Tag Archives: Tea Party Movement
“I know we’ve come along way.
We’re changing day to day.
But tell me, where do the children play?”
(Where do the children play? – Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam – 1970)
Much has been made this election cycle about the future of our children and grandchildren, mostly by the newly fiscally responsible Republicans that are suddenly and inexplicably against debt and deficits. Great! It is certainly encouraging that the Party of “Deficits Don’t Matter!” has finally seen the light.
Just don’t ask them why they didn’t do something about deficits and debt when they held power. That is “looking at the past and besides, the Democrats made us do it.”
In 1980, I briefly considered a vote for Ronald Reagan for President because he promised (!) to balance the Federal budget. I blame it on an LSD flashback from the Sixties. Of course, Reagan never came close to balancing the budget and, in fact, tripled the National Debt. The truth is, a Republican president has never even proposed a balanced Federal budget since Ike. Let me think, that is, let’s see, um, ………………………. a long damned time.
Debt and deficits have been hashed and rehashed ad nauseam, so we’ll not do it again here. When the “other side” rails against the “highest deficits and debt in history” feel free to remind them that while the deficit is approaching 10% of the GDP in 2010, it reached 30% during World War II. The debt shortly after the War was at 130% of GDP, far above the current level of less than 90%.
It is completely reasonable to remind people of those facts, given that the country is in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression – an economic collapse that was not ended until the War was well underway. Unemployment reached 25% during the Depression. It topped out around 10% during the Great Recession.
The point is that we are not destroying the future for our children and grandchildren. Without TARP and the Stimulus Bill, the economy would have likely slid into another depression, and that would have left a horrible disaster for our heirs.
So, where do the children play? Well, if we want to truly focus on an answer to that question, we would do well to consider the state of our schools, environment and our place in the world. Bumper stickers slogans are handy for those in the bumper sticker industry, but they do little to address the problems of the nation. We need to take faux emotion out of the equation and use real-world facts and figures.
William Stephenson Clark
(Thread photo is the author’s grandson, Eli.)
Here’s what Moonshadow has to say — “I’m attaching the article I spoke of. I’d like someone that has more knowledge of our political/economic history to comment on it. I can see a lot that sounds just like the tea partiers. Saying that, how did things progress then and wouldn’t the same approach garner a similar outcome? Let me know what you think and turn it over to whoever can speak to this.”
Know who I think can speak to this? YOU!
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.
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.
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.
“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?