Monday, April 05, 2010

This was to have been part 3, "Why now?", but I'm interrupting the sequence to draw attention to a number of recent articles germane to previously discussed points.
As to whether Tea Party members are all racist and/or Republican, there is Tea Party Anger Reflects Mainstream Concerns by Juan Williams. Relatively few people have called Juan a right wing racist. CNN, also rarely described as right wing, has Disgruntled Democrats join the Tea Party .

Many bloggers and pundits say it's the level of vitriol that is new and proves racism. For example, when Rush Limbaugh recently called the Obama administration a "regime", Chris Matthews was appalled: ""I've never seen language like this in the American press," he said, "referring to an elected representative government, elected in a totally fair, democratic, American election -- we will have another one in November, we'll have another one for president in a couple years -- fair, free, and wonderful democracy we have in this country…. We know that word, 'regime.' It was used by George Bush, 'regime change.' You go to war with regimes. Regimes are tyrannies. They're juntas. They're military coups. The use of the word 'regime' in American political parlance is unacceptable, and someone should tell the walrus [Limbaugh] to stop using it."
Matthews didn't stop there. "I never heard the word 'regime,' before, have you?" he said to NBC's Chuck Todd. "I don't even think Joe McCarthy ever called this government a 'regime.'"

Well, Byron York at The Washington Examiner looked it up. "... a search of the Nexis database for "Bush regime" yields 6,769 examples from January 20, 2001 to the present... It was used 16 times in the New York Times... "Bush regime" was used 24 times in the Washington Post,... " In fact, it was even used on Chris' own network, MSNBC, by, "Finally -- you knew this was coming -- on June 14, 2002, Chris Matthews himself introduced a panel discussion about a letter signed by many prominent leftists condemning the Bush administration's conduct of the war on terror. "Let's go to the Reverend Al Sharpton," Matthews said. "Reverend Sharpton, what do you make of this letter and this panoply of the left condemning the Bush regime?"

Another article in a similar vein is Against ObamaCare? You're A Racist Hater by Larry Elder. An even more interesting submission is this You Tube video of anti-Bush protestors. It's worth listening through to the end for the protestor who says, "Us Democrats are gonna get up in arms, we'll have to come out and, you know, do what we have to do in the spirit of revolution... we'll have to come out and kill somebody, I guess."

UPDATE: From a poll taken by the Winston Group, released as Behind the Headlines: What’s driving the Tea Party Movement?
"In three national surveys, done for New Models from December 2009 through February 2010, 57% of Tea Party members called themselves Republicans, another 28% said they were Independents, and 13% were Democrats. Two-thirds of Tea Party members identify as conservatives but 26% say they are moderate and 8% described themselves as liberal."


Chalicechick said...

Indeed, the Tea Party is so wide open that even a candidate that gets $200,000 per year in farm subsidies can claim to be a member.

From the politician in question:

"People are quick to say with their mouth full, 'Well, the American farmer is on the dole,' " Fincher said. "But a loaf of bread is two bucks when it could be 10 bucks. I know what it is with the government in my business. We would be all for not having government in our business, but we need a fair system."

I think I speak for the American people when I say: "Huh?"


Joel Monka said...

Yeah, the Tea Party is an enticing asset that all kinds of politicians would love to be able to exploit. One can only hope they will show more discrimination than the Libertarians did when they allowed Bob Barr to represent them. There was a "Huh?" that resounded throught the rank and file!

At this time, the Tea Party movement is like the Pagan movement in one respect- anyone can claim membership as there is no Pope nor power structure to gainsay it. But chaos has its advantages, too... in a political party, one only has to convince a small hierarchy to gain power (like Bob Barr did); but in an unorganized movement, one must convince a majority of the members by dint of earned respect. That's a very hard thing to do, and Fincher isn't up to it.

I still believe that the Republicans aren't going to get the kind of boost they think they will from the Tea Party- the TP was founded because after Bush and McCain, they couldn't trust the Republicans any further than the Democrats. Next election, ticket-splitting will be the order of the day. Last election, I voted for candidates from three different parties; I expect a lot of company in the future.

Chalicechick said...

It strikes me that the Tea Party is almost exactly like a tiny version of the Reform Party.


Joel Monka said...

Yeah, there's a lot of similarities, and for all I know a lot of overlap. If there's not, the reason may be that most of the Tea Party- the attendees, not the organizers- have never involved themselves in politics before.