The Tea Party Movement

fivepoint

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 28, 2007
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IOWA
As you all know, Iowa carries a bit more than it's own political weight due to it's first-in-nation caucus status. In addition to being well known as a swing state (voting for Obama in 08, Bush in 04, Kerry in 00, Clinton in 96 and 92, etc.), and a leading state on many issues (Gay Rights) Iowa has long been considered to be the first real test of a Presidential Candidate's chances, and has on more than one occasion made or broken the chances for one candidate or another's presidential bid.

Recently, the Des Moines Register (left/liberal leaning organization), did some surveying in Iowa to gauge the interest in the Iowa Tea Party Movement to try and get a better understanding for the movement, who it involves, and who it might affect. The results exceeded even my expectations for Iowa even though several nationwide surveys found similar results, and the non-existent "Tea Party" even beat the Republicans in a Three-Way-Generic-Ballot a few months ago.





Anyway, my point isn't to change anyone's mind and attempt to bring you over to the 'my side' on the issues, but I do think it's time that the lefties on this forum and everywhere, especially those who refuse to get their media from more than a few particular sources which match their worldview, to stand up and admit that there's something real behind the Tea Parties... that it's not a bunch of "Racist Tea Baggers" as Garaffalo and Olberman would have you believe. Stand up and Admit that Arianna Huffington is right when she says that while the fringe elements of the tea party movement may be garnering the biggest headlines, the group is based on substantive/legitimate concerns.

Are 1/3 of Iowans "Tea Bagging racists"? Even the ones who are self-proclaimed Democrats?
The Tea Party seems to be trying to pull the Republicans back to their small-government principles, including less concern with citizen's pesonal lives, and a stronger stance in support of a non-interventionalist foreign policy. Is this a bad thing?
You can't keep spouting off the same bull crap lines that all of these people are ignorant racist rednecks... because in addition to being ridiculous, you're making them want to fight harder. Sure, you can go through the hundreds of thousands of protestors and find a few distasteful signs... but you know as well as I do that they are the outliers. They aren't the norm. Perhaps we should shame the entire Gay Rights movement because of the actions of a few? Or the "Right to Choice" movement because a few idiots breaking the law?

Anxious to see an honest conversation here about the Tea Party movement, why it's growing so rapidly and seems to interest such a wide variety of people from all political and social backgrounds. I'd like to see the name calling and unnecessary inflammatory comments out of this thread if at all possible. Please keep your comments to political and philosophical analysis of the movement instead of defaming a few of the non-representative participants.

Do you think the movement will benefit Republicans, or splinter the party ensuring Democrat Success?
Who's right, Arianna Huffington or Iowa Senator Harkin (D) who has a nice juicy comment at the bottom of the article?
Will the movement continue to grow, or begin to fizzle?
Will Obama's attempt at becoming more populist on certain issues (asking for a spending freeze) make him more popular with this movement?
Will anyone move to become the leader of this movement? If so, will it be a social conservative Republican like Sarah Palin, or a more pure-Libertarian like Ron Paul?
Will the members of this group ever trust the Republican party again after George Bush caused so much governmental growth and spending during his term? I'm assuming so, but how long will it take?
Will "the lesser of two evils" continue to dominate American politics in the two-party system?


http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20100207/NEWS/100206011
A Des Moines Sunday Register exclusive
A third of Iowans from across the political spectrum say they support the “tea party” movement, sounding a loud chorus of dissatisfaction with government, according to The Des Moines Register’s new Iowa Poll.

Neither party has a lock on these restless advocates of limited government and fiscal control, according to the poll. However, their conservative leanings appear to give Republicans a greater opportunity than Democrats to make gains at the dawn of a volatile election year.


The findings are the first up-or-down test of the tea party’s support in a midterm battleground state. They also shed light on a movement that could affect the campaign for Iowa’s leadoff Republican presidential caucuses next year.

