The Tea Party: perennial rebels of the lost cause

property of Otto Christian Beyer, 2010Some people on the Left are alarmed at all the  angry and divisive language being tossed about during this election season, particularly from the Tea Party – “it is threatening to tear the country apart”.  Personally,  I think that’s  an overreaction, but  history might just back them  up.

The Tea Partiers think of themselves as  the modern  embodiment of the revolutionary ideals  of 1776, when actually they are  more in line with the rebels of 17861791 and ultimately, 1861. There is nothing new about the Tea Party – it is just the current manifestation of the occasional resurgence of a strong anti-Federalist movement, a movement that has been losing ground since 1787.   Hence all the anger and frustration.


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  1. #1 by logiopath on October 5, 2010 - 7:19 pm

    I disagree. This is a reaction to the deafness of Congress, mostly the Democrats, in reference to the Health Care fiasco (AKA HR 1320).

    People wanted to have discourse–which sometimes gets loud and ugly–at “Town Hall Meetings.”

    People were tired of Obama’s staged meetings with selected questions, and wanted to say Health Care is nice, but stop picking my pocket!

    After a while, Beck, Palin, and the other Right-Wing opportunists co-opted what people were trying to do.

    Yeah, its been done before, but this time, I hope we really do shrink government and stop spending so much money.

    • #2 by Christian Beyer on October 6, 2010 - 10:50 am

      I don’t think it is all, nor primarily about, health care reform. They offer a veritable smorgasbord of hot topics, from immigration to the fear of spreading Islam (though maybe they are just two facets of their xenophobia) to the abolishment of the EPA and the Department of Education to affirmative action to rumors that Obama is a foreign born Muslim. Not the least is their yearning for a Christian theocracy. Their demographic is nearly identical to the “Christian” Right’s.

      So if their main motivation is to obstruct health care reform, do they deny that there is a serious problem in this country with providing medical care to many (most?) of our citizens? And I’m not just talking about the ‘poor’ but those who cannot get coverage for a variety of reasons from employment circumstances to pre-existing conditions. If they (you) are not in denial, then what solutions do they suggest. In fact, I’ve heard very little in the way of suggested solutions to any of the problems they decry. Instead they insist on blaming Bush’s problems on Obama: the bank bail-out, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the deficit, certain taxes etc etc.

      This recent “pay to spray” debacle down in Tennessee is a nice illustration of when these libertarian principles go too far. It reflects a lack of compassion.

  2. #3 by Elizabeth G. Brown on October 6, 2010 - 9:47 am

    The Tea Party movement is a reaction of Americans to the government’s lack of respect for the Founding Fathers and the Consitution. We the People
    are frightened about the slide into Socialism. We see this administration
    intruding way too much into every aspect of our lives.

    • #4 by Christian Beyer on October 6, 2010 - 10:45 am

      Welcome, Betsy.

      We’ve been sliding into Socialism since before the first World War. The problem is that those objecting to Socialism tend to focus on the smallest portion – that of welfare and social entitlements. Rarely is a peep heard about special considerations and subsidies for big business. My father once told me that a true Conservative is as much afraid of Big Business as he is Big Government. This was after he quit the John Birch Society, a group that has been experiencing a resurrection among the Right. Unfortunately Dad is now in the thrall of Mr. Beck and what little moderation he once enjoyed has now slid into an amazing amount of anger.

      As for intruding in our lives, how can we forget Mr. Bush’s Homeland Security Agency? Or Nixon’s wage and price controls? Or the near iconic status that we once gave J.Edgar Hoover?

      As for the Founders, they are consistently being misrepresented and misunderstood. For example, Thomas Pain has become one of the dead darlings of the movement yet Paine wrote quite forcefully for the redistribution of wealth, long before Karl Marx was born. Many of the Founders were fervent Federalists and if the Constitutional Convention had not feared offending the slave-holding South then our government would have looked much different. Not necessarily better, but different (if it survived). So to constantly refer to our founders principles as proof of the Tea Party bonafides is to be very selective.

  3. #5 by logiopathivorytowerdweller on October 6, 2010 - 1:16 pm

    Paine, Mr. Webster

  4. #7 by logiopsychopath on October 6, 2010 - 4:00 pm

    You spelled Thomas Paine’s nmae wrnog.

  5. #8 by Christian Beyer on October 6, 2010 - 4:25 pm

    When? Where? I don’t see that.

  6. #9 by Christian Beyer on October 6, 2010 - 6:00 pm

    Wrnog? Nmae? You card, you!

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