P.J. O'Rourke Says Tea Party is Good for Democracy

Welcome to Politics Bites, where every afternoon at It's A Free Country,we bring you the unmissable quotes from political conversations on WNYC. On today's Brian Lehrer Show, P.J. O'Rourke talked about the Tea Party movement.

Conservative humorist and Cato Institute research fellow P.J. O'Rourke is the author of a new book, Don't Vote, It Just Encourages the Bastards. But on this morning's Brian Lehrer Show he said the Tea Party isn't taking his advice. It is doing just the opposite: getting more people involved in political discourse.  

Political involvement is very important. The Tea Party has definitely increased political involvement, not only among Tea Party members but among people who oppose the Tea Party members. It's been a general stimulus.

O'Rourke, whose skewering of political life has long been characterized by a libertarian viewpoint, said the anti-government Tea Party activists differ from classic libertarians because they are less dogmatic.  

I would say that this is a sort of inchoate and not as yet terribly well articulated general feeling that the expanse, the sheer expanse of politics, measured in money or measured in power over our daily lives, has gotten a little bit out of hand and is certainly something that the people who started the United States would be a little surprised to see.