Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The Tea Party Movement Is a Force To Be Reckoned With
In spite of all the elitists’ dismissing of the Tea Party Movement, the liberals are going to awake to find that this movement has changed the political landscape of America. America is not Europe. Americans don’t accept European-style socialism, which is visibly failing, and they do not accept would-be dictators. President Barack Obama is likely to find his next three years fraught with political difficulty.
So far, the president has resisted public protests against his policies, which consist largely of liberty-destroying programs, massive spending, and vague talk of future deficit cutting, while planning even more big spending. The unemployment, deficit, or inflation figures will not stay this administration from their micro-managing, tax-and-spend, socialist-fascist agenda.
Congressional Democrats are beginning to get the message that Obama wants them to support all this despite their likely loss of reelection in many instances. He thinks they should sacrifice their political careers and the representation of their constituents in favor of his radical “change” projects. Some are retiring (Bayh, Dorgan, Kennedy and Dodd), and others will soon have decisions to make. Republicans are seeing a great opportunity to expand their numbers in Congress, but it remains to be seen whether they will be able to govern accordingly if they win more seats.
That’s where the Tea Party Movement becomes critical. Their strategy should involve moving the Republican Party closer to their constitutional and libertarian principles and away from big-government, big-spending, and high-tax policies. They need to strongly oppose further government takeovers in the private sector and more government supervision of Americans’ daily lives and major decisions. Republicans who won’t support conservatism should expect to be replaced by some who will. The Tea Party movement finds problems in both major parties, but a third party is not the answer.
The New York Times reports that Obama is preparing to use more executive power to get around frustrating difficulties with Congress. The newspaper reports, for example, “Mr. Obama has already decided to create a bipartisan budget commission under his own authority after Congress refused to do so.…” Also, the Administration seeks to affect gays-in-the-military cases without waiting for Congress to act. “And the Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward with possible regulations on heat-trapping gases blamed for climate change, while a bill to cap such emissions languishes in the Senate.” 
If Obama can’t get his way on “health care reform,” what executive actions is he prepared to take? On this and other items, he is seeking to override not only Congress, but the American people. His “summit” on health care with Republicans participating shows he has not given up trying to enact a plan that is opposed by the American people. It’s a cornerstone of his “change” agenda. Unconstitutional, too.
Tea Partiers in various states will probably encourage lawmakers to pass “nullification” laws over Federal legislation and executive orders they view as unconstitutional. This may bring on a constitutional crisis, but maybe it’s time to have this fight. Government officials who try to overpower states on this type of law can probably forget ever getting many votes in these states. The people hold the ultimate power under our system, and they can’t be continuously ignored.
The Democratic leadership has unveiled their radicalism and conspicuously failed to deal with the economic woes of the unemployed to the extent that their policies are very unpopular. Their policies are heading over the cliff. The next “bailouts” we see will likely be more Democrats bailing out on Obama’s ill-advised program. They can cite “gridlock” and “ideology” as their objections, but gridlock is greatly preferable to the Obama agenda, and ideology is what guides Obama. The “pragmatism” he practices is to find what will work to get his radical ideological program installed, not what will work best for the economy, etc.
My caution to the Tea Party Movement is three-fold: (1) Forget a third party; transform the GOP; (2) Emphasize the positive aspects of conservatism (freedom, prosperity, strong defense, limited government, low taxes), well articulated. Anger may temporarily unite, but it doesn’t inspire; and (3) Don’t associate with any groups that sanction any kind of violence or anything that smacks of racism. The Tea Party Movement is about policy. It is already strongly influencing American politics. It is a mainstream movement, not a fringe effort. Its weapons are true and persuasive arguments and the ballot.
 Peter Baker, “Obama Making Plans to Use Executive Power,” 02/12/2010, The New York Times.
Further reading: David Barstow, “Tea Party Lights Fuse for Rebellion on Right,” 02/15/2010, The New York Times. I’m surprised to be referring to NYT this much.