The Left Still Doesn’t Get the Tea Party, As Told Through the Stages of Death and Dying Part 2 of 2 [Reader Post]


Cross Posted at Brother Bob’s Blog

Part I of how the Left doesn’t get the Tea Party here

Stage 6 – Anger

Even the Republican establishment has shown its distaste for the Tea Party, as seen in Barbara Bush’s jab at Sarah Palin and Karl Rove’s post-primary meltdown on Fox News after Christine O’Donnell defeated Mike Castle in the Delaware Republican primary. I do have to give some credit to the former first lady – it is rare to hear the political class showing such honesty of opinion when discussing a member of their own party. But she was looking in the wrong direction, more on that in a moment. As to Rove, I understand that it must have been frustrating to invest so much time and effort into a candidate only to lose to someone who has a lesser chance of winning that your champion. Victory was still no guarantee – keep in mind that the people of Delaware chose to inflict Joe Biden on us for several decades before he was called on to be vice president. But that is no excuse for Rove going on television and launching into a tirade that could have been directly lifted into a campaign ad for the Democrats. Even in her losing effort, O’Donnell did serve a useful purpose. The mainstream press were fascinated with O’Donnell and adopted her as their surrogate Palin and allowed their cries of “She’s an idiot!” to dominate their national coverage of the midterm elections. So how did this help? There is only so much bandwidth out there in the news cycle. All of the time they spent attacking O’Donnell was print space and air time that was not getting used to attack other Republican candidates in closer elections. Do you think that the DNC liked having to use its resources to defend suddenly vulnerable candidates like Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer and Barney Frank when they should have been able trust their allies in the press to do this work for them?

Back to Bush and Rove, their words showed the same lack of understanding as to why the Tea Party and people like Sarah Palin are around. Like the angry leftists, they should have been looking in the mirror. It was Dubya’s years of irresponsible spending that set our course on this road into high gear. It was the GOP forgetting the lessons of what the party claimed to stand for while spending taxpayer money in an irresponsible manner that would make any leftist proud. Or as the Vodka Pundit summed it up, “Rove thought that he could use the government’s check book to buy a permanent majority.” Running on a platform of pointing out that the Democrats are running our country off of a cliff at 100 MPH doesn’t hold much water when your own party is running us off of that same cliff at 55 MPH.

Stage 7 – Anger

Remember those long forgotten days of yesteryear, as in the years of 2000-2008? Nobody on the left seems to. Remember sayings like “Jeffersonian”, “Purple State” (along with this Newsweek cover after the 2004 elections), and phrases like “I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration somehow you’re not patriotic. We should stand up and say we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration.”? For that matter, remember all of the silly rationalizations that the left had to come up with to reconcile with the fact that they openly wanted our troops to lose a war only because of their personal hatred for the president? We heard that “Being a vegetarian is patriotic”, “Riding your bicycle to work is patriotic”, even lines dumb enough to suggest that obeying a law whose noncompliance will land you in prison was patriotic. You might, but nobody on the left does. When a leftist calls for civility, what they’re saying is, “don’t behave like we do.” When a leftist calls for dialogue, it actually means, “We’re not getting what we wanted, so you need to sit down, shut up and listen to us until we do get what we want.” The same people who put “Question Authority!” bumper stickers on their cars are furious that now that they’ve become The Authority that’s exactly what is happening. Somewhere around January 19th, 2009 slogans of respect for opposing views and patriotism in dissent were replaced with basically, “Sit down, and STFU”.

Stage 8 – Anger

We’ve seen every label in the book thrown at the Tea Party. To once again cite the guys at Trifecta, "The Tea Party has been called astroturf, racists, idiots, gone and buried and now terrorists. When this label doesn’t stick either what label does the left have to try next, child molesters?" The latest efforts by the administration to create the label of "Tea Party Downgrade" in hopes that it will stick just reeks of sheer desperation that comes from impotent rage against an opponent that they can’t figure out how to fight. I think that a lot of this comes from disappointment in the unrealized dreams of what they were sold on with Obama. For that matter, when can you remember the left being happy? With the exception of that short window between when Obama was elected in November 2010 and the end of his first month in office I can’t remember the last time the left seemed happy, and in the last two years they’ve seemed angrier than ever. Even with the presidency and both houses of Congress working diligently through job killing regulations, out of control pork spending and ever present threats of higher taxes to continue this gradual strangulation of our private sector they had to push for the Holy Grail of Obamacare in early 2010. Just like in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" with a starship at his disposal and Project Genesis under his control Kahn still would not heed the warnings of his helmsman who urged Kahn not to chase the Enterprise into the Nebula that would render their sensors and shields useless…

"No sir, you have Genesis! You have whatever yo-"

"FULL POWER! Damn you!"