The poll’s findings, at minimum, reflect anger rooted in the nation’s stubborn economic problems, national observers say. At maximum, they could foretell an eruption of voter outrage in November.

“It seems to be a pretty substantial phenomenon for this group to brand itself so quickly in a politically competitive state and to get people to align favorably,” said Thomas Patterson, a political science professor specializing in public opinion research at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.


The poll, taken Jan. 31 to Feb.3, was conducted by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines just days ahead of what’s been billed as the group’s first national convention, in Nashville, Tenn. It includes telephone interviews with 805 Iowans 18 years and older, and has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The group has become more identified with Republicans since its national breakthrough moment when supporters turned out en masse at town hall meetings around the country, including Iowa, last year to oppose health care bills in the Democrat-controlled Congress.

Tea party activists claimed victory after campaigning for Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown’s election to the U.S. Senate last month. And the national meeting in Tennessee lined up Republican luminaries, chiefly 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

But identification of tea party supporters in Iowa with the Republican Party is limited, according to the poll.

Independents account for nearly half of tea party supporters, Republicans represent a third, and Democrats 17 percent.


Just over two years ago, independents propelled Barack Obama to winning the 2008 Democratic presidential caucuses, and later to carrying the state en route to capturing the White House.

Today, they’re the biggest piece of a group that strongly opposes the main elements of the domestic agenda of the president and Democratic Congress.
“I know a lot of people don’t think it cuts across party lines. But it really does,” said Ryan Rhodes of West Des Moines, chairman of the Iowa Tea Party Patriots and a former Republican candidate for the Iowa House.

And while most tea party supporters lean right (about 60 percent describe themselves as conservative), a third describe themselves as politically moderate, and 6 percent consider themselves liberal.


That mix could make it difficult for candidates to reach tea party supporters through typical partisan organizations. However, some Iowa Republicans say their party can capture this audience of motivated voters, if they reach out to them.

“Republicans are the natural beneficiary, because Democrats are in charge. And it’s kind of like they are in the mode of, 'Let’s throw everybody out,’” said Bob Vander Plaats, one of four Republicans seeking the nomination for governor. “But I think it would be foolhardy for Republicans to believe they are just going to come our way.”
U.S. Rep. Steve King, a Kiron Republican, campaigned for Brown in Massachusetts last month and has been in contact with tea party leaders nationally.

But even King said he was not certain how strong Iowa’s tea party support runs in Iowa or who its emerging leaders are.

“I don’t know if I’m well enough wired in to be able to say,” King said. “At this point they pride themselves in being leaderless.”
Anti-incumbent mood benefits Republicans
The poll suggests tea party supporters could benefit Republicans in November if the GOP can persuade voters its candidates will rein in spending.

Tea party supporters are more energized than the average likely Iowa voter. Three-quarters of the group’s supporters say they will definitely vote, about even with the 73 percent of Republicans who say the same, compared with 65 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of independents.

The poll includes interviews with 531 likely voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3percentage points.

A majority of Republicans and tea party supporters in Iowa say they are inclined to replace state and federal officeholders, compared with about 45 percent of Iowans overall.

An anti-incumbent mood in Iowa would disproportionately affect Democrats, who control the Legislature and hold three of five congressional seats. Gov. Chet Culver and U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell of Des Moines, both Democrats, are expected to face stiff challenges for re-election, based on polling, fundraising and the competitive Republican primaries taking shape.

Government spending fuels the discontent among tea party supporters and Republicans, according to the poll.

Almost 90 percent of both groups say the federal government is spending too much, while more than six in 10 of both say the same about state government.
“We can’t continue to spend this way. We’re in such a deficit now. It’s going to be passed to future generations,” said Joe Mrstik , a Republican-leaning independent from Lisbon and a tea party supporter.

Curtis Gans, a veteran national scholar of voting patterns, said the heart of the tea party movement opposes not just spending alone, but spending that does not appear to have worked.

