Experienced tea party activists have rarely recognized the descriptions of their events and membership in the MSM. Some no doubt wondered whether or not their local group was abnormal in its diversity, but several polls have now concluded that activists know their tea parties better than the media.
Quotes like this, now commonplace, describe some alternate reality, and certainly not the tea parties:
[In] other words, well-to-do conservative white men don’t much care for Barack Obama’s policies. Which, of course, is something we already knew from the exit polls back in November 2008.
This perception, peddled by the MSM and replicated by leftist bloggers, is consequently what many people believe to be true. Prominent tea party activists like Kevin Jackson and C.L. Bryant will not recognize this as anything close to accurate, though if you were to rely only on the crowd shots peddled by the MSM, you might sympathize.
On a program called The Young Turks, Steve Cohen (D-TN) said:
[The Tea Party shows] opposition to African Americans, hostility toward gays, hostility to anybody who wasn’t just a clone of George Wallace’s fan club.
Wallace of course being the late Alabama governor and presidential candidate who opposed desegregation.
Polls from Rasmussen and The Winston Group objectively show that Cohen owes America an apology. A significant percentage of tea partiers identify as Democrats and independents according to the Winston study:
In three national surveys, done for New Models from December 2009 through February 2010, 57% of Tea Party members called themselves Republicans, another 28% said they were Independents, and 13% were Democrats. Two-thirds of Tea Party members identify as conservatives but 26% say they are moderate and 8% described themselves as liberal.