Freedom Works' Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe, who have been heavily involved in the Tea Party movement, issued a funny little rejoinder today to David Brooks' contention last week that Tea Partyistas are a mirror version of New Left radicals of the '60s. Here's most of it:
[T]his decentralized grass-roots network has little in common with the New Left. It is rooted in the American traditions of individual freedom and constitutional limits on government power, and looks "anti-establishment" only because the political establishment ignores these principles.
If that's radicalism, sign us up. Membership in this club already includes Jefferson, Madison, Washington and (Samuel) Adams.
Mr. Brooks mocks Tea Partiers' conspiracy theories about "banks" and corporations." Yes, too many business interests use the power of the state in a "conspiracy against the public … to raise prices," but our source is the 1760s radical Adam Smith. What do you suppose Smith would think about a $700 billion government bailout of banks authored by a former investment bank chairman, or a federal mandate that every citizen buy the health insurance industry's overpriced product?
Mr. Brooks is the one, not Tea Partiers, with far more in common with those on the left who desire order dictated from top-down structures or, as he puts it, "just authorities." He will find common cause with Abbie Hoffman, Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.
At least Brooks still has some political allies left.