A Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street Alliance?
Many are thinking about the Tea Party and its relationship (or lack thereof) with Occupy Wall Street. I’ve received numerous complaints from some liberals who seem set on fostering an alliance between both forces in terms of what they promise will be a mass campaign to reign in business and government corruption. The proposal is absurd in my estimation, primarily because the groups’ goals are so antithetical that cooperation becomes not only implausible, but counter-productive. OWS is the negative of the Tea Party – its’ exact opposite when it comes to ideology and policy attitudes. Whereas the Tea Party nearly exclusively blames Democrats and “big government” for today’s problems, OWS refocuses attention on our problems as bi-partisan and heavily driven by Wall Street greed and corruption. This basic reality has become obscured in liberal activists’ rhetoric and in media propaganda.
Read more at www.counterpunch.org
How do we know that a Tea Party and OWS alliance is counter-productive? The conclusion flows naturally from a close examination of both groups. Observing the Tea Party for a year as part of my research, and having participated in the OWS movement this fall, I can say from firsthand experience that there is an ideological chasm between the two. But don’t take my word for it; a review of the policy attitudes and ideological orientations of both groups demonstrates this point pretty clearly. With regard to the Tea Party, its’ ideological outlook and worldview can be effectively summarized by reviewing the positions that supporters take. Demographically, the Tea Party is heavily representative of the same Republican-right that’s driven Americans politics for the last decade. About three-quarters of Tea Partiers explain that they are Republican or lean Republican in their party attachments. Polling from Bloomberg finds that Tea Partiers are representative of the far right of the Republican Party, labeling them “super-Republicans” in orientation. A closer look explains why this label is apt. As Bloomberg finds, 80 percent of Tea Partiers support the Republican “Pledge to America,” the party’s ideological platform, which is largely a blueprint for further institutionalizing corporate power, minimizing popular social welfare programs, further cutting taxes for the wealthy, and strengthening U.S. militarism and aggression.
Tea Party Alleges Double Standard by Occupy-Friendly Mayor in Virginia
A Tea Party chapter in Virginia is alleging that it was audited by the City of Richmond after it complained that the local Occupy movement was receiving special treatment by the mayor.
The Richmond Tea Party said the city charged it $10,000 to hold three rallies in Kanawha Plaza — where Occupiers have been allowed to reside at no charge.
Now the Tea Partiers are crying foul and demanding their money back. But shortly after complaining to the city, the Tea Party group said it received notice of the tax audit.
Read more at www.foxnews.com
“This provides documentation that the city rules don’t even apply to the Richmond Tea Party and that we probably shouldn’t have been forced to purchase a city business license in the first place,” Owens said.
Tea Party Numbers Grow As Presidential Election Nears
Despite being demonized by the Democrat Party and minimized by liberal media, the Tea Party movement has not declined since its inception. It has instead increased in numbers. Over the last year, I have visited more than 50 cities in the state of Kansas. As unemployment numbers have increased, so has interest in the Tea Party. With each edict issued from Obama’s White House perch, a new group of Tea Partiers has formed in heartland communities. The recent liberal Occupy groups of course tried to emulate the grass roots appearance and focus of the Tea Party with a contrasting anti-American, anti-capitalistic flare, but this group has done nothing but make Tea Partiers even more appealing to mainstream America. Despite being framed as radical events run by angry racists, the Tea Party’s orderly patriotic weekend gatherings are now seen as benign in comparison to the rapes and thefts happening within the stench-filled tent cities of the Occupy movement. The line between conservatives and liberals is becoming clearer and clearer to more and more people.
What is also becoming clearer is that the once feared Tea Party is now seen by the voting public for who they truly are—the American middle class. In visiting a large part of the state of Kansas one town at a time, I’ve seen that the Tea Party numbers are growing for two important reasons. The first is that once a person attends a Tea Party rally, that person is hooked. People understand their conservative values of adhering to the Constitution, controlling spending and having a working, but limited, government. All these relate to love of country and values that are easy to support. Second, the majority of voters now see that the nation is in a true fix, and they are looking for a positive, non-violent alternative to Obama’s goal of a fundamental transformation of America. Once people move past the lies of the liberal media, more and more citizens are finding that their local Tea Party is a very nice fit with what they believe.
Read more at canadafreepress.com
So, for all the rambunctious and ready conservatives, those who are anxious to see this President be a one termer, the blueprint to victory in 2012 lies in coordinating the ever expanding Tea Party numbers and maximize the number of voters who do go to the polls and vote next November. Doing that will make Obama’s defeat and removal from office a certainty.
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.
The Tea Party Is Wrong on ‘Occupy Wall Street’
The Tea Party began as a protest against the bailout of Wall Street.
Now the Tea Party is, in effect, coming to the defense of Wall Street.
