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Friday, April 16, 2010


A Vet

Actually, the Iraq War protests were much larger than anything the Tea Party has managed to muster to date.

Maybe you weren't watching TV much back then.



Any tea partier who voted Nader/Badnarik/McCain in the last three presidential elections can lay claim to the moral high ground. But anyone who voted to reelect George W. Bush in 2004 pretty much cosigned the Iraq war and an unfunded Medicare Part D. They helped pave the way for Katrina and TARP. It's pretty fishy now if your default stance is to man the barricades just because Barack Obama hasn't ended two wars, eliminated the national debt, fixed the schools and smacked down bankers in his first fifteen months.

And it makes sense if you're against healthcare reform. But why not say what you're for?

If you call stimulus funds and bailouts generational theft, just think how your kids would like to inherit a world where they don't inherit anything because the Dow dropped to 3000 and your 401(k) is empty. Then explain why a banking collapse would have been better.

If you're tired of taxing and spending, pledge that you'll never file for unemployment, Medicare, Social Security, an SBA loan, a Pell Grant, a farm subsidy, a U.S. Passport, drive on an interstate highway or mail a letter.
More than anything, it should be the tea party movement's goal to dispel the perception that the real source of their outrage, their-pardon my French-raison d'être is that they simply can't accept the results of the last election.

So far, they've been unconvincing.

Miranda Flint

A Vet:
Thank you for comments:

I stand corrected - sort of.

A look at the article you sent reveals this:

A March 2003 Gallup poll conducted during the first few days of the war showed that 5% of the population had protested or made a public opposition against the war compared to 21% who attended a rally or made a public display to support the war.[6] An ABC news poll showed that 2% had attended an anti-war protest and 1% attended a pro-war rally. The protests made 20% more opposed to the war and 7% more supportive.[7] A Fox News poll showed that 63% had an unfavorable view of the protesters, just 23% had a favorable view.[7] According to Pew Research, 40% said in March 2003 that they had heard "too much" from people opposed to the war against 17% who said "too little".[8]

In the early days of the Iraq War, then, only 5% of Americans were actively engaged in protesting it. Meanwhile, 63% of Americans had unfavorable view of the protesters. Contrast that with these, the early days of the tea party movement.

CBS Reports that “eighteen percent of Americans identify as Tea Party supporters.” (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20002529-503544.html)

Meanwhile, CNN reports that reports that a third of Americans have a favorable view of the Tea Party movement, 26% have an unfavorable view of it.
True, the Iraq War protests gained support over time. But the Tea Parties are growing as well. (http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/02/05/poll.tea.party/index.html?section=cnn_latest_)

But perhaps it is unfair of me to call The Tea Party the largest movement of my time until both movements are over and one can judge them in their entirety.

William: Thanks for your insight. I agree with some, but not all, of what you say. Unfortunately, I’m short on time but will write a more thorough response this evening!


Hmm, must be a new William, Miranda...


William A:

I think what often goes unnoticed is that the Tea Party is largely a reaction against the way some Republicans have behaved themselves in office as it is a protest against the Democrats. In fact, I believe that if Republicans had truly backed many of the conservative principals they paid lip service to in campaigns,
then the Tea Party movement would either not exist or would be much smaller.

You are absolutely right. The Republicans did spend far too much when they were in office - but that is not what we elected them to do. Many of us elected candidates that we believed were the lesser of two evils. I think it's very
likely that we were right. I sincerely doubt that Senator Kerry had tax cuts on his mind or that he would have cut spending.

If stimulus funds went straight back to the tax payers or to our children, then they might do a world of good. Unfortunately, they didn't. According to the Wall Street Journal, $50 million went to the National Endowment for the Arts, $650 million went to coupons for digital converted boxes. $400 million went to global-warming research. A billion went to Amtrak. The whole article is worth reading. You can find it here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123310466514522309.html

While we're doing some explaining, perhaps we can explain to our children why it was more important to fund things like Serrano's "Piss Christ" or Maplethorpe's smut rather than their education.

In response to your later comments: I think the majority of Tea Partiers have been very frank about their unhappiness with both healthcare reform and the results of the last election.
But we or at least I believe that these are part of a larger problem.

Finally, most Tea Partiers are not anarchists. It's not as if we are arguing that there shouldn't be a government or any governmental programs. I think one can argue that there is too much waste in governmental programs or that taxes are too high and still mail letters without being inconsistent.

William B: I did wonder what had suddenly gotten into you!



For a brief moment, so did I! - lol

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