Tea Partiers Promise to Keep Heat on GOP

September 12th, 2010 at 10:48 pm | 19 Comments |

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At the 9/12 rally in Washington D.C., sales the organizers had a message for all elected politicians: vote against the Democrats, but don’t let Republicans off the hook after November 3rd. FreedomWorks President Dick Armey expressed this in one of the earlier opening speeches: “We’ve got the Republican Party’s attention” he said, referring to the victory of Tea Party candidates in GOP primaries.

FreedomWorks President and CEO Matt Kibbe was even more blunt, referring to the last year as a “hostile takeover of the Republican Party” and lauded the Tea Party’s ability to be simultaneously partisan and larger than a political movement, “The Tea Party is better than a political party. It’s built on an idea…You can’t change the culture in Washington, but the Tea Party is changing the culture of America!”

The rally featured more members of the conservative movement as opposed to actual Republicans. Rep. Mike Pence did address the crowd, but even he made sure not to give his own party too much credit, “We don’t consent to runaway spending by either political party” he stated.

The only explicitly Republican meme that attendees and speakers referred to was “Remember November”, the pseudo-Guy Fawkes saying that was appropriated by the Republican Governor’s Association for a series of GOTV videos.

The speakers even ventured into territory that some of the more conservative members of the audience felt uncomfortable. Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico was introduced to the crowd as a fiscal conservative who vetoed hundreds of bills, and grew his state’s economy in the process. However, when his speech turned to the legalization of marijuana, reducing defense spending and pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan, not everyone in the audience cheered; and a few even booed. (Though in general, there did seem to be a lot more agreement with Johnson on marijuana legalization.)

The majority of the speakers were either local Tea Party activists, or organizers who wanted to plug their particular Tea Party initiative. The “WeReadtheConstitution.com” website and the “Contract from America” got particularly large chunks of time in the schedule. Ryan Hecker, the spokesman for the “Contract from America” made sure to remind everyone to hold the “Republican elitists” accountable on November 3rd.

It seemed appropriate that on the same day that Tea Party activists were doing their best to focus on how they will hold Republicans accountable after the midterm election, House minority leader John Boehner indicated that he might be might be willing to vote for President Obama’s tax plan even if the plan did not extend the Bush tax-cuts for Americans in upper-income brackets. The activists may have spent the day denouncing politics as usual, but for now, politics as usual seems to still be the rule in Washington DC.

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19 Comments so far ↓

  • pampl

    “House minority leader John Boehner indicated that he might be might be willing to vote for President Obama’s tax plan even if the plan did not extend the Bush tax-cuts for Americans in upper-income brackets. The activists may have spent the day denouncing politics as usual, but for now, politics as usual seems to still be the rule in Washington DC.”
    How is that politics as usual? Republicans fought for years for tax breaks for the richest people, AGAINST the opinion of the vast majority of Americans, and despite the damage it did to the budget. Reversing that insane position is the opposite of politics as usual, it’s the parties finally working together to restore fiscal sanity via a means that Americans want to see happen.

  • Noah Kristula-Green

    My apologies for not being clearer.

    The fact that Republicans are compromising and implicitly allowing taxes to rise as opposed to holding firm to a “No Tax Increase: EVER” position that the Tea Party would prefer. Compromise is most certainly an example of politics as usual.

  • Oldskool

    Those tea partiers are super motivated, the kind of “movement” that could have done some good back in, say, 2003, before everything went to hell in a handbasket. But somehow it seems appropriate that they only woke up in 2009, long after the train left the station.

  • anniemargret

    So no reduction in unnecessary military spending . And no raising taxes of course. Just ‘reduce spending!’

    Very non-specific… or is that the way they want it to be? Which ‘spending’ do they want to cut exactly – did I miss that ?

    And are these folks gung-ho for more wars? I bet the answer would be yes. I bet most of them support neocon goals for a Pax Americana. Or do they think wars should continue to be put on a ‘credit card?’

    And do they really think just cutting spending is the sole answer, without raising taxes as well?

  • SFTor1

    OK, let’s see:

    taxes are the lowest they have been since 1945. Nobody seems to notice.

    A mob studded with raving idiots assemble, and declare that government spending is out of control. Did they notice that we almost fell of a cliff, due to a bit of excessive free-market capitalism? It is a little like listening to townspeople after a flood complain about excessive spending on sandbags.

