Tea Party-Just Who The Heck Are They?

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Yusuf06

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OK, I promised to stop hijacking another thread and put all my Tea Party comments and info in this thread. By now I know many probably don't care but what the heck. Let's just consider it a documentary of sorts of our impressions of the group. All I ask of anyone that participates is to be honest, fair and balanced. I promise to do the same.

OK so here goes. I promised in the other thread to attend some Tea Party events. To that end, I just did a google search and found the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots site. Aside from the fact that I live here, this is probably a good place for me to start looking for mainstream Tea Party folks as Atlanta is the most liberal part of the state and the most educated. Therefore, I'd expect folks here to be closer to the center than say Tea Party groups in middle or south Georgia.

In reading the comments, the first was just a link to and endorsement of a Heritage Foundation article about the economic impact of Obama's moratorium.

My take: (Positive) A recommendation for folks to read and become more informed about the issues. Mind you my judgment on this has nothing to do with whether I agree or disagree with the article other than that it be credible and fact based.

The second comment was a plea to sign a petition.

My take: (Negative-well meaning but way out in left field) I'd urge you to read it for yourself but here's my Cliff Notes assessment.

I commend the author for not asking for or taking contributions. Unfortunately, that's about as much as I can commend him for.

Reading the rest of the petition did open my eyes about one subgroup of the Tea Party that I hitherto hadn't really given much thought-the woefully uninformed. Nonetheless, this petition does jibe with my existing opinion of many of their positions as being self conflicting at best and hypocritical at worst.

How so? Well, the very first item on his list is "Abide by the constitution the way our forefathers intended us to do" which I take to mean that he's a staunch constitutional constructionist...until he's not. Shortly thereafter, he starts laying out plans for things that would require constitutional amendments like term limits, establishing a national language, constitutional knowledge test for voter registration, set waiting periods before bills could be voted on by Congress, and term limits for supreme court justices. There's probably more but you get the idea.

A more blatant conflict that more approaches hypocrisy is his contention that government size should be (arbitrarily) cut by 25% except for the military which should be (arbitrarily) increased by 10%. The hypocritical part is that he then goes on to propose a new branch of HUD called SASH (Save A Seniors Home) which would prevent foreclosures on the homes of senior citizens. So how is adding a new agency supposed to decrease the size of government again?

No, it gets better. Wait for it. Wait for it. The new agency SASH would be funded by the TARP!! But I thought the Tea Party hated the TARP with a passion. Oh yeah, I get it. You hate all that socialist stuff...except when it benefits YOU.

The rest of his petition includes a mishmash of things, some good (prevent tying unrelated issues together in a single bill, mandatory fines/jail time for employers of illegals), some misinformed (repeal healthcare reform, more control over judicial sentencing) and some bad (repeal healthcare reform, keep electoral college).

In short, the author seems like a well meaning, though horrendously misinformed guy. Interesting though. I can't wait to meet some of these folks in person.

So far it's even at one positive encounter and one "negative" encounter though. We'll see how that holds up over time.

Good night all.
 

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Jugband McGillicuddy

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Army Marshall

Repealing this version of healthcare reform is not a bad thing, IMO. I doubt Tea Partiers are opposed to EVERY version of healthcare reform, just this one. Personally, I don't support ANYTHING in which the federal government requires me to purchase a private product. What's next? The Official Breakfast Cereal of the United States, which we'll all be required to eat daily?

It's a bad law. And that's why we were told it had to be passed before they could tell us what was in it by Nancy Pelosi. (In direct violation of the president's campaign promise, mind you.)

The new boss is the same as the old boss. And I continue to wait for the change I can actually believe in.

IMHO, Tea Partiers are a direct response to the hard left swing we've taken in a few short years. A hard tug left generates a hard tug right, and vice versa. That's why every Carter is replaced by a Reagan. Why every Reagan is replaced (ultimately) by a Clinton. Why every Clinton is replaced by a Bush. Why every Bush is replaced by an Obama.

It's who we are. It's what we do. We get what we ask for, realize it sucks, and figure going the other direction must be better. It's really nothing new.
 

Jugband McGillicuddy

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Army Marshall

I would be remiss if I didn't point this out.

It seems to me that you are taking a very open and honest approach to evaluating a group which -- on its surface -- you should probably take a strong opposition to.

We've had some pretty intense discussions about matters of race on the other board. And it would be easy to take that route in an effort to totally discount Tea Partiers. I commend you for the personal evaluation you're doing, and not jumping to conclusions.
 

