Nov 012010

A proud conservative, it goes without saying that the Presidential election of November 2, 2008 was for me a particularly sad day. During the months that led up to the election of our first “post-racial” President (far from an apt descriptor in hindsight), truth be known, I never seriously considered B. Obama a serious challenger. My money was on a Clinton-McCain battle, in which I gave odds to our current Secretary of State and her command of the superior resources provided by the Clinton political machine.

I don’t think I could have ever foreseen such a swell of support for a peculiarly unaccomplished candidate, all premised on little more than the vague promise of “change” and an otherwise unarticulated agenda. This was the year that, to my astonishment, we as a nation displayed our clear preference for style over substance.  This is my chief complaint against the ascension of President Obama, that we as a people were foolish enough to gamble away the farm on a charismatic unknown, so given to our idolatry that we not only refused to investigate or question any substantive details, but we stubbornly ignored the ample warning signs (Ayers, Wright, etc.). As unattractive a candidate as I may have personally found him, Sen. John McCain was to me clearly the lesser of evils. Alas, we appear to have been destined for change all right, and a more clearly articulated agenda.

Be that as it may, this article, if I might call it that, is not about the historic Obama campaign, nor even particularly about his Presidency and the deeply troubling consequences thereof. Likewise, it is not even about this cultural anomaly of the blind and unquestioning devotion of the masses to an attractive but nebulous political figure. Rather, it is about perhaps the single greatest, although unintended achievement provided by the reign of Obama and the 111th Congress…that of the Tea Party movement.

It is interesting to note the reactions of opponents toward this growing body of active political participants. Much effort has been made to portray them as radicals or extremists. In fairness, it cannot be denied that there are some fringe elements who inevitably gravitate towards the nexus that is the Tea Party. But really now, what sizable group does not have these? They are certainly not representative of the Party any more than Bill Ayers can be said to represent the entirety of the Democrat Party. Furthermore, it has become a defining characteristic of Tea Party members to roundly rebuke extremists amongst them, as can be seen with repeated confrontations with liberal poseurs, amongst others, who often attempt to infiltrate their ranks with the purposes of creating deceptively unflattering publicity for them.

Beyond these, there are also those within the ranks who would like to see some social issues addressed. Perhaps of primary interest are those who oppose “gay marriage” or insist on the enforcement of immigration policies. While they may have legitimate points to offer, these unfortunately give their more disreputable opponents an opportunity to seize upon these issues and craft distorted portrayals of Tea Partiers as being “racist” or “homophobic”. As transparent as this is to the bulk of Americans, honest dialogue seemingly cannot progress for those whose stock in trade is propaganda and libelous name-calling. Regardless, while the body of the Tea Party as a whole is a big-tent concept comprised of many views (some might call this genuine diversity), it is nonetheless defined by the ideas expressed in the Contract From America. Thus far lacking any social prescriptions, current attempts by critics to define this movement in terms expressed by the far left stretch what credibility they might have theoretically had.

To listen to the detractors, it is preferred we believe that the Tea Party is comprised of uneducated bigots…backwards and unenlightened souls who take their marching orders strictly from Fox News. This is the mantra of the delusional left, sung by the liberal choir exclusively and verbatim. For instance, while President Obama was at least decent and honest enough (or politically savvy enough not to blatantly over-indulge himself in partisan rhetoric, as he is known to do) to deny detecting racism as a motivator for Partiers, he nonetheless attempted to dismiss them as simply people who are “watching certain news channels”, the insinuation being that they are not thinkers but followers, mindless drones, as it were. O’ we simple rubes.

Of course any reasonable investigation of the matter reveals that the truth is in this case Is in the largest part precisely the opposite. Statistically, Tea Partiers in fact tend to be more educated than most (particularly with regards to non-revisionist history and the political sciences), and are in large part comprised of a particularly intelligent and accomplished professional class disposed towards individual responsibility rather than class entitlement.

