Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The So-called Tea Party

Without knowing exactly what it was or what it REALLY stood for, I decided, finally, to do some research on this thing people have been calling "The Teaparty."

I should say that before this little bit of half-assed research, I only "knew" what was being thrown out by politicians and the "media." I have admittedly read a lot of rhetoric on Looney Left blogs and websites, and heard about (though not actually listened to) the Rabid Right's radio talk shows, and, by reading these things, have concluded that the "Left" doesn't like "The Teaparty" or a woman called "Sarah Palin." I think the Rabid Right does. So I tried to dig deeper, in hopes that maybe I could come up with a personal opinion of my own; I plugged my nose and jumped into the septic tank of American Politics, euphemistically-speaking. At least I dove as deep as the internet would take me; I don't want to know badly enough to actually go outside and see for myself first-hand.

This alone - this frothing hatred of them by the Far Left - was, of course, reason enough for me to be predisposed to like them both - The Teaparty and Sarah Palin - even before beginning my elusive search for "some" truth. Add the fact that my friend Adullamite disparages and scorns both "The Teaparty" and this Palin woman, and you give me yet another reason to think they must both be pretty good. Joke.

Be that as it may, I decided to see if there was any truth to be found out there beyond the vast bald-faced lying wasteland of the Looney Liberal bloggers and the droning propaganda of the Rabid Rightwing talk radio shows. It wasn't as easy to find out the truth as you might think. Maybe there isn't any truth, just rhetoric. But I found a few "possibly true" facts that I am pretty sure are "almost complete" facts. Here goes.

1. The first thing I found out is there is no such thing as "The Teaparty." Wow. At least not officially. It isn't a party at all (not a political party, I mean, maybe an ice cream party). It has no official leadership or official headquarters or official website (which REALLY made it hard to find out the truth, since there is no "horse's mouth" so to speak.

2. In spite of there being no official organization or official website, there are at least a ZILLION websites out there with red, white, and blue design motifs with the American flag and American eagle plastered all over the home pages. You'll have no trouble finding places to donate to "The Teaparty" online, but your money will go to whatever causes that particular website thinks is best. Maybe his own bank. Just saying.

3. I found one website that seems to have done more research than I have, and it was the only one which seemed to have a bit of an honest ring to it when it stated bluntly:

"There is no 'official' Tea Party website. There is no 'official' Tea Party organization or board of directors. Anyone who tells you different is a liar, and anyone who tells you his website is the official place to donate money to the Tea Party is a thief."

4. A few facts seem to consistently emerge when you look hard enough.

a. The "Tea" in "Tea Party" stands for "TEA" - "Taxed Enough Already." It was the slogan of the original handful of grass roots tax protesters who gave birth to this thing that the whole world has largely perverted. For the record, the tax protest that spawned "The Teaparty" was begun by a young lady in Oregon (of all places) who began blogging about it. She ended up with something like 130 people who agreed with her and then it went viral.

b. Don't believe in polls. Polls vary wildly and are manipulated to the purposes of the ones who think up the questions and decide who they ask and how they ask. But a short list of items seems to keep showing up on all the responses. Most people who said they were in agreement with what "The Teaparty" stood for, thought they stood for the following:

1. Smaller, less intrusive, government; but take care of the truly needy
2. Lower taxes, but crack down on big banks and big corporations
3. More personal responsibility of individuals in all areas
4. The federal government should stop spending so much and start living within their (our) means
5. We should stop starting wars all over the world and start minding our own business
6. We need to return to backing our money with something that is intrinsically valuable, like gold or silver.

That's about it. Those are the things that the Looney Left and some bloggers I know are making fun of.

For not having an "official organization," so-called "Teaparty candidates" who vocally espouse the above principles are sure being elected in droves and having their campaigns donated to.

One other thing that is going to piss off the Left, though it didn't surprise me:

(a) there are more Democrats who believe in the above principles than the Lurid Left or Rabid Right thinks there are. "Teabaggers" are not all Southern Baptist Republicans.

