The Sam Adams Alliance (itself a reminder that brewing and freedom go together, like the fine reading I heard last night by Max Watman from his history of moonshine, Chasing the White Dog, at the bar Half King) has done a survey of Tea Party organizers and finds, as has been my impression from attending a few, that they are admirably focused on the less-spending message instead of tangential social issues.
Among findings from the survey listed on the Sam Adams site:
•A large number are politically involved for the first time. 47 percent of activists surveyed said that they were “uninvolved” or “rarely involved” in politics before their participation in Tea Party groups.
•When asked which issues were “very important” to them, 92 percent said “budget,” 85 percent said “economy,” and 80 percent said “defense.”
•No respondents listed social issues as an “important direction” for the movement.
•86 percent oppose the formation of a third-party.
•90 percent cited “to stand up for my beliefs” when characterizing their initial reason for involvement.
•62 percent identified as Republicans, 28 percent as Independents, 10 percent as “Tea Party”
Meanwhile, within government, things continue to get done through ugly wheeling and dealing, and on that front, retiring New York congressman Eric Massa now says he’s being forced out by Rahm Emanuel and other Democrats because of his opposition to Obamacare, using what he claims are exaggerated sexual harassment charges against him.
Without knowing the details of the accusations against him, though, I just like the fact that he (A) uses being completely drunk as a defense, something you don’t hear from politicians a lot these days, and (B) paraphrases (presumably) his lewd comment to an associate as a remark about “frakking” — which may, of course, mean that Massa, like so many political people I know, is a Battlestar: Galactica fan.