Tea Party baffles leaders in both major parties

The inconsistent — bordering on chaotic — response by the Republican leadership to last Tuesday’s defeat of veteran Washington insider Mike Castle in the Delaware Senate primary, demonstrates clearly that the GOP leaders still have no idea how to respond to the Tea Party movement sweeping the land.  The Democrats, for their part, are either hunkering down in defensive mode — a la Nancy Pelosi — or flailing about trying to out-maneuver the Tea Partiers, as witnessed by President Obama’s ridiculous effort to convince voters his move to repeal the so-called “Bush tax cuts” is really a tax cut itself because he is “allowing” some lucky taxpayers to retain the current tax rates.

Trying to ridicule the Tea Party movement, which many of the Democrats and even some Republican insiders have tried to do, obviously did not and will not work.  The movement simply is too broad-based and lacks clearly defined targets to shoot at.  Even where Tea Party-backed candidates who have won primaries are not the brightest bulbs in the political universe, pointing this out seems only to reinvigorate their supporters and emphasize once again the gulf between inside and outside the Washington Beltway.

Ohio Rep. John Boehner, the Republican Party’s Speaker-in-waiting, voluntarily stuck his foot in his mouth last Sunday when he clearly said he would accept the Obama tax “cut” if that is the “only option” presented to him by the current majority party.  The statement by Boehner confirmed that he still operates with the mindset of a traditional Washington politician willing to take crumbs from those in power because, after all, a few crumbs are better than nothing at all.  Younger Republicans — such as Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor who ranks behind only Boehner in the GOP House heirarchy, and is among those who are beginning to glean the depth of voter anger at Washington politicians — quickly distanced themselves from Boehner’s gaffe.  And even though Obama and the Democrats in the Congress will use Boehner’s remarks in an effort to shield themselves from criticism as the “tax-and-spend” party, whipping up on Boehner or any other of the Washington insiders wearing the GOP label, will not stanch the political blood they are loosing.  In fact, by reminding Tea Partiers that this is all Washington politics, it will more likely invigorate the conservative grass roots.

The sort of political phenomena represented by the Tea Party movement do have consequences.  In 1980, for example, riding the wave not so much of a broad-based political movement as a widespread personal triumph by Ronald Reagan, several newcomers were elected to the Senate and gave Reagan a majority in that body.  While many of those same Senators were defeated six years later, the majority they provided Reagan in his first term allowed him to effect dramatic changes in federal spending and tax policies.  It is, of course, still far too early to predict with any degree of certainty whether the GOP will re-take majorities in the House or the Senate, although the former is appearing increasingly likely.  And even if many of the new crop of challengers who emerge as winners in November lack the horsepower to retain their seats in the long-run, a change in majority in either or both houses of Congress would prove extremely debilitating to Obama.  The current occupant of the White House possesses neither the charm of  a Ronald Reagan nor the pragmatism of a Bill Clinton; qualities necessary for a president to win a second term in such an unsettled environment.

85 comments Add your comment

DawgDad

September 17th, 2010
3:19 pm

Jefferson got it right in a ballot sense with his point “1. There is no tea party. They have (R) behind their names on the ballot.”

Common sense governance has been completely absent from both parties. Restoring a healthy measure within one, the easiest one, is a good start that should serve the public well.

Cobb Woman of Color

September 17th, 2010
3:31 pm

@Lee, 7:12 a.m. post

Right on target! We are tired! And, middle class Americans are tired of the sucking up to illegal immigrants! America needs to take care of American jobs and interests!

Chagall Guevarian

September 17th, 2010
3:32 pm

Enter your comments here

Cobb Man of Color

September 17th, 2010
3:33 pm

Cobb Woman of Color @ 3:31

How you doin? ; )

kitty

September 17th, 2010
3:42 pm

I suspect the Tea Party may lose some interest if they decide to start pontificating on social issues. Then they are just butting in where they do not belong. Stick with fiscal issues and leave my life and how I live to me.

Steeped in Stupid

September 17th, 2010
4:24 pm

THe Tea Party will dillute GOP votes and pave the way for the Democrats.

Makes me want to spoon.

Steeped in Stupid

September 17th, 2010
4:25 pm

The Tea Party is steeped in stupid.

