Monday, May 24, 2010

How Do You Feel About the Tea Party Now?

Rand Paul, Ron Paul's son, won the election in Kentucky as a Tea Party Candidate. I love Ron Paul and I'm on his list serve.  I realize that Ron Paul and his son have embraced the Tea Party wholeheartedly, but I was reluctant to follow.  Namely because my perception of the Tea Party is that it consists of racist rednecks who are anti-immigrants and government.  The morning after Rand Paul and several other teabaggers  won elections in the United States, I almost changed my mind. I heard a broadcast on NPR about how the it was shocking that Republican Voters went to the polls and voted for the Tea Party because they are also anti-war--which is contrary to the Republican Platform.  If I had to classify myself, it would be as an anti-war, anti-spending Libertarian. I almost jumped on the bandwagon, but the end of that broadcast.  Then, as quickly as that feeling came, it went. I got on the subway to the office, picked up a Metro (free paper available in most big cities all over the world) and read about this jerk-off.  Mark Williams, a leader of the Tea Party, said this regarding the new Islamic Community Center that is to be built in downtown Manhattan--near the former World Trade Center:
 “The monument would consist of a mosque for the worship of the terrorists’ monkey-god.” Urged to apologise, he said: “I owe an apology to millions of Hindus who worship Lord Hanuman, an actual monkey god.”
I don't have to be a monkey to see that he's a racist and hateful bastard.  This community center is slated to be built in the old Burlington Coat Factory Building two blocks away from the World Trade Center site.
The $100 million (£69 million) project would include a swimming pool, a basketball court, a 500-seat theatre and possibly a daycare centre. About 2,000 Muslims are expected to attend Friday prayers there.
Well, I wonder if he realizes that there was a mosque IN the WTC.  Just as there was a shul.  Jews and Muslims need to pray during the work day and the WTC accounted for that. I imagine there was a chapel as well.  So, if they are building another mosque/community center near by--I am sure that it serves a need for the Mulim-American community.  Remember, none of the terrorists were American.  And, even if you disagree with Muslims' freedom to worship, how can an emerging third party's leader say ignoramus things like "monkey-god."

So, they lost me.

I find it hard to believe that the Tea Party will continue to gain power when they spew nonsense like this.  How will they gain the support of sane and educated people?  I'm not sure if the Tea Party is going to continue to support this monkey asswipe as a political boss, but I am probably lost to their cause.

Do you support the tea party?


  1. Yes and no? I have always been on the left side of the spectrum. Maybe I am getting old, maybe it is because I am (partially) self-employed and paying taxes is so much more painful when you're writing out big checks every 3 months rather than just having the $ withheld. I have to write checks for $6000 every 3 months right now, and although it is nice to have paved roads (although the ones near my house are pockmarked with gigantic potholes) and 911 service -- when I lose my law school job (yes, that just happened although it hasn't taken effect yet), I will not be able to afford health insurance for my family ($1300/month for COBRA!) and it has been a LONG time since we were able to afford to save for college or do other things that I used to think constituted a middle class life. (For example, hubby and I have been married for more than 5 years and have never had a vacation.) Where the hell is all our money going? There is ONE good public magnet school in my town, which my kids have about a 33% chance of getting into. Is it going into defense? My two brothers in the military live pretty close to poverty. Health care? In my state, they have a fricking LOTTERY for people to sign up for subsidized care -- something like 1/8 of those who enter actually get benefits.

    I guess my point is that seeing this huge amount of money basically going into a black hole -- I am gaining some amount of sympathy for the tea partiers (while not on board with the racist stuff) because it really does seem like we could at this point do better if we could keep more of our money. Because right now the choices appear to be: (a) Big government that can't or won't do a damn thing for anybody, for a high price tag; or (b) Small government that can't or won't do a damn thing for anybody, but at a discounted rate. I am getting to the point where I am ready to settle for (b), at least until we can move to hubby's (basically socialist) home country, where they actually, to paraphrase Billy Bragg, "get a little bit more back for their taxes."

  2. Keep in mind that there are really two factions of Tea Baggers. There's a somewhat more principled group that reveres Ron Paul, and is probably quite small. They at least seem to be consistent in their beliefs (like supporting an end to the war on drugs, though I'm skeptical of how serious they actually are about that). The other group is the ignorant yahoos that the Republican Party and Fox News have been trying to co-opt. I'd put Rand Paul in this second group. Their version of libertarianism seems to be "I shouldn't have to pay taxes, and the government should mostly go away, unless it concerns spending programs that benefit me or the military."

  3. "Namely because my perception of the Tea Party is that it consists of racist rednecks who are anti-immigrants and government."

    Well, your perception is false, insulting and uninformed. It's fascinating how those who castigate others for engaging in hateful generalizations are so quick to engage in the same behavior.

