« No Shit, There I Was In The Congo, Part 2 | Main | They See Me Rollin'. They Hatin' »

August 22, 2011


Craig Moorea

From your linked study:

The academic study, Cultures of the Tea Party, purports to break down the cultural attitudes of Tea Party loyalists, through a mix of polling data and interviews with tea partiers at a gathering in eastern North Carolina.

So projecting the results from eastern North Carolina doesn't suggest a certain bias to a good 'ol boy like you?

Craig Moorea

I just realized that I screwed up typing my name. That stiffy in my left hand little finger was due to arthritis and not as a consequence of excitement.



Craig, sincerely, please do not misspell your name in comments. My initial reaction to that is to delete on viewing, given the behavior of a certain "Tokarski". I don't appreciate the added work to discover whether it's actually you commenting. No offense meant, but you know full well I have reason for suspicion.

As you followed the links, you know that the polling data supports the interviews, and vice versa. Claiming that what is evident is "bias" is the weakest of all defense. This study exactly mirrors the conclusions of my copious encounters with the Tea Party in Montana.

And, for the love of Pete, whatever gave you the idea that I'm a "good ole' boy"?

Dave Budge

Riddle me this; how can they square "authoritarianism" with "libertarianism"?


That's a post in and of itself, Dave. I've blurbed about it before, but will try and do better in the future.

Dave Budge

Just a few of thoughts:

1)Many people who call themselves "libertarian" are not and have no real understanding of the idea. It's increasingly fashionable. This could be a problem in that data or it's interpretation.

2)It's also possible that the those interpreting the results don't understand the meaning of "libertarianism" as well. My experience informs me that there are many educated people who have substantive misunderstandings of it in the context of political philosophy.

3)It seems to me that Constitutional Originalists who call for amending the Constitution are not necessarily afraid of change. I think the data is self-contradictory. They admit that but conclude only with an assumption (at least what was reported.)

4)The article is also unclear as to whether the authors mean that there are four basic traits for the group or if there are four basic sub-sets in the data. If the later is true then the reporting could be highly misleading. for example, if there is a group of authoritarian submissive and a group of libertarians side by side in the Tea Party Movement, the reporting doesn't mention the distribution. The outcome would be interpreted differently of one group was 20% and the other 80%. I would be interested in knowing if that was discussed.

That said, I don't put much stock in any of this insofar as I know the challenges in defining sociological demography. The results could well be right and it's an interesting exercise. It's also important to understand that what we learn from a press release may or may not reflect the nuance of the findings and often won't list the limiting factors which, if the study is worth a damn, the authors included. I can't find the source document so I don't have any idea.

I would, above all, argue that such a study is hardly dispositive and the problem is that it will be promoted by some as being so.

Big Swede

When I think of the conception of libertarianism I'm reminded of one of my wife's posters which hung in here apt. off MSU campus. It read "You go your way I'll go mine and if per chance we meet, it's groovy.

TP members are reactionary, in your face. John Stossel's a wimp. Neal Boratz bemoans open carry at rallies. Niether would be caught dead dressing as Indians and ransacking a vessel.

Dave Budge

Swede, you kinda make my point.

Big Swede

Always consider the audience Dave.


Swede, being "reactionary" implies that you aren't a libertarian. Whether you see it or not, Dave rather eloquently argued that.

Dave, thank you for arguing, yet again, that libertarianism is a political philosophy and not a fashion. However, that's a distinction without a difference (as you realize) in this modern world. There are as many flavors of "libertarian" as there are "liberals", and the bulk of all will argue for their own view being the 'correct' one. If you missed anything, and I kinda think you did, it is the power of self-identification.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have something a little more personal to attend to.

Dave Budge

But libertarianism is a political philosophy. And those of us that are deeply invested in the study of it get tired of it being used by either embarrassed republicans or libertine assholes (aka Bill Maher.) It's not a distinction without a difference.

But none of that really has to do with the value of the study in question. And from what I can tell it was the authors who shoehorned people into the label - not self-identification.

It's not a distinction without a difference.

It shouldn't be, I agree. But it is. You own critique of the "study in question" shows that it is. And that based mostly on "self-identification.

Dave Budge

But, but, but... there is nothing in the article about Tea Party sympathizers "self-identifying" as libertarians. It's the researchers assigning them that and, hence, the irreconcilable observation.

I'll just leave it at that since, in the scheme of things, it's really not worth additional debate.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Read This!

Friends like Family

Blog powered by Typepad