If we’re able to get Obamacare repealed before it’s able to fully metastasize in our health care system that law may turn out to be Obama’s Mutara Nebula. And as we’ve come to learn about our president, "He’s intelligent but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking."

“Obama… I’m laughing at the superior leftist intellect!”

Stage 9 – Bargaining

At first the left resorted to their favorite weapon – go back to Alinsky playbook and find someone to personalize and demonize rather than conduct their least favorite part of the process, debating the issues on their merits and actual (not desired) impacts alone. The left tried to brand the Tea Party as being led by Beck, by Palin, by Fox News, by the Koch Brothers, by Grover Nordquist, desperate for someone to whom they could use to make the Tea Party personal rather than about issues. Frustrated at their futile attempts to find someone that leftists could attack, the NAACP took the lead and publicly demanded that the Tea Party denounce its nonexistent racist elements. Once again, not having any specific charges or incidents to cite has never been known to stop the left from throwing out charges of racism.

This led to an amusing comedy of errors as Andrew Breitbart fired back, by releasing a damning video of the USDA’s Shirley Sherrod making racist comments at a conference. But then it came out that the original video that had been provided to Breitbart had edited-out key pieces that showed that her remarks were taken out of context, and now it was Breitbart on the retreat. The administration’s overreaction of firing her after seeing the original video forced them to backtrack, and she was set to appear on a number of Sunday talk shows. Sherrod was about to be anointed by the MSM as the next Rosa Parks and a face that the left could anoint as the opposition to the Tea Party, until Sherrod made it clear that she wasn’t such a saint after all. As quickly as she appeared, Sherrod just as quickly and far more quietly disappeared from the media’s focus. With both sides having egg on their face from the incident, neither pursued it any further. But at least Breitbart learned his lesson, and applied it to the successful exposure (pardon the pun) and takedown of former Congressman Anthony Weiner. And if you think Weiner’s resignation was an illegitimate over blowing of a media manufactured issue, think again.

Stage 10 – Depression

Now after around two and a half years the left is facing the graphic truth that electing someone to such an important office with no qualifications or accomplishments might not be such a hopey changey great idea after all. The combined economic data – downgrades, unemployment, the stock market, not to mention how our president’s bow, scrape and apologize foreign policy has failed to turn the world into a harmonious playground, not to mention the fact that all of his promises regarding the War on Terror were nothing but hot air (I have my own theories on this, but that’s a separate post) has left liberals rightfully unhappy. So now, despite the fairly recent Bin Laden bounce in the polls, more and more people are understanding that the economy won’t be improving under this administration’s anti-business policies and more and more people are finally questioning our president’s ability to lead. It can’t be easy being a lib these days. But just like it’s easy to be a petulant teenager with grand ideas of how the world should be run, when you get out in the world you learn that being an adult isn’t as easy as it looked. We’ve started handing control back to the adults in the 2010 midterms, and hopefully this relatively new wave of leaders will learn to make adult decisions.

Stage 11 – Acceptance

Acceptance is the toughest stage to define for this article, as the left is incredibly intolerant of opinions that differ from their own. The left has not accepted the Tea Party, the merits of dissenting opinions, nor that opposing views should be shown respect. So the left has accepted it in their own special way. First they tried imitation via the Coffee Party movement, pretending that it was to be a civil forum for ideas and working together. Granted, it was run by a former Obama staffer, and it wasn’t like Obama supporters didn’t already have outlets, such as Big Media if not just working for the administration outright. Another attempt was the “no labels” movement, trying to suggest that labels were so dismissive, and we should gather and sing kumbaya, etc. No dice again, and George Will did a great job of summing up why liberals reject being labeled because of course, it describes what they actually are. And of course, after Glenn Beck had the audacity to hold a rally by the Lincoln Memorial, the non-partisan, non-activist Jon Stewart had to rally his minions of mainly white viewers (sorry, couldn’t resist) to come out and announce something, whatever that message may have been, certainly nothing racist.

