There is a huge CBS/NYT poll and article (Poll Finds Tea Party Backers Wealthier and More Educated) about the tea party members.

I was not surprised to read they skew older, white, Republican, better educated and higher income than the average American. I was surprised to read they favor Social Security and Medicare.

Towards the end of the article, I read a shocking data point. In the orgy of coverage of this poll and article generated, no one seemed to mention this:

The percentage holding a favorable opinion of former President George W. Bush = 57%

A substantial majority of Tea Party members hold a favorable opinion of the man that history will very likely deem the worst president in American History (Presidential Historians disagree as to whether he is in the bottom 3 or 5 as of today).

Its all you need to know about the Tea Party.

Category: Politics, Really, really bad calls

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

125 Responses to “The Only Tea Party Stat You Need to Know”

  1. And if a number of Tea Parties end up canceling their Big Picture RSS feeds, so be it.

    That is how I see it.

  2. Fredex says:

    If you find something that shocks you it is because you are not centered.

  3. lalaland says:

    even worse it’s because they think they empathize with him. a good man, misunderstood by the liberal media. (vomiting in my mouth).

  4. beatstreet says:

    I couldn’t care less about any Tea Parties, but I’m curious to know what % of say, registered Democrats, hold a favorable opinion of Jimmy Carter.? What % of this group believes each and every point made in “An Inconvenient Truth”

    Whatever these Tea Partiers are, its safe to say that their ranks are mostly filled by Republicans. Of course, a majority will have a favorable view of a Republican ex-President.

    Most folks tend to have a favorable view towards Presidents from their own party. Whatever W was, he kept Gore and Kerry away from the WH and made a couple of key Supreme Court appointments, and that is good enough for most. No need to make a big deal about it. Just typical politics.

  5. As long as people asked:

    -Carter was a terrible President (I hated the tone of the 1970s, and a lot of it was because of the Carter Malaise)

    -Reagan was over rated — mostly because from an economic standpoint, he got all the credit for Volcker’s work.

    -Nixon was under rated. You cant ignore Watergate, but the rest of his tenure wasn’t as bad as remembered (he was way too slow in getting out of Viet Nam)

    -Bush I Under rated

    -Clinton Over rated

    And it is way too early to judge Obama barely one year on. I am not happy with what I have seen, but its only year one !

  6. alfred e says:

    Based on my limited exposure to Tea Party leaders or initiators (I knew one in Washington state), they are something of a spin-off of CA proposition 13 thinking.

    They rail more at local progressives that pump property taxes and other state and local taxes than anything else.

    But they don’t mind using the “BSO is a socialist” approach to build national strength.

    IMHO, they’re probably people that used to feel pretty secure and wealthy, that are starting to feel a little insecure about their futures.

    But they are also enlisting the hard core anti-government thinkers.

    But the irony is a 57% favorable for Bush ignores the fact that he was one of the most profligate deficit spending presidents.

    @BR: Your site load and reload times are starting to bog down. Badly. Haven’t fingered the cause, but I sense it’s a result of success. Your loads link out to lots of sites for the advertising content. And they seem to be below the power curve.

  7. Forbes says:


    now those are two objective and unbiased media organizations

  8. Paul S says:

    I guess for that 57%, hindsight is a bit less than 20/20.

  9. postman says:

    George W. Bush will certainly be ranked near the bottom of US Presidents. But based on what I’ve seen so far, Barack Hussein Obama should be ranked as the worst ever. Although this blog focuses on the economy, Obama’s foreign policy disses democracies (e.g. Honduras, Colombia, Israel) and is overly solicitous of totalitarian regimes (e.g. BO couldn’t bother to give encouragement to the brave Iranians in the streets). Not to mention his apology tour and bonhomie with Ortega and Chavez. I could go on, but it’s not quite on this blog’s topic. I’m getting tired of the Bush bashing that presumes that Obama the disaster is an improvement. They’re both terrible, but at least Bush loved his country and was proud of it.

  10. Forbes says:

    Gallup (that fly by night polling organization) weighed in on the demographics of the Tea Party and had some interesting observations (albeit unreliable).

    April 5, 2010

    “PRINCETON, NJ — Tea Party supporters skew right politically; but demographically, they are generally representative of the public at large. That’s the finding of a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted March 26-28, in which 28% of U.S. adults call themselves supporters of the Tea Party movement….”

  11. scharfy says:

    I am slowly beginning to suspect that this blog leans democrat…

  12. JasRas says:

    Oh I love that this faux political group pretends they are anti-tax, anti-entitlement, anti-anit—unless it affects them. Speaks volumes.

    You see, as part of the younger generation that already knows their future entitlements are screwed by those boomer and older for a variety of reason (you run things, you make selfish, short-sighted decisions, you clasp to your entitlements while denying them for future generations, oh, and many of you screw ups did nothing to prepare for your own future by saving….the list goes on), It make my Republican bones want to vote for more Obama just to fu*% with you and re-destribute that wealth just to spite ya!

    Freakin’ knuckleheads are like a bunch of spoiled brats throwing a tantrum. Well, you were dealt a sweet hand in life, but you played it wrong! Nobody likes whiners.

