Strong tea but a weak party.

Gad, more Tea Party cheering today.  Am I the only one who noticed that Christine O’Donnell in Delaware is wearing a red jacket identical to St. Sarah’s? All she needs is the cute little square frame glasses and she’s there.

What the heck, looks have won more than one election. Anyone ever see “The Candidate” with Robert Redford? 

It is fascinating to see the Republican Party hoist on its own petard — out-conservatived because the GOP has become the Party of Alleged Conservatism (No coincidence that acronyms to PAC) because under both Bushes and Reagan it was really the party of the good old boy, the rich fatcat finance/defense industrialist.

Under Obama the GOP/PAC has been so desperate to keep the Democrats from winning anything that it has been the party of no, and voters of all stripe are tired of politicians who don’t do anything, which I suspect is what’s driving the support of the Tea Party since “hell no” is more than a simple “no,” and actually implies doing something, eventually, even if it’s negative.

Although what Tea Partiers will do, precisely, none of us has any idea, including them.

Yeah, yeah, I know, “cut taxes and balance the budget and stop wasteful federal spending,” but I’ll believe that when I see an actual budget, with actual program cuts listed, and actual revenue and spending numbers verified by the Office of Management and Budget as being real numbers that actually add up.

You haven’t seen that and you won’t because the first time someone actually does come up with that list wise guys like me will start looking at how many jobs it cuts, which would be millions, and of course we can’t have that sort of reality impinging on the national discourse.

My prediction: A few tea partiers will get elected. Hell, the GOP may even take over Congress by riding their wave, but we’ll end up with a three-way Congress of impotent democrats watching their own political behinds (what happened to fiery liberals?) impotent Republicans who only dream of the cozy relations they had with big business, and a few radical Tea Partiers who hold the swing vote and won’t get along with anyone.

In short: More locked up Congress with inertia running things, which will piss off the entire country even more. Why do you think turnouts have been so low in these primaries?

Most people see no point.

Nobody thinks any of these yahoos will actually solve a problem, the Tea Partiers least of all, but it’s fun to get angry and vote for the screamer. Eventually Congress may get the idea that it has to accomplish something, anything, and that to do that it has to get along, with each other and the president, but I am not optomistic.

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47 Responses to Strong tea but a weak party.

  1. midwinter says:

    The Tea Party is accomplishing what the Democrats have been trying to do for ages: beating moderate Republicans in the primary with far-right candidates who will most certainly lose in the general elections. The Dems did this with Specter for *ages* with Pat Toomey in PA, but could never get Toomey to beat him in the primary. I even remember Dems online donating to Toomey’s campaign.

    In short: the Tea Party is going to make some bits of this easy pickings for the Dems.

  2. Neal Cassidy says:

    We need to restrict government spending and shrink the size of the federal budget unless it is in my district.

  3. Doug Gibson says:

    Midwinter has raised an interesting test race: the Pennsylvania Senate campaign between Toomey and Democrat Joe Sestak. It will be interesting to see if Toomey loses in November. I think he’ll win.

  4. MacDaddy says:

    Chuckles and midwinter are in denial. That’s why they don’t mention Marco Rubio.

    Conservative candidates will finish strong in the general election.

    Democrats are again campaigning as conservatives distancing themselves from 0blabla. Castle tried it in the DE primary but the voters saw right through that lie.

  5. midwinter says:

    Doug is absolutely right: the Sestak/Toomey race is one to watch. Of course, it is entirely possbile that the Dems will screw that one up, too.

  6. Charles Trentelman says:

    Let’s pretend that I agree with all of you, including MacDaddy. I am still waiting for someone to answer the real question of my blog post:


    the rest is just gum flapping. Nice breeze, but little else.

  7. Owain says:

    Sorry to neglect you Charles, but I thought you had posed a rhetorical question.

    First, tea party candidates, if elected, will not be coming up with any budgets or programs. As I understand it, under the seniority system, senior party members of both parties in various committees consider legislation, both budgets and programs, that apply to the area controlled by a particular committee. Currently, Democrats dominate that process since they are in the majority in both the House and the Senate. That may change after the mid term elections, but even if Republicans become the majority party in either the House, the Senate, or both, tea party candidates will probably not have the seniority necessary to have a seat on any important committees.

