Notes From An Alternate Universe

May 11 2011 @ 11:51am

A classic from Andrew Breitbart:

What is at stake here is that blacks and women are creating the "tea party", making it a place that unlike the Republican Party which is a toxic environment for blacks and that's been the media's job for years. This is a place where blacks and women and hispanics can go to recreate this country in its original Constitutional vision.

Ignore the fact that in the original Constitutional vision, blacks were slaves and women couldn't vote. Let's just replace that unfortunate wording with the idea of limited government. I actually believe that Breitbart is sincere here – and he does have a vision of a multicultural small-state future. I do too. But I've found that in America, this idea doesn't actually have a viable constituency. Yes, some opportunists (in the best sense) have grasped some limited government ideas (Haley, Cain, Bachmann, Palin, Steele). But their constituency remains overwhelmingly older, whiter men. And the overlap with the GOP base is considerable.

Does the Tea Party, even in its symbolism, welcome Hispanics? If so, why is the love so unreciprocated? Could it be the virulent cultural xenophobia and nostalgia that pulses through the movement? Does it welcome African-Americans, even as it demonizes and race-baits the first African-American president? Does it embrace women, even as it seeks to abolish all legal abortion under all circumstances? Does it appeal to the young, even as it refuses even to contemplate any civil rights for gay people?

Nice idea. But nowhere to be found.