Yusuf06

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Thanks, I appreciate your comment. However you might want to read my opinions of them in the other thread I mentioned above. I actually am very much in opposition to them but it has little to do with race. I think they're mostly kooks with little to add in the way of real policy ideas.

However as I mentioned in the other thread, I intend to investigate them as much as I can and in as objective a fashion as I'm able to see how accurate my opinion of them is.
 

Jugband McGillicuddy

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Army Marshall

Thanks, I appreciate your comment. However you might want to read my opinions of them in the other thread I mentioned above. I actually am very much in opposition to them but it has little to do with race. I think they're mostly kooks with little to add in the way of real policy ideas.

However as I mentioned in the other thread, I intend to investigate them as much as I can and in as objective a fashion as I'm able to see how accurate my opinion of them is.
You have your opinion, and that is to be expected. What I respect is your desire to find out whether your opinion is correct or not. I can say with confidence that if more of the electorate was willing to do that, we would find ourselves with a better crop of leaders than we often get.

Regardless of what you decide about the Tea Party, my opinion won't change. It's not about the result in this case. It's about the process.
 

servumtuum

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It's who we are. It's what we do. We get what we ask for, realize it sucks, and figure going the other direction must be better. It's really nothing new.
I agree, HH. The thing that bothers me, and it happens on both sides, is what seems to be an increasing tendency to take ever more extreme positions when we swing into "react" mode. It was the left, for example, who came up with the "9-11 was an inside job manufactured by Bush/Cheney" lunacy which the right countered with "Obama is a Musilim Socielist illegal alein" construct. After living through 10 presidents-I was born when Truman was president but I was too young to notice-I've seen them vilified, called nasty names, accused of this, that, or the other, but in recent decades the level of actual hatred seems to have escalated. On both sides.

It seems we have totally abandoned reason as a tool in assessing situations and are simply trusting knee-jerk inscinctive visceral reactions as a means of establishing fact for decision making. This, IMHO, is a very precarious direction for the country to be going.
 

fansince62

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I agree, HH. The thing that bothers me, and it happens on both sides, is what seems to be an increasing tendency to take ever more extreme positions when we swing into "react" mode. It was the left, for example, who came up with the "9-11 was an inside job manufactured by Bush/Cheney" lunacy which the right countered with "Obama is a Musilim Socielist illegal alein" construct. After living through 10 presidents-I was born when Truman was president but I was too young to notice-I've seen them vilified, called nasty names, accused of this, that, or the other, but in recent decades the level of actual hatred seems to have escalated. On both sides.

It seems we have totally abandoned reason as a tool in assessing situations and are simply trusting knee-jerk inscinctive visceral reactions as a means of establishing fact for decision making. This, IMHO, is a very precarious direction for the country to be going.
what is there to agree on? how can reason prevail when the fundamental conflict is over values?

I repeat this thousands of times.....facts (however you define them) mean nothing outside of theory.

BTW...thank God other movements don't publish conflicting messages or walk a broad gap between promises and actions!
 

Yusuf06

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I agree, HH. The thing that bothers me, and it happens on both sides, is what seems to be an increasing tendency to take ever more extreme positions when we swing into "react" mode. It was the left, for example, who came up with the "9-11 was an inside job manufactured by Bush/Cheney" lunacy which the right countered with "Obama is a Musilim Socielist illegal alein" construct. After living through 10 presidents-I was born when Truman was president but I was too young to notice-I've seen them vilified, called nasty names, accused of this, that, or the other, but in recent decades the level of actual hatred seems to have escalated. On both sides.

It seems we have totally abandoned reason as a tool in assessing situations and are simply trusting knee-jerk inscinctive visceral reactions as a means of establishing fact for decision making. This, IMHO, is a very precarious direction for the country to be going.
This....in spades. Aside from my basic disgust with the increasing political polarization and the deterioration of the level of political discourse in this country, Serv is absolutely correct that the dumbing down of political discussion into GOP=racists, environment hating, corporate raiders, & Dems=communist, America hating, Atheists, does not bode well for our country over the longer term. What made us great was and is the concept that ideas matter, that having a reasoned discussion about issues enlightens the voting public and leads to better policy.

Unfortunately more of us seem to be more interested in brain numbing reality TV than finding out what our government is up to, and more importantly, figuring out what they should be up to.

Fansince62, your comment about values has merit...to a point. The problem is or course, what one actually means by "values". If one means assuring that the basic principles this country was built on and/or grew into, i.e. that all our citizens deserve an equal shot at the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness, freedom of speech, press, religion, etc., then I think you'd struggle to find perhaps 1% of people in this country that would disagree....assuming the questions are asked in a straightforward manner.

