Confusion was the word of the day on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning when the panel questioned why so many women have been drawn to the Tea Party movement.
Co-host Mika Brzezinski, The New York Times’ Sam Tanenhaus, CBS’s Lesley Stahl, columnist Mike Barnicle, and Newsweek’s Jon Meacham were initially stumped when Stahl prompted the discussion.
“I wanted to ask all the gurus here, why so many of the Tea Partiers are women. I find that just intriguing and don’t quite understand why that has happened,” Stahl said.
To which the panel replied: “I have no idea.” “Sarah Palin?” “I don’t know.” “I don’t know either.”
After nearly two years of protests, speeches, and signage, the Tea Party — it seems — is still a mystery to some media insiders.
Sonja Eddings Brown, president and founder of The Kitchen Cabinet, an organization dedicated to mobilizing fiscally conservative women to get out the vote, was stupefied by the exchange. “It’s hard to say whether it’s just Lesley Stahl, or whether it is MSNBC as whole that is so completely out of touch with America, and so deaf to the footsteps on the ground, that they would spend a morning dialogue trying to figure out ‘WHY’ there are so many women leading the Tea Party movement,” she told The Daily Caller. “Are they kidding?”
Tanenhaus eventually surfaced with an attempted explanation. “You’ve been talking about the economy, who runs the household economy in America? The classic Greek work for economics means ‘home economy.’ Who’s paying the bills, who’s worried about the kids and college loans?” he offered.
Barnicle took a stab at the riddle as well. “It could be women, as we all know, are smarter than men. And they have better instincts than men, and they know — off of what you just said — that the government or the household, you have a checkbook, you can’t start writing checks for things you can’t pay for, the checks bounce. We’ve been bouncing checks as a government for twenty years.”
Rebecca Wales, spokeswoman for Smart Girl Politics, a group devoted to mobilizing women in the Tea Party, was pleased that Tanenhaus and Barnicle were on the right track.
“Women are primarily responsible for the finances in their household, own small businesses, take care of their children and their aging parents,” she explained to TheDC. “And when those things are threatened, women fight back. This movement empowered them. They found the means to become politically active, found a voice, where they never had before.”
Brown took the ball a little further, unequivocally suggesting that women’s involvement in the Tea Party is driven by their rejection of liberal economic policies.
“Women are carrying the flag in Tea Parties because the liberal Democrat agenda has broken our economy and compromised our system of government. Economically, conservative women are marching to the polls in 14 days and we have the Tea Parties to thank for ringing the fire alarm,” she said.