Insinuations of ignorance aside, we also have the accusation by Speaker Pelosi that the Tea Party is not at all a grass roots movement, but “Astroturf”. More clever than humorous, the implication was and is a complete denial of the organic nature of the movement, with the resulting inference that it was instead an engineered peculiarity unworthy of being taken seriously. We shall see, Madame Speaker, we shall see. But a mere day prior to the elections, I have a sense that you and your legions will soon be having something of a reckoning with this “Astroturf”.

And then who can forget the less clever and patently crude reference to these folks as “Tea-Baggers”? This juvenile quip refers to an explicitly sexual act more appropriate for conversation in a porno parlor rather than the halls of Congress. Gratified with their disparaging wit, many have since become quick to realize the ramifications of such a gutter-level lack of common civility. These proceeded to either feign ignorance of this term or to transform it into a more benign reference to the practice of some Tea Party members to mail representatives tea bags as a sign of displeasure. Many who “got the joke” and were the targets thereof thought this an offense which clearly defined the character of modern liberal politics (it should be noted that the first instances of using this term were by a small number of Partiers themselves, although it has since then become a degrading term exclusively preferred by uncouth elements of the left) leaving little doubt that this was an overt act intended to degrade and further marginalize Tea Partiers. They were not amused.

This is the point; that each instance wherein the out-of-touch political class not only selected to ignore this body of the people, but to attack them instead, the larger the group has become. This is a serious and growing segment of people that Gallup polls report as being demographically similar to the population as a whole. The question must be asked, is this really the sort of group that you want to ignore or dismiss so cavalierly? Had the current leadership the earlier wisdom to at the very least adopt some Clintonesque form of triangulation, the Tea Party would likely now be much smaller and quieter, if in existence at all. I think that they would still be there, at the edge of demanding that “enough is enough”, angered by how far we have strayed from the principles of liberty and equality as the indoctrinated class lead us over the precipice. But, were it not for the hubris of the left, I do not think this body would have nearly the size or impact that it currently enjoys.

It is precisely this sort of deaf arrogance and absolute dishonesty that created the Tea Party. Both the “stimulus” and the health care bills were enacted in defiance of the will of the majority of Americans (with Obamacare recently earning a 70% disapproval rate amongst Americans, well before it has even been implemented), and these are seen by many as merely the most blatant in a stream of expressions of contempt towards the people by a class who are meant to represent them rather than rule them. One would think that a person whose ascendancy relied so heavily on an appeal to the masses would also calculate that maintenance of such position requires legislative mass appeal as well, rather than exclusive capitulation to the fringe minority that is endlessly needy, never concerning themselves with those who must bear the costs of their new entitlements.

A long overdue and much needed populist expression of absolute frustration with an increasingly detached, power-hungry, and indulgent political class, it is commonly thought that the Tea Party is both a rejection of liberal proclivities for governing towards socialism and a direct response to the current Presidents neglect of the will of the people and the constitutional limitations placed on federal government scope and authority. Where we have seen that opponents are routinely far less charitable in their descriptions, this is essentially accurate. However, the seeds for this movement actually pre-date the Obama Presidency, finding their origins with the Bush White House and the Democrat-led 110th Congress.

The first notable expression of unrest came as a result of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. Originally proposed by Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson but later amended and approved by Congress, this was the first in a series of controversial bailouts that sowed the seeds of unrest amongst many informed and irritated citizens who correctly saw the federal government as increasingly exceeding its mandate. Moreover, the bills inclusion of an additional 150 billion dollars of unrelated spending was perceived as continued abuse of taxpayer dollars. Nonetheless, despite objections President George W. Bush signed H.R. 1424 into law on October 3, 2008.

However, it cannot be said that without Bush the Tea Party would never had been. The increasing frustration and growing impatience amongst conservatives, constitutionalists, and traditionalists of varying stripes has been brewing for some time. Regardless of Bush and H.R. 1424, the actions and attitudes of the current administration and Congress would surely have propelled this body into action, and in fact, the Democrats in particular have very much served to “fuel the fire” inasmuch as they have not only been utterly neglectful of the concerns commonly expressed, they have been hostile towards them.

