Economics

Tea Party: Drink Up, Democrats!

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Andrew Levison at the "Democratic Strategist" sees hope for his party in the Tea Party phenomenon. He sees some straight-up GOP apologetics and some kookiness, but more than that he sees something else:

the on-the-scene reports by citizen journalists…suggest that probably the largest single group within the tea parties were neither corporate Republicans, single-issue protestors nor conspiracy theorists. Writing in the Washington Examiner, Byron York offered a particularly empathetic view of their attitudes which he portrayed as a mixture of bewildered patriotism, fear of the unknown and nostalgia for traditional, "old-fashioned" economic values and attitudes. For Democrats, the key to understanding the outlook of this "small-town traditional" group is to recognize that it is not the expression of the standard, "institutional" conservative ideology of the Heritage Foundation and University of Chicago. On the contrary, it is an authentically "grass roots" perspective rooted in a "common sense" understanding of economic affairs that arises from practical experience in the world of small business.

Levison then I.D.s, pretty well I think, the five major ideas animating the Tea Partiers, and identified them as a classical American "pre-Keynesian" view of the relationship between the workin' man and the Feds:

1. Government spending to create jobs simply does not work. It can only create phony "make work" or "leaf raking" jobs and not "real" jobs that need to be done….

2. Government simply should not go into debt; it should maintain a permanently balanced budget. This idea, which in previous generations was called fiscal responsibility or "sound finance," is based on making an analogy between an individual household and the government….

3. Banks are visualized as essentially profit-seeking businesses like any other and not as an abstract "credit system" that provides "finance" or "liquidity" to the economy. In this view, the fact that banks' particular business happens to be taking deposits and lending money does not entitle them to any special treatment…..

4. Government regulation is seen from the perspective of a small businessman. As such it appears as a maze of annoying paperwork, licenses, permits, inspections, and so on….

5. Taxes are seen….as money that is simply taken away from individuals by the government—and not visualized as part of a larger circular flow…The "common sense" notion simply is that "Taxes are my money, not the government's money".

He then rightly points out that many of the business elites that he thinks are GOP handmaidens are perfectly Keynesian in their belief in large-scale government demand management.

In terms of Democratic strategy, there are two key implications of this analysis:

First, while these voters are unlikely to support Democratic candidates, their distrust and hostility to Obama and the Dems can be significantly moderated, reducing the number who move on to become committed anti-Democratic activists in hundreds of communities around the nation. The key is to reject the assumption that people who do not accept a Keynesian view are necessarily doctrinaire conservatives or committed Republicans. As we have seen, there is good evidence that they are not. Democrats can moderate the opposition of these voters by communicating with them in their own distinct "common sense" and "small business" framework.

He also thinks Dems should point out that many elements of the larger Tea Party-pushing coalition, from Dick Armey to Ron Paul to Objectivists, in fact have connections or beliefs that might frighten the decent old-fashioned angry Americans who make up the majority of Partiers.

All true. But for this to work to the Dems advantage in terms of dampening hostility toward them (not even Levison thinks they can win these Partiers votes), they will have to stop doing all those things that the Partiers don't like, from taxing to deficit spending to regulating to bailing out banks. And that isn't happening, nor is there a single force or figure within the Democratic Party power structure who wants or intends it to.

NEXT: Bilk the Taxpayers Slowly

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  1. In other words, encourage people to cherish reason’s favorite right-wing fantasies. Sounds like a winner to me.

  2. But for this to work to the Dems advantage in terms of dampening hostility toward them (not even Levison thinks they can win these Partiers votes), they will have to stop doing all those things that the Partiers don’t like, from taxing to deficit spending to regulating to bailing out banks.

    Sounds like the man has a grasp of the obvious that is rather unusual for the left side of the Ruling Party.

    To get the Tea Party vote, the Democrats have to go back to being the party of Thomas Jefferson.

