The Tea Party Movement; who are they, want do they want?
By Robert Amoroso
Obviously, if you’ve been reading my articles for any length of time, then you have a pretty good idea of my political philosophy. However, for those that still aren’t sure, I’m a fiscal conservative and at times relatively moderate when it comes to social issues. I believe that consenting adults have every right to live their lives without discrimination or judgment, from anyone, and perhaps that’s one of the issues that truly concern me. In that within recent months a fanatical hard core group of progressives, politicians and some within the mainstream media have been implying that the Tea Party Movement promotes racial discord, and some lawmakers have even likened the Tea Party Movement to hate groups.
I of course would be foolish if I didn’t acknowledge that within every group, there is always a potential for a few loons, however the concerted effort by the left to paint the Tea Party Movement as a hate group, is indicative of progressives in general and liberal pundits in particular, in that slanderous innuendo is all that’s required to marginalize a group or a person.
Congressman Steve Cohen, of Memphis Tennessee, is the latest loon to attack the Tea Party Movement. The two-term congressman unloaded a barrage of what can best be described as a fact-less hate filled and degrading rants, and implied that the Tea Party Movement, subscribes to the same principles as the KKK, when he responded to question, he said; "without hoods and robes" — “has shown an angry, hardcore side of America that's against any type of diversity”.
He went on attacking the movement with one distortion after another, and continued “We saw opposition to African-Americans, hostility toward gays, hostility to anybody who wasn’t just, you know, a clone of George Wallace’s fan club”.
Mr. Cohen of course is entitled to his hate filled speech. He like the Tea Party Movement itself is protected under the first Amendment. However, the only class act within this sad diatribe came from Mark A. Skoda, founder and chairman of the Memphis Tea Party, after hearing those remarks simply said of Cohen, "hate speech" that's "beneath the dignity of the office."
Obviously the stakes are extremely high for this administration and Congressman Cohen I would imagine is merely doing what is asked of him by this white house, and another foot solider to be sacrificed, as was the case during the healthcare debate, when independent and so-called “blue dog” Democrats were intimidated, bribed, and strong-armed into voting for Obama-care. They know that come this November, those that voted for the bill, will pay a hefty price at the polls.
This high-stakes shootout is almost reminiscent of those 1950’s B-westerns, where the villain shields himself behind the frightened young girl, as he attempts to make his get-away, only this time rather then a frightened young girl, it’s those beleaguered “blue dogs”.
However, before I get ahead myself, let’s take a moment and examine who these “strange people are” within the Tea Party Movement. They are like me, concerned citizens that have seen their country slowly slipping away, into a maze of reckless spending and unsustainable debt. They’ve witnessed our national security and the war on terror striking once again on our homeland with little if any response, from a disengaged administration, whose only concern seems to be what our enemies might think of us. And they’ve seen the “American Dream” slipping out of reach for many Americans, as the unemployment rate rises to historic levels, while this administration is preoccupied with the social engineering of our nation
And they’ve witnessed an out of touch Congress usurping our Constitution, and the will of the people, pushing through legislation to simply benefit themselves and their narrow partisan views, and leading lawmakers that write the laws of the land, while at the same time, breaking the very laws they author without being punished.
The Tea Party Movement began as most populace movements do with a few angry citizens voicing their constitutional rights, when CNBC's Rick Santelli angrily proclaimed on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, "This is America! How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor's mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can't pay their bills?” The question of course was in response to Obama’s proposal in bailing out homeowners who purchased homes with little or no money down and now couldn’t afford to keep them, and faced foreclosure.
He went on to suggest that he would organize a Chicago Tea Party in July, where he would dump "some derivative securities into Lake Michigan." At the same time a Seattle stay-at-home-mom, by the name of Keli Carender was busily blogging against President Barack Obama's proposed $750 billion stimulus package, and what followed was a small protest of about 100 people.
Soon modest protests began springing up around the country against Obama’s stimulus package, the bank bailouts, and health-care legislation. And as people began to understand the magnitude and the fundamental changes taking place within their country by an out of control administration, the movement began to take on a life of its own, as more and more concerned citizens joined the movement, and the term “tea party” now become the rallying cry and synonymous with those principles that set into motion the original Boston Tea Party that harkened back to our Founding Fathers, and our first American Revelation.
