Skip to content

Welcome to the Mad Tea Party

February 5, 2010

H. L. Mencken, that magnificent journalistic scourge of Holy Rollers, Rotarians, mountebanks and democracy, would have relished the spectacle. He would have taken a front-row seat and churned out reams of trenchant, rollicking, suitably irreverent copy. I like to think his merry ghost is hovering over the proceedings even now.

Steak, lobster and Sarah: just $349

Deep in the heart of the American Bible Belt — at Nashville’s sprawling Opryland complex, in fact — the first annual national Tea Party convention is under way. The lavish three-day extravaganza, organized by prominent Nashville lawyer Judson Phillips and his wife, has riled numerous tea-baggers for its prohibitive entrance fee ($549 for the full weekend, or $349 for just the climactic steak-and-lobster banquet featuring keynote speaker and right-wing dreamgirl Sarah Palin). 

I understand their disgruntlement. After all, the one unequivocally positive note to emerge from the Tea Party movement was that it appeared to be an honest expression of grassroots democracy in action… despite the superheated rhetoric, despite the sometimes-scary ultraconservative wingnut mentality. Well, it looks as if the convention’s organizers have thrown out the “grassroots” and kept the “wingnut.”

Even the convention’s spokesman, Mark Skoda, confessed that the organizers will “make a few bucks” this weekend. But of course he quickly defended the for-profit event:

“Have we gone so far in the Obama-socialist view of the nation that ‘profit’ is a bad word? In particular, if we’re using it to advance the conservative cause?” Skoda asked, with a rhetorical flourish guaranteed to tickle even the hearts of the less affluent Tea Party faithful.

But clearly the convention isn’t rolling out the welcome mat for the put-upon, overtaxed, anti-immigrant, mad-as-hell, conservative lower-middle-class Christian white people who constitute the heart of the Tea Party movement. So is the first annual Tea Party Convention just another vehicle for moneyed right-wing Republicans? Will the attendees be swapping business cards and chitchatting about the virtues of their respective country clubs back home? If so, what’s the point? Why not just wait until the Republican national convention of 2012?

Spokesman Skoda explained that “This convention is a way to galvanize the conservative movement in a way that the general [Tea Party] rallies do not.”

Having Sarah Palin address the dinner crowd will score big points in the galvanizing department, no doubt. (Some of the attendees might even feel that $349 was a reasonable price to hear the Divine Sarah speak.)

But there’s a question that keeps nagging my political subconscious, and I don’t know if Mr. Skoda or anyone else will be able to answer it honestly: Are wealthy Republicans using the hardscrabble Tea Party faithful as useful stooges in an attempt to consolidate the power of the conservative establishment? In other words, are the right-wing populists doing the right-wing elitists’ dirty work for them?

The second American Revolution?

I suspect that the Republicans smile at all the overwrought, birther-inflamed, borderline-paranoid, anti-Obama rhetoric emanating from the populist right. The tea-baggers hate taxes; so do rich Republicans. The tea-baggers hate Obama; so do rich Republicans. If you’re a rich Republican, what’s not to like about the tea-baggers?

After all, the Tea Party movement began as a spontaneous protest against Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package. These were fiscal conservatives protesting the misuse of their hard-earned tax dollars. Yet the tea-baggers are anything but fat-cat Republicans. They tend to be small-time business owners and homeowners with staggering bills to pay. Yes, they share the fat-cats’ hostility toward big government and Obama. But (and this is where they part company) the tea-baggers are also righteously angry at Big Business for decimating their life savings in the Crash of 2008… and doubly angry at the way Big Business weaseled out of near-bankruptcy on the taxpayers’ dime.

I don’t think the Republicans should be taking the tea-baggers for granted. The movement is rippling with pent-up energy that must find release, constructively or otherwise. I’d like to see the Tea Party movement rediscover its populist roots, break away from the Republicans and form a long-overdue third party in America. 

Why would a self-professed moderate encourage the formation of a successful fringe party on the far right? Simple: its creation would turn the Republicans into a de facto centrist party.

Yep, they were Republicans

In other words, we moderates could sit back and let the tea-baggers do our “dirty work” for us. Instead of organizing grassroots centrist parties in every state… instead of canvassing homes and running centrist candidates with little or no financial backing, we could simply use the tea-baggers’ defection (and our voting clout) to tip the Republican party back toward the center, where it belongs. Yes, the Republicans — the party of Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower, admirable centrists all!