    -jcr

  3. The same way anti-war protestors were recruited to progressive and socialist causes in the past few years via protest groups, the Tea Parties are a good way of introducing mainstream voters to libertarianism. I suspect the decent old fashioned Americans may be more receptive to the beliefs of Ron Paul or Ayn Rand when they observe the effect that the huge budget deficits and economic manipulations are having on them.
    Rather than “frighten” them, they might just become curious and interested. Isn’t that the point?

  4. And that isn’t happening, not is there a single force

    Perhaps a “nor” was meant for that spot?

  5. The only tea party a statist understands is the kind involving frilly dresses and an impossibly tiny tea set.

    Yes the tea party phenom shows that some Americans have some inkling of what made America great: small gov’t & low taxes. But in the end, they’ll line up behind the statist GOP or the statist Dems.

  6. Ah, fixed while was I still dithering about whether to insult Morris’ tiny, flaccid “pseudo-penis” or the shriveled filberts the doctors insisted were “technically” testicles.

  7. But in the end, they’ll line up behind the statist GOP or the statist Dems.

    I hope for all our sakes that you are wrong there. I know I will never fall into line again.

  8. In the end the Dems will adopt and essentially already have that Tea Party participants are all right-wing crazies. Reductio ad Ronpaulum et Aynrandum.

  9. My take on the SF tea party here

  10. Justin, I was expecting SugarFree’s tea party, so I am disappointed. You know, one with characters like Barney Frank getting teabagged and perhaps a third installment of the DiFi sexcapade chronicles.

  11. “But in the end, they’ll line up behind the statist GOP or the statist Dems.”

    You should hope so. It’s all fule for your pathetic little cult. Let’s face it, no social arrangement will ever live up to your irrational doctrinaire demands. Relax, true- believer market fundies. You have that advantage enjoyed by all fundamentalists–reality can’t touch you.

  12. Keynesian economics would have been laughed to death long ago if it didn’t provide cover for politicians to funnel public funds to their friends.

  13. Keynesian economics would have been laughed to death long ago if it didn’t provide cover for politicians to funnel public funds to their friends.

    Keynsianism is to economics as Lysenkoism is to biology.

    -jcr

  14. Morris,

    One of the things that exposes your ignorance is your insistence that some sort of cult of free-market thinkers even exists. Uh, fuck, I missed my meeting and lost my ID card.

    What marks you as a freak is that you feel the need to stamp out even the slightest dissension from the belief in the grand benevolence of the State.

    There have been many control freaks in history and most of us in this loose association of a ‘cult’ count them as some of the most vile people that ever lived. The very same people you hero-worship.

    Cult

  15. Morris! Hey, great to see you. I wondered what you’d been up to since you lost that commercial gig. Doesn’t it suck when you can’t get anyone to take you seriously?

    -jcr

  16. insistence that some sort of cult of free-market thinkers even exists.

    It’s rather like the way that bible-thumpers accuse atheists of worshipping Darwin.

    -jcr

  17. Levison:

    ‘Writing in the Washington Examiner, Byron York offered a particularly empathetic view of their attitudes which he portrayed as a mixture of bewildered patriotism, fear of the unknown and nostalgia for traditional, “old-fashioned” economic values and attitudes.”‘

    I read the York article, and it does not convey anything near the attitude of condescension Levinson suggests. The term ‘old-fashioned stuff’ is used (confusingly enough to me) in reference to a Citizens Against Government report citing the spending record of Thad Cochran (R-Miss). But the stuff about bewildered patriotism and fear is Levison’s language, not York’s.

    I suppose that if York had reported someone saying that the failure to adopt Tea Party policies would lead to ‘catastrophe,’ that might be an example of fear-mongering. But York doesn’t report it. In fact, it was Obama who used the c-word in warning about the dire fate awaiting the nation if Congress didn’t do what he told them right away.

