Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: The Year of the Tea Party

Joe Klein of the Time Magazine may disagree, but 2010 is the Year of the Tea Party! The grassroots movement which grew organically after the infamous Rick Santelli rant over the Obama stimulus bill in 2009 matured in 2010, resulting in a major victory during the mid-term elections in November. Since the CNBC analyst’s fuming over government spending and economic policies, theTea Party movement evolved into a formidable force, sending shockwaves through Washington, DC. Scoffed and berated by most in the establishment media, plus by Beltway-insiders, theTea Party has proved that they are a force to be reckoned with by politicians of both Democrats and Republican persuasions. Standing for ‘Taxed Enough Already’, the primary issues for Tea Party members is government spending and growth. In the past year, sales of books on the Founding Fathers, the Constitution and American history have soared as a rebirth of fundamental principles evolved. Not since the early 1800s has the National Debt and the Constitution been such hot topics of debate...more

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tea Party Group Reveals Republican Targets For 2012

A prominent Tea Party group sent a message to members on Monday identifying five current Republican Senators that they intend to target in 2012. Tea Party Nation named Sens. Dick Lugar, R-Ind., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, Scott Brown, R-Mass., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., as Republicans that need to be sent into retirement, accusing them of being Republicans In Name Only, or RINOs. The message cited Lugar's vote against a ban on earmarks as well as a his votes in favor of the DREAM Act and the START Treaty. Hatch was also criticized for being a "pork king" and a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act, which would have provided a path to citizenship for certain young illegal immigrants. Tea Party Nation blasted Snowe for her votes in favor of the health care reform bill, the START Treaty, and the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," while the group called Brown " the biggest disappointment of the last year." Judson Phillips, the founder of Tea Party Nation, said Corker is the group's top target, because he "has done many things to sell out the conservative Tennesseans who put him in office."...more

Monday, December 27, 2010

2012 Republican presidential hopefuls getting a jump on the Tea Party courtship

Three potential Republican contenders for the 2012 presidential nomination would have higher hurdles to clear to win the Tea Party vote in the primary, leaders of the movement say. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich each are met with a degree of suspicion by Tea Partiers, and all three have taken early steps to address those voters’ concerns. Tea Party groups, whose loosely organized members threw their sometimes considerable weight behind conservative challengers to centrist or establishment Republicans in the fall campaign, have already begun strategizing on ways to affect the race for the 2012 GOP nomination. They are planning debates and candidate forums, organizing in key primary states, and even forming political action committees (PACs)...more

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tea Partiers and the Spirit of Giving

When it comes to voluntarily spreading their own wealth around, a distinct "charity gap" opens up between Americans who are for and against government income leveling. Your intuition might tell you that people who favor government redistribution care most about the less fortunate and would give more to charity. Initially, this was my own assumption. But the data tell a different story. The most recent year that a large, nonpartisan survey asked people about both redistributive beliefs and charitable giving was 1996. That year, the General Social Survey (GSS) found that those who were against higher levels of government redistribution privately gave four times as much money, on average, as people who were in favor of redistribution. This is not all church-related giving; they also gave about 3.5 times as much to nonreligious causes. Anti-redistributionists gave more even after correcting for differences in income, age, religion and education. Of course, there are other ways to give than with money. Here again the results may be different from what you might expect. The GSS in 2002 showed that those who said the government was "spending too much money on welfare" were more likely to donate blood than those who said the government was "spending too little money on welfare." The anti-redistributionists were also more likely to give someone directions on the street, return change mistakenly handed them by a cashier, and give food (or money) to a homeless person. So what does all this tell us? Contrary to the liberal stereotype of the hard-hearted right-winger, opposition to income-leveling is not evidence that one does not care about others. Quite the contrary. The millions of Americans who believe in limited government give disproportionately to others. This is in addition to—not instead of—their defense of our free-enterprise system, which gives the most people the most opportunities to earn their own success...more

Thursday, December 23, 2010

CNN Poll: How Americans view the Tea Party movement

A new national poll suggests a slight increase in unfavorable views of the Tea Party movement since October. And according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday, geography and politics appears to be behind the increase. Thirty-seven percent of people questioned in the poll say they have a favorable view of the Tea Party, unchanged from just before the midterm elections. Forty-three percent say they have an unfavorable view of the nearly two year old movement, up six points from late October. Most of that change appears to be coming from Democrats. "Unfavorable views of the Tea Party went up seven points among Dems, from 61 percent in October to 68 percent now," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "By contrast, the Tea Party's unfavorables among independents went from 33 per cent to 36 percent in that same time, and were virtually unchanged among Republicans." Geography also may be playing a factor. According to the survey, before the election, 39 percent of Northeasterners had an unfavorable view of the Tea Party. Now that's up to 57 percent, a jump of 18 percent...more

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

American Majority wants to infuse new Tea Party blood in system

The Ryun brothers want to infuse new Tea Party blood into the political system. So the veteran politicos behind the conservative American Majority organization are putting their energy into training novice Tea Party candidates running for a school board, city council or state senate seat in your town. While other Tea Party-affiliated groups have zeroed in on specifically helping candidates win seats inside the U.S. Capitol, Drew and Ned Ryun are more focused on developing a farm team at the local and state level who one day could run for Congress. “I make the argument that’s where political careers begin,” Ned Ryun explained in an interview. “Today’s county commissioner, tomorrow’s congressman. You’ve got to feed the system.” The brothers’ organization launched in 2008 in a small office in Purcellville, Va., though American Majority has roots dating back to 2005, when the Ryuns drew up a document laying out plans to create a “systematic, year-in year-out, 365-days-a-year approach to identifying and training people to be a national farm team of conservative leaders.” Ned Ryun is the founder and president of American Majority, registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) political training institute. Drew Ryun is the president of the 501(c)(4) arm that can engage in more politically tinged activities....more

Ted Nugent: Time for a Starting Over Commission

Politics isn't the art of compromise. Politics as usual is an artful ruse to get us to believe politicians are doing one thing while they do another. Our politicians do this by obfuscating, confusing, denying, blaming and lying. The truth be damned...more

Nugent says, "...America really needs is a Starting Over Commission with the purpose of dismantling and restructuring our federal government so that it mirrors what our Founding Fathers envisioned and what our Constitution says."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Think Tank For Teapartiers

I’m always thinking about how we can to continue to move our so-called Tea Party Movement ideology forward. Ironically, moving our ideology forward means moving us back toward the Founding Fathers’ principles from which our country has been deviating for the last 100-ish years. We Teapartiers have been great at organizing protests and rallies. We’ve been great at GOTV. We’ve been great at all the typical things a grassroots movement should do. However, it’s been my opinion for quite some time, that we need a respected group of individuals giving voice to our positions to help shape the thinking in DC, and among the state legislatures. In some circumstances, melting the phones isn’t enough...more

Creating Tea Party Candidates - The Tea Party’s Next Step

The tea party movement which sprang up overnight is still defining itself.   That’s the natural flow of a movement that is bottom up- with many leaders of organizations, but not a single national top down leader. The movement, which has been described by some as “ants” because of the unified approach to issues despite no singular national communication chain, seems to be able to move together. The 2010 mid-term elections revealed a tension within the tea party movement. There is a percentage of tea party supporters who decry the state of Congress and their local government, who at the same time feel that the tea party should not run candidates, nor endorse or advocate for any particular candidate. The question then becomes; if elected officials determine which bills get advanced or which bills are thwarted or killed, then shouldn’t the tea party movement have its own people in those positions?  Outside pressure is important.  Being on the inside, where policy is promoted and voted on is better...more

Saturday, December 18, 2010

CNN and Tea Party Express to host 2012 Presidential debate

CNN said Friday that it is joining forces with the Tea Party Express — a political action committee that played a key role in the 2010 midterm elections — to co-host a Republican presidential debate. The debate is scheduled for Labor Day week in Tampa, Fla., in September — five months before the 2012 presidential primaries begin. It’s CNN’s second entry into what’s already become a crowded schedule of debates for the race to determine the GOP nominee to take on President Barack Obama. The announced partnership with Tea Party Express raised eyebrows both in the media world and in tea party circles. CNN’s ratings have sagged as it has staked its claim to a more traditional, objective news format, while its main competitors, the conservative ratings juggernaut Fox News and the left-leaning MSNBC, have come to embrace political points of view. The Tea Party Express, meanwhile, has come under fire from rival tea party groups, which contend it’s a front for the Sacramento Republican consulting firm that runs it. But the PAC spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads boosting tea party candidates in the 2010 midterms and was credited with helping carry its endorsees to victories over more-establishment-backed candidates in Senate races in Nevada, Alaska and Delaware — where all the PAC’s candidates went on to lose their general election campaigns. “Undecided voters turn to CNN to educate themselves during election cycles, so it is a natural fit for CNN to provide a platform for the diverse perspectives within the Republican Party, including those of the tea party movement,” CNN political director Sam Feist said in a statement...more

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, (Original) Tea Party!