  13. orangeshirt says:

    I was sick at how absolutely liberal Bush was when it came to spending, especially towards the end of his presidency. But he had principles and loved America and did everything in his power to protect it. Including calling Saddam’s bluff in his never ending quest to snub his nose at the UN’s mandates. Please don’t forget that Saddam was offered the chance to avert war and just submit to UN mandated inspections without any conditions. He chose the wrong path and there was only one world leader that had the balls to call his bluff. Also remember that every major national intelligence organization including those of muslim countries like Pakistan and Jordan, said that Saddam had WMDs. So, it wasn’t out of the question to make sure he wasn’t thumbing his nose at the UN mandates for a good reason.

    Anyway, I digress…

    I just got back from a tea party rally and I all I saw was a bunch of regular citizens who equate over taxation and burdensome debt to the seizing of liberties. Every dollar that is removed from our wallets is one more increment of lost liberty. We consent to a minimum of taxation so that we can live in a society that protects us from invaders and administers laws and contracts. But there is a tipping point with the consent of the governed when it comes to taxation. We have gotten to that point and the tea party is the natural outcome of that point in history.

    The question was asked at the party I was at, how many folks are protesting for the first time in their lives. A full 75% or more, raised their hand (including me). That tells you something. It’s what Nixon called the silent majority. It’s just that, things have gotten so bad that we’re no longer silent. And we will take back this country from the socialist leaning minority. You can be assured of that.

  14. RW says:

    Everyone has a right to their own opinions but no one has a right to their own facts: The stats are the stats and what anyone thinks of Carter or Gore is a non sequitur; utterly irrelevant.

    Tea party supporters (not necessarily all tea party participants) are overwhelmingly white, well off, college educated, conservative and in general approval of those whose policies helped us get where we are now (unless those who did were Democrats it appears).

    We get enough ad hominem, tu quoque and general asshat elsewhere: BR supplied data and offered his interpretation; deal with the data or go away.

    I am slowly beginning to suspect this blog leans reality …

  15. orangeshirt says:

    scharfy…. Ha! You think? :-)

  16. orangeshirt says:

    BR passes judgement on an entire group of people based on a single stat, in a single poll from a liberal polling organization which was designed from the outset to put that same group in a negative light.

    Its all you need to know about BR. (Using his reasoning, not mine.)

  17. normal1 says:

    I’m waiting for someone, anyone, to mention Peter Oliver’s Origin and Progress of the American Rebellion: A Tory View in relation to these tea partiers. Oliver’s story is spirited and revealing in that it revealed some unpopular facts, like how the patriots disguised themselves as Indians. Oh, and that basically the original tea party was another part of the false populism campaign, aided by propaganda and sensationalism. So, in a way, these new tp’s really are like their namesakes.

  18. davefromcarolina says:

    I’m tired of hearing about old white people who are angry because a man who is only half-white is President. If you want to be angry about Barack Obama, be angry because he is making Bush’s Imperial Presidency “bipartisan.”

  19. Jefferson says:

    I’m impressed at the level of reader retention this blog manages! They all hate the author, but return daily.

    Everyone knows the old saw: “A fool and his money are quickly parted”;

    Fewer know that “he who bets his ideology is a fool”.

    Even fewer act in the interest of their country, no matter their professed allegiances.

  20. Thor says:

    God – I can’t wait to hear what Franklin, Vendatta, DeDude, etc all think.

  21. DoctoRx says:

    Truman left office with the lowest approval rating ever: 23%. It’s far too soon to judge. For what little it’s worth, my worst modern Prez is Nixon. By far. Carter next -but he is viewed as marvelous by the media, so the public rates him uber-highly. Go figure.

  22. Thor says:

    I don’t think Carter is viewed marvelously by the media because they believe he was a good president. It is because of what he has done since he left office. Say what you will about his failed presidency, he has been extremely busy and involved since. Whether you agree with Carter today or not, you cannot argue that he has been a great humanitarian.

  23. cheese says:

    Considering that the Tea Party is certainly rightward leaning………..this particular stat also shows that Tea Party folks are probably more “open minded” than other politically active organizations.

    I’d love to see a poll on Jimmy Carter from an ANSWER or WTO protest……….

  24. cheese says:

    Or SEIU members for that matter………

  25. SteveG says:

    Read up on Carter and his recent books about Israel and his recent back-aways to pave the road for his namesake’s run for congress. Even his buddies at Emory University here in Atlanta have had to back away from him.

    Carter’s support of Israel’s enemies do not make him a humanitarian at all.

    Well I come here for finance fun facts, don’t need to read BR or anybody else’s political opinions on this blog. If I want good solid political information I’ll check with my favorite musicians or movie stars.

  26. rjtcm1 says:

    An Incredibly Ignorant, Arrogant Statement … so ditto to the first guy’s response …

    ” And if a number of Tea Parties end up canceling their Big Picture RSS feeds, so be it.

    That is how I see it. ”

    If you want to survive as an online viable online entity … stick to the FACTS !

  27. perra says:

    @ Postman

    “I could go on…”

    Thanks for resisting the urge.

    On another note, the “worst president” ranking is a great idea. Almost as useful as those CNBC multiple choice viewer polls.

  28. Chz says:

    I thought “W” was a good man, but an awful, awful president. So I guess I have a favorable opinion of him, but you have to understand the context. I lean Tea and I think your hatred / disgust with the man sometimes clouds what you put on the blog when his name is mentioned.

    I have a general unfavorable opinion of you as a man (your comment about having Tea folks CNXing their RSS feeds made me laugh – such petulance), but I still “like” your blog and find your insights interesting and informative. So what? Let’s move on and continue to tell me how to protect my assets in this economy, this administration, & this mess we got ourselves into. If you like baiting the conservative readers, go ahead, enjoy your cheap shot generalizations, but please don’t let that be the norm because it’s a net detractor and makes you look like a partisan hack.

