Don't Kid Yourself, Tea Party: Elites Are Still In Charge
Washington knows which side its bread is buttered on, Dana Milbank writes
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2011 12:50 PM CDT
Updated Oct 13, 2011 1:55 PM CDT
Audience members cheer during the 'Energy Independence Day Tea Party' rally on Independence Mall in Philadelphia, on Monday July 4, 2011.   (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)
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(Newser) – The supposedly tea-stained House of Representatives passed three free trade bills yesterday, despite ample polling data showing that Tea Party voters are strongly opposed to free trade. It’s just further proof, writes Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, that “for all the talk of populist foment,” from the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street, “business interests remain firmly in control” in Washington. “Forced to choose between their voters and their donors, lawmakers don’t hesitate before choosing the latter."

The free trade bills “had been at the top of corporate America’s wish list,” and they were “just one of the day’s party favors for corporations." John Boehner also announced that he wouldn’t allow a vote on a bill to punish China for manipulating its currency—even though it would have "passed easily if it had the chance." Lindsey Graham pleaded with him to reconsider, saying lawmakers were “miscalculating” public sentiment. “Of course, Boehner et al haven’t miscalculated at all,” Milbank writes. “They’re perfectly aligned with the people who fund their campaigns."