Social Question

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Does the American Tea Party movement pose a threat to American society?

Asked by Captain_Fantasy (11416 points ) March 28th, 2010

Some people seem to think so, but I think it’s just another movement.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

108 Answers

Qingu's avatar

America has a long history of ignorant populist movements. In a historical context, they’re probably less dangerous than earlier movements.

Though I do think it’s “dangerous,” in terms of having a smoothly functioning democracy, for such a large segment of the population to be so willfully ignorant and intellectually hypocritical. It’s also dangerous for large media companies to act like cults and forcefeed such people political propaganda—the Tea Party movement was essentially created and is maintained by Fox News.

DarkScribe's avatar

They are a little better organised than most.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

No – so far they’ve managed to look stupid more than present any unified thoughts.

ucme's avatar

Too much caffeine can be bad for you.I wouldn’t have thought that was the case here however.

Cruiser's avatar

Tea parties are what made America what it is today. Organized spirited opposition to Governments is the fertilizer for great things to come. May not herald wholesale change but even the most stubborn of Governments will sit up and take notice of the anger and frustration of it’s constituents.

jaytkay's avatar

Dangerous like it’s near-twin, the Jerry Springer Show.

philosopher's avatar

What we need is a better organized Independent party.
Leaders that represent the Middle Class.
Sarah Pallian represents stupidity.
Mother’s are suppose know what their teenagers daughters are up too.
My Mother always new who I was with when I was a teen; and she worked.
She could not even supervise her own daughter.
The Tea represents a bunch of loud mouthed nutty people. They go to far.
We need leaders that can bring Americans of all kinds together. Not separate us.

dpworkin's avatar

America’s changing demographics is now posing a danger to the White, working- and middle-class Southerners who largely make up the tea-parties.

The nation is tipping to a majority Asian, Black and Hispanic populace, and these people are frightened out of their minds.

Kraigmo's avatar

The Tea Party Movement is too co-opted to be a threat. It started out with Ron-Paul types who wanted to reform aggressive government, then become nothing but another God/Gays/Guns Machine for Republicans. The Tea Party movement, as it currently stands, is pathetic, and represents nothing more than the audience who watches Fox ‘News’.

Cruiser's avatar

@dpworkin Nice try….if WASPS becoming a threatened minority was the case there would have been a tea party a decade ago. This is all about lousy government and nothing more and any inference of racial and or minority issues is a lazy redirect of the real issues at hand.

dpworkin's avatar

Oh, I see, @Cruiser, That explains spitting on Civil Rights heroes, and using the N word at “health-care” demonstrations , and all the birther (and other wishful illegitimacy) crap about Obama. Thanks for clearing that up.

filmfann's avatar

Does the American Tea Party movement pose a threat to American society?

Yes, In two ways:
First, it’s the crazy party full of people convinced the President is a muslim born in Kenya, and is a socialist-fascist-communist-arab who is bent on black repairations and the destruction of Israel. And they have guns.
Secondly, it will splinter the Republican Party if it continues to grow. That will allow the Democrats to become even more entrenched. As a Democrat, you would think I like that, but I don’t. I enjoy the balance of the two views, and this will throw that off.
I would like a third party, but I would like it in the center, not far right.

davidbetterman's avatar

No, it poses no threat whatsoever. Coffee klatches are much more dangerous.

Lve's avatar

@dpworkin Spot on. There was an interesting op-ed in the NY Times on the Tea Party and their outrage at health care reform. Here is a quote from the article:
‘If Obama’s first legislative priority had been immigration or financial reform or climate change, we would have seen the same trajectory. The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play. It’s not happenstance that Frank, Lewis and Cleaver — none of them major Democratic players in the health care push — received a major share of last weekend’s abuse. When you hear demonstrators chant the slogan “Take our country back!,” these are the people they want to take the country back from.’
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/opinion/28rich.html

marinelife's avatar

No.

“The number of Iowans who like the tea party movement is smaller than the number of Americans who want marijuana legalized or the number of Americans who believe the government has had secret contact with extra-terrestrials.”