The latest Gallup poll tracking overall American political sensibilities maintains what most have clearly known all along: America is for better or worse a center-right country. With self-identified conservatives leading the way with a commanding 42%, moderates following with 35%, and liberals trailing with a dismal 20%, this fantastic display of myopic political calculations failed completely to heed the obvious dangers of such lustful power grabs as those witnessed over the past two years. Serving only the ideological fancies of a self indulgent minority, it was inevitable that such narcissism would provoke not only the predictable responses from conservatives who outnumber them two to one, but that of many moderates who took a chance on an unchecked Democrat majority. As a result, we are now seeing numbers approaching a three to one rejection of both these trophy policies and the scorched earth methods though which they were obtained. Thus, while Bush and the Democrat-led Congress may have technically caused the original spark of this small scale revolution, it was the policies and attitudes of utter disrespect by the Obama administration and the 111th Congress which fanned that spark into a roaring fire.

The adoption of the “Tea Party” theme came from Libertarian Ron Paul supporters who emphasized fiscal conservatism. Drawing analogies between the 1773 Boston Tea Party and current trends of politicians in power, primarily the ability of detached bodies to forcefully extract unfair, unconstitutional, and non-representative taxes, the Tea Party is a manifestation of traditional patriotism that tends to be far more well steeped in the historical dangers of expanded governmental powers than are their liberal counterparts who prefer an expanded role for centralized government, usually as a means to achieve some form of utopian goals.

Comprised of conservatives, independents (many suffering a deep sense of buyers remorse), and even liberals, although admittedly a relative minority, it cannot be honestly said that this is a far-right or “extreme” group, as much as opponents fight to portray them that way. If there is any overall defining characteristic, it is that they tend to see government as having long overstepped its boundaries. This is illustrated clearly in its anti-incumbent preferences. While they overwhelmingly support fiscally conservative candidates over liberal ones, the firm imprint of a libertarian philosophy, on several occasions incumbent and establishment Republicans such as Bob Bennett and Lisa Murkowski, amongst a growing list of others, have been shown the door as a clear repudiation of “politics as usual”. Without any centralized organization or authority, it is a genuine grass-roots movement seeking real “change”, led from the bottom up rather than dictated from the top down.

An illustration of some general goals of the Tea Party might be found in what has come to be known as the “Contract From America”. Taking cue from the 1994 Contract With America, this list took its form from over 1000 ideas offered and voted on by hundreds of thousands of people, reflecting the concerns of every day Americans. Reduced to 21 possible planks, each was voted on by the public online, with the top 10 comprising the resulting “contract”. If these results can represent the primary concerns and animus of the Tea Party, and I believe they can, they are far from nefarious. For the sake of brevity I will not address all of them (feel free to Google…), but they include:

Identify constitutionality of every new law. The current administration and Congress constitute the historical pinnacle of willingness to bend, circumvent or ignore existing constitutional limitations on their legislative and executive powers, particularly where it might advance ideological ends. It is now necessary to hold politicians on both sides of the isle firmly in check, and within the boundaries of the powers that the Constitution and we the people grant them. Obamacare is simply one of many constitutional breaches that make clear the need to reform or replace our current class of political “servants”.

Demand a balanced federal budget. Given the inability of both Republicans and Democrats to restrain their desire to spend taxpayers dollars like drunken sailors (largely intoxicated by their own power), the adults (we the people) must insist that the children (politicians) live within the means of the allowances we grant them.

Simplify the tax system. The current tax code is a monolithic monstrosity that conceals its propensity for abuse and unfair application, all of which is backed by the weight of legal authority to prosecute “offenders”. There is no excuse for the mess of our tax system. Simplify it and we not only have no use for the resource guzzling farce that is the IRS, but the class warfare commandos will finally be faced with a clear picture of who is actually paying what in our entitlement minded society.

Audit federal government agencies for constitutionality. The real beauty of this plank is that we finally do what should have been done long ago, namely to identify and abolish or modify agencies or programs that are found to be redundant, ineffective or wasteful, or are more appropriately left at the level of State or local government. The billions of dollars that are wasted yearly on government bureaucracy alone is mind numbingly offensive, particularly to those of us in the upper fifty percent of wage earners who actually pick up the tab for such blatant abuse (note that the bottom fifty percent effectively pay no taxes while enjoying the bulk of the benefits…talk about unfair).