“I think what angers them most is the bailouts, not merely the spending. If they saw spending that would produce jobs, it would be different,” said Gans, director of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate at American University in Washington, D.C.

“The tea party movement right now is the symbol for some people of anger, and the Iowa Poll suggests there is widespread anger about the fact that we are in a deep economic crisis.”

Democrats recently have shown they’re not deaf to the concerns the tea party’s emergence represents.

Obama called last month for a three-year freeze on most discretionary spending. Meanwhile, majority Democrats in the U.S. House have proposed measures that would tax financial institutions that use money from the $700billion financial industry bailout in 2008 for bonuses in excess of $50,000.
Activists' rise begins to affect political races
The Iowa Poll’s findings align with a national CNN poll last month in which a third of Americans said they had a favorable view of the tea party.

In discussing the Iowa results, Harvard’s Patterson said he was surprised by the movement’s high level of recognition “in this crowded, chaotic, noisy information environment.”

The group has come a long way since taking root last year in protest to the bank bailout and fueled by the $787 billion economic stimulus package.

Rhodes, the Iowa coordinator, has amassed an e-mail list with 10,000 names since he got involved less than a year ago by helping organize tax day protests in April. The events drew about 5,000 people to events in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.

Rhodes said hundreds, perhaps thousands, of tea party supporters attended Republican Party precinct caucuses on Jan. 23.

“I started with nothing,” said Rhodes. “Now we’re setting up groups around the state where hundreds of people show up.”

Last week, Rhodes said four new groups met in the Des Moines area, and he is getting a new one in eastern Iowa off the ground. Rhodes is also campaign manager for 3rd U.S. House District candidate Dave Funk, a Runnells Republican.
Tea party activists also are backing a conservative Republican in an Iowa House primary race in northwest Iowa. The group supports former Pocahontas GOP co-chairman Tom Shaw of Laurens, whose frustration with the party prompted him to quit it for six months last year.

Supporting the tea party means different things to different people, according to poll respondents. Some consider it more of an identity than a movement.

“I would like to be more involved,” said Lisa Stevenson, an Urbandale day care provider and a Republican-leaning independent. “I agree with what they stand for, and would probably get involved if someone called me.”
Harkin calls tea party 'a fringe, radical group'
Tea party opponents in Iowa characterize the group as representing the far right and say the early fascination with it will pass when more people learn about it.
Its detractors are equally difficult to categorize politically. In fact, their political profile is almost a mirror image of supporters. Roughly half are independents, while a third are Democrats and almost 20percent are Republicans.

More than 20 percent of Iowans said they were unsure whether they supported the group.

Des Moines Democrat Donna Miller opposes the tea party in part because she said the group misrepresented health care legislation during the highly publicized public meetings with members of Congress last summer.

But Miller, a lawyer, said the group has gained in strength, in part because of the Massachusetts Senate election.

“I wouldn’t call them mainstream, as a whole,” Miller said. “But I do think they are becoming more than a fringe group. They are involved, and making a difference in some elections.”

Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, the state’s ranking elected Democrat, was more dismissive, referring to tea party activists as loud and representing the political fringe.

“Unless the tea party starts to moderate its views a little bit and becomes more mainstream, they are going to continue to become a fringe, radical group,” Harkin said.


About 40 percent of Americans said they had not heard of the tea party movement, or knew too little to have an opinion in the CNN poll.

American University’s Gans said many Americans do not yet know that the tea party organizations support conservative Republican candidates “against liberal or moderate Republican candidates.”

As the November elections approach, opinions about the group will divide along party lines, he said.