Source

jerv's avatar

No, except insofar as they make Americans, especially Conservatives, look like total jackass fucktards.

Then again, one of the unwritten corollaries to the First Amendment is the right to be an idiot, so I guess we can’t be too down on them for exercising their freedoms…. so long as I can exercise that same freedom to laugh my ass off at their expense :D

susanc's avatar

We need to understand that these people are real, scared, and
part of our community. Shitting all over them isn’t going to help.
Try reading the editorial cited above, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/opinion/28rich.html

AstroChuck's avatar

No. They’re just not bright enough. Even the more stupid among us are starting to figure this out. Give them a couple more months and they’ll evaporate.

cockswain's avatar

@jerv “fucktard” will now be in my vocabulary

cockswain's avatar

@AstroChuck will they get raptured, and take Sarah Palin with them?

jerv's avatar

@susanc I think that the tail end of that article is telling too:

“Are these politicians so frightened of offending anyone in the Tea Party-Glenn Beck base that they would rather fall silent than call out its extremist elements and their enablers? Seemingly so, and if G.O.P. leaders of all stripes, from Romney to Mitch McConnell to Olympia Snowe to Lindsey Graham, are afraid of these forces, that’s the strongest possible indicator that the rest of us have reason to fear them too. ”

Now, if there were some public denunciation of the actions of some of these wingnuts then I might have more respect for the Republican Party. As it stands, I take it as a sign that they actually approve of ignorance and violence though, so I can’t respect them at all right now.

Where does that leave all of the people who prefer sanity? The Democrats and Liberals, as they are the lesser of two evils right now.

Ron_C's avatar

I find it amazing that there was no such movement during the Bush administration. The tea party movement cannot be about bad government because the previous administration was nothing but bad. I cannot think of a policy that helped anyone that was not a corporate executive, very rich, or well connected to the right wing.

I find it amazing that those that suffered the most come to the aid of corporate war-mongers. The tea party movement is a corporate sponsored revolt by the ultra-right whose real objection is that they are out of power. There is no agenda except to discredit progressive leadership mixed in with a bit of white power rhetoric.

jerv's avatar

@Ron_C Say what you will, but the Right has generally been better at the whole “united front” thing, and does a decent job of rallying the troops. Then again, rabid extremism seems to work that way in general.

cockswain's avatar

@jerv Part of what makes the Tea Party movement unique relative to the less organized but steady protests throughout the Bush era is the gravity of the accusations, regardless of truth. People protesting the Iraq war and stuff like Blackwater and Halliburton made sense because it was backed by facts. However, the Tea Party has adopted a totally alarmist ideology about how our country is being taken over by radicals who want to trample our freedoms. If everything they believed was true, we actually would be in more dire times than we are. If such a situation were true, it would make sense for us all to unify and protest. So while the protests during the Bush era made sense for logical reasons, the Tea Party beliefs, if true, would actually be more alarming than an unjustified war fueled by corporate interests. don’t take that to mean I’m in the least bit supportive of unjustified war I sincerely hope they just lose interest because a new season of American Idol or Ice Road Truckers starts, because it seems obvious telling the the actual truth behind their statements makes zero difference.

Ron_C's avatar

@jerv absolutely, the right can rally the troops. So could Hitler. It is always easy to rally the troops when there is a enemy and the right wing is really good at creating enemies and finding countries or groups to attack. They regularly send armies to blow up brown people, have rallies to attack gay people, see nothing wrong with shooting doctors that help women with abortions, attack school boards to foist “christian education” and revisionist history on them. They also sponsor radio and television programs that are long on drama but short on facts. It is easy to organize idiots that haven’t had an independent thought in years.

Running the Democratic party is like hearding cats. They managed to have a debate between conservatives and liberals, on health care without the aid of the Republicans.
Like Wil Rogers said, I’m not a member of an organized political party, I’m a Democrat”.