There are taxes, regulation, a massive corporate bailout, and a popular uprising called "the Tea Party"—but it’s not 2010. It’s 1773, and today marks the 236th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. The similarities are illuminating. By the 1760s, American colonists consumed more than a million pounds of tea each year. Britain, which produced the stuff in India, should have been swimming in revenues from the trade. But taxes and regulation, as they often do, fouled the situation. Parliament’s taxes doubled the cost of British tea compared to rival (and illegal) imports. So rather than pay the taxes, the colonists smuggled their tea. Conservative estimates suggest that more than three-quarters of the tea consumed in America was bootlegged. One Massachusetts governor wrote that “carts and other carriages are heard to be continually going about in the dead of night, which can be for no other purpose than smuggling.” The practice was so widespread that the famed evangelist George Whitefield preached against it when he visited the colonies: “What will become of you who cheat the King of his taxes?” As new taxes were levied, the colonists imposed widespread boycotts on British goods, including tea. Taxes and tax evasion weren’t the only problems, however. British trade regulations prevented the British East India Company, a private corporation of merchants, from selling their tea directly to the colonies. Instead, the company was forced to sell the tea to auction houses in England, an intermediary step that further drove up prices. To make matters worse, inefficiency, incompetence, and corruption marked the organization in the late 1760s. Ruin was inevitable. By the fall of 1772, the British East India Company owed the government more than £1 million. The British government had no desire to see its debtor go out of business. It was, in the parlance of our time, too big to fail. So early in 1773, Parliament pushed a bailout package for the British East India Company called the Tea Act. The bill extended a massive loan—well over what was already owed—and more government control over the company’s governance...more

Mitch Daniels may be the Tea Party’s man

Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. This is no more obvious than when assessing Mitch Daniels. The popular governor of Indiana may be short on hair and height, but he could well be the hero conservatives and Tea Partiers have been searching for. He doesn’t have the theatrical flair and rock star appeal of Sarah Palin. Nor does he possess the leading man looks of Mitt Romney. But what he does have is an extensive resume accompanied by a popular and imaginative tenure as Indiana’s governor. Daniels has occupied a smorgasbord of political and private sector positions: Senate staffer, political aide in the Reagan White House, head of a think tank, executive of a major pharmaceutical company, and OMB director in the early years of the Bush administration. His tenure as governor of Indiana has been filled with plenty of goodies for conservatives to gush over. He cut Indiana’s budget significantly, privatized state roads and services, and reformed the state’s healthcare system. Daniels has tried to lay the blueprint for innovative governance by thinking big while spending small. The combination of his glossy resume and frugal governing record has turned Daniels into a hot commodity on the insider circuit, with some encouraging him to think long and hard about jumping into the presidential fray...more

CPAC host hit with scandal

The non-profit organization responsible for the largest annual conservative gathering in the U.S. is under investigation for embezzlement of hundreds of thousands of dollars in donor money over several years, WND has learned. The American Conservative Union, headed by David Keene and best known for its organization of the Conservative Political Action Conference each year in the nation's capital, has been embroiled in controversies in recent years, but this one is shaking the foundations of the Washington institution. The American Conservative Union reported to the Internal Revenue Service last month a "material diversion of the organization's assets" totaling over $400,000. The group has an annual operating budget of about $1.5 million. While directors have been tight-lipped about the details, sources say Keene's ex-wife, Diana, was fired earlier this year as bookkeeper when the misappropriations were discovered. On its 2009 tax return, signed Nov. 8, 2010, by Executive Vice President Dennis E. Whitfield, the American Conservative Union disclosed the apparent embezzlement...more

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Senate spending bill contains thousands of earmarks

Senate Democrats released a massive spending bill Tuesday that contains money for thousands of lawmakers' pet projects, setting up a fierce debate over so-called earmarks in the waning days of the lame-duck congressional session. Leaders of the Appropriations Committee combined a dozen spending bills into a single measure with more than $1.2 trillion in appropriations to fund the federal government for a full year. The committee said the bill is $29 billion below the budget proposed by President Obama. Lawmakers said the 1,924-page omnibus bill contains thousands of earmarks - the total cost of which was not immediately clear - and would renew a debate over pork-barrel politics. Last month, Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), who had been a longtime earmark supporter, endorsed a moratorium on earmarks to send a signal that the GOP is serious about curbing federal spending...more

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tea Party ramps up efforts against tax deal

Conservatives aligned with the Tea Party ramped up pressure Monday on Republicans to vote down the tax deal before Congress. A Tea Party umbrella group circulated a petition in opposition to President Obama's tax deal with Republicans, while another high-profile GOP lawmaker aligned with the grassroots movement said he's inclined to vote against it. "The idea that this massive tax and spend bill has not yet even been written but may be voted on by the Senate this weekend is appalling, and has rightfully drawn the anger of the and other Tea Party activists, an anger that will not diminish," said a petition crafted by the Tea Party Patriots...more

Federal judge in Va. strikes down health care law

A federal court ruled Monday that a central plank of the health law violates the Constitution, dealing the biggest setback yet to the Obama administration's signature legislative accomplishment. In a 42-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson said the law's requirement that most Americans carry insurance or pay a penalty "exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power." The individual mandate "would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers," wrote Judge Hudson, of the Eastern District of Virginia. "At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance—or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage—it's about an individual's right to choose to participate."...more

You can read the opinion here.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Can Rep. Pence Ride Tea Party To Presidency?

On a midweek afternoon in February 2009, a month into the Obama presidency, Republican Rep. Mike Pence arrived at Columbus in his east-central Indiana district for a town hall meeting, the sort of event that usually attracted a few dozen constituents. Surprised to see the hallway outside the room crowded with people, "their arms folded and brows furrowed," Pence shouted down the hall to an aide, asking him to get a janitor to open the room. The aide shouted back that the room was open — and overflowing. Congress had just passed the stimulus (Pence voted no), and Hoosiers were stimulated to anger. Soon the Tea Party would be simmering. Five months earlier, on a Friday, TARP had been proposed. The original three-page legislation sought $700 billion instantly, no time for questions; Pence's staff figured the cost would be about a billion dollars a word. On Saturday, Pence announced his opposition, but thought the bill would pass the House 434-1. On Monday, however, other members started approaching him, almost furtively, "like a secret society." A week later, the House rejected TARP, 205-228. Four days later, the House passed TARP's second, 451-page, pork-swollen iteration, 263-171. That weekend, Pence, who voted no, was at a Boy Scout jamboree at the Henry County Fairgrounds. A man approached who had no scout there but wanted to thank Pence for opposing TARP. The man said that although he had lost his job the day before, "I can get another job but I can't get another country."...more

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ron Paul, Author of `End the Fed,' to Lead Panel Overseeing Central Bank

Representative Ron Paul, Texas Republican and author of “End the Fed,” will take control of the House subcommittee that oversees the Federal Reserve. House Financial Services chairman-elect Spencer Bachus, an Alabama Republican, selected Paul, 75, to lead the panel’s domestic monetary policy subcommittee when their party takes the House majority next month, the committee chairman said today. Paul, in an interview last week, said he plans a slate of hearings on U.S. monetary policy and will restart his push for a full audit of the Fed’s functions. “We are ready to hit the ground running, and I look forward to continuing our work in the next Congress,” Bachus said...more

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Can Boehner Control the New Tea Party Congress?

The dapper, golf-loving, wine-swilling Minority Leader John Boehner was one of the first Republican leaders to understand that his party needed to harness the power of the Tea Party, the New Yorker's Peter Boyer explains. Only a couple hundred people were expected to show up at an anti-tax rally in Bakersfield, California, last year, but Boehner watched as thousands of angry Americans showed. "Back in Washington, Boehner reported what he’d seen to his Republican colleagues. While many Democrats and the mainstream media mocked the Tea Party, Boehner pressed his members to get out in front of the movement or, at least, get out of its way." Now Boehner has to lead the Tea Party Congress that he helped create. The governing part is going to be trickier. "This is going to be probably the first really big adult moment" for the House Republicans, Boehner told Boyer...more

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tea Party student groups cropping up on campus

While that may sound like typical fare for a Tea Party meeting, the location isn’t: Chinburg is a student at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Tea Party Patriots is a campus organization. Student-run, grassroots Tea Party groups like Chinburg’s Tea Party Patriots are springing up on campuses around the country — and now they may be banding together. The recently launched has made the first attempt at bringing together individual Tea Party groups into one network. So, far, the group has 12 collegiate groups. “We wanted to prove stereotypes wrong, the liberal pundits who say that [the Tea Party] has no appeal to youth,” said Daniel Oliver, the site’s founder. While Tea Party Students is run by students, the website also hosts an advisory board consisting of national leaders of the Tea Party movement, including Michael Patrick Leahy of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition and Judson Phillips of the Tea Party Nation. The on-campus groups were started independently of each other, all by students who felt that their views were unrepresented by the curriculum and by the clubs already on campus...more

