Aug 292010
 

When it first started, the “Tea Party” movement was pretty much a one-issue concept: government spending is out of control and needs to be clamped down within the bounds of the actual Constitution. When restricted to that, the message is a winner with the vast majority of the voting public. But due both to the leftist noise machine and right wing religious nuts, the Tea Party message is getting smeared into a rainbow of basically irrelevant topics. A good writeup on this is here:

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=2148461

Simple games theory shows that sticking to fiscal responsibility while ignoring the religious stuff is the way to go: fiscal responsibility appeals to 90% of the voters. Religious stuff, one way or the other, will irritate 50% of the voters.

Sadly, this simple advice is likely to fall of willfully deaf ears. Take, for example, a discussion thread on this topic at the formerly relevant Free Republic: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2579887/posts

As I write this, the commenters are approximately evenly split between “this is good sense” and “To hell with that noise… God is my campaign manager.” The last comment on the thread, as I’m looking at it, is by the founder of Free Republic, who posts:

Over my dead body.

Keep it up, jackholes. And say hello to a continued Dem domination of the government, and trillions of dollars added to the deficit every year. All because you just had to cram God into every damned thing.

 Posted by at 10:38 pm
  • allen T

    they do not comprehend that you cannot legislate morality. it never works. all it does is put lots of money into the hands of the worst people.

  • Pat Flannery

    Actually, a lot of laws legislate morality.
    Killing people is wrong, therefore murder is illegal.
    Stealing things from people is wrong, therefore theft is illegal.
    Driving in a erratic manner endangers people, therefore driving erratically is illegal.
    They are sort of getting on the right track with that first article, but the article itself shows a problem, that also afflicts the Tea Party’s Libertarian origins.
    The majority of the party can’t agree exactly in what they believe as far as a cognizant party philosophy.
    Get ten Libertarians to explain to you what exactly Libertarians stand for, and you are going to get at least five, and maybe ten different definitions.
    A party that’s made up of everyone who has a gripe with Washington is going to have so many people in it that have so many different gripes that it will never be able to agree on anything.
    A second problem is that it’s going to have way too many contrarians in it who want to squabble simply for the sake of squabbling. This crew will never be satisfied with anything it might accomplish, and as soon as the party starts to accomplish anything, they will desert it as it has then lost its ideological purity in their eyes – check out Thomas Paine and the American Revolution in this regard – first he helps get that rolling, then he doesn’t like how it comes out, so it’s off to France to get that revolution rolling…then that doesn’t come out right in his eyes either…
    Problem number three; too many generals in their army.
    There will be around a hundred or more leaders, each of whom thinks their ideas for the party are best, and doing their damnedest to destroy all the other leaders so they can take it over.
    Finally, Glenn Beck.
    Anyone who hops on that train with him as the engineer can be assured that somewhere down the track the bridge is out, and they are going into the gorge with him when they finally arrive at it.

  • allen T

    “Actually, a lot of laws legislate morality.
    Killing people is wrong, therefore murder is illegal.
    Stealing things from people is wrong, therefore theft is illegal.
    Driving in a erratic manner endangers people, therefore driving erratically is illegal.”

    killing people, stealing things, and driving dangerously aren’t morality issues. it’s personal and property rights issues.

    a prime example of morality laws not working is prostitution. why does anyone else have the right to tell consenting what they may or may not contract themselves out for? and when it is made illegal it does not make it go away…it simply makes it more expensive and puts all that extra money in the hands of the worst people.

    it’s prohibition. over and over again. ban something because some people think it’s “BAD”. of course, part of the population still wants it, even if it’s bad for them. in fact, after it’s banned some of the population that didn’t really care before will want to try it, because it’s banned. so people will smuggle in the “bad thing” or otherwise make it available, for an inflated price. the “bad thing” isn’t as safe as it was before, because well..what are you going to do…sue us? police make a lot of money fighting the “bad thing” and get to throw people in jail so it looks like they are doing something about crime…where in reality they are only busting “customers” not the suppliers…they know better than to kill the cow.

    this plays over and over and over.

    human nature, I guess.

