Leadership Bid Reflects Growing Tea Party Influence in World’s Greatest Deliberative Body
The tea party movement began in an unassuming way: A series of March 2009 conference calls of a couple dozen conservative and libertarian activists from across the nation. How far it has come. Yesterday, after taking back the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2010 and growing its rank and file members into the millions in less than three years, the movement made a bold but ultimately unsuccessful bid for a leadership position in the United States Senate.
With tea party support, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) challenged U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) for vice-chairman of the Senate Republican Conference. With all 47 Republican Senators casting votes, Blunt won the vote narrowly, 25 to 22. But the tea party-supported Johnson challenge proves important symbolically as a demonstration that, while tea party-affiliated members of the U.S. House of Representatives have proven hugely influential in guiding the direction of that legislative body, support for the tea party movement and its policy agenda is growing in the U.S. Senate too.Read more at michaeljohnsonfreedomandprosperity.blogspot.com
Gingrich rise is a sign tea party is in decline
If history tells us anything, the rise of sometime-historian Newt Gingrich
to Republican presidential frontrunner is a sign that the tea party movement is destroying itself.
After all, the former House speaker has surged to the top of Republican presidential polls on the shoulders of tea party supporters, a movement that ironically came together to topple Washington insiders - like Newt Gingrich.
The tea party movement rose up angrily in early 2009 to expose and clean out what its members saw as the greedy Washington fat cats and wheeler-dealers who line their pockets while raising taxes, expanding government and spending taxpayers’ money.
Read more at www.chron.com
One reason for Gingrich’s rise: The tea party and the Grand Old Party have been looking for strong, sure-footed leadership, and no one’s feet are more sure than Newt’s. Gingrich provides leadership the tea party appears to need: someone who can tell a movement what they are for when they only know what they are against.
Why a Newt Gingrich Candidacy Would Doom the Tea Party
that 82 percent of Tea Party affiliated voters deem Newt Gingrich an acceptable Republican presidential nominee in 2012. They don’t seem to realize that if he wins the nod their movement is doomed, regardless of how the general election goes. The Tea Party cannot support Gingrich without betraying its core principles. But the movement also cannot disclaim him once he is the Republican nominee.
Tea Partiers with a better instinct for self-preservation would see that none of the Mitt Romney alternatives still running would be as corrosive to their cause as the former Speaker of the House.
The Tea Party wasn’t just a reaction to President Obama or the financial industry bailouts. As Jonah Goldberg puts it, “a major motivating passion of the tea-party movement was a long-delayed backlash against George W. Bush and his big-government conservatism.” Support for the War on Terrorism and the invasion of Iraq caused many conservatives to stay loyal to Bush. But that didn’t mean they liked No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, the attempt at a guest worker program, TARP, or the Harriet Miers nomination. Especially after the defeat of John McCain, many on the right insisted they’d never again support Bush-Rove conservatism. Read more at www.theatlantic.com
The V Party
Metaphorically, it is huge; from the Tea Party to the Vote Party
suggests a major political shift. The Occupy Wall Street Movement has
traveled across American cities, attracted national attention, and is
ready to move from gaining attention to influencing social action.
If the movement — I’d call it the embryonic V Party — uses its social
media network to advance a national agenda focused on curing our
excessive economic disparity, it could generate important social
reforms, like the Tea Party did for its agenda. Recent press reports
noted that the Occupy Wall Street movement has morphed into YouTube,
Facebook, Twitter, wiki and Web presences with millions of followers and
thousands of activists.
The Tea Party set an important precedent by demonstrating how activist citizens can get their way by organizing and pushing politicians in directions they desire. The V Party should follow that model, and get to work in this upcoming national election year.Read more at thehill.com
Is anti-tax movement coming to an end?
Read more at blog.nj.com
Let’s hope this is the start of something big. Because we are cutting too deeply, across the board. It’s landing hardest on the middle-class and the working poor, and it’s killing any chance that we can tackle big jobs, like rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, or weening ourselves from dependence on foreign oil by rebooting the energy industry.
Tea party, Occupy movement vastly different
Many in the media and some well-known politicians have characterized those demonstrating against Wall Street and big business as a spontaneous grass-roots movement similar in purpose to the tea party. Well, nothing could be further from the truth.
Let’s start with the important differences.
The tea party movement is universally consistent in its emphasis on the return to the principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence and eager for the restoration of constitutional governance. The tea party protests are intended to bring attention to the unrestrained compulsion of our elected representatives toward boundless growth of the government and display a total disregard for any kind of fiscal responsibility. They also criticize those businesses that reject free-market capitalism in favor of persuading government officials to enact laws and regulations that favor their industry and reduce their competition. (These businesses are inappropriately referred to as “crony capitalists” when there is nothing about free-market capitalism they embrace.)