UScitizen's avatar

The loose association referred to as “Tea Party” is only a danger to the Marxist among us. Those who fear these true Americans immediatly resort to name calling. I see it above: eg: ignorant, racist, nutty, and loud mouthed. All Americans, whether left, right, or center, should be allowed to express their positions without being maligned.

cockswain's avatar

@UScitizen I can assure you it is not fear that causes me to think badly of people that think we are headed towards socialism, Obama is a Muslim, Obama is a terrorist b/c his middle name is Hussein, Obama is like Hitler, Obama isn’t a US citizen, Obama is a Nazi, we are headed to communism, we are headed to fascism, Obama will take away our guns, Czars are taking over, and that there will be death panels. Not fear directly, but maybe indirectly as this means our people are so easily led by bs and get angry when you try to point out the truth. That will lead to a really dumb nation, and that is something to be scared of. Starting calling people niggers and fags, and even more legitimacy is lost.

dpworkin's avatar

@UScitizen Does “expression” include expectorating on people, indulging in racial and gender slurs, and in outright lies by candidates such as Scot Brown who is trying to raise money by pretending that Rachel Maddow is running against him, when he knows it isn’t and has never been true?

Ron_C's avatar

@cockswain those people have been around for a long time. The tea party movement, Fox News, and talk radio give them a voice and attention they do not deserve. Many of those people live their life on the edge and it wouldn’t take much instigation from nutcases like Glenn Beck to sent them right over the violent edge.

cockswain's avatar

@Ron_C But for some reason that attitude isn’t as widely condemned right now as it would have been even several years ago. Perhaps they were appeased when Bush was in office and Fox News wasn’t telling them we were in grave danger.

Ron_C's avatar

@cockswain
Of course these people didn see a threat, they are Bush’s constant 20% support.

Qingu's avatar

Most of the Tea Party is simply a populist rebranding of the Republican Party… since “Republican” is unpopular now, you have to call yourself something else to get followers.

jerv's avatar

@UScitizen What would you call people who blatantly spread provably false information? I think that that qualifies as “ignorant”. Or do you honestly believe that President Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim?

I don’t think anybody in their right mind would deny that they are outspoken enough to earn “loudmouthed” as well. Quiet people don’t have rallies like that or get nearly as much press, and they certainly don’t go proselytizing like the Tea Party.

“Nutty” is rather derogatory, but I regard anyone who is more interested in rhetoric than reality to be of questionable sanity, so I can see that label being applied as well. Maybe not the most PC term, but not entirely uncalled for, especially considering that they have no reservations about being even more insulting.

As for “racist”... well, I think that that label is thrown around a little too freely and am willing to give them the benefit of a doubt there.

I also feel that others should have the right to disagree with them without being maligned, but that isn’t going to happen. Look at what they’ve said/done already and tell me that asking for them to be exempt from being picked on isn’t hypocritical at best.

They have the right to say what they want and so does everyone else!
That’s part of the price of freedom.

@Qingu Questionable. I know enough Conservatives that are ready to jump to the Democrat side merely to avoid being associated with people like the Tea Party that I can’t really agree with that assessment.
Why they don’t make their own party is something I am still trying to figure out. I guess the two-party system is so indoctrinated into us that they feel that it’s better to lose control of “their” party than to stick up for their own beliefs.

jaytkay's avatar

The teabaggers who claim they aren’t Republicans are “independents” who think the GOP is not right-wing enough.

Polling evidence indicates that tea partiers are just conservative Republicans by another name

jerv's avatar

@jaytkay You mean like the people who call John McCain, Colin Powell, and George W. Bush “Liberals”?

jaytkay's avatar

@jerv You mean like the people who call John McCain, Colin Powell, and George W. Bush “Liberals”?

I mean people who will not admit conservative ideas brought wreck and ruin.

The Bush administration was a disaster. The teabaggers can’t admit their side failed. Instead they pretend the GOP isn’t their team.

jerv's avatar

@jaytkay Like many things, there is some good to the Conservative side, but it is also easy to go too far. Unfortunately, “too far” is considered not far enough in today’s society, and moderation is seen as weakness.

philosopher's avatar

@jerv that goes for the extreme R and L.
Moderation is key to most things in life. Never party seems to comprehend this.

jaytkay's avatar

Moderation is key to most things in life. Never party seems to comprehend this.

