Tea parties have arrived! Paul Krugman does hit piece on them.
Paul Krugman of the New York Times might have done the tea parties a great big favor by giving them a great big pinata to whack at: the fact that Krugman tries to do a hit piece on them (link). Shortly after engaging in ad hominems and losing his train of thought for a few paragraphs, he says this:
...it turns out that the tea parties don’t represent a spontaneous outpouring of public sentiment. They’re AstroTurf (fake grass roots) events, manufactured by the usual suspects. In particular, a key role is being played by FreedomWorks, an organization run by Richard Armey, the former House majority leader, and supported by the usual group of right-wing billionaires. And the parties are, of course, being promoted heavily by Fox News.
While there's at least one instance of "AstroTurf" (a video produced by the GOP), in the main the parties do represent an outpouring of public sentiment: there are a lot of angry people out there. The problem is that their anger is unfocused and what they're doing is going to be completely ineffective. Rather than "AstroTurf", the word he's looking for is "useful idiot". Those attending the "parties" are more or less simply useful idiots for Beltway insiders like Dick Armey and Grover Norquist as well as for GOP strategists who want to make a name for themselves, t-shirt vendors, Pajamas Media, Fox News, and the Koch family.
If those attending the events wanted to stop being useful idiots and really wanted to do something effective - and something that would be opposed by everyone on that list except the t-shirt vendors - they'd help block amnesty. As a bonus, that would also be opposed by Paul Krugman.