(b) worse for the Obama reelection camp, there are a LOT more independents who believe those things too.

Bottom line. Does Max think these folks are going to deny Obama a second term? No. No, I don't believe that. Our current President will be around for a while, is my prediction. I do think there is a good chance his party will lose the Senate though, if they don't get off their butts and do something about the economy really quickly, and that would mean he would have to bend his ear a bit more to the lowlife people he is now disparaging, if he wants to get anything accomplished in his second term. But the likes of Palin or Bachman or any of the other lightweights are hardly going to defeat Obama.

God I hate politics and politicians. I read in my local paper today that Congress has reached an all-time low of 18% approval rating by the citizens. That's one poll I think I believe. Can you believe it? What scumbags! All they would have to do to get some respect is go to work and do what their bosses tell them they want done. But they can't manage to do that. Is there anything stupider or grosser than a fat cat lawyer politician when their snout is in the trough? Any other employees would have been fired a long time ago. What is Congress' current response to the economic crisis and high unemployment that is going on right now? They are in Washington, working tirelessly day and night, right?

Wrong. They went on summer break.

Update: after this published and I read it carefully, it is obvious I didn't stress enough that these fake "Teaparty" parasites with all their disingenuous blogs and self-serving usurpers are doing plenty enough to deserve the scorn and ridicule the world is heaping on "The Teaparty". But these are the charlatans and money grubbers and not, I don't think, the same people who are quietly financing and electing the new "replacement" politicians who have promised to toe the demanded fiscal responsibility line.


  1. Q) What is the difference between the 'Tea Party' member and a 'Daily mail' reader?

    a) I don't know either.

  2. First, although I can't speak for any party or group of bloggers, it should be noted that many of the idiot things being done by the congress with it's low approval rating are being done "in the name of the Tea Party" - so whether the "real" Tea Party is doing so or not, the perception that it's not so great a thing may not be invalid.

    In fact, the lack of obvious leadership makes it a free for all particularly when it comes to taking one of the principals you mention to a ridiculous extreme and claiming you're supporting the "Tea Party" and those who support those more moderate goals.

    1. Smaller, less intrusive, government; but take care of the truly needy

    This is a notion many espouse, but I don't think most people appreciate what it means. Get rid of parks, police, fire departments, libraries, post offices, schools... Welfare and social security offices are only a small section and let's not forget, government employs the most people in the country. That's not exactly going to help with the jobless issue. It SOUNDS good, but is it? Note that, when I saw early Tea Partiers out there, they were screaming to preserve Medicare. So, is that part of the truly needy (you know how I feel about healthcare, by the way. All sick people are truly needy)

    2. Lower taxes, but crack down on big banks and big corporations

    You don't include personal finances in this (i.e. people raking in millions yearly), people will find ways to funnel it into personal fortunes and still skip taxes. That's what corporations and wealthy people do. Warren Buffet (very rich man) COMPLAINED that the Federal Government wasn't taking enough of his income ($7 million, but ONLY 17% of his income - a lower rate than I paid myself, mind you) and that we needed more. During the depression, the rich paid ~90% taxes. We recovered and, gasp, they were still rich.

    3. More personal responsibility of individuals in all areas

    I'd like this too. Not sure what the government has to do with it. What I'd like to do is hold the people we ELECTED responsible to the people they elected instead of all their campaign contributors. I'm a lowly contractor and I have to sign a conflict of interest affadavit every year to prove I'm not taking bribes but it's alright for my ELECTED OFFICIALS to do so? Until that gets fixed, nothing will be.

    4. The federal government should stop spending so much and start living within their (our) means

    So, we're cutting defense by 90% (about what the next highest spender spends on defense)? I'm all for that. No, wait, no one wants that. We'd rather let people go hungry, children go unprotected and uneducated, crime go unpunished (and how that fits with personal responsibility I have no idea), etc. Problem is, I think we'd all like to do this, we just have different priorities.

    5. We should stop starting wars all over the world and start minding our own business

    I'll back that.

