On February 9, 2009, New York senator Chuck Schumer offered one of the great political miscalculations of the modern era:
“Let me say this to all of the chattering class that so much focuses on those little, tiny — yes — porky amendments: The American people really don’t care.”
While many factors went into the creation of the phenomenon known as the Tea Parties — Rick Santelli’s call to arms, high unemployment, the Wall Street bailout, the health-care bills, etc. — clearly a big catalyst was the enormous stimulus bill and so many Americans’ suspicions that so much money would end up being flushed down the usual holes. Rarely have so many Americans witnessed a clearer or more sneering declaration that their concerns don’t matter. Only the “chattering class” worries about pork; real Americans don’t care.
If you want to see what the Tea Parties stand against articulated in about 16 seconds, this is it.