THE WAY I SEE IT by Don Polson Red Bluff Daily News 2/05/2012
Patriots, their Tea Party movement, message
Tea Party note: tonight, Dan Logue will be speaking about the legislation he has authored to prevent the printing of registered gun owners’ names in the press. 6 PM at the Westside Grange.
Northern, or as many of us prefer, Superior California Tea Party Patriots were fortunate to host one of the co-founders of the Tea Party Patriots movement, Jenny Beth Martin, in Redding, Corning and other towns, as well as a radio interview last Thursday morning. I heard her at the Redding TPP for a special meeting that same day at 11:00 AM as I left town to return to Bend, Oregon.
From the interview: She told us that the Tea Party Patriots were very much behind the Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan campaign. Our side lost but one deciding factor was the millions of conservatives who apparently felt less-than-enthused about Mr. Romney as a more moderate candidate. As Ronald Reagan told us, the way to expand the appeal of Republican beliefs is to use bold colors, not pale pastels. Nonetheless, conservative organizations did not walk away from the candidacy of Romney.
Also, she emphasized that the future of the Tea Party in California lies in working from the “grass roots” up to effect fiscal responsibility and economic liberty in this bastion of tax-and-spend, business-suffocating, big state liberalism. In Washington state, she described how the Tea Party was able to help Republicans elect two more state senators and persuade two Democrats who held fiscally conservative beliefs to caucus with the Republicans for a majority in that state senate. In situations like that, simply being able to hold the big spending crowd to a standstill is an accomplishment. Unfortunately, California has gone the other direction, with Democrats and public employee unions spending whatever it takes to hold onto power, aggrandize their positions and extract more (temporary, of course) money from our collective pockets.
Ms. Martin began her address by simply saying “It is on … you can feel it across the United States and in California.” By “It,” she meant the struggle of open political warfare for the future of our country. She went on to cite examples: 1) Gun rights are under attack, 2) A 90-day extension of the debt ceiling means another 1/4 trillion dollars added to the debt, the exact opposite of what needs to happen to avoid the most catastrophic financial collapse in our history, and 3) Immigration reform, which looks to include legalizing millions of illegal immigrants, will have a heavy, negative impact on the amounts and ways government will spend money. I have an article from The Daily Caller citing the research of Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector, which put the cost to our government (meaning taxpayers) of those soon-to-be-legal immigrants at trillions of dollars (the difference between the federal benefits, including Social Security and Medicare they will receive and the taxes they will pay). Look up “Expert: Bipartisan Immigration Reform Plan Will Cost Trillions,” also posted at DonPolson.blogspot.com earlier today.
Jenny Beth Martin mentioned that we need to be smart in dealing with the tension in the country, which I took to mean choosing the battles to fight that have the broadest appeal to the electorate. I’ve seen similar analysis and recommendations for the Republicans that control the House of Representatives: all policy and ideological disputes cannot be taken on but some can be won. Ms. Martin was adamant that conservatives and the Tea Party not get sidetracked away from the core issues of fiscal responsibility.
The Tea Party movement started about 4 years ago, as she recounted, with a Seattle group that held a street rally to oppose pork/stimulus in government spending. That was followed shortly by the famous rant by Rick Santelli on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, in which he bemoaned and castigated the taxes that he and others have to pay, part of which were being used to prop up loans to people who couldn’t afford them, so that they could either add a bathroom to their overpriced home or buy a larger home. He called for a Tea Party reminiscent of the original Boston Tea Party in protest of taxes imposed by unresponsive, bloated, oppressive government.
The issue of cutting pork spending took hold in a conference call for two dozen people which resulted in 850 Tax Day street rallies calling attention to fiscal restraint and responsibility, while the acronym “TEA” in Tea Party stood for “Taxed Enough Already.” The “Cap and Trade” bill was renamed “Cap and Tax” by the Tea Party and stopped in the U.S. Senate. Then came the July 4th rallies that focused on the themes of independence through Independence Day.
The mislabeled Affordable Care Act was reframed as a government takeover of health care that opposed free markets and economies. The specter of ObamaCare, as opponents renamed it, produced, on relatively short notice, a demonstration of hundreds of thousands of people in March of 2010, organized by Michelle Bachman and other conservative groups. The Tea Party Patriots made a strong showing on the mall with the other throngs of concerned, patriotic citizens. Democrats spawned the infamous lie that Tea Party attendees used racial epithets, a lie utterly outrageous, and completely without any supporting proof; it even found its way into this paper under another columnists name and in news reports based on the lies. 60 percent of Americans back then, as well as a majority now, opposed ObamaCare, which must be fully repealed to restore our economic and health care liberties.
The Tea Party Patriots had evolved their 3 fundamental, core values: Fiscal responsibility, Constitutional liberty and economic freedom. (More next week)