However, if you're defining "values" more narrowly, i.e. according to WWJD as defined by conservative protestant Christianity, that all your problems are due to the "ebill" White man, immigrants, Commies, Joos, or whatever, that's where the disagreement and eventually demagoguery start.

As for theory vs. facts, theory of course has value. The problem is most people in this country don't have a basic handle on the facts to even be able to intelligently discuss the theoretical basis. So for example, how can someone be so dead on sure that the healthcare bill is unconstitutional when they haven't even made a basic attempt to read it so as to know what's actually in it?
 

Lanky Livingston

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The right likes to turn everything into a discussion of values to exploit their religious base and make the left look like baby-killing marriage haters. The left likes to turn the right into racist environment haters to exploit their ultra-sensitive base. Unfortunately, its a never-ending cycle, and its going to be like that until the USA is no more.
 

Lanky Livingston

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what is there to agree on? how can reason prevail when the fundamental conflict is over values?

BTW...thank God other movements don't publish conflicting messages or walk a broad gap between promises and actions!

The fundamental conflict isn't over values to everyone, though. The right thinks it is, but not everyone shares your values, because not everyone is religious. To the left, a lot of the conflict is about basic civil/human rights, and not values at all. In fact, "family values" is just a right-wing buzz phrase to get their base riled up.
 

fansince62

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The fundamental conflict isn't over values to everyone, though. The right thinks it is, but not everyone shares your values, because not everyone is religious. To the left, a lot of the conflict is about basic civil/human rights, and not values at all. In fact, "family values" is just a right-wing buzz phrase to get their base riled up.
1) I'm not affiliated with any Church....nor am I religious.

2) What do you think "basic civil/human rights" is really about? There is no consistent expressed or implied philosophy behind these abstractions as employed by the Left. They sure seem to fill an ever expanding set as well. More often than not, and certainly as used, they are appeals to empathetic instincts rather than "rights" founded in some consistent political or moral system. And please, there is what the Left believes in, and there is the manifest hypocrisy in how many live their lives. Look at these frauds! It's embarrassing how well they symbolize the "is ought" gap. I've known some of these shining beacons of virtue over the years - celebrity types we have all seen on TV at one time or another - you'd be amazed at the orthogonal course their private lives take from their public rhetoric.

3) If you were to pay attention to "the facts"....rather than trotting out tiresome strawmen like all those cave dwelling, right wing religious zealots.....you might take note that it is very often conservatives and libertarians who refer to philosophic and Constitutional foundations.

4) I don't favor either end of the political spectrum..oh btw. But I know which one..in the name of "rights" in this day and age....is more than willing to employ the terrorist powers of the government to exert ITS SET OF VALUES as national policy....or implicitly condone murder, rape an kidnapping of innocents along the AZ border in the name of "human rights".

yea...these discussions can get heated. consider the subject matter. it's inherently not a dispassionate exchange of ideas one walks away from as from a nonchalant chat over who should QB the Washington Redskins. Serious stuff. You're in...or you're out. I agree there should be bounds.....but the "facts" you are looking for are themselves mutable in this context.

PROVE ANY UNIVERSAL ASSERTION OF RIGHTS YOU CARE TO CHAMPION. You have to make some axiomatic assumptions (as with any theory). In the moral realm no one has to accept these. Utilitarianism? Natural Rights? Deity based moral systems? Take your pick! Whatever strikes you as "self evident"........living in the age of moral relativism championed by the Left over the last 60 years or so has its downside once everyone decides to play along and exploit the weaknesses in that "fairness" construct...:).....
 
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Sarge

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When I take over and become Emperor, this will all be moot
 

fansince62

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Fansince62, your comment about values has merit...to a point. The problem is or course, what one actually means by "values". If one means assuring that the basic principles this country was built on and/or grew into, i.e. that all our citizens deserve an equal shot at the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness, freedom of speech, press, religion, etc., then I think you'd struggle to find perhaps 1% of people in this country that would disagree....assuming the questions are asked in a straightforward manner.

However, if you're defining "values" more narrowly, i.e. according to WWJD as defined by conservative protestant Christianity, that all your problems are due to the "ebill" White man, immigrants, Commies, Joos, or whatever, that's where the disagreement and eventually demagoguery start.