So my question to the left is, are you serious about restoring sanity? Do you truly want respectful dialogue? Do you want a more civil tone? If you’re serious, stop talking the talk – start walking the walk.

Stop using shootings by lone crazies as an excuse to throw out libelous accusations against someone simply because you need to cling to your raw hatred of her. Stop saying that anyone who disagrees with you is by definition an extremist. Or as the Vodkapundit put it, “Remember when spending less than you took in wasn’t considered extremist? Yea, me neither.” Stop using the lazy straw man arguments that this administration has come to depend on – no, we don’t want to kill off the elderly. Those of us who are not already elderly ourselves either have friends or relatives who are up in the years and/or we’re planning to grow old as well some day. Tea Partiers don’t hate teachers, firemen, and police officers. We just don’t feel that it’s right to hand them generous benefits and unfunded taxpayer-fed pensions while signing their checks with the names of future generations. Is asking the public service unions to make similar contributions to their benefits that the rest of us do really so extreme? Aside from a handful of hard core libertarians, the Tea Party is not advocating eliminating all government. We just want intelligent government – you know, reviewing budgets (or in our president’s case, first submitting one), transparency, and responsibly managing our money. The Tea Party is not suggesting killing poor people, either – we just have what is becoming a sadly outdated notion that people are better off with jobs than food stamps. So when Howard Dean tells the Netroots Convention that “The values of the Tea Party sure aren’t the values of America today “, he sadly epitomizes what is wrong with the left today. Instead of shoving your finger in our chests and angrily screaming in our faces for us to engage in civil dialogue, maybe you should try engaging in civil dialogue. Stop trying to scream over reporters who you don’t like, stop issuing threats to shut down speaking appearances by those with views different from your own, stop with the drive-by attacks, show some respect for the public property that you share with everyone else, and maybe even lay off of the angry, uncivilized rhetoric. You claim to want civil dialogue, but if you can’t stop screaming that we’re racists, idiots, violent, extremists, hostage takers and terrorists how serious do you think you sound?

The irony of all of the anger from the left is that they will be the first to decry killing terrorists as only creating more terrorists. But when it comes to the Tea Party the more they throw out their vitriol the more that they steel the resolve of the Tea Party and create more Tea Partiers.

Of all of the analysis of the Tea Party I’ve heard from the left, the one that came the closest to reality came from Harry Reid, of all people. He appeared on one of the talk shows declaring that “The Tea Party was born because of the economy. The economy is probably the worst it’s ever been except for maybe the Great Depression. The Tea Party will disappear as soon as the economy gets better. And the economy’s getting better all the time.” Right church wrong pew, but it’s a start. Yes Harry, it is about the economy, but it’s not just about current conditions, rather it is about the conditions and the mentality that got us to this point. This administration promised transparent and responsible government – we’re still waiting, and this is why we’re still here. Unlike the anti-war anti-Bush protests, we’re not going to fade away just because the candidate with one party’s designation gets elected. Until you understand and publicly acknowledge the conditions that got us to this point, the economy won’t start getting better all the time for a long time.

Here is the part that the left truly does not understand, and probably never will. The Tea Party would be more than happy to go away. Most of us are not career politicians or bureaucrats, and would be thrilled to just go about our lives. We really would prefer to not come out to rallies and have to call our elected officials to ask them to do their jobs. Myself, I’d be satisfied if my blog just contained musings on heavy metal concert reviews, the top 100 reasons why the Philadelphia Eagles are the coolest team in pro football (I know what you’re thinking – only 100? I had to draw the line somewhere), or random rants such as an unbeatable insult that any female can use on a guy or the importance of tipping generously. I’d still probably write about some political pieces, but I’d much rather see the biggest political issues that this self professed libertarian with conservative tendencies would have to write about would be to make fun of the left complaining that we are not doing enough to follow various socialist mandates coming out of the United Nations along the lines of “Maintaining Full Employment in the Nonprofit and NGO Sector though Achievement of Sustainable Poverty in the Third World”. My advice to Harry Reid and everyone else who truly wants to see the Tea Party disappear – it’s actually pretty simple. Do your damned jobs. Start spending within your means, read the bills you’re voting on, stop imposing yourselves onto us just for the sake of paying back your campaign donors and start remembering the job that you were hired to do. When that day comes we’ll be more than happy to disappear. And unfortunately we both know that day will never come. To paraphrase Mel Brooks in The History of the World Part I:

“We know you’re wishing that we’d go awaayyyyy, but the Tea Party is here and it’s here to stay!”