We don’t have two equally wrong extremes and a reasonable middle. Democrats peacefully endured the Bush years.

When Democrats are in office, the teabaggers and Joseph Stacks feel a need to act out.

jerv's avatar

@philosopher When the Left gets as uppity as the Right has been lately, I think many people will shift their crosshairs in a heartbeat. I know I will ;)

philosopher's avatar

@jerv
The way Hillary was cheated and abused by the L confirmed to me that I am an Independent. The rules committee was a joke. They were totally unfair. I totally disrespect all of them. They have zero integrity.
I always see both sides and wish they could compromise. Based on common sense and documented facts but neither the Republicans or Democrat’s are willing
No one represents the Middle Class.

jerv's avatar

@philosopher Hillary…. * groan *

Judi's avatar

Haven’t read all the answers yet, but I was thinking about this this morning.

Michelle Bachman went on Hardball and said she thought members of congress should be investigated for anti-American behavior.
Then I say her on the patio of the capitol waving a “Don’t Tread on Me” Flag. To use that flag during a time of war against a foreign force is one thing, but to use it against your own country is just about treasonous!
Maybe Ms. Bachman should be the FIRST congress person to get the investigation!

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

The views of this cluster could be viewed as treasonous, certainly. I don’t think that giving them the added attention is a good plan though.

dpworkin's avatar

I think there is a danger in discounting the depth of their fear and anger, and in dismissing them as a sort of a joke. This is also the class of people who died during many a war so that we would be free to say what we like about them. They need education and reassurance and sympathy and they need to have their inherent dignity acknowledged, while at the same time we deplore the bad behavior.

Judi's avatar

Stole this from my daughters facebook page:
This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I watched this while eating breakfast of US Department of Agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

At the appropriate time as regulated by the US Congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Naval Observatory. I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads built by the local, state, and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve bank. On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to send via the US Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After work, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to a house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and fire marshal’s inspection, and which has not been plundered of all it’s valuables thanks to the local police department.

I then log on to the internet which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration and post on freerepublic.com and Fox News forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can’t do anything right.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

Lurve for you @Judi!

jerv's avatar

@dpworkin I acknowledge that they have the right to be upset. I know I am! However, they seem to actively avoid education, and I find that troubling. At best, I cannot support them, even if I respect their courage.
On the one hand, I want to applaud them for at least standing up, but on the other, I just want to smack them with a rolled-up newspaper and send them back to the 3rd grade.

phillis's avatar

I don’t want anybody representing me who kicks MS patients, calls people niggers or fags, flies a rebel flag, and cannot conduct themselves in a civil manner. When you do those things, your point, no matter HOW legit it may be, cannot be heard over your actions when you are in an organized protest.

I do agree with some of the things they are saying, and if thier movements, or any of the ones that come after this, works, then I am a happy RVer. Civil movements such as this are the only things that have kept the greed of politicians at bay, and has barely been enough as it is! When you fuck with my rights and my money, your face had better be turned in the same direction as your ass.

cockswain's avatar

@Judi That is just terrific. Well put. You should be proud of your daughter. I may well borrow that sometime.

Judi's avatar

@cockswain ; She may have found it somewhere else. But thanks. She IS a pretty amazing young woman.

dpworkin's avatar

Yes, I’m afraid she didn’t write it – it’s been floating around on the Net for a couple of months at least.

janbb's avatar

@dpworkin Regarding your previous post about the depth of fear of the Know Nothings – err, Tea Party members; I understand what you are saying about education and sympathy. However, do you think there is any realistic way to have a dialogue with them and to bring them around? Is there anything Obama could do, for example, that would stop their demonization of him. He hs been reasonable much of the time, conciliatory with Republicans, and what does he (or any other Democrat or non-white) get but hatred and vitriol. I agree that we ignore them at our peril but is there any other solution except for trying to marginalize them or hoping they marginalize the increasingly nutty Republican Party?

