The “TEA Party” effect

First of all, let us all breath a sigh of relief that the nasty political ads aren’t showing tonight. Instead, come January, the nastiness of the 2010 political campaign will simply move into the halls of Congress.  I happen to be a conservative Republican, that is, adhering to what the GOP used to claim some twenty years ago:  supportive of law and order for example.  Unless you happen to be an incumbent legislative candidate for office by the name of Phil Hart who decides to make it his political philosophy that he doesn’t care to pay taxes because they are “unconstitutional.”  Which actually translates into:  I am looking for an excuse to break the law.  What was also brought out post the primary, was that Phil Hart (Idaho) had cut school endowment timber to build his home.  Some years later, he makes a “donation,” which doesn’t even begin to cover the cost of the timber.  Oh yeah, scalawags can be seen as “heroes” as long as they have an R. after their names.  But guess who actually gets to pay for all this, even as these are only the same people who say that they are providing a government that answers to “the people.”  Oh yeah, the people get to pay for the misdeeds of their elected scalawags.  But, I do not see where the government is answering to the people or Phil Hart would have already resigned in shame.

Katie Couric, Bob Schieffer, and Jeff Greenfield were discussing the Democrats being in “disarray,” and Couric herself was really spinning and hyping a “TEA Party” 36 seat presence in Congress as a real major phenomenon.  Really?  That would only be a phenomenon if the “TEA Party” candidates actually worked with the rest of the GOP and didn’t engage in extremist style obstructionism.  But the prognostications for their actually doing that don’t look so good.  So, on Facebook tonight, commenting on one of CBS Evening News political hotsheets, I suggested that Couric and etc. missed the mark on who they should have been discussing as the party most likely to be in disarray.  Well, the GOP, of course.  Why, well the “TEA Party” went forth prepared to say it themselves, don’t let the GOP buy your votes…  And it just may be that Rand Paul would only repeal GOP generated bills instead of actually helping them pass anything.

What was that again about America taking their government back?

So, let us put it bluntly, GOP don’t crow too soon, the moment you let the barbarians through the gate (as the Romans once did for the Germanic tribes); you can be sure of a structural collapse.

Speaking of, the Republicans now say they are afraid of Sarah Palin, (politico.com).  You know that is proving to be quite ironic.  Between former Governor Palin, the “TEA Party,” and Fox News; they most certainly got the nation stirred up and going out to vote GOP.  Especially as Schieffer was to announce, that the independents were now voting GOP by 15%.  The independents were the “middle of the country.”  From who’s perspective?  But now, the GOP are “afraid” of one of the star personalities that put them back in the House of Representatives, that if she actually ran for the presidency in 2012, she’d lose badly.  The (old) left were derided for saying that she was unqualified.  This truly puts the GOP in an awkward position.  The woman who became one of the driving factors of the “TEA Party,” who could certainly be used to get the GOP closer to their coveted majority control, at least in the House, but who could then be pitched under the bus if she went on to exercise her own aspirations for a future political office.  If that were to prove true in Palin’s case, how about us, the rest of the nation?

In Idaho, especially in Kootenai Country, we have been subjected to a high degree of embarrassment watching “Rally Right” eat anyone up among the GOP who doesn’t think 1,000% their way.  People who are billed as “solid conservatives”(Huckleberries on line) are suddenly attacked as “RINOS” (Republicans In Name Only) for daring to disagree with this extremist faction or that elected criminal (Hart—see above).  If “Rally Right” is any indication of what the “TEA Party” in Congress might just do, the GOP won’t be in any position to govern.  It was also suggested that the rebels might even challenge Rep. Boehner for Speaker of the House.  Which is why I argue that it isn’t the losers the news team should have been paying attention to, rather are the winners going to produce an effective government?  Not necessarily.

Because CBS Evening News has a Facebook page, one of their posts had to do with whether the “TEA Party” in wanting to shrink both the government and the deficit [on paper] most certainly on the campaign trail, would be able to translate such desires into concrete legislative action.  Bob Woodward’s “The Agenda Inside the Clinton White House” described the efforts of the Clinton team to come up with budgetary proposals that would in fact reduce the national debt (at the time, in the billions of dollars) and deemed “too high” especially for a soft economy.  Reading the twists and turns of the various budgetary proposals as the in-coming Clinton administration tried to hammer out something that would ultimately pass Congressional approval; I can almost feel sorry for the “TEA Party” ultimately being able to achieve what Clinton, a Democrat, managed to achieve in eight years.  After all, as the president elect, Clinton had to deal with special interests who’d raise one heck of a scream if too much federal dough got cut away from their favorite programs and entitlements.  What do you think would become the case for freshmen “TEA Party” members of Congress.

It says a lot about the “Jimmy Stewart goes to Washington” style of idealism in the “TEA Party” movement.  It also says of the kind of people who never participated in politics before, who didn’t give a damn about the workings of government; not knowing much about the outside world, yet here they are jumping right in and trying to run it.   At least Clinton as president knew what he would be dealing with as to special interests.  He had dealt with much the same thing while Governor in Arkansas.  Now the “TEA Party” movement that puts any old proletariat up for a vote no matter how wacky the guy or gal is, isn’t asking if the newly elected have the cajonés  to actually stand up to the special interests who only financed the “TEA Party” candidacies and tell them they are  on their own when it comes to federal giveaways.  That would be a real irony to watch.  How principled would they be?

Oh yeah, there is much that Couric and her political analysts could have discussed as to the “winners” of midterm elections 2010.  Come 2012, I don’t think they’ll have much of a choice.

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