Saturday, September 3, 2011

Why I Support the TEA Party, but am still a Constiutionalist

An... let's call it interesting, article sauntered across my data streams this evening. One of those nice, liberal diatribes berating the GOP and the TEA Party. Specifically denouncing them as liars, and hate-mongers. Basically, the typical Liberal reaction whenever they can't defend themselves with logical and coherent discourse.

Specifically, this article clearly denounces that the TEA Party is the enemy of America. Then goes on to speak on how small governments are "easier to take over" and that apparently the TEA Party is only about the white American males, and is utterly unconcerned about any other skin tone/color.

And from a certain point of view, that's true. If the writer of that particular article's idea of America is this socialist conglomerate, which espouses the idea of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need."

Because, let's face facts here, that's not the idea of America which the TEA Party is going after. I mean let's consider the Contract from America which the TEA Party has latched onto. The Contract from America contains the following 10 concepts:
  1. Identify Constitutionality of every new law
  2. Reject emissions trading
  3. Demand a balanced federal budget
  4. Simplify the tax system
  5. Audit federal government agencies for waste and Constitutionality
  6. Limit annual growth in federal spending
  7. Repeal the healthcare legislation passed on March 23, 2010
  8. Pass an 'All-of-the-Above' energy policy
  9. Reduce Earmarks
  10. Reduce Taxes
So, yes, the TEA Party is the enemy of Socialist America.

To be honest, so am I. I speak out against socialist programs, and unconstitutional federal agencies to anyone that will listen. I explain the reasons why these things should not exist, and provide concise reasons from both a moral aspect, as well as a straight-forward reading of the Constitution.

But, all those things, things which I identify with as being a part of the TEA Party's platform, have little to nothing to do with the  Republican Party. The Republicans are not there to limit growth in federal spending, they're not there to reduce earmarks and taxes.  After all, from the recent Congressional election, not all of the Republicans running for office decided to sign up for it. Specifically, Brendan Buck (Speaker John Boehner's Communications Director for Special Legislative Initiatives) explained that the Contract from America was too narrow in focus, and not exactly what the Republican Party would include in its own top 10 list of priorities.

The Republican's answer to the Contract from America, was their Pledge to America. This pledge calls for:
  • Extending the Bush-era tax cuts
  • Tax deduction for small businesses
  • Hold on all unspent funds from 2009 stimulus bill &2008 TARP 
  • Roll back on government spending to 2008 levels (but exempting "seniors, veterans and our troops")
  • Federal hiring freeze (except for national security agencies)
  • Repeal the 2010 health-care reform bill
  • Reform medical liability and health insurance practices
  • Permanent ban on any federal funds for abortion
  • Requirement that Congress post all bill online 3 days before a vote
  • Requirement that lawmakers cite the specific constitutional authority that enables the legislation
  • Ban on trails on U.S. soil for detainees held at Guantanamo Bay
  • Protecting the nation of Israel and denouncing Palestinian behavior
  • Defense spending boost by $5 billion 
  • Ending the regime in Iran and North Korea

See the differences in these two lists?  The Republican's aren't out to stop the Federal government from interfering with our lives and our ability to support ourselves and our family. Rather they just have a different focus on which agencies should be doing the interfering.

Sadly, the GOP has kind of hijacked the TEA Party for its own goals, and even sadder, a lot of the folks who started the TEA Parties are going along with this.

Digression aside, the other aspect of the article that really surprised me, was the following quote:
The Tea Party has proven itself the antithesis of transparency, banning First Amendment rights to Americans, passing legislation illegally, and banning Democracy through Republican martial law. Like all totalitarians, the Tea Party likes to do its dirty business behind closed doors and then present us with a fait accompli. No debate and far less any public debate. They decide, and then they tell us what they decided. No questions asked, none, because questions aren’t permitted. You’re more likely to be beat up or arrested than you are to get an answer.
I searched, but could not find a single instance of this anywhere.  Sure, I found a few instances where people of spoken to the Tea Party Caucus behind closed doors, but nothing about them passing secret laws illegally.  Of course, there are a number of discussions about Obama's closed-door sessions where legislation was being written (2011 budget just the latest of them).

The closet thing I could find are the recent rash of laws which states are passing saying that they're going to enforce current federal immigration laws, since the feds seem to not want to do so.

Of course, I don't see why protecting our country's sovereignty. After all, if they are willing to break our laws by entering our country illegally, what is to make us think they won't be willing to break every other law we have on our books? Amusingly, this is one of the rare areas which the Federal government doesn't have an agency tracking data on.

But all that aside, I still endorse the things which the TEA Party started out over. I support the Contract from America.

And I try my best to convince everyone I come across to join me in my support.

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