** Answer to earlier question regarding wine pairings with Ethiopian food: It was a trick question. The correct response was to keep walking until you find someplace else to eat because Ethiopian food sucks. The only people in the US who pretend to enjoy Ethiopian food are liberals who think that it makes them look more worldly. The rest of us outgrew pureed meat around the time our first teeth started coming in.

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I’ve been aware of Karl Rove’s huge slant against everything TEA Party.
Do you remember many Olympics ago that the sports commentators would profile ONE individual for an entire sport then be all disappointed when he or she failed to metal so that their ”King-making” didn’t work?
Karl Rove reminds me of those sports guys.
He wants to be the anointer of the next Republican nominee.
And, if he cannot be, because time and circumstances have passed him by, he will at least try to tear up every other contender as they each rise toward the top.

Perhaps he does, but then, so does Obama, and in neither case does “aggressive” equate to “right”. The slow boat to socialism fostered by the GOP elites is actually more dangerous than the abrupt push from true believers like Obama. Look up how to boil a frog.

The great things about the TEA party is that it isn’t a “party” it’s a movement with a single issue. By focusing on a single issue it unites libertarians and conservatives across the spectrum from athiest to evangelicals.

By remaining amorphous, relatively unorganized, and leaderless the MSM has nothing concrete to shoot at, hence the shotgun approach from “dangerous” to “inconsequential” with smatterings of “racist” thrown in. Without a clear leader, there is no one to stumble blindly into the MSM’s pre-registered fields of fire. That’s why the MSM routinely tries to anoint either someone they think is vulnerable, or someone they think they’ve damaged as representing the TEA party. When that doesn’t work they say the TEA party is fading and hope like hell it will.

Brother Bob, I would vote for your two-part piece here as being in the top-ten all-time best posts to grace this site.

I have tried, in many of my comments posted within other articles, or discussions, that centered around the TEA Party, to explain the reason why they came about, as well as the movement’s most common goals. It is a hard thing to do, particularly given the partisan nature of our resident liberal/progressives here who would rather believe the Stewart’s and Maddow’s of the world than the people who are actually part of the movement. I don’t imagine that you will get such glowing reviews on your two-part piece from our resident liberal/progressives.

To our resident liberal/progressives, I would say this: The TEA Party movement’s biggest goals are smaller government, and responsible spending of our tax dollars. In order to achieve these goals, the movement is against;
-One, higher taxation. Invariably, this leads politicians to see another source of money to spend on new programs, meaning more government, and irresponsible spending of our tax dollars. To date, Obama has raised taxes on cigarettes($0.62 per pack), and tanning bed salons(10% tax). Also, to date, state governments across the country have enacted tax increases, or new taxes, that are too numerous to list here. One common complaint from the left, about the Taxed Enough Already Party, is their claim that Obama hasn’t raised out taxes. In the first place, that is false. In the second place, the unofficial term for the TEA Party is a rallying cry not just for the Federal government, but state and local governments as well.

-Two, Increased government regulation. The movement of some jobs overseas, and the increasing prices on damn near everything, are the result of federal regulation that increases the cost of doing business for companies here. And much of it is due to government, growing in size and scope every year.

-Three, Higher and higher entitlement spending. New entitlements, such as Obamacare, extensions on “benefits”, new programs stated to “help” the poor and needy, corporate entitlements(in the form of various subsidies), all of these combine to increase the size, and spending, of the federal government. After that, tax increases are an inevitable cry from the liberal/progressives so that all of the new programs and entitlements can be paid for.

-Four, and perhaps the most important, Constitutional limitations. Despite what Larry has argued, Hamilton was not in support of a “nanny-state”, all-powerful, central government. What he was for, and he was arguably correct about, is the expansion of federal power(under the necessary and proper clause) to meet the duties and requirements of the federal government, particularly Congress, as spelled out in Article I, Section 8. One only needs to read Hamilton’s pieces within the Federalist Papers to understand this. Unfortunately, for us anyway, the Constitution has taken a backseat to the ideas and dreams of the liberal/progressives, who grasp at any straw present in order to “prove” that they have the power to enact their wishes. Hamilton, at least for Larry here, has been one of those straws.

The TEA Party merely wishes a reversal of course on federal government power, back to original intent.

