David Brooks Praises Tea Party Just Before He Bashes It
In so doing, he took a couple of slaps at the conservative movement that continues to usher in surprising election results across the fruited plain.
By the end of "The Backlash Myth," Brooks went so far as to say "the Tea Party doesn't matter."
But prior to this point, there were positives not typically reported about this group, especially on the pages of the New York Times:
The Republican Party may be moving sharply right, but there is no data to suggest that this has hurt its electoral prospects, at least this year.
I asked the election guru Charlie Cook if there were signs that the Tea Party was scaring away the independents. "I haven't seen any," he replied. I asked another Hall of Fame pollster, Peter Hart, if there were Republican or independent voters so alarmed by the Tea Party that they might alter their votes. He ran the numbers and found very few potential defectors.
The fact is, as the Tea Party has surged, so has the G.O.P.
Surprisingly honesty, correct? Quite a departure from the normal contempt for this movement and accusations that it's helping Democrats keep control of Congress this year while killing the Republican Party.
Brooks even shared some polling numbers supporting his belief that the Tea Party has actually helped the GOP. But then he took an all too predictable left turn:
This doesn't mean that the Tea Party influence will be positive for Republicans over the long haul. The movement carries viruses that may infect the G.O.P. in the years ahead. Its members seek traditional, conservative ends, but they use radical means. Along the way, the movement has picked up some of the worst excesses of modern American culture: a narcissistic sense of victimization, an egomaniacal belief in one's own rightness and purity, a willingness to distort the truth so that every conflict becomes a contest of pure good versus pure evil.
The Tea Party uses "radical means?" Such as what?
Do they break windows, loot stores, and damage private property during their rallies?
Do they do any of the things leftist groups do when they protest wars, big business, coal mines, energy facilities, or G-8 meetings?
So what "radical means" was Brooks referring to? He didn't say.
As for a "narcissistic sense of victimization," this movement has been harassed and excoriated by media members for a year and a half. They've been called racists, hate-mongers, homophobes, and nutcases.
As such, they've been victimized by the mainstream media more than any legitimate political group in recent memory.
But Brooks ignored such inconvenient truths concluding:
But that damage is all in the future. Right now, the Tea Party doesn't matter. The Republicans don't matter. The economy and the Democrats are handing the G.O.P. a great, unearned revival.
Unearned, Mr. Brooks?
Hardly, for this organization has worked tirelessly for its electoral victories and to get some respect from detractors in the media.
That any kind words are being written or uttered by folks like Brooks now is a testament to how hard Tea Party members have toiled almost since Inauguration Day to convey a message to the American people that is resonating enough to possibly ignite an historic transfer of power next January.
As Commentary's Jennifer Rubin noted Friday:
[Republican success] is both a result of one-party Democratic rule and the best thing to happen to the GOP since Ronald Reagan. That doesn't mean its candidates will all win, but when the GOP picks up oodles of seats, much of the credit will go to the Tea Partiers.
Indeed, but will mainstream media members give them such credit on election night, or blame Democrat losses exclusively on the economy?