    Oh, and please don’t berate me again about trying to get you to “censor” yourself, that’s not the point of this comment.

    RW – You say no one has a right to their own facts… You said, “in general approval of those whose policies helped us get where we are now”. I must have missed that question on the pol, can you point it out to me?

  29. dr.j says:

    Thor: Perhaps you must be reminded of the the Iran hostages and the sad hunkering down to accept the national malaise that Carter created and then lectured about to put his memory into some context. As for his great humanitarian work: he has wielded a hammer a bit (Christ was more of a carpenter and look what respect he gets from the Left for his humanitarian work) and then Carter acted as a voting observer. Get it? He is lauded for watching something happen. Sounds like “Being There” …I like to watch. Oops. “Being There” is the play book for Obama.

  30. toddie.g says:

    This Democrat knows Jimmy Carter was a terrible president. I’ll rank him as 3rd worst ever. Nixon for obvious reasons is 2nd worst. Hands down as worst ever is George W. Bush. All you need to know about Bush is that it was on his watch that we had a once in 100 years economic meltdown. That’s not even including using the cherry-picked manipulated intelligence to start an unnecessary war, putting the country on the road to bankruptcy, shredding the US Constitution, Hurricane Katrina, Harriet Meiers, illegal renditions, etc etc etc ad nauseam.

    Anyone who gives high marks to a president who presides over an economic meltdown on his watch is blind to reality.

  31. mullet14 says:

    So you’re saying 47% of tea party members hold a negative view of GW? Is that so ridiculous. What was their view on 9/12/09? They aren’t totally brainwashed. While they may be right leaning, they aren’t from Mars.

  32. VennData says:

    VennData asks: I’d like to meet some of the 43% of Tea Partiers who disapprove of Bush.

    A: ‘Missing Link’ Between Man And Apes ‘Found’

    VennData politely replies: Oh… OK thanks.

  33. TerryC says:

    I was not surprised to read they skew older, white, Republican, better educated and higher income than the average American. I was surprised to read they favor Social Security and Medicare.

    Your quote, Barry. Now try this one on for size…

    I was not surprised to read they skew younger, black/hispanic, Democrat, poorly educated and lower income than the average American. I was surprised to read they favor welfare and food stamps.

    One of these groups pays taxes, the other doesn’t. Just maybe the one that pays taxes has a reason to be pissed off at a Federal government that they feel is bankrupting them and their country in the name of staying in power and sucking up to special interests that often have no respect for their country/taxpayers themselves. Unfortunately, both of these groups can vote. Guess which group contains the most “voters”?

  34. wunsacon says:

    Thor, you think you need to hear from F411 or VennData to hear some invectives about the Tea Partiers? You gotta be kidding me!

    I was just saying to my wife right before coming home (and seeing this BR poll) how the Tea Partiers are “the worst the Republicans have to offer” and are the “dumbest people in the country”. These poll numbers confirm what I’ve been seeing/hearing from this group. I suspect intellectuals started this group. But, it’s long been hijacked. Since then, it’s managed to attract an astonishingly high concentration of stupid people. Not surprising they hired Sarah Palin to speak at their convention.

    The SEIU gets nowhere near the press as the “Tea Party” and isn’t billed as a political party.

    Like Obama, Jimmy Carter inherited a crapload of problems from Nixon. Did he create new problems? No, we muddled through. You Carter-bashers need to think to differentiate between (a) starting problems or exacerbating them and (b) dealing with fallout. It’s the difference between (a) encouraging or doing nothing to prevent fraudulent lending vs (b) coming into office after the bust and trying to keep the ship together.

  35. TerryC says:

    The worst president ever was a little farther back than most of you young people remember. His name was James Buchanan (Democrat) and he did absolutely nothing to prevent this country from fragmenting and starting a Civil War. And he was partially responsible for the deaths of more Americans (in total and as a percentage of population) than any other president.

  36. Thor says:

    Terry – So I take it that you’re against welfare and food stamps for the poorer, less educated dark folk. Do you also have a problem with welfare to the largely conservative corn farmers in this country? Have you ever actually looked farther than your straw man argument at the raw numbers? Look it up – take a guess who gets far more of a share of our tax dollars. So let’s end the subsidies to both poor people and American farmers shall we?

  37. Ignim Brites says:

    Let’s look at Bush’s record of accomplishment.

    (1) Saved the US economy from the consequences of the bursting of the dotcom bubble.
    (2) Saved the US economy from a collapse of the financial infrastructure after 9/11.
    (3) Saved the US airline industry from collapse after 9/11.
    (4) Rationalized Medicare by including a prescription drug benefit.
    (5) Liberated Afghanistan from the Taliban.
    (6) Liberated Iraq from Saddam Hussein.
    (7) Defeated Al Qaeda in Iraq.
    (8) Guaranteed the independence of Kosovo strenghtening the stability of the Balkans.
    (9) Fast tracked the expansion of NATO strengthening the future stability of Europe.
    (10) Made two of the best appointments to the Supreme Court in recent history.
    (11) Created a vast program for addressing the problem of HIV/AIDs in Africa.
    (12) Introduced the first measures of national accountability in US Public Education.
    (13) Paved the way for the election of an African American as President by having, successively, two African Americans in the highest profile cabinet position.
    (14) Laid the legal foundation for the prosecution of the war on terror.
    (15) Strengthened the integrity of the nation by respecting the wishes of a Democratic governor of Southern state to not immediately send in Federal troops after a natural disaster.

