Tea partiers kill Patriot Act

Tea party Republicans  in the House of Representatives joined with liberal Democrats to vote down the Patriot Act, which gives the government wide powers to investigate potential terrorists, some say at the expense of civil liberties.  The Obama administration wanted to extend the bill, which is set to expire, and mainstream Republicans were on board with that.

The surprise defeat of the bill has lots of pundits confused.  Aren’t the tea partiers right wing extremists?  Aren’t they the type that want to lock up foreigners and clamp down on everyone’s freedom?  How could these conservatives vote against this conservative bill?

As I keep trying to explain to my liberal friends, there are many different kinds of conservatives.  This vote makes perfect sense and is in exact accord, for better or worse, with the Tea Party ideology, which is most emphatically not liberal, even though on this issue they voted with liberal civil libertarians.

The Tea Party stands for limited government.  Therefore, it can be expected to oppose measures such as the Patriot Act  that increase government power over its citizens.

The Tea Party has a high view of the Constitution, which it insists on interpreting literally and applying to the letter.  That means that Tea Partiers will be zealous defenders of the Bill of Rights.  Therefore, they can be expected to oppose the Patriot Act, which arguably violates some of those rights.   But by this same thinking, they will also oppose gun control measures, which also go against the Bill of Rights.

See how that works?

Patriot Act upset vote: Can tea party lawmakers, liberals be friends? – CSMonitor.com.

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://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Dear PDS-infected Main Stream Media,
    The phrase of the day is, “Cognitive Dissonance.”
    (Look that up in your Funk & Wagnall’s)

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Dear PDS-infected Main Stream Media,
    The phrase of the day is, “Cognitive Dissonance.”
    (Look that up in your Funk & Wagnall’s)

  • Joe

    One of the main reasons for the defeat was that this was presented without committee hearings and 20 minutes of floor debate (i.e. no real chance to amend the Act). It was an all or nothing option and the Republicans with more libertarian/limited gov’t views said they’d rather have nothing.

  • Joe

    One of the main reasons for the defeat was that this was presented without committee hearings and 20 minutes of floor debate (i.e. no real chance to amend the Act). It was an all or nothing option and the Republicans with more libertarian/limited gov’t views said they’d rather have nothing.

  • Stephen

    Uh oh . . . I think I just became a Tea Party member. Now move on to getting rid of those airport body scanners.

    Yes Mike, I think you have said it well. And I think I also believe Santa Claus is the real reason for Christmas.

  • Stephen

    Uh oh . . . I think I just became a Tea Party member. Now move on to getting rid of those airport body scanners.

    Yes Mike, I think you have said it well. And I think I also believe Santa Claus is the real reason for Christmas.

  • Kirk

    I think assigning this as an issue of principle is a little bit strong. It was more along the lines of a lack of organization. Typically, legislation with broad support is introduced under special rules requiring a 2/3 majority to pass. It adds the strength of political will to the law.

    In the case in question, the Patriot Act was introduced under these special rules and failed by 8 votes. This failure was due to John Boener having an incorrect view of how every republican would vote. The Act still had an overwhelming majority in favor of it and will be reintroduced without the special rules, at which time it will pass.

    I’m happy, however, that we’re not living under Patriot Act provisions, even if it’s only for a week or two. But the situation is more comical than principled.

  • Kirk

    I think assigning this as an issue of principle is a little bit strong. It was more along the lines of a lack of organization. Typically, legislation with broad support is introduced under special rules requiring a 2/3 majority to pass. It adds the strength of political will to the law.

    In the case in question, the Patriot Act was introduced under these special rules and failed by 8 votes. This failure was due to John Boener having an incorrect view of how every republican would vote. The Act still had an overwhelming majority in favor of it and will be reintroduced without the special rules, at which time it will pass.

    I’m happy, however, that we’re not living under Patriot Act provisions, even if it’s only for a week or two. But the situation is more comical than principled.

  • SKPeterson

    Tea Party downside – of the forty or so incoming “Tea Party” Republican freshmen, only 8 voted the Patriot Act provisions down. The rest supported the bill. So, this indicates either a complete ideological capitulation to the House leadership by most of the new Tea Party candidates (perhaps based on a “Trust me, this will be for the best” promise), or that the Tea Party is not the monolithic hard-Right entity envisioned by the Left.

  • SKPeterson

    Tea Party downside – of the forty or so incoming “Tea Party” Republican freshmen, only 8 voted the Patriot Act provisions down. The rest supported the bill. So, this indicates either a complete ideological capitulation to the House leadership by most of the new Tea Party candidates (perhaps based on a “Trust me, this will be for the best” promise), or that the Tea Party is not the monolithic hard-Right entity envisioned by the Left.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Now I know why I slept so well last night.
    Sleeping in Peace,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Now I know why I slept so well last night.
    Sleeping in Peace,
    Dennis

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Perhaps a better question would be this: Why is the Obama administration on board with the Patriot Act when many of his same supporters were against it when Bush first brought it up?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Perhaps a better question would be this: Why is the Obama administration on board with the Patriot Act when many of his same supporters were against it when Bush first brought it up?

