Commentary by James H. Shott
Back in the George W. Bush era Mr. Bush got blamed for everything, problems real and imagined, and even though he’s been out of office for 31 months, he is still getting blamed. The troubles of today are his fault, they say, and he will likely be blamed for stuff for the next few years.
Mr. Bush certainly made mistakes during his presidency. He presided over increased federal spending and budget deficits, and failed to seal the southern border and address illegal immigration. Critics even blame Mr. Bush for the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction issue and the financial collapse. Believing the latter two requires one to be either fact-challenged or be someone who plays fast and loose with the facts.
The far left always needs a villain, but realizes this “blame Bush” strategy is losing steam, and needs a new villain to shift responsibility to for their policy failures and has changed its focus.
Enter the Tea Party, which really is a philosophy more than a party, and in fact consists of several separate organizations with “Tea Party” in their name, as well as individuals not associated with any organization who identify with Tea Party principles and favor restoring the United States of America as it was originally configured by the Founding Fathers. It seeks to return the government to its limited and Constitutional boundaries, and also supports fiscal responsibility, low taxation, border security, and personal freedom.
No wonder the far left wants to demonize the Tea Party. The principles it advocates are poison to everything these folks believe. If the movement is successful, the country will thrive and the far left is out of business, and they clearly cannot allow that to happen.
The desperate reaction to the Tea Party movement manifests itself in comments that are well beneath the high level of tolerance the left demands from the right. Here is an example, via Tom Friedman of the New York Times, who wrote: “If sane Republicans do not stand up to this Hezbollah faction in their midst, the Tea Party will take the G.O.P. on a suicide mission.” So, Mr. Friedman believes Tea Party folks are not sane and their ideals compare to those of Islamic terrorists.
Following along on that theme, Nicholas Kristof, also in the New York Times, commented: “Wake up to the national security threat. Only it’s not coming from abroad, but from our own domestic extremists....The blunt truth is that the biggest threat to America’s national security this summer doesn’t come from China, Iran or any other foreign power. It comes from budget machinations, and budget maniacs, at home.”
The hallowed halls of academia are not immune to these wild-eyed reactions: William Yeomans, Fellow in Law and Government at American University in Washington wrote this on the Politico Web site: “It has become commonplace to call the tea party faction in the House ‘hostage takers.’ But they have now become full-blown terrorists.” Iran is not a threat, al Qaeda is not a threat, our out-of-control spending is not a threat, but the Tea Party idealists are a threat.
Before the moderate left called Tea Party advocates “terrorists” it called them “racists,” like this example from the Keith Olberman show on MSNBC, where “actor and activist” Janeane Garofalo said that “they have no idea what the Boston tea party was about. … This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up.” Democrat Representatives Maxine Waters and Charles Rangel appeared on the Fox News channel, both also saying racism was at the core of the Tea Party.
So, the Tea Party is a bunch of racists because they want a government that stays within its dictated boundaries and behaves sensibly with regard to taxes and spending, and personal freedom?
But while you likely have heard comments like the previous ones, chances are you haven’t heard about Tea Party advocate Lloyd Marcus, who writes, “I am a black performer/activist traveling on my third national Tea Party Express tour,” and he told of the “numerous white patriots [who] shook my hand with tears in their eyes thanked me for what I was doing for our country.” “These are the decent hard working great Americans Waters, Rangel and the left continuously attempt to portray as racist,” Mr. Marcus wrote.
A lot of folks believe the racist, terrorist bilge because it is being spread by folks they trust, lending credence to the maxim, “tell a lie often enough and people will begin to believe it.” Others suffer along under the same confusion as those who mischaracterize and demonize the Tea Party folks, apparently believing Tea Party principles are “radical,” and still others simply hate people that disagree with them, and resort to name-calling.
Everyone who regards limited and Constitutional government, fiscal responsibility, low taxation, border security, and personal freedom as “radical” ideas are grossly out of touch with everything the United States of America stands for. They are the ones who pose a great threat to the United States, and it is they, not the Tea Party folks, we should be concerned about.
Cross-posted from Observations