    Levison seems to be *trying* to understand these bizarre citizens, acknowledging that they might have some kind of political impact, but unlike Yorke, he is baffled by them. He is like that character in the cartoon Kudzu who talks about how progressive have to reach out to the stupid, reactionary hillbillies.

  18. *progressives* have to reach out

  19. Basically, he wants the pre-FDR Democratic Party. So do I! The GD/WWII was when everything changed. The Dems used to be the small government party looking out for the little guy, and the Reps the small government party looking out for business. But the Dems became the big government party under the FDR years. The Republicans were out of power for so long that it took them a while to catch up. Nowadays both are big government parties.

    I’ll take the 1920’s version of either party…

  20. I don’t like the look of this…

  21. for jester

    Barney’s cleft palate takes teabagging to a whole new level as he wheezes and gulps Rahm’s hot-sagging balls into his sinuses. Nancy plays the frantic chicken while Dianne tries to tie her enormous labia around a touch lamp. Flickering on and off and dim and bright as it shakes back and forth, the lamp shows in a slow strobe Rahm struggling to break free of Barney’s gagging embrace. Rahm shits a frightened little turd on Barney’s neck. Barney, startled and finally erect, kicks out at a squawking Nancy who is masturbating furiously with a loofah sponge attached to a cordless drill. Her leg shatters like a cheap epiphany.

  22. “It’s rather like the way that bible-thumpers accuse atheists of worshipping Darwin.”

    I could so suck his dick right now.


  23. I’ll take the 1920’s version of either party…”

    Me too.

  24. Hey, did anyone see where I put my…

    Rahm shits a frightened little turd on Barney’s neck.

    OH MY GOD

  25. thnx SugarFree. I knew I could count on you. Great material. A+++.

  26. Morris | May 11, 2009, 6:56pm | #
    In other words, encourage people to cherish reason’s favorite right-wing fantasies. Sounds like a winner to me.

    obvious troll is obvious

  27. If the Dems want to become the party of low taxes and small government, sure they have my vote. But, I ddoubt they could do that without alienating every party activist and elected politician. This whole thing seems a bit absurd. If the Dems don’t stand for high taxes, big spending and lots of government control, there really isn’t much left of the current party.

  28. What the country really needs is a Kool-Aid party. We could impress into people just how status quo their perception of change is.

    I’ll hold the first one: Rootin’ Tootin’ Cherry (laced with cyanide.)

  29. So… is the strategy to shift the Democratic party more Libertarian? Or to pretend to?

    I don’t see how it’s going to work, but I’d like to see them try either, if only to see the GOP’s inevitably hilarious response.

  30. Dude’s, seriously, regarding the Tea Parties, you should not even care. The most remarkable political facts lately are the GOP getting the 21% identification number, the Dems looking like they will win that seat in NY 20th, spector’s switch, and Obama’s positive’s. You can meet and yell about tea all you want, the Dems are in control dudes. Your tea parties only make you look loonier and make the Dems stronger, however much I personally admire the protests…

  31. If people here were hard working libertarians, they would start to work WITHIN the Democratic Party (which is much, much more open to outside influence, why do you think LaRouche ran as a Dem so much?) to move it towards libertarian ideas. In a two party system that party is going to be in power quite a bit fellas…

    The NRA smartly worked within the Dem party, and now gun control is wishful thinking on those people’s part…That’s sucess boys…

  32. Your tea parties only make you look loonier and make the Dems stronger

    Sort of the way anti-war protestors made the protestors look like loons and make the Republicans stronger in 2003, I guess.

    Giant puppets anyone?

  33. If people here were hard working libertarians, they would start to work WITHIN the Democratic Party (which is much, much more open to outside influence, why do you think LaRouche ran as a Dem so much?) to move it towards libertarian ideas.

    Yes, you can change your man, if you just keep nagging.

  34. The NRA smartly worked within the Dem party, and now gun control is wishful thinking on those people’s part…That’s sucess boys…

    The Democratic Party decided it couldn’t win without Southern and Mid-western electoral votes. The NRA had nothing to do with it.