  • Michael Z.

    I agree with #5 SKPeterson.
    This doesn’t actually reflect some TEA Party stand against THE MAN… only 8 of the members of that caucus voted against the bill, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back but it was still only 8 of 52.

  • Michael Z.

    I agree with #5 SKPeterson.
    This doesn’t actually reflect some TEA Party stand against THE MAN… only 8 of the members of that caucus voted against the bill, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back but it was still only 8 of 52.

  • Cincinnatus

    I had no idea this was up for a vote (I’m out of the loop), but bravo!

  • Cincinnatus

    I had no idea this was up for a vote (I’m out of the loop), but bravo!

  • Tom Hering

    Since 9/11, our national security state has employed a huge number of Americans in a multitude of government agencies – both new and expanded. And it’s done business with a multitude of private companies that have employed another huge number of Americans. So the Patriot Act won’t be allowed to die. Careers and profits are on the line.

  • Tom Hering

    Since 9/11, our national security state has employed a huge number of Americans in a multitude of government agencies – both new and expanded. And it’s done business with a multitude of private companies that have employed another huge number of Americans. So the Patriot Act won’t be allowed to die. Careers and profits are on the line.

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

    @ 10, yup. Follow the money.

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

    @ 10, yup. Follow the money.

  • DonS

    Yes, as Tom says @ 10, TSA personnel have now been authorized to form a union of some 50,000 additional federal employees. So that little thing about infringing on citizens’ liberties can be overlooked — union jobs are at stake!

    This was just a procedural thing — the bill is scheduled to be brought up under regular rules this week and will pass easily with a majority vote. But anyone who spends any time on this blog would easily have known that not all conservatives believe big government security apparatus is an unadulterated good thing.

  • DonS

    Yes, as Tom says @ 10, TSA personnel have now been authorized to form a union of some 50,000 additional federal employees. So that little thing about infringing on citizens’ liberties can be overlooked — union jobs are at stake!

    This was just a procedural thing — the bill is scheduled to be brought up under regular rules this week and will pass easily with a majority vote. But anyone who spends any time on this blog would easily have known that not all conservatives believe big government security apparatus is an unadulterated good thing.

  • kerner

    I reaaly wish the new Congress would look at the Patriot Act more critically at this point. I can understand temporary growth of government security during times of emergency (during the civil war, for example), but declaring perpetual emergencies and creating perpetual high government security levels is truly scary.

    Is there anything we can do to urge our congressmen to scale back the Patriot act this time around, or is passage a foregone conclusion?

  • kerner

    I reaaly wish the new Congress would look at the Patriot Act more critically at this point. I can understand temporary growth of government security during times of emergency (during the civil war, for example), but declaring perpetual emergencies and creating perpetual high government security levels is truly scary.

    Is there anything we can do to urge our congressmen to scale back the Patriot act this time around, or is passage a foregone conclusion?

  • Tom Hering

    If both Boehner and Obama want it to pass as is, then yes, it’s a foregone conclusion.

  • Tom Hering

    If both Boehner and Obama want it to pass as is, then yes, it’s a foregone conclusion.

  • WebMonk

    I’m with several of the others on here with puzzlement about how this vote shows something deep about some sort of widespread opposition to the PatAct among Tea Party legislators. If there was actually some sort of widespread opposition, then surely a lot more of them would have voted against it.

    He says, “The Tea Party has a high view of the Constitution …. Therefore, they can be expected to oppose the Patriot Act, which arguably violates some of those rights.”.

    The article says, “44 of 52 members of the Tea Party Caucus voted to extend the act’s domestic spying provisions.”

    And taking Veith’s non-sequitor a bit further, most of the Democrats voted against the PatAct – does that mean that most of the Democrats in the house have a high view of the Constitution?

    A bit of thought before writing this post might have been in order.

  • WebMonk

    I’m with several of the others on here with puzzlement about how this vote shows something deep about some sort of widespread opposition to the PatAct among Tea Party legislators. If there was actually some sort of widespread opposition, then surely a lot more of them would have voted against it.

    He says, “The Tea Party has a high view of the Constitution …. Therefore, they can be expected to oppose the Patriot Act, which arguably violates some of those rights.”.

    The article says, “44 of 52 members of the Tea Party Caucus voted to extend the act’s domestic spying provisions.”

    And taking Veith’s non-sequitor a bit further, most of the Democrats voted against the PatAct – does that mean that most of the Democrats in the house have a high view of the Constitution?

    A bit of thought before writing this post might have been in order.

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

    “Is there anything we can do to urge our congressmen to scale back the Patriot act this time around, or is passage a foregone conclusion?”

    Come on, we aren’t that democratic. If stuff that both liberals and conservatives agree on can’t get passed, then you know the govt-business alliance vs. the people is alive and well.