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have” – Gerald Ford

That quote is an apt description of the reason why the TEA Party movement supports smaller government. Liberal/progressives wish to have the nanny-state give people everything. In order to do so, they must take away from those who have, and give to those who have not. Is it any wonder why we conservatives believe Obama is a socialist? Or, as Levin puts it, a statist?

Thanks again, Brother Bob, for an outstanding contribution.

J.G Well written.Basic disagreement I have. Tea party is a “cross section of political parties and races and nationalities.” In the U.S, Hispanics account for about 14% of the population and African Americane about 12%. What are the REAL T.P.%s. Approx 35% of voters are Dem and 30% Indies.Show me REAL T.P. %s that reflect anything close to these #’s
Until anyone can FACTUALLY show me otherwise I will believe the Tea Party is the right /Conservative wing of the Republican Party as is reflected in Congress.

I’ m not saying this is bad,but to continually speak of it’s broad diversity is disingenuous. Better to be honest about it’s current composition while striving to make it more diversified.As you know Gallup has T.P. movement down at 26% approval in the doldrums with BHO(39%) and Congress(13% ouch).

@rich wheeler:
Rich, although I could only answer from personal experience that I met many blacks, Hispanics, gays, young and others at each TEA party I attended, I have some research that backs up John Galt’s statement.
The Los Angeles Times reported on a Gallup Poll in April of last year.

The poll was revealing a detailed portrait of Tea Party supporters as pretty average Americans.

The Tea Party adherents broke down 28% independent, 17% Democrat and only 57% Republican.

The ”new” [back then] Gallup Poll out this morning of 1,033 finds nothing fringe about self-proclaimed Tea Party adherents;
they are slightly more likely to be employed,
male and
definitely more [fiscally] conservative.

But otherwise Gallup’s Lydia Saad writes, “their age, educational background, employment status, and race — Tea Partiers are quite representative of the public at large.”

One thing I’ll add:
At every midweek TEA party I’ve been to I have met many people who were ”representing” other family members who were at work.
I think that’s why so many oldsters seem to be at these TEA parties…..the working age folks are at work.

Thanks Nan What about approx % that are non white? 28% INDIES 17% DEMS Not bad.

@rich wheeler:

It doesn’t matter to me what you think of the TEA Party movement, Rich. I know what it’s about. As I stated, it’s difficult to explain it, particularly to those who would rather believe what some talking head on TV or radio has to say about it.

To put it simply, those who believe, as you do, that the TEA Party is some “right /Conservative wing of the Republican Party”, then must also believe that the government ISN’T spending too much, ISN’T taxing too much, and ISN’T big enough. Is that you Rich?

The tax question isn’t as simple as the federal income tax, Rich. Several new taxes, as I pointed out, have been enacted on a federal level, and many, many more on the state and local levels. The mistake that liberal/progressives make when discussing that aspect of the TEA Party is that they assume the movement is only talking about the federal income tax rates. Hence, their misunderstanding of the issue, and why they choose to believe the Stewarts and Maddows of the world. Stupid, and dumb.

A true introspection of oneself, and their values, would lead people to support the TEA Party, instead of ranting against it, and mistakenly assuming things about the TEA Party that are, quite simply, not true. For example, the movement has very little to do with social issues beyond the desire to stop federal support like handing out money.

If you don’t believe in the TEA Party, then the opposite, and what one must, therefore, support, is Big Government, nanny-state regulation, cradle-to-grave power. Does that sound like something the founding fathers believed in?

@rich wheeler:

I cannot pull up the raw data from that older Gallup poll.
But I take no issue with their spokeswoman’s statement… reflects what I see, too:

Gallup’s Lydia Saad writes, “their age, educational background, employment status, and race – Tea Partiers are quite representative of the public at large.”

Right On Target. Our group currently has 4 democrats in it, of which two have never voted republican. The other two voted for old Ronnie. After the straw polls we all had a good debate on all the potential candidates. The dems are still looking for their man/woman. It appears that nation wide many more democrats are just like them, trying to find a republican/tea party candidate that they will vote for instead of Obi, or not vote at all. But they feel just like the rest of our group, that all Americans have been sold out by both the republicans/democrats. That professional politicians can no longer be trusted in both parties, that their greed for power, and continuation of their political careers are now their top priority, not the welfare of the country. Just imagine the possibilities for the conservative candidate that can convince these fence sitters to vote for them. But whats really simply amazing is the number of Rhinos and libdems politicians that refuse to quit looking at the political environment through their rose-colored glasses, and still see the voters as only a means to get re-elected while doing nothing but the same old same old.