  35. If people here were hard working libertarians, they would start to work WITHIN the Democratic Party (which is much, much more open to outside influence. The NRA smartly worked within the Dem party, and now gun control is wishful thinking on those people’s part.

    No, wishful thinking is the hope that the unprincipled powermonger pragmatist-in-chief is as gullible and insecure as those frat boys you used to lure back to your dorm room with the promise of a “case of beer I just can’t finish.”

    The only difference is that it is the libertarians who believed the Democrats’ promises who would wake up the next morning feeling deeply shamed and a little sore.

  36. “The “common sense” notion simply is that “Taxes are my money, not the government’s money”.”

    It’s interesting that he writes that as if it were a completely foreign and incomprehensible viewpoint to his target audience.

  37. Love the patronizing tone he takes in the five points. Like that people think the government should not go into debt because they are confused by the difference between international finance and their own home finance.

  38. Conspiracy theorists take note:

    Check out the *umbrella* in the lower left-hand corner of the photograph accompanying Byron York’s article.

  39. Mad Max,

    Conspiracy confirmed. “Umbrella” is gone after your pointing it out.

  40. Ah, that is what happened to Dr. Marcus!

  41. The Democratic Party decided it couldn’t win without Southern and Mid-western electoral votes. The NRA had nothing to do with it.

    Yes, that is the right take.

    The NRA smartly worked within the Dem party, and now gun control is wishful thinking on those people’s part…That’s sucess boys…

    Such quaint lunacy.

    Those sneaky NRA commandos stealthy crept inside of the Democrat party and destroyed all of the anti-freedom talking points memos, leaving nothing but pro-assault weapon notes . . .

  42. What? A Democrat who seems to get it? Bag and Tag it, and send it into research, pronto. A rare specimen, indeed. Calls for Champagne.

  43. kicks out at a squawking Nancy who is masturbating furiously with a loofah sponge attached to a cordless drill. Her leg shatters like a cheap epiphany.

    Great stuff. I had to add in a few details, Nancy’s big ass 60 plus old titties plopping from side to side to really pop one out, though.

  44. –== Cougarster.Com ==– It’s where Cougar (women who are mature, rich and experienced) and men who like them can meet.

  45. babara | May 11, 2009, 10:37pm | #
    –== Cougarster.Com ==– It’s where Cougar (women who are mature, rich and experienced) and men who like them can meet.

    Good God, that little porn bit I did about Pelosi didn’t attract a bot, right?

  46. Don’t forget reason no. 6 why tea parties exist:

    “We teabaggers don’t like that uppity nigger president, but we can’t say that openly.”

  47. “To a liberal, every day is Selma, 1965.”

    Mark Vaughn, no one likes a race-baiting toolbag. Fuck off, Jack.

  48. Help!!!! Reason just broke my BSMeter!

    Here’s the truth about the “tea party” movement. Click each link for more, and especially see the picture here.

    For a mini-example of how dumb those pushing the “parties” are, see this.

  49. In other words teabaggers are low-information voters. I’ll even grant that they’re not unwitting pawns of FOX news (ministry of truth for the GOP), not devoted partisans or fundamentalist Christians. They have serious complaints and a voice that deserves to be heard. They are furious at both parties for the anxiety they feel. I’ll even overlook any racist undertones and gut reactions against a black liberal democrat as president. But I think the five points in this article seem a reasonable summary of teabagger’s grievances, and they’re all bullshit. In reality even massive debt is less scary than the alternative; in reality the rules of household common sense and fairness don’t apply because the economy’s collapse was set to cause massive long-term pain, and emergency measures were necessary.

    And in reality I’m still not convinced that teabaggers are any different from the usual FOX news crowd, and that if McCain were elected, assuming he continued to pander as hard as he did during the campaign, there would be no teabagging parties but only the flip side of today’s paranoid reaction to major change–vicious jingoism.

