Posted by: Debby Durkee | February 12, 2010

Finally, someone gets the Tea Parties.

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Finally, someone gets the Tea Parties.

I’m focusing on three articles. One by a conservative, one by a writer for a British publication, and one by a liberal writer for the Washington Post. All three articles are looking at the Tea Party movement with their eyes open and reporting what this movement really means. Here’s the first by conservative Mark Davis. He describes what the Tea Party movement is and isn’t, and what its main focus is. He has determined that because of the mix of people from both parties and from libertarians and independents, this movement isn’t going away. I would certainly concur with that. Tea Partiers see clearly that this administration has turned up the heat on the socialism pot, causing the Tea Party frog to hop out and start squeaking. In that respect Obama and Pelosi have done the country a favor by not trying to hide their true intentions. Americans aren’t going to happily jump back into the pot now that they’ve been scalded. This is from http://www.realclearpolitics.com/.

The Tea Party movement is one of the most noteworthy grassroots uprisings in recent American political history. And one of the most misunderstood.  Snip –

The Tea Party movement is not a nascent third party. Most tea partiers know that splitting the voters looking for less spending and lower taxes is a guarantee of more domination by Democrats with no interest in either.

The Tea Party movement is not “anti-tax.” It is against confiscatory taxes, outlandish taxes, excessive taxes – choose your adjective.  Snip –

…the Tea Party engine is driven first and foremost by a desire to return government to its proper constitutional limits and run it with a lot less money. Anyone driven by that passion is welcome in any roomful of tea partiers, no matter what views they may hold about God and gays.

That is, by the way, part of why the movement is so strong…Electing people to bring back fiscal sanity in 2010 and 2012 will require the help of millions of voters who may be centrist, libertarian or even socially liberal. How do you think Scott Brown won in Massachusetts?

Finally, the Tea Party movement is not some subculture of bug-eyed lunatics. Any political movement is going to have some characters ranging from colorful to occasionally unhinged, but the insulting tone of much of the coverage of the movement would have you believe that these are fringe extremists who could snap at any moment.

…The sound we are hearing is the proverbial camel’s back breaking after years of reckless spending, punitive taxation and usurpations of liberty that have crippled every citizen’s opportunity to enjoy the full promise of what America is supposed to be about: freedom and opportunity, with the least government necessary to maintain an ordered society.

The people drifting toward the Tea Party movement are not extreme. They are, in fact, fighting extremism – the extremism that has brought us a government that takes far too much, spends far too much and runs our lives far too much.

…It took Democrats and Republicans to create this mess, and entrenched members of both parties could soon find themselves back in the private sector if the enthusiasm of tea parties and town halls carries all the way to the November elections.

Read it all here: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/02/11/the_fight_for_responsible_limited_government.html

A look at Tea from across the pond.

The Economist from the United Kingdom says that the force of the Tea Partiers will make it harder on Republicans to compromise with President Obama on health care; therefore, they’ve become a force to be reckoned with. Woo Hoo. 

…Barack Obama has talked endlessly in recent weeks about the wonders of bipartisanship. He has to, now that the Republicans’ capture of Ted Kennedy’s old seat in the Senate last month has deprived the Democrats of the supermajority they were banking on in order to enact much of their legislative programme. Mr Obama has invited congressional leaders from both parties to a summit on health reform at the end of the month…

…Republicans have two good reasons not to heed the president’s plea right now. The first reason is that it suits them nicely to keep the Democrats in Congress floundering as November’s mid-term election approaches. The second reason is the tea-party movement.

A year ago this movement did not exist. Now it is by some accounts the most potent force in American politics. So when the “Tea Party Nation” began its first national convention in Nashville, Tennessee, on February 4th, Republicans paid particular attention…The bigger message to the Republicans from Nashville was this: whatever else they may or may not stand for, tea-partiers do not want to see Republicans making compromises in Washington.  Snip –

One thing that became clear in Nashville however was that the 600 or so solid conservative types, mostly middle-aged and many of them women, who shelled out $549 for a ticket to attend were not interested in minor modifications of Mr Obama’s health plan, budget or cap-and-trade legislation. As a name that harks back to the Boston Tea Party suggests, they see themselves as revolutionaries, or counter-revolutionaries. They want to “take back” an America which they say has been going wrong for generations as successive administrations have bloated the federal government and trampled on the constitution and the rights of states and individuals. Many of those attending said that Mr Obama’s election and big-spending, deficit-expanding first year had been a sort of negative epiphany. “Suddenly I’m awake,” said Kathleen Gotto from Colorado Springs, who had not previously been involved in politics.  Snip –

Much of the Nashville event was devoted to teaching the fired-up newbies practical skills, such as using Facebook and Twitter to spread the word, raise money and get out the vote so that “true conservatives” could challenge Democrats and RINOs…in local elections and primaries.