Calma Lou Miller

September 17th, 2010
4:40 pm

Sarah Palin, I’m sick of you using my abortion as your political stance. Let’s talk you awhile. How many Kotex did you use with each of your 5 children? Did they cut you down there or did the children just slip out? Did you breastfeed or bottle feed? Did you use drugs or was each child natural? How many days did nurses cater to you with each child? Any stitches at all? Were forceps used? Did you save the cord for future use in case of illness. What color were the hair eyes and how much did they weigh? Or is all that none of my business?

Sandra

September 17th, 2010
6:22 pm

For most of the replies here, I can only say they sound demeaning and derogatory towards anyone who doesn’t agree with their point of view. You are what is wrong with America today. All of you want something for nothing (i.e. Tea Party…don’t miss with MY Health Care and Social Security) or to those who don’t want to work.

I work every day, pay my bills, and try to mind my own business. Also who I vote for is MY business and if that’s a democrat or republican, it’s really none of your business. You have no more right to call me names that I have to do the same for you. I would suggest that you all grow up!

Mrs. Norris

September 17th, 2010
8:06 pm

Kudos to JF McNamara for being intelligent enough to get the correlation between unhappy populace and dictators. You know, dictators don’t just walk into town and announce, “I’ll be taking over now.” They are always put into power by the people. What was going on in Germany when Hitler rose to power? What happened to the Czars of Russia? Why did communism take root in Cuba and China? How did Saddam Hussein become so powerful? If people would take a moment to research a bit of history, they would see a common theme. Alas, people don’t bother reading history or otherwise expanding their mind. That’s why were are doomed to repeat history, over and over again. And American is beginning to look a lot like pre World War II Germany, so now we know what to expect in the coming years. Congratulations JR for being one of the few people who saw it coming. I was beginning to think I was the only one.

Martin Williams

September 17th, 2010
8:11 pm

I hope the tea party people are right on this one. Where was the tea party when the U S senate/congress voted to go war on lies and they are still voting every 3-6 months or so allocating funds for these wars. Tea party people remember,Bush lied to go to war and he still got RE-ELECTED by some of you tea party idiots. The tea party I believe is all about Obama and as soon as he leaves the White House, the tea party will go flat on its butttttttttttttttttttt.

retiredds

September 17th, 2010
9:02 pm

If anyone would just study the history of politics in America you would realize that the Tea Party is nothing new. A few will be elected some won’t. When they get to Washington they will be mostly ineffective, no matter what they say now. And wait until reelection time. Don’t think they won’t be out there dialing for dollars and looking for the high rollers to bankroll them (a la: the Koch brothers, the owner of FOX News, the big oil companies, etc.). I think it’s great that they are having some impact. The real deal will be what will they do when they come to power. Remember, power corrupts, and the Tea Party folks are not immune. So, let the good times roll (for this election cycle).

SPQR(laissez faire)

September 17th, 2010
11:11 pm

Sweet Lincoln’s Mullet !….

the teaparty rolls on:)

Mike Castle, this is your doctor speaking… I have your medical report here, and guess what. You got KNOCKED THE F’K OUT. To hell with you and your ‘crossing the aisle” liberal b.s, sir…(slaps face with glove).

I think O’donnell WILL win the general election, on sheer conservative voter turnout and enthusiam..and democrats lack therof, and we will have gained a seat without compromise

Afterall, compromise is the second filthiest word in the english language, after taxes… and just before liberal.

This is SPQR, you stay classy, OTP dwellers.

Janice

September 17th, 2010
11:34 pm

Today I watched in amazment a TV report on the Tea party in Cobb County. No surprise I guess seeing as Cobb is known as an area full of backwards idiots living in over leveraged houses, driving SUV’s they can’t afford now trying to blame everyone but themselves for their financial predicaments. The county attracts idiots with no education outside of what Rush Limbaugh tells them. They truly think they have an entitilement to possesions although the facts are most people in Cobb do not earn enough for their lifestyle. Rather than blame everyone they would be better served getting an education. Gone are the days when a half assesed landscaper from Cobb can make 200k a year ripping of people……………

I am sure the same idiots in Cobb are behind the tea party that want to burn Harry Potter books and embarrased the whole state during the Olympics.

Mrs. Norris

September 18th, 2010
12:22 am

Oh my, it would appear a landscaper from Cobb County has ripped Janice off.

