized base of support. This growing base of support presents an even greater terror--by Attacking the Tea Party as racist, fringe-element wackos, Democrats and the left are shown to be attacking Main Street America. You, dear reader, are a racist. You, dear reader, are out of touch. You, dear reader, are promoting the rise of another Timothy McVeigh. The more shrill and ridiculous the charges that the left hurls at the Tea Party, the more motivated you have become.
The left is now positively scared to death of you, because they've thrown everything they had at you and you're still growing. Moreover, you've morphed again. It's not about protests, signs and slogan chanting. The protests are still well-attended but now, it's also about a Contract From America that lays out a set of principles that you authored and you have put before candidates for the upcoming election. The candidates and incumbents who don't support those principles face very dim prospects in November because you are both motivated and absolutely unstoppable.
Extra Point: Could the fear gripping the left be the reason why financial market "reform," immigration "reform" and energy policy "reform" are all expected to come before the Congress before November? Could the thieves know that the authorities are en route, and that they might as well grab as much loot as they can before the inevitable occurs?