Social Question

babaji's avatar

What do you think about the Tea Party?

Asked by babaji (1445points) February 5th, 2010

There’s a Tea Party movement that seems to be gathering support. Do you know anything about the Tea Party?

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51 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I think the Tea Party is made up of a bunch of reactionaries who are frightened of the changes desred by the majority of voters in the States.

p8prclip's avatar

I have heard of it but for some reason the media doesn’t cover it:)

wilma's avatar

I’m waiting to make a judgment. I think the basic idea of breaking away from both of the two top parties, and starting out with something new might be a good thing. It depends on if they go along with the same ol’ political crap that the Democrats and Republicans have been giving us for quite a few years now. It seems to be getting worse with them, (Dems and Reps.) I am not sure that this will be anything new.
The media just seems to make fun of them, but I don’t have a lot of respect for most of the media lately so I can’t trust what they show me.
I just wish that they would quit calling them teabaggers, cause that is a whole nother thing.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Boston, December 16, 1773.

Sarcasm's avatar

1) They all have huge erections for Fox news. It’s a medical term. And even the women have them.
2) They laughed Ron Paul away during election time for his radical beliefs that our government is too large.
3) They said not a word about the government’s spending and size until the crown changed hands to Obama.
4) They all have posters of Glen Beck in their homes, and have him on their computer wallpaper.

p8prclip's avatar

I think politics is WWE

jrpowell's avatar

@wilma :: They started calling them self teabaggers. They just didn’t know what it meant. hahaha

And I think the first speech given at their convention today sums things up nicely.

The opening-night speaker at first ever National Tea Party Convention ripped into President Obama, Sen. John McCain and “the cult of multiculturalism,” asserting that Obama was elected because “we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote in this country.”

The speaker, former Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., told about 600 delegates in a Nashville, Tenn., ballroom that in the 2008 election, America “put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House … Barack Hussein Obama.”

It is brilliant that they got 600 people to pay $549 each to watch a few speeches. Palin is walking away with 100K for a thirty minute speech.

But my overall thoughts are they are racist people that are unsure of history. The first Tea Party was about taxation without representation. These idiots can vote so the Tea Party thing doesn’t really work.

And I wonder where these people were when Bush dropped a few Trillion on wars and tax cuts for the rich. Oh, Bush was white.

Qingu's avatar

@wilma, the Tea Party are Republicans.

When Republicans are unpopular, Republicans tend to self-identify as “independents.” Like how Bill O’Reilly claims to be an independent.

They are fringe Republicans who only give the appearance of being against party politics because they don’t like moderate Republicans.

And the movement itself was obviously manufactured by Fox News, which incessantly promoted the movement and breathlessly covered the rallies, and even dispatched their “news” team to rile up the rallygoers.

mxilla's avatar

Those participating in it are free to do so, by all means. But I personally think those in the Tea Party it are uninformed, and should realize the value of uniting together as a people in these times instead of dividing.

Your candidate didn’t get elected, get over it.

laureth's avatar

I think that for being as pro-business as they are, it’s fairly amusing that they chose a name in honor of the destruction of a bunch of merchandise belonging to the Dutch East India Company, the biggest multi-national company of its time.

Also, a lot of their talking points seem to be factually challenged, but the movement doesn’t seem to attract the sort of followers that let that get between them and a good show of waving torches and pitchforks.

p8prclip's avatar

Yes, but the merchandise(though in the possession of the DEIC) actually belonged to the British who were levying huge taxes on early America.

syz's avatar

It seems to be a great way to get the oddest of the odd together in one place. (Look how nice and polite I was! I had an internal debate, and went for “nice” rather than “scathing”.)

laureth's avatar

Well what do you know. Having looked up what someone told me, I learned that it was competing against Dutch tea, and belonged to the British East India Company. While my name for the company was wrong, it’s still a big company’s tea they were tossing in the harbor, which doesn’t bode well for the Tea Partiers.

That said, I’d also like to add that while they claim to be a grassroots movement, it seems to have been sparked by a Chicago commodities trader complaining about the unfairness of helping people with their mortgages, and fanned into flame by one of the Shrub’s men, Dick Armey. Astroturf indeed.

Master's avatar

I can’t wait to hear the mumbles of a teabagger’s upside-down perspective.