TjAtl

September 18th, 2010
12:51 am

Sad thing is, we’ve come to think of “governing” as a team sport: one team wins and the other loses. And you’re either for one team or the other. Governing is really about making difficult decisions in the face of complex issues and diverse needs of constituencies. These days, it’s nearly impossible for our elected officials to work together to craft the best possible solution for any issue — because they can’t be seen as “working together” or the “fans” will kick them off the team. We, all of us, seem to have lost the ability to have dialogue.

706Dawg

September 18th, 2010
1:48 am

Term Limits.

The Price of Tea in China

September 18th, 2010
8:36 am

What has this gots2do wid da price of da tea in Chinalicious?

Tealicious! Hey, if you want to be hip simply put “licious” on the end of any word. You will be hip, but know that people will also know that you’re a moron too, so there’s always a price: the price of tea in china.

I have trouble with Sarah Palin’s public speaking ability. Her tone is so obnoxious that it is unendurable. Her accents and rhythms are epileptic fit inducing. Her message is one of division, derision and indecision. She’s a menace to the tea party, to the GOP, to the conservative movement, and to America.

Hosea Williams

September 18th, 2010
10:33 am

tell ol JB I will meet him in NE Georgia wiyh my marchers vs. his klu kluck klan bunch and we’ll talk about stenches.
He stunk in the 60’s and 70’s and still has a stinking a$$.
White trash, that’s all he is.

PBM is a friend of mine and back me up.
Gotta go get a drink of wine now.

barking frog

September 18th, 2010
11:05 am

The ‘Tea Party’ is a leaderless anarchist protest movement that
is currently being hijacked by Sarah Palin an opportunist
that would hitch a ride on a Mule Train if it would
associate her with Reagan. She is turning one
of John McCains biggest mistakes into a media
career. Anarchist movements splinter off or fizzle out.
The splinters are showing and the fizzle is on the way.

Mike

September 18th, 2010
1:18 pm

There’s one very important thing I’ve learned about the people in the Tea Party: They get plenty to eat and they never protest without a good supply of food and lawn chairs.

Mike

September 18th, 2010
1:20 pm

The Tea Party wants government spending to be small. Oh…unless it’s for war. Spend away!

N-GA

September 18th, 2010
4:34 pm

The Tea Party up here in the mountains sure has a lot of racists in it. Not all, mind you but plenty. They cannot spew their hatred openly (although some do), so they hide behind the Tea Party. They complain about taxes, but the vast majority don’t even come close to the upper tax brackets. They loved the Bush tax cuts and the invasion of Iraq, but have no idea that the first reduced federal revenues and the latter increased federal spending. THEY ARE THE PROBLEM! The hypocrisy simply boggles the mind. If you want to find the LCD of America, look no further than the Tea Party.

marko

September 18th, 2010
5:58 pm

The tea baggers are a pretty tough bunch to figure out. As group they seem upset about nearly everything. Polls suggest they are the most motivated members of the republican party. the same polls confirm that they’re upset. The problem seems to be that they can’t decide what they’re upset about. some are worried about gay marriage, and others are worried about runaway spending. They can’t seem to decide whether they’re budget hawks or the American Taliban. Interesting tykes. Can’t wait to see what they become when they grow up.

Mike

September 18th, 2010
7:09 pm

The Tea Party is the largest group of hypocrits in this nation. They want small government, except when Bush was growing government. They want low spending, except when Bush doubled the national debt.

They are the most disingenuous group out there, and they’ll be very insulted by my use of big words. I guess that makes me “elitist” to them.

But to their credit, they did clone Sarah Palin (O’Donnell in Delaware). That was clever.

Acer706

September 19th, 2010
2:13 am

Mike.

I understand the jealousy and scorn of The Tea Party. Tea Party members share common ambition that heightens the volume of their movement. The dependent are based on “Me.” Self-centered demands confuse any direction of a movement and are never heard.

Agree or disagree with them. Who cares.

You better respect anyone that stands up for themselves.