    At best, with respect to budgets or programs, a tea party candidate, if elected, will be able to submit proposed legislation to a committee, or vote on bills once they are released from committee and brought to the floor for a vote, but they are not going to be in any position to set budgets, define programs, or affect either revenues or spending.

    That is partly why I didn’t bother to answer your question previously, because I didn’t think your question made any sense. If my understanding of the congressional legislative process is mistaken, I’m sure someone will constructively correct my error.

  8. Dovie says:

    I have a very, very low opinion of the Tea Party. Does anybody but me remember that Osama Bin Laden said that ONE attack would paralyze us? They prove him right.

    “When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross” – Sinclair Lewis in It Can’t Happen Here.

    Fascists seek to organize a nation according to corporatist perspectives, values, and systems, including the political system and the economy.[5][6]….Scholars generally consider fascism to be on the far right of the conventional left-right political spectrum.[

  9. Charles Trentelman says:

    I’m amazed at you, Owain — that’s a dodge if ever I saw one.

    No, junior members of Congress don’t typically sponsor budget legislation, but ANY member of Congress can introduce a bill, and ANY member of Congress can make specific recommendations and demands. And, yes, every member of Congress votes on bills they like.

    And, anyway, the seniority system isn’t what it used to be. If Tea Party candidates are really the first wave of a national trend as they claim, party leaders and senior congresspeople will be listening to them very closely. Look how desperately McCain and Hatch are already prostituting themselves.

    So that’s my question: What do the Tea Party candidates WANT. What do they FAVOR. What specific bills will they vote FOR.

    You make it sound as if they really are just gum flapping, hoping to make a lot of nice bland speeches when they get to DC nagging the real power guys to do the right thing. Sorry, I don’t accept that.

    None of this vague “cut waste, fraud and abuse” crap. Specifics. You find lots of them when you are attacking my ideas. Come up with some of your own, or their own, as the case may be. But they have to balance the budget, as the tea partiers keep screaming for.

  10. Owain says:

    Dovie – in what way would you consider the Tea Party facist?

    I’m thinking that if you believe that people who are interested in less government, and fiscal conservatism can be considered fascist, the word fascist doesn’t mean what you think it means.

  11. Owain says:

    Well, in this case, Charles, I think you are mistaking the tea party for a unified block, equivalent to the Democratic or Republican parties, complete with a party platform. That is not what it is at all. It is a general grassroots movement that has the philosophy of smaller government, less spending, lower taxes, and so forth, but if you want to know what the candidates stand for, you need to go check out each individual candidate to see what that person is running on.

    If you check Mike Lee’s election web site, he is running on a series of issues that are important to Utahns. Joe Miller in Alaska is running on issues important to Alaskans. There may be similarities and common themes, but I doubt that Mike Lee is coordinating with Joe Miller, or any other tea party candidate to come up with a Unified Tea Party agenda.

    In the run up to the Alaska Republican Senate primary election, I visited the election web sites of both Joe Miller and Lisa Murkowski to compare and contrast their differing stances on the issue. I suggest you start with Joe Miller, move on to Mike Lee, and go from there. Do a web search on ‘tea party candidate’. I doubt you will contract any incurable conservative cooties just by looking.

    It’s amazing what you can find out it you take the trouble to look.

  12. Charles Trentelman says:

    So its just a grassroots movement that wants……. something.

    OK, got it.

    I looked at Mike Lee’s web site extensively a while back. Found nothing solid and Mr. Lee, being a highly paid lobbyist in cahoots with Jim DeMint, who protects the company Lee works for, strikes me as an odd choice to promote smaller government anyway, but what do I know?

    In my experience, more seriously, electing people on general principles, with no idea of what they really want, is giving them a blank check. George Bush ran on a platform of smaller government and fiscal restraint, and preached both to the day he left office, but practiced neither.

    Absent any assurance that the Tea Partiers won’t do precisely the same thing, I must assume the worst.