  38. Independent & Angry says:

    How come none of you guys blame Bush for 9/11 ?

    He was in office for nearly a year, received warning Al-Queda attack imminent — went to the Crawford ranch for a month in August, and came back a week before the attack to give a speech — about Stem Cell research.

    He should be held responsible as President.

    If it happened to Clinton or Gore 9 months into his term,t he right wing would be calling for his head. Why do you give him a free pass on this issue?

  39. bergsten says:

    Sorry, Barry, but I’ve got to call shenanigans — 57% isn’t a “substantial” majority. 50% would imply “don’t care either way.”

  40. Patrick Neid says:

    Dems hate Repubs, Repubs hate Dems. That’s just the way it is these days. The only good guys are Libertarians. hehehaha.

  41. changja says:


    You’re easily omitting the fact that in both parties, the education and income are actually bimodal.

    Democrats have a lot of support at the lower educated minority groups with low income but also have a lot of support at the higher end educated ranks. A very substantial % of college and postgraduate people are democratic.

    The same with republicans, they have a lot of support at the lower educated poor rural people but also a lot of support at the high end businessmen.

    BR supplied facts, that is it. And its no wonder that as these guys skew old, why they would favor social security & medicare, they’re the ones that are using it.

    Its damned hypocritical to say you want smaller government, less handouts, less benefits…for only for other people.

  42. wgj says:

    I’ve been lurking here about 2 yrs trying to decide if BR is intelligent or just making a few bucks blogging.
    No problem with earning a living BTW. But to quote “history” as to GWB’s legacy shows elementery school level intelligence, ie BIAS, ie BS. No one will know the true context of the GWB era for at least 30 yrs. Anything else is propaganda


    BR: Blogging is for fun. I manage assets for a living . . .

  43. bergsten says:

    Sorry, Barry, but I’ve got tu upgrade my “shenanigans” to “bullshit”:

    Here’s the actual survey results:

    The survey has 94 questions. Who is going to sit through 94 questions?

    Here’s one:
    q34 Which political figure in the United States living TODAY do you admire most?
    Tea Party
    Total Supporter
    % %
    Barack Obama 16 2
    Hillary Clinton 3 0
    Bill Clinton 9 2
    Jimmy Carter 3 2
    Newt Gingrich 3 10
    Sarah Palin 3 9
    George W. Bush 2 5
    George H.W. Bush 2 3
    John McCain 2 3
    Mike Huckabee 1 3
    Ron Paul 1 3
    Rick Perry 1 0
    Mitt Romney 1 5
    No one 4 5
    Other 13 24
    DK/NA 36 24

  44. bergsten says:

    Anyway, before WordPress did me in, I was going to suggest that there are WAY MORE scary results in the poll than whether 502.17 out of 811 people surveyed had a favorable opinion of Bush.

    If you believe their (unsubstantiated) numbers, 15% of those sampled never even HEARD of Bush.

  45. bergsten says:

    Finally, ask yourselves WHY this survey was taken. Perhaps it’s a tool to gauge the effectiveness of mass media propaganda?

  46. Understand the difference between bias and opinion.

    If you respond to a question from the gut, without thinking, analysis, observation — thats bias.

    If you evaluate the facts, run the data, crunch the numbers, analyze the facts and draw a conclusion — that’s a well founded opinion.

  47. Jojo says:

    You really need to implement thumbs up/thumbs down here. And not just for commenter’s. Also for the main article.

  48. bergsten says:

    @VD 10:41 it was more like 27% disapproved.

  49. bergsten says:

    One more, than I’m outa here…

    How did they IDENTIFY the Tea Baggerss?

    Question 1 is: “q1 Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?”, not “Are you a Tea Bagger”?

  50. TerryC says:

    Thor and Changja-

    I was merely playing Devil’s Advocate in putting up the mirror image quote to Barry’s quote. Looks like even you liberal/big spending/commie Democrats are thin skinned. Perhaps 307 million Americans are slightly more complex and hard to put in a neat little box than the news media and our politicians think they are. After all, even I admit it’s slightly possible (put not probable) that one or two people who watch CNN aren’t commies, and that one or two people who watch Fox aren’t fascists (well, maybe one, anyway).

    The CBS/NYT poll and article are just more conquer and divide, keep everyone at each other’s throats, and hope nobody notices what’s going on. Since every poll of ALL VOTERS shows approval of Congress in the low 20% range, It doesn’t look like any of the electorate is happy with ANYONE in Congress, all 535 of em (the 535 who get to vote, anyway). P.S. I’m SURE people who watch MSNBC are commies.

  51. Corporate_Lawyer says:

    Entertaining blog, but the man isn’t a political scientist or even particularly knowledgeable on the subject. Cut him some slack; he’s out of his depth. One wishes he realized as much.

  52. bergsten says:

    So, I lied. Tea Baggers self-identified out at question 82. At least, those who stuck it out that long…

    q82 Do you consider yourself to be a supporter of the Tea Party movement, or not?

  53. bergsten,

    those are, mere, ‘details’, don’t let them bog you down..

    past that, see the Post as the Rorshach-”Ink Blot” it is..

    Note: How many are, still, Trapped in the psuedo-*Reality that is “Left-Right”/ “(D)-(R)”..

