Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement

Michael Patrick Leahy, Author
Michael Patrick Leahy. Harper, $25.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-206633-6
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-06-206634-3
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-206635-0
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Leahy, an early activist and new media champion of the Tea Party, systematically and reasonably defends the movement as more than a flash in the pan, and suggests that it has its roots in the limited government ethos of Jefferson and the founding fathers. According to Leahy, the federal government has historically broken four key promises that the founders agreed to in principle: to abide by the written words of the Constitution; refrain from interfering with free markets; uphold the traditions and customs of the “fiscal constitution”; and commit to thoughtful deliberation in Congress. Leahy (Rules for Conservative Radicals) pinpoints when each of these promises of the “secular covenant” were broken and its consequences. The book describes how the current movement began with CNBC correspondent Rick Santelli’s “rant heard round the world” about TARP bailouts, which led to hundreds of rallies in April 2009, and election of candidates in 2010. Though thick with references, statistics, and stories from the 1600s to the present, the book is peppered with vivid character descriptions. However, Leahy meanders rather than focusing on the topic of each chapter. Substantial enough to be a primer on the movement, the book may convince skeptical readers to see the benefits of less government and more free markets. Agent: Don Fehr, Trident. (Mar.)
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