Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Tea Party Has Shot Its Bolt

This was the last Tea Party election. Like most uncompromising "know-nothing" movements, they fade away after about three elections because they don't get everything they want, and don't understand that all of politics requires compromise. 

To be sure, some politicians elected by the Tea Party will remain in office, such as my own junior senator Rand Paul.  But now the Republican establishment will be able to free itself from this threat from the right, and begin to make deals in the normal way.  And I hope we can also dispense with Grover Norquist and his foolish "don't raise taxes" straightjacket, too. My own senior senator, Mitch McConnell, is already talking about raising taxes.

One part of the Tea Party is burning itself out in petitions to secede from the United States.  This is open treason, and might be cause for serious criticism by regular, patriotic Republicans if the movement weren't so laughable.

Another part of the Tea Party will go back to grumbling political inactivity, along with the would-be socialists and anarchists.

A third part will become regular members of the Republican Party, arguing for their positions, but working to make deals that move the country forward.  I hope that my junior senator evolves in that direction. Likewise, I hope that my senior senator helps him by working with the Democratic Party to actually govern.


r. woodhouse said...

As long as the federal government will not live within its means there will be a Tea Party. A know-nothing federal government deserves a know-nothing movement.

Constructive Feedback said...

Prof Weston:

I realize that your thing is "sociology" and not "psychology" but - do you notice that you invest an undue amount of time:

1) Talking about your adversaries
2) Lumping praise upon those who affirm your viewpoints.....

....BOTH without strong attachment to the FACTS ON THE GROUND?

You see - I analyze things in a way that is counter to what I see with your arguments.

If the "Tea Party is DEAD" great!!
If, as Prof Benjamin Barber says - "Everyone in this nation voted....the Republicans would never win another election anywhere" GREAT!!!

You see, Prof Weston - I see these arguments as an affirmation of my analysis that we must "Do a forensic analysis of the finger prints on the steering wheel, making note of the (growing) preponderance of artifacts" as we reassess the ESTABLISHMENT POWER that wrested control of their archenemy - the RIGHT-WING.

But for some reason, Prof Weston - people like you practice (what I call) "Establishment Power Repudiation" in which you deny that you and fellow progressives have the POWER to do any "organic damage", a narrative that interrupts your claim that any EXISTING distance between where we stand and "Social Justice Heaven" is evidence that MORE PROGRESSIVISM is needed.

Tell me this, Prof Weston - Could you set up the framework by which an objective 3rd party would conclude that 'Progresivism has failed', after it has been given a fair run?

My opinion is that "The Failure Of Progressivism" IS NOT based upon any statistical standing of "The Least Of These" at any given time.

It would FAIL the day that its CONGREGATION has disbursed - after losing its confidence in the 'perpetual forward struggle - to sights unseen by man"

Where am I wrong about you sir?

Gruntled said...

To r. woodhouse: Where was the Tea Party when Pres. Bush ran up these deficits in the first place? And why do they never praise Pres. Clinton, who eliminated the previous (Reagan-Bush) deficit and created a surplus?

I don't think the Tea Party is really driven by trying to get government to live within its means.

Gruntled said...

To Constructive Feedback:

I am not a progressive, and I think third parties are a pipe dream that only hurt those they most want to help.

Mac said...

“One part of the Tea Party is burning itself out in petitions to secede from the United States. This is open treason, and might be cause for serious criticism by regular, patriotic Republicans if the movement weren't (sic) so laughable.”

Whoa, pardner. As a learned and respected (by me and many others) scholar, you know better. I suggest that you are letting your partisan political leanings get in the way.

Article 3, section 3 of the Constitution narrowly and intentionally defines treason: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. . . .” The petitions to secede are clearly not acts of war, either overt or covert. Likewise they do not give aid and comfort to any enemy and are, in fact, constitutional. See, e.g., amend 1: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

At the very worst, the petitions are a prime example of people peaceably assembling and petitioning an over-reaching federal government for redress of grievances. They are quite similar in intent to the most treasonous document ever authored on this continent, the Declaration of Independence.

As John Donne observed, “Treason doth never prosper, what’s the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.” That is why we observe July 4 as a holiday rather than the date on which G. Washington, J. Adams, T. Jefferson and myriad others were hanged on Tyburn Tree by our sovereign King George III, God bless him.