Tea Party Movement: Something more than the hyperbole and Drama to watch here. “Open for Debate” is on it.

I’ve learned how to use RSS  feeds and Google Reader so I’m getting a nice stream of information on lots of subjects related to politics, collaboration and change.  The Tea Party movement is a bigger story than I realized and it is unfolding right before our eyes.  It is a substantial movement in its own right and it is something to watch and learn from for those of us in the business of  shifts, movements and organizing for change.  My work with the Transpartisan Alliance (and related movement) has me on the edge of my chair watching the Tea Party thing unfold.  So, the New York Times has a running commentary (aptly named “Room for Debate”) on the Tea Party phenomenon that offers many thoughtful perspectives on this interesting subject.  An excerpt follows, click on images or links for the voluminous running commentary site.  Enjoy.  Walt

“The NBC/W.S.J. poll shows that Americans are somewhat divided in their impression of the Tea Party Movement, with 28 percent having a positive impression of the movement and 21 percent a negative impression (20 percent were neutral, and 31 percent were unsure or hadn’t heard of the movement).”  Neil Newhouse

The Tea Party movement may be fringe no more. Americans feel less negatively about it than than they feel about the Democrats or the Republicans, according to the NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey released last week. The latest Field Poll in California found that 3 in 10 surveyed identified with the movement.

The Republicans are working to marshal Tea Party support for their candidates. The Democrats, meanwhile, see an opportunity to use the movement as a wedge between moderate independents and Republicans — or at least to characterize the G.O.P. as tea party central.

Is this a typical third-party movement? Are mainstream parties ever able to co-opt third-party messages and members?


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