Gloria Borger on CNN said recently that the tea party is “now become substantially just the no tax party as opposed to a party that cares about the deficit.” I understand that she was speaking about the movement and its relationship to the GOP as the tea party is, nor will be unless the GOP royally fudges these negotiations, as opposed to calling the movement itself a party. However, her narrow acknowledgement of grassroots’ expectations and influence on the GOP skews the objectivity in her analysis.
The GOP aside for a moment, the tea party has asked first for a budget from Democrats, and we’ve gone over 800 days without one from Democrats. We’ve also asked for enumerated cuts with emphasis on the debt-driving entitlement system. Republicans have received little in the way of compromise on those two items, and not without a trillion-dollar tax hike in the process.We know what history says about this subject.
Sen. Rubio put it best:
To be clear, new revenues are an essential component of any viable debt reduction deal. We can’t simply cut our way out of this debt; we also need to grow our way out of it. The best way to do this is by increasing the number of taxpayers gainfully employed in our economy and by easing burdensome regulations, not by raising taxes.
As far as “hijacking,” the GOP was hijacked away from conservative principles long ago. A party that supported and defended TARP, increased federal (as opposed to state) control over education in No Child Left Behind, and supported Medicare expansion hardly represents the values of a group that wants both parties in Washington to behave more responsibly. (The influx of so many grassroots, non-career politician types in last year’s elections was the beginning of grassroots making good on its threat to consume the GOP from within — and if the Mitch McConnell types fight too much and insist on asinine economic policies, a third party threatens to form.)
Obama ran as a “transformational” candidate, but the supposition — and bias — in Borger’s analysis is that Obama’s transformation was better than that from which he wanted to change. He appointed the people whose policy caused the housing disaster to oversee it; he nationalized large sections of the private sector, his failed trillion-dollar stimulus did nothing but contribute to an increased unemployment rate currently at 9.2%, his Interior Secretary fabricated reports to bolster a moratorium on Gulf drilling, the list is rather lengthy. You cannot look at the unemployment rate, foreclosure rate, business decline, etc. and answer affirmatively to the question: “Are we better off economically after four years of Obama?” How is this a positive transformation? Why is it bad to want to change this for the better?
Those who support socialism find nothing wrong with the President’s populist soundbites of “spreading the wealth” and “shared sacrifice,” which is support for increased government control over the product of individual labor. Those who support capitalism, liberty, and free markets are ideologically opposed to such expanses of government control and recognize that they are antithetical to the free spirit of this country.
Any transformation from that is not good, and transformation of this country away from its Constitutional structure is not good, be it from a Democrat or Republican. The tea party sprang up due to the bit of gray area with both parties in the past ten years — not solely in opposition to this president, as is implied by Borger. In fact, had Republicans behaved like Republicans and not Democrat-Lites, the tea party may not exist today.
The results of the President’s own policies are creating the low approval he’s receiving in the polls now, further fueled by his passing the buck in these debt negotiations. At some point, the President and his sympathizers need to recognize this, if not for the success of the country then at the least for any success he hopes to have with his 2012 campaign.