J.G. Like you I believe in the fair tax and would abolish the I.R.S. I cannot disregard social and environmental issues when in the voting booth.When I see Evangelical,drill baby drill, folks like Perry and Bachmann as T.P. FAVORITES how can I pull the lever for them?

@rich wheeler: So, is subsidizing someone like Brazil to drill better? Or letting Cuba harvest the gulf oil better? I’m far from an evangelical, but facts are facts, and the fact is that every currency on the planet is on the oil standard today. If we don’t drill it, someone else will, in all likelihood that someone will use less care with regards to the environment than we do.

As for the so called social issues, I can’t help you there. If somehow you think keeping people on the dole is a good idea then you will just have to vote your heart. I think I’ll vote my brain instead.

Just Al Unemployment insurance ,like social security is money they are entitled too.Evangelicals, in your bedroom not mine.Talk about mind control.I’m Christian but Jesus isn’t telling me on a daily basis how to lead my life, and I certainly don’t believe born agains are the only ones saved. Crazy.
I’ve seen the oil wells offshore here in Cal. No thanks
“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor it cannot protect the few who are rich” JFK
The brain and the heart are not mutually exclusive.

Semper Fi

First off thanks to Curt for posting this. This took a lot of time and effort and I appreciate being published here. And thanks to Sister Babe for proofing this for me. I normally don’t ask her to but I normally don’t write 5,00 word pieces, either.

– thanks for the props, I really appreciate it. But dude, will you stop commenting on my posts already? Your comments in #4 steal the thunder from some of my upcoming Econ for Politicians posts!!

jk… I appreciate your taking the time to put up well thought out comments.

@Rich – I know you don’t want oil wells but where are we supposed to get our energy from? It’s easy to shoot down ideas but I never hear any real solutions from anyone who preaches about the evils of drilling.
Another question – where are you getting the social issues/evangelical angle from? Aside from having some mutual interests there is nothing showing an evangelical influence over the Tea Party.
That said, I appreciate the respectful disagreement – thanks for your comments!

@Nan (and the comment I guess that DrZachar deleted) – I tried not to go too hard on Rove, as his vision is on getting and keeping GOP power, period. I think that he got too far in and lost touch with reality and forgot the principles that got the GOP into power in the first place. He has organizational skills and SHOULD be a useful ally, but he needs to wake up and smell the tea.

Brotther Bob You are known by the company you keep. Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are proud born again/evangelical Christians. They are favorites of the T.P. movement.

@Brother Bob:

I try to live by the Eleventh Commandment.

Ronald Reagan on the Eleventh Commandment:

The personal attacks against me during the primary finally became so heavy that the state Republican chairman, Gaylord Parkinson, postulated what he called the Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican. It’s a rule I followed during that campaign and have ever since.

Karl Rove just gets on my last nerve, sometimes.
I hope, no matter who gets the nomination, Rove will fight FOR him (or her).
He is an able political warrior.

@rich wheeler:

Brotther Bob You are known by the company you keep.

We are in agreement on this one. Obama kept the company of Ayers, Alinsky, Jeremiah Wright, and a bunch of other American despising activists and organizations. Now you know where the rest of us are coming from in our criticisms of him. Perry and Bachmann are far more socially conservative than I am but I’d rather support them than someone who kept the company of Obama’s acquaintances. As you said, “You are known by the company you keep.”

@Rich Wheeler & Another Vet: Yes, Bachman and Perry are far more evangelical than me as well, but you’re missing the point of the Tea Party, Rich. This is a truly “Big Tent” movement in that we’re united on the more important issues that bring us together rather than the smaller issues that generally drive people on both sides apart. Evangelical is an element to P&B, but it is not what defines them. Rich, I don’t want this to degrade into us getting personal over each other’s company, but can you honestly say that the leaders you’ve supported had no traits that you didn’t agree completely with?

And I’d proudly stand alongside Perry or Bachman (or Cain) more so than any other candidates in the race so far, with the possible exception of Trump.

OK, I’m kidding about Trump, but the man is so damned crazy it would be entertaining to spend some time near him!

@Brother Bob:

Sorry about the length of my comments. However, you should take it as a compliment that your articles are as thought provoking as they are. 😉

@rich wheeler:

You are known by the company you keep. Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are proud born again/evangelical Christians. They are favorites of the T.P. movement.

