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Tea Party

Rise of an Epithet

Editor’s Note:  I read this article while doing some research about where ‘teabagger’ (in reference to the Tea Party) came from.  I learned many things reading this article, so I’m posting it here. 

Be forewarned — there is an adult discussion of the term ‘teabagger’ in this article.

From The National Review:

To “teabag” or not to “teabag”: That is not the most pressing question of these times, but it is a question to consider. Routinely, conservative protesters in the “tea party” movement are called “teabaggers,” and those calling them that do not mean it in a nice way. Many conservatives are mulling what to do about this term: fight it, embrace it, what?

First, a little history. After Barack Obama was sworn in as president, with his big majorities in Congress, the Democrats launched quite a bit of federal spending: particularly with the “stimulus” package. Some Americans were determined to counter this. And, before you knew it, we had the “tea party” movement. What protesters were doing, of course, was invoking the spirit of the American Revolutionaries, and their Boston Tea Party. According to the website of the Tea Party Patriots, the movement is committed to three “core values”: fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets.

The first big day for this movement was Tax Day, April 15. And organizers had a gimmick. They asked people to send a tea bag to the Oval Office. One of the exhortations was “Tea Bag the Fools in D.C.” A protester was spotted with a sign saying, “Tea Bag the Liberal Dems Before They Tea Bag You.” So, conservatives started it: started with this terminology. But others ran with it and ran with it.

I have no doubt you are sexually hip, but just in case you’re not, please know that “teabag” has a particular meaning in certain circles.

Read the rest at The National Review.

Tea Party Creates Own Magazine to Reflect Movement’s Values

From Roll Call:

The tea party movement, known for its regular attacks on the media, is formally joining the media business.

Activists have created a magazine, Tea Party Review, to be launched this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

“This magazine is a response to demands from tea party members across the country for a magazine that we can call our own,” said Katrina Pierson, a member of the Dallas Tea Party and the magazine’s national grass-roots director. “People are weary of the distorted version of the tea party movement that we see in most of the media. Tea party members want a magazine for the movement, created by members of the movement and reflecting the values of the movement.”

The magazine will be led by Editor Steven Allen, a Washington, D.C.-based writer, who is described on the publication’s website as having “37 years’ experience as a journalist, as a radio news director, newspaper reporter and columnist, and magazine editor.”

Allen’s LinkedIn profile, however, offers little specific work experience related to journalism. Instead, it lists a career in politics and policy dating back to August 1981 when he served as press secretary for then-Sen. Jeremiah Denton (R-Ala.). Allen subsequently worked for the Progress & Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank founded by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). And he produces a comic strip known as “The Gentleman from Lickskillet.”

It’s unclear if it’s the same comic strip, but the first edition of the new magazine will feature a comic strip “about a tea party Congressman dealing with the Red Chinese,” according to Pierson, adding that other first-edition topics include tea party lobbying, foreign policy, big-business political corruption and “methods to which the tea party movement can appeal to Latino immigrants.”

“Tea Party Review follows in a long tradition of movement-oriented publications. Throughout American history, successful movements — abolitionists, women’s suffragists, the civil rights movement, the conservative movement, etc. — all had their own print publications,” Pierson continued in the press release announcing the creation of the new magazine.

“Tea Party Review gives all Tea Party members and groups the opportunity to be heard by all, to communicate ideas, create initiatives, share information on best practices, and define the movement’s principles and platform,” she said. “This magazine will ensure the integrity and sustainability of the movement, and bring together Tea Party members who are interested not only in making a statement but in making a real change.”

Abortion as a Tea Party Issue

From National Review:

Has our financial mess brought us to the brink of getting beyond the culture wars?

It’s a question that we might see play out on Capitol Hill in the coming months as the new majority seeks to make the late pro-life congressman Henry Hyde proud, by defunding Planned Parenthood and prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortion.

 “Hell no,” Speaker John Boehner said when he was in the minority, to the conscience-offending comprehensive health-care legislation that congressional Democrats and the White House insisted on. Now that he’s speaker, the first big vote under his watch was to repeal the president’s signature piece of legislation.

 What do you do after a repeal — a repeal that is stalled in the obstinate Harry Reid–run Senate? Move on to HR-3, to do something that the old leadership claimed it had done: keep taxpayer money out of the business of funding abortion. As Boehner said while introducing HR-3: “A ban on taxpayer funding of abortion is the will of the people and ought to be the law of the land. But current law — particularly as enforced by this administration — does not reflect the will of the people.” For anyone who still isn’t sure we were lied to, former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel made things clear on the campaign trail recently — just in time for the repeal vote and the rollout of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.”

 Emanuel is now a candidate for mayor of Chicago. Pressed by a primary opponent, former senator Carol Moseley Braun, who accused him of throwing “women under the bus” — women who don’t oppose abortion, that is — Emanuel told a Chicago Tribune forum that he “came up with an idea for an executive order to allow the Stupak Amendment not to exist by law but by executive order, and it was good enough that Nancy Pelosi, Jan Schakowsky here in Chicago, Rosa DeLauro, Anna Eshoo — a number of women who are held — Nita Lowey — who are held up as honors by people like NARAL and Planned Parenthood, who supported that bill and supported the way to make progress.” They were fine with it, of course, because there would be no real prohibition in the executive order.

