Columnist Dick Polman notes similarities between the tea partiers and those who backed Ross Perot in 1992. “The tea partiers’ angst is sincere, and their panic is real. But Perot’s populists had similar sentiments, and we all know what happened there,” Polman wrote. He contends that to be successful, the tea party movement needs to be more clearly for something, not just against big government and deficits. “A populist movement needs an affirmative agenda; otherwise, the fire generally tends to flicker out,” he said.
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