Posts tagged Tea Party movement
By now it’s conventional wisdom that the Republican Party has moved extremely far to the right. So far, in fact, that Michele Bachmann (heretofore best known for this clip in which she demands that her fellow congress members be investigated for “anti-American ideas”) is now, incredibly, a top-tier presidential candidate.
The GOP is so far to the right that it is practically meeting itself coming around the corner, voting against ideas that it once supported, like tax cuts, and even initiatives Republicans once sponsored, simply because they are proposed by Democrats as possible solutions to some of the nation’s problems.
Here we are, two business days away from the hard ceiling on the debt limit, after blowing through the acoustic tiles a couple of months ago. And yet, there’s no passed increase in the debt ceiling.
The House is supposed to be voting on their bill as we post this. It’s not clear that the House alone can pass a bill on the debt, let alone the House, Senate, and President together.
It’s fine to make a statement via one’s votes, or to grandstand in a debate. That’s the political side of government, and it’s a necessary part of getting people involved in the discussion. But, at the end of the day, government’s first job is to run the country. The debate comes second.
Drawing on my House reference above, it’s fine to remind an obese person who’s having a heart attack that they really need to diet. But perhaps the cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a little bit more important right now.
President Obama (or his Press Secretary, anyway) announced yesterday that the 14th Amendment Remedy to the debt ceiling standoff is “not available” to use.
So where does that leave us? Let’s look at the players, and then we can talk about possible next steps.
Democrats and Republicans have always reminded me of the Athenians and the Spartans. In the political world of ancient Greece, the Athenians were cultivated, scholarly, socially concerned and fond of discourse, also much given to internal squabbles and disunity. The Spartans were grim, warlike and goal-oriented, placing a huge premium on loyalty and unity of purpose. They raised what we now call “message discipline” to an unbelievably high art, beginning with the strict training of children.
Legend has it that a young Spartan boy once stole a fox and gathered it under a cloak at his breast to conceal the animal from his teachers. The starving fox, safe in its hiding place, began to gnaw hungrily at the boy’s stomach and, eventually his vital organs, but the poor lad died where he stood, in a pool of his own blood, rather than cry out and reveal weakness.
In keeping with my Republican-Spartan analogy, this is precisely what began happening to the GOP when it unwisely took the Tea Party to its bosom and thought this newly-whelped, savage animal could be tamed and domesticated, and relied upon to repay protection with loyalty and service. Now the Tea Party has chewed through the flesh of the party that took it in, and is starting to crunch on the ribcage, but Republicans are still unable to cast the dangerous animal aside because doing so would be a public admission of weakness and disunity.
Jon Huntsman formally kicked off his campaign today in New Jersey, in sight of the Statue of Liberty — which according to some is a reminder from the French not to embrace socialism — evoking the spirit of President Ronald Reagan as he announced his candidacy for the 2012 Republican Party nomination for President of the United States.
He invoked Reagan directly, saying that Reagan was a candidate in a similarly difficult time in the nation’s history.
Politico’s Alexander Burns reports that he plans travel to New Hampshire later today, South Carolina on Wednesday, Orlando, Miami and Naples, Florida on Thursday, and Utah plus Nevada on Friday. He will set up his national campaign office in Orlando, home of his wife, Mary Kaye.
I don’t think you need to run down anyone’s reputation to run for president. I respect my fellow Republican candidates. And I respect the president. He and I have a difference of opinion on how to help the country we both love. But the question each of us wants the voters to answer is who will be the better president, not who’s the better American. — Jon Huntsman, in prepared remarks reported at Politico
The article below is an updated and reprinted version of one that appeared February 2, 2011. (more…)
Our pet political platypus lives out back in a lovely watery habitat, but he does get a bit weary of the city, especially in hot weather. So we’ve been scouting around for a place to send Pauly off for a restful fun-filled vacation, and we’ve discovered the perfect thing. It’s tea party summer camp!
A group called the “Tampa 912 Project” (which come to think of it has faint echoes of Glenn Beck, doesn’t it?) will host a one-week seminar in mid-July for children aged 8–12, guaranteed to teach our little platypus the “principles on which our nation was founded.” Those principles include: “America is good,” “I believe in God and He is the center of my life” and “I work hard for what I have and I will share it with whoever I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.”
What nice little cherubs they will be after a week of this! (more…)