Tea Party group says Palin should lead GOP

A Tea Party group wants Sarah Palin to lead the Republican National Committee. A leader of Tea Party Nation says the former GOP vice presidential nominee needs to take the place of embattled chairman Michael Steele or else the RNC will be led by "the establishment," which would then lead to the re-election of President Obama in 2012. "We need someone who will put conservatives in control of the party apparatus, not RINOs," writes Judson Phillips in a letter to Palin. The letter was first reported by the liberal website Talking Points Memo...more

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Most Socialist States in America

When the Democratic Party took over the presidency and both houses of Congress in 2008, conservatives were quick to warn their supporters of a coming era of socialism led by President Barack Obama. Indeed, that message was a constant in the debate over the health care reform bill as well as the Congressional midterm elections, when Tea Party conservatives made taxation a rallying cry for frustrated Americans. As the narrative of the country’s purported move toward socialism persists, MainStreet decided to evaluate which states were the most and least socialist, to get a picture of how diverse the country is in how states manage their finances. What is 'Socialist,' Anyway? To evaluate the degree to which different states manifest socialist principles, we started from the core definition of socialism as a form of government in which the state owns the means of production and allocates resources to its citizens at its discretion. In other words, a purely socialist state is one in which the state is responsible for 100% of economic output and spends all of it on social programs. Since no part of the U.S. can be considered purely socialist, we measured total expenditures as a proportion of total economic output to compare the size of the public sector in each state. Using recently released 2009 state gross domestic product figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and total state expenditures for fiscal year 2009 from the most recent report of the National Association of State Budget Officers, we have come up with the 10 most socialist states in America. Read on; the results may surprise you. (Or jump to — Alaska?!)

10. Rhode Island

Gross Domestic Product (2009): $47,837,000,000

Total State Expenditures (FY 2009): $7,587,000,000

Expenditures as Proportion of GDP: 15.9%

On the list of most socialist states, tiny Rhode Island takes the 10th spot. Progressive on many social questions (the state was the second to abolish the death penalty, and was the third to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes), its residents have voted for Democrats in eight of the last nine presidential elections.

Economically, Rhode Island continually ranks among the states with the highest tax rates. Its property taxes, sales tax and income taxes are all above the respective national averages, not surprising for the 10th most socialist state on our list.

9. Hawaii

Gross Domestic Product (2009): $66,431,000,000

Total State Expenditures (FY 2009): $11,822,000,000

Expenditures as Proportion of GDP: 17.8%

8. Arkansas

Gross Domestic Product (2009): $101,818,000,000

Total State Expenditures (FY 2009): $18,403,000,000

Expenditures as Proportion of GDP: 18.1%

7. Wyoming

Gross Domestic Product (2009): $37,544,000,000

Total State Expenditures (FY 2009): $7,123,000,000

Expenditures as Proportion of GDP: 19.0%

6. Mississippi

Gross Domestic Product (2009): $95,905,000,000

Total State Expenditures (FY 2009): $19,380,000,000

Expenditures as Proportion of GDP: 20.2%

5. New Mexico

Gross Domestic Product (2009): $74,801,000,000

Total State Expenditures (FY 2009): $15,455,000,000

Expenditures as Proportion of GDP: 20.7%

4. Vermont

Gross Domestic Product (2009): $25,438,000,000

Total State Expenditures (FY 2009): $5,341,000,000

Expenditures as Proportion of GDP: 21.0%

3. Alabama

Gross Domestic Product (2009): $169,856,000,000

Total State Expenditures (FY 2009): $46,558,000,000

Expenditures as Proportion of GDP: 27.4%

2. Alaska

Gross Domestic Product (2009): $45,709,000,000

Total State Expenditures (FY 2009): $14,315,000,000

Expenditures as Proportion of GDP: 31.3%

1. West Virginia

Gross Domestic Product (2009): $63,344,000,000

Total State Expenditures (FY 2009): $20,362,000,000

Expenditures as Proportion of GDP: 32.1%

Despite the fact that Republicans won two out of three House seats in the 2010 midterm elections, West Virginia has been a Democratic state for most of its existence.

In fact, Congress’s longest-serving member ever was Robert Byrd, the West Virginia Democrat who, at the time of his death last year, had represented the state for 57 years.

On the state level, four of the past five governors have come from the Democratic Party, which could explain how the state’s expenditures have come to account for 32.1% of total output.

- Greg Bocquet is a writer for MainStreet, part of TheStreet Network.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tea Party Caucus Takes $1 Billion In Earmarks

Members of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus may tout their commitment to cutting government spending now, but they used the 111th Congress to request hundreds of earmarks that, taken cumulatively, added more than $1 billion to the federal budget. According to a Hotline review of records compiled by Citizens Against Government Waste, the 52 members of the caucus, which pledges to cut spending and reduce the size of government, requested a total of 764 earmarks valued at $1,049,783,150 during Fiscal Year 2010, the last year for which records are available. "It's disturbing to see the Tea Party Caucus requested that much in earmarks. This is their time to put up or shut up, to be blunt," said David Williams, vice president for policy at Citizens Against Government Waste. "There's going to be a huge backlash if they continue to request earmarks."...more

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tea Party Pushes Amendment to Veto Congress

The "repeal amendment," introduced Tuesday by Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, with the backing of conservative lawmakers from 10 states, is aimed at checking what they see as a federal government that has run amok. Supporters say the federal stimulus package, the health care law and the auto bailout are among the reasons the measure is needed. Under current law, states must go to court to overturn federal legislation and prove it violates the Constitution. The proposed amendment would give state legislatures veto power over any federal law or regulation they didn't like -- whether it passes constitutional muster or not: "Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed." Georgetown University law professor Randy Barnett, the amendment's author, has argued it would "help restore the ability of states to protect the powers 'reserved to the states' noted in the 10th Amendment." "This amendment reflects confidence in the collective wisdom of the men and women from diverse backgrounds, and elected by diverse constituencies, who comprise the modern legislatures of two-thirds of the states," Barnett said. "Put another way, it allows thousands of democratically elected representatives outside the Beltway to check the will of 535 elected representatives in Washington, D.C."...more

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

RNC chairman candidates to face Tea Party scrutiny

Those running — or considering mounting a challenge — for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee will face Tea Party scrutiny this week. Representatives from FreedomWorks, a group that’s been a major player in organizing activists within the Tea Party movement, will question some candidates during a two-hour event on Wednesday. According to an organizer of the event, former Michigan GOP chairman Saul Anuzis, Connecticut GOP chairman Chris Healy, former Missouri RNC committee member Ann Wagner and former Bush administration official Maria Cino are planning to participate. Others could still join, according to Soloman Yue, an RNC committee member from Oregon. The forum was organized by the Conservative Steering Committee, a group of RNC committee members developed to verify the conservative bona fides of potential candidates for the chairmanship. Current chairman Michael Steele, who has yet to disclose whether he’ll run for re-election, has not informed organizers whether he plans to participate in the forum. Organizers are still waiting to hear from former RNC aide Gentry Collins and Wisconsin GOP chairman Reince Priebus on whether they’ll take part...more

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tea Party Movie Trailer 2010

John Birch Society reborn in Tea Party movement?

The John Birch Society, a group denounced by the late conservative icon William F. Buckley, has been making the rounds at several Tea Party events and will host a table at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February for the second consecutive year after having not attended for two decades, save one year in the 1990s. Though marginalized by Buckley in the 1960s and 1970s, the society has started to make a resurgence of sorts by tying itself to the Tea Party movement. Buckley pushed the John Birch Society and its followers, called “Birchers,” out of the American conservative movement after the group’s founder and leader, Robert Welch, expressed his view that President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a “dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy.” In a column, Buckley denounced the John Birch Society and called Welch’s views “so far removed from common sense.” Buckley even went as far as not allowing any person who contributed to a John Birch Society publication to appear in the masthead of the National Review, the influential conservative news journal he founded and edited. But Birchers don’t agree with Buckley’s assessment of them. Several think the reason Buckley disagreed with them was because of personal gripes he had with Welch, and that Buckley used Welch as a scapegoat to eliminate the threat of the rising populist movement, similar to the Tea Party movement...more

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Election of Fred Upton as Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Would be a Slap in the Face to Conservatives and Tea Partiers

Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of, has expressed opposition to Fred Upton (R-MI) as a candidate for Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (HECC).

“The election of Fred Upton to head this important committee would be a slap in the face to conservatives and Tea Partiers,” Viguerie said. “Following the 2010 elections, Republican members of Congress have been given a chance to re-establish the GOP as the party of limited government and fiscal responsibility. But the election of Upton would signal a return to the disastrous big government policies of George W. Bush, Dennis Hastert, Tom DeLay, and Bill Frist.”

The chairman of the HECC will be determined by a vote of all GOP house members.

Viguerie cited Upton’s lifetime rating of 72.42% from the American Conservative Union (ACU) as an indicator that he would lead the HECC in a moderate to liberal direction.

