If the Tea Party Were Liberal

tea party declineJust imagine there was a giant swarm of super-super liberal freshmen in Congress. They had given the President a “shellacking,” secured a large number of seats in the House of Representatives and had been on the job for eight months. Just a bunch of lockstep liberals clogging up the Capitol. In that time, they’d done amazingly little work beyong cashing their government paychecks.

Sure, they’re supposed to represent a nation still wounded from the worst economic disaster in two generations, instead they spend all of their time debating and passing symbolic go-nowhere bills while going on television to blame the economy on the President. That’s when they’re not on recess. These freshmen hate Washington so much they’re almost never there.

Oh, and their battle cry while doing nothing which keeps the government from functioning? “Washington is broken!”

These imagined liberal freshmen are extremists. They’ve already signed a pledge with a liberal lobbyist saying that they will not – under any circumstances whatsoever – cut, alter or in anyway change social safety nets. So whatever burning national issue of overriding importance comes up their only solution is to adhere to their lobbyist’s pledge.

The Smurfs use the word “smurf” for all verbs. As in: “I’m going to smurf you!” These extreme no-lawmakers use “social security.” As in: “We can social security our way out of this crisis.”

And they want to re-write the Constitution. Yes, they say it’s a great document (blah blah blah) but it would be much better if it were amended to suit their sole goal of bringing down the incumbent President. So since the last amendment took 203 years from proposal to ratification – they decide no one can do anything until we have another amendment.

Then the polls say that Congress’ approval rating is at an all time low. The margin of error looks more favorably on the Congress than the American public. As a direct result of the brazen incompetence and blind ideology – a rating agency downgrades the country’s Treasuries. The stock market tumbles. These liberal tea party-like folks are caught on video cheering at the news of the chaos they’ve caused.

If they were liberals – Fox News would run headlines: “Liberals Hate America.” Well, basically Fox News would say pretty much the same stuff it always does, but in this case it would be warranted.

These liberal obstructionists would be called terrorists. Not just maybe once in a private off-the-record meeting with the VP – but on the record and all the time. Since these liberal freshmen would seem to have the same economic goals for the U.S. as Osama bin Laden – that would be pointed out repeatedly. They’d be accused of treason. Their loyalty would be questioned: “Are they upholding the Constitution or their pledge?” There would be calls to deport them. People would tell them to leave the country and go wreck some other economy. They’d be dubbed a hoard of Neros fiddling with their pledges while Rome burned.

If liberals were doing to their country what extremist tea party Republicans are doing to theirs – it would be called unpatriotic. A whole tsunami of sound bites would sweep the country calling for the sabotage to stop.

Liberal dissent is akin to a security breach but conservative economic calamity is given a pass. We’ve treated the tea party like they are our country’s kooky, graying, drunken uncle at Thanksgiving dinner spouting some non sequiturs he picked up on AM radio. When really they are well-funded economic saboteurs who refuse to participate in the democratic process. Their goal of causing the executive branch of government to fail means our entire country goes with it.

tina dupuyThe media likes to pretend it treats the political spectrum as opposite equals. The right is the same as the left – the other side of the same argument. Politics is not symmetrical nor is the coverage of the partisans. Nothing makes this clearer than the coverage and tolerance of the brinksmanship-happy tea party.

If liberals did this to their own country they’d be called criminals. The tea party did do this to their own country and they are treated like avant-garde Civil War reenactors.

Tina Dupuy
Taking Eternal Vigilance Too Far

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Comments

  1. says

    Despite commenter In-Awe’s rant, the Tea-Party brand of so-called ‘fiscal conservatism’ is based on a hopelessly fallacious assumption.

    Namely this ‘conservatism’ dogmatically assumes that federal expenditures – and the debt or taxes which cover these expenditures – are (with few exceptions, mainly those which pay for present or future war) automatically wicked and must automatically be bringing us to ‘collective doom’ , whereas the alternative of no-tax-no-debt-no-spend must automatically be better.

    This sort of conservatism is more than just a mere reverse of Keynes’ concept, whereby government expenditures may serve to more than pay for themselves by providing otherwise unavailable economic stimulus. Keynes’ concept is conditional: the expenditures’ net benefit, if any, will depend on what they are for, and under what conditions they are made. However, the Tea Party ‘fiscal conservatism’ is taken as an unconditional dogma. A dogma which, by the way, does NOT work for (1) enterprising businesses and (2) fiscally responsible families.

