Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Only Post on the Tea Partiers ... Probably

Last week the New York times published a survey and an article on the views and demographics of self-identified tea party members, and then five million bloggers wrote blog responses. This will be one more.

From the article there seems to be three main points of the Tea Party Platform:

1. The deficit is out of control!
2. Government spending is out of control, government takeovers of everything is coming!
3. Obama doesn't share "my"/"our" values!

Let's start from the beginning. Check out the deficit before and after Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush took office. Notice something? The deficit went way up. We actually had a surplus at the end of the Clinton era. Shocking right? Government spending didn't really go down either during Reagan or Dubya's time.

To tea baggers I say this - first you should acknowledge what terrible presidents these two Republicans were. Look at the way they spent all of our money!

Then there's government spending. Now the tea party folks want to make one thing clear - Don't touch their medicare or social security! But there's a bit of a problem, these are the two most expensive government programs, and if we leave aside defense for a moment (it's a third rail that no one will touch anyway) then social security and medicare, which people seem to love across the board, are many multiples as large as all other federal government spending.

What can we do to reduce spending, then? "Eliminate waste," say the t-baggers, parroting what John McCain used to say when he was a maverick. But no one actually supports government waste, just like no one supports littering. And yet no one is in the streets protesting littering. Waste is just a red herring.

Thus request #2 for the teabaggers - since you fear the increase in government spending and deficits, I think it's time to put your money where your mouth is and forgo any social security payments for you and your loved ones. Your 401k should be sufficient right? That was Bush's plan in 2005, so why not do a minor enactment of this yourselves to get the ball rolling.

Then there are "values." I'm not even going to tackle the "He's a Muslim from Kenya" thing, except to say this, if I was in charge of a newspaper or magazine, I would put in a footnote under quotes when someone told a complete lie, [i.e. "I don't support what he's doing pushing his Muslim values on Americans," says Bob Smith of Pittsburgh, PA. Footnote: Obama is not Muslim, he is a practicing Christian.]

You know what country likes to force folks to subscribe to a rather narrow selection of values? France. Ironic really that the pushier the right wing get, the more they sound like Frenchmen who condemn their countrymen for saying "le weekend" instead of "le fin de semaine." The joy of America is the diversity of American culture. The culture that makes our movies (lot of liberals there) invents new and important technology (more liberals) advances research in our universities (liberals, obviously). Gosh I wish these liberals would all just move to Canada so we can just watch movie versions of the Left Behind series until the end times.

So an educated, well-spoken, Christian, sports-loving, family man is the devil? Seems kinda odd and it leads down an inevitable conclusion. If you tea baggers aren't ready to take the leaps I've suggested on points 1 and 2, then there's really only one issues - you don't like black people.

4 comments:

B.Graham said...

they also don't like latinos, women, gay people, handicapped people, single mothers, poor people, rich people, artists, scientists, capitalism, socialism or city dwellers.

in short, tea baggers hate america.

R110926oseH said...

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David Pratt said...

While R110926oseH does make a compelling argument for the disenfranchising of middle America with the government and an increase in political activism as a result, I'm going to have to disagree. Many of the people I have seen as representatives of the Tea Party movement are knee-jerk reactionists without any solid idea of what is actually happening in Washington or how their government works. They've honed in on a few key buzzwords that sound scary to them and decided to march on the Capitol with a smattering of signs and slogans.

Even the more stable and reasonable members I've seen, with the simple credo "I don't like where government is heading or the amount of money they're spending" - a completely justified argument, in my estimation - still seem, for the most part, intent on blaming either the Democratic party or Obama himself for the current economic woes, which simply flat out ignores everything that happened in the last 20, or even the last 10 years.

Finally, I'd just like to make one more point about the "tea party" name. This hearkens back to the Boston Tea Party, an act by colonials to protest oppressive taxes by the British government. Only, it wasn't that at all. It was a response to the British LOWERING taxes on their tea in an effort to stop colonials from smuggling in Dutch tea (which was, by all accounts, more enjoyable).

Of course, that tea party was egged on significantly by merchants who didn't want their illegal smuggling business compromised. Where does Wall Street stand on the tea party again . . . ?

Dennis said...

I went to the Tea Party in D.C. on tax day a year ago. It took about 20 minutes to realize that it is not actually a libertarian movement. (This was before it had mass media recognition and that became obvious.) There were a few libertarian speakers, but the protest was wholly Republican.

"We're here to tell our government to STOP THE SPENDING."

*wild applause*

"We're here to tell our lawmakers to cut waste, and keep their hands out of our pockets. Lawmakers like Nancy Pelosi!"

*BOOOOOO*

"Harry Reid!"

*BOOOOOO*

"Barack Obama!"

*BOOOOOO*

"George W. Bush!"

*BOO-*

(That was me and two other people starting to boo and then realizing we were the only ones. I'm a survivalist before anything political. I don't disagree with The Mob to The Mob's face.)

However, I believe these people the media show are fringe elements. It's like when Obama got elected and you would see interviews with idiot Obama supporters all over right wing sites. At the protest I went to the racist/stupid contingency was represented, but was not the majority by any means. Of course, I'm sure the movement has changed since last year, I could be way off base. The majority of the people at mine were just Republicans.

Good old middle age, suburban, Republicans. I agree with middle age, suburban Republicans on about 1.5 issues. I have not been to a protest since.