Matt Towery

Wall Street analyst Meredith Whitney has ventured into an area she should have avoided -- political analysis. The results were not pretty.

Deprived of the hike in revenue they so desired from the recent debt-ceiling legislation, the nation's left-of-center political wing now is intent on getting their hands on more taxes from "the rich." Expect them to increasingly use class warfare rhetoric and degradation of the tea party as a means to reach their goal.

A long parade of Democrats hit the talk shows after the downgrade of the nation's debt by Standard and Poor's, calling the adjustment a "tea party downgrade" and calling for new revenue by taxing "wealthy Americans."

Then came comments from respected Wall Street analyst Meredith Whitney. In an interview, she reportedly described the tea party as primarily "freaked out white men who are unemployed."

Wow, that's a new one. And with that comment, Whitney appeared about as in touch with reality as many of her fellow graduates of Brown University. In the rarified air in which Whitney operates, it would be easy to dismiss the opinions of others who won't be spending time at Martha's Vineyard with President Obama. You know, the malcontented unwashed masses, a "fringe" element, as she put it.

But wait a minute. This same Meredith Whitney has been attacked by Democrats for being too critical of their policies. She is the same person who is married to a contributor to Fox Business News. And she's the same person who, after botching her description of the tea party, made a very tea party-esque statement in the same interview. She said that "to push for the extension of unemployment benefits ... should unleash absolute backlash against the (Obama) administration."

Perhaps Meredith should examine the relevant polling data. It suggests that a fairly large percent of both independents and Republicans identify with the tea party and its policies.

As I keep noting, the tea party is more a state of mind than it is something one officially signs up with. Maybe this well-heeled Wall Street analyst should consider which group is larger: those who agree with the general concept of smaller government, or those who live in the safe bubble of high finance on Wall Street.

Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a pollster, attorney, businessman and former elected official. He served as campaign strategist for Congressional, Senate, and gubernatorial campaigns. His latest book is Newsvesting: Use News and Opinion to Grow Your Personal Wealth. Follow him on Twitter @MattTowery