    Common-sense tells business folk and families that in MANY CASES (but NOT dogmatically all or none) it’s worth sacrificing (taxing) or going into debt in order to acquire otherwise unattainable items: whether it’s new consumer goods to boost your hopelessly sagging morale, or capital goods to increase your material productivity and production, or investment in education to increase your human capital and earning potential.

    The biggest target of the Tea Party ‘conservatism’ is the allegedly nasty mass entitlements to middle and lower classes (but not including recent tax-cut entitlements for the wealthy). These mass entitlement expenditures, which tend to get quickly recycled through the entire economy, in fact serve largely as investments in the nation’s human capital – and in stabilizing and priming the economy. Especially in tough times, entitlement income is indeed an economic safety net for the entire mass consumer economy, not just for the many who directly receive it.

    Maybe what really disturbs some Tea-Party folks is the thinking (which goes back at least to Biblical laws and prophets) behind most of these entitlements: that as a society we acknowledge some minimal collective responsibility for enabling the well-being of every one of our members, as a matter of justice and right, not merely of voluntary maybe-yes- maybe-no charity.

    Terrorism? In-Awe is correct that there has been no actual terrorism in Congress. However – for reasons not made clear in Tina’s article – many ordinary folk (not only liberals or progressives) find that the GOP-sponsored Tea Party actions that have pervaded this Congressional session (and largely NOT specific just to the debt-limit talks) have been so anti-social as to be akin in spirit (and at times material effect) to masochistic or suicidal terrorism.

    Namely, just look at the various anti-science anti-efficiency anti-protection pro-devastation pro-pollution and anti-wildlife provisions – saving relatively few or no federal budget bucks, and sometimes actually costing big bucks (oil subsidies) – that Republican leaders and Tea-Party flat-earthers have stuck into House-passed bills.

  2. in_awe says

    Let’s try this again. Obama won the debt ceiling fiasco. The Tea Party and conservatives caved and now find themselves screwed in the election cycle while Obama has imposed a checkmate on them.

    To recap:
    - largest increase in the debt ceiling in history
    - a mind boggling $12B reduction in spending increases now, with more to be phased in at the rate of $100B per year – which actually will be back-end loaded and never happen
    - the president’s plan will nearly double the national debt in 10 years
    - Reid packed the super committee with leftist ideologues who will adamantly refuse to discuss any revisions to entitlement program while making political hay (and sound bites) about the evil conservatives who propose them (in line with Obama’s soon to be forgotten “pledge to consider changes to entitlements”)
    - Reid’s cabal with demand tax increases that will be unacceptable to the Republicans and a deadline ensues leading to the “suicide pill” of cuts to DoD and entitlements. Cast republicans as intransigent while Dems are just defending what the poor middle class recipients deserve.

    A little history comes to mind:
    - There has been no federal budget for over two years in order for the Dems to avoid facing the fiscal issues of this nation and having to justify their spending rampage
    - Obama’s budget was so over the top it couldn’t garner even a single Democratic vote in the Senate. far from showing Obama as a fiscal conservative out to save the economy it showed him to be the opposite. Yet, the MSM would have us believe that in 6 short months Obama is the “only adult in the room” with the desire and ability to fix the debt situation? Huh?
    - The Repubs got pwnd by the Dems in April and May on the interim agreements to “reduce spending” in exchange for real increases in the debt ceiling. The whole tantrum about a $36B cut in spending that turned our to be actually less than $300M was all a show for the 2012 campaign cycle.
    - The Dems’s fingerprints are all over virtually every dollar of spending under Bush – start naming which massive programs the Dems actually opposed: doubling the size of the dept of Education? Grants to minority home buyers? The new Medicare prescription plan, etc., etc.

    The progressives have won. There are no actual cuts in spending – not a f’ing penny. Just reductions in the proposed rate of increased spending starting years out that are not binding restrictions on future Congresses. In exchange, the ability to spend more TODAY was guaranteed. Four months from now you’ll all awake to hail the genius of Obama when Republicans cave on tax increases and entitlement spending goes forth untouched.

    But I get how satisfying it must be to call fiscal conservatives terrorists all the while refusing to do so about the people who actually lop off the heads and hands of innocents or strap bombs to little children then send them into a crowded marketplace. All we want is to stop the headlong rush to drive off the cliff to our collective doom while you are pressing down harder on the gas pedal.

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