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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions


Change They Can't Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America

Change They Can

by Christopher S. Parker and Matt A. Barreto,
The Huffington Post, June 3, 2013

The Tea Party was born less than a month after Barack Obama was inaugurated as president. Reporting from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade for CNBC, libertarian Rick Santelli blasted the new administration for forcing Americans to pay for their neighbor's mortgage even though he had "an extra bathroom and can't pay his bills." Although Obama did not advocate a bailout for all homeowners, Santelli's call for a "Chicago tea party" caught the attention of Fox News and by April 15, 2009, income tax day, tea parties had been organized in 850 communities around the country. In the election of 2010, the Tea Party helped the Republicans capture 63 House seats, the largest number that had changed hands in more than 60 years, 11 governorships and 680 state legislative seats.


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