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

    “Is there anything we can do to urge our congressmen to scale back the Patriot act this time around, or is passage a foregone conclusion?”

    Come on, we aren’t that democratic. If stuff that both liberals and conservatives agree on can’t get passed, then you know the govt-business alliance vs. the people is alive and well.

  • Tom Hering

    I love the Orwellian double-speak nature of the Act’s name. As if, in its American context, it’s all about preserving a revolutionary spirit. But I guess they couldn’t call it the Oceania Act.

  • Tom Hering

    I love the Orwellian double-speak nature of the Act’s name. As if, in its American context, it’s all about preserving a revolutionary spirit. But I guess they couldn’t call it the Oceania Act.

  • nqb

    Webmonk @15,
    While I agree that Veith’s assessment is a tad grandiose, I think the essence is right: The Tea Party movement has somewhat splintered the establishment. As you point out, this was a problem with organization and getting the GOP ducks in a row. I don’t think you would have seen dissent on this scale (we always had Ron Paul :D) pre-Tea Party.
    By my count, 26 GOP representatives broke from the party, which put the vote below the 2/3′s majority necessary for the fast-track passage. I suspect even those not in the Tea Party Caucus were largely motivated by the sentiments running through the Tea Party movement.
    You’re right that Washington wasn’t fixed overnight and plenty of people on both sides of the aisle will continue to push big government, but I think this has set the stage for some reform down the road. Like, maybe a few years down the road. We just have to keep the momentum up that long…

  • nqb

    Webmonk @15,
    While I agree that Veith’s assessment is a tad grandiose, I think the essence is right: The Tea Party movement has somewhat splintered the establishment. As you point out, this was a problem with organization and getting the GOP ducks in a row. I don’t think you would have seen dissent on this scale (we always had Ron Paul :D) pre-Tea Party.
    By my count, 26 GOP representatives broke from the party, which put the vote below the 2/3′s majority necessary for the fast-track passage. I suspect even those not in the Tea Party Caucus were largely motivated by the sentiments running through the Tea Party movement.
    You’re right that Washington wasn’t fixed overnight and plenty of people on both sides of the aisle will continue to push big government, but I think this has set the stage for some reform down the road. Like, maybe a few years down the road. We just have to keep the momentum up that long…

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  • Porcell

    Actually, the Patirot Act provisions were thoughtfully designed to deal effectively with radical Islamists who wish to impose Shariah Law by force. The WSJ Journal today has an article, Officials Warn of Domestic Terrorism Threat that leads with:

    The proliferation of radicalized followers of al Qaeda within the U.S. has put the nation at a heightened risk of terrorist attacks, though on a smaller scale than the Sept. 11, 2001, strikes, security officials told Congress Wednesday.

    “The terrorist threat facing our country has evolved significantly in the last 10 years—and continues to evolve,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a House committee exploring the threat from homegrown radicals. Good for the sensible some twenty-two Tea Partiers who voted to extend the Act.

    Meanwhile, the Washington twits kill a perfectly reasonable and moderate act to please the mainly heartland isolationists and coastal leftists.

  • Porcell

    Actually, the Patirot Act provisions were thoughtfully designed to deal effectively with radical Islamists who wish to impose Shariah Law by force. The WSJ Journal today has an article, Officials Warn of Domestic Terrorism Threat that leads with:

    The proliferation of radicalized followers of al Qaeda within the U.S. has put the nation at a heightened risk of terrorist attacks, though on a smaller scale than the Sept. 11, 2001, strikes, security officials told Congress Wednesday.

    “The terrorist threat facing our country has evolved significantly in the last 10 years—and continues to evolve,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a House committee exploring the threat from homegrown radicals. Good for the sensible some twenty-two Tea Partiers who voted to extend the Act.

    Meanwhile, the Washington twits kill a perfectly reasonable and moderate act to please the mainly heartland isolationists and coastal leftists.

  • Dust

    Right on J Dean at 7 above…no more war protests either and we are still in Afghanistan…wazzup w’ dat? Isn’t Guantanamo still open too? And not a peep from the human rights crowd anymore, hmm? Do you think all the protests during the Bush years were just political in nature just to make the admin look bad and stir up the voters? Say it isn’t so Batman! The hypocrisy and shallowness of the left is utterly indefensible…. and now that folks see it, hopefully real change will be the result? Cheers!

  • Dust

    Right on J Dean at 7 above…no more war protests either and we are still in Afghanistan…wazzup w’ dat? Isn’t Guantanamo still open too? And not a peep from the human rights crowd anymore, hmm? Do you think all the protests during the Bush years were just political in nature just to make the admin look bad and stir up the voters? Say it isn’t so Batman! The hypocrisy and shallowness of the left is utterly indefensible…. and now that folks see it, hopefully real change will be the result? Cheers!