But I have another reason for wishing the tea-baggers godspeed. I believe their voice is authentic and sincere. While I don’t share most of their beliefs, I understand their resentment toward a government — and a corporatist economy — that shuns their needs and values. Their moment has arrived, and they deserve to make the most of it.

So here’s to the success of the Tea Party movement — within reason, of course, and without the paranoid hysteria. I hope Sarah Palin galvanizes the dinner crowd at the convention and beyond, all the way to those far-flung villages where tight-knit white Christian families still read the Bible, fear immigrants in their midst and seethe over the system’s apparent contempt for the middle class. Let them break away, and let the Republican party become our party!

Bookmark and Share

36 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2010 8:17 pm

    The Tea Party organizers are just trying to get a few bucks for themselves out of their fanatical and gullible base. They are the greedy, coporate overlords, like Rupert Murdoch. (News Corp/Fox) Fox organized and supported the Tea Baggers with “Fair and Balanced” coverage last year, and the current Republican leadership (Sarah Palin) has hijacked the movement and turned “Grassroots” into “Astroturf.” They may have began as a populist movement, but now they’re more like the Anarchists. We don’t need another radical political group getting in the way of a government that already has a hard time getting anything done. The Tea-Baggers can only cause division, and harm. Would you trust a group that gets its info from Glenn Beck?

    • February 7, 2010 11:49 pm

      TK: I agree with you about rich right-wingers exploiting the rage of less affluent right-wingers (who really don’t have much in common with them except for a common hatred of meddlesome government). And yes, the Tea Party movement is a kind of political loose cannon; there’s always a chance it could explode and create havoc. But I’m serious about a breakaway “Tea Party” party being a godsend for moderates.

      Right now, moderate Republicans are virtually being drummed out of the party by the right-wingers. If the wingnuts walked out and formed their own party, the Republican party would automatically shift back toward the center. That way, we wouldn’t have to form our own moderate party; we’d just exert our influence on the Republicans until it became the party of the center.

      Granted, it’s a fairly farfetched scenario (we don’t know if the tea-baggers will break from the Republican party or simply dominate it). But we can hope…

      • Anonymous permalink
        February 8, 2010 1:24 am

        I can’t think of any moderate party that survives inbetween two extemist parties. The radicals on one side just inflame those on the other side.

  2. valdobiade permalink
    February 5, 2010 9:23 pm

    I don’t think that there will be a Republican Party, a Democrat Party and a Tea Party, and Tea Party would be another name for Independent Party.
    The gathering of those people in the front of White House was totally extremist. They did not go against an ideology of a Party, they totally went for downing the President. I looked more like a revolting mass of people going to get the head of a President like in ex-communist countries. Of course these people were not oppressed like people in ex-communist countries, but they wanted to look like that.
    Maybe this group wanted even a “coup-d’etat”; they promised that next time they will come with guns. Those people had no idea what a revolution means, they thought that you can make a capitalistic revolution for masses, but we already have capitalism in the US. Where they afraid that capitalism will vanish in a few years? You need more than one person to bring socialism or communism as a regime, and that not in a few years. But what teabaggers know?

    • February 6, 2010 1:46 pm

      They’ve already come with guns…

    • February 7, 2010 11:56 pm

      Valdo: “Only in America” — where else would lower-middle class capitalists threaten revolution? It really is an absurd situation when you think about it.

      The anti-Obama bloodlust is probably a combination of imperfectly suppressed racism, xenophobia (his African/Muslim paternal background), and the efforts of right-wing pundits to demonize the man. That aspect of the Tea Party movement scares me. But damn, I really would love to see them break away from the Republicans!

  3. Priscilla permalink
    February 8, 2010 11:07 am

    The Tea Party movement is the most genuine and broadbased grass-roots movement since the anti-war movement of the 60’s….and interestingly, quite a few of its members are aging members of the generation that marched on Nixon’s Washington. They don’t see themselves as right-wingers, they see themselves as Americans increasingly burdened and oppressed by an entrenched and elitist government that panders to lobbyists and special interest groups. So, in that sense I agree with you Rick, that Tea Party activists (“tea-baggers” ,btw, is a derisive term that is used primarily by the left to mock and insult the movement) are not Republicans or Democrats.

