Rather than simply dismiss the burgeoning Tea Party Movement (like I have done on this blog), some people out there are actually trying to understand it. Fellow-blogger and eminently reasonable political philosopher, Anotherpanacea, recently helped out by trying to put a face on the Tea Party movement. AnPan's suggestion is that the "meaning" of the Tea Party is up for grabs, and his follow-up post is very helpful for learning something about those doing the grabbing. There's a less generous, but equally informative, treatment of the Tea Party up on the new blog The Contemporary Condition that challenges the suggestion that the Tea Party is "countercultural." One of the more interesting debates surrounding the Tea Party, from my vantage point anyway, is the Astroturf vs. Grassroots characterizations of it. Just a month ago, and just up the road from me (in Nashville), they held the National Tea Party Convention where Sarah Palin delivered the closing keynote address. I'll admit, I have no idea what is "authentically" representative of this movement, and the more I read and hear about it, the more convinced I am that no one really knows. Presumably, some master discourse or another will emerge... but for now, it appears to be full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Unless, that is, sound and fury alone is what the Tea Party is meant to signify. This is my suspicion and my worry, and it would be in keeping with the Politics-of-"No" spirit that we've seen dominating the Right since Obama's election.