  13. Owain says:

    Each candidate want different specific things. I haven’t visited Lee’s web site, so i can’t comment on it, but Joe Miller had a list of issues he was running on, and I’m sure other tea party candidates have similar concerns, but they may disagree on some issues as well.

    As a general rule, I think tea party candidates are running on the same issues as most other Republicans because that is what they are. Republicans. The difference is in states with contested Republican primaries where there is a perception that the incumbant, while still a Republican, he/she is not a fiscally conservative Republican.

    So if you want to know what programs/budgets/policies tea party candidates will be voting for, they will be voting for Republican programs/budgets/policies, but with an emphasis on fiscal conservatism. So don’t look for any bail outs, or big increases on entitlement programs from the tea party, or cap and trade, or Card Check, or any other liberal hot button programs/issues. I would suspect they would be big on defense, but again that could vary considerably from candidate to candidate.

    Was that so hard? Is that specific enough for you?

  14. Charles Trentelman says:

    if u really think that answers my question, go for it, but if that’s what you call specific, I’ll stick to vanilla.

    Your answer is a lovely example of what I said — ur giving them a blank check based on your own suppositions. What they’ll really do, you also have no idea.

    You’re going by what they promise on their web sites? Man, Owain, I never took you as that trusting. Hell, I don’t trust Obama that much, why do you trust Tea Partiers?

    Which is why I want to know what they’re proposing now and, yes, specifics.

  15. midwinter says:


    A) It’s not a grassroots movement. It’s been bankrolled by Koch.

    B) It’s not even really a movement or an insurgency. It’s the rump of the rump of the GOP: old, white, educated, conservative, pretty well-off.

    I really do read the TP as the primal scream of the baby boomers, who are suddenly very angry about stuff and GET THE HELL OFFA MAH LAWN!

  16. Owain says:

    Ok, let’s try this.

    Sam Granato is the Democratic candidate for Senate running against Mike Lee, right. If you go to his web site and look at the issues he’s running on, are you going to give him a blank check and believe the promises he makes? Somehow, I think you will.

    If you were to interview him, and ask NOW for specifics regarding his budgets/programs/policies, asking for specifics on spending and revenues, approved and verified by the OMB, is he going to have those readily at hand, or is he going to tell you to take a hike?

    Do you expect the same from Democratic candidates that you ask of Republican candidates? Somehow, I haven’t seen you apply the same degree of scrutiny. If you get specifics like that from Democratic candidates, then maybe you can ask why you can’t get the same from other candidates, Republican, tea party, Independant, or whatever.

  17. Charles Trentelman says:

    wow, owain, nice dodge — make it about the dems, not the Tea Party. When stuck for answer, change the subject.

    Granato will lose. he’s a non-entity and I am supremely confident that his promises are as vague as everyone else’s.

    But I’m a weeny liberal. You’re a hard bitten conservative demanding hard answers and doing serious research to show me what an idiot I am.

    Why aren’t YOU asking that of Lee, O’Donnell, et al?

    Let’s put it this way: The Tea Party is sick of politics as usual, government officials who ignore the voters and spend money on their own projects.

    So am I. But I decline to elect a bunch of Tea Party people based on their vague statements that they hope I’ll be dumb enough to process into solid proposals in my own mind even though the candidates have made no such proposals and,in fact, have no intention of doing anything like that.

    I’ve been bitten by that bug before. I learned. And NOW I want the Tea Partiers to show me why they are different by the specifics of the proposals they are willing to fight for.

    So far, I’ve seen nothing. And they’re too chicken to propose anything because they know if they do they’ll get ripped for them.

    So, just like every other politician in the world, they’re running on vague promises and half-formed ideas. And this, I am assured, is how they get rid of the politics as usual.

    Just like Obama did.

  18. Owain says:

    It’s not a dodge, it’s reality. You are the one holding one set of candidates to one standard, while giving other candidates a free pass. For an election, you don’t need the level of specificity you are requesting.

    Lets take Mike Lee for an example. I’ve been meaning to check out his web site anyway.