jerv's avatar

@janbb One option I can see is a split in the GOP. Sure, it may hurt for a while, but in the long run it might be a good thing. And who knows; maybe that will give the discontents on the Left some courage and cause the Democrats to have their own split (we all know how diverse they are).
Whichever way things go, I see politics changing quite a bit in the near future.

dpworkin's avatar

I’m talking about individuals, not groups when I say they deserve our sympathy and respect. Many, many of my neighbors here in this small dairy town, hard hit by the recession, are Tea Party sympathizers. We talk. We are neighbors. We help one another. They know what my political views are – that didn’t stop them from showing up to help when my kitchen caught fire.

It’s hard to have contempt for a group when you have learned to know its members.

That was Branch Rickey’s genius in getting Jackie Robinson to play for the Dodgers: once the team mates had traveled with him, showered with him, played ball with him every day, they stopped seeing him as a threatening Black man crossing the color line, and began to see him as a friend. That’s when they began to get angry when he wasn’t allowed to eat in the same restaurants as they when they were on the road.

You know that I despise the Tea Party political philosophy. I even think some of them may be dangerous people. However, they can’t all be tarred with the brush of stupidity or bigotry or racism, or whatever.

janbb's avatar

@jerv I would love to see a split in the Republican Party and a more moderate group re-emerging. I was sick that Lincoln Chafee – a great senator – was defeated in 2008. But I don’t see where these moderates are right now, except for possibly Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins or who might have the courage to emerge as a leader of them. Certainly not McCain who is pandering to the Far Right by getting back in bed with Palin.

@dpworkin We both know what demonizing a group of people can lead to and certainly your point about relating to individuals and their fears is valid. We do have to find a way to talk to each other in this country or we are doomed. But the public face of the Tea Party as a movement is hard to stomach. And one more thing; Obama is a thoughtful, centrist liberal; as I said above, if they refuse to look beyond his skin and demonize him, what hope is there?

dpworkin's avatar

It sure as hell is. I hate it.

jerv's avatar

@janbb McCain and Palin in bed.. thank you for the disturbing mental image! I’m going to gouge my eyes out now…

cockswain's avatar

i love the analysis in this thread. It’s been thoughtful and not disrupted by hostile argument or name-calling

janbb's avatar

@cockswain You want disruption and name-calling, we can do that too. :-)

cockswain's avatar

@janbb no, this is great. so many potentially great discussions get derailed by rancorous arguments, and most people abandon the thread. This is more like what I wish fluther usually was

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@dpworkin Yep – I agree – the individuals are simply being pulled by the only force that seems to be moving in a direction they understand.

janbb's avatar

But isn’t that what’s so scary? We’ve seen how fear and poverty and miunderstanding can be whipped up by cynics and demagogues into hatred and violence.

dpworkin's avatar

Oh well, @janbb, the Glen Becks, the Sarah Palins, the Bill O’Reillys, the Rush Limbaughs are the scum of the earth, and I wouldn’t mind watching them die of a painful and disfiguring disease. But imagine the depth of naivete, or the suspension of disbelief it takes to believe anything any of those fuckers says.

janbb's avatar

And yet, plenty of folk seem to.

dpworkin's avatar

Thus may we gauge the depths of their despair.

janbb's avatar

We’re in despair too; why do they succumb to that and we – what lies do we believe?

janbb's avatar

Oh, I guess maybe it was “change we can believe in.”

jerv's avatar

?!
I, for one, am having a hard time believing.

Is it a bad sign when you watch/read the news and your first thought is, “You have got to be fucking joking!”? I used to do that about 2–3 times a year; now it’s more like at least three times a week.

philosopher's avatar

@jerv
LOL me too. I scream at the TV.
Violence is rarely the answer. I do not wish to live like people in Iraq do.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, if the American Tea Party movement mutates into a fascist movement. At the moment it would still seem borderline.