CaptainHarley's avatar


I deeply resent the implication that I’m a racist. You have no idea who I am, or what I believe other than what can be gleaned from my various posts on here. Neither do you know who the teabaggers are or what they believe.

p8prclip's avatar

Claiming that it’s not a spontaneous grassroots phenomenon is just delusional. The vast numbers of Tea Party goers debunks that claim…and to claim that it’s somehow displaced Republicans is deluded as well. A large percentage of the TPM are Democrats. It doesn’t help quadrupling the national debt in a year and printing money to cover the rampant spending. The Tea Party is real…if you choose to blind yourself to it’s legitimacy; only strengthens it:)

CaptainHarley's avatar

It’s angry!

augustlan's avatar

@p8prclip “A large percentage of the TPM are Democrats.” That’s the first time I’ve heard that. Can you back that up with a neutral source?

jrpowell's avatar

@CaptainHarley :: Go for it. Lay out what you think. What are your positions? Really, what do the teabaggers want? All I have seen is the victim card.

augustlan's avatar

@johnpowell So you think @p8prclip‘s response is in jest? I would be relieved, but I somehow doubt it.

jrpowell's avatar

The money shot.

“The medical term for Down Syndrome is Trisomy-21 or Trisomy-g. It is often shortened in medical slang to Tri-g. ”

This can’t be a coincidence.

gemiwing's avatar

Honestly, the tea baggers I know are between 45 and 60, upper middle-class, own their own home, shop at specialty food stores (whole foods etc), own more than one car and listen to Rush Limbaugh.

That’s all I’ve got.

LunaChick's avatar

People who support the Tea Party movement are not all upper middle-class or rich. Many are working class. They are also not all right-wing radicals. The majority of people supporting the movement are Independents.

Most supporters believe that the US Government should not spend money it does not have.Where does the Government plan on getting the money to pay for the record spending, included in the budget? They will need to raise taxes. When taxes increase, for businesses (including small businesses) prices also increase – that will lead to less spending by individuals.

If increased taxes don’t cover the spending, the Government just prints more money. When they print money to fund the stimulus package, etc… it devalues the dollar. That is something every US citizen should be concerned with.

Pazza's avatar

If the tea involves vodka, I’m in!.....

Pazza's avatar

@p8prclip – wot, weelie weelie exciting?

Pazza's avatar

@LunaChick – Like it, although my personal view is that politicians don’t solve problems, they just blame the other party for them and then offer solutions to make more problems. Most of them are un-qualified for the job, but are great salesman/women, though maybe I’ve got it wrong and thats what makes them perfect for the job?

laureth's avatar

@p8prclip – rather, thinking they are totally spontaneous and grassroots would be the less factual position. They have Fox News support and are backed by the likes of corporate lobbyist Dick Armey (like I linked to up there). If that’s what the Right thinks is “grassroots” they are fairly mistaken.

(Where I come from, at least, “grassroots” means organized by the little people from the bottom up, not from corporate sponsorship on down.)

p8prclip's avatar

if you google “sorry I voted for Obama” you will find about 1.5 million pages. People are now making money printing T-shirts saying just that…a large number of these democrats are in the Tea Party. Listen to some of the interviews from Tea-party attendees and you’ll hear Democrats. Look at the signs carried by Tea-party goers and you’ll see Democrats…ask some of you Democrat friends if they approve of 9000 earmarks in the stimulus bill. A president who campaigns on eliminating earmarks, and then allowing so many has to answer to someone…naturally it’s the Tea-party:)

Qingu's avatar

@p8prclip and @LunaChick, please explain to me how the Tea Party plans to simultaneously cut the deficit and lower taxes.

Qingu's avatar

@p8prclip, please cite the “9,000 earmarks” you are talking about.

Qingu's avatar

That’s the omnibus bill, not the recovery act.

Try again?

And regardless, that list isn’t nearly 9,000 earmarks regardless.

LunaChick's avatar

@Qingu – does it really matter that the earmarks are in the omnibus bill? There are over 9000 earmarks in that one bill. We really need to cut down on this type of spending, if we ever want to lower the deficit.

At this point, lowering the deficit and taxes is nearly impossible, but that doesn’t mean we should just ignore increased pork barrel spending. One step at a time and, hopefully, we can get out of the (fairly recent) habit of overspending that started with Bush and continues with Obama.

Qingu's avatar

@LunaChick, please support your assertion that there are over 9,000 earmarks in the omnibus bill.

Also, this particular bill was passed in February—not one month after Obama took office. And many of the earmarks come from Republican congressmen.

And Obama acknowledged the problem of earmarks in the omnibus bill when he was at the House Republicans’ retreat:

I was confronted at the beginning of my term with an omnibus package that did have a lot of earmarks from Republicans and Democrats, and a lot of people in this chamber. And the question was whether I was going to have a big budget fight, at a time when I was still trying to figure out whether or not the financial system was melting down and we had to make a whole bunch of emergency decisions about the economy. So what I said was let’s keep them to a minimum, but I couldn’t excise them all.

What would you have done if you were Obama?

And do you support Obama’s proposal to put all earmarks online?

It’s easy to complain about problems without offering any solutions to them.