    He’s running under the following issues:
    End deficit spending
    Strengthen national security
    Reform the tax system
    Reduce government regulations
    Term limits
    Illegal immigration
    Heath care (defund and repeal ObamaCare)
    US – Israili relations (as in supporting)
    Afghan war support
    Entitlement reform
    Fiscal Responsibility
    Second Amendment Rights
    Federal public land reform

    As a Republican, I can get behind just about every issue he names, and I don’t necessarily need a precise accounting, either. Is he going to propose legislations on all these topics. Doubtful, but he does lay out his stand in these areas, so I have a pretty good idea how he will vote on the issues that are of particular interest to me.

    How about Granato’s issues?
    Heath Care – expand ObamaCare
    Jobs – He’s actually pretty reasonable here. too much regulation, too many taxes. He just made points with me.
    Wall Street Reform – he’s not too bad here either. Supports reform of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which was proposed by the Bush Administration 13 times, or something like that, but was blocked by Democrats, particularly Sen. Barney Frank, current Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Are you sure this guy is a Democrat?

    Unfortunately, that’s it as far as issues go. He loses with me on ObamaCare, but doesn’t do all that badly in the two other issues he covers, but all in all, it’s pretty thin. Maybe you’re right. He know’s he doesn’t have a prayer, so he’s just phoning it in.

    You have your election criterial, Charles, and I have mine. In this example, I have more than enough information, and I suspect that a majority of voters would feel the same way.

    But by all means, keep tilting at windmills.

  19. Kris Baker says:

    I see no one can answer Charlie’s question, and Owain threw out all the red meat but forgot “Take back our country”

    End deficit spending?
    Vague. HOW? What’s going to be cut?

    Strengthen national security
    HOW? Without more deficit spending? It’s the biggest slice of the budget right now!

    Reform the tax system

    Reduce government regulations
    Yeah, so Ayn Rand’s Objectivism and laissez-faire capitalism can further run roughshod over the very people who create our economy?
    The workers and the middle class?

    Term limits
    Yeah, right. They ALL say that.

    Illegal immigration
    What about it? Let’s make ‘em all legal. After all, that’s LESS government regulation — right?

    Heath care (defund and repeal ObamaCare)
    Bye-bye Medicare, granny.

    US – Israili relations (as in supporting)
    Purely supporting Israili [sic] relations is most of what’s wrong with the Middle East, and why we’re a terrorism target.

    Afghan war support
    Fail! You do NOT fight terrorism (rich gangsters) with the military.

    Entitlement reform
    Bye-bye Medicare, granny.
    No more VA benefits.
    No more unemployment.
    Let the damned infants take care of themselves (ie, “personal responsibility”)

    What about it? Maybe we can teach people to spell “Israeli”?

    Fiscal Responsibility
    Hasn’t this appeared twice, already, on your list?

    I thought you were against entitlements.
    Oh, yeah. Pro-life is for white fetuses only; it has nothing to do with “entitlements” for those children of “illegals” or making sure people don’t just die due to lack of health care.

    Second Amendment Rights
    It’s in the Constitution – no one’s attacking it.
    Of course, if you want to change the 14th Amendment, then maybe we’ll talk about the Second Amendment. You are entitled ONLY to a musket, militiamen. Either that, or I have the right to arm myself with a nuclear warhead.

    Federal public land reform
    Reform? You want to privatize the PUBLIC lands, the very lands that provide the major income of our state via tourism?
    OK. Let’s start by putting a strip mine on top of Mount Ogden. There’s gotta be some copper in there, somewhere.

    I think you ran out of it.

  20. ctrentelman says:

    owain is the one claiming i’m not holding both sides to the same standards, yet i have said nothing about democrats except that (a) granato won’t get elected so can be ignored and (b) I don’t trust obama any more than I do Lee et al.

    But Obama is in office. We know what he wants to do. What do Lee et al want to do? We still have no idea.

    Fiscal responsibility? Fine — how? What will you cut? What revenue sources will you enhance? Whose jobs will you eliminate? I want programs, names, numbers, not b-s slogans.