    G-d knows Engineering and Science, holds, little sway, these days, maybe we can take a page from our Design friends and, still, realize that 2-d tells nothing–of any Picture worth Framing..

  54. TerryC Says: April 15th, 2010 at 11:52 pm


    nice point ~

  55. SOP says:

    I second Bergsten’s upgrade of “shenanigans” to “bullshit”:

    Also, my best guess is that Clinton, Bush and Obama will be among the Top 5 Worst Presidents in US history in Polls taken around 2020. And among the top 100 worst leaders in world history.

  56. Thor says:

    Terry – Oooooh, you were playing the other side. I apologize.

  57. Mike in Nola says:

    Barry, looks like you hit a nerve there. Lots of names here I don’t recognize.

    I read today they were cheering for Newt in Austin. Cheering a guy who would divorce his wife while she’s revovering from cancer surgery and leading the charge against Clinton while having an adulterous affair himself says enough for me about the morals of this group.

  58. MikeG says:

    I was surprised to read they favor Social Security and Medicare.

    Teabaggers know that Social Security and Medicare aren’t evil socialism paid for by taxes, but come from American Money Jesus, just like the Pentagon budget and war spending.

  59. milkman says:

    Gee Barry …..looks like you got some of Glen Becks army pissed off. They don’t like to hear anything but lies from faux and Lush the draft dodging drug addict…it confuses them. Keep up the good work and lets make some money in this Obama rally.

  60. dsawy says:

    If you think GW Bush is a president “that history will very likely deem the worst president in American History,” then you obviously were not paying attention in history class when James Buchanan and Woodrow Wilson were discussed. For not knowing that Buchanan is, without any doubt or peer, the worst POTUS in the nation’s entire history, you should have to repeat all of high school history over again or hand back your high school diploma and go get a GED.

    It is nonsensical twaddle like this that gives lie to your assertions that you’re skeptical of both parties.

    The United States has survived far worse, in multiple administrations, before GW Bush was even a gleam in his daddy’s eye.


    BR: Thats why some historians put him in the top (bottom) 3

  61. West says:

    IMO this post is way out of character from the normally insightful entries posted on this blog.

    The Tea Party has been successful in bringing issues of taxation, deficit spending, debt and government power to the forefront. I’m worried about my kids future given all of these questions. These are legitimate issues for debate regardless of who caused the problems.

    If you want to discredit the Tea Party, tell us what you don’t like about their policies. A fair and healthy debate is can bring people together. OTOH, discrediting those with different opinions serves only to divide.

  62. hdoggy says:

    Let’s try and be Bayesians here. Before this stat we could assume with almost 100% certainty that TEA partiers did not support Obama or they would not be protesting against Obama. We also know that most Bush supporters for the most part do not support Obama. I’ll gratuitously give that a 100% just for arguments sake. Given new information that 57% of TEA partiers approved of Bush and that 35% of Americans approved of Bush in his final term

    we only can say that

    1. Those that approved of Bush W, are more likely to approve of the TEA party movement which opposes Obama. 57% of TEA partiers vs. 35% the American population at the end of Bush’s term.

    2. Not all TEA partiers approved of Bush because 43% of TEA partiers did not approve of Bush so there is a large contingent that opposes both Bush and Obama.

    Barry did not stay unbiased in this case. He summarally associated 100% of the TEA party movement to 57% of TEA partiers that supported Bush without considering that in a random sample, it’s only a 22% spread over a normal population and that can fully be explained by the slightly higher tendancy of Bush supporters to oppose Obama. He also discounted the 43% that diapproved of Bush and still support the TEA party movement. I think Barry loved the confirmation this story provided him and consequently did not do a Bayesian analysis of the new info. Instead, he just held on to his bias like a perma bear holding on to his short.

  63. CTB says:

    These days everyone self-selects their news sources. So most people end up thinking that the other half is criminally insane. It’s a scary path we’re being led down — a mass delusion. People are being incited. I hope it finds an outlet.

    Apparently Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan are nearly universally at or near the bottom. Woodrow Wilson actually rates fairly high. Mr. Teapot Dome, Warren G. Harding, is also very low.

  64. riverrat says:

    I guess I’m not all that surprised by this, because while the Tea Party movement may not have been entirely Republican to start with, it is in the process of being rapidly co-opted by them. And as pointed out above, Republican partisans are likely to hold a favorable opinion of Bush II, no matter what the evidence shows regarding his legacy.

    What I’d like to know is why, if they are so concerned about deficit spending, the Tea Party activists weren’t making this kind of noise while Bush was busy doubling the national debt by way of his idiotic combination of an unnecessary war and tax cuts. The fact that they weren’t suggests that there is not a significant difference between a Tea Partier and a Republican.

  65. Hey You says:

    Barry, its ok to pretend to be unbiased and make the arguments that get you invited or quoted at the better cocktail parties. Sounds to me that the tea party crowd might actually take some personal and financial responsibilty in their lives. How un American!! But could it be the Emporer truly has no clothes?

  66. Hey You says:

    I have left a few stupid comments before; I might have reached the pinnacle of irrelevant inane comments with the 1:51 am post. My apologies.

  67. hdoggy says:

    I live in CO and the GOP is toying with the idea of legal pot to get young voters. It’s already legal here so if that is their last straw then they are desparate. The head’s been cut off. Let’s become whigs again.

  68. Event_horizon says:

    “Anyone who gives high marks to a president who presides over an economic meltdown on his watch is blind to reality.”

