In 2006, long before costume shops first began selling tri-corner hats to early adopters of the tea party movement, professors David E. Campbell and Robert D. Putnam “interviewed a representative sample of 3,000 Americans” about their “political attitudes.” By re-interviewing many of the same people this summer, they were able to determine what type of person eventually became a tea partier. Some of what they found is about as shocking as an episode of Full House: Current tea-party supporters were likely to have been “highly partisan Republicans,” and “even compared to other white Republicans, they had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president.” One finding that is actually revealing, though:
It’s no coincidence that Rick “I’ll Have God Fix All of Our Problems” Perry and Michele “I’ll Have God Pick My Campaign Staff” Bachmann combined captured 60 percent of the tea party movement’s support in the latest GOP primary poll. Of course, “more God” and “less government” are hardly mutually exclusive — in fact, some tea partiers, like Jim DeMint, see them as one in the same. Whoa, wait, we just had a thought: Would it be possible for God to make a government so small that even he couldn’t fit inside of it? Sorry for blowing your minds.
This post has been updated from an earlier version.