    Entitlement reform? Fine. Names of programs. Cuts. Whose social security will you take away? Names and numbers.

    Reform tax system? Fine, details. Every politician since Eisenhower has promised to do that, none has. Why should I think he is different.

    We can go on. Those are PROMISES Owain, and there’s not a single thing on that list I haven’t seen from Obama, from Johnson, from Kennedy, from the lot.

    The Tea Party says it is different. The Tea Party wants change. OK, show me. Trot out your numbers, make it work without plunging the nation into a third Depression, you got my vote.

    But so far, all this 61 year old very cynical-towards-all-politics journalist sees is more of the same.

  21. MacDaddy says:

    Can we spend our country into prosperity?

    Answer that, Chuckles.

    Are you spending yourself into a good retirement?

    Yeah, you probably think you are.

    Your ignorance is astounding.

  22. Owain says:

    Fair enough, Charles, but at least in Utah, and at least in the Senate race for Bob Bennett’s former seat, our choices are Lee and Granato. That’s is, unless you want to count write in vote’s for Bennett, and I don’t think even HE presumes he has a chance there. If you want to sit this election out, be my guest.

    Granato won’t get elected, you say. But even if Lee could give you an accurate accounting down to the dime for proposed legislation on each and every issue he lists, would that persuade you to vote for him, or convince you all the more to vote against him?

    In looking at him, or any other tea party candidate, or even most Republican candidates (same thing, for the most part), from what I’ve read of your political preferences, Lee and his cohorts stand for the very things you vigorously oppose. You’d no more vote for him, I’m guessing, than you’d vote for me.

    You aren’t looking for a reason to accept the tea party, or any of their candidates, so what was this little exercise in futility about, anyway? It certainly wasn’t a serious question on your part. “If ONLY the tea party could give me, in minute detail, an exact accounting of everything they plan to do, maybe THEN I’d experience a miraculous conversion, and become a born again conservative!!”

    Crap. It seems that this is more of a feeble, cynical attempt to try to discredit tea party candidates. If they are not perfect in every way, so they are unworthy. Nice try.

    Let me know when you find the perfect candidate. That’s a person I’d like to meet.

  23. Dovie says:

    Good job, Kris Baker.

    What about the theory that they simply believe corporatism will solve all other problems spontaneously? Doesn’t that explain the lack of substance in all other areas?

  24. Kris Baker says:

    Thank you, Dovie.

    Yes, they believe that unfettered, “wild wild west” capitalism will solve everything — for a FEW, and they couldn’t care less about anyone else.

    Remember, they’ve been taught that when government “forces” you to help someone you don’t want to help, it’s driven by Satan (who removed their free agency).

    They want to protect “the unborn” (unless the unborn is in the womb of a poor person or “illegal”).
    When “the unborn” transition to “the born”, then free agency comes into play and there’s no need for anyone to care. Let ‘em play in the driveway, let ‘em play with guns, let ‘em run the neighborhoods.

    Want to get ahead in life? Be a “free capitalist” and create your own get-rich-quick scheme. It doesn’t matter who you steal from (your fellow ward members, your relatives, your friends). It’s their fault if they didn’t understand what you were selling. You can be Madoff, Shawn Merriman, Val Southwick – and you’re a great capitalist!

    Why should government protect the investor? Heck, let’s take all that Social Security money and put IT into investments. That’s the American way – make that money available to the greedy bankers.

    Did a canal collapse in Logan and kill three people?
    How DARE the relatives and property owners sue that poor little private canal company! They should have KNOWN the dangers of living by that canal.

    Help New Orleans after Katrina?
    Nah…they should have known better than to live there. It’s their own fault for dying or being flooded out. Or for not owning a car so they could evacuate.

    THEN, when none of that works out, blame the man who got stuck with the mess and has been trying his best to fix it.

    Oh yeah. When his actions do start showing results, make sure you paint him as a Kenyan anti-colonial son of a drunkard who has a crazy Christian pastor but is “Muslim in his heart”.

    Follow the money. Koch’s pouring millions into the Tea Party.

