The New Tea Party Movement

So, what’s it all about? Well, according to most official sources of information, the Tea Party movement promotes a combination or Libertarian and Republican conservative ideals. The key word here isn’t Libertarian, conservative, or Republican, –it’s “ideals”. The Tea Party stands for Constitutional rights, reduced spending, reducing the national debt, and opposition to taxation in various forms. As far as the Libertarian thing goes, there is an official list of politicians holding government office of one kind or another, that are actually involved in or supporting the Tea Party movement. In this list, there are around 100 names. All are Republicans, except one Independent, Tisha Casida (running for Congress in 2012), one Democrat, Nick Garzilli (also running for Congress in 2012), and one Libertarian, Brent Wangen (another one running for Congress in 2012). How funny is it that the only three non-Republicans in the Tea Party movement, have yet to hold office? Even the one self-identified Libertarian? So while the Tea Party has Libertarian supporters in its audience, it has no Libertarian representatives.

What do actual Tea Party supporters have to say about the Movement? Good question, –since we rarely hear from them outside of rallies, it’ll be nice to have some insight.

“People hate my political party (care for some tea?), all because we hired people we wanted to stand by their principals, and by God and Sonny Jesus they stood by em. And what happened? The Tea Party folks got the blame, Obama got the credit, and they STILL down graded our economy. They got elected on the basis of not compromising, and people just cannot understand WHY they didn’t compromise. That’s politics for you. The big message always overpowers the little voices. I would like to think I’m a conservative, with a few liberal ideas thrown in to confuse my compatriots, but no one really cares. They hear “Tea Party Republican” and I’m automatically relegated to “Slobbering Dummy” status. Yes, it hurts my feelings, because I work real hard for the money I make, and pay taxes out the ass every year. And because I think Obama and his policies are wrong, and people who are for lowering taxes and deflating the government are right, I’m a racist who wants America to revert to a police state. I hate politics [sic].”

Let’s take this apart now. Which blame did the Tea Party get? Are we blaming the Tea Party for its supporters? One of the primary supporters, Michele Bachmann voted against the higher education finance bill in 2007, –which stood to increase the amount of the Pell grant, provide more relaxed repayment agreements for federal student loans, increase the amount of student loans, and just make the whole thing easier and more accessible to students who have to rely on government funding to attend. The bill was passed anyway. On the other hand, Bachmann also introduced the “Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, which made politicians and health officials look more closely at the poisonous mercury content of conventional lightbulbs, as well as their impact on the environment. Sarah Palin also supports the Tea Party movement, but… there’s no comparison.

Other infamous sympathizers are Ron Paul, the acidic Republican radio personality, and Dick Armey. Armey is known for his candid remarks on topics such as Dick Cheney’s assurances that the war in Iraq would be a brief affair (he stated that he, “deserved better than to be bullshitted by the Vice President”) and Clinton’s resignation (Armey stated that “If I were in the President’s place I would not have gotten a chance to resign. I would be lying in a pool of my own blood, hearing Mrs. Armey standing over me saying, ‘How do I reload this damn thing?'”). On the other hand, Armey was asked to step down from his office in the law firm DLA Piper where he was a lobbyist for healthcare reform, because he was simultaneously working with the conservative, anti-healthcare reform group, FreedomWorks.

All in all, as far as the Tea Party goes, there are some notoriously strange politicians involved in the movement. What’s the Tea Party movement about? Well, in some ways, it’s about idealism, in others, it’s a comparison in naivete; in another, it’s about how best to attain rights that some feel they’ve lost during the Obama administration. But to one citizen of the UK, it’s a wholly different ordeal:

“The new tea party is headed by weirdos who don’t understand the historical figures they dress up as, who spout meaningless rhetoric and are as obvious a negative force as Senator Palpatine.”