Tea Party

Hey, Commenters! Here's a Chance to Talk About Tea Parties!

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Sean Scallon has a suggestion:

I have written about the possible reaction anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan might possibly receive at a Tea Party. It seems as though Medea Benjamin of Code Pink has gone to a Tea Party and tried outreach on her own.

Well, if one wants to bring forth or at least begin a left-right alliance, then perhaps Sheehan and Benjamin and other members of Code Pink and those on the antiwar Left, should simply declare that they are Tea Partiers too and organize Tea Party events as well.

Why not? Is it against the law? Are there rules or bylaws saying they can't be Tea Partiers? Who are Sarah Palin or Dick Armey to say who can or cannot be Tea Partiers? Political parties have always had Left, Right, libertarian and centrist wings, why not the Tea Party?

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  1. I’m Spartacus!

    1. Is that you John Wayne?

      1. John Wayne was a fag.

        1. What, did you install two-way mirrors in his pad in Brentwood?

          1. Yeah, and he come to the door in a dress.

  2. Stop trolling, Jesse!

    1. Jesse is Dan T!

  3. Can’t wait until the splinter groups multiply

    So would they be the Judean People’s Front or the People’s Front of Judea?

  4. I thought this was going to be a thread about cucumber sandwiches!

    1. I shaved my balls for this?

  5. Well, it did seem to me that the tea party was anti-war. Anti overseas war, that is. But the militarization of our southern border is fine and dandy.

    1. socialist!

  6. I’m starting to see “Green Tea Party” as a catchphrase for environmentalists, which suggests that something like that is already happening.

    1. Chai Party?

      Texas Tea Party?

      Wet T-Shirt Party?

      Tee Party?

      1. Whatever they are, they’re very high in antioxidants.

        1. You have to give them that, yes.

          1. I left out one: T-Rex Party.

            1. T-Ball Party

              Got to hook ’em when they’re young.

              1. And there’s those earthquake people: Tea-T Party.

      2. Will kinky hookers form the Pee Tarty?

        1. Two Girls One Tea Party?

    2. The crunchy con version of the tea parties.

  7. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    I suspect the Tea Parties are going to have to adopt some kind of more-or-less formal organization and statement of principles to keep the brand from dissolving. Its a “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything” kind of deal. I don’t see how smaller-government types like olde school tea partiers and crypto-Marxists like greens and code pinkers can co-exist under a single meaningful umbrella.

  8. Sean “Segregation Forever” Scallon nowhere in his suggestion condemns the Confederacy. Why do you think we should join his racist crusade, Welch?

    1. Check the author again…

  9. The problem here is that Medea Benjamin is all for reducing our costly and wasteful presence overseas, but is entirely too wedded to using the hammer of the state for social engineering. From her article:

    Maybe then, Libertarians and social progressives can make common cause against expansive–and expensive–empire.

    Yeah, but what happens when libertarians are opposed to every other principle she espouses? She’s claiming foreign policy divisions within the Tea Party will founder the movement, but an alliance between social progressives and libertarians will be smooth sailing? Uh, wait, what? There’s a lot more fundamental disagreements between the latter groups than there are in the Tea Party movement.

    1. Right, and here’s the thing. Last I checked, national defense was unquestionably the responsibility of the federal government. In fact, no less than half of the enumerated powers specifically deal with defense and military matters. So while there may be disagreements about the proper role of the US in the world, how the military is used, and how much is spent, there is NO question whatsoever that it is within the purview of the federal governement. What does this share in common with progressive “social engineering?” Absolutely nothing.

      1. Furthermore, a lot more tax dollars are spent on the “social engineering” stuff than is spent on the military and that is also the category that is growing the fastest.

        I looked at the pie chart of federal outlays by percentage that is in the 1040 tax instruction booklet the other day. Social Security and Medicare are 37%. Another 20% is categorized as “social program” Those two together are 57% and are twice as much as the military at 24%.

        And all that is for government fiscal year 2008 and don’t reflect the new tidal wave of “social engineering” costs that Obama has passed.

        1. You guys are absolutely right. But my saying so in the 360+ comment thread yesterday (to which Jesse slyly alludes in the title of this blog post) produced a storm of foaming-at-the-mouth liberaltarian incoherence, including at least one ALL CAPS TIRADE.