‘If the concepts enemy and fear constitute the energetic principles of politics, a democratic political system is impossible, whether the fear is produced from within or without. If freedom is absence of restraints, the restraints to be removed are many, but the psychological restraint of fear ranks first.’

The tea baggers haven’t understood democracy at all. They think that they are only represented if the President is a Republican who can rely on a Republican-dominated Senate and House of Representatives. It’s okay when citizens are exercising their right to criticize the government. What is not okay is the name of their movement and the related slogans, as well as the style of their criticism. The people of the British colonies had to pay taxes, but were not properly represented in the British political system. This led to the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Taxation without representation is wrong. We don’t have this situation in 2010.

The style of confrontation of the tea baggers is disgusting and frightening. Again, debate is good. Even heated debates are good. But there are limitations. Health insurance for everyone is going to cause Armageddon? Obama wants to pull the plug on grandma? Comments like “Obama is a socialist-fascist and will put you in internment camps if you let him reform healthcare” are a terrible insult to all victims of Nazism. Well, you know, Obama, Hitler, ah, we can’t really tell the difference.

Shameful. To say the least.

Kraigmo's avatar

Here’s an article about this very subject I found today, regarding the Tea Parties and how Naomi Wolf (who is anti-war, anti-fascist, and in favor of socialized medicine) observes the positive effects of the Tea Parties and the Tea Partyers.

Although I’m cynical of the “Tea Parties”, I agree with Naomi Wolf about the good side of them.

http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/146184

jerv's avatar

@mattbrowne It wouldn’t be quite so funny if it weren’t for the fact that “Obamacare” is basically a Republican proposal from back in the early-‘90s.

mattbrowne's avatar

@jerv – I welcome good proposals. From all parties!

Ron_C's avatar

The “tea party” movement is made up of an un-natural grouping of people with causes. The most vocal are the militia types that want to make this a gun toting, christian nation. Next, there are the libertarians who are very close to anarchists and don’t want any government involvement. The Ayn Rand types promote a selfish, self-centered every man for themselves society. The poor and underprivileged be damned.

Then there is this curious group of senior citizens, on Medicare, and against government involvement in health care. The may have an excuse because health care company propaganda has targeted them into thinking that they will lose their health care.

Then there is the “Bush 24%” that are just stupid enough to think that Bush and Reagan were excellent presidents. There is nothing you can do with them because they are so easily lead by Republican party operatives.

Storms's avatar

No, they are the embodiment of mainstream American outrage at out-of-control government. They are also peaceful and educated.

Ron_C's avatar

@Storms not from what I have seen of the town hall meetings and the demonstration signs in Washington. The people I know that are involved aren’t unintelligent but they, in my opinion, care way too much about guns and protecting corporations that don’t have their best interests in mind.

dpworkin's avatar

@Storms Where were the ones who spit on Black Congresspeople educated?

Ron_C's avatar

@dpworkin good point. I avoided it because the tea party supporters say that those people were not representative of the “real teaparty”.

I guess like the militia guys aren’t representative of the “real right wingers”.

Storms's avatar

@dpworkin There are hundreds of thousands of people who’ve attended tea party events. That’s like nuking the west coast for the alleged actions of L.A. gangs. Could some guy in a group of thousands have gone against the grain and done something like that? Very possibly (seen the video, saw no spit), even though only two people know for sure—the alleged spitter and the victim. Doesn’t really mean anything.

@Ron_C Well, what have you seen? Have you been to a tea party in person or is your perception limited to what a finely-honed pro-government media has presented to you? Myself, I’ve seen these people in person and it’s not like what you see from their detractors.

Also, what does some cult in Michigan have to do with criticising the government?

Ron_C's avatar

@Storms I have been anti-government since Reagen. I have been to a number of political events and work closely with people that go to the Tea Party events.

I wonder where all this public spirit was when Bush was spying on Americans, writing freedom limiting and probably unconstitutional laws like the patriot act, and spending his inherited surplus. My feeling is that the majority of the Tea Party people are against the government because they lost power when the Republicans were thrown our and the government is lead by a guy that is partly black. I choose not to be associated with that caliber of person.