The organisers promised to set up a political action committee to recruit and support candidates who would champion fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, smaller government and national security. Snip –

Plainly, any congressional Republican tempted to betray the counter-revolution by heeding Mr Obama’s calls for compromise would be a prime target for attack

He goes on to shine a light on some of what the writer calls the more radical elements of the Tea Partiers – those who are looking into Obama’s background to determine if he indeed qualified for president. He also thought Tom Tancredo’s stance on multiculturalism to be extreme, but as many have already noted, extremes exist in any movement. (I for one agree with Tancredo about multiculturalism – we’re supposed to be a melting pot, not some kind of salad). But, even from across the pond, people are taking note of the Tea Parties. Scott Brown’s win really was the “Scott heard ‘round the world.” Read it all here:  http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15498280&fsrc=nlw|hig|02-11-2010|editors_highlights

Europe needs a Tea Party.

David Ignatius of the Washington Post has also taken note of the Tea Parties and believes after the imminent collapse of many European countries due to over taxing, over spending and the resulting angry folks living on the dole, they could use a bit of a Tea Party there. He seems to want to keep his liberal bona fides by dissing the Tea Parties here and there, but we can take it. This is from the Post via http://www.realclearpollitics.com/.

…The global economy needs a “tea party” movement in Europe to lobby for fiscal conservatism there. Snip –

…conservative populists do perform the useful function of focusing American political attention on the need for fiscal responsibility. They make a good point, for example, in arguing that we shouldn’t add a major new entitlement program for health care until we’ve figured out how to pay for the entitlement programs we’ve already got.

Europe, by contrast, lacks this sort of potent conservative movement to constrain government spending…

Europe is in many respects an economic never-never land. It has a central bank to run a coordinated monetary policy, and a single currency, but it has several dozen finance ministries pursuing separate fiscal policies, many of which can be summed up as: Spend, spend, spend. In fiscal terms, “Europe” is often a riderless horse.

Investors accept such shaky situations right up to the moment that, for whatever mysterious reason, they panic and decide the situation is unsustainable. And that’s what has been happening over the past several weeks as the financial markets have been voicing a collective “eeek!” about the European debt and fiscal mess.

The focus of concern has been the debt of the so-called “PIGS” countries — Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain, with some economists adding another “I” for Italy. But debt is only part of the problem…The larger problem is the lack of political will in the slower-growing European countries to challenge public spending and put fiscal policy on a sustainable path.  Snip –

The election of Scott Brown has brought conservative Tea Party pressure on the Obama Administration and the congressional Democrats. Ignatius sees no similar movement in Europe, only a continual demand for more goodies from governments that are bankrupt and no political will to do anything to address the problems. Pay attention, all, Obama wants to drag our country off the cliff along with Europe. So let the members of the media deride us all they want. At least some liberals are starting to realize that the country needs conservatives to keep it from falling off the cliff. Read it all here: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/02/11/in_europe_time_for_tea_100263.html

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Responses

  1. Thanks for posting this Debby. Excellent articles and analysis from you. I would like to see more of the European and British viewpoints on these (now) global problems

  2. You know, Greg, the European press has been covering the Tea Parties and the Climategate scandal. Our press (in Obama’s hand) has been either ignoring or denigrating both. What’s so amazing is that the American press thinks we don’t know they’re either lying or suppressing the truth.

    As someone said a year or so ago…Obama is the American press’ Waterloo. They’ll go down together. Neither understands that they aren’t as powerful as they used to be…Americans are self-educating via the web. Someone truly is watching out for this country, and whether you believe in God or not, the U.S. is special. Americans don’t want to lose it. Thank God!


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