Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A boring old Tea Party

There is a movement afoot within the republican party that claims to be for constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets.  They call themselves the "Tea Party" and their de facto leaders are the Neo-Conservatives, Sarah Palin and Glen Beck.  They have picked up a good head of steam and are all the buzz around the media.  I mean, if I'm writing about it, its got to be news.

There are a few issues that I have with all of this.  The term Tea Party has been hijacked by this movement from the more libertarian Ron Paul Revolution campaign for president back in 07' 08'.  "We" held a tea party money bomb where we raised over 6 million dollars for him in in one day.  Evidently, this new movement wants in on the action.

The trouble with this movement is that it seems to be at odds with is very core principals.  It is very easy to claim that you demand limited government and fiscal conservatism, but if in the next breath you espouse the need for "a strong national defense" (read, bombing people with dark skin that don't like our God), then you are just fooling yourself and evidently everyone who is listening.  Civil liberties?  Just so long as they don't interfere with our national defense, it shouldn't be a problem.  Wire tapping?  Airport screening?   Its a joke to watch Sarah Palin reading from her little crib notes on her hand.  She has no idea what the people she is talking to want, but whatever she says is gospel.  Arghh...

It's just frustrating because a lot of what I have been reading and talking about (small government, true free markets, etc.) have been comendeered by this misguided "movement", and I often find myself lumped in with them when I don't necessarily want to be.

There is a pretty good article on the Huffington Post about this.
Also, Rachel Maddow had Ron Paul on her show to talk about it the other night.  Pretty good stuff.


  1. Well, this wouldn't be the first time that the "destruction of the tea" has been misrepresented, commandeered or appropriated. I recommend Alfred F. Young's The Shoemaker and the Tea Party for a great read on this subject. Among other things, I learned that the first record of the term "tea party" came some 60 years after the event--you might get tarred and feathered for even saying that at one of these events today. These folks won't ever let facts and reality get in their way.

    What I find interesting, or I should say amusing, is that these people think of the founders as a group of people that agreed with each other 100% of the time. But, what can you expect from a group of people whose anointed leader's response to the question "Who is your favorite founder?" was "you know, well, all of them". Gardner, please don't say you don't "necessarily" want to be lumped in with this movement and these people. You don't (At least based on what I now of both you and them).

    I'm enjoying the conversation that you are starting here. I find that drastically different from a movement of people whose "leaders" knowingly stand in front of crowds that compare the current president with Adolf Hitler and say nothing to the contrary. How can there even be room for debate and conversation? Now, I'm not claiming that the right has a monopoly on lunacy, but some of these folks are particularly out there.

    --I can send you the book if you're interested.

  2. Tim,
    My goal with this last post was to explain some of the differences between the Tea Party party, and the Campaign for Liberty. The C4L's goal was to continue the momentum of Ron Paul's presidential campaign. I wanted to make clear that even though the Tea Party kind of sounds like the C4L, they are by and large uninformed masses cheering for ignorant, unprincipled talking heads.
    I do not want to be lumped in with them just cause I don't like taxes.

    It is just the right's lame response to the lame left having power. These republicans like to think themselves fiscal conservatives but its all a big hoodwink. Its like the left being seen as the peace party. My arse.

  3. Hey Gardner, I read this great article last week, and it relates directly to this post:

  4. I agree with Tim that you should definitely remove the word "necessarily" from that sentence. I am a big believer in the idea that you can judge people by the company they keep. A movement with that many blatant racists on board will stifle any genuinely well-intentioned people involved, and those people (if they exist) should get out fast.

    Also, just as you don't want libertarians to be lumped with tea partiers, please don't say "the left" when you mean to say "the democratic party". The two have very little to do with one another in my opinion.