Thursday, November 4, 2010

Point-Counterpoint with one of my friends and readers.

Per usual, my comment was too least for the comment maximum 4092 characters...

But the nice thing is, when you're the guy who writes the blog, you can, just, turn your comments into a blog...

So regardless of what side you're on, with this whole Tea Party debate, it's good to get it from both sides.

Branches PSP said...

You know we disagree about politics. And, that's cool. I appreciate and respect your views. When you take aim at the Tea Party, I gotta chime in. So, here goes: :)

First, the Tea Party isn't right wing and it isn't an establishment. We have both elephants & jackasses in our cross hairs. We want fiscal responsibility & reigning in the Federal gov't. We aim to place more power in communities.

Second, OF COURSE not all of the candidates we backed won. Not all of them deserved to win. Some who did deserve a shot to change things for the better simply didn't get the support they needed to get it done. Here in Maryland is a prime example of the electorate not choosing what's best for them. We at least agree on that.

And, if you think that going back to "your father's republicanism" is the answer ... then we're in big trouble. The Tea Party backs more women, people of color, and pro-small business candidates than republicans (or Dems) ever have.

Listen, what the Tea Party did last night was to send a message to both sides that a) we have the power to vote in candidates that match our values - namely, more community-based, small business-friendly, localized governance and self-sanctity- and b) we're not going anywhere - despite the snide remarks & name-calling from BOTH sides of the aisle.

People can call us racist - tea baggers - drag queens in white wigs - crazies - and whatever other disgusting, divisive things people can think if. But, we're not going anywhere. We're starting with the House. If they don't keep their word ... and return more power to communities ... then we WILL establish a third party.

The point is: NOBODY'S JOB IS SAFE so long as the paycheck is being signed by the People.

We look FORWARD to 2012 to clean more than the House!

Thanks for the blog post, Wes. :)


Thanks for the comment Jen!

A couple rebuttals for you...just cause I'm a facts guy, not a fear and rhetoric guy.

For starters, to say that the Tea Party is anything other than the ultra-conservative arm of the Republican Party is crazier than a monkey tied in a burlap sack.

I mean, YOU may not be the ultra-conservative arm of the Republican Party when YOU associate with the Tea Party, but YOU, at least within your party, are in the VAST minority...about a 1 percent-er.

Simple Fact:
The Tea Party endorsed 140 candidates. Not ONE. NOT ONE. NOT ONE was a Democrat. EVERY SINGLE ONE RAN ON A REPUBLICAN TICKET. The ones who were most successful, were successful because they ACTUALLY BEAT A MORE MODERATE/CENTRIST REPUBLICAN IN THEIR PRIMARY. So saying you have both elephants and jackasses in your crosshairs is, I have to assume, you just repeating Tea Party rhetoric or your own view of what the Tea Party SHOULD be about.

I mean, here's a link to the Tea Party Express website...announcing endorsements (all Republican) and "targets" (all Democrats). It's a clean sweep...and it's on their own website.

Unfortunately, it would be more accurate to say, "The Tea Party has jackasses and little elephants that occasionally look like jackasses in its crosshairs." Because, it's a fact, the Tea Party didn't target a SINGLE Conservative Republican. Not ONE.

Secondly, I'm not saying going back to my "father's Republican Party" is a good thing...not for me anyway. I was saying that, if the Republican Party really wanted a shot at more seats, especially the big one, in 2012, then IT needs to look a lot more like my "father's Republican Party" and a lot LESS like the Tea Party.

Anyone who studies political science will tell you that America is a HUGELY Centrist nation. And when the middle gets the shit scared out of it, as it did when George W was wrapping up term 2 or as it will again when this Tea Party wake-up call sinks in (and potentially even gets more ridiculous), the middle gets on the bus goes to the polls to vote - which it will in 2012. So, in 2012, the Center is going to get scared by the preceeding two years of bat-shit-crazy Tea Party rhetoric, and they're going to pull the country back to the middle or even to the left. It's just plain going to happen.

Radical ideologies have never worked in America, or in any true Democracy for that matter.

I mean, the Tea Party, right now, is like Charlie Sheen in a big city. It's loud, it's crazy, it's having fun and it appeals, to a certain degree, to everyone's secret desire to dress up and say whatever makes sense at the moment.

But just like Charlie, sooner or later, it's going to run out of money, cocaine, booze and credibility. When it does, it's just another naked guy (whigs off) in a busted up hotel room (America) trying to get his cash back (campaign contributions & political credibility) from a hooker (what people like Karl Rove really view the Tea Party as - the Republican's big, sexy 'professional').

Lastly, the Tea Party didn't really enact sweeping reform. The same type of turnover that occurred yesterday in the house and senate has occurred at virtually every midterm election after a Presidential party shift, for the last 30 years. The exact same thing happened to Reagan in 1982 and to Clinton in 1994 - they both lost a ton of seats in the House during their first mid-term election cycle. The only recent President NOT to fall victim to this? George W. Bush - because 9-11 had just happened, he had a 60% approval rating - and America was just too damn scared to take any chances by overhauling the political machine. So this whole "Tea Party Revolution" is really just history repeating itself - just a whole hell of a lot more accurately - because the people participating are ACTUALLY dressed up like history!

32% of Tea Party backed candidates won.

There are two ways to look at that.

Either it's a failure, because only 1/3 of the people the Tea Party supported resonated with the general voting American public.

Or it's a success, because in an election, capturing 32% is pretty close to, if not, capturing the majority of votes available.

My take on that number? If you have this much emotion and this strong a movement, then you should be able to capture more than 50% of the votes - at least if you want to get anywhere. So, I would take the 32% success rate to mean that, AT BEST, less than 1/3 of America is "sold" on Tea Party referendum.

Moreover, the places where the Tea Party was successful, places like Ohio, South Carolina, Indiana, Michigan, Florida - particularly the districts in which they were successful, are not representative of your comment that "the Tea Party backs more women, people of color and pro small business candidates than the Republicans (or Dems) ever have."

Frankly, the Tea Party isn't going to get anything done unless it either attracts some centrists, or a REALLY big name (NOT Sarah Palin).

I'd love to see a third party, but I'd also love to see Instant-runoff voting...but I don't realistically expect to see either, at least not anytime soon.

Trust me, you'll be amazed at what a little cyclical economic growth will do, when it eventually returns, to stamp out these political fires.

Great seeing you last night.

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