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Talk to Me: Scalding Debate at the Tea Party Panel

If anything could create a heated debate at 10 AM on a Saturday morning it would be politics. And of all the politics around, the Tea Party is almost guaranteed to fan the fire.

That's precisely what happened on the second day of the annual New Yorker Magazine festival, which kicked off with a fiery discussion about the Tea Party movement at the Directors Guild Theater. David Remnick moderated the panel, which included Jill Lepore, author of "The White of Their Eyes: The Tea Party’s Revolution and the Battle Over American History," Dick Armey, the former House Republican Majority Leader and author of "Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto"; Rick Santelli of CNBC, whose on air rant in 2009 mobilized the Tea Party movement, and Anthony Weiner, a Democratic congressman.

The discussion was more passionate than polite, but perhaps the most interesting political debates happen when the gloves come off. Listen to the discussion by clicking the link above.

Bon Mots:

Rick Santelli on the bailout: "They [banks] would not have really gone down. There was a sense of screaming fire in a theater with much of this. I think, in many ways, government officials blinked much too quickly."

Anthony Weiner on the Tea Party and democracy: "Democracy guarantees that you can get your say, not that you can get your way."

Dick Armey on the power of the Tea Party movement: "This movement has already made a big impact in the Republican party primaries so let’s not be too dismissive of it. Whether you like it or not, it is still today the largest  energy source on the political field today."

Jill Lepore on playing the "revolution" card: "What happens is sort of a Juggernaut where we see the invocation of the founding fathers in defense of all manner of political arguments. As if, if one could reference Thomas Jefferson in a press release then one's politics would immediately become unassailable."