And by the way, earmarks are a fraction of a percentage of our spending, so fixing the earmark problem won’t even make a dent in the things you’re complaining about.

Qingu's avatar

Also, Bush didn’t start deficit spending. Look back to Saint Reagan for the (modern) beginnings of that phenomenon.

LunaChick's avatar

@Qingu – Obama made a pledge (re: earmark reform) in which he stated he would use line item vetos: “When I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.”

If I were Obama, I would have done what I pledged to do. Not all earmarks are wasteful spending, but many are – for those, I would use a line item veto.

Also, I was referring to the record spending, we’ve seen in the past decade, not spending in general. Reference: Under Bush, Federal Spending Increases at Fastest Rate in 30 Years

laureth's avatar

@LunaChick – As it stands, the line item veto is not something the President can decide to do one day. Luckily, at the Q&A session with the Republicans the other day, at least one of the Republicans in the House said they’d be willing to work with Obama on this one so he can have that tool in his arsenal. Congresscritters (on both sides) haven’t traditionally been willing to do that, since it might be their “very sensible spending” that gets cut, not “that other guy’s pork project.”

p8prclip's avatar

I heard an interesting statistic the other day. George Clooney raised something like 66 million dollars for Haiti…and it would take a fund drive like that every day for 158 years just to cover the money spent in the last year. You can claim that the Tea-party isn’t legit, but check the polls on some of these big spenders up for election in 2010, and you will know that your wrong… like I said before, if you choose to blind yourself to it’s legitimacy; only strengthens it.

laureth's avatar

No one is denying that it’s a movement of people with very strong opinions, @p8prclip. Speaking only for myself, though, I have seen that opinion and emotion can be very easily motivated by beautiful speeches that go straight to the gut but which aren’t necessarily factual. People will believe what they want to believe, and all it takes sometimes to get a bunch of votes is to stroke people who feel alienated.

Example. Shortly after the Civil War, the South had a bunch of newly freed slaves around. The white folks were feeling put out that their traditional source of labor (and of feeling like they were at least better than someone) were gone. It would not have taken a lot of effort to convince those people that the right thing to do was go join the KKK and lynch some “uppity” blacks. After all, they were out to take your job, perhaps your woman, your social status, and darn it all, why weren’t they all deferential anymore? These were white folks who very much wanted to believe that black folks weren’t even really human.

Nowadays, we know better. But just like the southern whites were easy to lead into hate, I think the Tea Partiers are being similarly led. They lost both houses, the Presidency, and that crazy Obama guy with the funny name – (it would be easy to believe he’s Muslim and not even American!) – wants to change up the whole world they know! All that’s needed is their very own news outlet to tell them things they want to hear (and Fox fulfills that nicely) and some savvy, moneyed politicians who oppose Obama but desperately want an angry voting bloc to help elect them, and all of a sudden you have a Tea Party movement. Tell them that a stimulus package designed by an educated President to try to avoid the next Great Depression is wasteful spending and they’ll jump aboard, because that’s a whole lot of zeroes and anyone can tell that spending that much money is more than we should be. Never mind that it’s like an out of work guy buying a new suit to try to get a job interview – they think that the jobless guy shouldn’t be spending money on any new suits, he should just sit home. And besides, who’s that uppity educated President think he is with his fy-nan-shul advisors and thinkin’ he knows more’n us? Why, I could beat that guy at wrasslin’ anyway.

Now, we know that Obama’s American and that he isn’t Muslim, and that spending is sometimes necessary to get jobs going, and that things are not always as simple on the inside as they are on the surface. The things that they are so mad about oftentimes simply are not true, but they’re going to vote like they are and that’s what’s scary about both of the competing Tea Parties in general. Are they big opinionated movements? Yes. Are they legit? Only as legit as their opinions – but sometimes that doesn’t matter. A big man with a sledgehammer can do a lot of damage, whether he’s crazy or sane.

Qingu's avatar

@LunaChick, that’s not what “line-item veto” means. Line-item vetoes are currently illegal.

Your proposed solution was not possible.

So what would you have done? Vetoed the entire budget bill? In the middle of the worst recession in our lifetimes?

@p8prclip, I think this thread is a good illustration of why I don’t think the Tea Party is legit. Let’s look at how our conversation has gone. You complained that the Recovery Act has 9,000 earmarks. I asked you to prove this, and you cited a list of about 100 earmarks, compiled by a right-wing website, from an entirely different bill.

Then LunaChick started complaining about earmarks for some reason, without offering any concrete solutions to her problem and despite the fact that they constitute a tiny fraction of the federal spending she’s complaining about.

Then in your last post you once again fail to address a single thing anyone has said to you and just complain about how much money we’re spending, out of context and, once again, with no solutions.