Read more at www.mcall.com
Tea party rallies are characterized by spontaneous personal initiative, disciplined gatherings, patriotic pronouncements and lawful behavior. The OWS protesters are organized by paid instigators, funded and fed by union and liberal political organizations, unkempt, undisciplined and unlawful hooligans taunting police and disrespectful of local businesses and private property.
Why Occupy Wall Street Is No Tea Party
As the Occupy Wall Street movement attempts to establish a firm foothold in American society, veterans of left-wing organizing, including former Obama administration czar Van Jones, are urging this fledgling movement to run candidates for office, following the Tea Party model of transforming a grassroots movement into a powerful electoral force. After all, what good is storming local bank branches and blocking Americans from going to work if you don’t send representatives to Congress who share your core values and goals? But the prospect of OWS emerging as a viable political force is a pipe dream, akin to similar aspirations held by OWS’s ideological predecessors, the 1960s counterculture.
There are fundamental differences between the Tea Party and OWS that made the former a formidable political force and will render the latter an inconsequential soon-to-be historical footnote. Of course, there are also some basic similarities. In the abstract, both are grassroots movements dissatisfied with the status quo and bank bailouts fighting for transformative change. But beyond the abstract, the movements diverge into mutually exclusive entities.
From the beginning, the Tea Party was primarily made up of middle-class, fiscally conservative Americans who opposed government expansion under President Obama and the Democratic Congress. They organized and rallied peacefully, picked up after themselves, and didn’t cost taxpayers a dime. The Tea Party called for less debt, less spending, and less government intervention in the economy. They didn’t always offer detailed policy proposals, but they did espouse coherent philosophical and economic principles. And while they understandably made some rookie political mistakes, the Tea Party succeeded in transforming the electoral landscape in 2009 and 2010. Their success was all the more impressive, given how novel and politically inexperienced this movement was.Read more at www.americanthinker.com
Peacenik lessons for the Tea Party
It irritates members of both when I note the similarities of the Tea Party movement that swept the nation in the 2010 election and the peace movement of the late 1960s and early ’70s — but they’re similar.
Both represent the surge in political activity by hundreds of thousands, even millions, of previously uninvolved citizens. Both focused on what are undeniably central political issues: war and peace, the size and scope of government.
Both initially proclaimed themselves nonpartisan or bipartisan, but quickly channeled their efforts into one political party — the peace movement in the Democratic Party, the Tea Party in the Republican Party.
But new movements prove troublesome for the political pros. Peaceniks and Tea Partiers naturally want presidential nominees who are true to their vision. They’re ready to support newcomers over veteran incumbents who’ve voted “the wrong way.”
Read more at www.nypost.com
Tea Partiers will grouse if Romney is nominated. But maybe they need patience and perseverance. One lesson of history is that a movement can reshape a party. Another is that it takes time.
Occupy Wall Street insists it’s not political, at least for now
The Occupy Wall Street protest may be a movement, a momentary phenomenon or something in between, but one thing its most fervent activists insist it’s not is a team of shock troops for any political campaign.
That’s a disappointment to Democrats who wish the Occupy activists would animate their party the way the tea party lit up Republicans in the past two years, but the protesters at the original Occupy Wall Street scene say that’s not what it’s about.
“I don’t see us endorsing candidates or trying to form a party,” said Mark Bray, 29, a doctoral student in history at Rutgers University and a spokesman for Occupy Wall Street. Efforts to shift the movement in a partisan direction would be unlikely to be approved by the consensus process at the protesters’ regular General Assembly meetings, he and other protesters say.
Read more at www.miamiherald.com
“There would be so many people who would balk at the endorsement of any party or candidate that I don’t think it would happen,” Bray said.
The Tea Party And Occupy Movements Have Been Hijacked
The Tea Party movement started out as justifiable outrage about the consequences of government spending gone wild. Initially, the Tea Party did not have a social agenda. It was simply “get spending under control or our economy will face dire consequences.” Then, somewhere in the mix, right-wing hardliners latched onto the movement and turned it into what it is today. There are still members of the Tea Party movement who are focused on the fiscal issues alone. But, alas, they are drowned out by the usurpers.
The Occupy Wall Street movement started out as justifiable outrage about all of the garbage the banks and brokerage firms were pulling. It also included outrage over the tremendous compensation packages that some executives of public companies received. Then, somewhere in the mix, the movement — at least in some areas — has been taken over by who knows who. In Oakland, the Occupy movement took over the docks at the Port of Oakland. The president of the longshoremen’s union pleaded with the Occupy movement to stop because his union members were being docked pay for not reporting to work. Who were they trying to help? In other locations, Occupy movement members carry signs calling for the overturn of capitalism. Now, there’s a solution.
Read more at www.forbes.com
Who can name the U.S. president who said that we must govern from the middle and not from the extremes?