As for theory vs. facts, theory of course has value. The problem is most people in this country don't have a basic handle on the facts to even be able to intelligently discuss the theoretical basis. So for example, how can someone be so dead on sure that the healthcare bill is unconstitutional when they haven't even made a basic attempt to read it so as to know what's actually in it?
Yusuf...what I was getting at was that what is going on today as a matter of politics is a Titanic struggle over what values should organize society and individual relationships. The conversation about "rights" is a sham IMO - all one has to do is look at judicial decison-making over the last 100 years and the recurring (and critical) debate between stare decisis types and "progressive"/"activist" types to feel the force of what is really going on.

btw...I don't question your candor or intentions (well maybe a little...:)...)in your Tea Party investigation. I just don't agree with the conclusions or some of the logic.

We went around more than once years ago on that other declining board many of us are refugees from.....but still retained mutual respect. let's argue passionately and with reason.....but find an end point to the conversation so we can get back to our favorite football team for a breather now and then!!!! I'm done with this one.....
 

Lanky Livingston

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1) I'm not affiliated with any Church....nor am I religious.
Somewhat irrelevant, but if you side with the right on most issues, then you certainly espouse so-called "Christian" values.

2) What do you think "basic civil/human rights" is really about? There is no consistent expressed or implied philosophy behind these abstractions as employed by the Left. They sure seem to fill an ever expanding set as well. More often than not, and certainly as used, they are appeals to empathetic instincts rather than "rights" founded in some consistent political or moral system. And please, there is what the Left believes in, and there is the manifest hypocrisy in how many live their lives. Look at these frauds! It's embarrassing how well they symbolize the "is ought" gap. I've known some of these shining beacons of virtue over the years - celebrity types we have all seen on TV at one time or another - you'd be amazed at the orthogonal course their private lives take from their public rhetoric.
I disagree - theoretically you could break every decision we make into "values" if you wanted to, but that would get us back to where we started. The "values" argument is how the right personalizes the issue, and somehow makes an issue like gay marriage about their own family, which is ridiculous.

And if you're going to sit there and tell me that the left are the only hypocritical ones, then you're as crazy as the right-wing fringe.

3) If you were to pay attention to "the facts"....rather than trotting out tiresome strawmen like all those cave dwelling, right wing religious zealots.....you might take note that it is very often conservatives and libertarians who refer to philosophic and Constitutional foundations.
Please refer to where I trotted out the 'cave dwelling, right wing religious zealots' strawman.

4) I don't favor either end of the political spectrum..oh btw. But I know which one..in the name of "rights" in this day and age....is more than willing to employ the terrorist powers of the government to exert ITS SET OF VALUES as national policy....or implicitly condone murder, rape an kidnapping of innocents along the AZ border in the name of "human rights".
This paragraph reads like something out of an Ann Coulter book. Very scary that people actually think like this.
 

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From my point of view, that fact that the movement even sprang up is a statement in and of itself.

To me it says the people that are running the government have gone too far.

When Repubs had complete control, you didn't see populous movements spring up and go marching. But now you do.

And for every person at a march, there are probably at least five that couldn't make it.
 

fansince62

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This paragraph reads like something out of an Ann Coulter book. Very scary that people actually think like this.
yea...your sense for sarcasm is well developed. And I don't care at this point. Your biases and thinking lapses have been documented - gratis...thank you very much - in this thread!
 

Lanky Livingston

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From my point of view, that fact that the movement even sprang up is a statement in and of itself.

To me it says the people that are running the government have gone too far.

When Repubs had complete control, you didn't see populous movements spring up and go marching. But now you do.

And for every person at a march, there are probably at least five that couldn't make it.
You are way off here - the Left invented the modern day "grass-roots movement." See the Green Party, MoveOn.org, etc.
 

Lanky Livingston

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yea...your sense for sarcasm is well developed. And I don't care at this point. Your biases and thinking lapses have been documented - gratis...thank you very much - in this thread!
I've been pretty objective so far in this thread, like it or not. And as far as thinking lapses, not really sure where you're going with that one, you'll have to expand your thoughts.
 

Sarge

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You are way off here - the Left invented the modern day "grass-roots movement." See the Green Party, MoveOn.org, etc.
I'll give the left that much. The hippie movement was pretty much the start. But as for the other movements, they've been comprised of mostly out of the mainstream groups, anti-war, gay pride, pro illegals etc.

The Tea Party is mainly comprised of every day, Joe Average Americans who see government as becoming too big and too intrusive, along with being fiscally out of control.

And yes, it's been fiscally out of control for a long time, but Obama's spending has pushed that to a new level. One from which we may not recover if we don't get some people in government that exercise some control and get a grip on spending
 

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