  50. So… is the strategy to shift the Democratic party more Libertarian? Or to pretend to?

    The Ruling Party always pays lip service to liberty. It’s pretty clear to me that we’re not going to get back our Republic without fixing at least one of the franchises of the ruling party, and the current weakness of the Republicans after the WGB debacle presents an opportunity that we haven’t had since Ford got a shellacking by Carter.

    As for the Democrats, they’re hopeless. Those idiots are taking turns to repeat every line of New Deal bullshit at any opportunity, with occasional breaks to make up excuses for Obama’s failures on the civil rights front.

    -jcr

  51. Shut the fuck up LoneWhacko.

  52. teabaggers are low-information voters.

    I haven’t surveyed anyone in that subculture myself, but I guess we can take your word for it. Do you speak from first-hand experience?

    The tea partiers on the other hand, tend to know rather more than the pinkos expect them to. They won’t be easily co-opted.

    -jcr

  53. “To a conservative, every day is Memphis, April 4, 1968.”

    The Angry Optimist, no one likes a racist teabag. Fuck off, Jacques.

  54. that comment doesn’t even make sense. what did I say that was racist?

  55. I haven’t surveyed anyone in that subculture myself, but I guess we can take your word for it. Do you speak from first-hand experience?

    I was using the findings reported in the article. Granted it’s from a Democratic strategist. Care to deny them?

  56. “We teabaggers don’t like that uppity nigger president, but we can’t say that openly.”

    Right, because you can’t dislike taxes or fiscal insanity without being a racist.

  57. I was using the findings reported in the article.

    The article was about Tea Party participants. You seem to have them confused with some other group of people.

    -jcr

  58. Tony, I only saw you (barely) address one of the five points with any substance at all. Care to refute the other ones? Oh, and do a better job with the one you did “refute”.

  59. I think the five points in this article seem a reasonable summary of teabagger’s grievances, and they’re all bullshit. In reality even massive debt is less scary than the alternative; in reality the rules of household common sense and fairness don’t apply because the economy’s collapse was set to cause massive long-term pain, and emergency measures were necessary.

    Ahhh, yes, the “reality based community” response.

  60. Right, because you can’t dislike taxes or fiscal insanity without being a racist.

    You paid taxes under Bush; there was definitely fiscal insanity then too. Why the late arrival to the party? I know it’s not because you’re on gay time.

  61. Tony, as usual you don’t know what you are talking about. Libertarians HATED Bush’s spending policies. We were absolutely OUTRAGED by the bailouts.

    Do some research.

  62. You paid taxes under Bush; there was definitely fiscal insanity then too. Why the late arrival to the party?

    Is that a refutation of the points? That some people are late to the party?

    I mean, how does that diminish the points any?

    Oh yeah, it doesn’t.

  63. Yet no tea parties. Only now when the consequences of deregulatory zeal and free market worship have been borne out and the succeeding government is having to pick up the pieces is your movement mobilized. I even generously granted a mulligan for all the racism and Hannity ass licking present at these events.

  64. Yet no tea parties.

    In case you didn’t notice, there was no April 15th in between the time that TARP was passed and the election.

    Not to mention the additional $700 billion that went to the stimulus and the bloated $400 billion budget.

    You act like the only thing that changed between last year and this one was Obama’s election. Interesting take that. Isn’t it just possible that the candidate of “change” has made come “changes” people don’t like?

  65. – 1 for trolling, Tony.

    Anyway, I’m still not seeing a refutation. Even if it’s true that a lot of this Johnny-Come-Lately is because there’s a D in the White House, you still haven’t demonstrated how that fact logically refutes anything said.

    Because you can’t, of course.

    The sad part is, is that you’re right that a lot of this is just partisan shenanigans and the people who were outraged now (note, Tony, that doesn’t include us, try as you might to lump us with them) weren’t outraged previously.