    So let me get this straight, you are criticizing the Bush administration for the failed policies of: Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin, Phil Gramm, Larry Summers, the GSE’s, the congressionally-underfunded SEC, and the list goes on and on…

    Sorry, toddie.g, that’s a pretty moronic viewpoint….

  69. FrancoisT says:

    Ignim Brites Says:

    “Made two of the best appointments to the Supreme Court in recent history.”

    Dude! I must have the contact info of whomever provide you what you smoke. Must be great stuff man..the real deal!

  70. Event_horizon says:

    One other thing… I’m always amused at all the poor saps who can’t seem to think for themselves and therefore adopt the latest partisan “party line”. Capital Hill is laughing their collective asses off at you people…

    The two-party political system is nothing more than an illusion to fool the populace and divide it through partisan bickering, thereby deflecting attention from the fact that both parties and all branches of government are corrupt to the core. While the Tea Party movement in its current form may not be ideal, we should all be welcoming the continued efforts towards the creation of a true independent third party option.

  71. troubled times says:

    Zombies have taken over and before they get control of the airways i hope someone creates a political ” Night of the Living Dead ” movie so the Martains understand what happened here

  72. joe g says:

    why bring up politics and insult probably more than half your audience?

  73. xSiliconValleyEE says:

    I’m baffled by this poll. How did the pollsters identify “Tea Party Supporters”?

    At first read, I don’t think this poll has any validity in determining the views of the “Tea Partiers”. They give a N of 881 for “Tea Party Supporters”, about half of the total, but I didn’t see their explicit definition of how they selected the “Tea Party Supporters”.

    It seems that they may have asked the question “Do you consider yourself a supporter of the the Tea Party movement, or not?”, such as question 82 in this poll. But, this is a generic question, not a specific question.

    A far better way of determining who is a “Tea Partier” would be question 84: “Have you supported the Tea Party movement by donating money, or attending a rally or meeting, have you done both, or have you done neither?”
    But, in this poll, only 20% of their 881 “Tea Party Supporters” have donated money, attended a rally/meeting, or done both. This 20% that has actively supported the Tea Party movement should be the ones polled as “Tea Partiers”, not ones who answer a generic question. If fact, in question 85 of this poll, only 31% of their “Tea Party Supporters” have even visited a Tea Party website.

    I don”t believe the conclusions being drawn by the media and others that this poll represents the views and characteristics of the “Tea Partiers” are valid. They need to take a poll of the people who have actively donated to the “Tea Party” movement, or attended a “Tea Party” rally/meeting, to determine the characteristics and views of the “Tea Partiers”.

    There’s a saying that 72% of statistics are faked. This poll falls in that 72%. It’s just not valid for the conclusions being drawn from it.

  74. Jason Crowell says:

    (1) Saved the US economy from the consequences of the bursting of the dotcom bubble.

    By creating a new one.

    (2) Saved the US economy from a collapse of the financial infrastructure after 9/11.

    Eh…I remember that, it didn’t do much damage to our financial infrastructure.

    (3) Saved the US airline industry from collapse after 9/11.

    Yeah, I might give him that.

    (4) Rationalized Medicare by including a prescription drug benefit.

    A horribly designed, unfunded half-wit plan. Doughnut hole? Does ANYBODY on the goddamn planet think that doughnut hole made any sense?

    (5) Liberated Afghanistan from the Taliban.

    Would have been nice if he’d been paying attention while the Taliban returned.

    (6) Liberated Iraq from Saddam Hussein.

    Would have been nice if he’d used the resources needed for that.

    (7) Defeated Al Qaeda in Iraq.

    Dumb. Al Qaeda wasn’t even IN IRAQ until we created a near anarchic state for them to enter. Al Qaeda was based in Afghanistan/Pakistan

    (8) Guaranteed the independence of Kosovo strenghtening the stability of the Balkans.
    (9) Fast tracked the expansion of NATO strengthening the future stability of Europe.

    Europe is already pretty stable, but that would be a gimme. I could do that blindfolded and standing on my head.

    (10) Made two of the best appointments to the Supreme Court in recent history.

    Harriet Miers. Least qualified appointment since Abe Fortas, or before.

    (11) Created a vast program for addressing the problem of HIV/AIDs in Africa.

    One of the few ACTUAL good things on the list.

    (12) Introduced the first measures of national accountability in US Public Education.

    While I agree with the general idea, it was designed and implemented with the typical Bush ability.

    (13) Paved the way for the election of an African American as President by having, successively, two African Americans in the highest profile cabinet position.

    Err…how is nominating qualified people to positions they’re qualified such a revolutionary event?

    (14) Laid the legal foundation for the prosecution of the war on terror.

    Yeah, “They’re illegal combatants cuz I say they are and we can use “enhanced interrogation tactics on them”…if Clinton did that to oh…Tim McVeigh, the right would likely go into seizures screaming “fascism! camps to hold political opponents” (well…actually, they did without Clinton doing that…)

    (15) Strengthened the integrity of the nation by respecting the wishes of a Democratic governor of Southern state to not immediately send in Federal troops after a natural disaster.

    OK, given the robust fantasy life you’ve shown by saying that George Bush’s SCOTUS appointments are the best in recent history, I’m going to ask for confirmation on this one (from somewhere reliable, NewsMax and their highbrow spinoff Fox are not reliable)

  75. Conquistador says:

    It’s odd on a number of levels that a guy with an Econ. background takes time out to bash a group that has “reckless government spending” as one of its main concerns. Cherry picking a single question out of a huge survey is reckless statistical thinking. You need to hang out with your buddy, Kedrosky more – he’s got a much better handle on Stats.

