In one year, the Tea Party has gone from a wink-wink dirty joke to a semi-organized political movement that has successfully gotten candidates elected to office. Thousands of Tea Party activists are expected to turn out today—tax day—in protests around the country.
To track the growth of the movement, Slate collected information from the 575 groups on Meetup.com that identified both "tea party" and "politics" as interests. (Including "politics" in the search eliminates false positives like the group Ms Patti's Little Princess Tea Parties.) Of those 575, about 450 make their meeting schedule public. We took this information and mapped it over time. The data is displayed as a heat map, where brighter colors represent a higher density of events. Most of the meetings represented on the map are smaller ones not involving Sarah Palin.
While this information is far from comprehensive, the sampling paints a picture of a sustained and growing political insurgency with obvious pockets of near-constant activity. The timeline at the top can be dragged to a specific date.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Right Target
Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.
The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget
It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is
I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights
Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.
Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.
It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice
Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.
In Defense of HR
Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.