Mad As Hell
How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System
Publication Date: September 2010
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The riotous tea parties and angry town hall meetings of last summer seemingly took everyone by surprise. They shouldnt have: populist movements have always arisen in times of economic hardship and uncertainty. In Mad As Hell, pollsters Scott Rasmussen and Doug Schoen use extensive and original research to explore the mind and heart of the populist uprising that has suddenly thrown American politics into turmoil.
In the past, populist movements have taken root either on the right or on the left. Todays populist revolt is unusually broad and has two wings: a left wing that wants universal health care and redistributive economic policies, and a right wing that wants to reduce the power of government to interfere in our lives. Both are hostile to the Washington political class, Wall Street, and the mainstream mediaall of which they consider out of touch with the concerns of real Americans. The key difference is that left populists are effectively represented by Barack Obama and congressional Democrats who are pursuing their agenda, while right populists are chiefly represented by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh an angrier and potentially more powerful political force.
So-called professionals in politics, business, and media have completely failed to comprehend the new populism and have dismissed it as marginal and extreme. The authors explore the broad-based nature of the new populist movement and explain how it is reshaping American politicswhether politicians and elite journalists like it or not.
The Tea Party movement is not a flash in the pan,as many have assumed. Nor is it a movement of racist rednecks and ignorant boobs, as its detractors have crudely suggested. To the contrary, it is an authentic grassroots movement of concerned American citizens demanding to be heard by an out-of-touch political establishment. Their concerns are real and their issues are legitimate, the authors maintain; moreover, the new populism is here to stay, and it has already changed our politics for the better.
In Mad As Hell, Rasmussen and Schoen have produced an authoritative guide to the new populism, featuring a combination of proprietary polling data, political analysis, results from online focus groups,and interviews with on-the-ground players. It is must-reading for anyone interested in American electoral politics for the remainder of the decade.
The unvarnished truth about the movement that is re-making the face of America. ... “Mad As Hell” is more than a ‘must read’—it’s a required read for every tea party loyalist and even those that fear them.
What makes this new book a must-read ... is the reality that our daily news cycle is in many ways driven by the Tea Party.
What [Rasmussen and Schoen] convincingly show is that economic stagnation and the collapse of equality and opportunity have produced an equally catastrophic decline in confidence in every sort of public institution - including political parties, big business, big labor, the media and mainline organized religion.
-Los Angeles Times
Rasmussen and Schoen’s book clarifies much about our contemporary politics and identifies important causes of our current political malaise. It is the best available guide to the politics of 2010.
Essential to understanding America in 2010.
-The Daily Caller
Useful and balanced book...Readers who think they are in the political class might do well to pay heed.