By contrast, all of the other contenders for chairman of the committee have much higher ACU lifetime ratings: John Shimkus (R-IL) 88.51%; Joe Barton (R-TX) 94.14%; and Cliff Stearns (R-FL) 94.53%.

“Not only are Shimkus, Barton, and Stearns better choices than Upton, almost any Republican in the House would be better. Upton has cast so many bad votes for wasteful spending and big government, it would be hard to do worse,” Viguerie said.

Viguerie cited multiple votes by Upton for increased federal spending in appropriation bills, the Cash for Clunkers Bill, the Wall Street bailout, and the automobile company bailout.

“The Republican Party is on probation with conservatives. This is their first test to see if they’ve learned anything from their previous over-indulgence in obese government,” Viguerie said.


Nationwide Poll of Conservative Voters Finds Big Business Should Fear Tea Party Activists

Companies supporting President Obama's big-government policies risk suffering a dramatic drop in customer favorability, a newly-released nationwide research survey of conservative voters conducted by FreedomWorks and the National Center for Public Policy Research reveals. In one example of the research findings, General Electric and Johnson & Johnson - companies that played key roles in advancing President Obama's agenda, including cap-and-trade and health care - experienced plummeting favorability among conservatives after they were informed of the companies' lobbying efforts. The drop in favorability was most severe with conservative voters active in the Tea Party movement. Significantly, a substantial number of these consumers said this drop in favorability would influence their buying decisions.

Key findings about conservatives:

* Favorability of General Electric fell from 51% to 20%.

* Favorability of Johnson & Johnson plunged over a staggering 50 points - from 69% to 16%.

* Sixty percent of conservative voters said they are less likely to buy products from companies that have lobbied in favor of Obama's legislative agenda.

Key findings about Tea Party activists:

* Only 28% of conservatives active in the Tea Party had an initial favorable opinion of GE, but this number dropped to 13% after these voters were informed of GE's support of Obama's policies.

* 60% of conservatives active in the Tea Party had a favorable opinion of Johnson & Johnson, but this number plunged to 8% after they were informed of Johnson & Johnson's support of Obama's policies.

* Eighty-one percent of conservative voters active in the Tea Party are less likely to buy products from companies that have actively lobbied in favor of Obama's legislative agenda...more

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Republicans on notice: Get ready for 2012 primary challenges

Senate Republicans’ campaign chief has warned colleagues to expect conservative primary challengers in 2012, and many are already moving to shore up their right flank in case of Tea Party-endorsed insurgencies back home. Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine), one of the Republicans most likely to vote with Democrats, this week announced her support for an earmark moratorium and reiterated her call for a permanent extension of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts. Sen. Dick Lugar (Ind.), the Republican co-sponsor of legislation to grant permanent residency to the children of illegal immigrants who meet certain requirements, has ramped up his fundraising and polling. And Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), who could have to square off against Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), recently filed a friend-of-the-court brief challenging the constitutionality of Democrats’ new healthcare law. Many Tea Party voters consider that the greatest policy outrage of President Obama’s administration...more

56 Conservative Leaders Rally Behind Senator Jim DeMint

Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of, issued the following statement regarding a declaration in support of Senator Jim DeMint signed by 56 Tea Party and conservative leaders that was sent to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, National Republican Senatorial Committee John Cornyn, and Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele:

“As recently as two days ago, a bitter Lisa Murkowski joined the ranks of GOP establishment whiners who wrongly claim Senator Jim DeMint’s support for constitutional conservatives somehow cost Republicans a majority in the Senate.

“Members of the GOP establishment tried to undermine Ronald Reagan in the ‘60s and ‘70s, but failed. They will fail in their efforts to undermine Senator DeMint, and the consequences will be far-reaching to the party committees.

“Conservative leaders want it made clear that they consider any attack on Senator Jim DeMint as an attack on conservatives and Tea Partiers.

“Constitutional conservatives stand behind Senator Jim DeMint, who, more than any elected Republican official, is responsible for energizing the conservative base and keeping the Tea Partiers in, or moving them to, the GOP.”

The full text of the declaration, along with a list of all its signers, is online at

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sugar for social cons in Tea Party brew

Nearly all of these new faces belong to “Tea Party” conservatives, determined to clean up the fiscal mess confronting the nation. But the flavor of the incoming freshman class is sweet for social conservatives too. Indeed, the 112th Congress could prove to be the most socially conservative set of newcomers since the one that rode into Washington on Ronald Reagan’s coattails in 1980. That’s clear from a close analysis of the public positions taken by the wave of conservative candidates who prevailed in hundreds of national and statewide contests. Consider the 37 races for governor, where Republicans made a net gain of five and now hold at least 29 seats. All four GOP women who won governorships Nov. 2 were endorsed by the Susan B. Anthony List, whose pro-life PAC ranked among the largest independent conservative funds in the 2010 election cycle. If Arizona’s Jan Brewer is controversial nationally, she proved quite popular at home. Nikki Haley not only will become South Carolina’s first female governor, but the first Indian-American woman elected governor anywhere in the United States. And in New Mexico, rising GOP star Susana Martinez will be the nation’s first Hispanic female governor...more

Tea Party, Don’t Let Your Opposition Define You

With the mid-term elections now literally in the history books, the powers that be on both the Left side of the aisle and the Right, inside the beltway and out, have finally come to understand the power and appeal of the citizen movement commonly referred to as the Tea Party Movement. But, along with this recognition of power and appeal comes the wont of these groups to rationalize away the catalyst and the chemistry that gave birth to the movement. If the Tea Party Movement is to keep its potency it must avoid several pitfalls common to well-intentioned movements. Chief among these pitfalls is allowing your opposition to define who you are; or what we are. Make no mistake, the establishment political apparatus does not – repeat, does not – celebrate the Tea Party Movement. In fact, they are extremely threatened, both on the Left and the Right, by this pure grassroots movement; this phoenix that has ascended from the ashes of a grotesque governmental system centered on political opportunism and self-preservation. They are threatened – not they feel threatened, but they are threatened – because their status quo is threatened; because the very apparatus they have assembled is about to be junked. And just like a feral cat that has been cornered, they are willing to do and say anything to protect their status quo...more

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Battle Begins Over Whether Tea-Party Backed Election Winners Will Take on Social Issues

A gay Republican group and some Tea Party organizers want GOP leaders in the new Congress to concentrate on fiscal issues and not social ones such as same-sex marriage and abortion. “On behalf of limited-government conservatives everywhere, we write to urge you and your colleagues in Washington to put forward a legislative agenda in the next Congress that reflects the principles of the Tea Party movement,” reads a letter addressed to presumptive House Speaker John Boehner and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell. “This election was not a mandate for the Republican Party, nor was it a mandate to act on any social issue,” said the letter, released Monday by GOProud, a group that “represents gay conservatives and their allies.” Signatories include leadership of GOProud and Ralph King, a Tea Party organizer in Ohio who is on the leadership council of the Tea Party Patriots. Among other signatories to the GOProud-initiated letter are Tea Party coordinators from Maines, Arizona, Nebraska, Montana, Maryland, Illinois, Idaho, Florida and California. In response to the letter Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America, said social issues should be a priority of the 112th Congress...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Virginia Thomas stepping down as head of Liberty Central

Virginia Thomas, political activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has decided to relinquish control of Liberty Central, the conservative group she founded less than a year ago, so that the organization can escape the "distractions" of her media celebrity, a spokeswoman said. Thomas started Liberty Central in May as a grass-roots organizer and educator and intended for it to serve as a clearinghouse of policy and candidate information for conservative activists and tea party groups...MORE

Tea Party Republicans Win Earmark Fight

Republicans in Congress are going to be interesting to watch for the next two years, as they try to cope with the influx of the Tea Party Republicans who have just been elected to office. Some of these skirmishes are happening already, as both parties prepare to hold their official party caucus meetings this week, where they will vote on their leadership positions and on their policies for the next Congress. The Tea Party Republicans failed to elevate Representative Michele Bachmann to the lowest rung of the House leadership positions, causing her to withdraw her candidacy last week. But just today, the Tea Partiers seem to have won a policy battle over in the Senate, as the establishment Republican leader Mitch McConnell just announced that he has seen the light on banning earmarks -- a dramatic reversal of his position up to this point...MORE

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tea in 2012

With the mission of taking over the House accomplished, the movement is now at a crossroads, and where it goes next is a matter of crucial importance for the Right. One option is closer cooperation with (and what cynics might call co-option by) the Republican-party structure. Given that Karl Rove’s “72-hour turnout plan” (an RNC-run effort to canvass neighborhoods and call voters that was first deployed on a massive scale in 2004) essentially did not take place this election cycle, the movement’s organizational muscle (not to mention the hearts and minds of its activist base) will be especially important to the party. It’s unclear who would be the majority shareholder if the Republican party and the Tea Party merged. Yet deeper integration is unlikely to outlive this political moment. Just as the grassroots organization built during President Bush’s winning 2000 and 2004 campaigns did not outlive his presidency (or even, in fact, persist much beyond those campaigns), President Obama struggled mightily to conjure up the enthusiasm of his 2008 bid in this year’s listless campaign, limiting his stops to inner cities and liberal college towns. After the 2008 election, the vaunted “Obama movement” mostly fizzled out: It was moved in-house to the Democratic National Committee and given the moniker “Organizing for America.” Campaign-related activity on “MyBO,” OFA’s Web-based organizing hub, was down as much as 90 percent from 2008 as activists recoiled at the shift from the frenetic energy of a campaign to White House command and control. The experience should provide a cautionary tale to the Tea Partiers, with their more humble origins: Hitch yourself to established power institutions at your own peril...more

Friday, November 12, 2010

Whither the Tea Party after the wave?

