Recently, the TEA Party movement celebrated its first anniversary. At first the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party activists were dismissed as a few grumpy right-wingers upset that America elected a black president. They were given little credence beyond being an amusing political side show. That soon changed. On April 15th hundreds of thousands of average Americans showed up at protest rallies across the nation, outraged at the “stimulus” package of goodies doled out to special interests, liberal activism organizations and Democrat pet projects. CNN reported that a few thousand people showed up at the rally in Atlanta, but I was there and can assure you that it was close to ten-fold that amount. It was shoulder-to-shoulder for about four blocks in one direction, not counting the people on the side streets.
Once they could no longer be dismissed as a fringe element, TEA Party activists were labeled as “Astro-turf” (fake grass roots), accused of being flunkies of Big Corporate America, mindlessly doing the bidding of their masters. They were accused of being a fabrication of FOX News and the Republican Party. They were accused of being everything except what they are…average Americans, generally with traditional conservative values, who were fed up over 20 years of Bush-Clinton-Bush politics, two political parties who paid only lip service to the people they claimed to serve while engaging in a bacchanalian orgy of political perks, who had finally been pushed over the edge by a pork-laden spending bill of almost $800 billion. They were saying “Enough is enough!”, and they were going to make their voices be heard.
The Senate passed Porkulus III by a vote of 70-28 with 13 Republicans demonstrating their party’s new found fiscal conservatism by crossing over to vote with every Democrat present for the bill. Like the first Porkulus signed by George W. Bush in 2008 and the Porkulus II passed last year, Porkulus III forks over billions of borrowed dollars to fund various special interest projects and tax gimmicks in the name of “creating jobs”.
The gimmicks funded in this lastest round of Porkulus include a tax holiday for the remainder of the year on Social Security payroll taxes, but only if the company hires someone out of work for more than 60 days. In addition, Porkulus commits to billions in in more mass transit spending and more highway projects (ie. more pork barrel spending).
The Senate’s version of Porkulus must be sent over to the House where it must be reconciled with the House’s much more expansive $154 billion Porkulus bill. However, the Senate plans to pass more items in the House’s bill one at a time so that Senate Majority Harry Reid and other Democrat leaders can find out how much the prices of the votes of “fiscally conservative” Republicans are.
Included are proposed Senate bills giving away corporate welfare to ethanol producers, which is expected to be supported by farm state Republicans. In addition, there is another planned Senate bill to keep Americans out of work longer by extending unemployment benefits and COBRA.
The RINOs who supported Porkulus III today are:
There were alot of wackos at CPAC. As I journeyed from booth to booth, I encountered several nutjobs. One man was dressed in eighteenth century garb, complete with rapier, illustrating that cosplay is not just a phenomenon of comic book and anime conventions. LaRouche cultists asked me if I was “ready to send Obama to the moon.” I heard quite a few Old Guard Republicans declare, when provided with literature from the Campaign for Liberty, “Ron Paul! That son-of-a-bitch wants us to surrender.”
Those amusing eccentrics were outweighed by the energy and enthusiasm there. I was among alot of leftists during the Bush years, and there was nowhere near the hatred and venom toward Obama that the left displayed towards Bush. While Dick Cheney scoured and groaned through his speech, Newt Gingrich, Glenn Beck and Ron Paul delivered magnificent speeches in which they provided counter-solutions to what the Democrats and Obama have put forth.
With all of the talk about markets, freedom and the foundations of America (countless venders were giving out copies of the Constitution), CPAC could have been confused with the 2008 Rally for the Republic. Keynote speaker Glenn Beck even spoke that America should not spread democracy but instead “lead by example.” Ron Paul winning the presidential straw poll was the icing on the cake. Sarah Palin, the incredibly unqualified beauty queen from Alaska, was nowhere to be found and a distant third in the straw poll. CPAC was wonderful and renewed my faith in conservatism, the Republican Party and America.
I must admit that this is a subject I wanted to stay away from but the continuing “uproar” saddens me. I want to like Sarah Palin but she makes it hard sometimes . At some point she is going to have to stop playing the victim card and act like a big girl.
I heard the Rahm Emanuel “retard” comment before Palin responded to it (I actually agreed with him). But something told me somebody would say something. Somebody would be offended. Somebody would act like a speech Nazi. Somebody would express an opinion that would attack the natural right of free speech.
As a former member of the GOP I can remember getting into debate after debate with “lefty” Statists on the subject of language. I guess because of who I am and how I was brought up I feel like I have a right to speak my mind and if you’re the “political correct” type you can get over it (Being raised in NYC probably contributed a ‘lil as well). I am not offended by anything that comes out of somebody’s pie- hole. Many people say things that alarm me, but being offended is somehow being “hurt” by what is said. Ms. Palin kept referring to her “thick skin” on the campaign trail. Did it somehow disappear?
I’ve already heard other people make the point that Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck use the word “retard” on their shows and Sarah hasn’t criticized them. Blah, blah, that isn’t nearly the issue here. The fact that the “Right” is now acting like the language police leads me to believe I left the GOP at the right time.
