Tea Party


No, says Janet Daily. Here. Also, a smart observation on American democracy:

Contrary to what the Obama Democrats claimed, the face-off in Congress did not mean that the nation’s politics were “dysfunctional”. The politics of the US were functioning precisely as the Founding Fathers intended: the legislature was acting as a check on the power of the executive.

The Tea Party faction within the Republican party was demanding that, before any further steps were taken, there must be a debate about where all this was going.

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Speaking about the Tea Party elected officials:

And in the end, they won another impressive victory. The Reid-Boehner compromise bill has no tax hikes (a miracle), it trims spending growth over 10 years by about $2.5 trillion and it includes a promise of an up or down vote on a balanced-budget amendment.
. . .
But the Hobbits can be happy that this bill is an incremental movement in the right direction that would not have happened if it weren’t for the 2010 elections and their willingness to stand firm.
. . .
Way to go, Hobbits. Just don’t go back home yet. There will be another fight over spending during the budget process this fall. You will really be needed then. Don’t let them get you down. Embrace your inner Hobbit and keep ignoring the establishment humans who want you to get in line.

Here. The important takeaways are that by standing firm the Tea Partiers changed the dynamics of this particular debate, and number 2, to change the direction is a process that requires some level of incremental change. Change in the correct direction.

Vice President Joe Biden yesterday condemned Tea Party Republicans for “acting like terrorists” during the debt fight, sources said.

Biden made the shocking statement during a closed-door meeting with House Democrats to try and whip up support for the debt-limit deal, according to the sources.

The vice president was reacting to an irate Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), who said Democrats “have negotiated with terrorists,” Politico.com reported.

“This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money,” Doyle added.

Biden agreed, saying, “They have acted like terrorists,” the report said.

To which Tea Party champion Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) replied:

“With the president holding the American economy hostage, I would prefer to think of myself as a freedom fighter,” . . .

“The only people taking hostages around here are those who want to continue our path toward economic ruin.”

Here. At least some elected officials got the memo that we are out of frick’en money, such as Sen. Paul. Others, like Biden, are clueless.

Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, blasted opponents of the Boehner plan yesterday, borrowing a phrase from a Wall Street Journal editorial that described such opposition as representing “the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into GOP Senate nominees.”

Angle’s response:

“One man in Washington, who chose Sarah Palin to be his VP running-mate and came to Nevada to campaign for me last year in the Senate race against Harry Reid, is now promoting attacks against TEA Party activists, ordinary American citizens, and fiscally conservative members of congress – all of whom are adamantly opposed to continuing the deficit-spending strategies proposed by some congressional members and the President.

“Ironically, this man campaigned for TEA Party support in his last re-election, but now throws Christine O’Donnell and I into the harbor with Sarah Palin. As in the fable, it is the hobbits who are the heroes and save the land. This Lord of the TARP actually ought to read to the end of the story and join forces with the TEA Party, not criticize it.

It is regrettable that a man seeking dialogue, action and cooperation for votes on the floor of the United States Senate has only one strategy to achieve that effort: name-calling. Nice.

“It is similarly unfortunate that Senator McCain brings no new ideas to the Senate floor. In fact, so unoriginal is Senator McCain’s effort that he is reduced to borrowing words from an editorial – rather than bringing anything constructive to this debate.

“While Senator McCain advocates raising the debt ceiling as a solution – world markets and credit rating industries propose to down-grade our credit worthiness, impacting the value of the U.S. dollar and the state of our economy because of our world-famous spending problem.

“Senator McCain can continue on with his borrowed soliloquies, just as he can continue to vote to raise our nation’s debt ceiling – all in an effort to spend money that we don’t have, to fund programs and policies that don’t work, with a currency that continues to lose its value.

“Meanwhile, we look forward to meeting members of Congress and the President at the polls in 2012… when ‘We the People’ choose the names we call to serve us in Washington – and we will keep in mind those who supported increasing our nation’s mountain of debt, what could be called their very own Mount Doom.”

Here. Well done.

Michael Barone mostly blames the Obama Democrats for the current economic problems, but both parties are to blame. During the Bush-era the Sarbanes/Oxley (aka SOx) law was enacted, spending skyrocketed, regulations piled up, and resources were diverted to war.  Yes, you read that right, regulations increased under Bush.  Cutting taxes is not a complete economic agenda, as many pundits assume when they point to Bush tax cuts or Clinton tax increases.

I am not exonerating Obama. Both parties are to blame. That is why I think the frustration and anger that animates Tea Partiers began during the Bush-era. It just took a while for people with these sentiments to discover each other, and it finally did but during the Obama administration.

Sense:

White House hopeful Newt Gingrich called the House Republican plan for Medicare “right-wing social engineering,” injecting a discordant GOP voice into the party’s efforts to reshape both entitlements and the broader budget debate.

Nonsense:

Later Sunday, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he also acknowledged that many Republicans are uncomfortable with requiring insurance coverage but challenged them to offer an alternative solution. “Most Republican voters agree with the principle that people have some responsibility to pay for their costs,” he said.

Government enforcing this personal responsibility? Some Tea Party folks see the problem.

In 2012, Mr. Gingrich may find these views problematic in the Republican contests, where a large number of voters view the Obama health plan as Exhibit A in government overreach. A lawsuit brought by mostly GOP governors argues the Obama mandate is unconstitutional.

“I’d like Speaker Gingrich to show me in the Constitution where the government has the right to force people to buy health insurance,” said Debbie Dooley, state coordinator for the Georgia Tea Party Patriots. “That’s going to hurt him among tea party activists, extremely.”

Here.

Comments from Tea Party activists on the puny budget deal.

“The government is wasting tax dollars on things that should not be paid for by the general public,” says Diane Canney, a 48-year-old stay-at-home mother who is also a co-founder of the Valley Forge Patriots. “For me as a Catholic who does not believe in abortions, to take my taxes and fund Planned Parenthood, that is not fair,” she says.

I’d imagine its highly immoral to you to have your tax dollars spent on abortion.

“He is saying there is no space between him and the tea party, yet on the second hand they are saying they are going to compromise,” said Robert Kilmarx, director of the Tennessee Tea Party. If Republicans fall short, “come next election, we’ll definitely take a close look at who stayed with their campaign commitments,” he said.

Good, a man with a long memory. Keep’em to their commitments, Robert. But, I will say, that compromise is part and parcel of group decisions.

Gene Clem, a director for the Michigan Tea Party Alliance, a coalition of some 30 tea-party groups in the southwestern part of the state, says members are “pretty happy” because “we got quite a few cuts and we made the point that we have to change our way of thinking and that the deficit just can’t go on.”

That’s true as all hell, the deficit can’t go on. I await the politicians next act.

“I’m really disappointed, but I know [Mr. Boehner] is in a difficult situation,” said retiree Betty Dunkel, the 75-year-old co-founder of the Valley Forge Patriots, a tea-party group outside Philadelphia. “I don’t like it, but at this point, let’s just get something done, let’s get on with it and then work very, very hard on 2012 budget—and we also have the debt ceiling to deal with.”

Disappointed? Me too, but welcome to politics, Betty. As I wrote before, compromise comes with group decisions.  We need more cuts.

Here.

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