The big question after the midterms is how the Tea Party stays coherent and effective after their big victory in the midterms. Glenn Reynolds and PJTV hosts a discussion with Tea Party organizers Mike Wilson and David Kirkham about this very issue in a rare, free release from the subscriber channel. Glenn talks more about how the Tea Party succeeded in the first place in this seventeen-minute panel discussion on the topic, and what lessons that success holds for keeping the movement alive...Hot Air

Meet The Shellackers: Secrets of the Tea Party Tidal Wave

Bachmann Withdrawal Blow to Tea Party?

Some conservatives are concerned that the decision by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) to withdraw from a key House leadership contest could be a sign of things to come for tea party supporters in their effort to shake up the Washington establishment. Last week, Bachmann embarked on a bid against Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) for the post of House Republican Conference Chair, the number four-ranking position in a new Republican majority. But Bachmann, who founded the Congressional Tea Party Caucus, stumbled in gaining traction for the slot and pulled out Wednesday night. At least a few conservative Republican House members wondered if this augured poorly for the tea party movement. And at least one Congressman blasted the new GOP leaders for trying to craft what was described as a "cabinet." "I think it's the leadership protecting its power base and trying to keep the tea party from getting in the door," said one conservative Congressman who declined to be identified. The lawmaker went on to even compare the maneuvering of leaders to the iron fist management style of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)...more

Read more:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What’s next for the Tea Party?

Will the spirit and passion of the Tea Party movement dissipate or grow stronger? Will it find a voice in Washington to combat the special interest forces? Will Tea Party advocates elected November 2 be able to stay true to their principles? Will the Tea Party movement still be a force to be reckoned with in 2012? Join us as our panel of Tea Party leaders and observers discusses these and other questions about the future of this political insurgency. Heritage

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tea Party Moves Quickly to Flex Muscle

The incoming leadership of the new House Republican majority hardly had a chance to relish its dismantling of the Democrats before the Tea Party came calling in the form of Representative Michele Bachmann. Ms. Bachmann, the Minnesota Republican and Tea Party heroine often seen exhorting conservative activists at rallies and on cable television, announced that she intended to seek the No. 4 position among House Republicans. She said she could provide the viewpoint of a constitutional conservative, one she evidently sees lacking in Representatives John A. Boehner of Ohio, Eric Cantor of Virginia and Kevin McCarthy of California — the three likely leaders. Mr. Cantor and other influential Republicans are rallying instead behind Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas, a fiscal conservative, and Ms. Bachmann has only an outside shot at winning the race. But her candidacy vividly illustrates the central tension facing Mr. Boehner and his team: balancing the demands of new lawmakers, some of whom ran against the Republican establishment and advocate a no-compromise stance toward the Obama administration and Democratic policies, against the need to deliver some accomplishments at a time of economic distress...more

Tea Party leadership begins applying primary pressure early

Whether the Tea Party rank-and-file decide to get on board remains an open question, but conservative figures like Dick Armey, the former Republican majority leader who now chairs FreedomWorks, and Erick Erickson, managing editor of the blog RedState, are already excited about the prospect of directing Tea Party outrage toward new and unsuspecting targets. The New York Times obtained a draft of a confidential memo to be distributed to all incoming House Republican lawmakers, in which Armey and FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe tell lawmakers that working to repeal health care reform is “nonnegotiable,” and they’ll become the target of a major backlash if they don’t succeed in doing so. “Politically speaking, your only choice is to get on offense and start moving boldly ahead to repeal, replace and defund Obamacare in 2011, or risk rejection by the voters in 2012,” Armey and Kibbe wrote. Meanwhile, Erikson wrote yesterday, “We have a significant opportunity to improve the Senate GOP through some primaries [in 2012],” and he provided a list of all the Senate Republicans up for re-election in the next cycle...more:

The 10 Fiscal Commandments of the Tea Party

One of the movement’s biggest tests may be the debt ceiling. Rand Paul has not ruled out filibustering any efforts to raise the limit on how much money the government can borrow, on which a decision is expected to be made early next year. If Congress fails to pass the legislation, the U.S. won’t be able to make good on its commitments such as bonds. Of course, the Tea Party doesn’t want to be held responsible for the financial catastrophe that experts say would occur if the debt ceiling is not raised. The question is what sort of concessions the movement will want to make and whether the movement’s supporters will keep their faith when political ideology meets economic reality. The ideas espoused by the Tea Party about limited small government and lower taxes were once heard mostly at think tanks and campaign rallies. Many voters, though, probably know little about the movement’s ideas beyond the soundbites reported in the media. 24/7 Wall St. decided to take a closer look at the Tea Party. We reviewed the position papers, public statements and websites of self-described Tea Party candidates. We then determined the party’s 10 key economic ideas which may help shape government policy for years to come. The following are the ten fiscal commandments of the Tea Party...more

Friday, November 5, 2010

“Violent,” “angry,” “fear-mongering” Tea Party narrative debunked in one night

Allegedly, the Tea Party movement has been violent, angry, intent to incite fear and hate among the populace. These narratives weren’t true — tonight’s vote has proven them caricatures laid out by journalists with short wordcounts and shorter attention spans. Violent movements do not do these things. They don’t show up at the polls and overwhelm the establishment in favor of a minority candidate, as in the case of Sen.-elect Marco Rubio, R-Fla. They also don’t lose so badly, as in the case of Christine O’Donnell. They don’t take on, and nearly defeat, the leader of the majority party in the Senate, at the same time as he colludes with casinos in a potentially illegal scheme to get out the vote in his favor. They don’t settle for a more liberal candidate in Illinois just because he’s the most electable. Yet they did all of those things. Strange. Tea Party activists, just by showing up on the political stage, to fight within the political process, proved every broad stereotype hurled at them wrong. This campaign, for them, was the most important one ever, and perhaps they’re surprised that they got so carried away. But chances are, most of them aren’t surprised. They’re probably just getting ready for 2012...more

The Bullies At The FCC To Impose Anti-Bullying Mandates on Schools

The Federal Communications Commission is joining the fight against bullying. Reportedly, the agency will soon issue rules requiring schools that receive federal funding for Internet equipment and service under its “E-rate” program to educate students on “how to act responsibly online.” Specific topics will include “cyber-bullying prevention” and “behavior on social networking sites like Facebook.” It’s an odd new mission for the agency. Certainly, no one should defend bullying, and everyone is in favor of proper behavior online. But do America’s schools really need direction on those issues from the FCC? What’s next? Education mandates from the Federal Railroad Administration and the Securities and Exchange Commission?...more

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tea Party Patriots swings at rival group for losses in Nevada, Delaware

Leaders of the Tea Party Patriots organization declared Tuesday’s election results “a victory for liberty,” but blamed a rival Tea Party organization for Senate losses in Nevada and Delaware, saying the group shouldn’t have intervened in those elections by making endorsements in the primary. The two organizations have a history of feuding over how involved national groups should be in elections. The Tea Party Patriots organization does not endorse candidates, while the California-based Tea Party Express endorsed numerous candidates this cycle. Asked if Tea Party voters should be more pragmatic in nominating more electable candidates during future elections, Jenny Beth Martin, a national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, took a swipe at the rival Tea Party Express. “One thing that we’ve seen across the country is that in places where the Tea Party people were allowed to nominate their own nominees and were not influenced by top-down political organizations, such as Tea Party Express, the Republicans did win,” Martin said at a Wednesday morning news conference in Washington, D.C. Mark Meckler, another national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, claimed “the grassroots were not allowed to speak” in races where the Tea Party Express made endorsements. “An outside, top-down organization came in and chose a candidate for them,” he said. The Tea Party Express played a large role — and was widely lauded by activists — in nominating conservatives in Republican primaries this year, especially Sharron Angle in Nevada, Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and Joe Miller in Alaska. Both Angle and O’Donnell lost Tuesday night, and Miller is trailing as the votes are still being counted...more

The Tea Party has just begun

A little over a year ago, Nancy Pelosi, then Speaker of the House of Representatives, launched an attack on the "un-American" Tea Party movement. "We call it Astroturf," she said. "It's not really a grassroots movement." Today Pelosi is former Speaker and a carpet of what she dismissed so haughtily as Astroturf is being laid on the floors of both chambers of Congress. Tea Party-backed politicians – Marco Rubio in Florida, Rand Paul in Kentucky, Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, the list goes on – are no longer shouting into megaphones in windswept parking lots; they are packing their bags for Washington and sharpening their flick-knives for the bloody battles ahead. The Tea Party movement, which 21 months ago did not exist, and which has been widely derided and ridiculed by those who thought they knew best, can no longer be ignored. Once seen as little more than fodder for Saturday Night Live and the Daily Show, it is now a voice that will dominate congressional debates and direct budget deliberations...more

