Is there a name for people who think they are genuinely engaged in the political process, but don’t seem to have clue what they’re talking about. On top of that they belong to the same movement but hold diametrically opposite opinions. This WaPo profile of what tea baggers expect from their newly elected leaders offers a little insight: Tea party groups have wide range of goals for new champions in Congress
South Carolina tea party activist Sunny O’Donovan plans to travel to Washington in January to personally witness the swearing-in of her new congressman, Jeff Duncan, who was elected with the backing of several tea party groups. On that day, O’Donovan will shift from being an enthusiastic supporter to an eager constituent with a long wish list.
“What I’d really like to see is the national Department of Education abolished and some plans for education to be given back to the states,” she said. “But the first thing is to permanently install the Bush tax cuts. . . . And repeal the Obama health care – that was ridiculous.”
Going back to the 2004 election cycle conservatives constantly reminded everyone that more important than being against Bush and the conservative agenda, moderates had to offer up some real alternatives. O’Donovan would abolish the DOE and replace it with what? The states, contrary to the chattering classes, have plenty of options. One state, Texas, still has a wildly disproportionate say about what text books the entire nation uses. As a result we have both a water-down nation wide education system. Health care reform? How about the rapid pace of health care costs that was out of control and lowering wages. Health care reform was “ridiculous”? Health care as managed by insurance corporations, health care corporations and pharmaceutical companies was and is a disaster. Medical bills were and are one of the leading causes of bankruptcy and lack of health insurance was killing 45,000 Americans a year. That’s ridiculous. People like O’Donovan excel at whining and pointing fingers . Listen to some propaganda from O’Reilly, Beck or Sarah Palin and suddenly they’re experts. Only experts usually have some kind of plan, Some kind of actual answers. Keeping the Bush tax cuts for those individuals making more than $200k or couples making more than $250k will add $700 billion to the deficit.
Toby Marie Walker, a leader of the Waco Tea Party, has applauded the use of federal stimulus money to expand the Interstate 35 bridge in the busy central Texas corridor and wants to see the federal government finish the job. Cut spending elsewhere, she said.
“One of the biggest misconceptions about the tea party movement is that we are anti-government,” Walker said. “They think we are anti-tax. No. We are for fiscal responsibility. We understand that we have to pay taxes, and we understand that we have to pay for some of the things the federal government must do.”
As far as ideological consistency Walker’s view of jobs and infrastructure places in the realm of centrist Democrats, not tea baggers. Fiscal responsibility? She has obviously not read one bit of the history of the federal budget and compared Democrats to Republicans. Republicans talk about fiscal responsibility but never do anything about it. I refuse to buy into the lame brained small government versus big government dynamic and it is way past time to give up that ghost. I and Most Americans want Goldilocks government – just the right size to do its job. Which is performing those tasks – like big tunnel projects, Social Security Insurance, our space program, veterans hospitals etc – that individuals cannot do for themselves.
Julles Rodgers, a member of the Nebraska Tea Party, takes a harder line.
“Taxes, taxes, taxes. Lord, the tax burden we have is out of this world!” said Rodgers, owner of the Liberty Inn motel in Aurora, Neb. “They are killing the economy with the rules and regulations. It’s the government telling Detroit how to make cars that made Detroit go belly-up. It’s the government telling the mortgage companies how to make loans that caused the housing crisis.”
Rodgers is the worse kind of tea bagger, his paper cuts leave a trail of kool-aid. Taxes have gone down at the federal level. Got a problem with state taxes and fees. That is probably because your state had to rise those to make up for the federal block grants and other aid cut by the federal government to try to pay for Bush’s tax cuts. The economy is only dying at the bottom half, corporate profits are higher than ever and there are more millionaires than ever. The government did not tell private mortgage companies how to make loans. That is pure Glenn Beck kool-aid. Banks bundled bad loans and knowingly sold those bad loans to Fannie and Freddie. If regulations that we already had were enforced and mortgage bankers had half the ethics they should, the housing bubble would have happened but it would not have been nearly as bad. Detroit committed suicide by producing generally mediocre products under poor management. How do people like Rodgers explain away the fact that Japanese and German auto makers have plants here in the states which pay union wages and made a profit. U.S. regulatory standards apply to foreign auto makers too. Fox news and right-wing web sites have spoon feed people like Rodgers loads of crap filled fairy tales and they have swallowed them whole. It was lack of financial regulation and lack of enforcement that caused the Wall St meltdown. Even John McCain and Sarah Palin campaigned on more “transparency” from Wall St.
