Tuesday, 2 March 2010
Tea Party (2) Have you no sense of shame?
The election of Barack Obama as President of these United States brought to the surface those currents of populism which had been swirling for many a year
Populists of the right had no truck with the Republican Party or with President George W. Bush but they held their fire. They believed that if they attacked the G.O.P. and the President too soon, their own critique would lead to the election of a Democratic Party President.
Nonetheless, Barack Obama was elected. That election signaled populists with the message “big Government is back”. If there is one thing that unites all populists it is a hatred of “Big Government” – identified by the popular media as the province of the Democratic Party.
Anti big-government populists were joined by others such as the so-called “birthers” – those who believe that Obama is not a born citizen, and probably by some racists who were flying under the radar.
These disparate groups coalesced into what is called the “Tea Party” movement. One of the Tea Party leaders, one Debra Medina of Texas want to be the Republican candidate for Governor of Texas - see your Wednesday newspaper to see how she fared in the Texas Republican primary election.
Debra Medina “issues dire warnings that President Obama is taking America down a slippery slope to Soviet-style communism” (See http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/feb/28/tea-party-debra-medina-texas )
That sounds so implausible as to be laughable, and there is not a scintilla of evidence which supports her claim.
Yet it is a claim which is accepted as “fact” by many populists.
In the face of this absurd claim there is silence from national politicians, both Democratic and Republican.
One might hope that some national leaders might emulate Army Attorney Joseph Welch who in the face of Senator Joe McCarthy’s populism and “anti-communist crusade” said: .“Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”
Sadly there is not one U.S. Senator, Democratic or Republican who has the courage to expose the lies of the Tea Party gang, and ask “have you no sense of decency?”
Republicans are busy co-opting Tea Part sentiments into their own platforms.
Democrats have no vision except to save their hides when they next face the electorate.
I’ll write some more on Wednesday 3rd or Thursday 4th about why I understand the sentiments of Tea Party members, even while I disagree with their “solutions”.