Repeal of Obamacare. A “holy grail” of the socialistas, There is no disagreement that our healthcare system is in need of repair, but to ram through a potentially devastating law without concern for the overwhelming majority who vociferously opposed it, or without so much as the common courtesy of actually reading the thing (so that politicians could “know what was in it” before they passed it, rather than vice-versa). Such monumental dereliction of duty is blatantly disrespectful and even hostile towards the public who must suffer the consequences. The longer that the laws and their anticipated ramifications are considered, the longer the list becomes of adverse effects it will certainly have on the health care costs and options available to all Americans, to say nothing of the heavy economic damages inflicted. Destroying quality health care for all Americans to provide it to a minority of Americans is a reprehensible solution that only an unscrupulous political class could have embraced. We needn’t even ponder long the fact that legislators ensured that they would not have to suffer the effects of Obamacare. They were quick to protect their own taxpayer purchased Cadillac health coverage plans. Talk about adding insult to injury. And then there was the slick little move to trigger the enactment of Obamacare after his re-election. This way the effects would not start to be fully realized until after he had secured a second term on the throne. We could go on and on and on, but I digress. Unsurprisingly, very few if any liberal candidates are now campaigning on the “legislative accomplishment” of Obamacare, and in fact many are now flailing about trying to distance themselves from it. Why is that? Could it be that the opponents (and the majority of Americans) were right all along?

The remaining items on the list include an all inclusive energy policy, the rejection of emissions trading, limiting annual growth in federal spending, and reducing both earmarks and taxes. Now I ask you, which of these is “extreme”? In fact, which of these is not just plain common sense? More importantly, if these are the goals of the Tea Party consensus, where are the nefarious racial undertones (or overtones, according to some) that the mainstream media and the politically correct culture queens constantly remind us are the true driving force behind this band of non-conformist misfits?

Note the lack of social policy in this list. There is nothing here that serves “radical” Christians as a group, a particular phobia of the pagan mainstream, or any other religious group for that matter. Likewise, there is nothing here that is designed to serve one group over another along the lines of race, gender, or sexual orientation. This is a movement concerned with the responsibilities of government, reacquainting these bodies with the notion that their power is limited, and the insistence that the will of the people be respected.

With the dominance of a far-left President and Congress leading against a center-right country, tone-deaf and irresponsible actions such as the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” (“Stimulus”) and the Health Care debacle have served to antagonize increasing numbers of people across all social and economic lines. The former is widely perceived as a massive government slush fund full of waste and abuse that substantially contributes to existing sums of crippling debt while failing to address the ailments it was proclaimed to remedy. The latter is seen as a clear incremental effort to socialize health care nationally, one of the holy grails of the socialist left in a larger effort to transform America into something very un-American.

Seen by a decreasing number of particular ideologues as great achievements of the current administration, and in truth they are, if you subscribe to that line of political thought, they are also viewed as abuses of authority, dangers to opportunities in a free society, and as the epitome of fiscal irresponsibility to a larger and more broad group of citizens who are simply tired of government run amok. As noted by a far superior President, “Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem.”

We have seen the impact of the Tea Party as it continues to overthrow comfortable politicians in both parties, and this is a good thing. Indeed, it is a very healthy thing. Where I may have initially had a few concerns, based on its platforms and track record, I have them no longer. To me, the continued growth of the Tea Party is a marvelous historic occurrence, and with any luck their impact will reach far into the future of American politics. And if the saying “by their enemies you shall know them” is any indicator of quality, then sign me up.

  37 Responses to “Tea For Me, Please.”

  1. I see the politics, but where is the “Pagan+”? In the About section, it says this blog is to for people to voice their ideological beliefs “and [share] how their religious faith shapes their political views.” While certainly this is a well-written article, I could have happened upon it on another site if I so choose; it seems to lack the lens that make so many of the articles on this site unique.

