It is a misnomer and political miscalculation for detractors and supporters of the tea party movement to view it strictly as a recoil to President Barack Obama and his policies.
Indeed, as leading conservative activists, thinkers and writers said this week, millions of conservative Americans seethed in quiet discontent over the spending and growth of the federal government under Republican George W. Bush. Only the fight against terrorism kept the fire from breaking out under Bush's watch.
Some trace the tea party's roots as far back as Bush's decision to endorse then-Republican Sen. Arlen Specter in stead of his limited-government primary opponent, Pat Toomey, in a 2004 Pennsylvania Senate primary
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Tea Party Origins
Although Rick Santelli gave a name to the tea party movement, the underlying sentiment had been building for some time. Reporting on a Bradley Center panel about the movement, Chuck Raasch writes: