A commenter to my last post pointed out a study which focuses on the divisions between libertarians and social conservatives, and I found this chart interesting:

While it looks like there is a lot of divergence between Libertarians and the “Christian right,” the interesting thing is the way both are able to work with and identify with the Tea Party. The above survey (full report here in pdf) was done by a group with liberal Brookings Institute connections, and what I find fascinating is that while 39% of Libertarians are said to identify with the Tea Party (a figure amplified significantly when those who “trend Libertarian” are factored in), there is no similar statistic for the so-called “Christian right.”

“Christian right” and “white evangelical” are used quite a bit — as if the goal is to exclude black evangelicals from being considered evangelical. (I wonder why no similar divisions are made between white and black Catholics.)

Another item I found fascinating was a statement issued by one of the founding Tea Party groups: in response to another anti-gay crackpot acting under cover of religion:

Like a lot of you, we were quite surprised, and saddened by this recent Gawker.com headline:

“Tea Party Leader Wants to File Class Action Suit Against Homosexuality”

As one of the true founding Tea Party groups, TeaParty365 would like to take this opportunity to once again, and once-and-for-all, distance ourselves –and the larger Tea Party Movement– from the self-serving antics of Rick Scarborough, and his ilk.

TeaParty365 does not support this idiotic notion. We feel it is counter-productive to the national conversation, and ultimately harmful to the Tea Party brand, and the country.

Let’s remember, the Tea Party was a true, national grassroots upwelling, initially a reaction to Bush’s profligacy. It exploded in early 2009 when it became obvious Obama was doubling-down on financial, and governmental stupidity.

The Tea Party is and always has been about 4 very simple things:

1) Smaller Government

2) Fiscal Responsibility

3) Personal Responsibility

4) The Constitution

Because our beliefs are so wonderfully simple, you can be a “Tea Partier” and also be involved in other political issues that aren’t mutually-exclusive, e.g., Gun Rights, Immigration, Abortion, The War on Drugs, etc.

This is a blessing, and a curse. There are Tea Partiers across the country who are on all sides of these issues, and are also, still, technically “Tea Partiers” because they adhere to the 4 core tenets. The problem arises when these other issues override the core issues of the Tea Party. But the fact remains, when you are arguing for, or against, an issue that is ancillary to our 4 key tenets, you are no longer speaking for the “Tea Party.”

I totally agree, and I find myself wondering why these people keep trying to invoke the Tea Party mantle to focus on issues having nothing to do with the core principles. They are only harming a cause they claim to support.

Maybe I should put “claim” in quotes. (I doubt their commitment to smaller government, as well as the Constitution.)