    For all of GWB’s many faults – why is it that so many of his policies (e.g. Drone strikes, Guantanamo, Surveillance, etc) were soundly criticized, then embraced and retained by the current administration?

  76. At Tea Party Rallies, a Fox News Presence

    More than any other major news outlet, the Fox News Channel has aligned itself with the Tea Party movement.

    On Thursday, the movement was back in the news as rallies that coincided with the April 15 deadline for filing income tax forms took place across the country. Other cable news channels have reporters at the rallies, but only Fox has sent two of its biggest stars to be the hosts of hour-long programs from the event sites.

    Neil Cavuto, the 4 p.m. host on Fox News and an executive at the sister network Fox Business, is in Atlanta for a rally there, and Sean Hannity, the 9 p.m. host on Fox News, is in Cincinnati for a rally and a signing of his best-selling book.

    In both cases, local organizers are promoting the Fox’s presence at the rallies. In Cincinnati, seats beside Mr. Hannity’s stage were sold for $20 to $100. The money is to go to a group called the Cincinnati Tea Party.

    For more than a year Fox has faced accusations that it is promoting the Tea Party movement. On April 15 last year, four of Fox’s programs were broadcast from protest sites, and the Fox host Glenn Beck said that viewers could “celebrate with Fox News” by attending or tuning in. That month the liberal media watchdog Media Matters published a number of examples of what it called promotion of the Tea Party by Fox.

    Asked by Media Matters about the programming, the News Corporation chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch said earlier this month: “I don’t think we should be supporting the Tea Party or any other party. But I’d like to investigate what you are saying before I condemn anyone.”

    The network often differentiates between its opinion shows, which feature people like Mr. Cavuto and Mr. Hannity, and its daytime news shows. Opinion shows make up the majority of Fox’s weekday schedule.

    In its commercials for Mr. Cavuto’s program this week, Fox said he would be “covering” the Atlanta rally. Notably, Mr. Beck, who attended an April 15 rally in Texas last year, is not taking his show on the road this year.

    Fox is clearly the favored network among supporters of the Tea Party. A New York Times-CBS News poll found that 63 percent of self-described Tea Party supporters gain most of their television news from Fox, compared to 23 percent of all Americans.

  77. Dennis says:

    Hey guys — haven’t you figured out yet that when BR does one of these provocative posts late at night, he is trying to get you to react?

    The comment stream has just given him another night of laughs . . .

  78. Sometimes I get bored and like to rile up the natives.

  79. wrongtrade says:

    Well this is first and foremost a financial blog and, regardless of the politics, there is one thing I can say I learned and will always remember from one of BR’s earlier posts. That is to NOT LET ONE’S POLITICAL VIEWS CLOUD ONES INVESTMENT DECISIONS. I think we did see this between 2004-2007 (when Democrats sat out the rally), and I personally had 2M in cash after BO was elected (and in March 2009) that I could not bring myself to invest because I was so disgusted with the political environment. It caused me to be too negative (even at Dow 6600!), and some of this is still going on today. I hope to not repeat the same mistake. The sentiment cycle charts posted yesterday are also unbelievably informative and will be printed and included in my ‘best ideas’ folder.

  80. perra says:

    Summa summarum, they are a kinky bunch.

  81. Moss says:

    The Tea Party reminds me of an inflatable object which is used for various purposes.

  82. philipat says:

    Which goes to prove that the educated middle class in the US has liitle or no judgement? This is perhaps why the balance of the civilised world is so sceptical regarding the competence of the US as a civilised people?

  83. Donald says:

    Everyone has a right to their own opinions but no one has a right to their own facts:

    I don’t trust any “facts” put out by the MSM, corporations or government.

  84. Donald says:

    Event_horizon Says:

    The two-party political system is nothing more than an illusion to fool the populace and divide it through partisan bickering, thereby deflecting attention from the fact that both parties and all branches of government are corrupt to the core. While the Tea Party movement in its current form may not be ideal, we should all be welcoming the continued efforts towards the creation of a true independent third party option.

    I agree with Event, but I’m not sure what to make of the TEA party yet. I suspect the same logic behind the Dems running Hillary and Obama in hopes of mindlessly attracting previously disenfranchised demographics is a play with the TEA party. I also agree that it is the “silent majority”. What better time to capture and abuse a mass of people!

  85. philipat says:

    Any movement credited to have been started by Santelli and/or CNBC must be questionable? The sad thing is that the Tea-baggers do have SOME merit in a totally corrupt and disfunctional US political system. How do intelligent people in the US return some sort of sanity to Washington and US democracy? Without “Do you miss me yet “W”?”

  86. Fredex says:

    It’s time to drop the term teabagger. It really is hate speech.

  87. Pat Shuff says:

    Rule #1 of the face-time punditry and poll-dancer gig is throw incendiaries early, throw incendiaries often.
    Rule #2 is refer to #1. See: the crocodilian Coulter.

    Expropriating the property of the haves
    for showering on the have nots and antisocial engineering
    programs tends to evaporate in the altitudes before
    moistening the ground at the Animal Farm. When one
    hears ‘teabagger’ fondly uttered for its undertones of
    cutesie-tootsie perverted sexual act innuendo, in all
    feminization fairness, the Golden Showerers are saying it.

