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Is this the best treatise on the current Tea Party movement?
on June 8, 2011
O'Hara is a crafty writer with real-world activist roots in the beginning of the Tea Party movement; according to the author, the Tea Party was established as a legitimate movement after Rick Santelli's February 19, 2009 rant on CNBC Squawk Box. O'Hara claims the movement came about because of the already stirring dissent among the majority of Americans, and Santelli's rant was the catalyst.
I don't consider this a thorough treatise on the history of the current Tea Party movement, nowhere near being academic. Instead, it's a distortion of the truth behind the advent of the most divisive political party in US history. The Tea Party is portrayed as a genuine grassroots movement. The author adamantly denies its Astroturf label and his affiliation with think-tanks like his employer the Heartland Institute. Sure, there is Soros and his support for Leftist astroturfs, but the Tea Party was no exception. It is disingenuous for the author to play down his employer's role in the movement, along with the influence of many other conservative think tanks. O'Hara does not state exactly why or how much did the think tanks support the Tea Party movement in the beginning. Instead, the author devotes a few pages to show how his organization denied RNC chairmen Michael Steele's initial chance of participating with the movement, in an attempt to make it seem that the initial "grassroots" movement was independent of outside GOP influence. We know now of the GOP influence, just by researching the history of FreedomWorks and the GOP success in the midterm elections.
The author fails dismally to correctly explain the economic meltdown of 2008. In Conservative fashion, he places the majority of blame on those delinquent homeowners with their subpar credit ratings and low income, by incorrectly associating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as the main culprit of the debacle. Albeit, this book is not an economic treatise of the 2008 meltdown, the irresponsibility that caused the near economic collapse of 2008 lied with the banks and their iniquitous trades amongst themselves. Those delinquent subprime loans were only the tip of the iceberg, as most of the delinquencies came from prime loans, which was stated by the lenders themselves. Of course, none of this is mentioned in the book, which either shows the authors bias or lack of understanding.
There are more topics of conservative interest covered in this book, which is covered in Tea Party fashion masked as a moderate conservative. I purchased this book to see it from both sides, but I'm sorely disappointed. I'm still waiting for a legitimate treatise on a supposedly legitimate movement.