 Carol Moseley Braun got the truth out of Emanuel because he needs his base to win the campaign. But back on Capitol Hill, Boehner and other pro-life members have support that is much broader. We got a little hint of that in the enthusiasm among many freshman members for an effort to defund Planned Parenthood during this Congress.

 “Ending taxpayer funding of abortion and getting Planned Parenthood’s hand out of the pocket of taxpayers are clearly crossover issues,” says Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. “Social conservatives as well as fiscal conservatives can generally agree that the government has no business being in the business of funding or subsidizing abortion.” He adds a pat on the back for HR-3: “The new leadership is clearly up on their history. They know they have no room for equivocation — promise made must be promise kept, and that is what they are doing.”

Read the rest at National Review.

Potential Tea Party Targets for 2012

From RedState:

As you are settling down from yesterday’s victories, you will want to also pay attention to this list. While many will be focusing on a potential Presidential pick for the GOP, we should not all get distracted by that.

We have a significant opportunity to improve the Senate GOP through some primaries. Here is a list of potential targets for primaries — the Senate Republicans up for re-election in 2012:

John Barasso (WY)
Scott Brown (MA)
Bob Corker (TN)
John Ensign (NV)
Orrin Hatch (UT)
Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX)
Jon Kyl (AZ)
Richard Lugar (IN) — (Emphasis added by editor.)
Olympia Snowe (ME)
Roger Wicker (MS)

Just to clarify — this is the list of every Republican up for re-election in the Senate. They are from whom targets will be chosen by the tea party and are not all targets themselves.

It is, however, a statement of fact that the Mike Lee election will embolden tea party activists to try to push seats to the right in GOP primaries.

Now, before you all get giddy about Olympia Snowe, I would respectfully suggest that Corker, Hatch, Hutchison, Lugar, and Wicker make better targets as we have a much greater certainty of both beating them in primaries and also winning the general election.

The New England Republicans like Snowe and Brown might not be the wisest primary fights for the tea party movement.

Wicker and Corker in particular make exciting prospects for the tea party movement.

The Tea Party: A Threat To Business as Usual

From RedState:

A new POLITICO poll reveals once again the fundamental disconnect between the ruling establishment and those that pay their salaries. 77% of D.C. elites don’t believe that tea party candidates will be able bring change to Washington.

It’s a predictable opinion considering they have a vested interest in the continued growth of the federal government. To bureaucrats, lobbyists and government contractors, we represent last call on a profligate spending bender. We are the hangover they dread in the coming morning.

The pessimistic response to the poll does nothing but verify that we are on the right track. The whole purpose of this movement was to make those profiting off irresponsible government spending so uncomfortable that they clean up or get out. These beneficiaries of the earmarks and backroom deals have a direct financial motivation to prevent the type of reform that is essential to restore fiscal sanity.

This may be why there is measurable discomfort when discussing whether or not gridlock will occur as a result of the midterm elections. Is gridlock a good thing? 46 percent of those polled outside the Beltway believe that it would occur, but just 29 percent believe that it could bring back the oversight and accountability necessary to restrain government.

The general public also seems less worried that divided government would grind Washington to a halt. Forty-six percent said that scenario would “allow each party to block the other and make it harder to get things done,” and 29 percent said having divided government would “set checks and balances so only fair decisions are made.”

A conservative takeover of Congress shouldn’t be viewed as the beginning of gridlock, but as an opportunity for President Obama to either come to the middle, as Bill Clinton did after the 1994 Revolution, or continually veto the will of the American people.

Obama can make that choice, but don’t expect fiscal austerity to be embraced by Washington elites. They aren’t part of the 70 percent of Americans who agree with the main issues of the Tea Party movement. They reject the novel idea that reducing the national debt and reigning in government spending are practical measures for our country. Of course they feel threatened, it’s in their self-interest to keep us out.

Tea Party Tip No. 1: Don’t Get Comfortable

From The Heritage Foundation:

Should the Tea Party movement throw the likeliest bums out of Congress, conservatives still will need to be vigilant, RedState founder Erick Erickson told a Heritage audience Thursday afternoon. Otherwise, he said, surviving legislators – as well as the new guys – will fall back into spend-happy ways.

Following the Tea Party’s example, conservatives also need to keep getting better at dramatizing how Big Government hurts everyday people, Erickson said in a talk promoting his new book, Red State Uprising: How to Take Back America.

“The Left are masters of emotion,” Erickson said. It’s one reason he’s “not optimistic” that Republicans and Democratic allies will repeal Obamacare in its entirety.

“We’ll have to fight,” he said. “While there is no such thing as a permanent majority in this country anymore, there certainly is permanent policy.”

He said the new Congress must ban earmarks for pet projects. Not just because of the total cost to the federal budget, but because horse-trading over earmarks buys the votes needed to pass government-growing, budget-busting laws such as TARP, the “stimulus” and Obamacare.

