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Will the Tea Party Survive 2011?

In Can You Hear Me Now?, Civil Lefts on 06/01/2011 at 07:29

This year the American people will learn whether or not the Tea Party is a legitimate entity, or if it is the Arsenio Hall of political movements. You remember Arsenio; he was the guy who said he would “kick Leno’s ass” in the ratings. Arsenio is now a regular guest on the Tonight Show.

One reason Sarah Palin is so hated and so loved across the nation is that she is seen to be the face of the Tea Party movement. Which is not strictly true. Well, she may be the face of the movement, but she is certainly not its voice. Palin is more or less what every mainstream GOP politician and pundit fears most: an immensely popular quantity they cannot control. However, she is what all modern Republicans claim to be but in most cases are not: a true Reagan Republican.

This is where Palin differs from the average Tea Party member, I suspect, in spite of many a GOP invective. But if the Tea Party is to succeed in 2011, it must find its moral center. Is it to be merely a mob of dissatisfied antis, or will it bite the bullet and stand for true government reform? Because true government reform is going to hurt.

If government reform is to succeed—and this is purely dependant on slapping an injunction on any Democrat from standing within a thousand yards of the White House for the next 15 years—cuts must be made and they must be severe.

We are all jubilant whenever a politician demands cuts in welfare and inner-city programs designed to keep the poor out of work and dependant on government, and enraptured when one actually does it. But welfare reform is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to spending.

Social Security, with all respect to the late William Safire, is not the so-called “third rail” of American politics; entitlements are. All entitlements. And if we are to bring the country back to solvency we must cut all of them, and that means grandfathering Social Security, paring Medicare to the bare bones, eliminating Medicaid for all but the most needy and cutting out subsidies. Period.

The second tier of a truly born-again government is to eliminate not only waste, but to eliminate government itself, by dismantling needless bureaucracies like the departments of Education and Energy and literally thousands of nameless departments, bureaus and agencies. A good start would be dissolving the Bush-created Department of Homeland Security and placing that purview where it belongs, under the Department of Defense. We are at war.

The alternative is that we all lie down and surrender to those who are determined to never lie down until they have made the United States a social democracy where regulatory nihilism and government control are the order of the day.

The Tea Parties are a bright light on a bleak landscape of government incompetency, corruption and complacency, a government that should have long ago been reined in and made to balance its budgets. The average senator or congressman spends like a credit card junkie without any regard to the consequences, because he or she will never have to face them. Just yesterday, each new House member received a $1,000 laptop for his or her orientation on the Hill. That is not only wasteful but it is built-in corruption that no one gives a second thought to.

But the Tea Parties must broaden their scope to be a formidable force against big government.

The Tea Parties will have competition this summer, the labor unions, La Raza, Code Pink and other subversive left-wing organization have been organizing all year for it, and the media will be ramped up to support them. Many of these rallies will be billed as spontaneous event by citizens angry over immigration and health care, but they will be as choreographed as the Metropolitan Opera.

The Tea Party as an organization must not be a one-trick pony in their protests by limiting themselves to health care and government spending; they must take on the Obama Administration over increased regulations, energy costs, jobs and other hot button issues. The American public will distinguish the genuine from the spurious by the very tenor of these events.

  1. There was a time when new members were given a Bible…..now a laptop! Can you imagine what would happen if they decided to go back to giving out Bible’s? They were reading the Constitution on the floor of the house today and half the members didn’t even have the respect for it to be there……I guess Bible’s are out of the question!

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