The Tea Party — TEA as in “taxed enough already” — is a grass-roots organization of people who were pissed off about the amount of money being spent by the federal government. Our friends on the left immediately tried to demonize them, using the word “teabaggers,” which has an obscene connotation, and even some of the Republicans in Congress are not all that thrilled with the Tea Partiers.
Well, our friends on the left, having learned the lesson that you don’t let a good, conservative movement go unchallenged, have come up with the Coffee Party. Via DRJ, I found Moe Lane’s article:
God save me from the forces of reaction, and their false revolutionary consciousness.
One participant, a younger man who brought along a college buddy with him, said the biggest difference between the Coffee Party and the Tea Party is that they believe the federal government is not something that should necessarily be demonized.In point of fact, the biggest difference between the Tea Party and the Coffee Party is that the former can get people to actually show up.
I probably wouldn’t have bothered with anything about the so-called Coffee Party, were it not for a fawning article headlined on AOL this morning:
NEW YORK (March 13) — In coffee shops — and at least one bar — people fed up with the Tea Party movement gathered Saturday to discuss issues and launch what they call the Coffee Party.
Inspired by a late February rant on the Facebook page of Annabel Park, the Coffee Party (not limited to coffee drinkers alone) declared March 13 National Coffee Party Day, and on the group’s Web site invited individuals to organize in coffee shops across the country in hopes of eventually growing into an influential political movement.
Park — a documentarian and former Obama volunteer — said in a video on her Web site that she wants to “stop the shouting” and replace “obstructionism” with action.
“Their name is brilliant,” said Ann Morris, “because it captures patriotism.”
Morris, a psychologist, was one of the 20 people who gathered at the Bleecker Street Bar in Manhattan Saturday.
Coffee, Morris noted, became America’s beverage of choice after the tax revolt that is now known as the Boston Tea Party.
Morris usually leaves the city every weekend for her upstate home. She chose to stay, rather than make her usual journey, because she is concerned the Tea Party movement is growing too influential. “[They] are not interested in discourse,” she said. “They think different than we do.”
I don’t expect neutrality from news articles anymore, and certainly not from AOL news; the author was practically falling all over himself in approval. We’re supposed to see how gosh-darned reasonable these people are, which we are are supposed to contrast to those knuckle-dragging Tea Partiers. But he did have one paragraph I found significant:
Lamar Bennett, a university researcher from Brooklyn, who describes himself as being from the left wing of the Democratic party, pointed out that “while everyone wants lower taxes, everyone wants services, too.” Everyone in that group nodded their heads in agreement.
Translation: everybody wants something for nothing. I’ve written about this before, noting that the good citizens of California had a rather stark choice put on the ballot before them: either approve (supposedly) temporary tax increases, to stave off a budgetary calamity, or see significant cuts in government services.
There are the results: in not even one county did the voters of the Pyrite State vote for the (supposedly) temporary tax increases. The voters rejected the tax increases by 3,152,141 to 1,668,216 (65.39% to 34.61%), in a state dominated by Democrats, a state where liberal policies dominate, and a state which, just 6½ months earlier had given 61% of its votes to Barack Obama. The very much leftist-dominated San Francisco voted against higher taxes, even though all of the state’s elites were out there, telling the voters of the draconian measures, the tremendous spending cuts, that would have to be enacted if they didn’t vote for the tax increases.
(Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggar) presented a budget package that he says will go into effect if his ballot propositions fail; the budget has been described as the “doomsday budget”. This budget “…would lay off thousands of workers, cut billions from schools, strip poor children of healthcare coverage, slice money for child welfare services, swipe billions from cities and send tens of thousands of convicts to county jails or federal custody, all to fill a yawning $21.3-billion hole.”
Faced with that very direct choice, far more direct than voting for a political candidate who promises to cut taxes (or not to raise them) and spending cuts while not discussing what services would be cut, the voters of California chose, by a nearly two-to-one margin, to hold the line on taxes and cut government services.
This is the time when Republicans could really make some headway. Most political analysts believe that the Republicans will gain seats in the 2010 elections, much of the impetus coming from people, like the Tea Partiers, who believe that our taxes are too high already, who want to see (undefined) cuts in government spending, and who don’t want to see President Obama and the Democrats federalize our health care system. What is needed at this point is honest Republican candidates, one who will tell the voters that yes, we will actually cut government services, and be honest about what they want to cut.
The Republicans won big in 1994, when they made pledges to cut taxes and reduce spending. They actually did attempt to do so, initially, but soon got caught up in the Washington mentality of bringing home the bacon for their districts; actually cutting spending, save on a few minor things, didn’t happen. If the Republicans had shown some actual commitment to cutting spending, they’d still control the Congress today. Instead, they ratcheted up spending, created a huge deficit — though one which pales in comparison to what the Democrats have now brought us — and lost the support of conservative voters. If the Tea Party exists today, it’s because the Republican Party stopped supporting the things that the conservatives support.
The Democrats’ huge spending boondoggles and President Obama’s proposals to spend even more, while having government seize control of our health care system, provides an opening for Republican candidates to take the lead, to give the voters a real choice for lower taxes and lower spending. I just don’t know if the Republicans are brave enough or honest enough to actually take advantage of the opportunity.