The important Tea Party movement, which stretches from centrist Republicans to independents right through to centrist Democrats, understands this at a gut level...This = "our politics has become just another form of sports entertainment, our Congress a forum for legalized bribery and our main lawmaking institutions divided by toxic partisanship to the point of paralysis."
... and is looking for a leader with three characteristics. First, a patriot...A patriot isn't a characteristic. It's a type of person.
Second, a leader who persuades Americans that he or she actually has a plan not just to cut taxes or pump stimulus, but to do something much larger — to make America successful, thriving and respected again.A leader isn't a characteristic.
And third, someone with the ability to lead in the face of uncertainty and not simply whine about how tough things are — a leader who believes his job is not to read the polls but to change the polls.Someone isn't a characteristic.
Convert those 3 items to characteristics: patriotism, leadership, and... uh... leadership. That's what the real tea partiers know and the kettlefolk can't get through their steam-puffed noggins.
Democratic Pollster Stan Greenberg told me that when he does focus groups today this is what he hears: “People think the country is in trouble and that countries like China have a strategy for success and we don’t....”Here it comes. The part of the Friedman column where we find out that China does it better. This time, a pollster is rolled out to mouth what I presume is the thesis of Friedman's new best seller.
And supposedly, Friedman has told us what the "real Tea Party" is. As for the Tea Party movement that he says is fake and would like to disparage as "Tea Kettle":
That is not to say that the energy behind it is not authentic (it clearly is) or that it won’t be electorally impactful (it clearly might be)....Impactfully yours, Thomas Friedman.