    But, again, so what? What’s your point? How does that refute what’s being said?

  66. But, again, so what? What’s your point? How does that refute what’s being said?

    You mean the Democratic strategist’s research? I don’t think it’s not legitimate, I just think it’s misinformed.

  67. Nooo, Tony, you said this:

    But I think the five points in this article seem a reasonable summary of teabagger’s grievances, and they’re all bullshit.

    So far, I’ve seen two “points” that supposedly refute the five points given:

    1. “in reality the rules of household common sense and fairness don’t apply because the economy’s collapse was set to cause massive long-term pain” and
    2. Your other argument seems to be that it doesn’t matter anyway because IF McCain were President THEN there would be no Tea Parties (which is not a refutation of the points).

    So, refute the points. If they’re “all bullshit” it shouldn’t take you long.

  68. Democrats can moderate the opposition of these voters by communicating with them in their own distinct “common sense” and “small business” framework.

    They do that all time, it’s called lying. Obama does it every time he opens his mouth.

  69. If there’s no racism involved with the tea parties, how come so many of them refer to the president as “the Kenyan” and “homey don’t play dat” and other not-quite-so subtle references to his heritage?

    And “states’ rights” is code for “The South Shall Rise Again And Strike Down Them Niggers Who Demand Equal Protection Under The Law.”

  70. No one said there was “no racism” involved. Like any large group, you get fringe elements who try to latch on. You should see the “Fallacy of the Hasty Generalization” or maybe the “Fallacy of Composition”.

    But, clearly you don’t have any interest in being intellectual; you’re just being a fuckhead and a race-baiter.

  71. Whew, I’m so glad Mr. Levison is here to ease my anxiety before I go to bed. I might have had another sleepless night. Here I was under the impression that the appropriations of ignorant and corrupt politicians might not stimulate demand and put people to work, that incomprehensible additions to an already incomprehensible public debt were unwise, that nationalization and heavy-handed regulation might delay recovery and stifle long term growth, and the money I earned every two weeks belonged to me and not a “large circular flow”.

    Good thing people like Mr. Levison are there to know what’s best for old fashioned, ignorant rubes such as I.

  72. “Barney’s cleft palate takes teabagging to a whole new level as he wheezes and gulps Rahm’s hot-sagging balls into his sinuses. Nancy plays the frantic chicken while Dianne tries to tie her enormous labia around a touch lamp. Flickering on and off and dim and bright as it shakes back and forth, the lamp shows in a slow strobe Rahm struggling to break free of Barney’s gagging embrace. Rahm shits a frightened little turd on Barney’s neck. Barney, startled and finally erect, kicks out at a squawking Nancy who is masturbating furiously with a loofah sponge attached to a cordless drill. Her leg shatters like a cheap epiphany.”

    This has been a reprint of earlier blog material. If you skipped over this, you owe your thanks. Now get over yourselves. Nothing valid has been posted sin ce.

  73. Like I said earlier, Political Parties like Kool-Aid. Kool-Aid is sweet. Easy on the palate.

    Fuck off, all other commentary…because, Kool-Aid is sweet. Easy on the palate.

  74. Here is racism: Barack Obama. Some individual so sorrowfully fucked up that he forgot that he is an individual. Obama! Please! Accept me as your friend on FaceBook!

  75. Florida/Georgia/Alabama tax protest in Tallahassee

    tea party tax protest on May 16.

    http://tallytea.ning.com/main/embeddable/list

  76. Is it a green tea party, an assam tea party, a jasmine tea party, or an oolong tea party? Please specify.

  77. Ah, that is what happened to Dr. Marcus!

    Knifed in the gut by Klingons on the Genesis planet?

  78. the consequences of deregulatory zeal and free market worship have been borne out

    What the fuck are you talking about? If you take a second to read deeper than Jacob Wiesberg’s Newsweek column, you’ll find that there was nothing deregulatory or free market about the last decade.

