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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

A Harvard study that got some buzz earlier this month deserves some (delayed) mention. Assembled by political scientist Theda Skocpol and two graduate students, Vanessa Williamson and John Coggin, the work, “The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism” essentially posits that it is not opposition to government spending in general or even welfare programs that drives Tea Party sentiment, but rather anger and frustration with the supposedly undeserving, foreign mooch scarfing up government programs:

Untethered from recent GOP baggage and policy specifics, the Tea Party has energized disgruntled white middle-class conservatives and achieved widespread attention, despite stagnant or declining favorability ratings among the general public. As participant observation and interviews with Massachusetts activists reveal, Tea Partiers are not monolithically hostile toward government; they distinguish between programs perceived as going to hard-working contributors to U.S. society like themselves and “handouts” perceived as going to unworthy or freeloading people. Whether Tea Party activism persists or subsides in 2011 and beyond, it has sapped Democratic momentum, revitalized Republican conservatism, and pulled the national Republican Party toward the far right.

Democrats should use this knowledge to drive a wedge between the national conservative movement — dedicated to privatizing popular social programs — and a Tea Party grassroots that wants its benefits.

 

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Trump mob storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Some of the January 6 rioters who are facing federal criminal charges are now saying, as part of their defense, that they were misled, brainwashed or unfairly manipulated by then-President Donald Trump, MAGA media and/or the QAnon cult. And one of the rioters who is using that type of defense is QAnon supporter Doug Jensen, who is saying that he was a "victim" of false information from the far-right conspiracy movement.

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