“I would love to know then what people think of the tea party movement,” Gans said.
 

jb1280

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2009
813
25
So is Iowa finally going to abandon their annual bailouts for their agricultural industry or is this just another manifestation of anger?
 

fivepoint

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 28, 2007
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IOWA
So is Iowa finally going to abandon their annual bailouts for their agricultural industry or is this just another manifestation of anger?
This is way off topic. If you want to talk about Ag Subsidies, I suggest you start your own thread. If you do, I'd be glad to participate. As a farmer and a free market supporter, I do not like ag subsidies. In the end they increase dependence on the federal government, cause the growing of crops that are not in demand, and virtually ensure poverty for small farmers forced to work within the system to decrease their immediate risk. More government manipulation, more unintended consequences which damage the very people they were designed to protect... what else is new?
 

jb1280

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2009
813
25
This is way off topic. If you want to talk about Ag Subsidies, I suggest you start your own thread. If you do, I'd be glad to participate. As a farmer and a free market supporter, I do not like ag subsidies. In the end they increase dependence on the federal government, cause the growing of crops that are not in demand, and virtually ensure poverty for small farmers forced to work within the system to decrease their immediate risk. More government manipulation, more unintended consequences which damage the very people they were designed to protect... what else is new?
No, it's not way off topic. This cuts to the core of the intellectual honesty of the tea party movement.

From yesterday:

From: http://www.teabagparty.org/

They oppose:

-Forced bailout of mortgages for those who made bad or risky investment choices by those who were more careful.

-Massive federal spending on government social programs that are likely to become entrenched interests.

-Increasing taxes on small businesses and their owners, who are the engine of the economy.

-Massive deficit spending that will take many generations to recover from.

-Ineffective throwing of hundreds of billions at financial institutions with no discernable positive result.

-Reduction of tax breaks for home mortgages and charitable contributions.

-Not allowing details of "spendulous" plans to be seen, read and comprehended prior to a vote.

-Massive "Cap and Tax" on the same kind of air molecules that we breathe out every few seconds.

-Wealth transfer that discourages industry and promotes laziness.

-Lack of concern for the trillions of dollars of personal savings that is being lost in the stock market.
If the Tea Party is being honest, you could replace the risky investment and financial institution with military waste, agricultural subsidies, medicare, social security, and myriad other issues.

This appears not to be the case. I would argue the core of the Tea Party is not with bailout fatigue or government spending - that is merely the scapegoat. What the core is, however, I think is still open for debate.
 

Macky-Mac

macrumors 68030
May 18, 2004
2,589
1,142
.... and the non-existent "Tea Party" even beat the Republicans and Democrats in a Three-Way-Generic-Ballot a few months ago.....
actually your link shows that the Democrats "win" a 3 way match up with 36% of the vote compared to 23% for Tea Partiers;

In a three-way Generic Ballot test, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds Democrats attracting 36% of the vote. The Tea Party candidate picks up 23%, and Republicans finish third at 18%. Another 22% are undecided.
You must have misread the report?

The Rasmussen Poll you linked to shows that the Republicans face the potential danger of having the "anti-democrats" vote split allowing Democrats to win races they wouldn't have otherwise won.....the recent upstate NY congressional race would be an example of that
 

fivepoint

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 28, 2007
1,175
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IOWA
No, it's not way off topic. This cuts to the core of the intellectual honesty of the tea party movement.

If the Tea Party is being honest, you could replace the risky investment and financial institution with military waste, agricultural subsidies, medicare, social security, and myriad other issues.

This appears not to be the case. I would argue the core of the Tea Party is not with bailout fatigue or government spending - that is merely the scapegoat. What the core is, however, I think is still open for debate.
Their position is fairly clear about big government entitlement programs. I'd be willing to guarantee that the majority of Tea Party protesters are anti-subsidy of any kind, including agriculture ones. The same goes for medicare and social security. I'd say on the "military waste" issue, the movement is more split... with Libertarians and Ron Paul fans promoting massive cuts to military budget and a change in our policies which result in us having forces scattered all across the world. Other movement members consider National Defense to be one of the few things the constitution enables the Federal Government to have a heavy hand in, and are generally supportive of hawkish military policies. I am personally in the first group, but won't pretend that all Tea Party goer's agree with me.




actually your link shows that the Democrats "win" a 3 way match up with 36% of the vote compared to 23% for Tea Partiers;
Thanks for the catch. You're exactly right... and I've made a change to reflect this.
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
339
norcal
We had a very successful tea party movement in Northern California who got steam from attacking both Obama and Bush on the wars, and continuing presence overseas, and cost of staying there. The press was favorable to them and their ranks grew and there was a healthy dose of members from all of the political parties.

