It is too bad that the Tea Tasters ( a government organization dating back to this nations inception whos job was to taste imported tea for quality control purposes) were disbanded under the Clinton administration, because there is something funky about this tea.
The Tea Party is a rag tag group of very aggitated Americans who are reshaping the political landscape of this nation and I’m no convinced it is for the better. For one, they can’t seem to agree upon what it is that is wrong with America or what their goals as a movement are. Secondly, even politicians that owe their nominations to the Tea Party are shying away from admitting to being a part of it. Lastly, they claim that they are being painted as extremists, but one taste of this brew and most Americans will find it’s flavor to bold.
What is the Tea Party all about Anyway?
The one thing that most Tea Party members can agree on is that they are white, male and pissed off. Tea Party members claim that it’s all about taking back America. They say that as a country America is heading in the wrong direction and we need to take control and fix it before it is too late.
The rhetoric sounds pretty urgent and pretty frightening. It has many people terrified, outraged and ready to fight, however even among Tea Party members the groups agenda is unclear. According to a CBS/NYT Poll taken in April 72% of Tea Party Activists are “Angry about Washington” but when asked specifically what angers them about Washington the consensus fades. The chart below shows the top reasons that these Tea Partiers are so mad (Tea Party Activists are those who attend Tea Party rallies while the supporters have yet to).
Tea Party Supporters Tea Party Activists
|Not Representing the People||15||14|
|Health Care Reform||14||16|
|Federal Budget Deficit||4||5|
|Size of Government||3||6|
|Not Doing Anything for Me||3||3|
Not only can they not agree on why they are so outraged they also can’t seem to agree on what the path for the Tea Party should be. While 45% vaguely claim that they need to reign in the Federal Governments power the other numbers show how stratified the opinions of this group are.
Not Even Tea Party Politicians Want to be in the Tea Party
With all the confusion in the ranks it is leading some politicians to begin distancing themselves from the Tea Party, even those who owe the Tea Party a great deal.
“I think there is a real misunderstanding about what the Tea Party movement is. The Tea Party movement is a sentiment in America that government is broken – both parties are to blame – and if we don’t do something soon, this exceptional country will be lost and it will become just like everybody else.”
That quote is from Marco Rubio the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Florida, basically admitting that the Tea Party lacks a real direction and is based more on outrage than pragmatic and rational solutions. According to an article written August 25th,
Marco Rubio’s path to winning the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Florida would not have been possible without the ardent backing of Tea Party activists. But you wouldn’t know that by listening to his victory speech Tuesday night.
Using the Tea Party to gain a nomination and then distancing yourself to reconnect with the mainstream could serve as a very crafty and strategic move. According to the article, “Democrats have not been able to successfully portray him as outside the mainstream”. Politicians like Rubio don’t want to be seen as running as an extreme or angry outsider with more outrage than ideas. In the words of Rubio “I am not running to be the opposition…I believe there is a better way to do things.”
Don’t Label them Extremist just because their Policies are Extreme!
As far as those running under the banner of the Tea Party they’re real message is no different than it was under George W. Bush. Politicians like Sharron Angle in Nevada, Rand Paul in Kentucky and our own Ken Buck are using the same old fear mongering tactics to stir up a paranoid frenzy among the less educated and more vulnerable members of our society. 29% of Tea Party supporters are 65 plus, and nearly every Tea Party candidate advocates doing away with social security. 35% make less than 50k a year yet the party’s politicians propose flat tax plans that would raise their taxes significantly.
Tea Party members would have you believe that it is the Liberal Elite in Washington is in cahoots with the CNN and MSNBC global socialist conspiracy that are painting good, honest, sane politicians like Angle, Paul and Buck as extremists, but after looking at their plans they are extreme.
Sharron Angle says that social welfare programs are a violation of the first commandment because it raises the government up as a false idol and a slap to Gods mighty face. Rand Paul wants to repeal the civil rights act, Ken Buck wants to take away student loans (probably to rally up more voters).
the more America learns the more they won’t like. Angle has stopped talking to the media altogether, and for class we read an article where Peter King (R-NY) advises that republicans keep their agenda hidden from the public. The Tea Party claim that the Cabal in Washington is trying to hijack America but with all the secrets that their politicians are keeping it seems to me that they are the ones intent on stealing something. You can drink the Kool-Aid Tea if you want, but I’ll stick to water.