    I see but one mention of the topic, when you say “There is nothing here that serves ‘radical’ Christians as a group, a particular phobia of the pagan mainstream, or any other religious group for that matter.” Give me more…

  2. I am in agreement with you on a number of issues, especially the mandatory health care and the tax system. I too am a fiscal conservative, but I teeter between liberal and moderate on social issues. The reason being is I see it as one hand washing the other, and both hands washing the face. Yes, we need to cut spending in a number of areas, but we need to do so with a set of pruning shears rather than a chainsaw.

    I voted for Obama, because I was actually voting against Palin. She scared the shit out of me, and unfortunately, the guy running for governor here in Illinois is just as far right. I believed McCain was a better candidate overall, with the flat tax pitch (provided the poorest working Americans get to keep their credits) and plenty of political and military experience. (I’ve always believed bosses of any flavor should have hands on training from the ground up before attempting to run anything.)

    Now true, just like most tea party candidates, McCain was against many social stances which I hold dear to my heart. Birth control is a good thing, and whether or not we like to call it like it is, less people is good for both the environment and our economy. Keeping people healthy is equally a good thing, because they are more productive and need fewer services. I understand both these things completely, but that’s one of those “what’s good on paper” deals. Just like methods of birth control, it’s wrong to force people to pay for health care they don’t want. Why should I have to drop $350/month for my office’s health care plan when a yearly visit is only a fraction on that? Obamacare truly is unconstitutional.

    It’s unfortunate and unfair many tea party candidates are saddled with being crazy Christians, but it’s equally sad many democrats are saddled as being outright socialists. This is why I never vote based on anyone’s opinions or backing. Unfortunately, I tend to find more often than not, I don’t get to vote /for/ anyone, but rather /against/ someone else.

  3. What about the actual candidates for the House and the Senate that are supported by the Tea Party??

    Is there even ONE of these who is not an anti-choice, anti-gay marriage darling of the Christian Right?

    • I hate to come across as a cynical voter but I have to echo these questions completely. Why has so much energy been attached to Republican and far-right candidates specifically?

      Hasn’t the Libertarian party been pushing for a fiscally conservative & non-social issue/socially progressive platform for decades?

      I don’t know, I researched every candidate I was voting for and cast my ballot for the ones that matched my worldview regardless of party or endorsement. I certainly hope the Tea Party can motivate American voters but I’ll have questions about some of the actions and motivations of the movement for quite some time.

    • Yeah, as far as I can tell, far too many of the major candidates who are affiliated with the Tea Party in some form as like Sharron Angle, a candidate who does not believe in the seperation of church and state, is anti-gay and supports a federal amendment banning same sex marriage, is anti-abortion, is opposed to legalizing marijuana, does not believe in human-caused climate change (‘global warming’) at all. But the Tea Party apologists on this site want us to believe that none of that matters. They want us to believe that only their fiscal views matter and that is all that should influence our votes, to which I say, ‘No tea for me, please’.

      Here in North Carolina we have a vote on one of our Senate seats tomorrow between the incumbent, Republican Senator Richard Burr and being challenged by Democrat Elaine Marshall. Richard Burr holds all the expected views on social issues including supporting a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. I’m sorry but that’s a deal breaker for me. Even if I agreed with the fiscal conservatism that the Tea Party is selling, I wouldn’t vote for a candidate who wants to enshrine his bigotry for people like me in the United States’ constitution. The facts, as far as I can see them, are that the libertarian tendencies in many of the candidates supported by Tea Party groups stop at the fiscal and these candidates are all to happy for ‘big government’ to jump in everyone’s life when it comes to social issues.

    • I came across an article written by Eric Sapp which is supposed to prove that the Tea Party is “pro choice and pro gay”. BUT the same article also says that Tea Party activists were asked “who best exemplifies the goals of the Tea Party movement,” that these activists were split “into two clear ideological camps.”

      But these two ideological camps weren’t really all that different from where I’m standing. In fact, this supposed ideological divide was between the supporters of Sarah Palin and the supporters of Ron Paul!

      Here’s a link to the article:

      • If we were to accept that most people in the Tea Party movement are ‘pro choice and pro gay’, it is interesting then that there is such a gap between these people as a movement and the candidates they are putting forth/ supporting.