It was a Libertarian started coalition of small government/less spending, along with liberal peace activists from many parties that wanted us out of foreign wars, and fiscal conservatives (from all parties) who saw our military spending out of control. It worked until the GOP took over the Tea Party here and kicked out all the Libertarians and changed the message from government spending and Libertarian non-aggression to "abortion, family values, and anti-gay marriage".

The Libertarians put out an olive branch to the local GOP and the GOP kicked the Libertarians out of their own local movement. When somebody even within the GOP goes rogue and not lockstep with the platform (I read Palin's autobiography), then the GOP shuts them out and smears them.

All talk about fiscal responsibility in my region's tea party was tossed out the window.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
We had a very successful tea party movement in Northern California who got steam from attacking both Obama and Bush on the wars, and continuing presence overseas, and cost of staying there. The press was favorable to them and their ranks grew and there was a healthy dose of members from all of the political parties.

It was a Libertarian started coalition of small government/less spending, along with liberal peace activists from many parties that wanted us out of foreign wars, and fiscal conservatives (from all parties) who saw our military spending out of control. It worked until the GOP took over the Tea Party here and kicked out all the Libertarians and changed the message from government spending and Libertarian non-aggression to "abortion, family values, and anti-gay marriage".

The Libertarians put out an olive branch to the local GOP and the GOP kicked the Libertarians out of their own local movement.

All talk about fiscal responsibility was tossed out the window.
It was amazing how quickly that happened. In the beginning, it could have worked, but the crazies took over and ruined it.
 

fivepoint

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 28, 2007
1,175
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IOWA
We had a very successful tea party movement in Northern California who got steam from attacking both Obama and Bush on the wars, and continuing presence overseas, and cost of staying there. The press was favorable to them and their ranks grew and there was a healthy dose of members from all of the political parties.

It was a Libertarian started coalition of small government/less spending, along with liberal peace activists from many parties that wanted us out of foreign wars, and fiscal conservatives (from all parties) who saw our military spending out of control. It worked until the GOP took over the Tea Party here and kicked out all the Libertarians and changed the message from government spending and Libertarian non-aggression to "abortion, family values, and anti-gay marriage".

The Libertarians put out an olive branch to the local GOP and the GOP kicked the Libertarians out of their own local movement.

All talk about fiscal responsibility was tossed out the window.
Excellent points. I hope this is a trend that dies out quickly. The Tea Party movement is about (and began as) a constitutional, libertarian, fiscal-conservative movement. The social conservatives, specifically those who aim to impress their viewpoints on others, have their own movement, it's called the Republican party.
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
339
norcal
It was amazing how quickly that happened. In the beginning, it could have worked, but the crazies took over and ruined it.
I am now reading the book by the man who started the tea party movement here, and his socially liberal views, along with his fiscally conservative views, would have made for a strong "third" voice.

Now the tea party here is little more than a puppet of the Christian Right.

Even in Palin's book, when she appointed or upheld a moderate GOP view, the Christian Right had the gall to attack her. One crazy pastor called and told her that "they" would pray for her. Palin had a list of moderate to moderate conservative judges to appoint, and she took the most conservative one of the bunch. But even then, he was not up to the ultra right wing view of Alaska's far right coalition of the Christian Right, and this crazy pastor calls Palin in the middle of the night to harass her.
 

fivepoint

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 28, 2007
1,175
4
IOWA
It was amazing how quickly that happened. In the beginning, it could have worked, but the crazies took over and ruined it.
They're not crazies, they have a different perspective than you do and sometimes I do. In their own eyes, you're the crazy one and they're doing what's right for their country and their children. I know many straight-up social conservative Republicans who I would consider to be some of the best people I've ever known. People who would give their lives to save others, people who more of their own money and time to charity than you or I will ever dream of doing.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,409
As far as I'm concerned, the Tea Party movement is all about money, just like the Dems and Reps. They charged $350-$550 to attend their convention and pay the keynote speaker $100,000+. :massive eye roll:
 

jb1280

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2009
813
25
Time will tell if the Iowa version of the Tea Party is able to be consistent in how government spending is handled in the next several years.