    I won't respond to the cheap and baseless "racist, redneck" canard. (And if one guy makes an idiot comment, you neglect to mention that MILLIONS of members across America comprise the Tea Party while you focus on one fool and his comment.) As for being "anti-government" and "anti-immigrant", we are neither. The Tea Party opposes the unconstitutional expansion of the federal government which has gone on nearly unchecked since FDR. We are not "anti-immigrant," but we do oppose the wave of illegal aliens, their largely negative impact on the economy, the rampant crime that plagues the Southwest, the Balkanization of America, etc. We also object to the total negligence on the part of D.C. on this issue.

  4. Rednecks:

  5. Re: immigration. Immigration made this country what it is. We've tightened up the borders significantly since our formation, but the forefathers didn't have any such regulation. We need to monitor immigration, i.e. make sure that immigrants are paying taxes and aren't criminals. However, we'll see how quickly the cost of living goes up when there is no one to flip your burger for law rate. We can't live without illegal immigrants... it would be too expensive.

  6. as a leftist I support the tea party. Yes, most of its supporters are uneducated, but that means they are more leftist. Yes, I mean that. The more educated an american is, the less leftist. A lot of our education is really just ideological indoctrination.

    Leftism can only exist in the more democratic nations. What makes a democratic nation? A solid and unified majority bloc that shares many characteristics, that is homogeneous. Further, I have seen no evidence that leftism exists in large nations or in nations that are non-white.

    What is a leftist nation? One where the people are in control, and not Big Money. The tell tale markers that determine leftism:
    1) immigration: if it is high, leftism is low. Immigration destroys social capital and lowers wages. Lower wages is ALWAYS bad for the majority.
    2) a strong military. As the military grows stronger and takes more $$, leftism is weaker.

    3) size: the bigger the nation in general the less leftist. Factions kill leftism because it prevents the majority from unifying and electing and holding accountable their politicians. The larger the nation, in general the more factions.

    4) Parliamentarian governmental structure: the more Parliamentarian the governmental structure, the more leftist. THe less Parliamentarian the governmental structure, the less leftist. Parliamentarian governmental structure is where the power of the govt is put in the hands of a lower house that basically in unstoppable. No real checks and balances. Almost every other western nation has this style of govt. Except America.

    In Parliamentarian governments, the people elected to the lower house are elected from small voting districts. This is key. Small means fewer factions, which means more unity among the majority bloc. MOre unity means they control the politicians they elect. At least more than than in countries where the pols are elected from large districts (like the USA, where we have the president and the senate elected from large districts.)

    4. Racial integration of large non-majority blocs. The more diversity, the less unity, the less trust, the less social capital. See Sr Putnam's BOWLING ALONE research.

    So how is the tea party leftist? Because the tea party would weaken the federal govt and the grip that it and the Constitution have on the states. Less money for the fed govt means it could not make the states do what the fed govt says to do. So the elected power in the states would become predominant. And that would mean more unity among the voters because there are fewer factions. Smaller voting districts of the states. In some areas civil rights mandates would weaken, thus increasing social capital and trust among a large and united majority bloc. The states would decrease immigration and enforce those laws.

    The evidence shows that these conditions are necessary prerequistes for Leftism.

    If the Tea party got its way and the fed govt was relegated to the military powers, etc., states like Maine and NH and Vermont would be headed towards the direction of Sweden, politicially. Then before long you would have something similar in the white only enclaves of the Appalachians. And also the rocky mountain states etc etc.

  7. I do not believe being anti-islam is racist. It's a religion, not a race.

    Most members of all political parties are uneducated morons. Political parties are corporations making a sales pitch. It's the group mentality that creates this false - we are smarter than everybody else - BS.

    Like a personal injury firm, they do not want smart customers. I would say educated, but educated does not equate to smart.

  8. I've always been suspicious of the Tea Party even as a libertarian. Where were they during the Bush and Reagan years?

  9. @9:19 am
    Many Americans have substantial difficulty divorcing skin color from religion.

  10. I think my political views are more aligned with Jadz. I am a liberal Independent sick of both parties. I'm definitely not a Libertarian but, like Jadz, have sympathy for the Tea Partiers. Not because I'm anti-government or anti-taxes, but because I'm anti-THIS corporate government using tax payer money to bail out corporations and spend on wars rather than use it to help the rest of us find jobs, an affordable education, and universal health care. I think this post at Corrente sums up my feelings and why I really don't care any more even though I think the Pauls are crazy rightwingers:
    It's because the Democrats currently in charge are as fucked up and criminal as the Republicans these days.

  11. Angel:

    My suggestion is that you identify what principles you believe in. Then identify the candidates that truly stand for those principles.

    A party label does not mean much nowadays anymore. What the media is trying to portray as characteristic of officials of a given party or supporters of the party is just a red herring to distract you from thinking about the issues that actually matter. Hope this helps.

  12. Hardknocks, I believe recently you expressed anxiety about the crime rate going up because of the bad economy. You might find this interesting:

    As for the Tea Party, I really feel like nothing that any one "leader" says will have any real negative impact because it's mostly a decentralized movement. I guess that can be both a good and a bad thing. But at this point, it just seems like a hodgepodge of people.

