Friday, July 23, 2010

The Tea Party

I use Facebook a lot (until Google's competing app comes up anyway) and I posted this in response to a post I made there. I want it on my blog as well for my own reasons. Apologies to my legion of readers who click through to this twice, really.
 Someone says the tea party is pretty OK. I wrote:

My problem with the tea party is that they are extremists. I wrote about the extreme right here:

I confess to being an extremist myself. For example, I believe that corporate income taxes should be abolished. That would help small business a lot. It would also allow us to make it illegal for large businesses to lobby congress. Their argument for owning our legislators is that they pay taxes. Remove the argument, and remove the access. Make it illegal for anyone representing a corporation to interact with any legislator, and let them keep alll their profits.

Anyone who wants to argue that our legislators, all of them, are not bought and paid for by large corporations, bring that on.

The difference between me and the extreme right is that I am willing to compromise with centrists and with the right in order to allow government to enact laws and govern. Exactly what Obama's administration is doing.

But the tea party makes a very specific, and extremist, argument: Nothing government does is of any value. And that is patently wrong.

One simple example: The military. Effective as all get out. Invaded Iraq and crushed their military in days. A brilliant success, forged by our military leadership and logisticians. Government working effectively.

Another example: The GI Bill. A brilliant success.

The tea party argue that nothing that isn't explicitly stated in the constitution is not a right, while at the same time they argue that we need to stop government from taking away our freedoms (rights). Health care is the classic argument here - it ain't in the constitution so health care reform is unconstitutional. The constitution describes no right to health care, they argue.

By this argument Brown vs Board of Education is unconstitutional.

By this argument the GI Bill is unconstitutional.

By this argument, Medicare is unconstitutional.

And on and on. We have a legislative branch of governent, and they enact laws.

The argument that if it isn't in the constitution it is not a right is beyond absurd.

And, I'm guessing that from the recent tea party rally that included tea party "people" spitting on a black congressmen, and calling him a nigger, that Brown v Board of Education is exactly the kind of government outcomes these people oppose.

Reducing complicated social problems to slogans about taking your government back and protecting your freedoms is propagandistic sleight of hand designed to engage the weak minded, fearful minority of Americans in a populist movement that is just a re-packaging of extreme right wing dogma.

And what we need in this country is more pragmatism, and less dogmatism.

Feckless idiots is what I say the tea party are.

1 comment:

  1. Right on! Now that's the Bob Parkinson I remember from the blogsphere! Good to see you posting.