I, however, remain deeply skeptical about the core beliefs of the movement. For all of the rhetoric, Palin is no small government advocate.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
They're not crazies, they have a different perspective than you do and sometimes I do. In their own eyes, you're the crazy one and they're doing what's right for their country and their children. I know many straight-up social conservative Republicans who I would consider to be some of the best people I've ever known. People who would give their lives to save others, people who more of their own money and time to charity than you or I will ever dream of doing.
"The best people I've ever known" are not people who deny others rights. If those are the best people you've ever known, then you are welcome to them. I want nothing to do with them or their "cause".

And furthermore, you have no idea what I've done in my life- charitable or otherwise. Keep your speculation off my life.
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
339
norcal
Excellent points. I hope this is a trend that dies out quickly. The Tea Party movement is about (and began as) a constitutional, libertarian, fiscal-conservative movement. The social conservatives, specifically those who aim to impress their viewpoints on others, have their own movement, it's called the Republican party.
The GOP does not want to lose fiscal conservatives to the Libertarians. And the Democrats don't want to lose social liberals to the Libertarians or Greens.

I voted Green and some of my Democrat friends are convinced that means I voted for John McCain, and not my conscience. I will vote for a Libertarian who shares my socially liberal views, and some fiscally conservative views this November against my former law professor, a typical Democrat.

More and more, if it's a social liberal, I will go Green or Libertarian, and if it's a fiscally conservative candidate I agree with, I will vote Reform or Libertarian.

We desperately need more than two major parties.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
The GOP does not want to lose fiscal conservatives to the Libertarians. And the Democrats don't want to lose social liberals to the Libertarians or Greens.

I voted Green and some of my Democrat friends are convinced that means I voted for John McCain, and not my conscience. I will vote for a Libertarian who shares my socially liberal views, and some fiscally conservative views this November against my former law professor, a typical Democrat.

More and more, if it's a social liberal, I will go Green or Libertarian, and if it's a fiscally conservative candidate I agree with, I will vote Reform or Libertarian.

We desperately need more than two major parties.
But the GOP is losing those people- look at people like Badandy and others.
 

mcrain

macrumors 68000
Feb 8, 2002
1,768
11
Illinois
It's is hard to fault a group that ostensibly stands for lower government spending.

I would have happily joined their ranks during the Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II years, but the people who call themselves the tea party movement were perfectly happy to sit idly by on the sidelines as those three presidents spent our country into oblivian.

It's really hard to take the tea party movement seriously when they are so dominated by their fringe. I may be wrong, but the tea party movement looks so similar to the fundamentalist Christian-right, they appear to be the same group or kissing cousins.

If they wanted to be taken seriously, they probably should have stood up to the Republicans and their spending, as opposed to uniformly voting for McCain and accusing the President of attending madrassas, not being an American, and wanting to kill grandma.

If you want a serious discussion about spending, that's fine. I'm game.

If you want to have a serious discussion in the context of the tea party movement, I'm sorry, but I can't take them seriously. That being said, I hope they stick around. I like the wacknut right-wing splitting votes from the corporate (edit) robots on the right.
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
339
norcal
They're not crazies, they have a different perspective than you do and sometimes I do. In their own eyes, you're the crazy one and they're doing what's right for their country and their children. I know many straight-up social conservative Republicans who I would consider to be some of the best people I've ever known. People who would give their lives to save others, people who more of their own money and time to charity than you or I will ever dream of doing.
I am a Christian, typical of one who believes in what Christ said, but He would probably not agree with some of the Fundamentalists who take on their own agenda.

