Obama was elected to office in the middle of a recession. As soon as he took office, he had to deal with the collapse of financial institutions, Bush bailouts, rising unemployment, two wars and the highest national debt (a staggering 10% of GDP) since World War II – not a normal smooth transition. And yet, there was much celebration, President Obama looked invincible. If you are on the top, the only direction you can go is down. The problem was Obama was too popular before he could accomplish anything. A perfect storm was brewing. The new administration and the Democrat members of Congress were clueless to what they were up against.
It should have been wakeup call when Rush Limbaugh prayed for Obama’s failure. His prayers were answered when President Obama, an effective communicator who inspired millions of people during elections, misread people’s frustration with the economy and job market. Most people understood the serious problems facing the country today were not Obama’s creation but they did not understand Obama's inability to clearly articulate his agenda and connect with the people. Certainly, people were upset when the administration was trying to score legislative victories through backdoor deals. While Obama administration was slow to react, Tea party activists were quick to take action.
Glenn Beck rallied them when he called President Obama, a racist and a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people and white culture. Tea party activists, encouraged by President’s professorial attitude of being gentle and soft, went on the offensive. Activists in most Tea party rallies called the President a monkey, a racist, socialist, communist and even a Nazi. The constant drum beating of lies by the Tea party, Democrats inaction and internal bickering cost the Democrat Senate seat in Massachusetts. But that didn’t serve as wakeup call either. Emboldened, the Tea party and Republican party, looking to take advantage of the Tea party success, questioned Obama’s nationality and his religion. First of all, there is nothing wrong in being a Muslim. Someday a Muslim may indeed become the President of the United States of America. In any case, Tea party leaders have been largely successful in denigrating the President of their own country. Demonizing the President serves the Republican party as well.
Movements such as the Tea party, founded on lies and extreme views, will not last long. They will become irrelevant like all other extreme wings, both left and right. The Tea party’s main argument is that the government is becoming powerful under Obama, is simply not true. In fact, the government grew bigger under President Reagan and Obama’s predecessor, George Bush. Under Bush, the government violated people’s civil rights. Under Obama, the government is at a stalemate.
The animosity against the government that the Tea party is brewing is working against President Obama and will eventually work against the Republican Party as well. The election of Tea party darlings, Sharron Angle in Nevada and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, in the Republican primaries are clear indicators of the growing influence of the Tea party. Sharron Angle believes the Department of Education is unconstitutional and should be eliminated. She also wants social security to be eliminated. She does not think global warming exist and wants to drill offshore, onshore, and everywhere. According to Christine O’Donnell, America is now a socialist economy. It is not surprising that these extreme and dangerous views come from the Tea party. What is surprising is that mainstream Republicans are adopting Tea party views.
Read the statement that equates Democrats with Islamic terrorists: “On the one front we have a secular socialist machine led by Obama, Pelosi, and Reid, and on the other front we have radical Islamists who would fundamentally change this country.”
These are not the words from some extreme Tea partiers such as Christine O’Donnell, or, Sharron Angle or even Sarah Palin, but ‘words of wisdom’ from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Newt Gingrich well remembered for his Contract with America, and has now made a contract with the devil. It will not be too long before the Tea party goes against him if he decides to run for President. Moderate Republicans will be isolated and pushed to the sidelines. The Republican Party’s race to embrace the Tea party will polarize and divide the country. Instead of being a healthy and active opposition, the Republican Party is being consumed by the Tea party.