Tea party notches governor, 2 Senate wins

Voters embracing the tea party's conservative throw-the-bums-out anthem sent two of its leading conservative voices to Washington and another to the South Carolina governor's mansion. The victories for Rand Paul and Marco Rubio in the Senate and Nikki Haley as governor gave tea party activists three Cinderella stories for the 2010 campaign. All were long shots when they declared their candidacies but won over voters with their Washington-outsider, anti-tax campaigns. "There's a tea party tidal wave, and we're sending a message," said Paul, a first time candidate from Kentucky and son of libertarian hero and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Lake Jackson. "We've come to take our government back." But the tea party movement, without any official platform or national organization, drew a committed following. About four in 10 voters considered themselves tea party supporters, according to preliminary exit poll results. However, it was also a polarizing force – about a quarter of voters said they considered their vote a message of support for the tea party, and nearly as many said their vote was meant to signal opposition to the movement...more

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Tea Party’s Brain

To address these grievances, Paul was ready and waiting. He is not the Tea Party’s founder (there isn’t one), or its culturally resonant figure (that’s Sarah Palin), but something more like its brain, its Marx or Madison. He has become its intellectual godfather—and its actual father, in the case of its brightest rising star, his son Rand Paul, Kentucky’s GOP Senate nominee. The Tea Party has overrun the Republican Party everywhere from Alaska to Kentucky to Maine, and a version of Paul’s bill to audit the Federal Reserve just passed the Senate unanimously en route to becoming law. Today, on matters of economic politics, Paul is at least as significant as any of the Republicans he shared the stage with in the 2007 South Carolina debate. And has anyone noticed that he’s a fixture on Fox News? Paul grew up on a dairy farm outside Pittsburgh and attended Gettysburg College and Duke University’s medical school. Although his libertarian conservatism is characteristic of Texas, he did not settle there until after he had spent five years as an Air Force flight surgeon, part of it stationed in San Antonio. In 1968, he moved to sprawling, rural Brazoria County, and established a successful obstetrics practice. Paul’s passion, however, was not medicine but economics. During medical school, he had happened upon a copy of The Road to Serfdom, the ringing defense of laissez-faire capitalism by the Austrian economist and philosopher Friedrich Hayek. Written in 1944 against the backdrop of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, it argues that state control of the economy leads inexorably to tyranny. (After Glenn Beck endorsed it, Hayek’s book unexpectedly hit the best-seller list last summer.) To Paul, this was an epiphany, and it launched him on a quest to read anything he could find about the Austrian school of economics. The work of Hayek’s mentor, Ludwig von Mises, came to command his singular esteem...more

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tea Party Kingmaker Becomes Power Unto Himself

On election night last year, South Carolina’s freshman senator, Jim DeMint, convened a conference call with 4,000 supporters to declare the next battle: conservatives had to rally behind Marco Rubio, a relative unknown who was trailing the establishment candidate in the Republican Senate primary in Florida. “His win is going to send shock waves through Washington,” Mr. DeMint proclaimed. A year later, Mr. Rubio is leading in Florida, having driven his primary opponent out of the Republican Party. Other DeMint-backed candidates in the House and the Senate have ridden the same anti-establishment wave from long shot to likely. And the boast that Mr. DeMint made on that call no longer seems so grandiose: “We can reshape the Republican Party.” Financing Tea Party candidates and rallying the Tea Party faithful, Mr. DeMint has established himself as an alternate power center in Washington. And his rapid ascent has spawned a parlor game: what does Jim DeMint want?...more

Friday, October 29, 2010

Al Gore: Tea Party making climate science a ‘political football’

Al Gore is on the political offensive against global warming skepticism in the Tea Party movement. “Unfortunately the Tea Party movement seems to want to make belief in science a political football,” the former vice president wrote on his website Tuesday afternoon (and tweeted about today). Gore, a longtime advocate of capping greenhouse gases, points to a New York Times story this month that said, “Skepticism and outright denial of global warming are among the articles of faith of the Tea Party movement.” The story cites a recent New York Times/CBS News poll showing that only 14 percent of Tea Party supporters say global warming is having an effect now, and more than half say it won’t have a serious effect in the future. Gore and former President Jimmy Carter (along with liberal activists) are highlighting ties between the Tea Party movement and fossil fuel interests — including the conservative group Americans for Prosperity, which is backed by billionaire David Koch of the energy company Koch Industries. “It’s not a surprise that the groups supporting the Tea Party are funded by the fossil fuel industry,” Gore wrote on his website. Carter, speaking Monday on the MSNBC show "Hardball," said, “The Tea Party movement has been ... almost completely financed by hard-right oligarchs who want to prevent the oil companies and major corporations from having to pay their share of taxes or to comply with environmental laws.”...more

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tea Party products sell well

Elections always turn up the heat on the pressure cooker that is politics in America — and one way voters let off steam is by shopping for patriotic and political merchandise. “People seem to be very politically aware and very verbal about the direction they’d like to see things go,” says Gerda LaGrasse, a vendor at the USA Fleamarket in Port Richey, Fla. “And they’re looking for symbols that will convey that.” According to The Daily Caller, a political news site, this is a boom time for Tea Party merchandise, which is outselling all other flavors of political products. Executives at CafePress, the popular online tee-shirt merchant, agree. On Oct. 15, the company announced that sales of Tea Party merchandise had quadrupled in the past six months. CafePress says that “Don’t Tread On Me” and “Revolution is Brewing” are two of the most popular tee-shirt slogans. LaGrasse, who sells patriotic gear as a sideline to her holsters, gun purses, and concealed weapon accessories, says that “Don’t Tread On Me” merchandise is selling well. “It resonates very strongly, at least with my customer base.” Allen Olson, chairman of Columbia TEA Party of Columbia, S.C., says his political group held a very successful fundraiser selling political merchandise at the Barnyard Flea Market in the patriotically named town of Lexington. “Our fundraising committee sold Columbia TEA Party stuff — tee-shirts, lapel pins, and so on,” he says, mentioning that this is not merchandise that can be found in stores. “People are picking this stuff up to make a political statement,” he explains...more

Who owns the Tea Party? The intersection of politics and intellectual property law

The Tea Party defies easy definition. More than an interest group but less than a third party, the grass-roots movement seems united more by anti-establishment fervor and voter outrage than a shared ideology. Yet the discontent voiced by Tea Party members has transformed politics as usual, galvanizing a movement perhaps powerful enough to determine whether the Democrats or the Republicans control Congress come Election Day. Unfortunately, victory often breeds discontent in fledgling political movements as leadership splinters, factions emerge and competing Tea Party groups have emerged at the local, state and federal levels seeking to exploit the movement’s momentum. Disputes over intellectual property have emerged as a key issue moving these clashes of ego and political beliefs into court. Just like business start-ups, Tea Party organizations often have no tangible assets but their intellectual property, including ownership of the Tea Party name itself. History is repeating itself with a variety of groups laying claim to the Tea Party name. Just as rival factions in 1992 vied to control the UNITED WE STAND AMERICA mark associated with the Ross Perot campaign, about 20 groups have filed trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office since 2009 seeking to register marks that include the phrase Tea Party. Although many of these applications are for consumer goods like clothing, the filings illustrate the overwhelming interest in the movement and efforts to capitalize on the meaning of the Tea Party mark...more

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Bush insider’s view on why conservatives think Karl Rove’s a fraud

Political types tend to get suspicious when those on one side of the spectrum suddenly start complimenting their supposed worst enemies—the equivalent of Seinfeld hosting a testimonial for Newman or Eliot Ness carpooling with Al Capone. Yet in the past few weeks, the White House and even The New York Times have done exactly that—heaping praise on their longtime nemesis, Karl Rove, and his protégé, Ed Gillespie. “These guys are great political operatives,” Obama strategist David Axelrod said, “and they will have an impact in this election.” The Times, meanwhile, extolled Rove as a “master political strategist” who is rebuilding the GOP majority. President Obama and Vice President Biden have done both men the great political favor of calling them out by name—almost ensuring them more Republican support and donations. Unfortunately for the Democrats, this effort comes as an increasing number of conservatives—from Rush to Palin to scores of activists and high-level veterans of the Reagan Revolution—view Rove as part of the GOP’s unfortunate recent past. Indeed, they are even beginning to conclude that the oft-repeated belief that Rove is the savior of the GOP may be one of the biggest political hoaxes in American political history...more

