tea party movement
The guy who set the fire that started the Tea Party Movement was in rare form again this morning:
I’ve often warned about the Nevada Senate race that Harry Reid had the money to make that seat competitive again despite polling that showed him behind by double-digits. Sure enough, a new Mason-Dixon poll shows that Reid is either statistically tied or leading his GOP opponents:
Forty-two percent of Nevada voters said they would vote for state GOP Chairwoman Sue Lowden in a potential match-up against Reid, while 39 percent would support the majority leader, according to a Mason-Dixon poll released Friday.
By contrast, Lowden led Reid 47-37 in a mid-April Mason-Dixon poll, both surveys having been sponsored by the Las Vegas Journal-Review.
The new poll shows Reid making up ground against — if not overtaking — other potential Republican opponents.
Reid leads former state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle (R), a favorite of Tea Party activists, 42-39 percent. The top Senate Democrat is also in a statistical dead heat with businessman and former UNLV hoops star Danny Tarkanian: Forty-two percent of Nevadans would vote for Tarkanian and 41 percent would vote for Reid in such a match-up.
Complacency is the GOP’s worst enemy at this point, and Nevada is evidence of that.
This week, Jason and Brett speak with former Cato’s Former Director of Budget Studies and author of Buck Wild: How Republicans Broke the Bank and Became the Party of Big Government, Stephen Slivinski.
The discussion centers around the Republican Revolution of 1994, how the GOP traded principles for power, the big spending, and how the fever of fiscal conservatism from 1994 compares to the tea party movement today.
The Tea Party movement’s endurance will be a testament to its ability to understand that cutting government means having a long-term focus and its willingness to move beyond Republican talking points. Cato’s John Samples, author of The Struggle to Limit Government offers an assessment of what Tea Partiers should do if they really want to sustain an effort to cut government. Five pieces of advice:
1. Republicans aren’t always your friends.
2. Some tea partiers like big government.
3. Democrats aren’t always your enemies.
4. Smaller government demands restraint abroad.
5. Leave social issues to the states.
Text of Speech:
You know, theres a Chinese proverb that says that there are three curses, each one worse than the previous. The first of these curses is: “May you live in interesting times.” Well, the times we live in are certainly interesting.
We stand here today at a transformative moment in American history at the front lines of what can only be called a revolution in thought. We are here today, like hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans in cities all across the country to exercise our basic right as citizens, as a free people in a democratic republic. We stand here today, peaceably assembled, petitioning our government for redress of our grievances. And we are here to tell our government one thing: STOP.
We stand here today with a crisis of creativity in our country. We look around and see problem after problem: Poverty. Millions unable to get health care. People out of work. Its easy for all of us, no matter what our political views may be, to agree on what the problems are.
But though we all see these problems, for too long, we have seen just one solution let the government do it. Its their job. Its their responsibility.
Well, the second Chinese curse is this: May you come to the attention of those in authority.
Well, let me tell you, weve definitely been getting attention from those in power.
We are citizens today living under a government that doesn’t represent us its people. And we have made the decision, together, that we can no longer refuse to take action. And for that, we are drawing much attention.
Yesterday in Miami, President Obama had this to say about the Tax Day protesters:
OBAMA: We cut taxes for 95 percent of working Americans just like I promised we would on the campaign. […] So I’ve been a little amused over the last couple days where people have been having these rallies about taxes. You would think they would be saying, “Thank you!” That’s what you’d think!
Obama’s comment, of course, ignores the massive spending and deficit increases that he’s presided over, but what about this claim that he cut taxes for 95% of Americans ?
Yea, well that doesn’t really hold water either.
First of all, the tax referred to, the Making Work Pay tax credit doesn’t amount to much of anything:
Q: What are some of the tax breaks in the bill?
Recently, former Vice President Dan Quayle offered his two cents about the tea party movement:
Like many influential causes before it, the “tea party” movement appeared on the scene uninvited by the political establishment. Democrats in the White House and in Congress recognize it for what it is — a spontaneous and pointed response to the Obama agenda — but some Republican leaders still aren’t sure what to make of it, as tea partiers have risen on their own and stirred up trouble in GOP primaries.
The tea party movement is not exclusively a reaction only to “the Obama agenda”. And if the GOP buys into that, they’re buying trouble. Quayle even acknowledges that without knowing it when he talks about trouble in Republican primaries.
This grass roots movement didn’t begin when Obama took office or in reaction to his specific agenda, but instead began to form during the Bush administration as government continued to expand. About the time TARP found its way into the political lexicon, it went public. It was the size of the crisis and response – the trillions of dollars thrown around like confetti – that finally spurred people into the streets and birthed the official “tea party movement”.
I really wish that were true, Bruce, but Quayle is right.
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.
Mike Hassinger is a political consultant with Landmark Communications in Atlanta, Georgia. These views are his own.
The Tea Party movement has been ignored, mocked, dismissed, and cast as a collection of conspiracy kooks and racists. To become a genuine political force, this fledgling movement must face internal challenges of direction and leadership while under full assault from the statists on the left and their enabling lapdogs in the mainstream media. In one sense the Tea Party’s journey has been a compressed version of libertarianism -it took libertarians decades to become misunderstood and marginalized, whereas the Tea Partiers have done so in less than a year.
The Tea Party, as force in American electoral politics, stands at a crossroads –several crossroads, actually. Do they form their own political party, or back candidates from existing parties who support their views? Will they start small, with state and local races, or swing for the fences and jump into contested races in the house and Senate? The biggest question is going unasked: Will they co-opt, or be co-opted, and if they’re co-opted, who’s going to get them?
In my opinion the term “Tea Party” or “Tea Party Candidate” and the whole “Tea Party Movement” is irrelevant. It means nothing! It hasn’t meant anything meaningful for a long time.
Perhaps this is too radical a statement for most people, but ask yourself this: Do Ron Paul and Sean Hannity have the same political views? The clear answer is no. Hannity supports supply-side economics, Paul Austrian. Hannity supports our current foreign policy (including Guantanamo Bay, torture, and our foreign presence in over 100 nations) while Paul supports a foreign policy of non-intervention. Hannity supports Bush regardless of the argument, while Paul will criticize both parties about their big-government policies. Hannity and Paul have completely different political ideologies when they are examined.
Here’s the problem: the tea parties were not entirely made up of libertarian uproar about BOTH parties, but instead have become a combination of libertarians, paleo-conservatives, and of course neo-cons. Ever since I saw Sean Hannity have a live show at a tea party and talk up the tea parties, I knew that there was a serious misinterpretation about what the tea party movement is and what the true identity is.
We can talk all day about how the “tea party” candidate Doug Hoffman was lifted up by conservatives across the nation. But now we have Scott Brown being lifted up as the “tea party” candidate. I have to give credit to The Humble Libertarian as they pointed out that Scott Brown might be against government controlled health care, but he most certainly is not a libertarian by any stretch of the imagination. Comparing Brown to the libertarian candidate Joe Kennedy: