The Tea Party insurgency

Peggy Noonan, no fan of Sarah Palin,  nevertheless sees something happening here with the Tea Parties:

The past few years, a lot of people in politics have wondered about the possibility of a third party. Would it be possible to organize one? While they were wondering, a virtual third party was being born. And nobody organized it.

Here is Jonathan Rauch in National Journal on the tea party’s innovative, broad-based network: “In the expansive dominion of the Tea Party Patriots, which extends to thousands of local groups and literally countless activists,” there is no chain of command, no hierarchy. Individuals “move the movement.” Popular issues gain traction and are emphasized, unpopular ones die. “In American politics, radical decentralization has never been tried on such a large scale.”

Here are pollsters Scott Rasmussen and Doug Schoen in the Washington Examiner: “The Tea Party has become one of the most powerful and extraordinary movements in American political history.” “It is as popular as both the Democratic and Republican parties.” “Over half of the electorate now say they favor the Tea Party movement, around 35 percent say they support the movement, 20 to 25 percent self-identify as members of the movement.”

So far, the tea party is not a wing of the GOP but a critique of it. This was demonstrated in spectacular fashion when GOP operatives dismissed tea party-backed Christine O’Donnell in Delaware. The Republican establishment is “the reason we even have the Tea Party movement,” shot back columnist and tea party enthusiast Andrea Tantaros in the New York Daily News. It was the Bush administration that “ran up deficits” and gave us “open borders” and “Medicare Part D and busted budgets.”

Everyone has an explanation for the tea party that is actually not an explanation but a description. They’re “angry.” They’re “antiestablishment,” “populist,” “anti-elite.” All to varying degrees true. But as a network television executive said this week, “They should be fed up. Our institutions have failed.”

via Peggy Noonan: Why It’s Time for the Tea Party – WSJ.com.

From the Left, Slate’s Jacob Weisberg sees the Tea Partiers as doing what the New Left tried to do.  From The Right’s New Left :

What’s new and most distinctive about the Tea Party is its streak of anarchism—its antagonism toward any authority, its belligerent style of self-expression, and its lack of any coherent program or alternative to the policies it condemns. In this sense, you might think of the Tea Party as the Right’s version of the 1960s New Left. It’s an unorganized and unorganizable community of people coming together to assert their individualism and subvert the established order.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    True conservatism paradoxically honors due process and honors institutions and calls them back to doing what they are supposed to do.

    It is the utter opposite of anarchy. and it will not be caught bashing the imperfect realities of the rule of law in favor of even some constitutional idealize and romanticized idea.

    conservatism is about doing thing within the rule of law.

    This could be argued about our american revolution. that it was no revolution at all. it was really a maintenance of the status quo. brittain had largely made the colonies independent during the french and indian wars. Then they tried to reassert a sovreignty they had relinquished through neglect, and this was a change that the american colonies rejected after a good century of actual self rule and maintenance. but this was done quite consciously on the basis of the rule of Law.

    Just as the Conservative Reformation felt the urgency of justifying their cause based on a rule outside of themselves, the american revolution felt a similar urgency to publicly justify their standing apart based on the rule of law and reason.

    The tea party movement bears more the marks of the radical french and bolshevik revolutions rather than the conservative american, english magna carta and lutheran revolutions which were evolutionary and conservative to their very core. It is about individualism against established authority. Even when it appeals to the constitution.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    True conservatism paradoxically honors due process and honors institutions and calls them back to doing what they are supposed to do.

    It is the utter opposite of anarchy. and it will not be caught bashing the imperfect realities of the rule of law in favor of even some constitutional idealize and romanticized idea.

    conservatism is about doing thing within the rule of law.

    This could be argued about our american revolution. that it was no revolution at all. it was really a maintenance of the status quo. brittain had largely made the colonies independent during the french and indian wars. Then they tried to reassert a sovreignty they had relinquished through neglect, and this was a change that the american colonies rejected after a good century of actual self rule and maintenance. but this was done quite consciously on the basis of the rule of Law.

    Just as the Conservative Reformation felt the urgency of justifying their cause based on a rule outside of themselves, the american revolution felt a similar urgency to publicly justify their standing apart based on the rule of law and reason.

    The tea party movement bears more the marks of the radical french and bolshevik revolutions rather than the conservative american, english magna carta and lutheran revolutions which were evolutionary and conservative to their very core. It is about individualism against established authority. Even when it appeals to the constitution.

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  • Tom Hering

    The Tea Party folk are right-wing hippies? Too funny! Was “Restoring Honor” their Woodstock? When they bogart a joint, are they being selfish with a haunch of venison?

    Love it or leave it, you malcontents!

  • Tom Hering

    The Tea Party folk are right-wing hippies? Too funny! Was “Restoring Honor” their Woodstock? When they bogart a joint, are they being selfish with a haunch of venison?

    Love it or leave it, you malcontents!

  • Joe

    Frank – I often wonder how someone who professes to love the rule of law so much is so consistently dismissive of the constitution. It is at best incoherent. Without the constitution or with a living constitution, the rule of law is dead and replaced by the rule of men.

  • Joe

    Frank – I often wonder how someone who professes to love the rule of law so much is so consistently dismissive of the constitution. It is at best incoherent. Without the constitution or with a living constitution, the rule of law is dead and replaced by the rule of men.

  • Porcell

    Actually, the Tea Party movement is moderate compared to Obama’s radical spending policy and attempts to take over segments of the American economy. It is hardly immoderate to want major reform of an incompetent nanny-state state political class. The Tea Party folk know exactly what they are doing.

    Obama and the left-liberals are suffering shock and awe from this deeply rooted uprising of the people whom they risibly view as clinging to religion and guns. In a democracy an awakened people is a terrible thing to a phony and feckless ruling class. The liberals shall have to fold their shoddy tent.

  • Porcell

    Actually, the Tea Party movement is moderate compared to Obama’s radical spending policy and attempts to take over segments of the American economy. It is hardly immoderate to want major reform of an incompetent nanny-state state political class. The Tea Party folk know exactly what they are doing.

    Obama and the left-liberals are suffering shock and awe from this deeply rooted uprising of the people whom they risibly view as clinging to religion and guns. In a democracy an awakened people is a terrible thing to a phony and feckless ruling class. The liberals shall have to fold their shoddy tent.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “In this sense, you might think of the Tea Party as the Right’s version of the 1960s New Left. It’s an unorganized and unorganizable community of people coming together to assert their individualism and subvert the established order.”

    Sounds about right. Tea Party folk are libertarians and fiscal conservatives.

    To me it appears there is no more “We the People”. A significant level of agreement on common goals no longer exists. If we did not have the US Constitution as it now stands, the group of folks living here now could not come together and draft and ratify the same document.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “In this sense, you might think of the Tea Party as the Right’s version of the 1960s New Left. It’s an unorganized and unorganizable community of people coming together to assert their individualism and subvert the established order.”

    Sounds about right. Tea Party folk are libertarians and fiscal conservatives.

    To me it appears there is no more “We the People”. A significant level of agreement on common goals no longer exists. If we did not have the US Constitution as it now stands, the group of folks living here now could not come together and draft and ratify the same document.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    joe @3

    That was the point I was trying to make joe. tea partiers seem to claim to want a return to the constitution while voicing a disdain for the very “establishment” that our constitution set up.

    It is alot like the radical reformation clinging to ideals and tearing down what existed in favor of trying to perfect things, whereas the conservative lutheran reformation looked for the good gifts of God clothed in the earthly flawed things of the world, which included even recognizing the true church as existing in the pope and church of rome.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    joe @3

    That was the point I was trying to make joe. tea partiers seem to claim to want a return to the constitution while voicing a disdain for the very “establishment” that our constitution set up.

    It is alot like the radical reformation clinging to ideals and tearing down what existed in favor of trying to perfect things, whereas the conservative lutheran reformation looked for the good gifts of God clothed in the earthly flawed things of the world, which included even recognizing the true church as existing in the pope and church of rome.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    joe @ 3

    talking about how the courts are overturning the popular will in the form of propositions and referendums seems to be about favoring democracy over constitutional law and small r republicanism.

    true republicanism will always it seems look like trying to make the institutions created by the constitution work better . it does not look like outsiders clamoring for a return to constitutional purity. Instead it looks sort of boring. Much like Luthranism when it comes to true Lutheran ethics.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    joe @ 3

    talking about how the courts are overturning the popular will in the form of propositions and referendums seems to be about favoring democracy over constitutional law and small r republicanism.

    true republicanism will always it seems look like trying to make the institutions created by the constitution work better . it does not look like outsiders clamoring for a return to constitutional purity. Instead it looks sort of boring. Much like Luthranism when it comes to true Lutheran ethics.

  • Tom Hering

    If the Tea Party isn’t all about creating jobs, it’s victories in November will be fewer and farther between than conservatives predict. If the Democrats focus on job creation over the next month or so, they’ll hold on to most of their seats. It’s the economy, stupids (plural).

  • Tom Hering

    If the Tea Party isn’t all about creating jobs, it’s victories in November will be fewer and farther between than conservatives predict. If the Democrats focus on job creation over the next month or so, they’ll hold on to most of their seats. It’s the economy, stupids (plural).

  • LAJ

    It is not just the economy although it may be with some. It’s about state’s rights that are being taken over by the federal government. It’s about honoring and being under the constitution rather than reinterpreting it as the progressives do. It’s about routing the progressives from our government and restoring a democracy. The tea party is not against government establishment; it’s against the establishment that has taken over the two parties. It’s about holding our elected officials accountable regardless of which party they belong to.

  • LAJ

    It is not just the economy although it may be with some. It’s about state’s rights that are being taken over by the federal government. It’s about honoring and being under the constitution rather than reinterpreting it as the progressives do. It’s about routing the progressives from our government and restoring a democracy. The tea party is not against government establishment; it’s against the establishment that has taken over the two parties. It’s about holding our elected officials accountable regardless of which party they belong to.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “tea partiers seem to claim to want a return to the constitution while voicing a disdain for the very “establishment” that our constitution set up.”

    Not true. The current “establishment” promotes equality of outcome based on confiscating property and redistributing it to those who elect them. The constitution set forth the ideal of equality of opportunity and property rights. Suffrage was extended to stakeholders. Most states had minimum property/tax requirements to be eligible to vote. People with less property/money are less concerned about property rights. Tea party folk are property owners/stake holders. They do not resent being taxed to pay for public works for the general use of the community. They resent paying taxes to be redistributed to individuals whether those individuals are regulatory agency bureaucrats or to low/no income folks.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “tea partiers seem to claim to want a return to the constitution while voicing a disdain for the very “establishment” that our constitution set up.”

    Not true. The current “establishment” promotes equality of outcome based on confiscating property and redistributing it to those who elect them. The constitution set forth the ideal of equality of opportunity and property rights. Suffrage was extended to stakeholders. Most states had minimum property/tax requirements to be eligible to vote. People with less property/money are less concerned about property rights. Tea party folk are property owners/stake holders. They do not resent being taxed to pay for public works for the general use of the community. They resent paying taxes to be redistributed to individuals whether those individuals are regulatory agency bureaucrats or to low/no income folks.

  • DonS

    Just to clarify, I don’t see any effort on the part of the various tea parties to “tear down” American institutions. Rather, the focus is on restoring them to their Constitutional roles and recapturing them from those who would abuse them to provide favors to their friends. Those with eyes to see recognize that our spending is hopelessly out of control and, without radical intervention, will lead us to fiscal ruin. Notice, I said “radical”, not “revolutionary”.

  • DonS

    Just to clarify, I don’t see any effort on the part of the various tea parties to “tear down” American institutions. Rather, the focus is on restoring them to their Constitutional roles and recapturing them from those who would abuse them to provide favors to their friends. Those with eyes to see recognize that our spending is hopelessly out of control and, without radical intervention, will lead us to fiscal ruin. Notice, I said “radical”, not “revolutionary”.

  • Joe

    Frank the establishment the tea party is against is not the gov’tal institutions duly created. It is the established party insiders and lobbyist who corrupt the rightful institutions of gov’t.

  • Joe

    Frank the establishment the tea party is against is not the gov’tal institutions duly created. It is the established party insiders and lobbyist who corrupt the rightful institutions of gov’t.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    joe @12

    the problem is that there is no monolithic thing called the tea party.
    so we are both just sort of addressing the emotional content of their image.

    we are really both right. I am saying that the part of the tea party movement that is truly conservative is neither liberal nor libertarian nor angry.

    it is about educating people about small r republicanism vs democracy. this means that means and method are about as important as any stated idealistic goal. and those means are representative government under constitutional law. there we will not always agree with the results but will accept them if the proper eyeglazing process is followed. precisely because it protects the disliked minority against the current will of the majority. So for example a true conservative would not really favor the establishment of law through proposition or referendum but instead favor constitutions which are specifically, by nature, designed to thwart the will of the majority. thwarting the will of the majority as a defect then is a very very liberal argument.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    joe @12

    the problem is that there is no monolithic thing called the tea party.
    so we are both just sort of addressing the emotional content of their image.

    we are really both right. I am saying that the part of the tea party movement that is truly conservative is neither liberal nor libertarian nor angry.

    it is about educating people about small r republicanism vs democracy. this means that means and method are about as important as any stated idealistic goal. and those means are representative government under constitutional law. there we will not always agree with the results but will accept them if the proper eyeglazing process is followed. precisely because it protects the disliked minority against the current will of the majority. So for example a true conservative would not really favor the establishment of law through proposition or referendum but instead favor constitutions which are specifically, by nature, designed to thwart the will of the majority. thwarting the will of the majority as a defect then is a very very liberal argument.

  • Ryan

    Is it just me or does the Tea Party have some resemblance to the Jacksonian Democrats (baring of course some of the more specific policies tied to directly to the early 19th century)?

  • Ryan

    Is it just me or does the Tea Party have some resemblance to the Jacksonian Democrats (baring of course some of the more specific policies tied to directly to the early 19th century)?

  • Porcell

    J, you delude yourself regarding the Tea Party as a bunch of quacks, etc.

    Jonathan Rauch, quoted by Noonan above, is right that the Tea Party is … extends to thousands of local groups and literally countless activists,” there is no chain of command, no hierarchy. Individuals “move the movement.” Popular issues gain traction and are emphasized, unpopular ones die. “In American politics, radical decentralization has never been tried on such a large scale.

    You’ll learn more about this in November after the Tea Party tsunami sweeps countless Dems out of office and replaces feckless RINOS with Republicans complete with backbones. If Obama doesn’t respond sensibly to this, he will be unceremoniously dumped in 2012, at which point he might just figure out that American who cling to religion and guns, also, possess, cojones.

  • Porcell

    J, you delude yourself regarding the Tea Party as a bunch of quacks, etc.

    Jonathan Rauch, quoted by Noonan above, is right that the Tea Party is … extends to thousands of local groups and literally countless activists,” there is no chain of command, no hierarchy. Individuals “move the movement.” Popular issues gain traction and are emphasized, unpopular ones die. “In American politics, radical decentralization has never been tried on such a large scale.

    You’ll learn more about this in November after the Tea Party tsunami sweeps countless Dems out of office and replaces feckless RINOS with Republicans complete with backbones. If Obama doesn’t respond sensibly to this, he will be unceremoniously dumped in 2012, at which point he might just figure out that American who cling to religion and guns, also, possess, cojones.

  • SKPeterson

    Well, I suppose I’m an Articles man and not so much a fan of the Constitution. That being said, I think the Tea Partiers are actually trying to salvage the authority of non-governmental institutions such as the family, the church, and the other organs of “civil” society that have been neutered by the last 80 or 90 years of government activism. The argument is now revolving around two competing visions – one which holds that legitimate government must stay to its proscribed writ, and the other that sees the government as the only viable leading societal institution.

  • SKPeterson

    Well, I suppose I’m an Articles man and not so much a fan of the Constitution. That being said, I think the Tea Partiers are actually trying to salvage the authority of non-governmental institutions such as the family, the church, and the other organs of “civil” society that have been neutered by the last 80 or 90 years of government activism. The argument is now revolving around two competing visions – one which holds that legitimate government must stay to its proscribed writ, and the other that sees the government as the only viable leading societal institution.

  • Digital

    To this end I am really enjoying John Stewart’s “Rally to restore sanity”. There is a point to the statement that most of us could live with many policies out there. We may disagree with them but we can live with them. However the minority is the ones we hear from and the loudest voice dictates policy. Then you have the rest of us who don’t have time to be the loud voice, but are wanting to support the policies that work out there. Highly recommend you all check it out for a good chuckle.
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-september-16-2010/rally-to-restore-sanity
    My opinion, Daily Show is probably some of the best reporting going on right now. Which is really sad.

  • Digital

    To this end I am really enjoying John Stewart’s “Rally to restore sanity”. There is a point to the statement that most of us could live with many policies out there. We may disagree with them but we can live with them. However the minority is the ones we hear from and the loudest voice dictates policy. Then you have the rest of us who don’t have time to be the loud voice, but are wanting to support the policies that work out there. Highly recommend you all check it out for a good chuckle.
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-september-16-2010/rally-to-restore-sanity
    My opinion, Daily Show is probably some of the best reporting going on right now. Which is really sad.

  • Porcell

    Tocqueville, author of Democracy in America, perhaps the best book on democracy and America, was concerned that individuals in America would be subject to the soft despotism of public opinion and government, as opposed to the independent judgment that comes from being a member of a strong family, church and others of the “small” social platoons.

    The regnant liberal political class counts on the weakness of isolated individuals. Quite a few Republicans in the past have acceded to this view and compromised with the liberal agenda that empowers a corrupt political class and its minions of government employees.

    Just now, the American people, many of whom stem from strong and good families, churches, and businesses are in the process of rebelling against a corrupt Democratic and Republican political class. J regards this as a romantic movement; I regard it as a very powerful grass-roots movement that, however imperfectly, bids fair to teach this corrupt ruling class a hard lesson. The British and several other nations, including Germany and Japan, wrote Americans off as shallow, self-concerned, weak individuals, only to find that they can be tough fighters
    when necessary.

    Just now, the Tea Party folk are properly dealing with pressing economic issues; we may hope that in the long run they will deal with the issues of moral decadence, including divorce and sodomy, as well with some of the illusions of soft, self-defeating multi-culturalism.

  • Porcell

    Tocqueville, author of Democracy in America, perhaps the best book on democracy and America, was concerned that individuals in America would be subject to the soft despotism of public opinion and government, as opposed to the independent judgment that comes from being a member of a strong family, church and others of the “small” social platoons.

    The regnant liberal political class counts on the weakness of isolated individuals. Quite a few Republicans in the past have acceded to this view and compromised with the liberal agenda that empowers a corrupt political class and its minions of government employees.

    Just now, the American people, many of whom stem from strong and good families, churches, and businesses are in the process of rebelling against a corrupt Democratic and Republican political class. J regards this as a romantic movement; I regard it as a very powerful grass-roots movement that, however imperfectly, bids fair to teach this corrupt ruling class a hard lesson. The British and several other nations, including Germany and Japan, wrote Americans off as shallow, self-concerned, weak individuals, only to find that they can be tough fighters
    when necessary.

    Just now, the Tea Party folk are properly dealing with pressing economic issues; we may hope that in the long run they will deal with the issues of moral decadence, including divorce and sodomy, as well with some of the illusions of soft, self-defeating multi-culturalism.

  • Porcell

    J, for quite awhile I was skeptical of the TP and its ability to effectively deal with corrupt liberals and their RINO allies inebriated with government spending and power. I now see its reality as a genuine uprising of the people. Your view that it is a grouping of quacks is dubious.

    Having been a man of business, I tend to be grounded in reality. Just now this Tea Party is for real. The jig is up for leftist liberals who wish to live off the productive work of their betters.

  • Porcell

    J, for quite awhile I was skeptical of the TP and its ability to effectively deal with corrupt liberals and their RINO allies inebriated with government spending and power. I now see its reality as a genuine uprising of the people. Your view that it is a grouping of quacks is dubious.

    Having been a man of business, I tend to be grounded in reality. Just now this Tea Party is for real. The jig is up for leftist liberals who wish to live off the productive work of their betters.

  • –helen

    From what I have read elsewhere this morning, the chief bankroller of “Tea Party” campaigns is making a nice chunk of change by diverting a large part of the contributions to vendors controlled by his family. I imagine he will want to hang on to it.

    Bush should never have cut taxes with two wars to pay for. It was a bribe to keep people [especially the 1%] from complaining about the cost of his foolishness. It’s past time that was corrected. (The onus of doing so, as carefully designed, extended beyond his term of office.) IMHO, the Tea Partiers, like their money man, want to keep what they’ve got and to Hades with the rest of the country.

    Unemployed? Tough but we can make more money by sending your job overseas.
    Getting a net loss from your savings accounts? Tough but if you had real money you’d qualify for a better rate and lower fees (even, or maybe especially, at Thrivent).
    Can’t buy anything that isn’t “Made in China”? Tough but that’s where your money, (and your job), went.

    I can’t imagine being part of any group that has Sarah Palin as a spokesperson!

  • –helen

    From what I have read elsewhere this morning, the chief bankroller of “Tea Party” campaigns is making a nice chunk of change by diverting a large part of the contributions to vendors controlled by his family. I imagine he will want to hang on to it.

    Bush should never have cut taxes with two wars to pay for. It was a bribe to keep people [especially the 1%] from complaining about the cost of his foolishness. It’s past time that was corrected. (The onus of doing so, as carefully designed, extended beyond his term of office.) IMHO, the Tea Partiers, like their money man, want to keep what they’ve got and to Hades with the rest of the country.

    Unemployed? Tough but we can make more money by sending your job overseas.
    Getting a net loss from your savings accounts? Tough but if you had real money you’d qualify for a better rate and lower fees (even, or maybe especially, at Thrivent).
    Can’t buy anything that isn’t “Made in China”? Tough but that’s where your money, (and your job), went.

    I can’t imagine being part of any group that has Sarah Palin as a spokesperson!

  • Cincinnatus

    FW: What, exactly, is the “rule of law”? Be specific and show your work. I am troubled by your use of that term.

    SKPeterson: Right on for being an Articles man! Huzzah for the anti-federalists!

    I don’t particularly identify with the Tea Party except in a particularly amorphous aspect of its amorphous spirit (anti-establishment, etc.). Most of its more public members are morons (or rather, morans), and, really, they’re going to have to find better spokespersons than rubes like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. Meanwhile, if we’re vigorously debating what, in fact, the Tea Part stands for (as we are), it’s because–other than a vague limited government, anti-establishment rhetoric–they don’t stand for anything specifically in a unitary sense. Beyond that, they are rhetorically incoherent–mostly because they aren’t a real party. Some of them support the Bush-era foreign policy, most of them don’t; some of them want to keep their Medicare, some of them wish we would scrap the whole things. Some of them are cultural conservatives, some of them are hardcore libertarians. Good luck coming up with a list of ten principles they could all agree on. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but it’s a bit silly to claim both that they are a) something in particular and b) our greatest danger/hope.

    On the other hand, –helen@23, don’t be silly: you’ll find just as many tea partiers upset by our unemployment rate, etc., as you will progressives. Your middle point–the bit about having a net loss from one’s savings accounts–doesn’t even make logical sense, even apart from the fact that savings interest rates are primarily a function of the policies set by the Federal Reserve (something else that irks many tea partiers), not one’s net worth.

  • Cincinnatus

    FW: What, exactly, is the “rule of law”? Be specific and show your work. I am troubled by your use of that term.

    SKPeterson: Right on for being an Articles man! Huzzah for the anti-federalists!

    I don’t particularly identify with the Tea Party except in a particularly amorphous aspect of its amorphous spirit (anti-establishment, etc.). Most of its more public members are morons (or rather, morans), and, really, they’re going to have to find better spokespersons than rubes like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. Meanwhile, if we’re vigorously debating what, in fact, the Tea Part stands for (as we are), it’s because–other than a vague limited government, anti-establishment rhetoric–they don’t stand for anything specifically in a unitary sense. Beyond that, they are rhetorically incoherent–mostly because they aren’t a real party. Some of them support the Bush-era foreign policy, most of them don’t; some of them want to keep their Medicare, some of them wish we would scrap the whole things. Some of them are cultural conservatives, some of them are hardcore libertarians. Good luck coming up with a list of ten principles they could all agree on. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but it’s a bit silly to claim both that they are a) something in particular and b) our greatest danger/hope.

    On the other hand, –helen@23, don’t be silly: you’ll find just as many tea partiers upset by our unemployment rate, etc., as you will progressives. Your middle point–the bit about having a net loss from one’s savings accounts–doesn’t even make logical sense, even apart from the fact that savings interest rates are primarily a function of the policies set by the Federal Reserve (something else that irks many tea partiers), not one’s net worth.

  • Tom Hering

    “It is not just the economy although it may be with some.” – LAJ @ 9.

    Jobs and the economy are not the main issues for the Tea Party folk, ’tis true, but they are the main issues for the majority of Americans. Ideology won’t be the deciding factor in November.

  • Tom Hering

    “It is not just the economy although it may be with some.” – LAJ @ 9.

    Jobs and the economy are not the main issues for the Tea Party folk, ’tis true, but they are the main issues for the majority of Americans. Ideology won’t be the deciding factor in November.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 25

    I mean the rule of law. small 4 republicanism,

    as opposed to the rule of and by men which democracy (eg propositions and referendums) , dictatorships and monarchs have in common.

    small r republicanism, which is meant to frustate and reign in the will of the people by restraining the power of government to bear the sword, by means of a constitution, and by once-removing the power to make laws from the majority and giving that power to representatives and then further removing power by limiting those representatives by the courts who reign in even lawmakers by the constitution. Ideally that constitution will look like the one installed by the adams and their allies in massachussetts. it is very very hard and a long process to change the constitution or overturn the interpretation of it by the high court. it requires a plebescite then two votes of the legtislature spaced 2 years apart , then a referendum. This is THE way to go. even if one disagrees with the “liberal” court . The court can be overruled. but over a few years time, not by some group with a mass mailing list that can whip up the emotions.

    The entire purpose of a constitution american-style, is not to enumerate and grant rights. it is to limit the exercise of power by the majority using the government, to preserve freedom for disliked minorities and thus for the majority as well.

    cicinatus. u want what other work. this is basic stuff.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 25

    I mean the rule of law. small 4 republicanism,

    as opposed to the rule of and by men which democracy (eg propositions and referendums) , dictatorships and monarchs have in common.

    small r republicanism, which is meant to frustate and reign in the will of the people by restraining the power of government to bear the sword, by means of a constitution, and by once-removing the power to make laws from the majority and giving that power to representatives and then further removing power by limiting those representatives by the courts who reign in even lawmakers by the constitution. Ideally that constitution will look like the one installed by the adams and their allies in massachussetts. it is very very hard and a long process to change the constitution or overturn the interpretation of it by the high court. it requires a plebescite then two votes of the legtislature spaced 2 years apart , then a referendum. This is THE way to go. even if one disagrees with the “liberal” court . The court can be overruled. but over a few years time, not by some group with a mass mailing list that can whip up the emotions.

    The entire purpose of a constitution american-style, is not to enumerate and grant rights. it is to limit the exercise of power by the majority using the government, to preserve freedom for disliked minorities and thus for the majority as well.

    cicinatus. u want what other work. this is basic stuff.

  • Cincinnatus

    J@28: Has the Tea Party actually elected anybody? Has anyone run with the label “TP” after his name on the ballot? (short answer: no) Most of the tea partiers I’ve met are upset at Obama in relation to the unemployment issue not merely because it is yet another opportunity to bash him, but because they perceive that what he is “doing” to reduce unemployment is either unconstitutional, ineffective, or even counterproductive. On the other hand, you are correct that some tea partiers are just in it to bash the Democrats (and, conversely, many are in it just to bash Republicans, in fact); hence my larger point: the Tea Party is not ideologically monolithic. They will only be interesting and important if they manage to consolidate themselves into something coherent–which, allow me to remind you, they are not right now. Currently, they are a disorganized rabble (occasionally exploited by the more organized and well-endowed) who are about as unified as the 1960s-70s peace movement–i.e., not very organized at all; they have a generally consistent core message which is very amorphous (e.g., “peace now!”), but they disagree widely on the specifics, and so far they have accomplished precisely nothing of substance (peace protesters didn’t end the Vietnam War or eliminate nukes, and it’s unlikely that the Tea Partiers will give us a smaller government).

    fws: That’s a fair enough summary of your conception of the rule of law. Essentially, it is constitutionalism for you. How is the Tea Party opposed to the Rule of Law or constitutionalism?

  • Cincinnatus

    J@28: Has the Tea Party actually elected anybody? Has anyone run with the label “TP” after his name on the ballot? (short answer: no) Most of the tea partiers I’ve met are upset at Obama in relation to the unemployment issue not merely because it is yet another opportunity to bash him, but because they perceive that what he is “doing” to reduce unemployment is either unconstitutional, ineffective, or even counterproductive. On the other hand, you are correct that some tea partiers are just in it to bash the Democrats (and, conversely, many are in it just to bash Republicans, in fact); hence my larger point: the Tea Party is not ideologically monolithic. They will only be interesting and important if they manage to consolidate themselves into something coherent–which, allow me to remind you, they are not right now. Currently, they are a disorganized rabble (occasionally exploited by the more organized and well-endowed) who are about as unified as the 1960s-70s peace movement–i.e., not very organized at all; they have a generally consistent core message which is very amorphous (e.g., “peace now!”), but they disagree widely on the specifics, and so far they have accomplished precisely nothing of substance (peace protesters didn’t end the Vietnam War or eliminate nukes, and it’s unlikely that the Tea Partiers will give us a smaller government).

    fws: That’s a fair enough summary of your conception of the rule of law. Essentially, it is constitutionalism for you. How is the Tea Party opposed to the Rule of Law or constitutionalism?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus. @ 29

    since THE tea party really does not exist. your question would be difficult to answer. I would have my problems with both the libertarian and the “lets take the government back’ elements from what I have said my view is on small r republicanism being the best form of government in my opinion . but not opposed to dictatorships monarchs or even oligarchies depending upon circumstances. This being because all government is a means to an end and not an end unto itself.

    that end is to have us each mind to our own business and stay out of the live property and personal business of others with the end being that we each can enjoy what God has given to us. probably even the best governmental systems are doomed to devolve to chaos over time given the nature of fallen men. so then God allows what he must to make us do what we dont really want to do according to our fallen natures.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus. @ 29

    since THE tea party really does not exist. your question would be difficult to answer. I would have my problems with both the libertarian and the “lets take the government back’ elements from what I have said my view is on small r republicanism being the best form of government in my opinion . but not opposed to dictatorships monarchs or even oligarchies depending upon circumstances. This being because all government is a means to an end and not an end unto itself.

    that end is to have us each mind to our own business and stay out of the live property and personal business of others with the end being that we each can enjoy what God has given to us. probably even the best governmental systems are doomed to devolve to chaos over time given the nature of fallen men. so then God allows what he must to make us do what we dont really want to do according to our fallen natures.

  • LAJ

    The beauty of the tea party is that it is not wanting to be a 3rd party because that would just help the democrats and would not fix the republican party. Working outside of both parties and inside seems to be doing more than anything else to shake up the politicians and to wake up the American people.

  • LAJ

    The beauty of the tea party is that it is not wanting to be a 3rd party because that would just help the democrats and would not fix the republican party. Working outside of both parties and inside seems to be doing more than anything else to shake up the politicians and to wake up the American people.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Yes, the Tea Partiers are a diverse lot, but what they have in common is disdain for the liars and crooks now in office. It will remain to be seen if they can elect candidates who are any better, but many of the fools now in office better be preparing their resume’s for their impending unemployment. Obama should probably get off his rear end and try to ram through as much of his agenda as he can before Congress takes on a more ‘contrary’ make up. His reelection is also far from certain.

    As to the suitability of the candidates proffered by the Tea Party, can we really elect more inept and crooked people than are now in office? For a growing portion of the populace, the answer to that question is ‘Probably not.”

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Yes, the Tea Partiers are a diverse lot, but what they have in common is disdain for the liars and crooks now in office. It will remain to be seen if they can elect candidates who are any better, but many of the fools now in office better be preparing their resume’s for their impending unemployment. Obama should probably get off his rear end and try to ram through as much of his agenda as he can before Congress takes on a more ‘contrary’ make up. His reelection is also far from certain.

    As to the suitability of the candidates proffered by the Tea Party, can we really elect more inept and crooked people than are now in office? For a growing portion of the populace, the answer to that question is ‘Probably not.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    The “tea party”, like all untested political entities, is something onto which everyone projects their own ideas and dreams. That’s why it’s as popular as it is. Right now, fans of the “tea party” push aside any criticism by denying that thus-and-so has anything to do with the “tea party”, whether it’s a negative aspect, a particular person, or a particular political stance.

    So if you like Palin, you recognize her, somehow, as a leader of the “tea party”, but if you don’t like her, you simply wave your hand and say she’s merely co-opting the “tea party” for her own political ends. And if you like the idea of repealing the 17th (or possibly even the 14th) Amendment, then that’s clearly a part of what the “tea party” stands for, but if you disagree with those favoring such repeals, you merely dismiss them as wackos trying to glom on to the real “tea party”. It is entirely possible to keep this forever … until, you know, the “tea party” accomplishes something.

    After all, if the “tea party” is widely recognized to have, somehow, nominated some candidates, then those candidates necessarily come to stand for the “tea party”. And their stances come to represent the stance of the “tea party”. And, if this upsets you, you can still try to claim that they’ve co-opted or distorted the real “tea party”, but your opinion won’t matter so much.

    So to all the “tea party” fans out there, enjoy your glory days. But sooner or later, you’ll either have to accomplish something (or at least strike an actual stance), or you’ll fade into irrelevancy. I’ll be enjoying my popcorn.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    The “tea party”, like all untested political entities, is something onto which everyone projects their own ideas and dreams. That’s why it’s as popular as it is. Right now, fans of the “tea party” push aside any criticism by denying that thus-and-so has anything to do with the “tea party”, whether it’s a negative aspect, a particular person, or a particular political stance.

