Of Tea Bags and Temper Tantrums: An Open Letter to Today's Tea Party Protestors
You’re new here, aren’t you? I mean to the whole protesting thing. And the small government thing. Let’s have a talk before you embarrass yourselves any further.
First off, let’s talk about your message, or rather the lack of one. Just what are you protesting anyway? It doesn’t seem to be entirely clear. As a lot of people have pointed out, most of you have likely already gotten personal tax cuts, so are you really protesting your tax bill now after it’s been consistently lowered by both the current and prior administrations? Maybe you don’t like the tax policy that puts more taxes on fewer taxpayers? Help me out here. You guys seem to be rebels without a cause.
And is it really decifit spending and the national debt? Where the hell have you been for the last 8 years? Did you not notice that President Bush and the Republican Congress were spending money like drunken sailors? Did that $3T in new debt somehow escape your view? And before that, do you recall how his father dropped $1.4T in new debt in a single term? And Reagan racked up $1.69T? And even “check out my surpluses” Clinton charged up a good $1.54T in new debt? Debt spending isn’t some new problem. It’s been going on in disgusting amounts since before I was born. Why the outrage just now?
Some of us have actually been on the front lines for longer than you’ve given two hoots about anything. I spent a hot Las Vegas summer getting sunburned and dehydrated collecting petition signatures to overturn a record (and, it turned out, unnecessary) tax increase in Nevada. I ran for office three times. I was county chair of a political party in two different states. I run two blogs with a combined 5500 visits every month with most of the content geared towards politics. I go to legislative committee meetings, talk directly with my elected officials, get interviewed by newspapers… and you guys think you’re hot stuff because you took a half-day off of work to wave incendiary signs in front of public buildings for a couple of hours for some cause that’s ambiguous at best?
And to top it all off, a bunch of elected Republicans have gleefully hopped on board, seemingly unaware that they are protesting the very problem they helped create. And you guys are oblivious to the fact that you’re being used by a party that apparently has run out of ideas and respect for the voters. Remember, these are the guys who got us into the TARP mess to begin with, then kept on criticizing the president’s budget without one of their own. (Don’t be too smug, Democrats; you did the same thing for years.)
Are you starting to see why nobody is taking you seriously? Once you push away the puffery and sound bytes, you have all of the substance of a bunch of whiny Emo kids. Grow up and leave the small government message to those of us who know what the heck we’re talking about and, more importantly, have the street cred to be taken seriously.
The people who have ACTUALLY been supporting small government for the last three decades aka Not You