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...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thousands Attend Virginia Tea Party Convention

The scorn heaped by activists at the Virginia Tea Party Patriots convention on former President George W. Bush was second only to that for Democratic President Barack Obama. Even Virginia's popular Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell had to field barbed questions from some of the more than 2,000 angry conservatives and libertarians who attended the meeting Friday and Saturday. Organizers said it was the largest tea party meeting in the nation. Across the nation, tea party groups this year have proved an ability to influence Republican primaries. In several U.S. Senate races, they've ousted entrenched incumbents in favor of conservatives bent on measures such as repealing the Democratic health care bill enacted in March, giving state legislatures authority to nullify federal laws through a vote of two-thirds of the states. The Republican who had the least to fret was Virginia's conservative lightning rod attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli. He and maverick Republican Rep. Ron Paul both received lengthy, roaring standing ovations from more than 1,000 people, many of whom bore "Cuccinelli for President" and yellow flags emblazoned with a coiled snake and the words "Don't Tread on Me."...more

Tea Party Giving Neocons Heartburn

Several neoconservative writers have recently expressed nervousness about Tea Party supporters threatening to make substantial cuts in military expenditures in order to rein in government spending. Articles in the Washington Post and at, by Danielle Pletka, Thomas Donnelly, Arthur Brooks, Edwin Fuelner, and William Kristol have made it clear that “the conservative movement — and the party that seeks to represent it — is at a crossroads.” One road will continue funding the military-industrial complex in “defense of freedom,” while the other road “beckons in an almost Calvinistic call to fiscal discipline” resulting in potentially severe defense department cuts. Justin Raimondo, on the other hand, says that such efforts reflect panic on the part of those who, in the name of peace, support a strong military and an interventionist international policy. “They’re living in fear of the so-called tea party, the spontaneous grassroots rebellion against runaway federal spending that has successfully challenged the GOP establishment and wants to cut big government down to size — with a meat axe." [emphasis added] They especially fear supporters of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) who are seeking to stuff the government genie back into its constitutional bottle. Raimondo refers to a study available at, “What You Paid For,” illustrating how much of the average taxpayer’s taxes are spent for each department of government. Entitlements make up nearly 40 percent of his taxes, while 10 percent go to support the military establishment including the current wars, military personnel and veterans’ benefits. And those numbers for defense keep climbing, he says, from $437 billion in 2001 to $720 billion currently...more

Conservatives must remain vigilant in the weeks leading up to Election Day

Let's posit that conservatives have every reason for optimism in the coming elections. The Tea Parties are enthusiastic and powerful. Middle America is fed up with big government. The left is dispirited. The polls looks great. It therefore would take a real wet blanket to warn that the momentum could fizzle and the triumph be less than grand. Sorry, but this blanket is wet indeed. Before we go any farther, please understand: This is not a prediction; it's a warning. It isn't meant to kill optimism, but only to temper it. Vince Lombardi's Packers won not because they were confident of victory, but because they were prepared for anything their opponents might throw at them. Churchill offered "sunlit uplands" only after the blood, toil, tears and sweat. As the campaign season enters its home stretch, conservatives need steel to go with their energy, and need to recognize their vulnerabilities that must be shored up. The reality is that a lot can happen in the last 26 days of a campaign...more

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Unraveling Of ObamaCare

Thirty companies and organizations get waivers from the new health care overhaul because otherwise they'd have to raise rates or drop coverage. The president said neither would happen. Hey, where's our waiver? When McDonald's told federal regulators in a recent memo that it would be "economically prohibitive" for its insurance carrier to continue to cover its 30,000 hourly workers unless it received a waiver from the ObamaCare requirement that 80% of premiums for such minimed plans be spent on medical care, alarm bells went off in the White House. Suddenly the "affordable health care for Americans" that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke of when she passed a bill no one had read was revealed to be an unaffordable fraud that threatened to throw untold numbers of young workers into the ranks of the uninsured in an already precarious election year. So now McDonald's has its waiver, for 115,000 workers, not just 30,000. Jack in the Box also has a waiver, as do 28 other companies and organizations. The largest waiver, for 351,000 people, is for, appropriately enough, a union — specifically the United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund, a New York brotherhood that covers teachers. The United Agricultural Benefit Trust, a California-based cooperative that provides such low-cost minimal coverage to farmworkers, was allowed to exempt 17,347 workers. Even what has been dubbed RomneyCare gets a waiver, with Massachusetts' universal health coverage bureaucracy getting an exemption for about 5,000 people. Remember the days of sharing the burden and spreading the wealth? ..more