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

    “no more war protests either and we are still in Afghanistan…wazzup w’ dat? Isn’t Guantanamo still open too? And not a peep from the human rights crowd anymore, hmm? Do you think all the protests during the Bush years were just political in nature just to make the admin look bad and stir up the voters?”

    To be sure folks are still protesting the war and Guantanamo etc.

    The media just doesn’t cover them. The same way they don’t report the March for Life.

    War protesters and human rights activists are only useful to help turn sentiment against Republicans. There is no money to be made on those issues. Profitable political patronage is what they are really after whether military or health care or whatever. Some industries are more aligned to Democrats, some with Republicans, but it is still the same game.

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

    “no more war protests either and we are still in Afghanistan…wazzup w’ dat? Isn’t Guantanamo still open too? And not a peep from the human rights crowd anymore, hmm? Do you think all the protests during the Bush years were just political in nature just to make the admin look bad and stir up the voters?”

    To be sure folks are still protesting the war and Guantanamo etc.

    The media just doesn’t cover them. The same way they don’t report the March for Life.

    War protesters and human rights activists are only useful to help turn sentiment against Republicans. There is no money to be made on those issues. Profitable political patronage is what they are really after whether military or health care or whatever. Some industries are more aligned to Democrats, some with Republicans, but it is still the same game.

  • Dust

    sg….yes, you have a point….if someone protests the war and no one is there to hear it, did it make a sound?

    yes, the media doesn’t cover it, because it’s not in their political interests, so it doesn’t make a sound.

    but am not so sure that there are as many protests now as there were before…at least not in the fine town of Portland, OR.

    my guess is that’s because the protesters and especially those that organize them and provoke them and instigate and encourage them are also political operatives, and it’s not in their interests to do that at the moment either.

    hope you don’t think that all protests are legitimate and always have some sort of grassroots genesis? time to read “rules for radicals” or talk to some older hippie professors from the 60′s and 70′s….when these kinds of things first became so fashionable and the darlings of the media.

    cheers!

  • Dust

    sg….yes, you have a point….if someone protests the war and no one is there to hear it, did it make a sound?

    yes, the media doesn’t cover it, because it’s not in their political interests, so it doesn’t make a sound.

    but am not so sure that there are as many protests now as there were before…at least not in the fine town of Portland, OR.

    my guess is that’s because the protesters and especially those that organize them and provoke them and instigate and encourage them are also political operatives, and it’s not in their interests to do that at the moment either.

    hope you don’t think that all protests are legitimate and always have some sort of grassroots genesis? time to read “rules for radicals” or talk to some older hippie professors from the 60′s and 70′s….when these kinds of things first became so fashionable and the darlings of the media.

    cheers!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    The Tea Party has a high view of the Constitution, which it insists on interpreting literally and applying to the letter. That means that Tea Partiers will be zealous defenders of the Bill of Rights. Therefore, they can be expected to oppose the Patriot Act, which arguably violates some of those rights.

    As has already been mentioned, this in no way is reflected in the actual numbers.

    A whopping 15% of these principled “zealous defenders of the Bill of Rights” actually voted to “oppose the Patriot Act”. And, by my math, the percentage of non-Tea-Party-Caucus Republicans who also voted against the bill? 10%. Which means that, statistically, the Tea Party Caucus isn’t all that different from the rest of the House GOP. Such Change! Such Hope! Yes They Can!

    So, let’s see, if we can make some sweeping stereotypes (and if we can’t, really, what are we all doing here?), then on principles, the Tea Party Caucus (TPC) would be expected to vote against the Patriot Act (for reasons Veith mentioned), non-TPC Republicans would be expected to vote for it (pro-state-authority and big-government when it comes to anything “national security” related), and Democrats would be expected to vote against it (because it was a Bush thing, and, on national security matters at least, they make noises about opposing government intrusion in favor of civil liberties).

    And how did these groups, when measured against these principles?
    Non-TPC Republicans voted 90% in keeping with them
    Democrats voted 64% in keeping with them
    TPC Republicans voted 15% in keeping with them

    So maybe those would-be principles of the Tea Party Caucus are so much electoral hooey, hmm?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    The Tea Party has a high view of the Constitution, which it insists on interpreting literally and applying to the letter. That means that Tea Partiers will be zealous defenders of the Bill of Rights. Therefore, they can be expected to oppose the Patriot Act, which arguably violates some of those rights.

    As has already been mentioned, this in no way is reflected in the actual numbers.

    A whopping 15% of these principled “zealous defenders of the Bill of Rights” actually voted to “oppose the Patriot Act”. And, by my math, the percentage of non-Tea-Party-Caucus Republicans who also voted against the bill? 10%. Which means that, statistically, the Tea Party Caucus isn’t all that different from the rest of the House GOP. Such Change! Such Hope! Yes They Can!