    But, while it is a populist movement for sure, it is also a conservative one, and therefore will benefit the GOP far more than the Dems, although I do believe that you will soon see “Tea Party Democrats” breaking ranks from their party in a way that the Blue Dogs have not. Tea Party activisim was an important key in the election of Scott Brown, and its leaders have been actively recruiting candidates to run in Republican primaries all over the country. Most local Tea Party groups have no interest in joining an impotent third party unless the Republicans refuse to hear their concerns, the way that Obama and the Dems have ….while I could see the 3rd party aspect becoming a reality in some places, the truth is that these people really want to stop the socialst drift (which under Obama has intensified dramatically) and, right at the moment, the GOP is their best hope and they know it.

    In that sense, I believe that the GOP is already becoming the de facto centrist party, and have said so here before. I think that the concern about fat-cats and corruption is no way confined to one party….I don’t think that anyone would characterize a lefty billionaire like George Soros as anything but a Dem supporter, and he pretty much symbolizes everything the Tea Party movement is fighting.

    So there is my take. But, Rick, I would love to have your take on this column which came out in the Wahington Post last week….

    • February 8, 2010 11:44 pm

      Intriguing post, Priscilla. You raise the question of whether populist Democrats could join the Tea Party movement. I’d say not in its present form, because the [whatever you call these tea-folk] still stand for minimal government, gun rights, old-time religion, pro-life and other causes not exactly dear to the hearts of liberals. But Frank Rich had his finger on something significant when he wrote that the primary political conflict these days is no longer between the right and the left; it’s between the entrenched power elites and everyone else. In other words, we’re looking at the beginnings of a populist rebellion that could stretch across the political spectrum.

      I don’t see the Republicans becoming a de facto centrist party as long as the Tea Party conservatives are still making all the noise within their ranks. If anything, moderate Republicans are becoming pariahs. Either the right-wing populists will totally dominate the Republican party (especially if Sarah Palin throws her hat into the ring), or they could break away and form their own party. (That’s what I’m hoping for; they really don’t have much in common with mainstream Republicans.)

      I’m pleasantly surprised that you sympathize with the populists, at least in recognizing the justification for their anger and alienation. So do I, and neither of us is exactly a flaming radical. That brings me to the Washington Post article. Again, I was pleasantly surprised that the Post would run such a frank unmasking of condescending liberals; their intolerable smugness has always guaranteed that I’d never become a Democrat even when I agreed with them. I’m not exactly a fan of Ann Coulter (in fact, I find HER smugness intolerable, too), but she wrote a wickedly accurate account of liberalism as a kind of secular religion, and I heartily agree. This religion comes complete with its own saints (the Kennedys, Martin Luther King, etc.), taboos (NEVER question Roe v. Wade), even kosher (i.e. organic) foods.

      I think it all boils down to class consciousness: today’s most vocal liberals, unlike the burly laboring men of the FDR era, tend to be privately educated urban snobs who regard all those Middle American, country music loving, high-school educated conservative white Christians as somehow “unclean.” In fact, it’s probably their communal disdain for philistines that, more than any other single factor, cements their identity as liberals. There’s almost an assumption that anyone of intelligence, sensitivity and culture must be a liberal, which would come as a surprise to folks like George Will or Peggy Noonan. And there’s also an assumption (which the article affirms) that anyone who isn’t a liberal has nothing valid to say. The left has always been more doctrinaire, intolerant and intellectually coercive than the right.

      Finally, I have hope that populist rage against the establishment will help erase some of the boundaries between disaffected liberals and disaffected conservatives. I just hope the rage can be channeled productively so we don’t end up like the French in 1789.

      • Priscilla permalink
        February 9, 2010 5:59 pm

        I also find Ann Coulter to be extremely smug, but she is so funny..has she ever been on The Daily Show, do you know? She and Stewart could have a great face-off, I think.

        I think that the war within the Republican Party has been greatly exaggerated, and that moderates, that is center-right, Republicans already do control the party. Most of the issues that divide the right are social issues…abortion, gay marriage, etc, and, right now, the front burner priorities are economic and national security issues on which they pretty much agree.

