Category Archives: Tea Party Movement

Religion + Money = Godliness?

Interesting little article about some polling results.   White Evangelical Tea Party Republicans (Religious Right) seems to be group that believes unregulated businesses will act ethically.  This is also the group that prefers their preachers to speak out against abortion and homosexuality rather than economic  issues.  This also seems to be the group that beleives the free market is guided by the hand of God.

I also believe this is the group that will ultimately bring down the Grand Old Party.   This group has already hijacked trure Christianity so the GOP is their next victim – IMHO

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/20/poll-americans-see-clash-_n_851712.html

11 Comments

Filed under abortion, Economics, Religion, Republicans, Tea Party Movement

Oops, they have done it again…

Seems there are questions of possible editing mishaps in that NPR tape.  Hmmm…..let’s see – it is the work of a well-known conservative activist who has already been involved in some questionable activities.  

Unfortunately, the damage has been done – so the truth is no longer required.  Or is it?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/14/npr-sting-tape-analysis-editing_n_835384.html

4 Comments

Filed under hate groups, Playing Politics, Radical Rightwing groups, Tea Party Movement, Wingnuts!

That Tide – She is a Turning….

The New and Improved Republicans, led by their Evangelical Tea Party Darlings, may have won this battle in Wisconsin but have they fired the shot heard throughout Middle Class America? 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/10/wisconsin-poll-republican_n_834252.html

8 Comments

Filed under American Society, Democratic Party, Economics, Elections, Political Reform, Republicans, Tea Party Movement

Read it and Weep

Wis. GOP bypasses Dems, cuts collective bargaining

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Senate succeeded in voting Wednesday to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers, after Republicans outmaneuvered the chamber’s missing Democrats and approved an explosive proposal that has rocked the state and unions nationwide.

 

29 Comments

Filed under Tea Party Movement, Workers Rights

Could the “Tea Party” take over Congress?

This gathering of libertarians, conservatives, and others just plain fed up with business as usual in Washington has some prominent figureheads – Fox News broadcasters and political pot-stirrers Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck –and, is clearly having a major impact on the midterm elections — putting a significant number of more conventional Republicans as well as Democrats into a cold sweat as they look over their shoulders at tea-party backed candidates with a real possibility of winning.  Some of these candidates should scare the hell out of most voters — these are not your average run-of-the-mill politicians, in fact, they’re worse.

Which tea-party-backed candidates do you think will be elected this fall, and why? Which ones are most off center, maybe even off the far edge of ‘right?’

27 Comments

Filed under Radical Rightwing groups, Republicans, Tea Party Movement

David Koch is steaming

The Koch Brothers have been bankrolling the Far Right for decades, including Tea Party and anti-science front groups. Now that the monster they’ve created is burning books and slandering Muslim Americans, they’re not so keen on taking credit.

“It’s hateful. It’s ludicrous. And it’s plain wrong,” says David Koch as he begins the defense of he and his brother against recent articles that have said the two men are spending a fortune to secretly fund an anti-Obama insurgency.

Read more here.

5 Comments

Filed under hate groups, Kansas, libertarians, Radical Rightwing groups, Republicans, Tea Party Movement, Wingnuts!

A Republic of Mediocrity

The right wing is very fond of stressing the term “Republic” in reference to our country lately. They like to lecture us heathen liberals about the intent of the Founding Fathers, who, they are quick to point out, built our system of government based on representative democracy, not direct democracy, where the majority rules. Since they are not in the majority, it is understandable that they would cling to a view which legitimizes minority rule.
Wikipedia defines the term Republic as “a form of government in which the people or some portion thereof retain supreme control over the government, and in which the head of government is not a monarch. The word “republic” is derived from the Latin phrase res publica, which can be translated as “a public affair”.”
The Merriam Webster definition for “mediocrity” lies below:
Mediocrity:
a : the quality or state of being mediocre
b : moderate ability or value
And since there is some circular reasoning there, the Merriam Webster definition of “mediocre”-
Mediocre:
of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance : Ordinary; So-so
The citizens that follow Beck like to paint themselves as ordinary folk; humble, hard-working. They seem to resent anyone that possesses a higher intelligence or more knowledge on a subject than they do. Yet, they also seem to resent the suggestion that they take the time to get themselves informed rather than letting others inform them. It seems to me that they would like to pull the whole society down to their level. Do you think that is what Beck means by “Restoring Honor?” Is it now somehow deemed honorable to be mediocre and uninformed?
Following are some quotes on the subject of mediocrity:
“A talent somewhat above mediocrity, shrewd and not too sensitive, is more likely to rise in the world than genius.” -Charles Horton Cooley

