UPDATE: Apparently, despite EJ Dionne’s article and claims Obama is not a socialist (see text and links below), it appears someone who knows him better disagrees:
“My sense of him was that he was a pure Marxist socialist and I didn’t see him thinking in terms of race. I just think that’s surprising given what he wrote in Dreams of My Father…
“I think he’s still a socialist.”
Dear Readers: Michelle Malkin recalls that the Tea Party Movement began, in earnest, one year ago with a gathering of conservative-minded people in Seattle (not known as a hot-bed of right-wing radicalism) spearheaded by a woman named Liberty Bell. A little after that, I joined up with Dawn Wildman and Sarah Bond and organized our first Tea Party event for what would become the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition. It has been a great year.
I have been asked by a cherished mentor to opine about an article prepared by progressive Washington Post columnist, E.J. Dionne. She carefully clipped this piece from our local newspaper, which I chose to ignore initially (Washington progressive elites do not attend Tea Parties and have no sound basis of experience to judge): The Tea Party’s radicalism. Therefore, I am going to take a few moments to offer a response to Dionne, from the eyes of an co-founder of a group.
First the title of Dionne’s piece deserves a comment: I am not surprised that a progressive such as Dionne would consider a call for smaller government, fiscal restraint, limited regulation, and a return to US Constitutional principles radicalism. If this radicalism, then give me more.
One of the core problems that I have with Dionne’s piece is that it focuses too much on Obama:
The ferocity of its opposition to President Obama is mystifying to political progressives. Most of the left simply doesn’t see the current occupant of the White House as especially liberal, let alone “socialist.”
It is important to understand that most people in the Tea Party are truly uninterested in Barak Obama — we consider him a pure ideologue who will be unmoved by any reasoned position a Tea Party protester would hold. The Tea Party isn’t in opposition to the President — it started as opposition to the rushed-through “Stimulus Package” and the mortgage-relief program that was going to saddle the responsible to pay for the irresponsible. Subsequently, the Tea Party movement then expanded to cover any potential take-over of private enterprise (e.g., healthcare and cap&trade) that could curtail citizen choices and liberties. It was when the townhalls arose in the summer, we realized how severely statists from both parties were unresponsive to the demands of the average citizen. As I recall, Obama wasn’t really as much a target as were congressional representatives and senators.
Dionne goes on to call Obama a moderate, which is laughable. Obama, for example, threatned Wall Street CEOs during meetings regarding the banking industry, and said that he was the only thing standing between them and pitchforks. Dionne says the stimulus plan was too small — despite the fact that Obama’s plans have created a potential Debt Bomb for the US and have us indenturing our grandchildren and their children to support today’s spending. I think the correct expression being used to describe the status of Obama’s stimulus achievement is — EPIC FAIL.
(Graphic from the Hillbuzz Team and their exceptional piece: Debt and Deficit)
Then, the elitist Dionne pulls out the grand charge that is usually place on us rubes who don’t know better: We are angry racists.
The most popular theory on the left is that Obama’s race is a big part of the story, and that we are seeing a reaction among some whites against the multiracial, multicultural political coalition he has brought together. The phrase “losing our country” is often on the lips of his enemies, which raises the question of who they mean by the word our.
That is the reason that most of the elite news organizations are crumbling. We “rubes” are no longer using them as a source for news, as that is something they no longer apparently offer (just judgments, derision, and condescension). If people want information on the Tea Parties, and what they are, and who participates, they now rely on the bloggers. I am a small comet in the astral firmament of the blogpsphere, so I will direct my mentor and other readers to the super-stars of the blogging universe. Glenn Reynolds, the incomparable Instapundit to whom I am eternally grateful for several key links, had this piece in the Wall Street Journal (he has actually gone to tea Parties and went to the recent convention in Nashville, TN): What I Saw at the Tea Party Convention
Pundits claim the tea partiers are angry—and they are—but the most striking thing about the atmosphere in Nashville was how cheerful everyone seemed to be. I spoke with dozens of people, and the responses were surprisingly similar. Hardly any had ever been involved in politics before. Having gotten started, they were finding it to be not just worthwhile, but actually fun. Laughter rang out frequently, and when ne w-media mogul Andrew Breitbart held forth on a TV interview, a crowd gathered and broke into spontaneous applause.
Dionne’s racist charge is false, and quite frankly trite. Sure, there are a few kooks and attention-seeking creeps that may try and infiltrate an event. However, all real Tea Party groups that I work with, and most Americans associate with, remove these idiots and their inanity most promptly — and utilize the internet network to spread the word. There are many examples of people of all races being quite comfortable within a Tea Party, as evidenced by my pictures from the July 11th event and in the SoCal-TRC event photos I have used for this post.
The aspersion Dionne casts is related to a speech Tom Tancredo gave at the convention. I will do my readers the courtesy of assuming they can judge for themselves instead of being spoon-fed by an elitist such as Dionne, so here is a video of Tancredo’s speech.
As A Democrat, I will point out that I do not consider it racist to want benefits and privileges of being an American to be received primarily by Americans. Detaching the non-citizens of any race who are not legally here will actually help all of us tremendously — especially in the fight for smaller government and less regulation; but that is more material for another post.
Furthermore, and this is a key point, Tancredo isn’t the “Face of the Tea Party”. So, if his take on the issue doesn’t fit your view, there are many other patriots and groups who may be more in line with your ideals. That is the beauty of the Tea Party movement. Dionne seeks to “chop off the head” of the Tea Party with his insults; such derision now inspires the average citizen activist to do even more.
Dionne ends with this:
For now, their fears of Obama are enough to tether the Tea Partiers to the GOP. In the long run, establishment Republicans are destined to disappoint them.
Trust me, Dionne, there is no tethering. We are battling the establishment GOP has much as the Democrats, if not more. We fought the establishment for the Brown victory in Massachusetts, and our group of activists are fighting hard against the state GOP establishment to get Chuck Devore on the ticket as the senatorial candidate (update. new polls show Babs Boxer is in serious trouble).
There is a line in Star Wars, in which Princess Leia defies General Tarkin’s threats — and that was the inspiration for today’s title. The more Obama and his administration (including the numerous czars, minions, and media lackeys such as Dionne) try and control us, the more we will rally.
I would like to conclude by directing my mentor and all others to a the man I consider the “Hunk of the Tea Party” — Bill Whittle. He has a great video summarizing the Tea Party movement, which is essential viewing for anyone who truly seeks to understand what the Tea Party movement is (click here).
Hot Air has more about the upcoming Indiana senate race to replace Bayh’s now open seat — and the Tea Party is being called to help: Indiana Dem: White House is conspiring to put Baron Hill in Bayh’s spot. Though if ultra-leftist Tamyra d’Ippolito wants to get Tea Party signatures from citizen activist, perhaps she should start reading or watching alternative media sources and use the proper terminology.
On the eco-tyranny front, from Hot Air: Did the IPCC fudge the hurricane data, too?