    The Tea Party is better than a political party? Maybe better than the Republican Party, unless some responsible adult from said organization gets up and beats some sense into these people.

    And to reinforce the obvious point made by others: ending tax cuts for the rich, and helping out the middle class, is not business as usual.

    And this is the CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT? Say what? It’s demonstrably an ignorant rabble. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • llbroo49

    House minority leader John Boehner has two choices: not support Obama’s plan to keep Bush’s tax cuts for those earning under $250,000 or attempt to block it. If he supports it then taxes for most Americans won’t change. If he succeeds in blocking it AND Republicans don’t win enough seats in Congress to lower taxes for all- then he has some explaining to do.

    In reference to the TPs, my issue with them is that, in general, they believe that the solutions to the issues we are facing are simple and too common sense. In reality they are very complex. Are they really willing to accept a solvent fed government at the expense of the changes we would have to make to accomphlish this goal? To date, most of their called for policies call for the government to reduce spending and lower taxes, but I am not aware of any serious politician calling for cuts to Medicare, SS , and defense. Based on the actual make-up of the Federal budget, the failure to make cuts to these 3 areas is akin to a distressed family canceling their cable TV and internet service when the mortgage and car note are the expenses that are really dragging the family in to poverty.

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  • bamboozer

    I saw the Tea Party in action yesterday in Dover,De. in support of Christine O’Donnell against the Republican shoo in for Senate Mike Castle. It’s screamingly apparent the money and motivation is from out of state and bankrolled by other than just the old people who show up for a day at the park at the rallies. Sure, they co-opt some locals to drive around with huge signs on thier ancient pick up trucks or stand on the corner with signs but it has nothing to do with Delaware and everything to do with the forces trying to “take over” the Republicans. At this point the Republicans wonder if the Tea Heads and those that manipulate them aren’t more trouble than thier worth. They’ve won a few, they’ve lost a few and in Delaware thier going to lose a few more. But it’s obvious the Tea Party has leaders behind the scene, money that has nothing to do with the rhetoric and everything to do with obtaining power. Say what you like, the forces behind the Tea Party are dangerous and will do us no good.

  • TerryF98

    Pity these same people did not keep some heat on the GOP when it really mattered. When Bush and his GOP congress who were the same people they are heating up now were busting the budget by enacting the biggest social give away in history and fighting two wars off the books.

    Where were the sign wielding fools then? This is no more than an astroturf Koch paid for power grab by the same people who benefited while the rest of us suffered the worst decline in wealth for decades, and that was in a time of supposed growth and prosperity.

    These sheeple who go to these tea party rallies seem ignorant and deluded, misinformed by Fox, Palin and Limbaugh to believe total bollocks.

  • anniemargret

    The “No tax increase, Ever’ is indicative about how deluded these people are. They live in Fantasyland .

    As such, the majority of Americans cannot take them seriously. They got lots of ideologies – ‘restoring America’ (whatever that means, one shudders to think), “reduce government spending’ (OK, what?), “Obama is the problem (how?), “no HCR (will they give up their Medicare, Medicaid?), “go back to God” (which God? The Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, Jew, Muslim? what about atheists and agnostics? send them packing?)

    The laundry list goes on and on. Has anyone asked them about war? What are their views on more wars? OK for bombing Iran? I bet the majority of them say yes. After all, Palin and Beck and are both neocons.

  • sinz54


    Why are you “shuddering”? Wouldn’t you like to see America restored to her former greatness too?

    Even some Democrats are now grudgingly admitting that the Tea Partiers have a point about the problem (though their solutions are wrong). The Tea Partiers are angry that America is no longer offering the kind of sparkling vibrant opportunities that they enjoyed in their younger days, and that Americans always enjoyed. It’s the same feeling that destroyed Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter. And each of those times, America bounced back successfully.

    Don’t YOU also get the feeling that America has fallen from her pinnacle, when at the close of the 20th century, America had ruled supreme, with all major totalitarian ideologies vanquished by her?

    We have a choice to make: Do we want to accept second-rate status behind China, which at present rates will eclipse the U.S. as the world’s largest economic power within 25 years?

    Or do we want to make an all-out effort to restore America to world leadership at least economically and technologically?