    6. We need to return to backing our money with something that is intrinsically valuable, like gold or silver.

    Love to do it. Not sure if it's even possible any more.

  3. I notice you brought up Sarah Palin, but didn't mention anything you'd learned or how she was represented. Even though things the "official" Sarah Palin has said and done are readily available.

    Too much horse's mouth there?

  4. @Addullamite - I don't know exactly what a "Daily Mail Reader" is, but I am assuming it is someone who is stupid by your standards? Like one of them Hibernatin’ soccer players?

    Well, the difference (I think) would be that you can't be a "member" of something that isn't organized into something you can join. One can espouse certain beliefs and be called this or that by people who hold other beliefs, but I don't think you can become a "member" of an idea.

    So that would be the difference, in my opinion.

    I'm sorry this post was so long. I understand that you couldn't really read all of it. You are a good friend for coming by so regularly and reading this stuff I come up with to stir the coals. Your opinions are strong. Some are even correct, I think.

  5. @Stephanie Barr - I realize you can't speak "officially" for any group of bloggers, but your words are the same as the ones on the hate blogs, right and left, so people will understand, when they read your remarks, if you quack like those ducks you probably are one of those ducks since you say substantially the same things. :) I am still learning and you are still teaching me. The only way I know how to learn the truth is to challenge people to explain what they are talking about, rather than just nodding my head like the commentors on those syndicate hate blogs do. So I argue, not necessarily because I know the truth yet.

    As for recent "idiot things done by congress" the only thing that comes to mind (recently) is the new congressmen's unwillingness to spend more money and go out and borrow more money to spend. (They had promised their constituents that they wouldn't come to congress and give them more graft like all the others.) Of course they got shouted down by your side and the spending and borrowing is continuing, so the fact that the approval rating of congress went lower this week must mean that a lot of Americans don't want to borrow more money for our grandkids to pay back. Was there something else recently that you consider idiotic, or was that what you were talking about? It follows that you would consider it NOT idiotic for us to continue to borrow money to give away. Would that be fair?

    Your comment is too long to answer in one response, so I will work on it more today. I am only up to the part of you calling congress' recent action idiotic and was wondering if you would like to state your case for more borrowing and paying interest to China without corresponding cuts in spending. Help me understand why it is stupid to stop that. Forget this phantom called the "Tea Party" and just answer me why borrowing more money is a good idea, could you?

  6. Teaparty characters and veracity aside, I was amused by the concept of backing money with stuff of 'real' value such as gold and silver. Yet gold and silver are materials whose 'value' is largely imaginary.
    Gold's real value is based on its staying shiny, and looking nice.
    It might be considered to be truly valuable in its qualities as a corrosion resistant metal, a good electrical conductor and contactor, it's truly valuable only when being used.
    However, when 'used' to back up a currency, it's an imaginary commodity, a heap of yellow bricks deep in a guarded basement, doing nothing whatsoever.
    Given that it just sits there, largely unseen, doing nothing, might we just pretend it's there, just as we pretend it's valuable.

  7. You said, "your words are the same as the ones on the hate blogs, right and left." Really? I'll bite.

    Please express the "hate blog" statements I make. I'm not the one who recommended running a politician over not being a crime (as you did). In fact, I rarely have a political post on any of my three blogs, but I'm open to my brutal ways and means being typical of "Looney Left" or "Rabid Right" blogs that espouse hatred and bile if you can conclusively demonstrate it.

    Please, elucidate.

    Note that, if you want me to say I argue with you or see things differently, no problem I agree. But to use such language to describe me and then make sneering disparaging remarks to me makes you look a lot like a pot calling the kettle black. I don't mind standing up for what I say. Or being disagreed with. But don't group me among "haters" unless you can prove your point in a way that makes me stand out beyond your own positions.

    Unless you consider yourself a hate blogger, too?