And while most who’ve joined this grassroots movement aren’t activists, like those colonists of long ago, they understand however, that in order to preserve their way of life, they need to confront their elected officials, and so they flooded their lawmakers with emails and phone calls. No longer would average Americans be silent and they realize and understand that the principles of our Founding Fathers along with the Constitution are being usurped by an administration that long ago boasted to “fundamentally transforming America”.
We did our homework and read the bills, and we became informed on the pending legislation, and we reacquainted ourselves once again with the writings of the Founding Fathers and of course the Constitution, and in most cases we know it better then our elected representatives on Capital Hill.
And the outcry among the people in 2009 became so intense that many lawmakers facing reelection decided to hold town hall meetings, in the hope of placating and silencing the protests and trying to “sell” their brand of governance. The town hall meeting for the first time in modern American politics illustrated the wide divide that now exists between government and a sizeable and informed portion of the American people.
Astoundingly, the movement at first was ignored by the mainstream media, and when it began to gain some notoriety, the media then attempted to discredit it, as a meaningless rightwing fringe group, and while the mainstream media pretended to be none biased, many left leaning pundits and lawmakers alike used pejorative terms in describing the people within the movement, as “tea baggers”, a “mob”, “Astroturf conservatives, etc, etc.
Of course in recent days the name-calling has become a lot more volatile, (as I've briefly referenced at the beginning of this article), as desperate lawmakers continue to see their poll numbers drop, their hate-filled rants now becoming more shrill and mean-spirited. Obviously, it’s up to us within the Tea Party Movement, to maintain our balance and not engage or be drawn into gutter politics. That’s a game that I know all to well, and that “progressives” have mastered throughout the years,
It’s within this backdrop that the Tea Party Movement was born and continues to this day, and there are many on both sides of the political aisle that would either like to claim this movement as there own, or discredit it further, and of course that’s a good thing, because it simply illustrates that this is a movement to be reckoned with. And hopefully can’t be intimidated, or bought by either party.
The Republicans would like to claim the movement for themselves, however until they once again demonstrate the principles and ideals of their standard-bearer Ronald Reagan, who embraced the teachings of our Founding Fathers, when he spoke these simple yet profound words…“in this present crises government isn’t the solution to our problem, government is the problem’! We should not be lulled into thinking that they’re any different, simply because they say so. They need to once again, prove they’re worthy of our respect and support.
And of course the Democrats who would love nothing better then to see a crises or a scandal, anything to marginalize or discredit the movement, and to that end I believe they’ll stop at nothing to achieve that.
However, the danger for the Democrat’s in their reelection bid this fall, isn’t necessarily the Tea Party Movement, but rather their own ill conceived legislation and the continued sales job by the Obama Administration in trying to once again convince the citizenry of the bills merit.
My sense of course is that once this 2,000 page bill begins to be dissected, and debated in terms of actual cost, punitive taxes, cuts in Medicare benefits and unconstitutional mandates, the bill will once again be rejected by the American people.
The proof of course is in poll numbers, incredibly two weeks after the passage of this massive bill, 54% of likely voters are now in favor of repealing the bill, and 52% now believe that this healthcare bill is bad for the country, and only 21% believe the bill will achieve one of its primary goals and reduce the cost of health care, obviously if this trend continues, it would be a devastating blow for the Democrats and Obama’s radical progressive agenda.
And while most “progressives” would have you believe that the Tea Party Movement is nothing more then a rightwing extension of the Republican party, nothing can be further from the truth, as was demonstrated in a new Gallup Poll that shows 43% identified themselves as Independent, and 8% as Democrats, and there’s yet another poll that has the numbers a bit closer with 55% claiming to be Republican, another 30% Independent and about 13% Democratic, with a majority of supporters being woman.
Of course the most interesting poll numbers of all are the ones that nether support or oppose the Tea Party Movement, those poll numbers are almost identical with 28% and 26% respectively. However the number that can really change the political landscape is the 38% of the uncommitted.
Both the white house and the congress realize that they’re losing the momentum, and of course they’ll do everything in their power to keep control, we’ve already witnessed what they’re capable of doing during the healthcare debate, and I believe they’ll stop at nothing to stay in control.
Unlike many movements on the left, that for the most part are funded by questionable characters such as George Soros, the Tea Party Movement claims no such benefactors, its origins have been well documented, they are a grassroots movement started by a few angry citizens and not by well connected billionaires with satchels of greenback propping up organizations such as the “Center for American Progress”, MoveOn.org, or “ACT”.
And while Tea Party members are a diversified group they do subscribe to one basic principle in that government that governs least…governs best, sound familier?