    Remarkably, the Left keeps ridiculing the Tea Partiers without offering a viable alternative. The reason is that the Left is uncomfortable with the notion of restoring America to greatness. They just don’t care that much about the United States anymore–except to denounce it. And that’s why the youthful “netroots” came late to the party where unemployment was concerned. They cared more about Global Warming and World Peace than about the collapse of the U.S. economy. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if many of them are glad to see America taken down a few pegs.

    They’ll think differently when they see what Chinese world leadership will look like.

  • anniemargret

    sinz: Your vision of America’s ‘greatness’ and others is where the problem lies. I would like to see America become the force for peace. We start by eliminating the extremists who would harm us. But we don’t bait the entire Muslim world. Not only is that stupid, it is non-productive to our goals.

    And instead of throwing monies at wars that are both unnecessary and immoral, why not put those monies into science and math, two areas of our education where we are slipping? I’m for better education and this is where the problem lies. A better educated public is the key to improved posterity and advancement. Do the conservatives support public education? No. They want to dismantle it. What to put in its place? home-schooling? Private schools?

    Didn’t we put the wars on a credit card? Did Bush ask Americans to sacrifice for the wars he started? I am willing to pay for a war if it is justified. Afghanistan and the fight against al Quaeda, the Taliban, and OBL was justified. The diverted funds to Iraq was not .

    You really must get out more. The ‘left’ doesn’t ‘hate America’s greatness.” We love this country as much as you. I’m sick of being accused of hating this country because I support more liberal ideas than conservative ones. This country is great only because we have BOTH. It’s called counter-balance.

    The left is aware of the great mistakes that were made in the last decade and we care enough about this country not to make them again. Nothing wrong in that.

    The Tea Party saying that they have to ‘restore America’ smacks of their mantra, ‘We want out country back!” That is what I hear. That is what I think they mean. I think half of them do not like minorities – be they religious minorities or ethnic minorities. I think it scares them. That is what I hear. And I reject that.

    And anything that comes out of the mouths of Palin and Beck is hucksterism at its worst. And the Tea Party loves them. Why should I respect a group of people that think Palin and Beck represent the best of America? Both Palin and Beck are extremists. If these two are their ‘leaders’ then I reject that too.

    And does the Tea Party have solutions to the problems? Or are they a disgruntled group with no real solutions, just banners flying high? If they want solutions, let’s hear them. Saying No New Taxes, Ever, is absurd. No more spending? Again, what do they want to cut? Are they open to more war? Why? What is their justification for it? How will they pay for it? Do they want this country to dismantle separation of church and state? Because that is exactly what I keep hearing. Their constant God-talk is evident of that. If we are not free as as people to choose our path to God, or not choose a path to God, then we support a quasi-religious fascism. God-talk should be removed from the political arena.

  • Watusie

    sinz54Wouldn’t you like to see America restored to her former greatness too?

    I struck my blow for restoring America by voting a straight Democratic ticket in 2004, 2006 and 2008 and will do it again in November.

  • jg bennet

    I have to say the Tea Party crowd is pretty much just a bunch of ridiculously dressed fools that are clueless to reality.

    Many of them come out of the ranks of the easily bamboozled evangelical crowd. Seeing as how they lost or are losing the culture/Jesus in government war their handlers have sold them on fighting socialism, taxes and spending in order to stir their ire and further their use as organic props in the conservative political theatre.

    Look at Beck’s rally….James Dobson was there was he not?

    Same bat tune and same bat channel just a different episode and this one has the Joker as the star.

    Have you seen the “don’t raise taxes on energy commercials”? Good god man they have the idiots speaking idiot to the idiots :)

    It is obvious the Tea Party “Movement” is the equivalent to a bovine Bowel Movement aka BS and the problem is they are dropping their crap everywhere and one can’t help but step in it.

    The only good coming out of this bovine bowel movement is the entertainment from watching a bunch of clueless Americans tripping on the newspeak mushrooms that Foxnews and other conservative resources have plucked from their BS and spiced their tea.

    I mean really guys someone tripping on mushrooms is more reality coherent than this Tea Party Bunch.


    Among conservatives, Ronald Reagan is remembered as the tax-cutter in chief: the supply-side hero whose Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 slashed the top marginal tax rate by more than half.

