Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Arsenic Laced Tea-Party

In today's world of American politics, there are few things more talked about, more analyzed, and stir more passion (either for or against) than the Tea-Party.  In fact outside of President Obama, I think there is no subject more scrutinized and talk about than the Tea-Party in American politics.  Whether or not you feel the Tea-Party is a good force in American politics depends on your politic views, your ideology, your loyalty to party, and your views on the types of tactics and strategy you see fit to achieve a political means.  The Tea-Party is a complicated and diverse subject in and of itself, yet it is also pretty simple to figure where your opinion lies on the Tea-Party.

First, we must state that the Tea-Party is not a single organization, but rather a loose confederation of different people and groups claiming the Tea-Party mantle.  Sure, there are a few larger Tea-Party groups, but there is no one Tea-Party.  In many ways in the rest of this blog, I will be talking in broad general terms, rather about specific tea-party groups.

According to most tea-party groups, the tea-party stands for:

  • Limited Constitutionally based Federal Government
  • Free Markets
  • Low Taxes and balanced budget
  • Federalism (or "States Rights')
  • Rejection of Obamacare
For the most part, all tea-party groups CLAIM to be for these 5 points.  For someone like myself, these points align with most of my political philosophy.  As a capitalist, I believe in the free market, low, taxes, low regulation, and consequently a limited government.  Thus you would think I fully supported the tea-party and for a time, I did.  I thought the tea-party was a positive force in American politics, even if it was a little rough around the edges and even if it wasn't aligned with my libertarian views on social issues.  

Unfortunately, I discovered something along the way in these past 5 years.  The tea-party is made up of too many people who are:
  • A bunch of Rick Santorumish social conservatives
  • Not ideologically serious in any manner, other than simply opposing Obama
  • Not serious in actually reducing the size of government, balancing the budget, or even just coming up with a serious budget plan
  • Just focused on yelling and screaming about things without actually thinking about how to accomplish any legislative or political goals
  • Batshit insane crazy people who believe anything that is posted on the internet, care little for fact-checking anything, post stupid meme after stupid meme, and a bunch of ignorant birthers.  
Now I should point out, that not all that claim to be tea-party are this way.  In fact, there are many who are much less crazy than the type of people I described in the last bullet point and in the article in general.  Of course, at this point, I wouldn't really categorize these people as tea-party, but rather frustrated Republicans not sure how should proceed.  Furthermore, I don't see the tea-party as racist, though like in every group there are racist idiots.....like Cliven Bundy.

However, many of the most active tea-partiers, especially those on social media, do fit in this category.  They populate so-called tea-party groups on Facebook, they have blogs, and they tend to be the most vocal.  Screaming "usurper, RINO, and Cliven Bundy 2016."  Furthermore, too many in the tea-party silent in calling out the bullshit of some of their members.  They tend to think that calling someone for posting a false meme or story is a sign of weakness or support for Obama.  

The fact of the matter is, these people are not good for the right, not good for the GOP, not good for Capitalism, and not good for America.  Sure, they might be a little bit better than liberals on some things, but they are also going to be one of the top reasons that liberals continue to win elections in the near future (if that does happen).  The tea-party has became a poison to the very things they claim to represent and no amount of calling their blogs and Facebook groups "patriot" or waving "Don't Tread on Me" flags will change that.  

Why is this?  What happened?  Well for one, the tea-party tends to be older than the average voters and generally they are more likely to gravitate toward the social views of 'Lil Ricky Santorum and his merry band of big government social conservatives who believe that allowing "the gays" the same rights and privileges as everyone else will lead to more hurricanes, terrorist attacks, and Michael Bay movies for America.  They also believe a more open immigration policy is bad for the economy, which not only rejects common sense economics, but also what America is founded upon.  Too often, they are more than happy to see big government policies at the local, state and federal level, if it fits there own narrow social conservative worldview.  How bad is tea-party in this regard, many supported that doofus clown Lil Ricky Santorum during the primaries in 2012.  The same Lil Ricky who never saw a spending bill he didn't like.

Of course, the real problem is:
Most of the Tea Party is Just Not That Serious and Frankly Crazy.
I mean they are serious when it comes to railing about Obama, and I suppose railing about Obama is a worthwhile adventure.  But more times than not, they are railing about Obama for inconsequential or false things that have little to do with his Presidency or improving the Republic.  There is so much phony outrage amongst tea-partiers that it drowns out the legitimate outrage that most of the right and even center feel about what is going on in today's politics.  I don't know how many times I have seen stupid memes complaining about Obama's vacations (FYI Bush took way more vacations and spent more money on them than Obama has, where was the outrage) or what shirt he is wearing, or putting up his feet on a desk, or his wife's dress.  It is really stupid, insulting to America, and does no good politically.  Again, it merely comes off as complaining about Obama just to complain about Obama because you have nothing good to complain about.  (Of course, with Obama there IS PLENTY to complain about, legitimately).

"But despite this, the tea-party is good on policy, how can you not like that?"  Sure on the surface, the tea-party would seem to have great policy and a seriousness to enact that policy.  However, the bulk of the people who make up the rank and file tea-party are wholly clueless, not serious, and in many ways just as bad or worse than the establishment in DC.  Ask a rank and file tea-party member what they would cut from the budget.  They will simply say "Waste, Fraud, and Abuse", "Congressional pay", "Welfare to them illegals", and "Them women who have 8 kids on food stamps".  While it would seem that we could balance our budget based on doing this, the reality is you can't.  In fact, if you eliminated all of these things 100%, you would reduce the budget deficit by maybe 15-20% TOPS.  So where do you come up with the other over 80%.  That is where most of the tea-party fails and fails miserably.  Oh, and this was BEFORE Obamacare was fully enacted btw.