  8. @Stephanie Barr - I think I said (or was trying to say) that your political philosophy is the same as most of those who write the (left) hate blogs and comments thereto. I don't think you go in for the personal (hate) attacks like they include, you just seem to agree with the political philosophy found on the (left) hate blogs. [The "right" hate just as much and attack just as personally; they just have a different political philosophy.]

    I define "hate" on both sides as going beyond simple debate and political disagreement, and getting into personal attacks on people who don't believe the same way. Those people who are doing these hateful personal things on their blogs have (separately) a general political philosophy that seems very congruent with your own, especially the core belief that all good things come from the Federal Government who has the power to make people do things they don't want to do. I don't think you hate. I have never seen you hate. I have read things that really appear to line you up "politically" with those who blog AND hate. That doesn't mean YOU hate just because you agree with the political philosophy of the haters. You could set me straight in a hurry if you will simply say that you wholeheartedly agree with that short list of "Tea Party" tenets listed in the post, instead of siding with those who would rebut them as being unrealistically naive.

    I don't think I want to debate you (on this post) about side issues apart from this Tea Party subject. You already know that I don't believe all parks, schools, health care, and fire engines HAVE to come from the federal government. So there's no use in debating the degree of your socialist philosophy or the smallness of my own socialist philosophy, at least not on this post. I would still wonder what you meant about a recent stupid congress act (apparently instigated by a group of voters whose ideas you very much seem to dislike.)

    I DO want to continue to debate you on the purpose and use of a federal government, forever if need be, just not on this post about the "Tea Party" list of beliefs and goals.

    Palin? When I find more about her I will probably post about it. She seems, so far, to espouse that short list of things the people who support the so-called "Tea Party Movement" espouse. I have heard she enjoys the outdoors and hunts wild game and chooses to not abort her babies - all of which the hate blogs have attacked her on a personal basis for, relentlessly, for years now. But I don't have enough actual facts about her to post yet. Even so, I am already pretty sure I won't be attacking her personally or ridiculing her children - or buddying up with bloggers who do that. I'm sure you won't either.

    Finally, like you, I don't want to be a hate blogger who personally attacks people with differing ideas. I don't want to be like those attack bloggers. (This in answer to your question if I am a hate blogger myself.)

  9. @Soubriquet - I am willing to just chalk it up to continuing jet-lag.

    I know you are probably having me on, so I won't rise to the bait of defending the value of gold and silver as opposed to a promise from a winking politician.

    I'll take my debtors collateralized, thank you. :)

  10. I can accept that response and even apologize for interpreting it differently than you intended. I don't apologize for being more left than you on some subjects, but I prefer to deal with each issue independently and not to assume a mantle based on being aligned with some issues but not others.

    I'm an individual.

    I also believe even inflammatory subjects can be discussed without getting personal or hateful. So, if that's your position, I agree.

    I did point out which of the Tea Party concepts I endorsed, only noting that the ambiguity of the wording allowed for either extreme to take the high road and claim their actions for their own depending on how you worded it.

    But I'll clarify:

    1) I can't agree or disagree. Depends on what sections you want to cut back. I do agree with taking care of the truly needy.

    2) I don't agree with lowering taxes unless we are paying for what we've already bought, like several wars. Until we do start acting fiscally responsible on the debts we already said, we can expect to pay more. In the real world, you can't take out bigger loans than ask for reduced payments, unless you want your kids to get balloon payments. There is unprecedented largess in several segments in the US. The got rich off us and should pay taxes accordingly. On the other hand, that applies to corporations and big business, too, so I agree with part of it.

    3. I agree, though, like belling the cat, not sure how to make it so.

    4. Agree, but there's a great deal of leeway on where the cuts are to be.

    5. Agree

    6. Sure, but see 3.

  11. Once again... great post, awesome comments.

    I learned a lot, but failed to chose a side.

  12. I think my problem, RM, isn't with the concepts so much as how I've seen the implementation go to date and the understanding that idealized notion in generalized terms don't mean much.

