First there was a "Tea Party" whose members said they did not care about party, but principle. They railed against corporate America's tax-funded bailouts, they demanded more transparency at the highest levels of government, and they stuck up for the little guy against the establishment.
Though predominately composed of "right-leaning" Americans (whatever that means), their anger at a shady, secretive, corporate establishment should have made even Michael Moore proud. Indeed, they echoed the very themes of President Barack Obama's campaign- change, transparency, reform, accountability. In 2009 something truly amazing seemed to be happening in America- an army of white, middle-class, middle-age Americans were actually raging against "the machine"!
When it came down to it, they proved their earnestness and "principle-before-party" politics in the NY-23 special election by opposing the Republican candidate for not being principled enough. Instead they threw their support behind a virtually unknown third party candidate, Doug Hoffman. This gave lie to the claim that the "Tea Baggers" (as they've often been called) were simply hacks of the Republican machine. If that were the case, why would the GOP direct them to support a non-Republican and cause the GOP to lose a seat it has held for over a century?
But where is the Tea Party now?
Click here to find out.