Tea Baggers Go Mainstream?

MSNBC: Tea Party movement lights fuse for right

Looks like what was once just a meme on MSNBC has gotten some momentum (and thankfully have since dropped the “I’m a Tea Bagger” slogan.) Don’t remember this thing? It was started by Republicans as a gimmicky “We’re not going to take this – we’ll rise up like we did in Boston!” during the Revolution and then quickly dropped out of sight. Now it’s back, but it’s not a Republican thing anymore… people that are now part of the “Tea Party” are pissed at both sides of the political game, Democrat and Republican alike. They want a smaller Federal government, something we haven’t had since the days of FDR in the mid-1930’s.

Simply put, our Federal government has never been as powerful as it’s been for the last 70 years and while America has only ever had two powerful parties in government, we haven’t always had the two we have now. The parties have ebbed and flowed over the years… these people are looking to return to a simpler time of smaller federal government (and likely more powerful state governments) and a change in political parties – which was the main cause of the US Civil War and one of the sticking points of the original Congressional Congress.

Should be interesting to watch where this goes. One thing is certain: these people are not part of the current party system and they are not going to stand for either current party aligning itself to them. Their goal is to hold true to the exact working of the Constitution, which makes no provision for bailout packages or even Social Security. The Constitution is truly a Capitalist Manifesto: if you can’t hack it, that’s your problem – very different than how our Federal government behaves today… After all, Thomas Jefferson believed that “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.” much in response to both American and French Revolutions; he was also a firm believer in a restrained central government, to the chagrin of Alexander Hamilton.

History repeating itself? It looks like it so far.

15 thoughts on “Tea Baggers Go Mainstream?”

  1. Yeah, no.

    Mainstream? Hardly. The movement is about as mainstream as NASCAR – and has the same following, too.

    Tea baggers don’t have the intellectual momentum to get anything done. Sorry Charlie.

  2. Well thank YOU for that asdf! Such a moving commentary. Oh but wait. I never said I agreed with them or even that their ideas were good or bad. I simply pointed out that this article exposes the parallels between the current mind set and the past, since the ideals are nearly identical… so, by your comment, does that mean that our original founding citizens had no intellectual momentum? Or did you skip the article and base this on the spectical from 5 months ago? Either way, I’ll just consider you a Tory and a someone that longs to rejoin England.

    And yes, I believe a balanced and *fair* piece published by the New York Times – known to be as liberal as Fox News is conservative – that spans 5 web pages to be *very* mainstream.

  3. I dunno that I can agree with that. Hippies sole reason for living was to not do anything. Sure, they were against the “system” but they never did anything but sit in and smoke in defiance. This tea-bagger bit seems to be a little more… paramilitary. At least better organized.

  4. If the Tea Party movement actually influences the elections of 2010 and 2012, what next? I don’t think they’ve thought beyond that. This movement will probably fizzle out after a few years. Anger, frustration and discontent with the current administration will only get you so far. Protesting is easy. Governing is hard.

  5. Sounds very similar to the colonialists: get rid of English, done. Now what? And yes, for them governing was just as hard, seeing as the seeds of the Civil War were planted in the Continental Congress: states rights vs a strong central government was a hot button in 1776 through present day.

    I agree though: protesting is just one energy level above putting political ideals via bumper stickers on your car.

  6. My observation is that there’s less political apathy these days and more partisan polarization. It seems like now everyone has an opinion and is willing to grab a megaphone to tell the world. While I acknowledge this growing grass roots movement, I still prefer to keep my political opinions to myself. It’s just my introverted nature to not participate in things like this. I’m sure during the years leading up to the American Revolution many colonists just continued to go about their daily lives.

    In the meantime this movement will continue to get lots and lots of attention and media coverage. Newsweek came out with one this week.


  7. Sorry to beat a dead horse but you might be interested in this polling data.



    This is surprising: “Most describe the amount they paid in taxes this year as ‘fair.’ Most send their children to public schools, do not think Sarah Palin is qualified to be president, and, despite their push for smaller government, think that Social Security and Medicare are worth the cost.”

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