The fact of the matter to balance the federal budget in the near term and keep it balanced in the long term, you must be willing to do at least 2, if not 3 of the following things (and liberals need to pay attention to this too) along with at least partial if not full repeal of Obamacare:
  • Enact Social Security Reform including some means testing (Btw, Social Security IS a social welfare program)
  • Enact Medicare Reform, including some means testing (Btw, Medicare IS a social welfare program)
  • Reform Defense Spending (yes this means some cuts, but there are cuts that can be made responsibly without hurting national defense)
  • Raising Taxes (THE WORST OPTION)
That is the reality, if you are serious, you must deal with it.  The budget deficit in FY 2013 was $680 billion.  Total discretionary non defense spending for that year was $584 billion.  Now do the math.  Of course, there are other mandatory spending programs that could be pared down.  However, there is NO WAY, and I mean NO WAY you can have long term balanced budgets without touching any of the 3 spending bullets above without a significant tax increase.  Now try explaining to this to most rank and file tea-party members and they will simply scream, yell, curse, and holler without actually coming up with any relevant ideas on their own.  

Screaming and yelling about things is about the only thing that most of the tea-party is good for right now.  When it comes to actual governing, for the most part, the tea-party fails miserably.  This is embodied by Ted Cruz's insane government shutdown plan.  Mr Cruz is a Harvard graduate, but apparently Harvard grads don't need to be proficient in math.  Let's see the Dems control the Executive Branch and the Senate, thus when you want to defund the sitting President's signature piece of legislation, it is really difficult if not impossible.  NO PRESIDENT has/is/or will ever sign a budget defunding their own signature piece of legislation.  It won't happen.  Thus for the budget to defund Obamacare to be approved, you must be able to override the veto.  You need 2/3rds in each house for that to happen.  Thus you need 291 House Members and 67 Senators to do that.  The GOP controls the House, but only has 233 members.  The GOP is the minority party in the Senate with only 45 members.  Thus to override the veto, you would need 58 House Dems and 22 Senate Dems to vote along with you.  Now, for the those tea-partiers carping about the "leadership" in the GOP caving or selling-out, please name me 58 House Dems and 22 Senate Dems who are going to vote to defund their President's signature legislation.  Hell name me 10 Senate Dems WHO MIGHT?  IT ISN'T GOING TO HAPPEN, PERIOD!!  Neither the Republican leadership nor Ted Cruz himself were willing to shut down the government long enough (which would have been at a point where seniors would have been unable to get their Social Security checks) to get Obama or the Dems to cave.  You can argue with it all you want, but that is the truth of the situation.

Thus all Ted Cruz and the tea-party did was an exercise in futility that led to a politically stupid government shutdown which helped Democrats and made the entire right seem anti-American obstructionists.  Frankly, Ted Cruz could learn a lot from Rand Paul, and even Mitch McConnell on how the American political process works.  Plus maybe he could learn some simple math along the way, that would help.  Unfortunately, the tea-party thinks that what Cruz did was great and politically savvy.  NO IT WAS QUITE SIMPLY IDIOTIC.

Finally, and I hate saying this, but it needs to be said.  The tea-party is simply made up of too many hatters (conspiracy idiots), moronic birthers, and people who need to learn to use Google to fact check the insane shit they post on the internet.  Seriously, the amount of the crazy shit I have read in tea-party groups is too much to comprehend.  Furthermore, any time you try to fact check these folks, they simply resort to calling everyone of being part of the liberal conspiracy, which includes Snopes, Google, Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, YouTube, and Facebook who are all secretly funded by George Soros who apparently controls everything that isn't controlled by Koch Brothers.  The ironic thing is they typically tend to complain about the liberal conspiracy on Facebook, which is part of the liberal conspiracy itself.  So maybe the tea-party is part of the liberal conspiracy.  Hmm, maybe I am onto something.  I better check with World Nut Daily and FreeDumpOutHouse, I mean World Net Daily and FreedomOutpost to find out.

Unfortunately, these people haven't figured it out yet.  Those on the right who continually post false shit all over the internet are just as much responsible for the dumbing down of American politics as the left.  You can sit there, yell, and scream about it as much as you want, but IT IS THE TRUTH, PERIOD.  You can't sit down on your computer and complain about "liberal bias" while you sit there and spam the internet with your unproven, unrealistic, batshit insane crap and expect to have any credibility.  At the end of the day, if all these conspiracy theories about Obama, FEMA camps, black helicopters aren't even being covered by Fox News, Daily Caller, National Review, Breitbart, etc. there is probably a good chance that it is just a stupid conspiracy theory.  But hey, I could be wrong, perhaps Obama will be showing up at my door to take away my guns, butter, American Pie, and Calder Cup ring.    

In all seriousness, the tea-party has ceased to become a positive political influence on the right or America in general due to its general un-seriousness, conspiracy minded bullshit, and the need to yell and scream constantly about this and that without prescribing anything substantive policy wise.  While not all tea-partiers are a part of the problem, and some aren't, there is just way too many so called tea-partiers who are a part of these problems that it simply renders the tea-party movement impotent.