    So if you like Palin, you recognize her, somehow, as a leader of the “tea party”, but if you don’t like her, you simply wave your hand and say she’s merely co-opting the “tea party” for her own political ends. And if you like the idea of repealing the 17th (or possibly even the 14th) Amendment, then that’s clearly a part of what the “tea party” stands for, but if you disagree with those favoring such repeals, you merely dismiss them as wackos trying to glom on to the real “tea party”. It is entirely possible to keep this forever … until, you know, the “tea party” accomplishes something.

    After all, if the “tea party” is widely recognized to have, somehow, nominated some candidates, then those candidates necessarily come to stand for the “tea party”. And their stances come to represent the stance of the “tea party”. And, if this upsets you, you can still try to claim that they’ve co-opted or distorted the real “tea party”, but your opinion won’t matter so much.

    So to all the “tea party” fans out there, enjoy your glory days. But sooner or later, you’ll either have to accomplish something (or at least strike an actual stance), or you’ll fade into irrelevancy. I’ll be enjoying my popcorn.

  • Cincinnatus

    ^tODD said it better.

  • Cincinnatus

    ^tODD said it better.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Now with more snark:

    “What they have in common is disdain for the liars and crooks now in office” (@32). Oh, please. That’s what every non-incumbent has in common. Or at least they say they do.

    “Many of the fools now in office better be preparing their resume’s for their impending unemployment.” Because we have a whole new shipment of fools coming!

    “Can we really elect more inept and crooked people than are now in office?” This is the thesis that the “tea party” seeks to test.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Now with more snark:

    “What they have in common is disdain for the liars and crooks now in office” (@32). Oh, please. That’s what every non-incumbent has in common. Or at least they say they do.

    “Many of the fools now in office better be preparing their resume’s for their impending unemployment.” Because we have a whole new shipment of fools coming!

    “Can we really elect more inept and crooked people than are now in office?” This is the thesis that the “tea party” seeks to test.

  • Porcell

    People can ridicule and psychologize the Tea Party, though it has already had an enormous effect on American politics. Anyone who read Codevilla’s recent analysis of the country-class versus the ruling class understands the depth of theTea Party, notwithstanding the caviling of the those confused by the phenomenon.

    Jonah Goldberg sums the effect of the Tea Party on the ground as follows:

    A year ago, the notion that the Republicans had even a dream of taking back the senate was considered delusional. Heck, a year ago, the notion that the Republicans could take back the House was more than far-fetched. And 20 months ago, liberals were telling us we had a “a new liberal order” on our hands and that conservatism was discredited and done for (see my column today). That entire temple of conventional wisdom has come crashing down, thanks in large part to the Herculean efforts of the tea partiers.

  • Porcell

    People can ridicule and psychologize the Tea Party, though it has already had an enormous effect on American politics. Anyone who read Codevilla’s recent analysis of the country-class versus the ruling class understands the depth of theTea Party, notwithstanding the caviling of the those confused by the phenomenon.

    Jonah Goldberg sums the effect of the Tea Party on the ground as follows:

    A year ago, the notion that the Republicans had even a dream of taking back the senate was considered delusional. Heck, a year ago, the notion that the Republicans could take back the House was more than far-fetched. And 20 months ago, liberals were telling us we had a “a new liberal order” on our hands and that conservatism was discredited and done for (see my column today). That entire temple of conventional wisdom has come crashing down, thanks in large part to the Herculean efforts of the tea partiers.

  • helen

    Your middle point–the bit about having a net loss from one’s savings accounts–doesn’t even make logical sense, even apart from the fact that savings interest rates are primarily a function of the policies set by the Federal Reserve –Cinncinatus #25

    Thanks, J, for commenting on the “investment” aspect of this.

    Yes, the Federal Reserve sets interest rates at near zero, so the banks can make a profit with nearly free money. It was Bernanke who said that the real cost of bank profitability would be paid by savers. Kind of him to make it so!

    I’m not an economist, so my terms are probably not to your taste. But if the money I try to save earns nothing while the price of bread, milk, and my modest attire keeps leaping upward, I am falling behind, even without the wage freeze we’ve had for the past two years, with worse promised to come.
    (Oh, add in doctors and oil companies…)
    You’re right. It doesn’t make “logical sense” to expect people to “create additional demand for goods to get business out of this depression”!

    The 1% just don’t spend that much, relative to income, except for congressmen and lobbyists, neither of real value in getting the unemployment rate down.

  • helen

    Your middle point–the bit about having a net loss from one’s savings accounts–doesn’t even make logical sense, even apart from the fact that savings interest rates are primarily a function of the policies set by the Federal Reserve –Cinncinatus #25

    Thanks, J, for commenting on the “investment” aspect of this.

    Yes, the Federal Reserve sets interest rates at near zero, so the banks can make a profit with nearly free money. It was Bernanke who said that the real cost of bank profitability would be paid by savers. Kind of him to make it so!

    I’m not an economist, so my terms are probably not to your taste. But if the money I try to save earns nothing while the price of bread, milk, and my modest attire keeps leaping upward, I am falling behind, even without the wage freeze we’ve had for the past two years, with worse promised to come.
    (Oh, add in doctors and oil companies…)
    You’re right. It doesn’t make “logical sense” to expect people to “create additional demand for goods to get business out of this depression”!

    The 1% just don’t spend that much, relative to income, except for congressmen and lobbyists, neither of real value in getting the unemployment rate down.

  • SKPeterson

    Never mind, Helen. The recession is officially over, everything is now a-okay. If you disagree you’re probably one of those tea party wackos.

  • SKPeterson

    Never mind, Helen. The recession is officially over, everything is now a-okay. If you disagree you’re probably one of those tea party wackos.

  • helen

    Son, that is not likely! :)

  • helen

    Son, that is not likely! :)

  • DonS

    “…stopped electing deeply flawed fruitcakes like Angle and O’Donnell…” J @15

    “Exhibit A: its candidates: Angle, O’Donnell, Rand Paul, Miller in Alaska, Paladino in NY, Hayworth in AZ, etc. It’s made a goddess of Palin.
    But these are not serious people who have the brains to work for change, for better, sounder government…” J @ 17

    First of all, just because you don’t like their politics, or agree as to what comprises “better, sounder government”, doesn’t mean they are not serious people or viable candidates. And I would hope, for your sake, that other people don’t offhandedly judge your brains as you did for each of these people whom I doubt you know. Secondly, considering the giants we currently have in the Senate, including Senator Stuart Smalley of Minnesota, Senator Harry (“she’s the hottest Senator”) Reid, and Barbara (“call me Senator — I earned it”) Boxer, well, your point is nonsense.