  79. I’ll take the 1920’s version of either party…

    In the 1920s, they were both pretty evil. The Republicans were the home of the “progressives”, and the Democrats were lousy with KKK cretins.

    -jcr

  80. there was nothing deregulatory or free market about the last decade.

    Truth to tell, the last significant round of deregulation was the abandonment of Nixon’s wage and price controls. Before that, you pretty much have to go back to 1946 when the New Deal and wartime price controls were lifted.

    -jcr

  81. JCR,

    presents an opportunity that we haven’t had since Ford got a shellacking by Carter.

    Shellacking? Might want to look that one up. Carter won, barely.

  82. Chris Muir condensed this thread to 3 panels this morning.

  83. Who the hell refers to Obama as “the Kenyan”? So many people that I’ve never heard it before.

  84. Who the hell refers to Obama as “the Kenyan”? So many people that I’ve never heard it before.

    Liberals, when they need to make something up about people who will not follow them.

  85. I don’t like the Tea Party movement because it means libertarian fiscal ideas being co-opted by the social conservatives. And we all know how great that turned out when they elected one of their own as president.

  86. Bingo,

    Political intellectual property?

  87. GOP Strategy:

    1. Pay lipservice to small government
    2. Get elected
    3. Try to implement national bans on gay marriage, immigration (specifically: Mexicans), and obscenity. Ratchet up the war on drugs and the expansion of the police/surveillance state. National control of the public school curriculum in regards to sex education and intelligent design.
    4. Do fuckall for the cause of liberty and smaller government while waving a flag and talking about freedom
    5. ???
    6. Profit

    Er, maybe step 5 should read “get trounced by Dems the following election” and 6 should read “Set the libertarian movement back 50 years by giving small government policies a terrible public reputation”.

  88. And one more thing:

    This is “libertarianism” based on it being an American Tradition. The Tea Party folks are simply conservatives that are doing their best to protect what they view as another traditional institution. There is absolutely no grand moral philosophy or logical reasoning behind this movement, it’s intellectually dead. Not only that, but fiscal conservatism will go out the window when social conservatives feel like a traditional institution is being threatened. For example, many of these folks see maintaining Cold War-era military spending as another American Tradition that must be protected.

  89. TAO
    I think Tony did address the point about debt, that generally that’s correct but in the emergency situation it’s allowable (I mean, you’re in debt right now [law school], right?).

    As to the other points I might suggest:

    1. “It can only create phony “make work” or “leaf raking” jobs and not “real” jobs that need to be done” If you are the one who was unemployed but now is getting a paycheck for leaf raking it’s not so phony.

    2. “Government regulation is seen from the perspective of a small businessman.” Most people are workers and consumers, not small businesspersons, and those regulations are seen as protecting them. In elections majority wins.

    3. “Taxes are seen….as money that is simply taken away from individuals by the government”
    Yes, everyone hates taxes, but people hate not having government services more.

    4. “the fact that banks’ particular business happens to be taking deposits and lending money does not entitle them to any special treatment”
    But since all other businesses and consumers use banks there is an interest in not seeing them fail.

  90. “All true. But for this to work to the Dems advantage in terms of dampening hostility toward them (not even Levison thinks they can win these Partiers votes), they will have to stop doing all those things that the Partiers don’t like, from taxing to deficit spending to regulating to bailing out banks. And that isn’t happening, nor is there a single force or figure within the Democratic Party power structure who wants or intends it to. ”

    Exactly.

    The Dems can try all the phony “common sense” talk they want.

    There is no way to convince all those folks that you believe in their set of principles when you continue to do exactly the opposite.

  91. The reaction by the left to the tea parties should serve as a historical reminder. Not every citizen supported the American revolution. Today’s Democrat loyalists would have been supporting team red over the lawless tax evaders of two centuries ago. Also, Democrats are fags.

  92. ‘There is no way to convince all those folks that you believe in their set of principles when you continue to do exactly the opposite.’