    So, let’s see, if we can make some sweeping stereotypes (and if we can’t, really, what are we all doing here?), then on principles, the Tea Party Caucus (TPC) would be expected to vote against the Patriot Act (for reasons Veith mentioned), non-TPC Republicans would be expected to vote for it (pro-state-authority and big-government when it comes to anything “national security” related), and Democrats would be expected to vote against it (because it was a Bush thing, and, on national security matters at least, they make noises about opposing government intrusion in favor of civil liberties).

    And how did these groups, when measured against these principles?
    Non-TPC Republicans voted 90% in keeping with them
    Democrats voted 64% in keeping with them
    TPC Republicans voted 15% in keeping with them

    So maybe those would-be principles of the Tea Party Caucus are so much electoral hooey, hmm?

  • Dust

    tODD good points and time will tell just what impact the Tea Party will have on US politics….in the meantime, the debt and budget will require much more tightening of the money belt, and that means the end or severe trimming of the left’s programs and that will spell the end of them and their pipe dreams. No constituency equals no office or clout, boo hoo!

    It won’t really be about the Tea Party although without them it may have taken longer for the American People to wake up. But that giant is now awake and just in time for some real exciting events….ain’t it great to live in interesting times :)

  • Dust

    tODD good points and time will tell just what impact the Tea Party will have on US politics….in the meantime, the debt and budget will require much more tightening of the money belt, and that means the end or severe trimming of the left’s programs and that will spell the end of them and their pipe dreams. No constituency equals no office or clout, boo hoo!

    It won’t really be about the Tea Party although without them it may have taken longer for the American People to wake up. But that giant is now awake and just in time for some real exciting events….ain’t it great to live in interesting times :)

  • Dust

    ps tODD….just re-read 23 and now am confused (but that’s nothing new…especially after reading your comments, ha!) but you said this:

    Non-TPC Republicans voted 90% in keeping with them
    Democrats voted 64% in keeping with them
    TPC Republicans voted 15% in keeping with them

    So it looks like the TPC Repubs are much more independent thinking, since they beat the non-TPC Repubs by a 6:1 margin and even the Dems by over 4:1.

    So how is that NOT a sign of some kind of independence? At least it’s a START at not voting the party line, eh?

    Cheers!

  • Dust

    ps tODD….just re-read 23 and now am confused (but that’s nothing new…especially after reading your comments, ha!) but you said this:

    Non-TPC Republicans voted 90% in keeping with them
    Democrats voted 64% in keeping with them
    TPC Republicans voted 15% in keeping with them

    So it looks like the TPC Repubs are much more independent thinking, since they beat the non-TPC Repubs by a 6:1 margin and even the Dems by over 4:1.

    So how is that NOT a sign of some kind of independence? At least it’s a START at not voting the party line, eh?

    Cheers!

  • Joe

    Whether one is officially in the Tea Party caucus really has more to do with whether you can stomach Michelle Bachmann than anything else. That is why I referred to Reps. with more libertarian/limited gov’t views instead of TPers v. Trad. Cons.

  • Joe

    Whether one is officially in the Tea Party caucus really has more to do with whether you can stomach Michelle Bachmann than anything else. That is why I referred to Reps. with more libertarian/limited gov’t views instead of TPers v. Trad. Cons.

  • Dust

    Joe…my guess is you are NOT a member of the Tea Party, as clearly you do NOT understand them….but you’ll get to know them over the next few years and perhaps learn to love them? Cheers!

  • Dust

    Joe…my guess is you are NOT a member of the Tea Party, as clearly you do NOT understand them….but you’ll get to know them over the next few years and perhaps learn to love them? Cheers!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dust said (@25), “So it looks like the TPC Repubs are much more independent thinking.” Dust, that is some truly remarkable spin you’ve produced there!

    Yes, if by “independent thinking” you mean “not faithful to the core values they supposedly hold”, although I think there are other, more accurate ways to describe that condition, and they are not as flattering as “independent thinking”. I mean, come on.

    Let’s face it: the “Tea Party” brand is a hopelessly murky one, without true definition. Any time someone employs it, someone else says they’re trying to co-opt the true Tea Party, and that those Tea Party people are fakes. It’s all about as meaningful as “alternative” music.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dust said (@25), “So it looks like the TPC Repubs are much more independent thinking.” Dust, that is some truly remarkable spin you’ve produced there!

    Yes, if by “independent thinking” you mean “not faithful to the core values they supposedly hold”, although I think there are other, more accurate ways to describe that condition, and they are not as flattering as “independent thinking”. I mean, come on.

    Let’s face it: the “Tea Party” brand is a hopelessly murky one, without true definition. Any time someone employs it, someone else says they’re trying to co-opt the true Tea Party, and that those Tea Party people are fakes. It’s all about as meaningful as “alternative” music.

  • Dust

    Well tODD, it’s not spin, it’s the facts….if their vote was that much different than rank and file Dems and Repubs, then what other explanation except independent thinking? Especially in light of the straight party line voting we have been seeing for 2 years?