        The baffling refusal of the Democrats to even consider tax and spending cuts in order to get us out of this economic crisis is, I think, the main thing driving populism into the GOP. That, and the highly unpopular decsions to try KSM in NYC and to mirandize the Pantybomber have played right into the strength of the Republican party…

        Unfortunately, I share your concern about ending up like the French in 1789. A lot of creepy similarities…..but we are better than that, I think. I hope.

  4. valdobiade permalink
    February 8, 2010 3:39 pm

    “The Tea Party movement is the most genuine and broadbased grass-roots movement since the anti-war movement of the 60’s…”

    That’s rich! Without publicity from Fox, this “movement” would go forgotten as were the anti-war protests when Bush was president.

    And what is Fox if not an extreme-right supporter channel? Conservative?? What are Conservatives conserving? Had not Conservative have eight years of Bushism to better conserve themselves?

    Only one year of Obama and Conservatives are in danger of deconsreving themselves! But in eight years of Bushism, there were nobody “condescending”, very observant this Washington Post rag!

    • February 8, 2010 11:52 pm

      I don’t know, Valdo… The Huffington Post and other left-wing media have given the Tea Party movement a lot of coverage, too. Mostly from an alarmist point of view, of course.

      What’s this about Sarah Palin reading her own palm? I haven’t heard anything about it. (Usually somebody with clairvoyant credentials reads your palm for you.) Of course, it wouldn’t surprise me… Sarah’s a real self-starter.

    • Priscilla permalink
      February 8, 2010 11:52 pm

      Hey Valdo, here is the transcript of Dr. Alexander’s online Q&A about his article, with a lot of very pointed questioning about the insults directed at liberals by conservatives.

      I think his point is that both sides need to dial down the hostility if we want to be able to listen to each other. I often think about James Carville and Mary Matalin in this context – both extremely partisan, from different sides of the aisle, but happily married to each other for over 15 years. If they can do it, I think the rest of us can try. Rick strikes a fair balance most – ok, almost all – of the time, and that’s why I read this site.

  5. valdobiade permalink
    February 8, 2010 5:40 pm

    Just now finishing to read about Palin palm read… WTH? She was supposed to answer some questions and she could not remember?
    Her actions just tell us:” Obama, four more years!”

  6. valdobiade permalink
    February 8, 2010 8:57 pm

    Rick wrote: “I hope Sarah Palin galvanizes the dinner crowd at the convention and beyond…”

    Yep, Sarah Palin galvanizes beyond any imagination… look at some titles: “Sara Palin, by reading out of her palm, gave a hand helping job to the Tea Party movement”. Maybe at a next interview with Couric, when asked what she reads, Palin would have an answer: “my palm”

    Sorry Rick, this thread ends in an usual comical Palin Syndrome…

  7. valdobiade permalink
    February 9, 2010 5:34 pm

    “Rick strikes a fair balance most – ok, almost all – of the time, and that’s why I read this site.” Priscilla

    I like to be “centrist”, and that’s why I read this site. However, my inclination is center-Democrat than center-Republican. I hate to say leftist and extreme right. You cannot have Communist or Nazi government in the USA. These terms are used for creating terror and instability.

    Bush acted as a Nazis when unilaterally started the wars, that doesn’t mean USA was under Nazi government.

    Obama wants social and private health, that doesn’t make USA a socialist state

    • Priscilla permalink
      February 9, 2010 5:44 pm

      Gotcha…Saying that Bush acted like a nazi= good. Saying the Obama acts like a socialist= bad.

  8. valdobiade permalink
    February 9, 2010 6:57 pm

    I equated starting an unnecessary and devastating war as a Nazi policy. Bush did that, was it something good?

    At the Tea, Obama was called both Nazi and Socialist. Why?
    What is unnecessary and devastating to have a public and private health insurance?

    • Priscilla permalink
      February 13, 2010 8:53 pm

      I’m sorry, valdo…..I was being snide, which is not helpful. But I think that there is a good case to be made for the war in Iraq that has nothing to do with Nazism, and that calling Bush a Nazi is not helpful. Unless you subscribe 9/11 Trutherism, Bush was doing what he thought was the right thing to do to keep America safe. Keep in mind that a majority of the US Congress voted for that war, including many Democrats who now claim to regret it – I don’t think that their behavior was nazi-like, either.

