If there was any doubt that the Tea Party movement was just a rebranding of the Republican Party, all one has to do is look at their recruitment website. It is a slick presentation designed to stir up the notion of patriotism, land of the free, etc.
The banners flash, “We the people will repeal Obamacare and restore liberty.” Loud drum rolls and images of Thomas Jefferson and the American flag glide by.
Neatly tucked away at the bottom are the “grassroots” must read books for any Tea Party patriot written by such notable libertarians as Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Dick Morris, and Bill O’Reilly. But not one work written by a left leaning conservative. I wonder why?
Surely Democratic conservatives have some value within such a movement.
Everything on the sites homepage is carefully crafted to position its visitors in the role of victim being attacked by the big bad government led by President Obama.
Patriots and Patriot wannabees feel their country is being taken away from them. But I cannot help but wonder why they feel this way. I want to know what “liberties” have been taken from the members who carry the racially inflammatory signs and make statements like “The NAACP is a racist organization” simply because it has the words “colored people” in the title.
I can’t help but wonder if there is a place at the table for most minorities. I certainly don’t feel like the group would welcome me, despite efforts to show that they welcome all, such as having a previously unheard of African American come forward to announce the recent expulsion of Tea Party Express Leader, Mark Williams from the Tea Party main stream arm.
I too share values of fiscal conservatism and I am a Liberal. I think that our Government should stop the spending. Since 2001 the war on Terror has cost our country more than $1 trillion not to mention the cost in lives lost and affected. To add insult to injury, we are continuing to spend more on this ideological effort.
But the typical Tea-Republican has no problem with this spending. They don’t even support a reduction in spending where we continue to fight but fine tune the efforts more. This is consistent with the Republican brand of insisting on unlimited unfinanced war spending yet tight restrictions on you and me.
The Republican brand (Tea Party Movement) has insisted that people in need of Unemployment Assistance should simply get a job and stop looking for a handout. The recent effort by Republicans to filibuster was finally overcome. On TV, the talking point was put forth that they too wanted to extend benefits…yet they tried to block them. So which is it?
When the Bush Tax Cuts Expire later this year, they will have cost American families nearly $2.4 trillion, none of which has been paid for yet. I do not think they all need to expire; those helping the wealthiest Americans making more than $250,000 per year should expire. The Marriage penalty tax, tax credit for children under 17, as well as similar provision which “help” those making less than $250,000 should be saved, but paid for. And let’s remember that the reason the deficit looks so large now is because President Obama actually put the War costs in the Federal Budget. Bush kept it out of the budget thereby making the deficit look smaller.
Don’t you wish you could simply set your credit card bills aside and not worry about them for 8 to ten years?
I think the Tea Party movement can actually be a force for good in our Country. But it has to first represent more than those holding the signs and screaming racial slurs. The reality, like it or not, is the Tea Party movement has a bad image; one that they must vigorously reinvent where they represent more than conservative views while slapping “grassroots” on the end of them.
They must realize that, like all movements, there are leaders who represent them. Those leaders have great responsibility, one of which is to educate the masses on what they are about. So far, it has been done poorly.
When the movement does little to dispel racists from their ranks under the guise of free speech, most minorities believe that it is nothing more than a throwback to the KKK.
When the Tea-Republicans make strong efforts, like going to the NAACP to engage in real dialog on how they can work together, by meeting with Latino leaders to focus on more than just securing the boarder (multitask), only then can we take them seriously.
No amount of window dressing can fix the image problem they are plagued with. We aren’t fooled by tokenism.