Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Why the Tea Party is being Mischaracterized

            In recent days even Republicans, who call themselves conservative, are painting the Tea part as extremists. There are several reasons they are doing this and there are several reasons why everyone who paints the Tea Party as extremists are wrong. I find it ironic if not absurd that the very movement that won the House of Representatives back for the Republicans in 2010 are now being bullied and painted falsely. The very stance the Tea Party took in 2010 is now being characterized as extreme. How can this be? The first error in the recent caricature of the Tea Party is that it is strictly the extreme wing of the Republican Party.
           That is largely a Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi talking point. The truth is that the Tea Party has always been a movement made up of Republicans, Independents, and Democrats who are tired of the unceasing spending and heavy government regulations that puts Americans out of work.[1] The goal to paint the Tea Party as simply an extreme wing of the Republican Party is just plain dishonest. One of the caricatures of the Tea Party has been that they are not the party of Ronald Reagan. This false caricature is coming from within the Republican Party itself. It is sad and shameful that this is happening within our party.
And honestly I question the motives behind this behavior as it is as extreme a behavior as they are falsely claiming the Tea Party to be. I would add that there are honest people who are buying into this false caricature but the point of origin is where I question the motives. The fact is this could not be more wrong. One of the recent reasons given for this has been the recent shutdown of the government. This was labeled as unnecessary and unlike anything Reagan would do. However, when you take a look back into time under the administration of President Ronald Reagan what you find is that the government shut down more times under Reagan than under any other conservative President in history.[2] [3]
Those who are Republicans and are at the point of origin of this false characterization of the Tea Party know these facts about history and are simply ignoring them due to political expediency for their own jobs because of their weak stomach for doing the right thing. With the recent election in the state of Virginia the mean spirited nature of the establishment Republicans could not have been more on display. There were a number of Republicans who were willing to endorse an extremist Democrat like Terry McAuliffe instead of what has been characterized as a Tea Party candidate. Boyd Marcus, the previous chief of staff for Cantor came out in support of McAuliffe, former Republican National Committee finance chairman Dwight Schar supported him as well, Judy Ford Wason, who is a GOP strategist who did work for Republican Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, endorsed McAuliffe, Former Virginia Sen. John Chichester, the former GOP president pro tempore of the Virginia Senate, also endorsed McAuliffe, former state GOP Sen. Russ Potts did as well as a few others. The real kicker here is that while RNC chairman Reince Priebus spent Tuesday in New Jersey to support Chris Christie he did not make any effort to do the same for Cuccinelli.[4] 
Given that the Libertarian candidate who entered the race late was largely funded by Democrats it would seem that Preibus would want to make an effort.I believe this shows a clear attempt to undermine anyone dubbed a “Tea Party” candidate and this coming from the Republican Party that gained the majority in the House of Representatives largely because of the Tea Party.  This appears to be highly hypocritical and nothing but a practice of how to shoot yourself in the foot. But Juan Williams wrote an opinion piece about the details of the recent conflict between some Republicans and the Tea Party. It appears that Boehner is seen as not having control of his House of Representatives because others have outside the House has been influential over House Republicans.[5
As Williams put it “The stampede ran over Boehner and he lost control. Now out of 232 Republicans in the House, he has at best 80 votes at his command.”So now it appears that Boehner and the establishment Republicans are in a battle over the House of Representatives and political power. It also appears that in order to gain back that so called power they are willing to undermine Republican candidates by giving support to Democrat candidates who are diametrically and politically opposed to what Republicans say they stand for. This behavior is shameful and should not be supported by anyone. It shows a lack of character and it shows severe immoral problems. No majority leader should try to have that kind of power over people. Each individual representative should be listening to their constituents that elected them, not buckle under the political power and pressure from some power hungry majority leader. We need ethical politicians who are looking out for the people. We need politicians who serve the people not themselves. Boehner and his ilk need to go. Period.


[2] Rich Smith, “10 Fun Facts About the Government Shutdown”.; (Oct 12th 2013)
[3] "Brief Government Shutdown." In Historic Documents of 1981, 831-34. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 1982.

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