It's funny when I ask a Fundamentalist who they are and they say, "Evangelical, Fundamentalist, or born-again Christian". When they ask me, I say "I am a Christian".

When I ask what they read, it's some book their pastor wrote or the head of their denomination, I tell them I read the Bible.

What a novel concept.

Believe me, there are a lot of whack jobs in the tea party movement, and to me they are little more than GOP/Christian Right hijackers of a Libertarian viewpoint. Sometimes I think the GOP is more threatened by the Libertarians than the Democrats. I think by now, many rational tea party movement founders have gone back to their own platform within the Libertarian Party and simply given up on the huge force that is the Christian Right. The Libertarians were simply outnumbered.

While I don't agree on every point with Sarah Palin, she belongs more with the Libertarians imho, and so does John McCain and Ron Paul. Dennis Kucinich has more in line with the socially liberal viewpoints of the Libertarians than he does with today's Democrats.

And if the Christian Right goes anti-Mormon, then conservative-moderate Orrin Hatch should leave the GOP and declare himself a Libertarian or at least an independent.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
They're not crazies, they have a different perspective than you do and sometimes I do.
I think this is the problem. I don't disagree that the Tea Party movement has swept up inside it some very intelligent libertarians who have well thought-out positions on issues and a carefully-derived plan of action. But I don't think that's what the Tea Party is today.

The problem is that extremism always begins with a legitimate problem. It might be big government's excesses, but more likely, it's recession, unemployment, and (to a lesser extent) unending war. The next step is that a small number of people with malevolent intentions use the legitimate problem to convert a larger number of angry, uninformed people into monsters for the cause. This is what happened with the Nazis, it's what happened with radical Islam, and it's what's already happening with the Tea Party movement.

The small number of thoughtful people inside the movement will not be able to hold sway over the insanity, the racists, and the fear-mongers.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
It's is hard to fault a group that ostensibly stands for lower government spending.

I would have happily joined their ranks during the Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II years, but the people who call themselves the tea party movement were perfectly happy to sit idly by on the sidelines as those three presidents spent our country into oblivian.

It's really hard to take the tea party movement seriously when they are so dominated by their fringe. I may be wrong, but the tea party movement looks so similar to the fundamentalist Christian-right, they appear to be the same group or kissing cousins.

If they wanted to be taken seriously, they probably should have stood up to the Republicans and their spending, as opposed to uniformly voting for McCain and accusing the President of attending madrassas, not being an American, and wanting to kill grandma.

If you want a serious discussion about spending, that's fine. I'm game.

If you want to have a serious discussion in the context of the tea party movement, I'm sorry, but I can't take them seriously. That being said, I hope they stick around. I like the wacknut right-wing splitting votes from the corporate (edit) robots on the right.
Agreed- it's not the original ideas that anyone has an issue with. It's what this movement actually became that bothers people.
 

jb1280

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2009
813
25
Here's another reason I am deeply skeptical of the so-called Tea Party:

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/washington/stories/DN-ronpaul_07tex.ART.State.Edition1.4bf50f3.html

Even anti-government icon Ron Paul can't escape the conservative "Tea Party" fervor stretching across the county.

Paul, the Gulf Coast congressman whose 2008 presidential run excited libertarians nationwide, even though he didn't get much traction overall, is considered by many to be the "father of the Tea Parties." But he has three opponents in the March Republican primary – more than he has faced in his past six primary campaigns combined.

All three have ties to the anti-tax Tea Party movement. And while Paul remains the odds-on favorite to win re-election in his district, the crowded primary highlights the potential conflict between Tea Party activists and a GOP hoping to ride their wave to electoral success this fall.
continues...