Latinos Go Conservative

As if the White House didn’t have enough to worry about, a recent Gallup poll piled on bad news for President Obama. At the beginning of 2010 the president enjoyed support from 69% of Hispanics. By May that number was down to 57%. Now just 55% of Hispanics support the president and his liberal agenda. This news by itself is devastating to the Democrats’ prospects in the 2010 midterm elections. But what’s going on behind the numbers could possibly be a harbinger of doom for Obama’s re-election in 2012. Across the country conservative Latino organizations are springing up as fast as illegal immigrants are streaming across the border. And these organizations are not content to just conduct meetings and complain about the liberal takeover in Washington. Some are taking action. In Dallas, Amigos de Patriots is launching an online and TV ad campaign called “Vote your Values, Vote Conservative.” The idea is to remind Hispanics that their ancestors fled countries where prosperity was killed by left-wing regimes. The 30-second spots also take on social issues like abortion, a practice that is dear to liberals and Democrats but that the Latino community at large finds offensive...more

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The ‘Tea Party/Hitler Comparison’

Hot on the heels of Richard Dreyfuss claiming that in order to portray Dick Cheney in Oliver Stone’s slapstick comedy “W” he had to think like Hitler, along comes fellow Hollywood lefty Rob Reiner to take the handoff of the Nazi baton. He wasn’t a majority guy, but he was charismatic and they were having bad economic times – just like we are now – people were out of work, they needed jobs and a guy came along and rallied the troops. My fear is that the Tea Party gets a charismatic leader, because all they’re selling is fear and anger and that’s all Hitler sold. “I’m angry and I’m frightened and you should hate that guy over there.” The Tea Party: Dedicated to smaller government and re-acquainting it with constitutional principles, responsible spending, levels of taxation that remove the chains from the private sector and allow it to flourish and create jobs, and instituting these changes via the election process — just like Hitler did! As for “fear and anger,” the only ones I see afraid and angry these days are Democrats whose careers are facing a guillotine a week from Tuesday...more

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tea Party to the Rescue

Two central facts give shape to the historic 2010 election. The first is not understood by Republicans, and the second not admitted by Democrats. The first: the tea party is not a "threat" to the Republican Party, the tea party saved the Republican Party. In a broad sense, the tea party rescued it from being the fat, unhappy, querulous creature it had become, a party that didn't remember anymore why it existed, or what its historical purpose was. The tea party, with its energy and earnestness, restored the GOP to itself. In a practical sense, the tea party saved the Republican Party in this cycle by not going third-party. It could have. The broadly based, locally autonomous movement seems to have made a rolling decision, group by group, to take part in Republican primaries and back Republican hopefuls. (According to the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, four million more Republicans voted in primaries this year than Democrats, the GOP's highest such turnout since 1970. I wonder who those people were?) Because of this, because they did not go third-party, Nov. 2 is not going to be a disaster for the Republicans, but a triumph. The tea party did something the Republican establishment was incapable of doing: It got the party out from under George W. Bush. The tea party rejected his administration's spending, overreach and immigration proposals, among other items, and has become only too willing to say so. In doing this, the tea party allowed the Republican establishment itself to get out from under Mr. Bush: "We had to, boss, it was a political necessity!" They released the GOP establishment from its shame cringe.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

CWA Union Boss Says Tea Party Advocates “Slavery”

Just when you thought the left-wing race baiting over the last year couldn’t get any worse, the Communications Workers of America chief honcho Larry Cohen has sunk to new depths attacking those who do not agree with his socialist agenda. On Wednesday, the NAACP, in continuing its unfounded “racist” accusations of the Tea Party movement, had a conference call on which the CWA President participated. According to Big Journalism writer Niger Innis, after the NAACP’s Ben Jealous continued his normal the-tea-parties-are-racist-harangue, his little buddy at the CWA threw the rhetorical grenade out on the call:

The most illuminating part of the call came when “progressive” ally, Larry Cohen of the CWA (Communication Workers of America) revealed the real agenda of the attacks on the Tea Party by the Left, “We disagree with the agenda of the tea party Movement… They advocate slavery,” and this classic gem, “We don’t need 19th century capitalism.”

The Washington Post’s Dana Milibank also wrote about the conference call:

On the conference call, Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen tried to make the case that the Tea Party’s economic policies, too, are evidence of “hate” in the ranks. “It’s an economic agenda that is hateful against workers,” he reasoned. “Most of the proponents that we’re talking about in this report also renounce things like minimum wage and collective bargaining rights…. Whether it’s glorifying slavery or glorifying a managerial system where workers have no voice, the Tea Party is a throwback.”


Why Tea Party women lead the charge

We are 13 days out from 2 November, a date all observers (with the quaint exception of the White House) admit will be a midterm election political "tsunami", and we are seeing a genuine meltdown of both the media and political elite, two groups not happy at all with the new American revolution called the Tea Party. Especially irritating to American Nobility is the fact that women are in front of this storm, leading the way and calling out the political establishment for disdain and punishment on election day. On Monday, after over a year and a half of the Tea Party emerging as a political force, a cable television roundtable of "experts" in media wondered why the heck so many women were involved in the Tea Party. CBS's Lesley Stahl baffled her panel constructed of a New York Times reporter, someone from Newsweek and other Anointed Ones, when she asked, "I wanted to ask all the gurus here, why so many of the Tea Partiers are women. I find that just intriguing and don't quite understand why that has happened," Stahl said. Their first answer: "Sarah Palin?" Actually, the answer is: taxed enough already. Women control the household accounts and we know when spending is unsustainable, threatening the very fabric of our families, or our country as the case may be. As one Tea Party rally sign aimed at big government succinctly put it, "My kid isn't your ATM."...more

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NAACP releases report accusing tea party groups of links to bigots

The 94-page report is being released by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in a teleconference today. In July, NAACP delegates passed a resolution at their national convention in Kansas City condemning racism within the tea party movement, creating a national furor. The NAACP board of directors ratified the resolution last week. Tea party leaders condemned the report on Tuesday. “Here we go again,” said Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation. “This is typical of this liberal group’s smear tactics.” A Kansas City Star article in July found ties between several racist groups and tea parties, but tea party leaders said such incidents were not widespread. The new report describes what it calls links between tea party factions and white supremacist groups, anti-immigrant organizations and militias, according to a news release issued by the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, which wrote the document. Not only have tea parties given platforms to extremists, the news release said, the movement is a recruiting ground for hard-core white nationalists who are “hoping to push these (white) protesters toward a more self-conscious and ideological white supremacy.” The report, “Tea Party Nationalism: A Critical Examination of the Tea Party Movement and the Size, Scope, and Focus of Its National Factions,” was written by Leonard Zeskind and Devin Burghart of the Kansas City-based Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights...more

Tea Party Candidates Boosted by Small Donors

"The small donor trend for Tea Partiers is unprecedented," says Sheila Krumholz of the Center for Responsive Politics. Her group analyzed the most recent campaign donation numbers available from the Federal Elections Commission. Typically, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Senate candidates get no more than 20 percent of their funds from small donors. But the latest numbers available from the Federal Elections Commission for some Tea Party favorites show much higher stats. As of the second quarter, small donors filled about one-third of the campaign chests of Pennsylvania's Pat Toomey (30 percent, $3 million) and Florida's Marco Rubio (36 percent, $4.6 million). They accounted for nearly half of the funds for Delaware's Christine O'Donnell (45 percent, $119,000) and Kentucky's Rand Paul (46 percent, $1.6 million). And they made up more than half of the early donations given to Alaska's Joe Miller (51 percent, $144,000) and Nevada's Sharron Angle (58 percent $2.05 million)...more

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Charlie Brown Conservatives and a Lucy GOP

In the famous Charles Schulz comic strip, Peanuts, Charlie Brown is enticed every year by Lucy to placekick a football that she volunteers to hold for him. Charlie runs down the field toward his beguiling friend, who is holding the football on the ground, and swings his leg in a huge arching kick. But at the last moment Lucy jerks the football away and Charlie flies through the air to land on his back with a loud thump and the scream of “Aaugh!” Every year, Lucy convinces Charlie to try another kick, promising not to pull the football away like she did last time. And every year, Charlie runs down the field and Lucy jerks the football away at the last moment with Charlie falling on his famous fanny. Do conservatives show any signs of ever learning from this? Unfortunately, no. They continue to do what Charlie Brown always did. They buy into Lucy’s con. They agree to cooperate with Republican beguilers giving them valuable money, time and votes. This is happening once again as we head for 2012. The Charlie Brown conservatives are insisting that we must cooperate with the Lucy Republicans of Washington. As if the likes of Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Sarah Palin are suddenly going to become Jeffersonians and start fighting for strictly limited government. That will happen when mules qualify to run in the Kentucky Derby...more

New Post poll finds negativity toward federal workers

More than half of Americans say they think that federal workers are overpaid for the work they do, and more than a third think they are less qualified than those working in the private sector, according to a Washington Post poll. Half also say the men and women who keep the government running do not work as hard as employees at private companies. The critical views of federal workers - just one in seven of whom works in the D.C. area - echo the anti-Washington sentiment roiling the midterm elections, as some Americans lose confidence in their government to solve the country's problems. The strong sentiments give ammunition to both defenders and critics of the country's 1.9 million-member federal workforce in what has become a bitter debate on Capitol Hill and on the campaign trail over the size and value of the federal bureaucracy. Three-quarters of those surveyed say they think federal workers are paid more and get better benefits than their counterparts outside government, an increase of seven percentage points from a Post-ABC poll conducted in 1982, when the country also struggled in a recession...more

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tea Party Rocks the Right and Left

The Tea Party movement’s impact will not end on election day. If Ken Buck, Sharron Angle, Marco Rubio, and other Tea Party-backed candidates retain their leads, the new Senate will be a very different place, and the GOP will be a very different party. Charles Hurt writes:

They will become the new face of the GOP in the Senate, which is always the more moderate chamber of Congress for either party. Over in the House, you can expect Republicans to be even more stringently conservative. Senate candidates Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, Rand Paul in Kentucky, Marco Rubio in Florida and Ken Buck in Colorado are not your country-club Republicans. Their conservatism runs deep into their principles. They are strict constitutionalists.