    • That would be the elephant in the room I don’t see addressed anywhere. If the Radical Right has no power over the Tea Party then why do we have Sharon Angle, who accused the Democrats of violating the First Commandment, Christine O’Donnell and her infamous flaps about topics like masturbation, and even Rand Paul who has spoken at Religious Right conferences after getting the nomination.

      The Tea Party claims not to be socially conservative but many who have taken up its mantle are quite far to the right of most of the country.

  4. What I find interesting about the Tea Party hasn’t happened yet, because the election is still one day off. Will it be absorbed into the Republican Party, in abandonment of its founding “a plague on both your parties” rhetoric? If the GOP wins a majority in the House, will the Tea Party candidates who made it happen accept the current leadership, part of the GOP establishment some of them defeated in primaries? (When John Boehner projects a Republican victory he’s just being a politician; when he tacitly assumes this will mean he becomes Speaker, he may be indulging in hubris.) If all this comes to pass, how will the electorate feel about the new incumbents in 2012? Stay tuned; the show so far may be just the warm-up act.

  5. “To listen to the detractors, it is preferred we believe that the Tea Party is comprised of uneducated bigots…backwards and unenlightened souls who take their marching orders strictly from Fox News. This is the mantra of the delusional left, sung by the liberal choir exclusively and verbatim.”

    As a member of the ‘delusional left,’ and a former Republican, I’ve seen nothing in this article, nor from the Tea Party members themselves, that contradicts my knowledge that the Tea Party is filled with uneducated bigots who spew the vomit of Fox News. Not one person is able to articulate the problems of this government or country beyond sound bites. I see knowledge of history or the Constitution in any of their complaints. I see no evidence that they have any alternate solutions. Indeed, I’m quite surprised that Obama hasn’t been welcomed with open arms since he has done nothing but put forth the Republican agenda since in office. His bail-outs and stimulus bills were written and started by the Republican administration, his healthcare bill was originally written by the Nixon Administration, and was currently approved by a consensus of Republicans and Democrats.

    When even Reagan and Nixon would be considered too leftist by the Tea Party membership, then there is something wrong here. I find it odd that a Pagan would endorse the Tea Party, when so many of them only want to return to Old Testament values and ideals.

    • I’ve been reading the Tea Party’s blogs and attending their rallies for some time now, and I have a question for you; if the TP is so racist, why are so many of them Black? For that matter, if it’s so homophobic, why are so many of them Gay? If it’s so bigoted-Christian, why are so many of them Pagans?

      That ideological gap Sapp spoke of is between the Libertarians and the Conservatives, the Ron Paul and the Palin crowd. Libertarians founded the TP movement; the Conservatives only jumped on the bandwagon when it started getting headlines. Because the media jumped on the assumption that the TP was entirely Conservative, and a tool of the GOP, canny Democrats have been giving money and campaign support to the Libertarian Party in hopes of it wooing votes away from the Republicans. That makes me chuckle, and wonder if this isn’t what the TP intended all along.

      We’ll see how effective it was when the votes are tabulated. I predict some interesting surprises.

      –Leslie < )O(

      • Leslie

        I have also gone to TP rallies, and have read their blogs. And frankly, I do not see any evidence supporting your supposition. Everything I have seen and read is overwhelmingly White, Christian, and Straight. A better question is, why are so few black, so few gay, and so few Pagan?

  6. As a lesbian, I must say that I find your choice to put gay marriage in quotes to be offensive. My partner and I should not need to have our rights debated and taken away solely at the whim of politicians or by referendum, the same way that the government treats paganism like a religion only when it suits them (which is usually never). I see from your biography that you have a “wife” and two “children.” I ask that you give me the same respect you would give heterosexual couples.

    Maybe it’s a small thing to get het up about (about the same as a reporter not capitalizing Pagan), but excusing the little things leads to a mindset of excusing big ones.

