# Is there absolutely any reason to take the "Tea Party" seriously?

## Is there absolutely any reason to take the "Tea Party" seriously?   6 members have voted

1. ### 1. Is there absolutely any reason to take the "Tea Party" seriously?

• Yes
• No
• I like turtles

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As a quick response, the 11% is not comparable to the any of those numbers by year as all of them are for 4 year stretches. His numbers won't look very good if the economy doesn't do an about face in the next 12 months. He could hit 20% in just two years.

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As a quick response, the 11% is not comparable to the any of those numbers by year as all of them are for 4 year stretches. His numbers won't look very good if the economy doesn't do an about face in the next 12 months. He could hit 20% in just two years.

Isn't it always a quick response with you Jryan, where instead of conceding an obvious point, you instead pick something insignificant out and critique a small point. I almost included the below information in the above post, because I knew someone like you would say something exactly like that.

Ah, but I am glad you brought that up Jryan let us compare the first year of Obama (11% increase) to some of the individual years by Reagan for example

*correction pointed out by Jryan, this is debt growth not debt per GDP

1983 15% increase in debt per GDP

1985 12.3% increase in debt per GDP

1986 13.9% increase in debt per GDP

All three of these years Reagan, posted a higher increase in debt than Obama has in his first year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_by_U.S._presidential_terms#Federal_spending.2C_federal_debt.2C_and_GDP

Maybe Jryan you should take a look at the links before you make a misinformed comment like the one above? Furthermore, that is besides the point. Even if what you said was true it doesn't change the simple fact that under Republican Presidents since 1978 the National Debt per GDP has risen about eight times as much as opposed to the National Debt per GDP under Democratic Presidents since 1978.

Edited by toastywombel
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Ah I am glad you brought that up Jryan let us compare the first year of Obama (11% increase) to some of the individual years by Reagan for example

1983 15% increase in debt per GDP

1985 12.3% increase in debt per GDP

1986 13.9% increase in debt per GDP

All three of these years Reagan, posted a higher increase in debt than Obama has in his first year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_by_U.S._presidential_terms#Federal_spending.2C_federal_debt.2C_and_GDP

Maybe Jryan you should take a look at the links before you make a misinformed comment like the one above?

That isn't Debt/GDP that is debt growth.

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Good grief, everyone. This thread just goes to show how a movement like the Tea Party can anger and split apart otherwise normal, rational people. The tone here has gotten far too personal, condescending and insulting for my tastes.

Please, when you're angry about how people behave, don't descend to their level while doing so.

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At least until Obama' date=' who just submitted a budget that spends at least $1.56 trillion more than it takes in. [/quote'] That is one Democratic President, furthermore, you cannot judge Obama on this graph yet, National debt per GDP, the GDP might grow in the time he is in office. And how can you blow off the entire graph on and just point to Obama, I mean seriously. Do you just block these facts out of your mind? The words "at least" are an indication of agreement with your premise, which I subsequently agreed with again. And there's no need to be rude -- we're not that far apart. Furthermore, the Democrats aren't really known for a platform of reducing spending, yet Republicans are known exactly for that, they run on it every single election. I agree completely, and it is one of the main reasons why I voted for President Obama. The f-22 development didn't start under Clinton I didn't say it started under Clinton, I said he pushed it. Which he did: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-22 On 23 April 1991 the USAF ended the design and test flight competition by announcing Lockheed's YF-22 as the winner. It was anticipated at the time that 650 aircraft would be ordered.[13] The United States Air Force originally planned to order 750 ATFs, with production beginning in 1994; however, the 1990 Major Aircraft Review altered the plan to 648 aircraft beginning in 1996. The goal changed again in 1994, when it became 442 aircraft entering service in 2003 or 2004, but a 1997 Department of Defense report put the purchase at 339. In 2003, the Air Force said that the existing congressional cost cap limited the purchase to 277. By 2006, the Pentagon said it will buy 183 aircraft, which would save$15 billion but raise the cost of each aircraft, and this plan has been de facto approved by Congress in the form of a multi-year procurement plan, which still holds open the possibility for new orders past that point. The total cost of the program by 2006 was \$62 billion.[16]

Here's a typical example of the kind of politics that were revolving around the program in 1999:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/daily/july99/fighterjet22.htm

Lewis insists he is not out to kill the F-22 program, just put off the funding for initial production until lawmakers have a chance to debate whether the United States really needs the plane in addition to two other new jet fighters in the budget--the Navy's F/A18-E/F and the Joint Strike Fighter, which is being pursued by the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

Politics is more complicated that Democrats good, Republicans bad.

