For all those wackjob birthers captured on film wearing frilly lady blouses and triangle hats, there were thousands of ordinary people just living their lives, being regular, and not liking how their Republican Party had turned out. And even though Tea Party members tend to skew toward older, middle-class white guys, their overall demographics aren't that far from the rest of the country. Of course, regular people are about as riveting as dry toast, so they didn't get much screen time. Which is why it came as such a shock to everyone when 32 percent of Tea Party-affiliated candidates won their elections.
By focusing in on the assclowns the media painted a picture that not only wasn't accurate, but pretty much made constructive political discourse impossible. They didn't just fail to do their job -- they did the opposite of their job, and they've been doing it for years.
Like back in the 1960s, when they homed in on long-haired hippies dancing like spazzes and plugging every orifice they could with flowers, then declared these ding-dongs the voice of their generation. In reality, most kids from the 60s never looked like that or behaved that way, but that doesn't mean they inherently supported the war in Vietnam or were opposed to civil rights. They just weren't part of the hippie fringe. Look at your mom's (or grandma's?) yearbook if you don't believe us. Or look at this picture from Woodstock.
In case you can't tell, most of the guys are sporting relatively short hair ... at Woodstock.
So when we watched coverage of O'Donnell and the Tea Party this year, we were only getting the bonkers half of the picture. Now that CNN is teaming up with the Tea Party Express to host the Republican debates next year, we'll probably see a lot fewer costumed revolutionaries. But everyone will just assume the Tea Party cleaned up its act, when in reality it will be CNN.
Be sure to read the entire thing. Even the Jay Leno/Conan O'Brien dust up that. . . Wasn't.