  • DonS

    “…stopped electing deeply flawed fruitcakes like Angle and O’Donnell…” J @15

    “Exhibit A: its candidates: Angle, O’Donnell, Rand Paul, Miller in Alaska, Paladino in NY, Hayworth in AZ, etc. It’s made a goddess of Palin.
    But these are not serious people who have the brains to work for change, for better, sounder government…” J @ 17

    First of all, just because you don’t like their politics, or agree as to what comprises “better, sounder government”, doesn’t mean they are not serious people or viable candidates. And I would hope, for your sake, that other people don’t offhandedly judge your brains as you did for each of these people whom I doubt you know. Secondly, considering the giants we currently have in the Senate, including Senator Stuart Smalley of Minnesota, Senator Harry (“she’s the hottest Senator”) Reid, and Barbara (“call me Senator — I earned it”) Boxer, well, your point is nonsense.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    tODD,

    You need to get out more.
    In case you haven’t noticed, people are pissed. Gun brandishing, sedition talking, tax revolting,(read that evading) , civil war speculating pissed. ( Not necessarily the Tea Partiers, but easy to find if you look.)

    I have never heard this amount of anger in the public discourse.
    Yeah, some of it may be whack jobs blowing off steam, (you and I hope that’s what it is) but it is disturbing on a number of levels. Your dismissive attitude leads me to believe you have missed some of the nuances of the public’s anger.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    tODD,

    You need to get out more.
    In case you haven’t noticed, people are pissed. Gun brandishing, sedition talking, tax revolting,(read that evading) , civil war speculating pissed. ( Not necessarily the Tea Partiers, but easy to find if you look.)

    I have never heard this amount of anger in the public discourse.
    Yeah, some of it may be whack jobs blowing off steam, (you and I hope that’s what it is) but it is disturbing on a number of levels. Your dismissive attitude leads me to believe you have missed some of the nuances of the public’s anger.

  • Kirk

    @42 Timothy Mceigh did it first

  • Kirk

    @42 Timothy Mceigh did it first

  • Louis

    Yesterday, in a CBC discussion about the mayoral race in Toronto, the following comment was made regaridng the surging popularity of the “anti-elitist” candidate – and I paraphrase:

    We are not seeing any polices. What we are hearing is a lot of anti-this and anti-that. You cannot run a campaign, or be a leader, if you are simply defined by what you are not.

  • Louis

    Yesterday, in a CBC discussion about the mayoral race in Toronto, the following comment was made regaridng the surging popularity of the “anti-elitist” candidate – and I paraphrase:

    We are not seeing any polices. What we are hearing is a lot of anti-this and anti-that. You cannot run a campaign, or be a leader, if you are simply defined by what you are not.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Patrick (@42), much as I’d love to get out more, I have a 17-month-old child. However, if you’re available for babysitting …

    But I can’t help but wonder if what you call “the public’s anger” may also be your anger. I’ve read posts from you in the past about taxation in which you were clearly upset — and, frankly, not just upset, but angry.

    So am I totally out of the loop if I don’t know anyone brandishing guns, talking sedition, evading taxes, and speculating about civil war? I suppose. But those sound like the actions of a select unhinged few. I remember what the select unhinged few from the left sounded like a few years back. It wasn’t all that different.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Patrick (@42), much as I’d love to get out more, I have a 17-month-old child. However, if you’re available for babysitting …

    But I can’t help but wonder if what you call “the public’s anger” may also be your anger. I’ve read posts from you in the past about taxation in which you were clearly upset — and, frankly, not just upset, but angry.

    So am I totally out of the loop if I don’t know anyone brandishing guns, talking sedition, evading taxes, and speculating about civil war? I suppose. But those sound like the actions of a select unhinged few. I remember what the select unhinged few from the left sounded like a few years back. It wasn’t all that different.

  • Porcell

    Todd, Patrick is far from reflecting a personal idiosyncrasy about taxes, just as the Tea Party is hardly the result of any unhinged few. A majority of Americans regard the federal government and most state governments as bloated and dysfunctional.

    The Tea Party is a deep-rooted popular uprising that won’t rest until the political class deals effectively with the issues involved.

  • Porcell

    Todd, Patrick is far from reflecting a personal idiosyncrasy about taxes, just as the Tea Party is hardly the result of any unhinged few. A majority of Americans regard the federal government and most state governments as bloated and dysfunctional.

    The Tea Party is a deep-rooted popular uprising that won’t rest until the political class deals effectively with the issues involved.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@46), you are always telling me what this or that person knows or understands. Why don’t you let Patrick tell us what he thinks?

    You also might notice that Patrick is not talking about people worrying about the government being “bloated and dysfunctional”. He is talking about angry people breaking laws and prepared to break more in a violent way. Do try to keep up.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@46), you are always telling me what this or that person knows or understands. Why don’t you let Patrick tell us what he thinks?

    You also might notice that Patrick is not talking about people worrying about the government being “bloated and dysfunctional”. He is talking about angry people breaking laws and prepared to break more in a violent way. Do try to keep up.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    tODD,

    ‘You said ‘much as I’d love to get out more, I have a 17-month-old child. ‘

    Congrats, I have a little girl that is 22 mos. and two boys that are 7 and 5.

    “But I can’t help but wonder if what you call “the public’s anger” may also be your anger. I’ve read posts from you in the past about taxation in which you were clearly upset — and, frankly, not just upset, but angry.”

    Yes, I am angry about the situation, but not quite as angry as many, hence my comment about the ‘nuances’ of public anger. To quote you again, ‘Do try to keep up.’

    You seem intent on dismissing any level of discontent with the government, whether it is the Tea Party, or people with a more ‘radical’ vision of dissent.

    I guess we’ll have to wait and see …

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    tODD,

    ‘You said ‘much as I’d love to get out more, I have a 17-month-old child. ‘

    Congrats, I have a little girl that is 22 mos. and two boys that are 7 and 5.

    “But I can’t help but wonder if what you call “the public’s anger” may also be your anger. I’ve read posts from you in the past about taxation in which you were clearly upset — and, frankly, not just upset, but angry.”

    Yes, I am angry about the situation, but not quite as angry as many, hence my comment about the ‘nuances’ of public anger. To quote you again, ‘Do try to keep up.’

    You seem intent on dismissing any level of discontent with the government, whether it is the Tea Party, or people with a more ‘radical’ vision of dissent.

    I guess we’ll have to wait and see …

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Patrick (@48), you said to me, “You seem intent on dismissing any level of discontent with the government.” That certainly isn’t my intent, but I do think that those voicing discontent are often prone to naivety.

    All those people who were so upset with the Bush administration, all those years of protests, anger, threats of moving to Canada or forming an enlightened liberal republic, violent backlashes, and so on, it all gave rise to Obama’s election … and then what? Not much changed. But those people were, by and large, mollified. Oh sure, the truly angry ones continue to be angry, but the crowds are gone, and with them the attention and the energy.