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The words "at least" are an indication of agreement with your premise, which I subsequently agreed with again. And there's no need to be rude -- we're not that far apart.

I agree completely, and it is one of the main reasons why I voted for President Obama.

I didn't say it started under Clinton, I said he pushed it. Which he did:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-22

Here's a typical example of the kind of politics that were revolving around the program in 1999:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/daily/july99/fighterjet22.htm

Politics is more complicated that Democrats good, Republicans bad.

I agree, it is more complicated than that. I was just trying to point out it wasn't just Clinton who was pushing the production of the f-22 and f-35. It seems the article you cited says the same thing. Although, I will concede it was mainly Clinton who did push the f-35. Sorry for the implied rudeness, it was more an attempt to prod you to present an opposing argument because I love debate but again I apologize.

But I think it can be said that most of Bush's defense budget costs were independent from anything Clinton proposed.

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That isn't Debt/GDP that is debt growth.

Oh you are right Jryan

It is debt growth not debt/GDP. Well my mistake, I apologize. When one is looking up a lot of data and links, then copy and pasting it, it is easy to move too hasty.

I calculated the debt per GDP increase as of 1983 though and I came up with around 5%. So you are right Jryan, however that still does not change the fact that Under Republican Presidents since 1978, debt per GDP has increased nearly eight times as much as debt per GDP under Democratic Presidents. Can you not concede this point?

Edited by toastywombel
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I agree, it is more complicated than that. I was just trying to point out it wasn't just Clinton who was pushing the production of the f-22 and f-35. It seems the article you cited says the same thing. Although, I will concede it was mainly Clinton who did push the f-35. Sorry for the implied rudeness, it was more an attempt to prod you to present an opposing argument because I love debate but again I apologize.

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Oh you are right Jryan

If you take the number from 1983 though debt by dollars,

1,371 billion

GDP that year was 3,441 billion

3.4/1.3 = 0.39 and that is 39% debt per GDP, so infact you were right that the numbers are debt growth, but when you do the math, the debt per GDP was even worse.

So I apologize for misreading those numbers and I take credit for that mistake, but thanks for pointing it out because it strengthened the point.

Reagan 1983 increase in debt per GDP by 39%

Obama increase in debt per GDP by 11%

You nee dto recheck your numbers and conclusions there, Mr. Womble. Your still not comparing the same things.

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Here is a chart that relates to the topic. http://www.lafn.org/gvdc/Natl_Debt_Chart.html

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You nee dto recheck your numbers and conclusions there, Mr. Womble. Your still not comparing the same things.

Its Mr. Wombel, and I did correct everything and even pointed out that you were the one who pointed out the correction. I don't have to re-check my conclusions, the conclusion is the still the same.

Debt increased nearly eight times as much under Republican Presidents since 1978 as opposed to Democratic Presidents since 1978.

Again, I ask you, can you not concede this point Jryan?

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Jryan re-read my last post, I corrected it before you responded, I knew that number was too good to be true.

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I guess that is a no?

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NewLeftMedia's latest video of the tax day tea party:

zbyFeFhUTmI

Apparently Obama wants to ban fishing as part of his radical socialist agenda. The Tea Party wants to see income tax abolished. Global warming is bullshit. And illegal immigrants will cause a new form of cholera.

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Great article on how the left leverages hate and humiliation as tools to fight the ideology of the tea party movement:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704448304575196143581611192.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

It's a good thing we have two hands, or we'd be running out of fingers as we count the efforts to discredit and smear the tea-party movement. First it was "AstroTurf" (i.e., fake grass-roots). Then it was extremist, with Nancy Pelosi seeing swastikas. Then it was racist, with still-unsubstantiated claims of invidious slurs. And it was about to turn violent, with Bill Clinton reliving his Oklahoma City glory days.

The Washington's Post's E.J. Dionne is trying yet another new tack. He opens his latest column by saying this movement is really a big nothing:

The Tea Party is nothing new. It represents a relatively small minority of Americans on the right end of politics, and it will not determine the outcome of the 2010 elections.

Don't bother voting, guys. E.J. and his friends have that taken care of--and if you don't believe it, just ask Gov. Jon Corzine and Sen. Martha Coakley. But here's the new anti-tea-party theme:

Their findings suggest that the Tea Party is essentially the reappearance of an old anti-government far right that has always been with us and accounts for about one-fifth of the country. The Times reported that Tea Party supporters "tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45." They are also more affluent and better educated than Americans as a whole. This is the populism of the privileged.