  25. Owain says:

    Charles, before I leave this subject, I have one more question for you.

    “Yeah, yeah, I know, “cut taxes and balance the budget and stop wasteful federal spending,” but I’ll believe that when I see an actual budget, with actual program cuts listed, and actual revenue and spending numbers verified by the Office of Management and Budget as being real numbers that actually add up.”

    You expect first term tea party candidates to come up with an actual budget, vetted by the OMB before they even take office?

    The Democrats currently IN office haven’t come up with a budget for FY 2011 at all. The 1974 Budget and Impoundment Act requires Congress to pass a budget resolution by May 15 of each year. And you have your underwear pulled over your head about the tea party?

  26. midwinter says:

    So because the TP people aren’t in office they can’t be specific about what they want to cut when they reclaim America and take back our gummit?


  27. Owain says:

    Midwinter – As I indicated above, Mike Lee, for one, is pretty specific about the issues he supports, at least enough for election purposes. I’m just questioning Trentelman’s hysteria that tea party candidates haven’t specified proposed budget numbers when the current Congress, controlled by Democrats, haven’t come up with an ACTUAL budget as of yet, as required by law.

    Which situation here should be of greater concern?

  28. Dovie says:

    Here is a Politico article describing ODonnell, the Tea Party woman who just won in Delaware.

    The Republican Party’s hopes for winning back the Senate rest on a perennial candidate with a sketchy employment history who has dissembled about her education, defaulted on her student loan and her mortgage, sued a former employer for mental anguish, railed against the evils of masturbation and questioned whether it would have been OK to lie to prevent Nazis from killing Jews during World War II.

    Christine O’Donnell shocked the Republican establishment Tuesday night by blowing past Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware’s GOP Senate primary and she predicted on CNN Wednesday morning that she’ll win Vice President Joe Biden’s old Senate seat in November with or without the help of Republican leaders who’ve already left her for dead.

    Read more:

  29. Owain says:

    ODonnell may not be the strongest candidate possible, but even so, two years ago, pudits were pronouncing conservatism and the Republican party as dead in the water, and by the mid term elections pundits are now talking about the possibility of Republicans taking control of both the House and the Senate?

    Now that’s change, but not the kind Democrats were hoping for.

    I’m not particularly worried about ODonnell. She’s raised $1,000,000 in contributions in the past 36 hours. That indicates a reasonable level of support, so she should make a competative race out it, and may even win the election.

  30. Doug Gibson says:

    I think the GOP has, as Chris Matthews put it last night, “the juice” to go and vote, particularly Tea Party enthusiasts. That may propel O’Donnell to a win in blue-state Delaware. The Democrats need to get motivated.

  31. Kris Baker says:

    Yes, owain, we expect more from the Tea Party than red-meat slogans.
    If they’re REALLY supposed to be better, then why can’t they show it?

    Wait. I see where you never read Mike Lee’s website — but claim to know all about his positions.

    Fail, owain. Just plain fail.

    Betcha never went to, either.

  32. Owain says:

    KB said, “Wait. I see where you never read Mike Lee’s website — but claim to know all about his positions.”

    I told Charles that if he went to Lee’s web site, he’d find that Mike Lee was running on issues important to Utahns. How is that an incorrect statement?

    And what do you mean by “… we expect more from the Tea Party than red-meat slogans.” Regardless of what their positions are, you wouldn’t support them anyway, so why should they care what you do and do not expect? Your expectations, and Charles’ expectations as well, it would seem, are irrelevant.

  33. Owain says:

    Doug! Way to take one for the team. You watch Chris Matthews so we don’t have to. What a guy. I’ll bet he appreciated the unexpected significant ratings boost.

  34. Kris Baker says:

    Owain on Sep 15th, 2010, @ 4:22 pm:
    ” I haven’t visited Lee’s web site…”

    OK, owain. I took your bait. Shame on me.

    Back under the bridge with you.

