Thursday 25 February 2010

Watch Your Backs, Guys

I thought I might say a word or two more about the recent convention of the Tea Party that so upset the CPUSA. Well, it would, wouldn’t it, since we are actually dealing with a genuine people’s movement, a kind of grass-roots revolution. It’ really quite astonishing when one considers that this movement has arisen from nothing to becoming one of the most potent recent forces in American politics, a movement that owes nothing to organised politics or traditional elites.

The star of the show, as one might expect, was Sarah Plain, who is no longer reluctant to say that she may stand for the presidency in 2012. But that is not the most important thing; for the Tea Party is not just a threat to the Super Obama’s re-election prospects, it’s a warming to the Grand Old Party that there should be no compromises, no pork barrelling in Washington.

Ever since the victory of Scott Brown deprived him of a Senate Majority Obama has been droning on about the need for a ‘bipartisan’ approach to his health and cap and trade policies. Now is the time, he says, to rise above ‘petty politics.’ This sort of thing has worked in the past but the message coming from Nashville and America beyond is, no, now is not the time to compromise on Obama politics.

The Tea Party is determined to ‘take back America’. It’s not a challenge to Obamaland as such. It goes deeper. This is a reaction against the Behemoth of bloated central government, which has waxed fat over the years, no matter the political complexion of Washington. Tom Tancred, a former congressman and presidential candidate from Colorado, caught the mood in Nashville when he said that he thanked God that John McCain had been defeated in 2008. If he had won America would simply have continued the long drift to the left set in place by Franklin D Roosevelt. This is wonderful; it’s so long overdue!

The Tea Party grows and it learns as it grows. With something in the region of a million members, many of whom were not previously involved in politics, it’s moving beyond rallies and fund-raising events to focusing on elections. The movement is also computer savvy, making good use of networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to spread the message outwards in ever widening circles. Get the vote out, people are told; make sure that true conservatives challenge Democrats and RINOS (Republicans in name only).

According to the report in The Economist Tea Party organisers are intending to set up a political action committee to recruit and support candidates who would champion fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, smaller government and national security. So, if any Republicans in Washington are tempted by Obama’s offers of ‘bipartisanship’ they had better watch their backs. Yes, they had. :-)


  1. Does the divide in American politics not go back to the civil war over the power between individual states and federal government? It's odd stuff. Though one thing which personally gets my back up about 'consenus politics', is the image of a bunch of (these days) career politicians all patting each other on the back agreeing with each others shit proposals - no doubt to further their career - it's too safe! At least with an adversarial politic you get your anti-opinion aired even if it's aired solely to spite the party in power. I suppose my point is, if there is a consesus, where is the room for an alternative opinion to be heard? It ends up being flushed out by a bunch of weak, self-serving sycyophants looking out for themselves, riding roughshod over any pluralistic aspect of the debate - they don't act in the interests of their constituents or of the people. How do they become answerable if there's no alternatives to turn to now there's a 'consensus' of opinion amongst parties. It's no wonder Obama wants one, to ignore the majority of Americans who clearly aren't keen on his proposals. Cynical indeed to abuse his 'uniting' qualities to meet his own goals, no doubt to secure his legacy... (and I remember a British politician in 97 who was obsessed with getting himself in the history books for all the wrong reasons).

    Good luck to em anyways. I only want to know if they serve tea at these parties?

  2. There are lots of different divides. Before the Civil War the divide was regional; now the big fractures are in class and status. Tea? Probably anything but. Far too English. :-))