    • As far as gay marriage goes, here are the positions of some of the leaders of the Tea Party:

      Sarah Palin: against
      Ron Paul: against
      Angela McGlowan: against
      Joseph Farah: against
      Tom Tancredo: against
      Andrew Breitbart: infamous gay-baiter who also puts “gay marriage” in quotes

      If anyone can find ONE prominent Tea Partier who supports gay marriage, that would be very interesting. Also is anyone can find ONE prominent Tea Partier who supports abortion rights, that would also be quite interesting.

      How does one define “prominent Tea Partier”? It’s really not that difficult. It should be someone who has either
      (1) has held or is running for a high office (Senate, House or Governo), or
      (2) who gave a major speech at the National Tea Party Convention, or
      (3) holds a position of leadership in a national organization associate with the Tea Party movement

  7. One of the “tricks” of manipulation is to not define terms. Rather, merely give them a label and then attack the label.

    Your consistent denunciations and labeling of people is just and excuse to spread hate. What a shame.

    Your long article, doing little more than repeating so-called “talking points” of various groups could have done so much. Instead, it became nothing. Too bad.

    How about dealing with issues instead of name-calling? How about dealing with specifics rather than generalizations?

    Most people in the U.S., contrary to your almost endless diatribe, are not conservative or liberal. They’re just people. They deal with individual issues every day. You talk derisively about “Obamacare” as a “holy grail of the socialistas.” Most Americans deal more with whether or not their children can get medical care.

    In your entire diatribe you did not make any specific statements about what you would do to replace what we have. Not one specific. Is it any wonder that the Tea Party is so distrusted, even by conservatives?

    It’s very easy to tear down a house. It’s very difficult to build one.

    Okay. You’ve presented what you’d like to tear down. How about sharing what you’d like to build?

    • “In your entire diatribe you did not make any specific statements about what you would do to replace what we have. Not one specific. Is it any wonder that the Tea Party is so distrusted, even by conservatives?

      It’s very easy to tear down a house. It’s very difficult to build one.”

      This has been one of my problems with it as well. It is very easy to stand up at town hall meetings and scream ‘NO’ at health care reform or whatever. I am personally more interested in how these people plan to actually do something about what is our (indisputably) broken health care system among other issues. It is easy to get people riled up and angry, but I suspect that if the Tea Party were to have major wins this week they will mostly turn into a lot of hot air when faced with the reality of the situation.

  8. Since when was this site ‘Pagan + Tea Party’. Seriously. The Tea Party offers nothing but sound bites, and after the election will either cease to exist or turn violent. Lets hope its not the latter.

  9. I notice in the beginning of your article you portray the Left or people who voted for Obama as blind or idolaters, that we did no research, and basically had no clue what we were doing when we voted for Obama. What a load of tripe. What a load of propagandist poppycock. What a load of horse poop.

    This site has managed to bring together pagans left, right, and center with a minimum of acrimony, name-calling, and divisiveness. You, in your article, manage to rip all of that to shreds. Congratulations.

    I honestly think it is a pity that you are a contributor here. I can read this kind of garbage anywhere. I expect better from the contributors on this site. You have failed to meet expectations.

    • This, oh so much.

      I come here to read opinions, dialogue, and the exchange of information in an adult manner. I come to this political blog because I’m so very sick and tired of the childish mud-slinging done in much of the political forum in America today. This article only spreads that bad habit here, onto a forum I respect. I am in no way appreciative of that fact.

      (On a side note, I’m one of those pesky Independents that do research on candidates before voting, and don’t just listen to their rhetoric and hope they’re telling the truth. As an above commenter noted, this past election was more about voting against Palin than for Obama for me as well. Before becoming Pagan I was raised in that same Pentacostal Assemblies of God nastiness she touts and know that kind of … mindset, to put it politely, intimately. I want none of it in power.)

    • Total agreement. I will debate any position that is supported by evidence but if all someone can do is vomit talking points and bumper stickers I kindly ask them to please take those home with them.

      This article is nothing but lots of bumper stickers. I don’t see any actual concrete policy proposals in here, just lots and lots of hot air.

  10. And let’s not forget that the Tea Party is also a haven for birthers, truthers, climate-skeptics, Clarence Thomas sympathizers, Ayn Rand fans, Rovian rat-f%ckers, and people who believe that Social Security, Minimum Wage, the Voting Rights Act, and seat belt laws are unconstitutional abominations.