          This liberaltarian tactic of accusing people like us of wanting “big government” because we are for constitutionally limited government with a powerful and effective military, and claiming that we are really not libertarians at all, but just neocon shills, is as tiresome as it is fallacious. But I suppose it really shouldn’t be all that surprising, given the outreach to brainwashed young left-leaning school kids in the past few years by outlets such as Reason.com.

        2. Yeah, her budget numbers don’t reflect the fact that non-discretionary entitlements are what’s bankrupting the country, not military spending.

          But someone who agitates for a living wage and universal healthcare obviously has a deficient grasp of economics.

          1. Uh, what’s the difference? It’s still dollars. How many times more should we spend than the rest of the world combined on military before it becomes excessive?

          2. Money is fungible. The money being borrowed for military spending is indistinguishable from the money borrowed for entitlement spending. Reducing spending on either reduces the deficit. Back of the envelope calculations say we’re spending about a trillion a year on the war machine: $700b or so in Pentagon spending, $200b in “emergency” Iraq & Afghanistan expenditures, DHS, some spending in the Dept. of State, CIA, NSA, etc. Cutting that down reduces the deficit just as much as entitlement cuts.

  10. What has become apparent from Tea Party histrionics and fits over Fox News is that the left really can’t stand anyone else muscling in on their monopoly on controlling the narrative and public displays of righteous indignation.

    1. If there’s one thing that’s abundantly clear and has been for years, it’s that the left has no ability to control any narrative. If you believe otherwise, perhaps the histrionics are coming from a source a little closer to home.

  11. I suspect the Tea Parties are going to have to adopt some kind of more-or-less formal organization and statement of principles to keep the brand from dissolving.

    Too late.

    If there ever was a core philosophy behind the thing, it’s long gone.

    1. The “core philosophy” is that “we don’t like a black president”.

  12. I don’t agree with a lot of things Tea Partiers seem to support, like building a border wall between us and Mexico, but I’m still fairly pleased with the movement. At the one in Seattle this year, most people’s signs advocated cutting taxes AND government spending. Given that the majority of the voting public seems to think foreign aid occupies a massive portion of the federal budget, just getting people to talk about ways to cut spending is a huge leap forward in my mind.

    I would definitely prefer that tea partiers learn more about the benefits of immigration before condemning immigrants for tukkin their jearbs, but Rome wasn’t built in a day!

  13. I think there’s some self-fulfilling prophecy that might be going on here… The surest way to radicalize the Tea Party people is to continue to marginalize their centrist views…

    I don’t share their views–quite frankly, I wish they were libertarian rather than centrist. But if no one absorbs them, this really could turn ugly.

    I think they’re more dangerous for being centrist, by the way… The two major parties can ignore the radicals on the left and the right, and there probably won’t be any long term consequences to that.

    But you can’t ignore something like this in the middle of the road forever…

    I think Cindy Sheehan types were the left-edge tip of the centrist iceberg that made it so Barak Obama is our President and Hillary Clinton isn’t…

    If the Tea Party types are the right-edge tip of the centrist iceberg, and that center doesn’t find any outlet in politics?

    Illegitimate government can be an ugly thing, and the reaction it provokes can also be very ugly. Making radicals out of centrists and denying the center political participation is a recipe for disaster.

    1. We have camps for that.

    2. If the Tea Parties had centrist views they could draw more than a relative handful of people to their demonstrations.

      1. So you’re saying they have centrist views.

      2. Are you suggesting that supporting the President in using taxpayer’s future earnings to bail out Wall Street investors is a centrist view?

        I happen to agree with them on that point–I also happen to have thought that opposition to the Iraq War was a centrist view. It was centrist-left, but we’re not talking about radicals.

        The Tea Party may be center-right, but they aren’t radicals yet either.

        Deny the center its say in the political sphere, and you’re on the road to “illegitimacy” in the technical sense. When that sense of the government as being illegitimate comes to the center, better watch out.