Let me create a scenario for dear Sarah and see how she would handle it.
At the White House website, the biography of Bill Clinton illustrates the successes of his administration, most notably:
During the administration of William Jefferson Clinton, the U.S. enjoyed more peace and economic well being than at any time in its history.
It’s true. The Clinton years were some of the most prosperous years that the United States has ever seen. Was that the result of massive government spending and initiatives? Of course not. Clinton’s first major initiative - health care reform - failed, resulting in a Republican takeover of Congress and Clinton shifting to rhetoric such as ”the era of big government is over.”
The actual successes of the Clinton years were very right wing ones - welfare reform, free trade agreements and a robust innovative economy fueled by the ingenuity of software entrepreneurs. Spending was down, and Bill Clinton left office with a huge surplus. This was certainly the result of a lack of spending from the federal government, a foreseeable result of having two diametrically opposed political parties in power at once. The fact that the low-spending Clinton years (years in which the government actually shut down for nearly two months) resulted in economic prosperity, while high deficit eras like the pre-war terms of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Bush-Obama years resulted in depression and recession, makes one of the strongest cases for libertarianism.
I am in regular contact with an old friend and frequent reader of United Liberty, who also happens to be what is popularly termed these days as a “progressive.” He likes Barack Obama, thinks Hillary Clinton is wonderful and, like most lefties, slumps all non-progressives together as “thieves” and similar terms.
He’s a good guy, but because of my libertarian rhetoric and his progressiveness, I often get the feeling that he doesn’t comprehend what I’m saying. That’s not an insult to intelligence, but more of a testament to the limited comprehension of political thought that is pervasive in today’s America. (I personally blame the onslaught into politics of social issues, which do alot to dumb down and simply discourse and amplify the irrelevant.) I find this most common amongst progressives, who generally don’t get libertarians. Because they see that libertarians are generally laissez faire on social issues, they often disregard libertarians as contrarians who have been brainwashed or caught up with right wing thieves and fascists.
Conservatives, unlike progressives, seem to (for the most part) at least get us. Conservatives have a good share of difference with us (just take a look at the 2008 Republican Presidential Debates to see what I mean) but they at least aren’t inherently hostile to our core ideas.
What is a libertarian?
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend candidate forums for my upcoming local elections in Marietta, Georgia. To give you some background, I live in the county seat of one of the “reddest” counties in what would probably be the “reddest” state, if not for the ultra-“blue” Atlanta, in the nation. During the candidate forums for mayor, city council, and school board, nearly all of the candidates amazed me by saying nothing remotely “conservative” when it comes to the spending by the government in our community.
Though our mayor, city council, and school board are elected via non-partisan elections, I estimate that the vast majority of the candidates align themselves with the Republican Party. As I can attest from what I saw at the candidate forums, Republicans have learned nothing from their drubbings in the Congressional elections of 2006 and 2008, as they are STILL all too happy to spend other people’s money under the banner of the party who keeps promising to be one of limited government. As the Tea Party Movement develops, many establishment Republicans highlight their “libertarian streaks,” and the “progressive” wing of the Democrat Party dominates the Congressional agenda, these local aspiring politicians seem content to continue operating as the “compassionate conservatives” of the George W. Bush era, marginalized by being “more of the same.”
After attending several Atlanta area health care town hall forums sponsored by legislators in support of HR 3200, I decided to participate in one hosted by MY Congressman, Representative Phil Gingrey (R-GA, 11th). I should note that I did not vote for or against Dr. Gingrey in 2008, as I lived in Georgia’s 13th Congressional District then. The convenience of the location of August 31st’s event could not have been better, unless it took place in my living room (the Cobb Civic Center is across the street from my neighborhood), however a 5:30 PM start time made it difficult for many constituents to attend.
I arrived at the Civic Center shortly after 5 PM to find a parking lot approximately half-full, some cars present as early as 3:30 PM. Outside the venue, there were a few individuals and groups handing literature to those entering, including members of GOP gubernatorial candidate, John Oxendine’s You Can Stop ObamaCare. I expected police-enforced restrictions that I encountered at previous town hall events, so my only tool to capture and share media of the event was my cell phone.
Once inside, I noted many of Rep. Gingrey’s older constituents in attendance, as I expected from reports of his previous forums on the subject. I also expected that most in attendance would be opposed to the health care reform bill known as HR 3200, also known as “ObamaCare,” like their Congressman, Rep. Gingrey. There were a handful of
By: Dr. David Beito
What is happening in the cradle of the modern civil rights movement? Jimmy McCall would like to know. ‘It was more my dream house,’ he laments, ‘and the city tore it down … It reminds me of how they used to mistreat black people in the Old South.’ In 1955, Rosa Parks took on the whole system of Jim Crow by refusing to give up her seat on a segregated Montgomery bus. Today, McCall is waging a lonely battle against the same city government for another civil right: the freedom to build a home on his own land.