    Cut them some slack at least, or at minimum appreciate the astute manipulation of the voting process in the House, and note how few of them it took to block and defeat the passage of an important House Bill, at least symbolically and that’s important for young movements trying to establish some credibility and clout.

    If you don’t accept it as an act of independent thinking at least give them credit for knowing how to use the leverage of minority status along with the fulcrum (sp?) of gutsy action to get the attention of the bloated, lobbyist infiltrated Congress and move it a tiny bit in a direction opposite to it’s expected course!

    It’s the future tODD, best you find a way to live with it and learn to love it :)

  • Dust

    Well tODD, it’s not spin, it’s the facts….if their vote was that much different than rank and file Dems and Repubs, then what other explanation except independent thinking? Especially in light of the straight party line voting we have been seeing for 2 years?

    Cut them some slack at least, or at minimum appreciate the astute manipulation of the voting process in the House, and note how few of them it took to block and defeat the passage of an important House Bill, at least symbolically and that’s important for young movements trying to establish some credibility and clout.

    If you don’t accept it as an act of independent thinking at least give them credit for knowing how to use the leverage of minority status along with the fulcrum (sp?) of gutsy action to get the attention of the bloated, lobbyist infiltrated Congress and move it a tiny bit in a direction opposite to it’s expected course!

    It’s the future tODD, best you find a way to live with it and learn to love it :)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dust (@29), sorry, but you’re drinking the Kool-Aid, tea-flavored though it may be. And you appear to have missed the point of what I said.

    “If their vote was that much different than rank and file Dems and Repubs…” Um, it wasn’t. Again, within the TPC, 15% opposed the Patriot Act. Among non-TPC Republicans, 10% opposed the Patriot Act. In other words, in spite of all the fine rhetoric, the Tea Party Caucus is largely indistinguishable from the GOP at large. They toed the same party line the GOP did, with a whopping five percentage points difference.

    Think of it this way: Yes, the bill would have gained the 2/3 majority needed if the TPC hadn’t voted that way. But it also would have gained the 2/3 majority if the 10% of non-TPC GOP members hadn’t voted that way, either. And it goes without saying that the Democrats moving either more for or against would have also irrevocably sunk the vote or guaranteed its passage. And yet you’re only crediting the TPC for this rousing victory. That’s just spin.

    “At minimum appreciate the astute manipulation of the voting process in the House, and note how few of them it took to block and defeat the passage of an important House Bill.” Criminy, did you read the article? There was no “astute manipulation”. They voted against it, and Boehner lost the vote — for the moment — because he foolishly miscounted votes. In other words, this is Boehner’s boner, not some fiendishly clever maneuvering on the TPC’s part. Nor is the bill in the least bit likely to actually suffer defeat. Did you read the discussion here?

    “It’s the future tODD, best you find a way to live with it and learn to love it.” Wasn’t that Ross Perot’s tagline?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dust (@29), sorry, but you’re drinking the Kool-Aid, tea-flavored though it may be. And you appear to have missed the point of what I said.

    “If their vote was that much different than rank and file Dems and Repubs…” Um, it wasn’t. Again, within the TPC, 15% opposed the Patriot Act. Among non-TPC Republicans, 10% opposed the Patriot Act. In other words, in spite of all the fine rhetoric, the Tea Party Caucus is largely indistinguishable from the GOP at large. They toed the same party line the GOP did, with a whopping five percentage points difference.

    Think of it this way: Yes, the bill would have gained the 2/3 majority needed if the TPC hadn’t voted that way. But it also would have gained the 2/3 majority if the 10% of non-TPC GOP members hadn’t voted that way, either. And it goes without saying that the Democrats moving either more for or against would have also irrevocably sunk the vote or guaranteed its passage. And yet you’re only crediting the TPC for this rousing victory. That’s just spin.

    “At minimum appreciate the astute manipulation of the voting process in the House, and note how few of them it took to block and defeat the passage of an important House Bill.” Criminy, did you read the article? There was no “astute manipulation”. They voted against it, and Boehner lost the vote — for the moment — because he foolishly miscounted votes. In other words, this is Boehner’s boner, not some fiendishly clever maneuvering on the TPC’s part. Nor is the bill in the least bit likely to actually suffer defeat. Did you read the discussion here?

    “It’s the future tODD, best you find a way to live with it and learn to love it.” Wasn’t that Ross Perot’s tagline?

  • Dust

    tODD my friend, 15% compared to 10% is an increase of 50% and that made the difference, and besides in a democracy it’s not so important by how much you win or lose, but only if you win or lose, and the bill lost and the Tea Party people were an important part of it. That’s the point….it may take only a few extra votes to defeat a bill and now they know where to go to get them…that is power tODD! Did you ever participate in any politics or government? Home Owners Association, ASB Senate or President, Honor Society, Voters Meetings at your Lutheran Church? Winning votes can be just about putting together coalitions, and in that sense, even minorities can have huge powers, if they represent the little bit extra needed to pass or defeat a bill. So this was as much about getting their message out and now you know.