“All greatness of character is dependent on individuality. The man who has no other existence than that which he partakes in common with all around him, will never have any other than an existence of mediocrity.” -James F. Cooper
“In the republic of mediocrity, genius is dangerous.” -Robert Green Ingersoll
America, it seems to me, is on the precipice of entering a dark age. If we allow mediocrity to become the measuring stick, we are aiming too low and dooming our future.
A recent attendee at Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally said of America, “This is the last bastion of hope. And right now we’re on very shaky ground.”
We are indeed, on very shaky ground, especially if the country has to depend on mediocre people to lead the way out. But I wonder what we are the last bastion of hope FOR? Freedom—already gone. Unfettered Capitalism—proven failure. Mediocrity—we are headed there like an out-of -control freight train.
Another attendee, a woman this time, said this of Barack Obama, “I can’t believe this country would elect someone so anti-progress and pride of America, that would that would willfully destroy the country and divide us so sharply again on the issue of race.”
Geez. I thought Bush already did that. But what do I know? If the facts are whatever the common man believes, I guess I don’t know anything. And I am one of them already.

14 Comments

Filed under American Society, libertarians, Media, Political Reform, Tea Party Movement, Uncategorized, Wingnuts!

The Tea Parties’ Billionaire Backers

The Koch Brothers -- Charles and David

The billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, both lifelong libertarians, have given more than $100 million to rightwing causes, funding so many campaigns against Obama administration policies that their ideological framework has become known as the Kochtopus. The Kochs, who run the Kansas-based company Koch Industries—which maintains oil refineries in Alaska and owns Brawny paper towels, Stainmaster carpet, Dixie cups, and Lycra, among other products—have given to other causes, including $100 million to the Lincoln Center and $20 million to the American Museum of Natural History. But their political causes in particular have gotten the most attention. As Charles Lewis, founder of the Center for Public Integrity, told The New Yorker, “The Kochs are on a whole different level. There’s no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.”

Read more in The New Yorker article titled, “Covert Operations — The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.

fnord

47 Comments

Filed under Kansas, libertarians, Political Reform, Radical Rightwing groups, Republicans, Tea Party Movement, Wingnuts!

Let’s have a Tea Party! Part III

We now have an idea of what and who the Tea Party is, but what does it all mean?

Despite the obvious racism of the thread photo, the Tea Party is not, in my not so humble opinion, inherently racist.*  As with any large group of people, there will always be that element that has “darker” motivations.

(In the interest of fairness, the man holding the sign in the thread photo was booted out of his local Tea Party chapter.)

It is clear, however, that much of the anger-fueled rhetoric from the Tea Party is focused on President Barack Obama and his “liberal” agenda. That is curious in light of the fact that most progressives feel that Obama has not been liberal enough.

The “Tea” in Tea Party is an acronym for “Taxed Enough Already” and much of the focus of the Party is on taxes and spending. Another focus is on the Constitution and the constitutionality of recently passed laws.

Tea Party wrath is aimed at incumbent politicians, yet those same office-holders and former office-holders regularly speak at Tea Party events, so it would seem apparently that the majority of the wrath is directed at incumbent Democrats.

A few incumbent Republicans have been deemed insufficiently conservative for the Tea Party and some have even been turned out of office for that reason.

So, is the Tea Party movement a grassroots semi-organization that is non-aligned, or is it merely the hard-right arm of the Republican Party?

The political landscape of America is largely a two party system. While third parties periodically pop up, most are short lived and fail to actually win state and Federal offices.

