The Tea Party Movement

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by fivepoint, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #1
    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.

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    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?


     
  2. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    So is Iowa finally going to abandon their annual bailouts for their agricultural industry or is this just another manifestation of anger?
     
  3. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #3
    Sound like its just an expression of the opinion that the US government is pretty crap.
     
  4. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #4
    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?
     
  5. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    No, it's not way off topic. This cuts to the core of the intellectual honesty of the tea party movement.

    From yesterday:

    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.
     
  6. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #6
    actually your link shows that the Democrats "win" a 3 way match up with 36% of the vote compared to 23% for Tea Partiers;

    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
     
  7. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #7
    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.




    Thanks for the catch. You're exactly right... and I've made a change to reflect this.
     
  8. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #8
    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.
     
  9. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #9
    It was amazing how quickly that happened. In the beginning, it could have worked, but the crazies took over and ruined it.
     
  10. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #10
    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.
     
  11. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #11
    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.
     
  12. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #12
    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.
     
  13. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #13
    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:
     
  14. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    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.
     
  15. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #15
    "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.
     
  16. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #16
    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.
     
  17. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #17
    But the GOP is losing those people- look at people like Badandy and others.
     
  18. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #18
    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.
     
  19. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #19
    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.
     
  20. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #20
    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.
     
  21. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #21
    Agreed- it's not the original ideas that anyone has an issue with. It's what this movement actually became that bothers people.
     
  22. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Here's another reason I am deeply skeptical of the so-called Tea Party:

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcon...ronpaul_07tex.ART.State.Edition1.4bf50f3.html

    continues...

     
  23. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #23
    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:



    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.'



    Amen.



    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.
     
  24. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #24
    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...
     
  25. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #25
    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.
     

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