Flying under the radar, but not to us, a new Bloomberg poll on the Tea Party movement confirms everything that David and I wrote in our book, Over the Cliff: Tea Party activists are an extension of the most extreme, far-right John Birch Society values, with the added bonus of funding from the corporate right. They are Grover Norquist's wet dream. Think South African apartheid, baby. The right-wing extremists once ousted by conservatives like William Buckley now rule the roost. The "Free Markets" reign unimpeded, led by "Christian values", for those white and 55 and over.
Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Oct. 15 issue: Respondents who identify with the Tea Party are almost unanimous in saying it stands for lower taxes, smaller government and personal responsibility. More than six in 10 say it advocates government based on Christian principles.
Tea Party supporters are more likely than other voters to be white, married, 55 and older, and call themselves born-again Christians.
During the HCR debate, tea partiers were able to keep their Ralph Reed beliefs bottled up because they were able to target their rage away from social issues and into the health care debate. Are you surprised that there was so much violent rhetoric used by their members while toting guns in their belts? It wasn't until the end of the HCR debate that the abortion issue came up and suddenly members of Congress were yelling the term "baby killers" on the floor of Congress. The Ron Paul influence is also evident by their hatred of the Federal Reserve, which has been the subject of many conspiracy theories by the supposed libertarians that have joined him.
They also are more likely to be suspicious of the Federal Reserve, which sets monetary policy. Six out of 10 Tea Party supporters who plan to vote say they want to overhaul or abolish the Fed, compared with 45 percent of all likely voters.
They are as passionate about the deficit as the Birchers were worried that Communists had infiltrated the White House. Here's how out of the mainstream they are:
Half of the Tea Party voters consider the federal debt -- estimated at $1.3 trillion in fiscal 2010 by the Congressional Budget Office -- to be the most important issue facing the country, compared with 27 percent of all likely voters. And they are willing to make hard choices to cut the costs.
And it gets worse from there:
Fifty-three percent would consider raising the age for Medicare benefits and 58 percent would consider raising the age for Social Security benefits. That compares with 47 percent of all likely voters who would consider Medicare changes and 49 percent who would change Social Security law.
Of course, they don't care about the bridges and roads they drive on because they don't feel obligated to pay for anything that they use. And please, don't get sick.
Two-thirds of Tea Party supporters also would consider cutting spending on roads and bridges; 63 percent say they would be willing to reduce research funds for Alzheimer’s and other diseases to narrow the deficit.
There is one thing they absolutely do not want cut from the government though, can you name it?
One exception: Few want to abandon the Bush-era tax cuts, due to expire in December, that give breaks to high and middle-income Americans.
And as much as they say they stand for the Constitution, there's this:
Those who identify with the Tea Party also take a harder line on illegal immigration: 54 percent of Tea Party backers say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports a proposal to change the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to prevent the children of non-citizens born in the U.S. from automatically becoming citizens, compared with 48 percent of all likely voters.
You knew they hated brown people already. These results are in line with many of the many polls that have been conducted already.