House Speaker John Boehner recently attacked conservative groups who criticized the budget deal worked out by Paul Ryan Republican of Wisconsin and Patty Murray Democrat of Washington. Mr. Boehner claims that he is as conservative as anyone in Washington. Boehner's remarks appeared aimed at Tea Party congressional leadership and the Tea Party movement in general who say 'true conservatives' don’t cross the aisle to enable progressive Democrats, and at groups that try to oust established Republicans seeking re-election. The speaker claimed that house Republicans under his leadership, “Have never violated any conservative principle, not once.” He then dismissed the Tea Party opposition with, "I don’t care what they do.”
Is this the modern shot heard round the world?
“Mr. Speaker, the Tea Party doesn’t care what you do either. You say we lack credibility because we demand constitutional government. Being a conservative goes beyond saying you‘re ‘pro-life’, while, at the same time, you kill off your supporters,” David Heimbold Saint Augustine Tea Party Media Chairman questioned. He continued saying, “John Boehner seems to think that the congressional leadership is leading the Tea Party movement. He's got it all wrong. Tea party congressional members are simply carrying out the wishes and fulfilling the promises that they made to the people. The Speaker should try it sometime. The Tea Party movement is not about groups and leaders; it is about ‘We the People’.”
Town Criers challenge Speaker Boehner
The Town Criers are a committee of the St. Augustine Tea Party. [See “A look at Town Crier’s history” in this publication August 26, 2013] The Christmas season brought larger than normal numbers of tourists and visitors to the historic district of St. Augustine Florida. People from all over the country, indeed the world, come to St Augustine to celebrate the holidays. To test the public sentiment regarding Speaker Boehner’s recent attack, the Criers presented signage to that effect. This reporter witnessed numerous people who would come up and announce that they were Ohioans and state that they agreed the Crier’s signs. If the Ohioans on St. George Street are any indication, not only will Mr. Boehner not be the Speaker, he will not even be a Congressman in 2015. Town Crier polls are not a scientific sample, but they have allowed early predictions in the past. Recent polls reflect that 75% of the population wants smaller, limited government. Exactly the desires of the Tea Party which Mr. Boehner attacks.
According to a New York Times op-ed, which appeared on December 19, 2013, written by Jenny Beth Martin a cofounder of Tea Party Patriots, “The deal is a betrayal of the conservatives who fueled the Republicans’ 2010 midterm shellacking of Democrats. When establishment Republicans call spending increases spending cuts, deny that raising taxes is a hike, and champion deficit reduction that doesn’t scratch the surface of our nation’s debt, it suggests a detachment from the facts. But when those who voted for them criticize their elected officials for not keeping their promises, and are then attacked for doing so, it suggests that Kurt Vonnegut was right in observing, “A sane person to an insane society must appear insane.”
Ronald Reagan would have been a Tea Party member
On March 13, 1975 Ronald Reagan was interviewed by Johnny Carson on NBC’s “The Tonight Show”. The dialogue between Carson and Reagan is the same dialogue that is going on between the Town Criers and the general public today. 38 years ago, Reagan was promoting small, limited, constitutional Federal governance and he stressed the importance of the sovereign states that Tea Party embraces today. As Reagan made his comments on the “Tonight Show”, the live audience responded with great enthusiasm much as they do today in the historic district of St. Augustine with the presence of the Town Criers. Reagan talked about smaller limited federal government. The Republican leadership, at that time rejected his message. Today, the Republican leadership rejects the Tea Party message. Back in 1975, the conservative movement was known as the “silent majority”. Today that conservative movement is no longer silent. The Republican response has been to control or destroy the Tea Party. [See “Control or Destroy” article May 15, 2013 in this publication] Has Boehner now changed the GOP strategy to just destroy?
The Town Criers also carried their “Big Red Sign” which states that Obama is a Communist. The Criers stress that they are not name calling. They are simply stating a fact. The sign is popular with people of all ages. It was reported that a woman from the South of England approached a Crier saying, “Aren’t you afraid? If you were doing this in England you would probably be arrested.” The Crier response was, “This is America. Here, we have the First Amendment’s right to Free Speech.” The woman was delighted with the Crier’s courage and commitment to Liberty.