  88. wunsacon says:

    For almost as long as Fox has been blabbering about the Tea Party, I recognized them as a “new home” for neocons embarrassed by their drubbing in the last election. They haven’t changed their ideas. This stat showing their support for Dubya supports my early interpretation.

    Did you notice how the “Tea Party” membership was limited until Fox started hyping it and basically *promoted* it? So, in a way, you can think of the Tea Party now as a kind of “Murdoch Customer Loyalty Program” or PBS-like “viewer sponsorship” / perpetual fund-raiser.
    - Our own Fox host, Sarah Palin, spoke at the first Tea Party convention.
    - With your pledge of $50, you’ll receive this decorative tea bag.
    - Your favorite Fox anchors will be covering today’s events.
    - You, too, can feel like you’re part of the solution. Come down and join the party!
    - Remember: keep watching Fox News!

  89. bsneath says:

    BR You are acting like the man behind the curtain.

    First you make a blatantly biased comment. Then you opine a broad conclusion.

    You get feedback that points out the flaws in your thinking and suddenly it was just all “fun and games”.

    Please admit (to yourself first) that you are more liberal & less objective than you think yourself to be.

  90. Mark Down says:

    ‘Wealthier and Educated’ [jury still out on that]

  91. dussasr says:

    The reason that the Tea Party movement is gaining steam is because there are so many people that are disaffected by both main parties. Republicans used to be known as the fiscally conservative party. They still talk about smaller government, but yet they expand it at every turn.

    I used to avoid voting for third parties for fear of wasting my vote. I now realize that voting for either a Democrat or a Republican would be a waste of a vote. Both parties are spending us to ruination and creating a huge government to take our liberties.

    The Libertarian Party most closely matches my ideology of smaller government, more freedom, and lower taxes. If you are not familiar with what this party stands for please check them out at www.

  92. ashpelham2 says:

    I just can’t believe no one has asked my opinion on this topic :D.

    If this economy takes a double dip and we resend back into the depths, Bush is my vote for worst President ever. My justification is that his party and his appointees made decisions that impacted this country not only at the time they were in office, but for years afterward. Another double dip is a result of the previous recession, so the two are linked. This recession that we are, hopefully, coming to the tail end of, is the direct result of Bush and Greenspan’s inattentiveness at the helm. With all the knowledge Greeny has, you’d think he’d have had the foresight to see credit bubbles blowing up huge. You’d think Bush would have been an economic leader enough to question long-standing policies, and do things that would prop up the economy after 9/11, but would pull the plug on those initiatives once things got too hot.

    No one did their job. Asleep at the wheel, waging war on everyone in the middle east after 9/11, and generally leading like a 14 year old kid on the board game RISK.

    Worst President ever. And I voted for him twice. I voted for John McCain on the last election. And I don’t call myself a Republican. I don’t claim that party as far as I can throw it, and the same goes for the Dems. I am aggressively in favor of Independence, and candidates not tied to money or politics as usual, who don’t make promises just to get into office. Good luck finding one of those.

    Ron Paul will likely be my selection in 2012, if he runs.

  93. catman says:

    Bush LOVED America. Bush was PROUD of America . Give a shit.

  94. IdahoSpud says:

    What is despicable about the Tea Party (and their previous incarnation, “movement conservatives”), is the legitimization of the view that we owe nothing to Americans who are far less fortunate than ourselves.

    They stir up bitter emotions about having to pay taxes to help out people in poverty. Meanwhile they completely ignore the vastly larger subsidies that our government gives to banks, agribusiness, and war profiteers like Halliburton.

    When did it become legit to call yourself a Conservative Christian, and then turn around and bitch about helping out the poor, as Jesus taught us to do?

  95. ubnutsagain says:

    Having initially read BR’s mindless posting and then all the comments (yup, all of them), and while the comments contain some rather insightful observations blessed with common sense, this particular TBP thread nevertheless qualifies as the biggest pile of bu!!sh*t ever to appear at TBP.

    It fully confirms the underlying reason my grandfather gave me 55 years ago when he advised: “Don’t ever discuss religion and politics with others because all you’ll do is reveal yourself as a fool.”

    Now, howzabout getting back to tha fine ol’ American tradition … turning a buck in the markets.

  96. DM RTA says:

    Once upon a time right and left was defined by views that supported larger and smaller federal government. These days both parties have moved that view out to the strained edges of political thought.
    ‘It is just not possible right now, right?’
    The blog that gave us a very critical view of bailouts might be the perfect blog to give us a credible perspective on just how it is that this traditional thinking has been pushed out of the mainstream…

    Special interests and military interests only get hurt by “smaller” thinking, so they covet the legislative process. Then, this winter the courts tell us ‘money talks, period’.

    Now we get this: if you want a smaller government you must’ve loved GWB even though he grew spending more than most Presidents? Dance around the ins and outs as you wish but how many of your headline readers made it down a thread this long to feel the fine points of your thinking?

  97. hue says:

    this is not a valid poll. why didn’t CBS/NYT ask if Tea Partiers worship Ayn Rand? and if they plan to go Galt

  98. jconners says:

    It’s disappointing to see this blog posting. I always consider the “Big Picture” as a place for rational, long-term economic analysis. All of today’s political discourse about whether Bush or Obama is the “worst president” ever really smacks of myopia, given many of our country’s problems have been generations in the making. Also, it’s like blaming the star quarterback everytime a team loses. Presidents only have a certain degree of influence over our political and economic environment. Hopefully this post is an anomoly and BR will refocus on analysis and less on petty political name calling.