What exactly does Dionne mean by "privileged"? It seems unlikely that the group he describes includes many who have inherited wealth or special legal advantages. Rather, they are, by and large, people who have worked hard to get ahead. Dionne resents them as "privileged" because they are successful.

Further, if we shouldn't take the tea-party movement seriously because it consists of "the privileged," how seriously should we take E.J. Dionne? We don't know how much the Washington Post pays him, but our educated guess is that it's considerably more than the median tea partygoer makes.

Even more to the point, think of what the tea-party people have done to draw Dionne's disdain: exercise their right to free speech. Think about the enormous privilege Dionne enjoys in that regard. His position at the Washington Post gives him an enormous megaphone, a far greater degree of political influence than most individuals, including tea-party activists, can ever hope to enjoy. For Dionne to sneer at them for being "privileged" shows an enormous lack of self-awareness and class.

In short: Demonization of the tea party movement = politics as usual.

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I'm not interested in hashing "who is worse," but that column is awfully silly from where I'm sitting.

"First it was astroturf, then" etc., as if "the left" is a single entity that keeps "changing its story."

They won't swing elections -> "don't bother voting," and the status quo will last forever?

criticizing their rhetoric -> "disdainful" of free speech?

describing demographics -> resenting success, or something?

Yeah, this sneering, hypocritical straw man that represents all criticism of the Tea Part sure is a jerk!

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(shrug) Works for me. My point isn't that the opposite is true, but that it's ridiculous to hold up singular examples of idiocy as demonstrative of an entire ideological movement.

Let me put it even more succinctly: Some on the right may indeed be idiots. But some of the left need them to be perceived that way.

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it's ridiculous to hold up singular examples of idiocy as demonstrative of an entire ideological movement.

I fully agree with that statement. There is no cause so right that you can't find contemptible morons waving signs in support of it. I just don't think holding up singular examples of idiocy characterizes all the criticism of the Tea Party. Also, what happens when you can't find examples of anything else?

Let me put it even more succinctly: Some on the right may indeed be idiots. But some of the left need them to be perceived that way.

I agree with this also.

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Great article on how the left leverages hate and humiliation as tools to fight the ideology of the tea party movement

Humiliation? Is "the left" humiliating them any more than they're humiliating themselves? I also don't really see where this is mentioned in the article.

Can't really say I thought that was a good article either... reacting to the tea party harms their right to free speech? Huh?

(shrug) Works for me. My point isn't that the opposite is true, but that it's ridiculous to hold up singular examples of idiocy as demonstrative of an entire ideological movement.

Like a single quote by Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr.? *rimshot*

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Humiliation? Is "the left" humiliating them any more than they're humiliating themselves?

Yes... the left have more to gain by portraying them all as fools, and perhaps even tainting the Republican party and other political opposition (look how silly our opponents are!). The news media enjoy this too, since they are entertainment companies. Here's a simple question: when these journalists compose highly edited videos like the one in your link, do they make available the entire footage? BTW, here's another highly edited video:

Although apparently there was no actual wrongdoing on the part of the ACORN staff.

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How much of that is simply a reaction to the things these people are saying combined with the fact that they lack any sort of unifying set of concerns other than (Democrat-controlled) "government bad", "taxes bad", "spending bad" etc.?

I'm also still waiting to see any video of any tea party attendee who anyone feels makes a cogent argument.

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How much of that is simply a reaction to the things these people are saying combined with the fact that they lack any sort of unifying set of concerns other than (Democrat-controlled) "government bad", "taxes bad", "spending bad" etc.?

I'm also still waiting to see any video of any tea party attendee who anyone feels makes a cogent argument.

Since when is protest ever about making "cogent arguments"? They're about sound bites and presence, not debate and reason.

But if you want examples of tea party protesters not acting like fools, there are plenty. How about this one? These are tea party protesters advocating a position you happen to agree with -- gun ownership. They may be carrying guns (which I happen to disagree with as needlessly provocative), but there's not a single thing in this video about Obama's birth certificate, the number of states we have in the union, or how many amendments there are in the constitution. Gee.

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there's not a single thing in this video about Obama's birth certificate, the number of states we have in the union, or how many amendments there are in the constitution. Gee.

Surprising!

The opening speech left me with the general feeling I get about the tea party: what exactly are they protesting?

Regarding the gun rights activists, I am left to wonder why this guy feels his gun rights are threatened when the current government has done nothing of the sort.

Should I be surprised no one is protesting against the government asking us to quarter soldiers?

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The opening speech left me with the general feeling I get about the tea party: what exactly are they protesting?

How about abusive mis-interpretation of the Constitution to do whatever the hell the legislators want even if it is forbidden?

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How about abusive mis-interpretation of the Constitution to do whatever the hell the legislators want even if it is forbidden?

No, I think it's pretty obvious they are only against mis- interpretation of the Constitution if it disagrees with their righteous family Conservative religious values

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How about abusive mis-interpretation of the Constitution to do whatever the hell the legislators want even if it is forbidden?

In that case, where's the concern about the ongoing violations of the fourth amendment? (e.g. warrantless wiretapping)

Seems there's just a lot of undue concern about the 2nd amendment, which isn't even being challenged. This Congress/Administration haven't done anything regarding gun control.

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I think they're also pretty peeved about the interpretation of the Interstate Commerce clause.

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But if you want examples of tea party protesters not acting like fools, there are plenty. How about this one? These are tea party protesters advocating a position you happen to agree with -- gun ownership. They may be carrying guns (which I happen to disagree with as needlessly provocative), but there's not a single thing in this video about Obama's birth certificate, the number of states we have in the union, or how many amendments there are in the constitution. Gee.

Even in that video I have to agree with Bascule and really ask - what do they want done? To simply say "Restore the Constitution" isn't a platform... it doesn't explain at what point they feel the constitution was "broken" or how, or what the government has to do in the future to avoid messing it up again. On top of that, there is the statement about [Constitutional] Rights at the end summarizing they are granted by God and not subject to majority approval or the Supreme Court. So to add yet more confusion - who decides what is Constitutional if the Supreme Court is meaningless? Do we then govern based on the gut reactions about constitutionality of whatever citizens own the most guns?

They make it clear they are unhappy - I respect that.

They make it clear they want to undo some sort of legislation - that also makes sense as a platform.

They don't say what is wrong.

They don't say when it went wrong.

They don't say what checks and balances failed to steer us wrong.

In this absolute vacuum of rational discussion, agenda, specific concerns or platform from the tea party "intellectual majority" it really isn't a wonder that the voices of the misinformed end up shaping the view of the movement.

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No, I think it's pretty obvious they are only against mis- interpretation of the Constitution if it disagrees with their righteous family Conservative religious values

Well yes, but I don't think that's any different from the far left complaining about gross violations of the Constitution only when it disagrees with their righteous liberal values.

Even in that video I have to agree with Bascule and really ask - what do they want done?

Well that's a great question and I'm glad we've moved on from the ridicule and started addressing it. I took a shot at that question yesterday in this post, over in the "Tea Bagging -- another view" thread, in which I said, amongst other things:

I believe ecoli has a great point in saying that the tea party people need to understand that compromise is the path forward. But bascule has a great point as well when he points out that often what these people tell us is contradictory or nonsensical

We're not rooting out the last vestiges of hidden racism or subconscious ideological prejudices. We're grappling with concerns that we wear right on our sleeves: Overworking. Fear of unemployment. Bad diet. Failure to succeed. Getting older. Dealing with rebellious offspring and/or aging parents. These are what fuels this movement.

So getting back to what I said earlier, I think both ecoli and bascule are right. What these people are saying is often counter-intuitive and strange when analyzed by people who are more familiar with politics and (especially) scientific thinking. We have to de-code these statements, remove the fear, and find solutions that work for people even if they don't initially appear to be what they asked for.

But that does not mean that those who are struggling -- or those of us who claim to speak for those who are struggling -- are thereby freed from trying to understand the perspectives of those who are better off. Black leaders need to appreciate the legitimate fears that may cause some whites to resist affirmative action. Union representatives can't afford not to understand the competitive pressures their employers may be under. I am obligated to try to see the world through George Bush's eyes' date=' no matter how much I may disagree with him. That's what empathy does -- it calls us all to task, the conservative and the liberal, the powerful and the powerless, the oppressed and the oppressor. We are all shaken out of our complacency. We are all forced beyond our limited vision.

[b']No one is exempt from the call to find common ground.[/b]

And he goes on to explain exactly how we can do that.

Of course, in the end a sense of mutual understanding isn't enough. After all, talk is cheap; like any value, empathy must be acted upon.

We hang on to our values, even if they seem at times tarnished and worn; even if, as a nation and in our own lives, we have betrayed them more often than we care to remember.

We can make claims on their behalf, so long as we understand that our values must be tested against fact and experience, so long as we recall that they demand deeds and not just words.

To do otherwise would be to relinquish our best selves.

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I think they're also pretty peeved about the interpretation of the Interstate Commerce clause.

Good, then I expect they'd like to see the Controlled Substances Act overturned.

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