  13. Oh, that last comment was by me, sorry if I typed the identity wrong. didn't mean to impersonate someone else.

  14. @Angel

    But Nancy Pelosi said they were astroturf? How can they be austroturf and a decentralized movement at the same time? You mean Pelosi lied?

  15. Archangel: I heard on the news today about the drop in the crime rate. I still think that the crime rate and other problems like teen pregnancy could increase if cities across the country were to cut the number of schooldays from 5 to 4 days/week. A lot of kids are brain dead from video games and the internet, but I always think teenagers need to be kept as busy as possible or else their minds wander to sex, drinking, drugs, etc.

  16. If you believe the crime rate statistics, you should see the job placement nine months after graduation at law school!

  17. Angel, there's no such thing as an official tea party. It's a loose collection of people who disagree with the growth in the size and cost of government.

    Like all mass popular movements these days, the tea party unavoidably attracts a good share of attention seeking kooks. And those kooks are most interesting to the media. Same thing happened with the anti-iraq war movement. It is very difficult these days to have a coherent movement, and to exclude undesirables from latching on to one's message.

  18. It's not racist to properly point out that putting a mosque at the WTC is an abomination. Did the Jews place shrines to Hitler and Germany at the concentration camps?

    This is just political correctness run amok. Paul is correct, this is an insult to all Americans.

    Most people that live in NYC agree that a Mosque is bad idea at the new WTC. Why not just hoist an Al Qaeda Flag there, too?

    I applaud Rand Paul for having the courage to speak out against the ignorant mob of political correctness.

    It's laughable to think that Tea Partiers are all one type of person. Don't lap up everything that you read or watch on MSNBC. Form your own opinions.

    I would encourage you to get off your butt and attend a Tea Party convention and form your own judgments. The media has its own it yours?

  19. More on Williams from today's NY Daily News.

    I don't see how this guy is much worse than any other controversial figure, e.g. convicted felon Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, etc. This guy is obviously over the top and a bit of a kook (a la Sharpton, Jackson and Reverend Wright), but his message is spot on.

    How do you make the connection to Rand Paul and this guy, I don't see one. Please elucidate further.

  20. That's my point, it's not an "abomination" to the WTC when there was a mosque IN the WTC.
    Rand Paul is a teabagger too. That's the connection.

  21. Frummie in the CityMay 25, 2010 at 2:31 PM

    I think it's spelled "Shul".


    Actual NYers are very much against the mosque. Maybe the Williams guy is a bit over the top, but there is more than a kernal of truth beyond his silly insults...

    Angry relatives of 9/11 victims tonight clashed with supporters of a planned mosque near Ground Zero at a raucous community-board hearing in Manhattan.

    Holding up photos of loved ones killed in the Twin Tower terror attacks and carrying signs such as, "Honor 3,000, 9/11 — No mosque!" opponents to the proposed Cordoba House on Park Place called the plan a slap in the face.

    "It’s an insult. It’s demeaning to build a shrine to the very ideology that attacked the World Trade Center," said Pamela Geller, who was sitting with 9//1 family members at the forum on Greenwich Street.

    About 150 people attended the emotional meeting, which included some shouting down others as they took their turn at the microphone to address members of Community Board 1.

    The board has no official say over whether the estimated $100 million mosque and community center gets built. But the panel’s support, or lack of it, is considered important in influencing public opinion on the project.

    Some audience members preached tolerance for the mosque, which backers say is sorely needed to provide prayer space and to help spread the peaceful message of Islam.

    Before the meeting, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer stood in front of the site and urged people to keep an open mind about it.

    "What I want people to do is to take a look at the totality of what they are proposing," Stringer said. "What we’re rejecting here is outright bigotry and hatred."

    Catholic priest Kevin Madigan of St. Peter’s Church, which is about a block from the proposed mosque, agreed, saying the area needs to try to meet the spiritual needs of everyone.

    "I think they need to establish a place such as this for people of goodwill from mainline Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths so we can come together to talk," Father Madigan said.

    But some residents were having none of it.

    Narain Kataria of Queens told the board how he had fled to the US from Pakistan 40 years ago because of an Islamic purging of his Hindu religion there.

    "I don’t like it," he said of the plan, insisting the mosque would become a training ground for terrorists. "I’m afraid that what happened in India to me will happen to my children."

    Backers of the mosque must go before the Landmarks Preservation Commission early this summer to block their building from being slapped with historic status, which could severely hinder construction plans.

    At least they’ll have one of the city’s top land-use lawyers by their side.

    Their lawyer is Shelly Friedman, who specializing in the city’s labyrinth of land-use laws, Friedman has represented developers, restaurant owners, synagogues and even the People’s Republic of China in its successful bid to relocate that nation’s UN mission. "

    Don't let your hatred of Tea Parties obsure you from reality.

  23. Sounds like a few vocal opponents. This is how New Yorkers work... if they don't care, they don't say anything. I'm sure the majority of New Yorkers don't give a shit.



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