The True Religion of the Tea Party

The Tea Party has a lot in common with an upstart religion. Will they splinter the Republican church?

In evaluating the Tea Party, my colleague Christopher Flavelle puzzled over whether a movement that enjoys little popular support could legitimately be called "populist." According to the latest Wall Street Journal-NBC poll, only 20 percent of Americans categorize themselves as "supporters" of the Tea Party, which accounts in part for the group's dismal favorable-to-unfavorable ratio of 21-to-47 in the poll.

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