  • JP

    Let’s create our own party “The Constitutional Party”

    To be a member you must read the entire Constitution.

  • admin

    > he majority of the party can’t agree exactly in what they believe as far as a cognizant party philosophy.

    And… THEY DON’T NEED TO. The underlying basis of the Tea party movement boils down to this:
    “The government spends way too much, and clearly disregards the Constitution.”
    Beyond a determination to see that political candidates vow to “not spend to much and to respect the Constitution,” the Tea Partiers don’t need to agree on a single other damned thing.

    Look back to the Founders: they pretty much disagreed – sometimes violently – about just about everything. Except that King George sucked and we needed to be rid of him. Many Founders were bound and determined to see slavery abolished. Had they made *that* their primary goal, the colonies never would have banded together.

  • I agree that if the Tea Party tries to emphasize religion too much, then it is lost. Freedom fighters who are religious or are movtivated by religion are fine; people fighting to establish their religion as a club on the rest of us are no better than the Moslems.

    The tea party should have two objectives: to kill federal spending and return the federal government to its constitutional limits. That is more than enough work for the next decade or so, without getting into this religious nonsense.

  • Michael Holt

    Religion is fascinating. Well, the very religious are fascinating. At some point, the concept of politics and religion begin to resemble each other.

  • Pat Flannery

    Admin wrote:

    “And… THEY DON’T NEED TO. The underlying basis of the Tea party movement boils down to this:
    “The government spends way too much, and clearly disregards the Constitution.”
    Beyond a determination to see that political candidates vow to “not spend to much and to respect the Constitution,” the Tea Partiers don’t need to agree on a single other damned thing.”

    That’s your take on it, but what about the Tea Party members who, like Glenn Beck (who was instrumental in bringing the Tea Party to national attention with his 9/12 march on Washington), seem to equate returning America to its Constitutional roots with turning it into some sort of a Judeo-Christian theocracy, where you have the right to freedom of religion…as long as it’s the right kind of religion, and if there are any atheists out there, they are in deep trouble?
    Right there you have a deep divide in the Tea Party that could well split it in half.
    Then there is the whole state’s right’s/secession aspect of the thing.
    There was a major squabble about that in the early 1860’s, and a lot of people who run around now pining back to the good-ol-days of the Confederacy, forget that the reason we wrote the Constitution in the first place was that the Articles Of Confederation that the original states tried when the US came into existence were a complete flop, as individual states started sticking tariffs on the importation of goods from other states – leading to financial chaos, and in some cases outright warfare along the state borders. What percentage of the voting public wants to see that come back?
    I will say one thing for the Tea Party though; it did draw some of the nuttiest people of the Republican party (and even a few flaky Democrats) into it, cleansing both parties of at least some of their lunatic fringe elements.
    But a Tea Party who actually got a major foothold in both houses of congress as well as the presidency would be a complete disaster area as far as how it would govern, like how the Greens screwed up European parliaments when they got some major representation in them.
    Virtually no bills could be passed in a US Congress split three ways, and although that would be one way to downsize government, that’s far from an ideal way to do it, but rather the way the Soviet Union withered away…to be replaced by the rule of the Russian Mafia and the Oligarchs.

  • 2hotel9

    Pat, you don’t have the faintest idea what you are talking about. You are simply regurgitating lies and crap from the DNC and their lapdogs. Beck was not involved in creating the TEA Party movement, period. I know, I was.

    Go screech your lies and sh*t into the echo chamber that is mass media, an institution that is grounded entirely in Progressive, anti-human ideology.