    As per Ross Perot, a fine Texan and the man who got Bill Clinton the Presidency in 1992…you’re a Texan,did you vote for him? Or better yet, work for him…an EDSer?

    Well, anyway, no big deal…the party marches on with us or without us, but either way, we better get used to it and enjoy the ride :)

  • Dust

    tODD my friend, 15% compared to 10% is an increase of 50% and that made the difference, and besides in a democracy it’s not so important by how much you win or lose, but only if you win or lose, and the bill lost and the Tea Party people were an important part of it. That’s the point….it may take only a few extra votes to defeat a bill and now they know where to go to get them…that is power tODD! Did you ever participate in any politics or government? Home Owners Association, ASB Senate or President, Honor Society, Voters Meetings at your Lutheran Church? Winning votes can be just about putting together coalitions, and in that sense, even minorities can have huge powers, if they represent the little bit extra needed to pass or defeat a bill. So this was as much about getting their message out and now you know.

    As per Ross Perot, a fine Texan and the man who got Bill Clinton the Presidency in 1992…you’re a Texan,did you vote for him? Or better yet, work for him…an EDSer?

    Well, anyway, no big deal…the party marches on with us or without us, but either way, we better get used to it and enjoy the ride :)

  • utahrainbow

    Todd,
    I think Dust is confused because in 23 you said that “TPC Republicans voted 15% in keeping with them”, when I think you must have meant 85%.

    Today I received an email congratulating supporters on a job well done on letting Congress know that they did not support the Patriot Act, and thus getting results. Ah, but turns out it was just a miscount by Boehner. These things really can make one cynical.

  • utahrainbow

    Todd,
    I think Dust is confused because in 23 you said that “TPC Republicans voted 15% in keeping with them”, when I think you must have meant 85%.

    Today I received an email congratulating supporters on a job well done on letting Congress know that they did not support the Patriot Act, and thus getting results. Ah, but turns out it was just a miscount by Boehner. These things really can make one cynical.

  • Joe

    Dust – I was a holder of small gov’t/libertarian views long before it was cool. I respect a lot of what folks who claim to some how lead/rep. the tea party have done and are doing. That said, Bachmann is an idiot that happens to hold correct views on some issues. She will in the long run (through her own missteps and mistakes) do more damage than good to the movement.

  • Joe

    Dust – I was a holder of small gov’t/libertarian views long before it was cool. I respect a lot of what folks who claim to some how lead/rep. the tea party have done and are doing. That said, Bachmann is an idiot that happens to hold correct views on some issues. She will in the long run (through her own missteps and mistakes) do more damage than good to the movement.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Utahrainbow (@32), nope, I definitely meant 15%. If we take it as a given that Dr. Veith’s description of Tea Party principles is correct, then only 15% of Tea Party Caucus (TPC) members actually voted in line with those principles.

    Which I would expect fans of the Tea Party to explain away by saying that the TPC isn’t the real Tea Party, but merely attempts by GOP politicians to co-opt the popularity (and, to a much lesser degree, the message and ideals) of the real Tea Party. And who or what is the real Tea Party? Of course, there is no definitive answer, but in general it appears to be: “the people who agree with me right now and aren’t saying stupid things right now” — assuming that the person doing the definining is a real Tea Partier himself!

    Dust (@31), I can see that you’re committed to defending the Tea Party (and/or the TPC) for whatever reason, but at the expense of logic. Again, when the rubber met the road, there was no meaningful difference between TPC members and non-TPC members in the GOP. Far more non-TPC Republicans voted against the Patriot Act (because it was 10% of a larger number), so, numerically, it was the non-TPC faction that most contributed to the bill’s defeat among Republicans.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Utahrainbow (@32), nope, I definitely meant 15%. If we take it as a given that Dr. Veith’s description of Tea Party principles is correct, then only 15% of Tea Party Caucus (TPC) members actually voted in line with those principles.

    Which I would expect fans of the Tea Party to explain away by saying that the TPC isn’t the real Tea Party, but merely attempts by GOP politicians to co-opt the popularity (and, to a much lesser degree, the message and ideals) of the real Tea Party. And who or what is the real Tea Party? Of course, there is no definitive answer, but in general it appears to be: “the people who agree with me right now and aren’t saying stupid things right now” — assuming that the person doing the definining is a real Tea Partier himself!

    Dust (@31), I can see that you’re committed to defending the Tea Party (and/or the TPC) for whatever reason, but at the expense of logic. Again, when the rubber met the road, there was no meaningful difference between TPC members and non-TPC members in the GOP. Far more non-TPC Republicans voted against the Patriot Act (because it was 10% of a larger number), so, numerically, it was the non-TPC faction that most contributed to the bill’s defeat among Republicans.

