Friday, November 11, 2011

It's the Bailout, stupid!

Time and time again, I hear and read expletive filled rants about the stupid/racist/naive/homophobic/clueless tea party crowd. Time and time again, I hear the same tired meme about how the tea party is made up of rich, male, christian conservatives whose only goal is getting rid of Obama. And time and time again, I explain the reality: that the roots of the tea party lie in the previous administration, that it was very specific policies and legislation that led to and spurned on the movement, starting with the Bailout under Bush followed by the Stimulus under Obama.

As a matter of course, I'm always thrilled when someone in the media speaks the same plain truth. Apart from noting the historic and oft-cited rant by Rick Santelli on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (I still get chills when I watch it; context is everything), the piece also describes the small protest in New York against the "obesity tax" on soft drinks, as well as the "porkulus" protest rally staged by Keli Carender in Seattle. Michelle Malkin showed up at the later, and even helped out by buying the protesters some bar-b-que sandwiches (pulled pork of course).

And by the way, this is why I love Michelle Malkin. She's no Johnny-come-lately, when it comes to the tea party movement. She's been there since day one. Here's an old piece from her blog that essentially tells the same tale as the one I just linked to. She also links to some articles that came out after this first flurry of localized protests/rallies, like this one from Investor's Business Daily:
To be sure, the protest sizes so far are a far cry from the left’s anti-globalization and anti-war demonstrations of the past decade. But they appear to have grass-roots origins. The organizer of the Kansas protest, Amanda Grosserode, calls herself a home-schooling mom who is “fed up” with the spending in Washington. She has been a member of Fair Tax Kansas City since last fall. 
“My husband and I were feeling frustrated that the stimulus had passed with very little debate and no one had read it,” she told IBD. “I said, ‘We need to do something.’” 
She began contacting family and friends, and eventually received attention via Fair Tax Kansas City and local talk radio. 
…Liberal supporters of the stimulus don’t see the demonstrations having much impact. 
“These protests are probably ideological rather than practical,” said Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future. “As the crisis gets worse and people look for jobs and the (stimulus) money starts moving out... people will be grateful.”
Note how incredibly wrong Mr. Borosage was in his assessment. And note, too, the very different analysis applied to the tea party-type protests early on, as compared to the current Occupy protests. In fact, here is Mr. Borosage fawning all over the the Occupy movement:
Occupy Wall Street is already a political steamroller. Without an agenda, without an electoral operation, without a slate of candidates, if it continues to grow, it will force every national politician to decide whose side he or she is on... 
Will this movement be a factor in the 2012 elections? It already is. Will it make clear demands? It already has. Whose side are you on? Wall Street or kids in the street? The top 1% or the 99%? It doesn't get clearer than that.
Let that sink in for a moment. A pundit that completely misread the tea party movement is talking up the Occupy movement. His ideology is writing checks his intellect can't cash.

But my point here is not to discount the Occupy movement. I find interesting, if somewhat misguided and uninspiring, and I would never discount the potential that exists within it. My point is that the tea party movement was a response to very specific things--the Bailout and the Stimulus--and to the entitlement mindset, yet few pundits and politicians seem to remember and/or understand this. No amount of government spending will pacify the movement, no government program will silence it. Even as other groups try to co-opt the movement for their own ends, the core groups remain. And from a strictly political point of view, this lack of remembering, this lack of understanding is a major mistake. Already, the tea party is being written off as a major factor in 2012 by the supposed experts in the field of politics. I predict that they will have egg on their faces, once again.

Cheers, all.

2 comments:

  1. What I'm tired of is Obama-bashing by your kind. Protests are allowable, so let them protest, muttled though it may be. I am not favorable to the tea party, Republicans and/or Libertarians. I'm not a Democrat or an independent, either. I'm just tired of your constant ads, articles and followers that bite at everything they see that put down the current administration. That IS, after all, the only thing you are trying to do so that you will have a better political chance in 2012. The stances, complaints and vilifications you take, make and practice make little if any good sense and are just rhetoric. No one could fix the melt-down we just had in 3-3/4 years. Historically its going to take 5 to 8 years - and with all the roadblocks maybe MORE. So get over it and start cooperating and compromising more with what should be a common effott.

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  2. Thanks for the comment, Anonymous. But I don't see how this bit qualifies as "Obama bashing" at all. It's more "pundit bashing" than anything else.

    Cheers.

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