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Howard Dean sneers at Tea Party, says GOP has “created monster”

The confirmed Socialist (scroll) and Dr. of Disology told the Obama administration’s favorite “news” network that the GOP has, in effect, “created a monster” by giving credence to the Tea Party movement...He then went on to attack Republican Christine O’Donnell , who is supported by the Tea Party in her bid to win the Delaware Senate seat formerly held by Joe Biden. The first thing that came to mind after reading this was: Will the real Howard Dean please stand up? Just a few weeks ago, he was talking about how he “approved” of much of what the Tea Party was doing...So anyway – what happened between that mid-September piece and today’s MSDNC interview? Well, in a nutshell, we’re a month away from what looks to be a bruising election for the left and the word’s already gotten out from the Oval Office to paint the Tea Party as “extremists” (read: racists) and, along with it, any GOP politico/candidate who affiliates with them in any way – especially those who are endorsed by the Tea Party. Essentially, Dean has performed a flip-flop that would impress flip-flopster extraordinaire John Kerry...more

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nevada Tea Party Chairman Quits

The head of the Nevada Tea Party resigned Tuesday after its candidate for Senate leaked a recording of Sharron Angle – the Republican running to replace Senator Harry Reid, the leader of the Democratic majority — in which she complained about Republican leaders and confessed that she does not know if she can win. Ms. Angle is, of course, considered a Tea Party candidate herself — that is, she is supported by the conservative anti-establishment movement that wants to shrink the role of the federal government. But she will appear on the ballot as a Republican. And in Nevada (as in Florida) there is an official Tea Party, with a candidate, Scott Ashjian, who will appear on the ballot with a Tea Party label. The chairman of the Tea Party — the official one — Syd James, said he set up a meeting between Mr. Ashjian and Ms. Angle to see if Mr. Ashjian could be convinced to get out of the race and endorse Ms. Angle. Mr. Ashjian secretly recorded the meeting, and released a tape of it to Jon Ralston, the state’s best-known political columnist. On the tape Ms. Angle tells Mr. Ashjian, “I’m not sure you can win and I’m not sure I can win if you’re hurting my chances, and that’s the part that scares me.” She badmouths national Republicans — who had hoped that a former state GOP chairwoman, Sue Lowden, would win the primary instead of Ms. Angle — saying they have “lost their principles.” Mr. Ashjian, in turn, complained on tape that Tea Party leaders — who began referring to themselves as “grassroots activists” to distinguish from his official party — had smeared him...more

Tea Parties Forge Alliances in Bid to Advance Agendas

The tea-party movement is turning more professional. Around the country, tea-party groups are building increasingly sophisticated political organizations and overcoming early bickering to push legislative platforms, elect their own delegates, shake up statehouses and even form alliances with the Republican Party establishment they profess to dislike. Nowhere is this evolution more vivid than in Virginia, where a federation of more than 30 groups scattered across the state now has the ear of the Republican governor, top state legislators and the state's congressional delegation. The Federation of Virginia Tea Party Patriots helped push legislation through the Virginia Statehouse earlier this year to blunt the impact of the new federal health-care law. It is now allying with like-minded lawmakers to champion an ambitious roster of bills. For much of the past year, the meteoric rise of the tea-party movement has struck many as a threat to the Republican establishment. But in state after state, tea-party groups are putting the fireworks aside to form at least temporary alliances with the GOP as they strengthen their own organizations. Many of these groups are already looking beyond the November midterm elections and plotting strategies for legislative sessions and local elections next year. The result could help determine the tea party's longevity...more