      And, as far as health care, I definitely DON’T think it is devastating to have private and public healthcare. I actually think that public/prvate is the ideal….but I think that Obama only wants public…sort of the way that the left is opposed to school choice, because it would threaten government controlled education, it is also opposed to healthcare choice.

      I believe that Obama is a man of the left. I guess that is what is boils down to.

      But, I do apologize for my snide comment.

      • February 14, 2010 1:51 am

        Um… care to list any of those reasons to go to war??? And keep in mind, most of Congress is really stupid. Both sides. (99% Republican, 98.9% Democrat)

        Obama’s public OPTION is not the destruction of private health care, just the excessive greed of providers as we know it, that can’t be a bad thing. I don’t remember Obama ever calling for public only healthcare. (and Fox is not a credible source on that particular quote.) The idea that the left only wants public schools is news to me, given that most politicians (for example, Mayor Fenty of DC) make enough money to send their kids to a private school. I guess more political hypocrisy shouldn’t surprise me…

        Obama is a man of left, that’s how he got ellected. But at least he’s not demanding reperations, afrocentric history classes, and other far left ideas. Although I’m underwhelmed at the current levels of spending.

      • February 15, 2010 6:57 pm

        It’s not an exact comparison between Hitler and Bush, merely observations that there are distressing similarities. A less Godwin’s law approach leads to comparisons between other facist and totalitarian regimes. (Hitlers just the “shining” example)

  9. Hallie permalink
    February 13, 2010 10:49 pm

    Valdo—do you seriously equate Bush with Hitler? If so, what was his ultimate goal? If it was a “war for oil,” seems like he could have been in and out in a much shorter time. Besides, like Priscilla said, it wasn’t “unilateral,” congress had to vote on the action.

    If it is the left’s contention that a utopian society is possible (or nearly utopian) where everyone works for the common good, then it would seem that the first thing that has to go is the name calling. Otherwise, you have to exterminate half of society in order to have peace. In the classic political spectrum clock: with anarchy, Marxists and Lenin at the 11 o’clock position, and reactionaries, Hitler and Stalin at the 1 o’clock position, it’s a very short step over the 12 to the other side. But it’s a much longer walk if you travel down around the 6. Most in this country, I think, are at the bottom between the 4 and 8. And even within a utopian society (if utopia was even possible) there would be divides. I believe Marx himself once said, “I am not a Marxist!” Forced submission for anything against the general will, is not a good strategy, as history has shown time and time again.

  10. February 14, 2010 10:36 am

    Hallie: I never thought of the political spectrum as a clock, but I think it works. You’re right: it’s only a short step from 11:00 to 1:00. Nazism was statism with racial animosity; Communism is statism with class animosity.
    Priscilla: TK is right that Obama favored a dual public/private option healthcare plan. I thought that was the best solution, too. I’m really coming to the conclusion that Congress is broken; the Republicans have turned into contrarian partisan robots who will never let Obama push any of his programs through to fruition. What now? I wonder if our party system has outlived its usefulness; it’s just an excuse for factionalism, and we need results.
    Valdo: Bush wasn’t a Nazi… he simply pulled off the most colossal bait-and-switch scam of modern times. “We couldn’t ketch that rascal Osama bin Laden, so how ’bout we go after Saddam Hussein instead?”

  11. Priscilla permalink
    February 15, 2010 11:32 am

    Rick, How could the Republicans stop anything by being “contrarian partisan robots” when the Democrats had overwhelming majorities in Congress to pass whatever healthcare plan they needed? The fact that not a single Republican moderate could be persuaded to support what in my mind is a budget busting, big governemnt bill, is the first clue. GOP senators like Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, George Voinivich frequently vote with the Democrats, and Snowe was being actively courted as the 60th vote, until she said she felt that the process was moving too fast, and was too focused on the governemt takeover. She didn’t say no, she said let’s slow down and do this right.

    The second clue? The moderate Democrats who had to literally be bribed and threatened to vote yes, and in the dead of night and on Christmas Eve. Honestly, there is something wrong with a bill that is SO political that it can only be passed with backroom deals and legislative tricks (not to mention that no one really even knows what’s in it). Yes, I know that lots of bills pass this way….but not huge, transformational bills affecting 20% of the US economy. That demands some consensus and input from both sides.

