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SteepThe Precipitous Rise of the Tea Party$
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Lawrence Rosenthal and Christine Trost

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520274228

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520274228.001.0001

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date: 24 September 2017

The Tea Party

The Tea Party

A “White Citizenship” Movement?1

Chapter:
(p.133) Chapter 5 The Tea Party
Source:
Steep
Author(s):

Lisa Disch

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520274228.003.0006

This chapter challenges conventional liberal views of Tea Party supporters around race and fiscal conservatism. It argues that Tea Partiers are neither simply racist nor strictly libertarian nor straight-up fiscal conservatives. They are a constituency formed by the powerful framework for in-group/out-group politics that is an inheritance of liberal social welfare policy, and that has grouped individuals by race. The point of this argument is not to indict New Deal public policy. It is, rather, to hold liberals accountable for their share in the Tea Party phenomenon. Liberal social policy has a share in constituting the Tea Party, not just by provoking its backlash, but also by helping to define the terms in which Tea Party supporters recognize themselves. The Tea Party movement belongs to liberal America even as Tea Party rhetoric denounces liberalism and liberals denounce Tea Partiers.

Keywords:   Tea Party movement, political left, mobilization, race, conservatism, conservatives, social policy, social welfare, liberals

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