If you two are representative of the Tea Party movement, why would anyone consider it legitimate? It seems to consist of a bunch of uninformed people interested only in complaining about problems that they demonstrably don’t understand and have no solutions for. (And that’s not even taking to account the morons holding up Obama = Hitler signs and demanding to see his birth certificate.)

p8prclip's avatar

My solution…don’t sign bills that bankrupt us. Another solution…live up to your campaign by not allowing earmarks, and posting bills online for all to read(almost a year after this monstrosity was passed and we still can’t see it?) What ever happened to transparency? Do me a favor and google this: “stimulus bill 9287” and tell me what you find:)

Qingu's avatar

@p8prclip, so you wouldn’t have supported any spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan during the last 8 years?

Also, are you saying you would ignore the advice of nearly every economist who says that short term deficit spending is essential in an economic recession to ward off catastrophic unemployment (and hence even worse deficits)? If so, on what basis?

Also, Obama never promised to “not allow earmarks” in his campaign. McCain was the one obsessed with earmarks. Obama has, however, proposed transparency policy for earmarks. Do you agree with it? If not, what’s your solution?

I googled what you said. I’m not sure what your point is. The Recovery Act does not have 9,000 earmarks. The top link in this search was talking about the omnibus bill, not the recovery act. And it didn’t even show that bill had 9,000 earmarks.

Qingu's avatar

Also, you said: “and posting bills online for all to read(almost a year after this monstrosity was passed and we still can’t see it?)”

Here’s the full text of the recovery act:

And here’s a website that tracks how all the money is being spent:

laureth's avatar

@p8prclip This is the definitive place to find bills online.

LunaChick's avatar

I’ll admit my mistake. My governor has line item veto power, I thought the president had the same power, especially since he pledged to “go line by line” If making one mistake means I’m completely uninformed and the entire Tea Party movement is doomed, then I guess you’re going to be in for a surprise @Qingu, when the movement continues.

Also, I didn’t just start talking about earmarks – you asked this: ”@p8prclip, please cite the “9,000 earmarks” you are talking about.” and I jumped in because there were over 9,000 in that particular bill. (source)

Bottom line – Tea Party members are for less government spending (wasteful spending, not what is truly necessary) and they’re against higher taxes. If you can explain why either of these things is a bad idea, please do.

Qingu's avatar

No, there were not 9,000 earmarks in “that particular bill.” That bill was the Recovery Act. The act your source is talking about is the omnibus budget bill passed one month into Obama’s presidency. I cited Obama’s explanation for why he didn’t try to fight this bill, which makes sense to me. I also explained that many of those earmarks are from Republicans. And the Time source doesn’t actually list 9,000 earmarks; it just says “by some counts,” which I imagine are the counts of things like the Heritage institute.

And I’m not against lower taxes (for working and middle class Americans) or cuts in wasteful spending.

For example, I support Obama’s recovery act, which gives $200 billion + in tax cuts for 95% of Americans. Do you?

I hesitantly support Obama’s move to cut discretionary spending next year, and to help bring health care costs in line with the Senate’s health care bill. Do you?

Pazza's avatar

If you brought all your troops home…..... na, I won’t say it.

justmesuzanne's avatar

I think they’re a bunch of nuts – especially Sarah Palin.

Ron_C's avatar

I was, by a fluke, invited to a “town hall” meeting with my U.S. Senator Pat Toomey. It was a fluke because I was the only progressive in a roomful of reactionaries and right-wingers that kowtowed to the senator in a most embarrassing way..

I sat next to a Tea Party member that actually had a pre-printed manifesto——of sorts. It included everything from opposition to Sharia Law to wanting the health care plan repealed. I actually went through the list with the guy and other than insisting that lobbyists stop paying for campaigns, he disagreed with all other points on his list. He was especially embarrassed when I asked him who ran his social security and medicare benefits.

The point is that most of the people carrying signs and joining the group don’t really understand who started and supports his organization, nor its real goals. They also think that the original tea party was a reaction, solely to the British tax on tea.

They don’t realize that the “Stamp Act” was a collusion between the British government and the world’s largest (at that time) international corporation. The reason for the tax was that competition was reducing the East India company’s monopoly on shipping and trade. Of course one of the main beneficiaries of that corporation were the British Royal families.

The present day Tea Party is doing exactly the opposite, they are supporting taxation without representation. The large international corporations now own the U.S. government. If they were really an extension of their progressive ancestors, they would be dumping the contents of Walmart onto the highways; they would be emptying Exxon’s fuel into the streets. Of course I would object to that on the basis of pollution but we should be dumping the present congress (except for a very few progressives into the street.

I wish there was a real tea party, I would certainly join. Thanks for the great question, it saves me the trouble of asking the same thing.

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