  • Ben

    Considering the Tea Party is an unorganized and loosely-defined movement, not a national political party, think tank or PAC; just about anyone can come along and claim to be a leader or representative of the “Tea Party”. This seems to mostly come from the media and has-been Republicans from what I can tell. Hell, apparently Dick Armey is trying to convince people he’s a “Tea Party” spokesman; I’m pretty sure he was still fighting ethics charges when the Tea Party movement began.

    I don’t listen to Glen Beck; I don’t know if he claims anything he says or does for the Tea Party movement or a national Tea Party. I didn’t know he claimed to be a Christian until this weekend. I don’t care if that’s what get’s him motivated; entrenching fiscal responsibility in the U.S. government is most likely going to take the support of conservative-minded Christians.

    I’m pretty sure we’re not too far from a publicized conflict regarding a Conservative atheist or agnostic who causes a split in some Tea Party group. I suspect that a lot of God in Government Christians will find out that they would rather have a Conservative Atheist in office than a Socialist Christian.

  • Ben

    2hotel9, didn’t realize until after I posted that what I said looked like I was addressing it to you. I’m not; I’m talking about Glen Beck and the “Tea Party Leader” moniker thrown around by the media.

  • Michael Holt

    I can’t say that I have seen anything about religion coming out the Tea Party. They reference “God” a lot less often than the “other side” references “social responsibility” and “community of Man.”

  • @Michael – hah 🙂

    I would say that a majority of tea partiers are religious, and that God does get brought up in a general, non-sectarian way, but that it is only a very small minority who is both dumb enough and zealous enough to try to hijack the tea party for religious purposes. As for religions that the Tea Party or Christians have a problem with, I’d say that the only one is Islam, and that the main reason they have a problem with it is because its followers have this crazy tendency to explode in public places. If people just thought Muslims were people who wore veils, didn’t eat pork, and prayed a lot, nobody’d give a damn, and that includes the vast majority of the religious right.

    As for states rights, the problem with the secession during the Confederacy was not that the states were seceding from the Union. The problem was that they were seceding from the Union in order to preserve slavery. States have the right to leave the Union if they believe the federal government has lost legitimacy and is wantonly violating individual and state rights. They do not have the right to leave the Union in order to preserve a “right” that they do not actually have, namely the “right” to own people.

  • Pat Flannery

    2hotel9 wrote:

    “Pat, you don’t have the faintest idea what you are talking about. You are simply regurgitating lies and crap from the DNC and their lapdogs. Beck was not involved in creating the TEA Party movement, period. I know, I was.”

    I didn’t say Beck created it, I said Glenn Beck in particular, and Fox News in general, were instrumental in bringing the Tea Party to national attention with Beck’s 9/12 march on Washington.

    Pat

  • 2hotel9

    Again, just spewing the same DNC lies. How original!

  • 2hotel9

    Scott, the point you are missing is that secularism has to stand against Islam, otherwise, as it always does, it will be destroyed by Islam. If using Christianity to stop Islam is the only thing that will work, then you need to embrace it, otherwise you will go down under it, just as so many millions of non-Muslims have over the last 1400 years.

    Another point. Atheism has not ballooned into the mass religion that many people think it has. It is no more prevalent now than it was 300 years ago. The majority of humans need some sort of religion, and atheism just does not fill that need. It just don’t, it asks people to have faith and gives them nothing to attach it to, other than themselves. And far too many people just can’t make that leap, and far too many others make it a leap into moral relativism.

    If you don’t like the way religion is manifesting itself in today’s America you need to do something about it, change its direction or focus. And just wishing it would go away ain’t going to get it. All that will do is insure that Islamofacists continue to advance and drag the human race down into THEIR religious cesspool.

  • Pat Flannery

    2hotel9:
    Could you please explain to me what the difference between the “Tea Party”
    and the “TEA party” you helped found was?
    I spent around an hour in a Google search looking for some reference to a “TEA Party” but was unable to find anything about it.
    I assume that “TEA” is an abbreviation for something, but what exactly is it an abbreviation for?

  • allen T

    pat,

    TEA= Taxed Enough Already