    Exactly – it’s not even working with the Republicans any more.

  93. Interesting, for the Dems to curry favor from the Partiers means that the Dems can not be Dems. That should work.

  94. For Democrats, the key to understanding the outlook of this “small-town traditional” group is to recognize…

    …that the Democrats outnumber these groups and are therefore intellectually superior to them, paving the way for the nightly cable-news schadenfreudefests in which Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney are roasted by witty lefties. The Dems finally feel safe to vent their true hatred of the opposition. They’re very poor winners, but what goes around comes around, eventually.

  95. In reality even massive debt is less scary than the alternative; in reality the rules of household common sense and fairness don’t apply because the economy’s collapse was set to cause massive long-term pain, and emergency measures were necessary.

    And people call *us* dupes.

  96. Morris | May 11, 2009, 6:56pm | #

    “In other words, encourage people to cherish reason’s favorite right-wing fantasies. Sounds like a winner to me.”

    As if Keynesian economics were not simply a left wing fantasy propped up to rationalize an activist state.

  97. If there’s no racism involved with the tea parties, how come so many of them refer to the president as “the Kenyan” and “homey don’t play dat” and other not-quite-so subtle references to his heritage? [citation needed]

  98. “Interesting, for the Dems to curry favor from the Partiers means that the Dems can not be Dems. That should work.”

    The writer specifically claims that is not the point. He states, “First, while these voters are unlikely to support Democratic candidates, their distrust and hostility to Obama and the Dems can be significantly moderated, reducing the number who move on to become committed anti-Democratic activists in hundreds of communities around the nation.”

    The goal is clearly not to turn Tea Party participants into democratic voters but to find a way to demonize the Tea Party movement in order to intimidate OTHER people from listening to their message or joining their forces AGAINST the democratic party.

    Bingo’s comment above, “Bingo | May 12, 2009, 6:13am | #

    I don’t like the Tea Party movement because it means libertarian fiscal ideas being co-opted by the social conservatives. And we all know how great that turned out when they elected one of their own as president.”

    Bingo provides a beautiful example of the divide and conquer tactic they plan to employ.

  99. Barney’s cleft palate takes teabagging to a whole new level as he wheezes and gulps Rahm’s hot-sagging balls into his sinuses. Nancy plays the frantic chicken while Dianne tries to tie her enormous labia around a touch lamp. Flickering on and off and dim and bright as it shakes back and forth, the lamp shows in a slow strobe Rahm struggling to break free of Barney’s gagging embrace. Rahm shits a frightened little turd on Barney’s neck. Barney, startled and finally erect, kicks out at a squawking Nancy who is masturbating furiously with a loofah sponge attached to a cordless drill. Her leg shatters like a cheap epiphany.

    Sugarfree, DAMN! that is good writing!

  100. Good writing?? LOLOL!!!

    Anyhow, on subject again,I have reviewed some Rothbard works on monetary policy on my blog, the listed url.

    Please check it out and weigh in yourself!

  101. Real world translation: we need to bamboozle these teabagging yahoos by using the same kinda language they use. Of course will never change our policies one iota.

  102. Just two quick comments:

    1. Keynesian policies just don’t work… sorry but they just don’t…
    2. I attended the tea party in Boston and a lot of sentiments harkened back to a Jacksonian view, might be a place of common ground to start on…

  103. Keynesian policies just don’t work… sorry but they just don’t…

    If by “work”, you mean “improve the general welfare and promote a healthy economy”, you’re correct. However, improving the economy isn’t the purpose of Keynsianism: its real purpose is to provide the appearance of sophistication to incompetent, ham-fisted power grabbing, and it accomplishes that purpose very effectively.

    -jcr

  104. It’s fun to see all the former Republicans hide their former identities under a vale of Libertarianism. I’d want to hide too… 🙂
    Enjoy your stay in the ‘compound’. lol

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