The Tea Party movement may only be a few years old, but the beginning of the movement is often misunderstood and misreported. While the tea party is often portrayed as being purely an anti-Obama movement, the truth is that the Republican Party has always been as much a target as President Obama and his administration.
George W. Bush Years: Tensions Rise
While the tea party may have formerly started after Obama took office, anger over federal spending and a rapidly bloating government began to surface during the big-spending years of the George W. Bush administration. While Bush scored points with conservatives on his tax policies, he also fell into the trap of spending too much money that didn’t exist. He pushed for a large expansion of entitlements and, most dangerously, continued the Clinton-era policies that led to the collapse of the housing market and financial industries.
While conservatives opposed these big spending measures, it is also true that they lagged far behind their liberal-counterparts in vocalizing anger, showing up at Capitol Hill to protest, or rallying thousands of people at any given time to support a cause or oppose a policy. Until the rise of the tea party, the conservative idea of activism was to shut down the congressional switchboard. Yet despite one disappointment after the next from our elected leaders, voters continued to send the same people back year after year. It would take a major economic crisis to help