“Every bad piece of legislation that comes out of Washington comes because of earmarks,” said Erickson, a lawyer who is managing editor of RedState.

He and co-author Lewis K. Uhler hoped to supply helpful information, ammunition and advice to the Tea Partiers before the midterms, Erickson said, but the book also is a blueprint for what to do after their candidates win seats in the House and Senate.

Like what? “Don’t get comfortable, number one,” he said. Second, make and follow “firm and fast rules” under which some issues – protecting the sanctity of life, ending earmarks – are “nonnegotiable.”

Read the rest at The Heritage Foundation.

Good Tea Party Documentary

From RedState:

Glenn Reynolds is a commenter in this documentary by the Knoxville News-Sentinel about the Tea Party  (The Tea Party: Brewing up a movement), and both he and it comes off well:

Short version: it concentrates on why people think that the Tea Partiers are participating and where it will end up going, and – very refreshingly – manages to do so without once regurgitating Democratic / liberal hate speech.  If you’re the sort who enjoys being told that a bunch of older folks worried about their grandkids’ future are actually secretly racist bigots, by all means, watch this video: the utter lack of such prog-porn will no doubt pop a vein.  In other words, it’s a legitimate documentary.  in fact, tt’s interesting that even the Official Voice of Dissent for this one is generally careful not to be as rude as, say, Ted Strickland* was.  Tells you a bit about how the movement is being seen in the battleground states…

*Example picked because the fool actually thought that he could scream about them last week and still seek their support – something that even the newspapers aren’t buying, and for good reason. Of course, Ted Strickland is used to dealing with the Activist Left; I understand that this sort of thing works all the time on them.

Tea Party Majority

From Power Line:

The Democrats’ fundamental problem is that most voters don’t want what they’re selling, i.e., more government. (As Michael Barone put it, recalling the joke about the dog food ad campaign, “the dogs don’t like it.”) This is reflected in Scott Rasmussen’s finding that by almost a three-to-one margin, likely voters would rather have less government and lower taxes than more government and higher taxes:

 

One could draw many conclusions from this, but I would suggest two. First, far from being a fringe phenomenon, the Tea Party movement represents the solid core of mainstream American opinion. Second, when the Republicans take control of Congress, they should not be afraid to cut spending and programs.

NAACP Joins Left-Wing Groups to ‘Monitor’ Tea Party Groups

From The Blaze:

“A watched tea pot never boils.”

That’s the rallying slogan of a new online “watchdog” site launched by the NAACP, in conjunction with partners ThinkProgress, George Soros’ Media Matters and a group called New Left Media.  TeaPartyTracker.org advertises itself as a site that “monitors racism and other forms of extremism within the Tea Party movement.”

According to the Daily Caller, the NAACP reached out to the various groups for help in compiling information implicating the Tea Party:

Media Matters and Think Progress representatives said their content and reporting haven’t changed and that the NAACP approached their organizations seeking only to republish select content they’ve produced. The NAACP’s new teapartytracker.org is aimed specifically at highlighting “racism” in the Tea Party.

New Left Media, the duo of Chase Whiteside and Erick Stoll who use a “Trojan trick” to get interviews with Tea Partiers, is also a partner organization on the new site.

As for what Media Matters, New Left Media, Think Progress and the NAACP plan to do with teapartytracker.org, Think Progress editor Faiz Shakir and Media Matters Vice President for Research and Communications Ari Rabin-Havt said the NAACP contacted them about sharing content related to the Tea Party.

Tea Partiers beware — the NAACP is watching you, and they now have a website where people can post “evidence” of racism and extremism.  But despite Andrew Breitbart’s offer of a sizable reward for solid evidence, there remains none.

Is the Tea Party Becoming the New Grand Old Party?

From The Blaze:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Is the tea party the new Republican Party?

The grass-roots network of fed-up conservative-libertarian displayed its power in its biggest triumph of the election year: the toppling of Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska’s GOP primary. Political novice Joe Miller is the fifth tea party insurgent to win a GOP Senate nominating contest, an upset that few, if any, saw coming.

With the stunning outcome, the fledgling tea party coalition and voters who identify with its anti-tax, anti-spending sentiments proved that democracy is alive and well — within the Republican Party. Don’t like who is representing you? Rise up, fire them and choose someone new.

The tea party has taken hold in the Grand Old Party, unseating lawmakers, capturing nominations for open seats and forcing Republicans to recalibrate both their campaign strategy and issues agenda. Out is talk of delivering federal dollars back home; in is talk of fiscal discipline.

Within minutes of Murkowski conceding late Tuesday night, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., was among the conservative Republicans cheering Miller.

“He pulled off the upset victory of the year because he ran on principles and because Alaskans, like all Americans, want to stop the massive spending, bailouts and debt that are bankrupting our country,” said DeMint.

Taking a shot at Murkowski if not the entire Republican establishment, he added: “Joe Miller’s victory should be a wake-up call to politicians who go to Washington to bring home the bacon. Voters are saying ‘We’re not willing to bankrupt the country to benefit ourselves.’”

Read the rest at The Blaze.

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It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. — Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 62, 1788

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