  • utahrainbow

    Oh, I see, Todd, you were saying each group’s percentage that voted in line with their OWN principles. I thought you meant what percentage of each group voted to keep the principles of the Patriot Act. Sorry, two glasses of wine and a long day does not help one to read blog comments carefully. :)

  • utahrainbow

    Oh, I see, Todd, you were saying each group’s percentage that voted in line with their OWN principles. I thought you meant what percentage of each group voted to keep the principles of the Patriot Act. Sorry, two glasses of wine and a long day does not help one to read blog comments carefully. :)

  • Joe

    “there was no meaningful difference between TPC members and non-TPC members in the GOP.”

    I really don’t find this surprising. There have always been different kinds of Republicans and one of those kinds are small gov’t/libertarian leaning folks. Some of those have joined the TPC and some for many various reasons have not. I guess I would like to think that self identified TPCers would have “truer” beliefs, I am not shocked to find out that some people may be claiming a label for no other reason than to gain a political advantage.

  • Joe

    “there was no meaningful difference between TPC members and non-TPC members in the GOP.”

    I really don’t find this surprising. There have always been different kinds of Republicans and one of those kinds are small gov’t/libertarian leaning folks. Some of those have joined the TPC and some for many various reasons have not. I guess I would like to think that self identified TPCers would have “truer” beliefs, I am not shocked to find out that some people may be claiming a label for no other reason than to gain a political advantage.

  • Porcell

    Those who disparage the Tea Party ignore the intensity of this group’s views. In a way similar to the present revolution in Egypt, the Tea Party folk have the gutso to take their issue to the streets and wake up the slumbering Republican establishment. Sure, their views on the issues, including that of the Patriot Act, are largely similar to past Republican rhetoric, though they are insisting that the Republicans act on their principles, especially on unsustainable spending.

    Like the Egyptians, the Tea Party movement is hardly about to fade away, much to the dismay of the liberal Left and the media who are puzzled and amazed by the phenomenon. In this case a slight division among the Tea Partier s gives the left the illusion that they are merely a grasping bunch of ordinary Republicans. Dream on.

  • Porcell

    Those who disparage the Tea Party ignore the intensity of this group’s views. In a way similar to the present revolution in Egypt, the Tea Party folk have the gutso to take their issue to the streets and wake up the slumbering Republican establishment. Sure, their views on the issues, including that of the Patriot Act, are largely similar to past Republican rhetoric, though they are insisting that the Republicans act on their principles, especially on unsustainable spending.

    Like the Egyptians, the Tea Party movement is hardly about to fade away, much to the dismay of the liberal Left and the media who are puzzled and amazed by the phenomenon. In this case a slight division among the Tea Partier s gives the left the illusion that they are merely a grasping bunch of ordinary Republicans. Dream on.

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

    “I would expect fans of the Tea Party to explain away by saying that the TPC isn’t the real Tea Party, but merely attempts by GOP politicians to co-opt the popularity”

    That is my take. Candidates will call themselves anything to get votes.

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

    “I would expect fans of the Tea Party to explain away by saying that the TPC isn’t the real Tea Party, but merely attempts by GOP politicians to co-opt the popularity”

    That is my take. Candidates will call themselves anything to get votes.

  • WebMonk

    Porcell, your statement “though they [the Tea Party] are insisting that the Republicans act on their principles, especially on unsustainable spending” is looking exceedingly shaky.

    The preliminary reports on the budget bills being put forward in the last couple days have next to nothing of any serious cuts put forward by the Republicans or the Tea Party candidates.

    A few billion here and a few billion there don’t add up to anything truly significant when one considers that the budget needs to be trimmed by close to a trillion dollars per year to get it near balance for the moment.

    The Tea Party is looking to be marginally better than the Republicans which are marginally better than the Democrats when it comes to budget issues. Breathless statements about how the TP is going to really change things are nonsense.

  • WebMonk

    Porcell, your statement “though they [the Tea Party] are insisting that the Republicans act on their principles, especially on unsustainable spending” is looking exceedingly shaky.

    The preliminary reports on the budget bills being put forward in the last couple days have next to nothing of any serious cuts put forward by the Republicans or the Tea Party candidates.

    A few billion here and a few billion there don’t add up to anything truly significant when one considers that the budget needs to be trimmed by close to a trillion dollars per year to get it near balance for the moment.

    The Tea Party is looking to be marginally better than the Republicans which are marginally better than the Democrats when it comes to budget issues. Breathless statements about how the TP is going to really change things are nonsense.

  • scott huminski

    U.S.A. State Sponsored Terror (rock music video) Released

    Anti U.S. Police State Musician/activist releases his 5th rock video.

    Television interview at:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/RTAmerica#p/u/1/2KxmgZRUOnU

  • scott huminski

    U.S.A. State Sponsored Terror (rock music video) Released

    Anti U.S. Police State Musician/activist releases his 5th rock video.

    Television interview at:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/RTAmerica#p/u/1/2KxmgZRUOnU


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