Monday, October 4, 2010

NY Times Alarmed: Tea Party Reading Unapproved Texts

Instead of just reading the latest approved tomes and today’s issue of the Times, people are learning from “obscure” old books by dead people. The Tea Party “has resurrected once-obscure texts by dead writers — in some cases elevating them to best-seller status — to form a kind of Tea Party canon. Recommended by Tea Party icons like Ron Paul and Glenn Beck, the texts are being quoted everywhere from protest signs to Republican Party platforms.” The idea of a movement animated by ideas rather than leaders is just right. Bastiat, Hayek, and Mises are magnificent, and also just what one would expect from a movement born in Ron Paulism...more

Thune: Tea Party could form splinter group by 2012

If Republicans neglect the concerns of Tea Party activists, the group could break off to form a third party as early as 2012, warned Republican Senator John Thune. Thune, who is considering a presidential run, said if Republicans manage to take back the Congress next month, they will have to work quickly to deliver results to voters. "If we do not govern according to our principles and if we don't follow through on the things that we say we're going to do, I think the Tea Party–I think there will be a third party in this country," Thune said on C-SPAN Newsmakers. He applauded Tea Party candidates running for office this year as energetic and driven and said their concerns coincide "with what many of us who are there want to see done."...more

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tea-Party affiliated group seeks constitutional change

A Tea Party activist is working to get state backing for a constitutional convention to pass a constitutional amendment that would give two-thirds of the states the ability to repeal congressional acts, such as the new health care law. “It restores a lot of the sovereignty and a lot of the power that the states have lost,” said Marianne Moran, executive director of and *former executive director of Tea Party In Action. The Tenth Amendment has become useless because of Supreme Court decisions that have expanded federal power and because of the Seventeenth Amendment that stripped state legislatures of their right to name U.S. senators, Moran said. “This doesn’t undo some of those bad Supreme Court cases and doesn’t resolve some of the problems of the Seventeenth Amendment, but it does restore some of the balance of power that was originally intended ̶ and the mechanism by which we can control some of the out of control spending and get our debt under control,” she said. Georgetown Law Professor Randy Barnett initially devised the idea in a 2009 Wall Street Journal opinion piece, which drew the attention of numerous Tea Party activists. Several Tea Party groups back the amendment, Moran said...more

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tea Party vs. War Party

“We’re all on the same page until the polls close Nov. 2,” Richard Viguerie, the longtime conservative strategist who has allied with the Tea Party, told The New York Times. After that, “a massive, almost historic battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party begins.” Indeed, such a battle seems unavoidable. Consider. The great issue uniting and motivating the Republican Party and Tea Party is the deficit-debt crisis, a national debt nearing 100 percent of gross domestic product and a deficit of 10 percent of GDP. As to the cause of the deficit that could precipitate a run on the dollar, double-digit inflation, even a default, the Tea Party and GOP also agree — federal spending that consumes 25 percent of GDP. Both are also on the same page in their opposition to closing the deficit with new or higher taxes. This means spending must be slashed. But to cut the budget to 20 percent of GDP, where it was before George W. Bush and Barack Obama, requires spending cuts of an astronomical $700 billion a year. Even then, the 2011 deficit would be $700 billion. Which leaves one place where a bipartisan majority may be found for major spending cuts: defense and the empire, the warfare state. The “agonizing reappraisal” of commitments abroad that John Foster Dulles predicted half a century ago may be at hand. And here is where the Tea Party and War Party split the blanket...more

Take Two for Tea Party Express and Murkowski

The Tea Party Express says it is going to target Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski - again. The national Sacramento-based organization announced Thursday that next week they'll unveil a new television and radio ad campaign against Murkowski, who is running in the general election as a write-in candidate. Last month, Murkowski conceded defeat in her bid for her party's nomination. The senator, who is part of a political dynasty in Alaska, was upset in the August 24 Republican Senate primary by attorney Joe Miller, a previous longshot who enjoyed strong support from Tea Party activists and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The Tea Party Express had endorsed Miller and spent over $600,000 to help him defeat Murkowski. "Lisa, take a hint, the voters rejected you once before and now watching you defy their will is bound to alienate yourself from Alaska voters even more," says Amy Kremer, chairwoman of the Tea Party Express, in a news release...more