But the movement has clearly moved beyond Paul's dedicated core of supporters, a fact the congressman has seemingly acknowledged. He plans to attend a Tea Party-sponsored candidate forum in Katy this month, but he has distanced himself from the Tea Parties in recent interviews because of the antagonistic tone of some rallies.
 

fivepoint

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 28, 2007
1,175
4
IOWA
As far as I'm concerned, the Tea Party movement is all about money, just like the Dems and Reps. They charged $350-$550 to attend their convention and pay the keynote speaker $100,000+. :massive eye roll:
So, the Tea Party Movement is "all about" something because one guy held one conference with one major speaker and charged people several hundred people several hundred dollars a piece to attend? Interesting concept. :eek:



"The best people I've ever known" are not people who deny others rights. If those are the best people you've ever known, then you are welcome to them. I want nothing to do with them or their "cause".

And furthermore, you have no idea what I've done in my life- charitable or otherwise. Keep your speculation off my life.
Lee, Lee, Lee, always so defensive. For one example, I know a guy who gave his entire life savings along with his farm and his house to a charitable cause. If you've given more than that, then I apologize. However, like me, I doubt very much that you're this 'giving.'



The GOP does not want to lose fiscal conservatives to the Libertarians. And the Democrats don't want to lose social liberals to the Libertarians or Greens.

I voted Green and some of my Democrat friends are convinced that means I voted for John McCain, and not my conscience. I will vote for a Libertarian who shares my socially liberal views, and some fiscally conservative views this November against my former law professor, a typical Democrat.

More and more, if it's a social liberal, I will go Green or Libertarian, and if it's a fiscally conservative candidate I agree with, I will vote Reform or Libertarian.

We desperately need more than two major parties.
Amen.



It's is hard to fault a group that ostensibly stands for lower government spending.

I would have happily joined their ranks during the Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II years, but the people who call themselves the tea party movement were perfectly happy to sit idly by on the sidelines as those three presidents spent our country into oblivian.

It's really hard to take the tea party movement seriously when they are so dominated by their fringe. I may be wrong, but the tea party movement looks so similar to the fundamentalist Christian-right, they appear to be the same group or kissing cousins.

If they wanted to be taken seriously, they probably should have stood up to the Republicans and their spending, as opposed to uniformly voting for McCain and accusing the President of attending madrassas, not being an American, and wanting to kill grandma.

If you want a serious discussion about spending, that's fine. I'm game.

If you want to have a serious discussion in the context of the tea party movement, I'm sorry, but I can't take them seriously. That being said, I hope they stick around. I like the wacknut right-wing splitting votes from the corporate (edit) robots on the right.
I fear the problem is the same problem that keeps coming up. The issue of a 2-party system in which people essentially vote to keep one party out of office instead of voting out of excitement for their own candidate. It's the lesser of two evils they're after. It's a sad state of affairs for sure, but completely understandable. The important thing is that people are openly attacking BO and GW for the same issues now... because both of them stood for big government and big bailouts. Both of them want to grow entitlement programs, so they both have become targets. Many, like myself were criticizing Bush when he was in office... others didn't want to improve the chances of getting someone who they perceived to be an worse spender in office. I feel they do this to their own peril.
 

fivepoint

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 28, 2007
1,175
4
IOWA
Agreed- it's not the original ideas that anyone has an issue with. It's what this movement actually became that bothers people.
This is ridiculous. The movement was attacked endlessly by liberals from DAY ONE. The "TEA BAGGERS" name came before segments of the movement started to take on some more socially conservative elements. I think it's incredibly disingenuous for you do say this.

Guess it's just easier to attack what you don't understand...
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
339
norcal
I explained to the LP founder here that the problem with the party is that you get two Libertarians in a room together, and then a fight erupts. He laughed but knew what I meant.

There are some idealistic Libertarians who spout views like robots, and in every case when I asked them if they read the Constitution, they say they have not. They wear the Libertarian label like a fashion statement not unlike unread liberals who wear Che Guevara t-shirts not knowing what countries he was involved with.