His thesis is that American conservatism is going through the clichéd stages of grief over the Democratic triumph in 2008 -- denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance -- and that the teabaggers are now in that angry stage where many of us found ourselves in the early years of the Dubya regime.The attack on the Republican establishment by the tea party folks grabs the gaze like a really bad horror flick — some version of “Hee Haw” meets “28 Days Later.” It’s fascinating. But it also raises a serious question: Are these the desperate thrashings of a dying movement or the labor pains of a new one?
One less humorous take on the tea party movement is hinted at in a companion opinion piece in today's Times from Gail Collins prompted by the Washington Wizards' Gilbert Arenas and his recent problem with gun possession. She cites the fact that the vast majority of Americans, and even 82% of NRA members, want to be able to prevent terror suspects from buying guns at unregulated gun shows, and wonders about the minority opinion.
My guess is that all 9% of these gun nuts are also angry teabaggers. This angry minority on the right wing's fringe is much better armed than the hard-core opposition to George W. Bush was in 2002-2003.
Let us pause for a moment to consider the 9 percent of respondents who said they thought this was a bad idea. Perhaps they live in the same compound with the 1 out of 10 dentists who did not think patients who chewed gum should go for the sugarless kind.