JCM

September 19th, 2010
10:57 am

It is really unbelievable that after 8 years with Bush we had a 1.3 trillion dollar deficit, loss of millions of jobs, more people in poverty, the loss of middle class income, the richest gaining a larger portion of the country’s wealth, a recession brought on by a conservative ideology of deregulation and at least one war we were lied into, you are still blaming the Democrats because they are spending money to try to fix this mess but are spending less money then the tax cuts for the rich. Did you know that there wasn’t a large scale bank failure since the Great Depression until Reagan deregulated the banks? And every other large scale bank failure was on a Republican’s watch. Since WW2 income for everyone grew faster under Democratic Administrations than Republicans. Who do you think gains the most with conservative ideology of deregulation, small government and less spending? It’s not you.

jerry

September 19th, 2010
11:35 am

JCM: I agree with you completely. The Republicans play on people’s fears and short memories. They brought this country to the brink of another great depression and now have the utter gall to blame the current administration that is doing all it can to get the country on the road to prosperity without any help from a party that seems to be only interested in keeping the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and getting re-elected.

Janice

September 19th, 2010
11:56 am

Its so true as another poster said that most “Tea Partiers” have lousy jobs and don’t even pay much if anything in tax.

I work in an office in Atlanta and pretty much eveyrone makes 6 figures plus yet no one is in the tea party and in theory we are the ones being destroyed by tax. I would hazard to guess the more people make and pay in tax the less they want to be associated with the so call Tea Party.

Basically tea partiers are uneducated, illiinformed, bigoted and willing to blame anyone but themselves for their predicament. I have yet to see one able to even explain what the Tea Party stands for without just paraphasing whatever Fox News said the night before…………

Dr. Pangloss

September 19th, 2010
12:00 pm

These people are baffling. How do they live with no grasp whatever of ordinary facts?

Janice

September 19th, 2010
12:14 pm

Well JB I come out with the truth everyday and that doesn’t change. Nathan Deal was a crook last week and still is this week. Tea Partiers are as ignorant this week as they were last week.

As for my income going down, hardly, I have an education and actually understand economics which you patently don’t. I understand that it takes years to change and economy and the Tea Party couldn’t mange the finances of a Dairy Queen in Dalton.

Me go away, why don’t you as you are virtually the only person on this thread who seems to think the Tea Party actually has any value yet you seem unable to actually state what it is!

You racism and referring to Hosea Williams also shows your true feelings.and how bigoted the Tea Party is. FWIW I am white but people like you, the Tea Party and Nathan Deal are an embarrasment to GA, the USA and the planet.

Clair

September 19th, 2010
12:21 pm

I also can’t fathom out the Tea Party. It just seems to be something created by/for Fox News to write about and help their “talk show” hosts raise advertising for their radio shows.

5% of our country believe Elvis is still alive so its no surprise the Tea Party can find members is it?

Janice

September 19th, 2010
1:22 pm

JB Now I know why your called Stoner……………….

Michael Honohan

September 20th, 2010
12:49 am

If you have been baffled by the Tea Party, don’t be. Its very simple, just another ploy engineered by the GOP. Remember at the beginning fo the Tea Party. All that stuff about focusing on balanced budgets, limited government, tax reform, etc. Sure it is right there in their propaganda.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the party. They let in Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and the rest of the relgious wacko crowd, then the closet racists, any other assorted far-right nutcase. Notice all the latest rallies, its all that Christian Family Values. Hey its the modern Republican Party! This is not “independent” movement. They may engergize the base to get to the polls. But in the end, the Independents will not go that way.

This is what the independents say.

Democrats: we love that you want the best for all our citizens, but right now we can’t afford it. Help us balance the budget, reform our tax laws, cut the fat and the pork. When we get back on our feet, we can start doing those liberal things again – only this time, we pay as we go.

Republicans: You are the party the swears you want to make government leaner, fiscally responsible. You swore that before. Prove to me you are serious. Tell your co-religionists to dummy up with all the “family values” crap. Banning abortion and gay marriage does not balance budgets. Lets get our ship sea worthy again, then we can argue about where we want to steer it.

Hell, were are my old Reform Party people? We need to take over the Tea Party so we can get reform done!

Ivan

September 21st, 2010
2:47 pm

I like that Tea Partiers reference their movement with the same initials I use to reference the stuff I wipe my back side with. It’s pretty approriate, actually. There’s not enough substance, they’re weak in the middle and they’ll cling to any crap they’re wiped across.

But thanks, Tea Party, for negating any chance in hell of a Republican majority in the Senate.