  35. Owain says:

    KB. I’m still don’t quite get what your complaint is here. In his original post, Charles was saying he was mystified by what tea party candidates would be doing. I told him, if you want to find out, go look. Mike Lee, tea party candidate, will have stuff on his web site important to Utahns. Joe Miller, a tea party candidate, will have stuff on his web site important to Alaskans. You don’t have to be Nostrodamas to figure stuff like that out.

    Later on, when Charles was STILL expressing bewilderment, I said I’d use Mike Lee as an example since I had been wanting to visit his web site anyway. And lo and behold! What did I find? A bunch of stuff Mike Lee is running on that is of interest to Utahns. My expectations were confirmed.

    Should I have expected Mike Lee to be running on a bunch of issues that Utahns would hate? That seems…counter intuitive.

  36. midwinter says:

    Owain: the point is not that they aren’t articulating what they believe. The point is that a) they might as well be saying “We like ponies! And unicorns!” because b) they aren’t being specific about how they will transform these ideals into practical solutions.

  37. ctrentelman says:

    give it up, midwinter, it is clear he doesn’t know and probably doesn’t care. The Tea Party is, first and foremost, about being a vigorous opposition and let the details sort themselves out later.

    Interesting discussion on NPR this morning by heads of tea party groups in Louisiana and Texas — one says Tea Party is only about fiscal conservatism, other says no, more social conservatism and actually said that the preamble to the Constitution means that a true American is against abortion — all that right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness stuff, apparently.

    In short, it is whatever its adherants think it is, never mind that the people they are electing are so vague in their promises that the results will amaze.

    My prediction: A few will get elected. They may even get some legislation passed. But, successful or not, they will very quickly plug into the money/ego stream from lobbyists that is Washington DC and settle in to making themselves the inside-the’beltway power elite that someone else will come to hate.

    Utah example? Sen. Hatch.

    ‘Twas ever thus.

  38. Owain says:

    Charles, in one of my first responses to you, I said, “Well, in this case, Charles, I think you are mistaking the tea party for a unified block, equivalent to the Democratic or Republican parties, complete with a party platform. That is not what it is at all.”

    The interview in NPR seems to confirm my opinion. Tea party members in Texas may be primarily concerned about fiscal conservatism. Those in Louisiana may be mostly be concerned with social conservatism (whatever that is. I’m not familiar with the term).

    This is why you can’t ask “What does the tea party want”, because there is no tea party central planning this all out. It’s a grass roots movement, and while they may share concerns, it’s primarily going to dominated by local politics.

    I think this may be a big reason why liberals are in a bit of a panic about this. They don’t know how to combat a movement like this, which is probably another reason the tea party has been accused of being racist in spite of evidense to the contrary. If all else fails, cry “RACIST”. What else do they have?

    If you don’t think Democrats/liberal are in a panic, here’s Chris Matthews’ take on the situation.

    “I supposed I had my eyes on something different. While others were seeing dead people, the defeated Mike Castle, who was supposed to be strong this November, I saw the strength of the flames that consumed him and will consume many others this rapidly approaching election night. I have waited all my adult life for an election in which voters have the fire to reach up and burn those who have been running the show for decades. But I didn`t know it would come from the right and center.

    2010 could be the first year in modern times when being in office in Washington and part of Washington is the worst possible credential when facing voters. I don`t know how far the fire will burn. Based upon last night`s returns, I expect it has a long way to go. It could topple the House and, yes, the U.S. Senate. It could bring the defeat of people who feel even now they are not endangered. It could produce an election night spectacle of name brand politicians standing before stance supporters saying their careers are kaput.”

  39. ctrentelman says:

    thanks owain, you again confirm what I said — we don’t know what they will do, you don’t know, nobody knows what they will do, even they don’t know.

    but by gum, we’re going to elect them!

    And somehow, we are told by them, this will be different.

  40. Owain says:

    GAH! You know, I’ve never quite figured out what Charles does at SE. They certainly don’t keep him around for his keen political insights.

    I don’t know what Democrats will do for sure. Neither do you. Do you know the national Democratic committee has come up with a new logo? It looks like a bullseye. How freakin’ appropriate. The motto? “Change That Matters”. What does that mean? I don’t know. Do you? I bet they don’t know, either.