Rich, the TEA Party movement has nothing whatsoever to do with religion. Brother Bob explained it. I explained it. Yet, you want to assume that because both of the politicians you listed are closely associated with the evangelicals, that it automatically means the TEA Party is too. Should we conservatives assume, since you seem to really like Obama, that you espouse the ideas and rhetoric of his old church in Chicago?

From the Washington Post, today, August 17th: House bills give a glimpse into the tea party’s vision for America

@Brother Bob: I’m in agreement with you. The comment was meant for Rich. I’m still not good with the b-quotes. I think if the TP didn’t hammer home the situation with the deficits, the problem would not be getting all of this attention much like what happened with Perot emphasizing the issue in ’92. In both cases, the two parties would have continued with the status quo.

@anothervet: Just realized I didn’t word my response as well as I could have – was trying to say I agreed w/ you & was trying to build on your point =8^)

@Greg – GREAT article! The best part is that for the lefties at the Post who probably see the article as portraying the Tea Party negatively to normal Americans it’s an advertisement! According to The Wash Post the Tea Party is trying to :
Repeal a law that is serving to destroy jobs and potentially ruin our health care industry
Prevent a seminary school dropout-led religious cult’s beliefs from dictating energy policy
Eliminate useless laws that give banks even less incentive to provide mortgage loans
Stop forcing us to buy highly toxic light bulbs
Eliminate funding for a radio station that has outlived its need for public assistance
Stop forcing the public to fund presidential campaigns (didn’t Obama reject these funds, BTW?)
Reject participation in an objectiveless military venture

I have one question for you Greg – when did you come around to our side? Glad to have you aboard! You see Rich, I told you it was a big tent!

On a side note, aren’t there any sci-fi geeks out there? I can’t believe the Star Wars/Trek references didn’t draw a single comment!

@Brother Bob: I kind of figured we were on the same page. As for Sci Fi, a pretty avid fan.

BROTHER BOB Stand beside Perry, Bachmann and Cain.That “big tent” is listing seriously to starboard. Got room for Romney? Paul?

@Rich: If I’m reading you correctly, you’re saying that the Tea Party needs more leftists for credibility? Since the Tea Party naturally opposes leftist statism and its various anti-prosperity special interest groups. So by your standards, no, the Tea Party will never achieve your definition of a big tent.

Romney and Paul are in this to, if not to the same degree. Paul will always have his loyal following but would never be president. Romney has a chance assuming he is willing to finally admit that Romneycare was a mistake.

So who is under your big tent, Rich and more importantly, why?

Brother Bob Let’s just admit your “big tent” currently at 26% approval per Gallup holds those who adhere to the Conservative line.That’s fine but I don’t believe it’s enough to secure The Presidency in 2012.

My tent holds a large majority of the 74% of Americans NOT IN YOURS per Gallup.TRUE diversity,believing in freedom of religion,of speech.of equal rights and human rights. I believe your 26% will continue to decrease between now and 2012 and that Romney,who probably won’t pass the litmus test to enter your tent,is the only electable Repub.of current crop.

Semper Fi

@Rich: You’re not really using Obama reverse math, are you? I thought you were better than that! So by your rationale 74% of Americans support growing an unsustainable debt that will guarantee a lower standard of living for our grandchildren, ever expanding regulations that strangle our private sector and 9% unemployment being the new normal? You stand under one strange tent, my friend.

Brother Bob Gallup says T .P. approval rating at 26% .That’s a fact just as BHO is down to 39% and Congress buried at 13%
What you fail to accept is the American voter sees the T.P. as more than a group of economic conservs. They don’t like what they perceive to be their strident social stances.That’s the way it is. Maybe you can work on changing that perception. In the meantime approval is midway between BHO and Congress.That my friend is the truth.

Exit question Approx. 53% of American voters are female.What is the M/F ratio in T.P.?

Semper Fi

@Rich – my point exactly – the left still doesn’t get the Tea Party and never will.

Brother Bob Based on that 74% disapproval the T.P. will never be more than a loud relatively insignificant splinter group eventually fading into obscurity, Guess you’re O.K. with that.

@Rich – By your rationale the Tea Party is now twice as influential as Congress – thank you!

We’re just going in circles at this point, so I’ll give you the last word. Have a good weekend and thanks for participating in the conversation, Rich.