Palin hagiographer Matt Continetti thinks that if they weren’t in the pocket of Big Fin, Republicans would be “the people’s party”:
That would be a shame, because tacitly backing Wall Street on this issue erodes the GOP brand as the People’s Party.
It wasn’t so long ago that calling anything the “people’s” meant that thing was very far to the left, the People’s Republic of Cambridge, People’s Park, National People’s Radio (as a winger acquaintance of mine bitched NPR should be called), etc.
It doesn’t surprise me much that teatards have reclaimed the word, but it does seem to mean something different when they use it:
On the stage, I saw the great populist leader himself: Grover Norquist, who, after getting two Harvard degrees, developed his common-touch lobbying for the tropical island paradise of the Seychelles. Norquist spoke from a lectern bearing a Tea Party emblem and a simple message: “The people speak.”
One of Norquist’s rallying cries to the crowd summed it up nicely: “Leave our earnings alone!”
The wealth advantage of the Tea Partiers helps to explain the rather un-populist message emanating from Freedom Plaza: Tax the wealthy less and the poor more.
I don’t trust any of the polls about teabaggers because I think the group is too loosely defined, so I don’t know if it’s true that teabaggers tend to have above average incomes. I certainly didn’t see a lot of BMWs in the parking lot when I went to check out the Palin book signing.
In any case, that wouldn’t explain why mildly upper-middle class people would care so much about taxes on the very wealthy.
But I think this does: the very wealthy are generally white. That’s what “people’s” means here, too, it means white non-immigrants.
If the tables are ever turned and Republicans decide they have to fight some tax cut on the super wealthy, you know exactly how they’ll do it: strapping young bucks buying Cristal with their tax rebate.