Adam has a must read post on the increasing sluggishness of local Tea Party set. As Adam points out, even the Tea Partyers are slowly acknowledging that not only have they not achieved the hoped-for results, more and more Americans dislike them. That’s the opposite of the growth of the progressive netroots in 2005-2008, when the track record of progressive netroots-supported candidates increased and polling swung in favor of many of the netroots’ positions.
Lest you think Adam’s post is a condescending sneer aimed at the St. Louis Tea Party, it’s not. Adam’s main point is that while the Tea Party has slowed so much that they have to acknowledge it themselves to maintain some sense of credibility, you wouldn’t know it from the media. Indeed, when Proposition A passed (the St. Louis Tea Party made it clear that opposing Proposition A was a test of their “movement”), local traditional media tripped over themselves to excuse the Tea Party’s total failure.
Here’s Jake Wagman at the time:
Regardless of whether you agree with them on the issues, it’s hard not to acknowledge that the St. Louis Tea Party has done a more than adequate job of gaining attention.
Their rallies have been, as far as grass roots events go, generally well-attended and their media strategy offers just the right mix of populism and polish. The local Tea Party has even groomed a national spokesperson. […]
Getting people to the polls is not just a Tea Party problem – the Prop. A campaign spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for an election that saw less than a quarter of voters cast a ballot.
The question going forward is not just whether local media will bother to present an opposing viewpoint rather than allowing the St. Louis Tea Party to regurgitate their talking points. The main point is if the media will actually research the claims that they pass along to you – it’s little help if they simply turn churn out more he said, she said tripe.