Tea Party goals and the rhetoric that backs them up is exclusively that of the far right champions such as Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin. You can dress up the pitbull and slap on the make up, but it’s still a far right, Republican pitbull. There isn’t enough lipstick in the country to make that dog into anything else.

Is the Tea Party a viable political force for the future? A negative focus rarely makes for longevity, and the Party focus is largely negative.

The Great Recession will end, deficits will be reduced, benefits of TARP, the Stimulus and HCR will be recognized and, perhaps more important to the Tea Party, Barack Obama will leave office (after two terms) and the Tea Party will fade into a historical footnote.

Thoughts?


*(Since I wrote this, the Tea Party Federation has kicked the Tea Party Express out of the Federation for a racist parody written and published by their spokesperson, Mark Williams. While I agree with little of the Tea Party philosophy, I do have to applaud their quick and decisive manner in dealing with a racist element within the Federation.)


William Stephenson Clark

18 Comments

Filed under Tea Party Movement

Let’s have a Tea Party! Part II

Much has been made of the so-called inclusive grassroots nature of the Tea Party movement. While that sounds all American-y, warm and friendly, it basically isn’t true.

Note: (From the New York Times/CBS)

  • Tea Party supporters were 89% white, 10% Hispanic and 1% black.
  • 18% of Americans consider themselves Tea Party supporters.
  • 90% of Tea Party supporters think the country is headed in the wrong direction.
  • Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than age 45.
  • 54% of Tea Party supporters have a “favorable opinion” of the Republican party compared to 38% of the general public.
  • 6% of Tea Party supporters have a favorable opinion of the Democratic party compared to 42% of the general public.
  • 30% think President Obama was born outside the United States compared to 20% of the general public.
  • More than half (52%) told the pollsters they think their own “income taxes this year are fair.”
  • 25% think that the administration favors blacks over whites — compared with 11% of the general public.
  • 7% approve of how President Obama is doing his job compared to 50% of the general public.
  • 92% feel that President Obama’s policies are moving the US towards “socialism”, compared to 52% for the general public.

So, if you were to “build” an average Tea Partier, he would be male white, older, Republican, think that we’re headed for socialism and generally have an unfavorable view of Democrats and President Obama. While it was not noted in the polling, he would be a church going Christian with a secret crush on Sarah Palin.

The polling does not bear out the contention that the Tea Party movement is a “big tent” organization populated by a cross-section of average Americans.

So, what to make of this Tea Party?

(Tune in tomorrow for Part III)


William Stephenson Clark

12 Comments

Filed under Tea Party Movement

Let’s have a Tea Party! Part I

Your not so humble columnist will make every effort to be even-handed with this piece, but sometimes you just run out of lipstick.

Tea Partiers claim that their movement is a Populist grass roots phenomenon, but there is much evidence that it is more Astro Turf and less natural grass. That aside, a few quick Tea Party factoids:

The Tea Party Contract from America

  1. Identify constitutionality of every new law: Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does.
  2. Reject emissions trading: Stop the “cap and trade” administrative approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants.
  3. Demand a balanced federal budget: Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax modification.
  4. Simplify the tax system: Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words — the length of the original Constitution.
  5. Audit federal government agencies for constitutionality: Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in an audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities.
  6. Limit annual growth in federal spending: Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth.
  7. Repeal the health care legislation passed on March 23, 2010: Defund, repeal and replace the HCR.
  8. Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above’ Energy Policy: Authorize the exploration of additional energy reserves to reduce American dependence on foreign energy sources and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation.
  9. Reduce Earmarks: Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark.
  10. Reduce Taxes: Permanently repeal all recent tax increases, and extend permanently the George W. Bush temporary reductions in income tax, capital gains tax and  estate taxes currently scheduled to end in 2011.

These are the “official” Tea Party positions.

What do you think?


(Part II tomorrow, Part III Wednesday.)


William Stephenson Clark

62 Comments

Filed under Tea Party Movement

Stay tuned!

I have prepared a three part series on the Tea Party, to be published next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Stay tuned!

Tell your friends, your neighbors and any Tea Baggers lurking about!

(No peeking ahead!)

