Here comes the tea party

So, here comes the Tea Party. These people, according to the New York Times, are overwhelmingly white, relatively well-heeled, conservative Republicans who are madder than hell. It seems that they don’t like paying taxes.

That’s not surprising.

A lot of people had believed that the Tea Party people lived in small houses and trailers. It turns out that a lot of Americans pay almost no income tax.

That’s because we have what is called a progressive tax system.

The Tea Party folks – surprise, surprise – do pay. They are hardly revolutionary. They just don’t like paying. I pay a lot of taxes, and I don’t like it either. But it does seem right to me that those of us who earn the most should be taxed the most. It’s only fair.

This is not to suggest that there are places where we really are paying too much. What about the wars that left this country flat on its back? I hear almost nothing from the self- identified Tea Party people about the money that we have paid to support the Eisenhowerdubbed ” Military- Industrial Complex.”

How come? Could it be that these people are part of the group that benefits the most every time we launch a nuclear submarine that we really don’t need? Are these those unprincipled persons who care more about preserving their status, their money, and their investment in the above- named defense establishment?

With all that said, it does look like this is going to be a Republican year.

People are comparing it to what happened during the so-called ” Gingrich revolution” of 1994. Maybe, but it could just be that the Tea Party people are the Republicans’ worst nightmare. They are so conservative and so slavish to the know-nothings like Sarah Palin that they are unwilling to tolerate moderates in their own party. In some cases, they will be putting ” third parties” on the ballot which will siphon votes from the Republican establishment.

The Republicans are left in a quandary. Should they worship at the altar of the conservative nut fringe or should they remain principled and possibly get overwhelmed in primaries or by third- party candidates who will assure that the Democrats win?

Take the case of U. S. Sen. Scott Brown. This guy was in the right place at the right time. The health care bill was a real political quagmire when he ran. It looked like Obama was down on his luck and it might never get done.

Then things turned in Obama’s favor.

A few months later and Brown might have lost, but he didn’t, and now he has a few years to convince the people of Massachusetts that he is worthy of reelection.

Although Brown came in on a sort of Tea Party populism, he has been running away from that gang as fast as he possibly can. Why? Obviously, Massachusetts is an overwhelmingly Democratic state.

So when things like a jobs bill come up in the Senate, he breaks from his party and votes for the bill. How come? He wants people in Democratic Massachusetts to believe that he is a reasonable compromiser. However, he will vote with the Republicans on things like a Supreme Court justice nominee and on most filibusters that the Republicans are carrying on. I’m old enough to remember when New Yorkers felt that way about so-called liberal U.S.

Sen. Jacob Javits. They put up with plenty from him that they would never have accepted from any bona fide Democrat.

In this Congressional District, Silvio Conte played the same game and we all loved him. So last Wednesday, Brown was invited to the Tea Party gathering in Boston, but he told these people, who truly believe that he won because of them, that he was too busy to attend their event. That’s like when the girl who you asked for a date told you that she had ” other plans.” Yeah, sure.

The man is clearly scared to death by this group.

Make no mistake about it – these Tea Party people are a potential nightmare, not only for the GOP but also for the Democrats. These are the kind of folks who have passion. You remember passion. In the last election, it went to the Obama people.

In this election, the Tea Party people are creating it. And when the smoke clears, they may have done temporary or even lasting damage to those who want a more equitable and fair America.

Originally published in the Berkshire Eagle, 4/17/2010

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3 Comments on “Here comes the tea party”

  1. muhyar Says:

    I enjoy read your post. because I like tea party. any way this is fun blog. thank you alan,

  2. merv Says:

    Oh how easy it is to label the Tea Party People as not liking to pay taxes. It’s almost demonizing them. They sound so hateful and selfish.
    You could really write off someone that doesn’t want to pay their fare share and loose site of what’s gong on. Then you need not speak to their main issues with the OB administration, moving away from the constitution, from the principals that made US special, and moving to suicidal massive debt, huge government that is taking responsibility for more and more of our lives and stifling economic growth.
    Kangaroo Straight

  3. Adam Says:

    In response to “merv”-

    Where were you when the Bush regime was systematically dismantling the Constitution in the name of “national security”?

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