        That’s what happened in the ’60s. It was the center-left that was marginalized as counter-culture then. There’s no reason that can’t happen on the center-right. Marginalize them, ignore them politically… Things will get a lot worse before they get better, and you’ll end up fighting them for generations.

        Vietnam radicalized the left then, particularly because of the draft… Since 1620, Americans have this thing about being compelled to support things they don’t like. We’re compelling people now to do everything from bailing out Wall Street investors and the UAW to forcing them to buy health insurance…

        If we don’t give them a voice in politics, I think it’s just a question of time before things get ugly. And I think the Progressives are indulging in some self-fulfilling prophecy.

        They can’t say they didn’t see it coming.

        1. Ken’s on the right track.

          The reality is that the center-left, the Krugman’s etc. have it in their heads that they have WON the economic debate. They will brook no dissent on this matter, hence anyone that thinks they haven’t, is a radical freak, that must be motivated by something like racism. Because all serious people know that “We’re all socialists now.”

          Since they refuse to admit that we’re not all socialists, and in fact lots of people loathe the idea of socialism and refuse to accept the “new paradigm”, they’re in the position of attempting to marginalize a large chunk of the center of the political spectrum. All those non-socialists can’t be centrists in their view, they must be marginal radicals, or people with a hidden (i.e. racist) agenda.

    3. Never forget! The Balanced Budget Amendment came within one vote of passing Congress in 1995.

  14. The “core philosophy” is that “we don’t like a black president”.

    Head injuries are funny things.

  15. Some days, I feel like the head of the T-Boned party.

  16. She would be a less credible tea party member than the average Republican, and that’s not very credible.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7K2HdFZiKw

    OK, the video doesn’t actually address her economics, but, well, close enough.

  17. I can think of a couple of agendas for Medea:

    (1) She actually believes the spin that Tea Partiers are teh stoopid, and she thinks she can get them to abandon their core beliefs, do a 180, and follow her.

    (2) She’s trying to delegitimize the Tea Parties.

    Most likely, though she’s just an attention whore, and this is a way to get attention

    1. Most likely, though she’s just an attention whore,

      A jewish girl from Long Island who changed her name from Susan to Medea might be an attention whore? Color me shocked.

      1. She needs to start her own Long Island Tea Party. I’d join.

  18. The left has spent enough time demonizing the “teabaggers” that they’re hardly gonna “join” them now.

    They’ve also managed to tag them with lots of ideas that AFAIK weren’t part of the program, such as:

    “I don’t agree with a lot of things Tea Partiers seem to support, like building a border wall between us and Mexico”

    Anyway, I agree with some others here – the brand is dead.

    1. It definitely seems to me that the Progressives are highly susceptible to a special kind of stupid…

      They’re so sure they’re right about what’s right for the American people, and it always seems to be a surprise when they first realize that the people understand exactly what it is Progressives are about–and they reject it wholeheartedly.

      1. I don’t see how those Progressives don’t know that the TPers have their number! Rush, Hannity, and Beck have spent MONTHS making sure that the TPers understand the crap out of the Progressives! You’re helping too, Ken.

        1. You don’t really need to watch Beck, Hannity, or Limbaugh to understand Progressives.

          Just live near a college campus.

          1. Yes, everybody who disagrees with you is simple and naive. It makes so much sense that way!

  19. Money is fungible. The money being borrowed for military spending is indistinguishable from the money borrowed for entitlement spending.

    Undoubtedly true. From a theoretical perspective, though, I would prefer to start cutting those programs that are unconstitutionally ultra vires. Since there is no enumerated power supporting any of the wealth transfer/entitlement programs, they strike me as the place to start.\

    I’m definitely at the strong military end of the libertarian spectrum, but I also think we could cut our military budget pretty significantly. You could start by downsizing our overseas bases. I can’t think of one good reason why we still need several divisions in Europe waiting for the Russkis to come through the Fulda Gap, for example.

    1. R C Dean|4.26.10 @ 4:40PM|#
      “….I can’t think of one good reason why we still need several divisions in Europe waiting for the Russkis to come through the Fulda Gap, for example.”

      To keep the French from soiling their pants.

  20. Parents, if you dont want your daughters to grow up to by crazy-ass bitches, DONT NAME THEM ‘MEDEA’

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