They fervently believe in individual freedom and economic conservatism. And they believe the federal government has grown far beyond its intended boundaries.

The irony is great here. A cadre of pundits cautioned the GOP after the 2008 wipeout to move to the center, to accommodate Obama’s agenda, and to recoil from the small-government philosophy that, the self-appointed gurus told us, had no sell with voters. With a big assist from Obama, the Tea Partiers have proved themselves much savvier than the punditocracy (damning with feint praise, I know). An entire populist movement built not on specific positions (e.g., anti-war) but on philosophical principles is a remarkable phenomenon; even more remarkable is the degree to which those principles have resonated with the public at large...more

Tea party still here _ and strong

Doubters who thought the tea party would fade away can forget it. More than 70 of its favored candidates are on Nov. 2 ballots, and nearly three dozen are locked in competitive House races, according to a state-by-state analysis by The Associated Press. From the hundreds of conservative activists who took up the cause in races this year, these candidates - mostly Republicans - emerged to capture nominations and are running with the support of loosely organized tea party groups that are furious at the government. But about 35 candidates appear to be waging campaigns that have put them ahead or within striking distance of their opponents, according to the AP analysis. Most of the House candidates with tea party support are unknown outside their home districts: a rancher, a pilot, a pizzeria owner, doctors and war veterans. Their political experience ranges from first-time candidates to House incumbents who have become closely identified with the movement, including Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota...more

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Judge lets states' healthcare suit go forward

U.S. states can proceed with a lawsuit seeking to overturn President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare reform law, a Florida judge ruled on Thursday. U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson had already indicated at a hearing last month that he could not uphold parts of a motion by the Justice Department to dismiss the lawsuit, led by Florida and 19 other states. "In this order, I have not attempted to determine whether the line between constitutional and extraconstitutional government has been crossed," Vinson, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, wrote in his ruling. "I am only saying that ... the plaintiffs have at least stated a plausible claim that the line has been crossed," Vinson said. Opponents of Obama's overhaul of the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system have said it violates the Constitution by imposing what they consider unlawful taxes and requiring citizens to obtain healthcare coverage, among other issues...more

Gallup: 59% say feds have too much power, 46% say feds pose "an immediate threat" to rights and freedoms

The percentage of Americans who think the federal government poses “an immediate threat” to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens has increased significantly over the last seven years, rising from 30 percent to 46 percent, according to a Gallup poll conducted Sept. 13-16 and and released today. Similarly, the percentage of Americans who think the federal government has too much power has also significantly increased, from 39 percent in 2002 to 59 percent today...more

Final Tally: Obama and the 111th Congress Enacted $352 Billion in Net Tax Hikes

I wasn't surprised to see that most tax hikes were permanent and most tax cuts were temporary, with hikes out numbering cuts 7 to 1.

Figures were compiled by Americans for Tax Reform and you can see their table displaying each tax item by going here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sarah Palin PAC Funding Tea Party Candidates, Raking It In

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin raised more than $1.2 million for her political action committee during the last quarter, giving $93,500 to conservative candidates and causes ahead of the looming midterm elections in which she's played a major role. The financial disclosure, filed Tuesday by her SarahPAC, shows the 2008 vice presidential candidate and potential 2012 presidential contender spent a total of about $1 million during that time. Much of it – more than $255,000 – went to consultants in areas including coalitions, media, international affairs and finance. Palin, who has said repeatedly that her immediate focus is on the midterm elections and on helping elect candidates she considers "commonsense conservatives," gave money to 15 candidates, including $10,000 to U.S. Senate hopefuls Christine O'Donnell of Delaware and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. She contributed $10,000 to Joe Miller, a tea party favorite in her home state who upset U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the GOP primary and is seeking to turn back Murkowski's write-in candidacy in the Nov. 2 election. He received his first $5,000 during the primary, and it showed up on Palin's previous filing. The Federal Election Commission allows for PACs to give up to $5,000 per candidate committee per election. Other candidates getting money included U.S. Senate hopefuls Marco Rubio of Florida and John Hoeven of North Dakota, each with $5,000; Sharron Angle of Nevada and Rand Paul in Kentucky...more

Tea partying past George Allen

The Virginia tea party convention last weekend was the largest tea party gathering to date. It’s a sign that the constitutional small-government movement is getting more traction, and that the big action — even on federal issues and races — is likely to be at the state level. Conservative boat rockers like Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Herman Cain and Liberty Central president Ginni Thomas were stars at the convention. Tea partiers obviously are drawn to principled critics of big government that was created by both parties. Establishment Republicans who aren’t willing to recognize their role in igniting this middle-class revolt need to move out of the way. Or they will be pushed out — see Murkowski, Specter, Bennett, Crist, etc. Former Sen. George Allen, who was ousted in 2006 and is preparing a challenge rematch against Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) in 2012, spoke at the convention and then took questions. Asked about what stirred the tea party movement, Allen blamed President Barack Obama and the Democrats. "It's what has happened in the last year," he said. Allen is flat-out wrong. Americans didn’t elect Obama, Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as much as they threw out Republicans in 2006 and 2008. Americans were angry about the GOP officials’ lack of discipline and courage, and their profligate spending and abandonment of small-government, Republican principles...more

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tea Party fuels Republican edge in enthusiasm

As Election Day gets closer, the "enthusiasm gap" is getting clearer. A new poll from the Washington Post, the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University finds a huge disparity when it comes to which voters are motivated to vote in upcoming midterm elections. According to the poll, 74 percent of self-described Tea Party supporters are "very enthusiastic" about voting in the elections. Contrast that with just 43 percent of Democrats and 57 of Republicans who say the same. Late last week, a separate CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey found only a third of Democrats are enthusiastic about voting. That's good news for Republicans. Time and again, the Tea Party movement has pushed the most conservative candidates to victory in Republican primaries. Not only are Democrats not as enthusiastic as Republicans, they're also not quite as unified. In races all over the country, conservative Democrats are distancing themselves from their own party leaders including the president and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi...more

Tea party rallies to get out the vote

With just three weeks until the all important midterm elections, the Stop Taxing Us Tea Party hosted a get out and vote rally in San Diego. Stop Taxing Us usually allows candidates running for office to speak, but this time they decided to mix it up and give rally attendees something to think about before they pull the lever. More than 25 speakers from different backgrounds talked about the importance of voting for conservative candidates and doing their homework when they vote for ballot measures. Playing on the “Obama Girl” fan club theme was a couple of moms from Orange County who created a new niche; however this new club doesn’t favor the president. The group, “Blondes Against Obama” had no idea the website would create so much buzz. According to Megan Young, “people really like the slogan. Another kitschy slogan reads; “If a couple of blondes have the common sense to oppose Obama, shouldn’t you?” Blondes Against Obama was started by Carol Kistner and Young. Both are moms and both felt it was time to get involved. “We’ve set our sights on educating family and friends about the problems with Washington D.C. business as usual policies,” Young said. As a result the “blonde movement” website has grown and now includes daily blogs written by other right-minded fair-haired concerned citizens. “We were just sick and tired of what Obama was doing to this country,” Kistner said. “So we decided to get active and Blondes Against Obama grew from there.” The girls said they are tapping into the elusive youth vote, but acknowledge age is not of particular importance- “taking responsibility for the direction of the country is job number one.”...more

The Return Of Know-Nothingism

An authentic grass-fire political movement threatens Democrats on all fronts. So as November's reckoning approaches, what does their president do? Why, whip up fear of foreigners in a throwback to the 1850s. Having rammed costly and unpopular measures through Congress by questionable means, Democrats are in big trouble come November. As their president's popularity tanks, the vast national Tea Party movement is mobilizing the public to vote them out, and America's private sector is at long last standing up for free markets. For Democrats, it's like the sun — a reality they cannot stare in the face. So instead we see the recrudescence of one of the oldest and worst traditions in American politics: the demonization of foreigners. Not since the days of the nativist Know-Nothing movement in the 1840s and 1850s has it been so egregious...