    In other words, a rather typical assortment of the more obnoxious varieties of Republicans.

  11. So I am supposed to see the Tea Party as something other than racists, Christian theocratists, and homophobes? Well, where are the candidates that aren’t coming from those positions? Where is the Tea Party candidate who isn’t an ignorant, racist, homophobic theocrat? Name them. Show me the Tea Party candidate that is so different from how the horrible liberals portray them. All I see from them is crazy…and trust me, I do my best to look at their own words, not any interpretation made by any media. Every single Tea Party candidate up for any role in this election has publicly made their positions clear…fear-mongering about Muslims and “socialism”, which none of them seem capable of actually defining or distinguishing from Stalinism or Maoism, evangelical and fundamentalist Christian positions on social issues, and a demonstrated lack of education, experience, and consideration on the real issues of politics.

    • Just looking within our own community for a Tea Party candidate – how about Erin Lale? Or is she “an ignorant, racist, homophobic theocrat?”

      Looking outside our community – are the 38 black candidates also racists?

      As for homophobic – many Tea Party candidates are no more (or less) ‘homophobic’ than our current President as they have the same view of gay marriage.

      • 1 or 2 token Pagan examples does not an open minded group make. And you can’t claim that those 38 people you linked to are all in any way teabaggers. You’re making excuses, and weak ones.

        As for the homophobia, no quotation marks here, they are no where near the same level as the president, as he’s at least willing to change his point of view. Even if that wasn’t the case, they’re still as wrong as the president would be.Your Christian tea party friends would prefer the gays and lesbians, Pagan or not, get back in the closet. Their religion, words, and actions show that.

        • I would call none of the people I linked to “teabaggers” as that is a slur used most commonly against homosexuals and has no place on here. (Please refer to the comment policy) However – they are all Tea Party group endorsed candidates.

          The President is on record on gay marriage and has not shown himself willing to change his mind – “I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.”

          Also like many in Congress, he does support Civil Unions. Where the President gets props from me is that he also supports a repeal of DADT, and many Congressional Republicans (and a good number of Democrats) do not.

          Side note: What’s been interesting, and not reported much at all, is that the President has been getting protested and shouted down repeatedly by supporters of “Global AIDS” for the past month while he has been campaigning for Democrats. They are unhappy that he hasn’t lived up to his campaign promise of increased funding for Global AIDS. This is also an issue that the President has been criticized for by the UN and world leaders. I can understand why, when we are in an economic downturn, that Congress would choose more modest increases in funding.

  12. “I don’t think I could have ever foreseen such a swell of support for a peculiarly unaccomplished candidate, all premised on little more than the vague promise of “change” and an otherwise unarticulated agenda.”

    HA, I’m sorry, but that is pretty funny coming from someone who is advocating support for the ‘peculiarly unaccomplished’ batch of candidates that are being put forth by the Tea Party.

    • “that is pretty funny coming from someone who is advocating support for the ‘peculiarly unaccomplished’ batch of candidates that are being put forth by the Tea Party.”

      Let’s get more specific. It’s even more fun that way.

      Here is a representative sampling of the leading lights of the Tea Party (if someone wants to question the Tea Party credentials of any of these worthies, or suggest others who are more — or is that less? — impressive, please, please, I am all ears):

      Sarah Palin:
      no comment

      Ron Paul:
      a laughingstock even in Congress

      Angela McGlowan:
      has run in one primary. lost.

      Joseph Farah:
      Helped get Rush Limbaugh started in journalism. Founder of WorldNetDaily. Birther.

      Tom Tancredo:
      Thinks Catholic Church is behind illegal immigration as part of their plot to take over America.

      Andrew Breitbart:
      Describes himself as “Matt Drudge’s bitch”.

  13. That’s quite an impressive rant that burns several bridges but I don’t see anything approximating concrete proposals for the problems that face us.

    Shouting, “It must be Constitutional” until you’re blue in the face is not a solution. That’s just a nice slogan.

  14. So….essentially you’re just mad that an intelligent black man is President.

    Got it.