    I could say that I want world peace as my political goal. You could say, "Not gonna happen." But, if I asked you point blank, you might admit that, if we could do it, you'd want world peace. You'd be right, though, because wanting world peace isn't enough without a plan of action, a game plan or philosophy to make it so. It doesn't mean anything.

    So what's wrong with that? Well communism, which you hate, is a case in point on how a vague idealistic notion (let's all work together and share rather than having many starve while others live high) can be corrupted, misused, and become the mantle under which personal freedoms and choices become a thing of the past.

    I'm not saying the Tea Party precepts you list will lead the same place, but, without a road map, a definitive path to get there, a clear definition of the goals and what that means, it's too easy to be used as an absolute, a bludgeon that doesn't think or reason. I will never absolutely do X. Yeah, well sometimes X needs to be done.

    Perhaps I'd be a little less leery of the Tea Party movement (or the apparent Tea Party movement) if so many of the directions they're going didn't seem to be protecting big business at all costs which, gasp, fits in with who's paying multimillion dollar campaign donations, too. Wearing the mantle of grass roots, doesn't mean that's what it is.

  13. Well. Don't think I'm done just because I had to leave to go out and work today. Not by a long shot.

  14. @Stephanie Barr - I think you are worrying too much about implementation of good ideas instead of simply deciding whether they are worthy goals or not. You can agree, for example, that it is a worthy goal to stay within our financial means as a country? You don't have to have an exact plan to balance the budget and know what all the cuts are going to be before you can even say, "Balancing the budget would be a good thing." We haven't yet got to the point of arguing about how to do it. We need to decide what we want to do and what direction we want to take. Then we decide how.

    Let me put it another way. Personally, I would like to see us go to Mars. I would. I hate to see our space program not have any big dreams. But I don't believe we need to know how to get there in advance, have all the details worked out, before we agree "We'd like to take humans to Mars and come back again." Where would we be if we waited until everything were all worked out and all problems solved before we set goals? We would have never gone to the moon, that's for sure.

    So, what's the difference between that kind of goal setting and our country setting long-term goals for how we want to see our country become in the future, for our children? Why is it laughable to say we need to balance our budget? Why must we ridicule a group of fellow Americans who really think it is a bad idea to keep borrowing and spending? They weren't trying to throw poor people out in the street. They only wanted us to stop borrowing money and face up to the fact that we have problems that need solving today.

    Right now, the President and Congress should be in Washington looking at the budget books and prioritizing what programs we should keep and what we can cut back on. Or how to increase our revenues. Or both. Just like a family sits down and makes hard choices about the family budget. Our leaders should not be in Martha's Vineyard, or wherever, fiddling away while our country burns. Let's face it, all they did a couple weeks ago was agree to borrow more money and sell the bonds to the Chinese or let the Fed buy the debt with fiat money it prints. Everytime they print up another batch of "money" that means what we have in our pockets and in our savings is worth less. That's a tax, even if they don't admit they are taxing us. Every time the price of gas or groceries or clothing goes up because our money is worth less - that's a tax! It's a quiet tax that slowly drains us of our dreams, but it is surely a tax. What did we accomplish two weeks ago by agreeing to borrow more money? Ok, the "TEA party" believers lost. But somehow I feel we all lost. Everybody bitches but nobody is willing to draw a line and stick to it. We are not even willing to come out and say "Here is what I want my country to be in 20 years."

    Make the dreams and goals first, then work on ways and means to make the dreams come true.

  15. RM, go back and look. I already told you what I agreed with and why.

    If you say, "I want a balanced budget and the country to be fiscally responsible," people on both sides of the divisive country will agree it's necessary. AGREE IT'S NECESSARY. The problem, like that pesky boiled egg issue, is how to do it.

    By the way, if you look historically, Republicans have increased the Federal Deficit far more than Democrats in office over the last hundred years. That's not rhetoric; that's verifiable data.

    In the end, it's not what you say, but what you do that matters.

    And, yeah, I'd like to see the President and Congress still at work, but, as you pointed out, the President is unable to set any budgets. With Congress in recess, his hands are pretty tied.



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