Cruiser's avatar

@dpworkin If this Black Congress“person” Emanuel Cleaver was actually spit upon this would be a huge story for the Dems and he refuses to talk about even denies it even happened! Much of the Tea Party “incidents” are being proven to be orchestrated by the opposition and I would not be surprised if this wasn’t one of them and I guarantee the Dems will try more fast moves as this movement keeps growing.

Storms's avatar

@Ron_C I gather they were in a state of hibernation when Bush was in office, lulled to stupidity by party politics. By the end of Bush’s terms, many of them probably felt like they got burned. Who does the Party pick as their next contender—almost the same exact guy who’s leaving. Then, then, we get a guy who doubles or triples down on all of Bush’s bad policies and comes up with new ones of his own. More wiretapping, more spending, more bad laws, more government control. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s from the party they never liked.

But it would be fallacious to assume they are pro-Republican (although they are pro-republic). I’ve attended 3 of these events and heard Republican Party speakers drowned out by booing at two of them. Most tea parties outright reject requests from Republican politicians to speak. These are mostly people who have figured out that you can’t have freedom with a two-party system.

Are they a bunch of racists? Well, that would be convenient for people who disagree with them but I do not think it is so. Out of the thousands of signs I’ve seen in person, not a one hinted at racism. The counter-rallies, on the other hand, seem to have an awful lot to say about, well, Jews.

Ron_C's avatar

@Storms I agree with most of what you said but don’t understand how improving health care could be their rallying point, Keeping health care companies in charge of healt care just seem really really stupid.

Storms's avatar

@Ron_C Like the two-party system itself, it’s a choice between Crap and Crap-lite.

And then there’s the shady process that the government used to ram it through in the face of 60+ percentage points of disapproval for the plan.

Ron_C's avatar

@Storms you should check your statistics again. The only place you hear the 60% statistic is on Fox. There was one pole that 60% didn’t like the present bill but more than half of those didn’t like it because it give subsidies to the health insurance companies. Most of the people wanted single payer Medicare type system.

jerv's avatar

@Storms Have you also considered that maybe the opposition was due more to just being sick and fucking tired of hearing about it? I mean, the more media coverage given to the status of the healthcare debate, the less time we have to hear about what sexual positions Tiger Woods used during his affairs, and that is what Americans really want to hear about.

Ron_C's avatar

@jerv You have to admit that Woods has much better taste i women than the previous horn dog record holder, Bill Clinton.

He is also very brave being a person of mixed race dating a Nazi tattoo model.

jerv's avatar

@Ron_C True, that does take balls.

Unfortunately, society and (especially) the internet being what they are today, I am afraid it’s only a matter of time before we actually see video of said balls:such is the nature of Rule 34

Ron_C's avatar

@jerv “If It Exists, There Is Porn of It. No Exceptions.” I have to admit that this is the first time I saw that rule. You are probably right.

Storms's avatar

@Ron_C The only poll I’ve seen to support the position that people want an expanded version of Medicare is a CBS/New York Times poll, which I trust even less than FOX.

But I digress. Government has control of quite enough without placing everyone’s lives in their hands. Consolidating all that power in the hands of one entity is crazy—not to mention the complete lack of medical innovation that results from nationalised, non-profit health care systems.

It’s easy to pull on people’s heartstrings by telling sad stories, much harder to make them think and to see a conclusion that doesn’t invoke warm, fuzzy feelings at the thought of being cared for by the ever-loving government.

Another thing that gets overlooked is that the health care industry that President Obama and congress demonise to further their goals actually didn’t fight against reform, no matter how much it gets recited—The more massive a corporation becomes, the more comfortable it becomes with the idea of a merger with government (one hundred percent job security and guys with holding cells and guns mandating the purchase of your product, NICE). But if we are to have any hope of preserving liberty then we must keep government and business separate and this is something that both parties have failed to do (usually with Republicans on the side of giving business power over government and Democrats the opposite).

jerv's avatar

And what if corporations become the de facto government?

