What is the 'tea party' and how is it shaking up American politics?
Here's your guide to FAQs about the tea party: What is the tea party? How did the movement get started? Could it determine the balance of congressional power?
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
In recent months, the "tea party" movement has swept across the political landscape, sending shivers through both major political parties and shaking up this year’s midterm elections.
What began as a minor insurgency featuring protesters waving signs of dubious syntax, followed by racially tinged conspiracies about President Obama’s lineage and religion and ostentatiously displayed firearms – and cheered on by some conservative commentators and bloggers – is now winning elections that could determine the balance of power in the US Congress. (The main question here is, does the trend favor Republicans or Democrats?)
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The “Taxed Enough Already” movement took initial aim at federal government attempts to bail out and then stimulate a faltering economy – attempts that had begun during the Bush administration – as well as at the Obama administration’s push for health-care insurance reform.
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