Will

1 Comment

Filed under Tea Party Movement

The Man Who Changed Glenn Beck’s Life (via The Glenn Beck Review)

I’m just checking out WordPress’ new “reblogging” feature.
I’ve always maintained that I’m not “anti” anything, but rather “pro” other things.
Sooo….this is my disclaimer. I’m not anti-Glenn Beck, I’m PRO-REALITY and TRUTH!

The Man Who Changed Glenn Beck's Life Cleon Skousen was a right-wing crank whom even conservatives despised. Then Beck discovered him. W. Cleon Skousen By Alexander Zaitchik (reprinted here with permission of the author) On Saturday, I spent the afternoon with America’s new breed of angry conservative. Up to 75,000 protesters had gathered in Washington on Sept. 12, the day after the eighth anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, sporting the now familiar tea-bagger accoutremen … Read More

via The Glenn Beck Review

3 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Conspiracies, hate groups, History, Media, Other blogs, Radical Rightwing groups, Tea Party Movement, Wingnuts!

The Outer Limits……. and Bears…….

cartoonbears.jpg beers image by bluepineowl_photos

“For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to… The Outer Limits.”

“The Outer Limits” was a respected, but short-lived, science fiction television program from the early Sixties.  Most episodes featured a “bear,” a monster of some sort, that provided the focal point for the show.

Our current political/social landscape has it’s own elements of “the Outer Limits.” Both sides, Right and Left, create their own “bears” to drive their ideological agendas. For the GOP, Tea Baggers and Libertarians the “bear” is the Federal Government. For Democrats and progressives, the “bear” is largely Corporations and Christian-driven social agendas.

Granted, the previous statement is a gross over-simplification, but the point is made.  There are elements on all sides that push the limits by demonizing the institution or ideology that fuels their ire.

Currently, their is a war within the Republican Party that threatens to purge even slightly moderate members and to be seen even in the least bit willing to work with Democrats is a virtual death warrant.

To their credit, Democrats are much less ideologically driven, but we have our own “lunatic fringe” that can’t support any semblance of compromise. To be sure, some issues, Gay Rights for example, have no room for compromise, but not all issues are quite so clearly defined.

“Politics is a process by which groups of people make  collective decisions.”

The above is the definition of politics from Wiki.

Well, do you see room for compromise on some issues, if so, what are they? Do you have your own personal “bear” or “bears” and what are they?


William Stephenson Clark

22 Comments

Filed under Democratic Party, libertarians, Populists, Tea Party Movement, Uncategorized

How much does the Tea Party influence who wins?

I have a message, a message from the Tea Party,” said Rand Paul, a political candidate who made headlines across the United States this week. “We have come to take our government back.”

The Tea Party isn’t really a “party,” in the conventional sense.  They describe themselves as a loose movement of activists who draw their inspiration from the Boston Tea Party — an 18th-century anti-taxation uprising that helped spark the American War of Independence.

Today’s Tea Party wants lower taxes and less government spending, policies it says the Republican Party has promised but not delivered.  So now the Tea Party is supporting candidates who are officially running for office as Republicans, in hope they can change the party from the inside. This week Paul became the most prominent yet to win a Republican nomination, running for the U.S. Senate and sharing credit for his win with the Tea Party.

Paul wasn’t the only anti-establishment candidate to do well this week. Americans nationwide are angry at their elected leaders and several states had a chance to choose both Republican and Democratic nominees for elected office. There were setbacks for well-known candidates in both parties.

It was an anti-incumbency vote across the nation,” said Bill Richardson, a Democratic Party governor. “If you ran against Washington, you did well.”

With President Obama in the White House and his supporters in control of Congress, the Democrats are currently America’s governing party. The Tea Party is unhappy with the government so the conflict with the Democrats is clear.

But Republicans aren’t entirely sure where they stand. Some have embraced the newcomers, while others have politely pushed them away. The party’s leaders refused to support Paul, at least in part because he doesn’t really support them.

Can the Tea Party take hold among Republicans?  Will their chosen candidates win against Republicans and Democrats?  Will the winners come from among candidates who run against Washington with or without support from the Tea Party?  Are the extremes making most of the noise but the moderates will make the most difference?

20 Comments

Filed under Elections, Political Reform, Tea Party Movement