    • February 15, 2010 6:55 pm

      The Democrats couldn’t pass a bill saying the sky is blue if their lives depended on it. (now if it was their pay, that’d be a different matter…) Remember, they’re fairly incompetent. As to huge bills rushed in the dead of night, PATRIOT ACT!!!.

    • February 16, 2010 12:02 pm

      Priscilla: The Democrats clearly have the majority, but they no longer have enough votes to prevent Republican filibusters. With the exception of Olympia Snowe and the two others you mentioned (I didn’t know about them voting with the Democrats), the Republicans are pretty much a solid anti-Obama bloc.

      When it comes to healthcare, I still think we need a public option as a choice — sick people need coverage, and it’s not right to force private insurers to carry the burden of insuring high-risk individuals (how’s that for a Republican argument in favor of public health insurance?). If we do force private insurers to take on high-risk clients, they’ll be charging exorbitant premiums, which is also counterproductive.

      Anyway, back to your comment… I didn’t know about the Democrats who were coerced into going along with the healthcare bill. Any form of coercion is wrong, of course. (And it seems to be a liberal/Democrat trait.) But that doesn’t excuse the Republicans from their duty to pass needed legislation. Instead, they’re simply crossing their arms, hunkering down and refusing to cooperate. I think it’s reached the point where they’ll do anything to make Obama look ineffective. And to me, that’s hyperpartisanship.

  12. Priscilla permalink
    February 15, 2010 9:26 pm

    TK, it is fairly remarkable that the Democrats have not been able to pass any important legislation given their majorities…..and I guess it’s true that they are fairly incompetent, just as I believe it’s true that the GOP is often richly deserving of its nickname,”the party of stupid”….but I still think that incremental reform would work. Certainly, in theory, working toward moderate consensus on the issues that all agree need to be fixed is a better strategy than ramming through a huge, comprehensive mish-mash, isn’t it? Have we no statesmen or public servants left in the government?

    And, I’m not positive, but didn’t the Patriot Act pass with huge bipartisan majorities in both houses? Maybe I’m thinking of something else, but I thought that there were only like 9 or 10 senators who voted against it………

    • February 16, 2010 2:47 am

      If we had a stable country, maybe we (or the people in charge) could manage incremental reform. Sadly, the best descrition of the current situation is FUBAR… I don’t know if incremental changes would really help large groups of people in time. Such are the woes of bureaucracy.

      Yes, the partriot act was passed with wide bipartisian support. Large groups of (illiterate?) people from both sides, who hadn’t read the bill, and thought (I use this term loosely) “how bad can PATRIOT be.” Then a few people read it/had interns read it, and realized what they’d done. (Drowned the Constitution in a pool of bile…)

      • February 16, 2010 12:07 pm

        TK: I have to give Bush credit for his ability to hypnotize Democrats into passing legislation that only a right-wing Republican could love. The war in Iraq? The Patriot Act? Good grief, how did he do it? And Obama can’t even get support for a public healthcare option.

      • February 16, 2010 5:49 pm

        And people LIKE Obama too…

  13. valdobiade permalink
    February 16, 2010 3:44 pm

    Priscilla and Hallie, I called Bush a Nazi not from the “internal” point of view. Indeed, Democrats and Republicans alike voted for the war(s). And as Rick very well said: “I have to give Bush credit for his ability to hypnotize Democrats into passing legislation that only a right-wing Republican could love. The war in Iraq? The Patriot Act? Good grief, how did he do it?”

    I called Bush a Nazi from the “external” point of view. From the world view, if you want. I can say that Bush was even worse than Hitler. At least Hitler got allies when he started the second world war.
    Except Great Britain, that is the 51st US state (snide), who else *really* wanted to go in war for oil?

    Hallie, if US controls the oil (that was the actual purpose of invading Iraq), US controls the world, as Hitler wanted. For all I know, Saddam (a president installed by the US), started to deliver oil to the the countries that US despise. What is the “normal” US reaction? An unilateral war with the Congress approval, but that doesn’t make Bush less Nazi in my point of view.

