Timothy Egan's recent Times column on the Tea Party really says it all. You can link to it here, but I'm taking the liberty of quoting two parts of it. From the column itself:
"In truth, the Tea Party gang never intended to govern, or — God forbid —
compromise. They were birthed by Fox News and right-wing radio, where
fact-challenged outrage is the blood that keeps the heart pumping."
And from one of the posted comments:
"It's called "cognitive dissonance". Being lower middle class, and still voting Republican. How do they get them to do it?
it's simple really. Ignore all the bad stuff like income and tax
disparity, and accentuate, religion, gun rights, patriotism, and the
military, right to life, and kind of, make a club about it! The club is
like the way people dress in Ralph Lauren clothes, where you feel
American and traditional. Cowboy boots, pickup trucks, it's all about
feeling good and ignoring the fact that you really aren't in the club
yet, you're almost there, and so close, and you can so vividly imagine
yourself being that wonderful American.
Naturally, you would
never vote against the club. This is a place you will eventually be and
you don't want to get there and not be able to tell everyone that you
always voted Republican all your life, because you believe in American
It's also like a lottery ticket. You won't
win, you never will. But that "feeling" of having that fantasy is worth
the expense. It's the feeling of being and getting there, and finally
part of it.
So human, and so sad and exploitative."