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Sara Robinson's "Tough Times for the Tea Partiers" at Campaign for America's Future notes that in today's media environment, "There is, absolutely, such a thing as overexposure; and the Tea Party seems to have finally achieved it:"

Reporters coming out for the third time around were no longer distracted by the novelty value of costumes, firearms, and signs -- and thus more likely to start looking at little deeper at who was there and what they were actually saying.

Robinson discusses the TP's bankrolling by Koch Industries (see SourceWatch for details), noting the contradiction in how "Tea Partiers love to present themselves as principled, individualistic patriots who want to 'take their country back' from the liberal blight:"

Most of them have no idea they're being organized specifically -- and a tremendous cost -- by the country's biggest oil and chemical interests, for the specific purpose of permanently disabling our collective ability to regulate their corporate behavior. In short: it has nothing to do with taxes, and everything to do with Koch's single-minded determination to do whatever the hell it wants without accounting to anybody. That's the real freedom you're fighting for, y'all.

A pair of 538 posts are worth reading in relation to Tea-Party demographics: this one about the Perot/Teabagger confluence, and (especially) this one about the Glenn Beck/Fox/Teabagger axis of stupid. Nate Silver writes that:

...tea-partiers are disproportionately attached to, and perhaps influenced by, FOX News. And they are particularly enamored of Glenn Beck. Nationally, just 18 percent of people have a favorable opinion of Beck (the majority have no opinion whatsoever about him). But most tea-partiers do.

Jed Lewison at writes at DailyKos that "Teabaggers are just embarrassed Republicans," with the exception that they might "think that the Republican Party is too liberal for them:"

But there's nobody in the tea party movement who thinks that the GOP is too conservative. And there's nobody who is angry at GOPers but not Dems.

Tea party sponsors like Fox have eagerly pushed the claim that teabagging is a bipartisan thing to do, but there's no real evidence to support that myth. Instead, we've got a bunch of conservatives who think that the best response to the failure of their ideas is to rebrand conservativism as tea partyism instead of Republicanism.

They'd be better off rethinking their ideas.

Thinking is difficult enough for some, but rethinking?! The odor of heresy hangs in the air around the very idea! Besides, what do Teabaggers have to be embarrassed about? How about because of stuff like this (h/t: John Aravosis at AmericaBlog):

Kudos to the Tea Partier who relentlessly heckled an Iron-Cross-wearing KKK bigot (h/t: Chauncey DeVega at AlterNet), but I only wish that more Tea Partiers considered swastikas no less offensive when drawn over pictures of Obama. As noted by DeVega, the TP claims "that liberal infiltrators (in the guise of 'agent provocateurs') are targeting the Tea Parties in order to smear and discredit them:"

Without any factual substantiation (and ignoring the racist, bigoted, and violent rhetoric that is common at the Tea Party gatherings) the Right has succeeded in reframing the narrative which surrounds the tea baggers. Now, freed from any responsibility for their own actions, the Tea Parties can point to some imagined villain as being responsible for all things disruptive and violent at their protests.

David Neiwert notes the Teabagger defensiveness and their new dark fantasies of "a plot by the 'left' to 'demonize' the poor ordinary Tea Partiers:"

Of course, the Tea Partiers themselves would never demonize anyone, would they? Other than that evil Kenyan Muslim radical Barack Obama. And his Marxist fascist progressive enablers. Just a wee bit.

Additionally, writes Neiwert, "the Tea Party apologists want to pretend that the only thing the protesters are out there saying is that they want smaller government, lower taxes, and reduced spending:"

Well gee, if that's all they were on about, I don't think anyone would be concerned about their rhetoric.

Instead, we get get Tea Party leaders -- including Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Joseph Farah and various other figures -- promoting death panels, FEMA concentration camps, birth-certificate theories, Tenther "constitutionalist" theories, and an entire range of similarly false nutcase ideas that reflect people unhinged from any sense of reality.

I want to be done talking about those Teabagging yahoos, but there are still way too many rocks under which to peer. It's a morbid curiosity, but it remains difficult to avert my gaze.

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