The saddest part of this story is that O’Donovan, Walker and Rodgers are just tools. Between the Republican agenda and too many Democrats trying to triangulate between Wall St and the average American, and the Citizens United ruling unleashing the plutocracy those in higher middle to minimum wage class are screwed. Republicans will hold on to power as long as they are able to exploit the dread, ignorance and fear of enough average Americans to eck out election victories. Enough Democrats will become demoralized, wrapped up in their cynicism that there ain’t no difference between Democrats and Republicans – not seeing progress as small steps rather than one great last battle that is won with one hopey changey president – that they will let it happen.
Obviously tea baggers do not differ from old guard conservatives in living in an echo chamber of their own misguided and often abhorrent beliefs. If they think they are different. I they think they are on the edge of some revolutionary change, look behind the curtain Dorothy – Senator-Elect Mike Lee Attends Lobbyist-Run Retreat With Other Tea Party GOP Freshmen
FreedomWorks is a pay-to-play corporate front group that has historically served as a service for corporate lobbyists to generate “grassroots” support for narrow special interest legislation. Dick Armey, after taking over the group, routinely used FreedomWorks to serve his corporate clients at his lobbying firm, DLA Piper. As the Washington Post noted, after ThinkProgress highlighted Armey’s use of FreedomWorks “organizing” to his own benefit, he resigned from DLA Piper. However, other corporate lobbyists, like Gray & Schmitz chief lobbyist C. Boyden Gray and Venable lobbyist James Burnley continue to oversee FreedomWorks (and continue to lobby for right-wing corporate interests). In the last two years, FreedomWorks has become known for its key role in organizing Tea Party opposition to President Obama and to reforms designed to help reign in corporate abuses.
On Thursday and Friday, FreedomWorks hosted a retreat for freshmen Republican lawmakers. Sen.-elect Mike Lee (R-UT), according to the New York Times, recalled almost breaking out in tears over the vast resources FreedomWorks dedicated to helping him get elected. However, the retreat occurred amidst new reports claiming that Republican insiders and GOP operatives are using events during the upcoming lame duck session of Congress to co-opt new “Tea Party” lawmakers.
[ ]…Armey( Dick Armey of FreedomWorks), who presided over the event in Baltimore, has personally lobbied for multinational alcohol company Diego, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Medicines Co, Raytheon, Carmax, and many other corporations. Although Armey and his “Tea Party” cohorts have assailed President Obama’s economic stimulus, which helped create 3 million jobs for the middle class, as wasteful taxpayer “bailouts,” his lobbying firm helped engineer the bank bailouts of 2008. As the Wonk Room reported, while Armey worked for DLA Piper, the firm assisted AIG, Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch during President Bush’s bank bailouts.
FreedomWorks is not a genuine grassroots group serving the public interest. Even the conservative-leaning Wall Street Journal has exposed Armey building “amateur-looking” websites — under the FreedomWorks brand — to promote Armey’s corporate clients.
Other tea baggers who attended included including Reps. Todd Young (R-IN), Renee Ellmers (R-NC), Tim Scott (R-SC), Reid Ribble (R-WI), Steve Pearce (R-NM), and Andy Harris (R-MD). Gosh, tea baggers having a corporate hand up their back telling them what to think and how to vote. Sounds like your run of the mill traditional conservative puppet. if you didn’t like the conservative culture of corruption 1.0 you’ll love the culture of corruption 2.0.
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) recently declared loyalty to Israel should U.S. policy differ from that country’s current right-wing leadership.
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday during a meeting in New York that the new GOP majority in the House will “serve as a check” on the Obama administration, a statement unusual for its blunt disagreement with U.S. policy delivered directly to a foreign leader.
“Eric stressed that the new Republican majority will serve as a check on the Administration and what has been, up until this point, one party rule in Washington,” read a statement from Cantor’s office on the one-on-one meeting. “He made clear that the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other.”
When Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s took a fact-finding mission to Syria – the kind of story most people don’t bother to read – big yawn, another Congress critter goes on trip to such and such to do whatever. Cantor and the usual herd of right-wing sheep let loose with shrill cries of sedation and supposed violations of the Logan Act. Pelosi never offered to look out for Syria’s interests if they were in variance with Bush’s foreign policy. In other words, no where near sedition or violation of the Logan Act. On the other hand Cantor(R-VA) promising to look out for Israel even if it meant violating the official foreign policy as set by the current president is a violation of the Logan Act.
§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
- Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
- This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.
1 Stat. 613, January 30, 1799, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 953 (2004).
The fact is that President Obama has been quite pro-Israel. The Right simply thinks his policies have not been the policies of George Bush and hopes by exaggerating some slight differences in policy will peel off some of the U.S. Jewish vote which is still solidly Democratic.