    But the truth is that after his first year in office, Reagan was actually willing (if not always happy) to compensate for gaps in the government’s revenue stream by raising rates.

    In 1982, for example, he agreed to restore a third of the previous year’s massive cut.

    **It was the largest tax increase in U.S. history.**

    The Gipper also raised taxes in 1983. And 1984. And 1986. The party sainted him for his efforts.

    On the matter of deficits, Reagan nearly tripled the gap between the amount of money the federal government took in and the amount it spent. He did this by cutting tax rates by an average 25 percent, while aggressively increasing defense spending.

    Granted too much debt is a bad bad thing but look at this Debt/GDP chart it shows the REPUBLICANS HAVE ALWAYS PUT US IN THE RED NOT THE DEMS!! Not Ike & Nixon though….

    THE TEA PARTY and the GOP supporters are hallucinating….

  • CentristNYer

    However, when [Gary Johnson's] speech turned to the legalization of marijuana, reducing defense spending and pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan, not everyone in the audience cheered; and a few even booed.

    Therein lies the problem with the tea party “movement.” There’s just no agreement on the proper role of government or what we should be spending our treasure on. As a core concept, “less government” is pretty weak tea.

  • medinnus

    “Why are you “shuddering”? Wouldn’t you like to see America restored to her former greatness too?”

    Why, you have a time machine that can go back and stop the Bush spending spree with an unnecessary, pointless, illegal pre-emptive war in Iraq? Prevented Cheney’s torture regime?

    These have damaged the USA’s greatness, committed war crimes, and given aid and comfort to AQ, whose recruiting flourished under the Bush/Cheney administration.

  • PracticalGirl

    Sinz, you seem to have struck a nerve:

    “Wouldn’t you like to see America restored to her former greatness too?” It’s the question that is asked but not answered by the Tea Partiers, their attack-dog leaders and the GOP in general right now.

    What does that look like? The vision I hear is “get government out”. But the waxing and waning for “better times” that I hear seems to point to eras and times in our country’s history when there was a great deal of government intervention.

    What, then, do these people want? Do they want to see America restored to a manufacturing power, as they talk about so often? Good luck to that one, as derugulation has sent the “muscle” jobs out of the country. They simply aren’t coming back, not when goods and services can be produced to a standard that the WalMart-USA REALLY wants-cheap and abundant.

    It feels good to whine, but if there were any true visionary leaders in this entire bunch, they’d be raising funds for something other than defeating what they hate. Perhaps they could funnel that money instead into developing something other than a bad attitude. But the simple fact is that the Tea Partiers are just as much dependent babies as those they seek to condemn. If not, they would be putting their great and awesome numbers towards creating solutions, instead of demanding a new brand of government to hand the solutions to them.

  • midcon

    Republicans have been leaving to join the ranks of Independents for some time now. Tea Party attacks on moderate Republicans will hasten this exodus until the Republicans become so marginalized they cease to be a viable second party opponent of the Democrats. With a virtually non-existent Republican Party, the nation will have no one left to blame but the Democrats and, turning their anger towards the left, will decimate their ranks as well, until both parties have gone the way of the Dodo bird.

    The Tea Party is becoming an instrument of the nation’s wrath but what the TPers don’t realize is that they are simply a means to and end and once they are no longer needed they will simply fade from existence. It may be that we need a Tea Party for the left as well in order to fully realize the demise of both parties. But, that can wait for a bit. First like a pride of lions on a hunt we have to take down the weakest of the wilderbeasts – the Republicans. Then we can start working on the rest of the herd.

    Well..that’s my vision anyway – a nation with no Democrats or Republicans.

  • Rob_654

    If anyone REALLY starts cutting government spending the Tea Party will start to dissolve very quickly.

    As soon as someone sees THEIR government goodies go away they won’t be hot for cuts any longer and will argue that THEIR government spending is good and necessary.

    75% of Federal Spending is on: Medicare, Social Security and Defense

    Can you imagine significant cuts in any those? Of course not.

    And by the time you take out Interest on the Debt and fixed costs of government – there is not enough left to, even if you cut all of the rest, to even make a decent dent in the deficit.

    FYI – no one is going to really make big spending cuts because even the people in the Tea Party would vote the bums who cut their goodies.