Sunday, February 14, 2010

National Review's View

On TEA Parties. They are wrong. Not surprising, since they are wrong on almost everything.

There are some words the leftists LOVE to throw around. Hypocrite and its' various permutations is the one they love the most. Only Conservatives can be hypocrites, because Cons have standards of behavior. The Leftists do not. They love the term "extreme" and related terms ("reactionary" is the one used in this column). Another is "jingoism" (explained here).

While the energy and outrage may be genuine and organic, we should not fool ourselves into seeing this as anything but a right-wing reactionary movement, one whose themes (jingoism, militarism and a cult of victimhood at the hands of sundry nefarious betrayers) are as old as the John Birch Society.

Victimhood? Hardly. We are change agents, not victims. Victims whine, moan and complain while doing nothing. I guarantee the TEA Party movement is not sitting around doing nothing.

Jingoism and militarism? Of course, it is necessary to bring up references to Nazis of Germany and the Japanese Empire in the 20th Century. Vilify and destroy the enemy. How Alinsky-esque.

It is useful for branding purposes that the right-wing organizers and activists draping themselves in nostalgia for the founding fathers not find themselves tied in the public mind to the Republican Party, loathed by a significant minority of the electorate and distrusted by an overwhelming majority. The reason is not hard to divine: over the last decade, the GOP ran the country into the ground. While the party's rhetorical fidelity is to small government and a big military, it has for decades been operationally committed to no philosophy other than perpetual war, upward redistribution of wealth, the defense of corporate power and white Christian identity politics. But despite the tea party's arm's-length stance toward the GOP, these are precisely the values for which it stands.

There is SO much here, I'm not sure where to start. First, we distance ourselves from the GOP because the GOP has lost it's direction. The small government, low tax GOP no longer exists. I will remind New Republic that Democrats have controlled the Legislative branch for the last 4 years, so they are complicit. And the largest deficit in American history belongs to this Congress and President (no, they didn't "inherit" it). And the "perpetual war, tax breaks for the rich, party of Big Business" meme doesn't fly any more. This president promised to be out of Iraq before the end of his first year. Who just bailed out the largest corporations in the country? Who coined the term, "too big to fail"? Who is currently in bed with Wall Street? Ummm...take a guess and it ain't the GOP.

Rank hypocrisy has never spelled doom for a political party in America, and it won't hurt the tea party so long as its views remain opaque. The easiest way to highlight the contradictions between the vaguely attractive populism of the tea partyers and the decidedly unpopulist governing vision of the party they serve is to attack the banks with a tea party-like zeal and force the GOP to close ranks around its new financial benefactors.

The Democrats would know about hypocrisy. This is the President who said he wouldn't raise taxes on the middle class. He said he would ban lobbyists from the White House. Our views are not opaque. As for the last line above, I can only say "WTF"?

National Review is wrong here on SO many levels, it's clear they have failed to do their homework.

At least they didn't call us "Teabaggers".

1 comment:

Dad29 said...

I'll grant you that the TEA Party message has not been 'focused' with bullet-points and slick sloganeering.

Outside of 'big-spend/big-gummint', which is, I think, the concern of the majority of the activists, other issues are background, such as taxes, AlQ, and the lovefest between DC and WallStreet.

But if you boil down the domestic issues I think you get to "Big Gummint/Big Spending" as the starting point.

That's what the (R) and certainly the (D) graybeards will never understand, because they really think that they, in Gummint, are the solution.

It's also why Ryan is so damn lonely. He proposes to dis-Governmentalize Medicare and SocSec to a limited degree, AND to raise taxes slightly to get past the cataclysmic FAIL upcoming on both those problems.

Not what the politicians are willing to sell.