Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What's Next?

With less than 24 hours to the Tea Party protests, the question has to be raised, "what's next for the Tea Party movement?" In order to figure out where you are going, you have to know where you are coming from. Otherwise, you are stuck in the banality of making really good time, but that you are lost.
In spite of the silly accusations of the Left, the Tea Party movement is not controlled or directed by any group. It is instead, the natural outgrowth of anger at what is happening to our country by an out of control government, using the equivalent of the Reichstag fire in the form of an economic crisis to take extraconstitutional control over an ever growing portion of the economy. As noted at Left in the West, there is actual confusion among the Left of why people would be protesting the sudden rise in the deficit when they said nothing during Bush's profligacy. But, maybe this graphic would help:
The astounding and careless manner in which the budget is being increased should not be ignored. And that, more than anything is driving the Tea Party movement.
There is also the general buyer's remorse of those who thought that Obama would bring change, which he did. Just not the change that they had anticipated. I myself was hoping that last September when Obama was complaining about the deficits that Bush had created he would do something after he was elected. I just didn't realize that his complaint was that Bush didn't go far enough.
Getting back to the point of the post, the disadvantages for the Tea Party movement are multiple. First, the basis of the movement is that people are united against greater debt. Being against something has only limited utility, and can certainly collapse as more and more individuals start to feel that what the other guy is against isn't what concerns them.
My suggestion would be to keep people focused on the spending side of the equation. There are plenty of useful examples out there, which make you scratch your head and ask the question "Why, if we are in an economic crisis, are we spending money on that?" When we have a "stimulus" bill that is spending money on frisbee parks, dog parks, walking paths etc., you have to wonder why we are going so deeply into debt for such items. By keeping the Tea Party movement focused on government spending at all levels, whether for bailing out automakers or banks, or any other entity, the rage that will be shown on the 15th will carry on for a lot longer than just one day.


aaron goldberg said...

The Tea Party model is wrong. Rather than looking to the Boston Tea Party of 1773, you should be looking to the Gaspee Affair of 1772.

In brief:

In depth:

Steve said...

Interesting, I had never heard of that one before. But I don't think the current incarnation of the Tea Party fits the Gaspee either. I am thinking it is more akin to what Richard Nixon called the "Silent Majority." In that they are fed up with the antics of the Left, and are rejecting them and their ideas in toto.
Of course the downside when it happened in '68 to '72, was that it led to disco. I am not sure the world could stand another BeeGees or their ilk.