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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Democrat vs. Democratic.

It's the Democratic Party. Democrats are individuals who belong to the Democratic Party.

NPR explains how it is that more and more people, directly influenced by Republicans, have taken to shortening the name of the party as an insult and in an attempt to gain ground. Click here.

Anger over substance at the Tea Party

Photo: Las Vegas Sun: An attendee displays her sentiments by waving a U.S. flag upside down at the "Showdown in Searchlight" Tea Party rally just outside Searchlight Saturday, March 27, 2010

Interesting to note that Tea Party groups from out of state are shutting the door on the Nevada Tea Party candidate attending or speaking at a rally in Searchlight NV. The very thing they complain Obama does to them, lock them out of events, they do to one of their own, preferring out of state and national spokes voices to Nevada home grown grass roots Tea Party voices. The below is not news coverage but an editorial from today's Las Vegas Sun.

A tempest in a Tea Party

Anger reigns in ‘grass-roots’ movement that is becoming a caricature of itself

Saturday, March 27, 2010 | 2:05 a.m.
The Tea Party is coming! The Tea Party is coming! The Tea Party is coming!

Breathless yet? The Tea Party adherents are. They’re worked into a frenzy at the start of the latest Tea Party Express bus tour across the country. It starts today in Nevada and features a “Mega Rally” in Searchlight, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s hometown. Tea Party organizers are busy expressing their anger and vitriol at Congress and would love to push Reid and other incumbents out of office.
The group has dubbed the tour, “Just Vote Them Out!” and that sums up the Tea Party members’ political philosophy: They’re mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore.

Figuring out what the Tea Party movement stands for can be difficult because there are so many different groups, and they don’t all agree with one another. There’s lots of empty talk in Tea Party circles about patriotism, the Founding Fathers and liberty. But there is a dearth of ideas. Health care? Too much government involvement. (Never mind that the private sector hasn’t done the job.) Immigration? Not enough government involvement in terms of enforcement. The economy? Too much government involvement, particularly that bailout. The government apparently should have let the economy melt down.

This is a movement based not on ideas but on a blind adherence to a narrow ideology. There are no positive ideas. The Tea Party crowd loves to vent about what it’s against, government and anyone who doesn’t agree with it. And it appears that the movement is turning upon itself.

Despite saying they are a movement of the people, the Tea Party groups have become as exclusionary and unsympathetic as the politicians they accuse of the same things.

For example, some Tea Party activists loudly question the credentials of former Republican Rep. Dick Armey, who has been at the forefront of the movement with his group FreedomWorks. Armey, a former House majority leader with strong conservative credentials, has been called out in e-mails and blog posts for allegedly being “soft” on immigration and has thus failed the ideological litmus test.

In Nevada the fight has been nasty as 20 self-proclaimed Tea Party groups came out in opposition to the Tea Party of Nevada, which is registered as a minor political party in the state and has a candidate ready to run against Reid. The 20 groups say the Tea Party of Nevada is not a real grass-roots conservative group. (Some even see a conspiracy and absurdly say Reid is behind the Tea Party of Nevada. In this fantasy, Reid uses a puppet conservative third-party candidate to split votes with a Republican challenger, giving him the victory.) There has since been a legal challenge to try to get the Tea Party of Nevada’s candidate, Jon Scott Ashjian, off the ballot.

Ashjian, in return, blasted the Tea Party Express, which did not invite him to its rallies, for being a puppet of the Republican Party, which he said has “failed conservatives time and time again.”

Hell hath no fury like a Tea Party scorned!

Given the movement’s fondness of the Founding Fathers, can you imagine Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton squabbling over who was the “real” patriot? The disagreements among the Founding Fathers were typically over substantial ideas, and that is missing among the modern-day activists who claim to be heirs of the revolutionaries of 1776. Instead, the Tea Party movement has become a caricature of itself.

With its “grass roots” firmly planted in the Republican Party’s back yard, the Tea Party is about shouting over its opposition with statements that are rarely forged by facts. For proof of that, consider that the headliners at the rally in Searchlight are Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice presidential candidate, Joe the Plumber and a host of right-wing talking heads.

At some point, the American public will grow weary of the emptiness of the movement. Anger burns hot, but it burns out. This weekend the stump speeches might brew up a good Tea Party, but they won’t provide the ideas and leadership Nevada and the country need.

Links:  Reid Supporters Welcome Tea Party to Searchlight

An excerpt from the Las Vegas Review Journal story linked above:

Judy Hill who has lived in Searchlight for 35 years and considers herself a friend of Reid's said "we are not here to be confrontational - just to show our support and Sen. Reid needs it."

Asked why Reid seems unpopular according to polls that show him with an all time low approval rating, Hill shook her head.

"People don't know him," she said. "Harry Reid loves this state. I think he's misunderstood and under appreciated."

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