    But by gum, they sure want you to elect them.

    Nobody knew what Hope and Change was going to mean under Obama, either. Once the voters found out, they figured that no way in hell was THAT something they wanted, which is why the whole subject of Democrats losing the House and perhaps the Senate is even a topic of discussion. That is why when the tea party says ‘small government, fiscal conservativism, etc.’, voters say “Thank GOD. Lord knows, the Democrats have certainly screwed it up.”

    If candidates for the tea party get elected in large number if will be because Democrats and the Obama Administration have done such piss poor job, and anything, ANYTHING would be better. That’s what people do when the find themselves in the midst of a disaster.

    That’s a Hell of a position for voters to find themselves in, but here we are.

  41. Jeeze Mr. T, you sure drew the know it all wind bags out of the peanut gallery on this one!
    Don’t these people have a life beyond posting this BS on the Standard site?
    Will it ever be possible to read an article on the Standard site without a bunch of self flagellating drivel from the likes of “Owain”, “MacDaddy” and the others who have discovered Google and are now world experts on everything – complete with references? Can you imagine how tedious it must be for those who are related to or live around these experts on everything?

  42. ctrentelman says:

    dunno, just wonderin. It worries me how often I posted on this one, but I was hoping if I asked a simple question often enough the answer might dribble out.

    sadly, no.

    Maybe I just like to see the re-captcha combinations. “nation pullomm” is the current offering. What’s a pullomm?

  43. Kris Baker says:

    Well…..the Tea Party now has a leader, and he’s prescribing a DRESS CODE.

    He wants no more “Obama is a socialist” signs, no more icky t-shirts — and people to dress nice.

    So the people who want freedom from government, are now being governed. By a man they line up to see and hear.

    Charlie, I don’t know what a pullomm is…but I just got acrustal departements.

    Just Wonderin:

    THIS windbag has driven back and forth to SLC, gone to the post office, fixed a gigantic pan of stuff green peppers, roasted 15 pounds of Anaheim peppers, peeled and prepped those peppers, home-canned 7 jars of bread & butter pickles, picked vegetables, walked the dog, and cooked/ate dinner.

    Some of us are just more efficient than others.
    Life is good.

  44. Congratulations on your multi tasking!

    I wasn’t referring to you with the \windbag\ line by the way. In fact I found your posts some of the few that were intelligent and not self aggrandizing.

  45. Willbike says:

    Owain says

    “If you check Mike Lee’s election web site, he is running on a series of issues that are important to Utahns”

    Next post he says

    “I haven’t visited Lee’s web site, so i can’t comment on it”

    This is where I quit reading. Owain you are full of it.

  46. Kris Baker says:

    Thank you, Willbike.

    owain will fail to see your point, either.

    But he just “knows” that BareLEE has a point. He just hasn’t bothered to find out what it is….and just made stuff up.

    In other words, he throws out bait, we bite.
    Shame on us.

  47. Owain says:

    Man, I take a weekend off, and IQ of the thread drops like a rock.

    Shall we go over this slowly? It seems necessary for those slow in the uptake.

    Charles expresses bewilderment at what tea party members will do when elected. I suggest that if he wants to find out, he should look. I list two tea party candidates, one of local interest (Mike Lee), and another recent primary winner, Joe Miller, of Alaska. It’s amazing what you can find when you actually look. I commented that both are running on issues important to their respective states, which doesn’t imply that I had visited either.

    With me so far? Charles responds that he hadn’t found anything substantial on Lee’s web site. I replied (as you noted) that I hadn’t visited Lee’s site, but had visited Millers, and and noted that he listed several issues of interest, not only to just Alaskans, but to tea party members as well.

    Charles is STILL confused, so I say fine. I’ve wanted to visit Lee’s site, so let’s go there, and I then discuss the myriad of issues he is running on. I do a compare and contrast with his opponant, Granato, whom I find wanting (and Charles agrees with me on that point).

    Out of this whole thread, the ONLY thing you can find to ding me on is when I first read Mike Lee’s web site?

    Thanks for conceding the argument to me.

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