Lefty academics convene in Berkeley to try to make sense of the Tea Party movement

Historians in the News

[David Weigel is a Slate political reporter and MSNBC contributor]

BERKELEY, Calif.—On the night before we are scheduled to address this conference, the Tea Party experts are treated to a meal at the Faculty Club. It sounds fancy, and it is, with the feel and décor of a Sundance ski lodge. Over craft beers, wine, and cheese, we discuss that favorite topic of liberal academics: What the hell happened to Barack Obama? Why does the right have all the energy that he and the left used to own?...

We sit down and we're given the full details for the conference: "Fractures, Alliances, and Mobilizations: Emerging Analyses of the Tea Party Movement." It's the first event of its kind hosted by Berkeley's two-year-old Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements. The San Francisco Chronicle's Debra Saunders and I are two reporters invited to speak; everyone else is an academic, a think tanker, or a political researcher. One of the authors of the NAACP's report on "Tea Party Nationalism" is here, as is Nixonland author Rick Perlstein....

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John D. Beatty - 10/27/2010

The "left" has no concept of what the "right" has been grousing about, and never can, any more than the "right" can describe accruately wha the "left" really stands for.