    Sorry, but the “tea party” seems to be a rehash of that situation. If the “tea party” is successful to some degree, the large angry crowds will go away, most of them having figured that they won, they had their way, they made their change. The truly angry people will still be there, but they’ll lack the power and gravity they once had when they were part of the large crowds. The only way the people will be able to sustain their anger is if the “tea party” doesn’t significantly win in 2010. Then their anger will carry over until 2012. Again, for reference, see how the liberal anger was denied an outlet until 2006 and, more significantly, 2008. Now liberals largely lack energy, but have all their concerns been addressed? Hardly.

    So maybe the “tea party” really is going to be the one different page in history, the angry crowd that really does enact real change by bucking the system and bringing in politicians who really are interested in a small government, the good of the people, and so on. Maybe. Like you said, we’ll have to wait and see. I’ve got my popcorn.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Patrick (@48), you said to me, “You seem intent on dismissing any level of discontent with the government.” That certainly isn’t my intent, but I do think that those voicing discontent are often prone to naivety.

    All those people who were so upset with the Bush administration, all those years of protests, anger, threats of moving to Canada or forming an enlightened liberal republic, violent backlashes, and so on, it all gave rise to Obama’s election … and then what? Not much changed. But those people were, by and large, mollified. Oh sure, the truly angry ones continue to be angry, but the crowds are gone, and with them the attention and the energy.

    Sorry, but the “tea party” seems to be a rehash of that situation. If the “tea party” is successful to some degree, the large angry crowds will go away, most of them having figured that they won, they had their way, they made their change. The truly angry people will still be there, but they’ll lack the power and gravity they once had when they were part of the large crowds. The only way the people will be able to sustain their anger is if the “tea party” doesn’t significantly win in 2010. Then their anger will carry over until 2012. Again, for reference, see how the liberal anger was denied an outlet until 2006 and, more significantly, 2008. Now liberals largely lack energy, but have all their concerns been addressed? Hardly.

    So maybe the “tea party” really is going to be the one different page in history, the angry crowd that really does enact real change by bucking the system and bringing in politicians who really are interested in a small government, the good of the people, and so on. Maybe. Like you said, we’ll have to wait and see. I’ve got my popcorn.

  • ptl

    tODD at 50….great sit on the porch with your popcorn and if things go well, then you will join in the party. wow, how courageous and noble!

    good thing you weren’t around when the pilgrims wanted to leave balmy little england in pursuit of a new vision….am sure you could have provided a wonderful lecture on the futility and dangers ahead, if not even the naivety (sp?) of their positions….of course, if they stayed you would have shared your popcorn, since you are that kind of good and kind person!

    good thing you weren’t there in the early days of our own revolution (popcorn had improved a lot by then too!)….could only imagine the inspirational speeches about how ridiculous it is to imagine that a government of the people could work well. instead remind them that we need well educated and cultured folks to tell all the little people what to do. if those little people get a hold of power, they won’t know how to use it and it won’t be long until there are real serious problems…..that only the well educated, elites will be able to fix. Uh, would you like butter with that sir?

    or imagine a few thousand years ago with a small sect of folks were talking about a religion where God forgave your sins and there was nothing you could do, nor were you required to live a virtuous life in order to join your Father in Heaven some day. The critics back then warned of mass sin fests by those followers, who, since they didn’t have the fear of the rule of law to keep them in check, would slip into debauchery….after all, if there is nothing in the legal sense you need to do in order to gain salvation, then why do anything moral or virtuous in the first place? There are still a lot of critics of the Christian church now a days who same the same thing….and most of them probably eat popcorn, as a reward to themselves for their ability to point out the obvious and squash an immature and foolish enterprise, sure to end in ruin?

    So come off the porch and at least give it a chance and take it for what it might be…..hopefully a true grass roots movement with lots of idealism and hope for a better tomorrow? Oh yeah, that’s right – the world has been full of those types and it always ends up right back where it was in the beginning….please pass the popcorn while we watch this latest episode :)

  • ptl

    tODD at 50….great sit on the porch with your popcorn and if things go well, then you will join in the party. wow, how courageous and noble!

    good thing you weren’t around when the pilgrims wanted to leave balmy little england in pursuit of a new vision….am sure you could have provided a wonderful lecture on the futility and dangers ahead, if not even the naivety (sp?) of their positions….of course, if they stayed you would have shared your popcorn, since you are that kind of good and kind person!

    good thing you weren’t there in the early days of our own revolution (popcorn had improved a lot by then too!)….could only imagine the inspirational speeches about how ridiculous it is to imagine that a government of the people could work well. instead remind them that we need well educated and cultured folks to tell all the little people what to do. if those little people get a hold of power, they won’t know how to use it and it won’t be long until there are real serious problems…..that only the well educated, elites will be able to fix. Uh, would you like butter with that sir?

    or imagine a few thousand years ago with a small sect of folks were talking about a religion where God forgave your sins and there was nothing you could do, nor were you required to live a virtuous life in order to join your Father in Heaven some day. The critics back then warned of mass sin fests by those followers, who, since they didn’t have the fear of the rule of law to keep them in check, would slip into debauchery….after all, if there is nothing in the legal sense you need to do in order to gain salvation, then why do anything moral or virtuous in the first place? There are still a lot of critics of the Christian church now a days who same the same thing….and most of them probably eat popcorn, as a reward to themselves for their ability to point out the obvious and squash an immature and foolish enterprise, sure to end in ruin?

    So come off the porch and at least give it a chance and take it for what it might be…..hopefully a true grass roots movement with lots of idealism and hope for a better tomorrow? Oh yeah, that’s right – the world has been full of those types and it always ends up right back where it was in the beginning….please pass the popcorn while we watch this latest episode :)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    PTL (@50), do you have a point?

    Are you able to distinguish between various movements? I am. Some I align myself with. Some I don’t. Some I do something about. Some I don’t.

    Your straw-man conclusion that I would never do anything, merely because I believe the hype over one particular group is just that — hype — is silly.

    Or do you join forces with every crusader that comes shouting down your street?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    PTL (@50), do you have a point?

    Are you able to distinguish between various movements? I am. Some I align myself with. Some I don’t. Some I do something about. Some I don’t.

    Your straw-man conclusion that I would never do anything, merely because I believe the hype over one particular group is just that — hype — is silly.

    Or do you join forces with every crusader that comes shouting down your street?

  • ptl

    tODD….you forget to say, sometimes I am right, and sometimes I am wrong? Always was taught folks never know how things and choices will ultimately play out. Although hopeful and confident in the beginning, investments and companies still go bust, most marriages nowadays fail and children easily go a stray, and so the world turns. Time will tell….guess you’ll at least enjoy the popcorn, fair enough!

  • ptl

    tODD….you forget to say, sometimes I am right, and sometimes I am wrong? Always was taught folks never know how things and choices will ultimately play out. Although hopeful and confident in the beginning, investments and companies still go bust, most marriages nowadays fail and children easily go a stray, and so the world turns. Time will tell….guess you’ll at least enjoy the popcorn, fair enough!


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