    Now I wold like to know why Obama is called Nazi… not that I like Obama, but just for a discussion…

  14. Hallie permalink
    February 16, 2010 5:39 pm

    OK Valdo, I realize you’re probably being “tongue and cheek” when you say Bush was worse than Hilter. At least I hope you are. But, I think this site is suppose to be reserved for “honest” debate. I wouldn’t equate the systematic murder of 13 million Jews, POW’s, Polish Catholics, Serbians, gypsies, politcal desenters, and homosexuals, with invading Iraq (even if the goal was “for oil,” which I don’t think it was.) Bush, and the country was still reeling from the murder of 3,000 American citizens, and I think he was concerned about his legacy. He seriously believed he could fight and beat Islamic terrorists. And the US did have allies when it went into Iraq, which I wouldn’t equate with Hilters main ally Mussolini.

    • February 16, 2010 5:58 pm

      Valdo: I think the “51st state” is secceding, they are demanding unAmerican things now, like answers from their leaders and ours. I wish them luck.

      Hallie: Hitler started WWII, and that killed ~50 million people worlswide, on purpose. Bush started the war in Iraq, and incidentally killed 3,000 Americans, I don’t know how many Iraqis… the World economy, American credibility, and reason.

  15. Hallie permalink
    February 16, 2010 7:12 pm

    TK: I never said it was a good idea to invade Iraq. I remember watching the first images of the tanks rolling through the desert and saying, “oh man, this is gonna be a cluster.” I just think it disingenuous, especially in a discussion about what’s wrong with partisan politics to liken Hitler to Bush. So, as long as we are going to take that route:

    Valdo: I wouldn’t call Obama a Nazi… if anything, I’d call him Stalin… ;0)

  16. Priscilla permalink
    February 16, 2010 8:18 pm

    Whew…we’re veering away from moderate viewpoints a little here, wouldn’t you say?

    I agree with Hallie – there can be no serious discussion as long as we throwing accusations of Nazism around.

    And since when did Bush kill 3,000 Americans? Are we getting into Trutherism now? That is also not a serious debate.

    And I don’t think that Bush ever hypnotized any Democrat, lol. I do think that he was a capable and experienced executive when he took office and knew how to help shepherd bipartisan legislation through Congress – think NCLB (essentially Ted Kennedy’s bill, tweaked to get GOP support), Medicare Rx drug coverage, campaign finance reform . I think it is fair to say that Obama has not shown much ability to lead, and has allowed the idealogues in his party to run the show, which is why he is flailing. Maybe he is an idealogue too, maybe not, I’m not sure. But he’s not a good executive right now. I hope that changes.

    And, come on, Dems only lost their filibuster proof majority in Jan of 2010. The healthcare bill was introduced back in May 2009….came out of committee in June. The GOP has introduced its own bill twice (the second about 2 weeks ago, by Rep Paul Ryan), but it has never been allowed out of committee, nor have any Republicans been invited to negotiations sonce August. It has not been the Repubs keeping the bill from passing, it has been reluctant Dems.

    I’m kind of a wonk on this stuff, I know – sorry. But there are good congressmen on both sides of the aisle who want to do this right. The aforementioned Paul Ryan on the GOP side, Ron Wyden on the Dem side…..and there are others. I think if more people could hear about their ideas, there would be some real hope instead of anger over all this bs………

    • February 17, 2010 2:18 am

      Priscilla: Bush got 3,000 Americans killed when he invaded Iraq for piss-poor reasons, and when Bush took office, he went on vacation. He didn’t really lead the country, merely let it degrade into the current situation. Note, the Texas oil companies he used to work for failed, and as Texas governor, he promoted gay-bashing, and declared an actual “Jesus Day” . But I do agree that the reluctant (bought and paid for) Dems have stalled the healthcare debate, in conjunction to their nearly identical Republican counterparts. The Dems are being bipartisan, they’re joing the Republicans in inaction.

  17. valdobiade permalink
    February 17, 2010 1:42 pm

    Hallie, I did not compare Bush with Hitler on how many people died in their wars, but on the arrogance of starting a war. Regarding the alliance with other countries, to start and keep a war, Bush was worse than Hitler. This was my point.

    TK, there were some hundreds of thousand Iraqi and Afghans killed, but who cares? All are terrorists as long as they are not Christians. Remember? Bush started a Crusade too, beside the quest for oil (masked under “spreading democracy” tactic)

    Priscilla, as Hallie said to me “you’re probably being ‘tongue and cheek'” when you compare Obama with Stalin. Stalin needed about 10 years to became what he became. Obama had no more than 1 year when Hitler-Stalin comparisons hysteria started.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: