Why The Tea Party Controversy?

Frank DeMartini
September 21, 2010 Posted by Frank DeMartini ADFTD@hollywoodrepublican.net

According to Wikipedia, the Tea Party movement began in:

“2009 through a series of locally and nationally-coordinated protests. The protests were partially in response to several Federal laws: the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and a series of health care reform bills.”

It is a grass roots movement that wants to bring the United States back to the founding principles of the US Constitution.  However, it has been mired by controversy.  Many people see it as a movement that is controlled by middle aged – high income – white – males.  In my opinion this is not true.  To me, it is a movement by the people in direct response to the out-of-control government spending that began with TARP in 2008.  It is a movement to bring the Republican Party back to the core principles that were prevalent during the Administration of Ronald Reagan:  small government, reliance on the individual; and lower taxes (supply side economics).  It is a movement in the same way that the Republican Party was a movement when it started in 1856 (approximately).

Ronald Reagan 1985

It is not a racist movement as many have claimed.  However, there have been incidents where followers of the Tea Party have been accused of such.  One such incident which comes to mind involved a group of  Black Congressmen who were allegedly attacked with racial slurs while on their way into Congress on the day of the health care reform vote.  Many reported that they were called by the “n” word.  However, there has been no physical evidence that this ever occurred.

Some will also argue the Tea Party is racist because they want to seal the border with Mexico.  With unemployment at almost 10% and as annouced today as high as 14.4% in Nevada, is that necessarily a bad thing?  They also are against amnesty for illegals.  The Democrats and Far Lefties are claiming this is racist as well.  But, doesn’t the Republican Party on the whole feel that way too.  Isn’t it true that the Democrats only want to grant amnesty to build a potentially strong voting block in a few key states such as Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and California.

There have  been other incidents at Tea Party events that were definitely racist.  I will not deny that.  A simple search of the Internet will give them to you.  But, that is not what the Tea Party is about.  It just reminds me of the old saying, “Don’t let a few bad apples spoil the bunch.”  Every movement will have its extremists.  The Democrats have their Far Left “Progressives.”  Muslims have their jihadists.  A few radicals in the Tea Party should not cause the whole movement to suffer.

Rand Paul

And, suffer, it hasn’t!  At this point in time, it appears to be one of the dominant forces in the Republican Party.  It has already caused the downfall of two sitting Senators.  One in Alaska and one in Utah.  It has brought to prominence Rand Paul in Kentucky and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware.  And, some of these surprise winners in the primaries will win in November.  However, many will lose because the perception is that the Tea Party is too far to the right to be in the mainstream of the country.  And, again some of them are.  For instance, Rand Paul (who is ahead in the polls) is basically a Libertarian.  Christine O’Donnell (who is far behind in the polls) is as well.  Unfortunately, she has also been branded stupid similarly to what happened to Sarah Palin.

But, isn’t this what people said about Ronald Reagan as well?  Isn’t this what the main stream media said about Newt Gingrich when his “Contract with America” was published in September, 1994?  Both times, the pundits were proved wrong.  Reagan went on to get elected twice and is thought of as the greatest president of our lifetime.  Gingrich took control of the House and went on to lead the government into the only period of balanced budgets for as long as anyone can remember.

So, maybe a shift to the right is necessary.  Maybe the mainstream Republican party and the moderate Democrats are not what the country needs right now.  Ryan Hecker’s Tea Party “Contract with America” which was published on April 12, 2010 contains the following clauses as reported by Wikipedia:

  1. Identify constitutionality of every new law: Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does.
  2. Reject emissions trading: Stop the “cap and trade” administrative approach used to control carbon dioxide emissions by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of carbon dioxide.
  3. Demand a balanced federal budget: Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax modification.
  4. Simplify the tax system: Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words – the length of the original Constitution.
  5. Audit federal government agencies for constitutionality: Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in an audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities.
  6. Limit annual growth in federal spending: Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth.
  7. Repeal the health care legislation passed on March 23, 2010: Defund, repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
  8. Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above’ Energy Policy: Authorize the exploration of additional energy reserves to reduce American dependence on foreign energy sources and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation.
  9. Reduce Earmarks: Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark.
  10. Reduce Taxes: Permanently repeal all recent tax increases, and extend current temporary reductions in income tax, capital gains tax and estate taxes, currently scheduled to end in 2011.

Is there any Republican that disagrees with these ten points?  I think not.

Copyright 2010 by Frank T. DeMartini.  Permission to copy will be granted freely upon request.

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13 Responses to Why The Tea Party Controversy?

  1. Elaine on September 21, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Excellent article and very well written

  2. Bruce Carson on September 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    I’m an independent and I totally agree with all ten points. Right is right and wrong is wrong.
    I also think laws should be put in place for the Presidents both sitting and past that allow them to be fully audited just like the working man is.
    For some reason people like Bill Clinton come into office claiming a net worth of $900,000 and leave with a net worth of over $230,000,000 and we can’t so much as ask him a question!….NO MORE
    I also would like to see the encrypted voting system put in place that Obama promised that would connect the will of the people directly to Government.

  3. Deborah on September 22, 2010 at 3:56 am

    Nicely done Frank and there are many points I concur on. However the incident you refer to regarding the use of the “N” word and there being “no physical evidence” to support the claim leaves me a bit confused. It was actually captured by reporters that day as the elected officials were entering the building.

  4. KK on September 22, 2010 at 11:28 am

    The N word supposed incident never happened and most people know it. Breitbart offered 100,000 for any audio or video tape that could prove it and no one came forward. We all know if it had really happened there would be tons of video. Pathetic attempt by congressman Carson to get sympathy. The liberals can’t stop their race baiting, its all they have left.

  5. Deborah on September 23, 2010 at 12:24 am

    KK It is on record that one of the individuals who hurled racial slurs and actually spit on Rep. Clyburn was arrested by Capital police. However Rep. Clyburn refused to press charges and the man was released as a result. We all have a right to our opinions in any situation but those rights stop short of revising the facts that took place.

  6. AJ on September 23, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Deborah if this truly happened then it should be considered a bad apple or a few bad apples and it was wrong. However, it is interesting how you only address the whole article with one short sentence and an entire paragraph on the use of the “N” word. The person that used the “N” word can be dealt with but we cannot focus only on this incident when the entire country is in need of proper direction and representation. We are in serious trouble as a nation with no end in sight and we should be addressing all of the issues and problems that have been mentioned in this article and many more.

    Good and informative article Frank

  7. Lynn Repko on September 23, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    According to Cleaver’s spokesman (not Clyburn), Cleaver doesn’t know if the spit he allegedly felt was intentional or not: “…do not know if it was on purpose or and accident and will not speculate.”

    The word “nigger” cannot be heard on the video.

    I would have to say that the whole incident was seriously overblown with some factions all too eager to smear anyone with the Tea Party. Cleaver appeared willing to let it get out of hand.

    Regarding Frank’s points: Indeed, why would citizens be reviled for wanting to be independent, self-reliant and responsible? Why would the principles on which this country was built be deemed evil when it has brought the most help to the most people in the history of the world? Why would we ever even consider punishing producers and rewarding slackers?

    Seems rather perverted, doesn’t it?

  8. Billy Dean on September 23, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Great article Frank. You sum up the tea party movement perfectly. I remember the chatter and the rumbles of the movement in October of 2008 and it all was about the TARP bill. It was a crazy insane idea, that government needs to answer for. You can’t fix a credit problems by borrowing more money. You can’t fix an economy by going farther and farther into debt. For every dollar that the government deficit spends it either borrows it or prints it, either way it can’t, CAN’T help the economy. This is fact!!!!

  9. Deborah on September 25, 2010 at 3:41 am

    I stand corrected on the representative’s name who was spit on. In referring to the article I was perusing I lifted the wrong name, apologies. I do not agree AJ it is interesting ” that you only address the whole article with one short sentence and an entire paragraph on the use of the “N” word.” I believe the article was discounting the racism that allegedly exists in the tea party movement and I responded to that point. There exists no “gotcha!” moment there.

  10. Frank DeMartini on September 27, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Here is another comment by our anonymous friend. I am respecting his privacy as I always have.

    The Tea Party (Why The Tea Party Controversy), to some, is believed to be a homogeneous mix of “traditional” (as opposed to radical) Conservatives and Republicans. The tent for this party is very much larger, and many are surprised by the fact that “traditional” (the honest but occasionally contrary) Democrats, Liberals, Libertarians, Progressives and Independents (that label thing) can be discovered therein, if you look hard enough. James Hohmann, Politico, “Glenn Beck calls for national revival”, 8/28/2010, covers the “Restoring Honor” rally (defined as Tea Party radicals) rather honestly. A thoughtful note, James opined, “While influential conservative groups and politicians had endorsed or supported this event, Republican party leaders carefully avoided it.” Big, big blunder, but we can recover?

    One would assume that Ryan Hecker’s Tea Party “Contract with America” would qualify as “specific” proposals, easily embraced, routinely dismissed as non existent by this administration. And the Republican “Pledge to America” has arrived, rather bold, detailed and aggressive. And they, who heralded “You must pass it to know what is in it”, who do not read nor comprehend that which would take a lawyer to understand, the words of Senator Arlen Specter and Representative John Conyers, that which is in front of them; they now demand “specifics.”

    President Obama, the self proclaimed Uniter, he who repeatedly opens the “door” for dialogue with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but ridicules, ignores, chastises and slams the door on “ideas” from the loyal opposition. Does he offer something, anything, maybe nothing in his comments about the House Republicans’ “Pledge to America” on Saturday, calling it the same old “worn out philosophy” of tax breaks for billionaires, cutting slack for Wall Street and other special interests, and letting the middle class “fend for itself”, an offer of an olive branch filled with economic class warfare thorns? And when are old, tried and true, philosophies, faith (the source of our unalienable rights), hope (economic stability through truth) and charity (the freedom to dispose of the wealth earned), challenged as “worn out”? Are we not talking about honesty, integrity, and fiscal frugality? If we cannot return to the basic human character traits that made this country exceptional, extraordinary, and almost incomparable, then we are diminished.

    If the Pledge to America was remiss, it was in its inability to address ear marks, a Balanced Budget Amendment and terms limits. And we are left scratching our heads. Most, I dare say, find some common ground from suggestions coming from both sides of the “common sense” isle. All too often, there is no leadership, just party dictatorship. The Tea Party continues to be grossly underestimated.

  11. Deborah on September 27, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I disagree Anonymous, they are anything but underestimated on all fronts. In my mind their error is pulling anyone willing to speak to their agenda and back them 100%. No performance reviews, no litmus tests, use the right words and you’re in!! In order to be effective in their intentions their efforts ought to be far more selective in whom they choose to represent them in these early days of formation. Anyone can talk the talk, where’s the guarantee that when the day comes these candidates are going to walk that talk or be any different than what we have now?

  12. Lynn Repko on September 30, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    “Anyone can talk the talk, where’s the guarantee that when the day comes these candidates are going to walk that talk or be any different than what we have now?”

    Excellent question. I suspect we’ll see a lot of business as usual and (here’s the key) it is our responsibility to remain vigilant and vote the jackasses out until we get representatives who’ll do the right thing.

    It’s a long process during which we need to continue educating our fellow citizens. I just hope we have enough of an attention span. If history is any indicator, we’re screwed.

  13. Deborah on October 1, 2010 at 1:17 am

    excellent commentary Lynne. While it’s true there only seems to be a small percentage of us awake and paying attention, it is our responsibility to maintain our focus and share our knowledge to those willing to listen. We have a long history to draw from where lack of accountability has left us in the past. It’s time to wake up the rest of the voters who blindly make choices never taking the time to check the facts readily available to all of us.

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