Now the Tea Party has found another way to slide into irrelevance, with its negative response to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Ordinary Americans sense that we have been screwed by Wall Street every bit as much as by Washington, D.C., but instead of fighting together we have fallen into the perennial Right vs. Left trap of letting the ruling establishment divide us. The conservatives say Washington caused our meltdown, the progressives say Wall Street caused our meltdown. Only the Ron Paul Revolution understands that they are one and the same, with the Federal Reserve representing and empowering both Washington and Wall Street against the people.
Read more at my.auburnjournal.com
When the protests first began, conservatives and Tea Partiers should have descended on New York to seek to influence the movement in the right direction. From what I have read and seen, some members of the Ron Paul Revolution have been trying to do just that. But the Tea Partiers have reacted like, well, conservatives. And now the opportunity has probably been lost. Occupy Wall Street has been taken over by the liberal branch of the establishment – the labor unions – just as the Tea Party has been taken over by the conservative branch of the establishment – Washington insiders. The union bosses and conservative power-brokers saw their opportunity and took it.
Some Abilene Tea Partiers cool on Perry
Gov. Rick Perry may have risen to the top of Republican presidential polls on the strength of his appeal to Tea Party constituents, but he has a ways to go before convincing local Tea Partiers that he’s the man for the job.
“I don’t think he’s going to do well in Texas,” said Pat Hippely, president of the Taylor County Tea Party, which hosted its bimonthly meeting Thursday night at the Cotton Patch restaurant.
The Taylor County Tea Party is one of the two Tea Party clubs in Abilene along with the Abilene Tea Party Coalition.
Read more at www.reporternews.com
Although the Taylor County Tea Party acknowledges that it is a Republican-leaning organization, Hippely said the club is more interested in finding the right candidate than in electing the lesser of two evils.
Tea Partiers show mixed views on foreign policy
Tea Party movement-backed lawmakers have marched in lockstep toward the goal of shrinking the government but that unity dissolves when it comes to America’s role in the world.
Republicans who were elected to Congress with support of the grassroots movement have bucked Republican orthodoxy by supporting some defense spending cuts, and they have been at the forefront of criticism of the U.S. Libya intervention.
But they appear more divided on how quickly to pull out from Afghanistan, with some favoring a quicker drawdown than President Barack Obama has proposed and others, a slower one.
Read more at www.aim.org
“It’s really a little bit of a trap to suggest that there is somehow a foreign policy view of the Tea Party,” said Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute think tank.
Will Compromise Kill the Tea Party?
Benjy Sarlin asks whether Tea Partiers
have set themselves up for perpetual disappointment by demanding Republicans be more obstinate on the debt ceiling than the party’s willing to be.
Read more at www.slate.com
“The bottom line is this: the only way to cut is to impose the debt ceiling cap,” Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler told TPM. “If you have a bad teenager abusing your credit card, you don’t put new rules in place, you take the card away.”
He described DeMint’s “Cut, Cap, and Balance” plan as a “fraud,” noting that the movement is especially skeptical of pledges after being told Republicans would cut spending by $100 billion in the this March’s continuing resolution.
“What’s driving me crazy is the political class is nattering on about a deal, but the American people aren’t buying it,” he said. “This is just more evidence they’re not listening to the people.”
The trouble for Meckler and other Tea Party activists is that every time they lay down a line in the sand and the GOP walks over it unscathed, their credibility withers. House Republicans have already cut significant deals with Democrats twice, on extending the Bush tax cuts and on passing a continuing resolution funding the government.
Hell hath no fury like a Tea Party scorned
According to accounts from Tea Party groups in several states, since late March Republican Congressmen have been trying to manage expectations on the debate on the U.S. debt limit, by warning Tea Partiers that there would be “dire consequences” if America did not raise its debt limit.
But the Tea Party is adamant that the Republicans win this debate and force massive cuts before they agree to raise the debt limit. This is what they worked hard for during the 2010 election campaign and they have no intention of compromising on spending cuts now.
Read more at blogs.reuters.com
Tea Party anger now may be nothing compared to the fury that is likely to accompany a Republican failure to win major cuts in the debt limit debate – fury that Tea Partiers say will lead to primary challenges in 2012 for Republicans who do not make the grade.
Tea Party to Give Obama a Second Term
The McClatchy-Marist Poll
, which was released last Monday, revealed that those calling themselves Tea Partiers have little interest in doing anything substantial about cutting government spending. This cuts the legs out from under any attempt by conservatives in Washington to rein in that spending and it also gives President Obama a huge edge going into the 2012 elections.
Despite 49 percent of those polled disapproving of the job the President is doing (and 80 percent of those calling themselves Tea Partiers in the poll disapproving), and 57 percent of those polled giving top priority to cutting the deficit, when the question was asked: “Do you support or oppose cut[ting] Medicare and Medicaid?,” 70 percent of Tea Partiers opposed any such cutting. And when it came to reducing military spending, 66 percent of Tea Partiers were opposed as well.
Read more at www.thenewamerican.com
But when those polled were asked if they supported raising the federal debt ceiling, 81 percent of Tea Partiers were opposed to such a raise.