Storms's avatar

@jerv That’s the end result, either way—it doesn’t matter if it’s the government absorbing corporations or corporations growing beyond their natural restrictions by petitioning government…

“No Matter Who Wins, We’re Screwed”

jerv's avatar

… and without lubricant!

Ron_C's avatar

@Storms you are right that the health companies didn’t fight this particular reform because the government is now steering and subsidizing people into the system. My question is why does the health insurance industry exist. How can you make money unless you ration care, limit participation, and cherry pick customers?

Therefore, there should be NO health insurance industry. The whole premise is wrong. The only legitimate provider is government and community based health maintenance organizations and they must be regulated and non-profit. This is a just and fitting use of government,

Storms's avatar

The premise that is wrong is that we had a free market and it failed and that government can make it better.

We had a free market and it succeeded wildly. Then the government gradually found excuses to get involved and make up rules and control things—THEN the market started failing, at which point the government had even more excuses to get involved in the market even more. The recent health care “reform” bill is just another slope on that downward spiral towards an entire industry being completely run by government bureaucrats.

Taking care of our all our needs is not a legitimate function of the federal government, it is the function of a cradle to grave nanny state populated entirely by overgrown children who are weaned from their mother’s teat only to latch on to another.

cockswain's avatar

@Storms The deregulated market resulted in recession in 2008. That’s not even debatable.

Storms's avatar

@cockswain No, it’s far too absurd to be debatable. Thanks for bringing humor to the discussion. Last time I was that amused, somebody claimed that President Obama was a tax cutter, a centrist and a fiscal hawk.

cockswain's avatar

I believe Obama did cut taxes, recently allowed drilling in the ocean for oil, and cut NASA spending and encouraged the industry to privatize space travel.

Storms's avatar

Oh, that’s right, it was actually Barack Obama who claimed that he was a tax cutter and a fiscal hawk using those exact same points.

cockswain's avatar

So doing those things doesn’t actually count?

Storms's avatar

The NASA move seems legit to me as long as we aren’t giving up our space superiority completely as I fear. Tax cutter? Drill, baby, drill-er? Not so much.

ItsAHabit's avatar

The tea party people are VERY dangerous. Those yahoos actually want the government to stop spending money it doesn’t have and that the taxpayers can’t afford. They seem to care about what kind of economy we leave to our children and grandchildren. Why should we care about the future? We’re living in the present, not the future.

jerv's avatar

@ItsAHabit So… they are not Conservatives then, since they oppose deficit spending. In many ways they are more like Democrats who generally favor a balanced budget.

Gotcha ;)

Kraigmo's avatar

@ItsAHabit , you make a good sarcastic point there, but at the same time, the very people who consider themselves “Tea Partyers” now (generally) are the people who voted for the most wasteful and destructive President in 20th/21st century history… George Bush.

Now I realize there’s another type of Tea Partyer, who is more into guys like Ron Paul than George Bush… but those Tea Partyers got co-opted by the Republican and religious loyalist ones.

jerv's avatar

@Kraigmo It’s that sort of flip-flopping and hypocrisy that makes it even harder for me to detect sarcasm. Most of the time I’ve thought that someone was kidding when discussing politics, it turned out that they were not. Therefore, I now assume that the crazier something sounds, the more serious they are. How sad is that?

Ron_C's avatar

@Storms “The NASA move seems legit to me as long as we aren’t giving up our space superiority completely as I fear” This is what is confusing to me about the Tea Party and conservatives. The say that they want the government out of their business then demand good roads, a superior space program, and social security.

O.K. I guess the only things that you guys want to cut is the other guy’s benefits. I guess we should dump unions and bring in more undocumented (and very cheap) labor. I guess is is o.k. that the banks were running a PONZI scheme and that BP ignored safety rules and faked environment impact statements because they were making money. Like the governor of Mississippi said, “we shouldn’t prosecute BP, they just made a mistake.

I seriously don’t understand the entire conservative agenda. Please explain where us ordinary citizens benefit.

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