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Author Topic: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up  (Read 3573 times)

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Offline Noelle

Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2010, 03:53:09 AM »
You're not off-base about that at all. Palin was quoted as saying: "The GOP has to understand, that machine has to understand, we are not sending Republicans to D.C. to sing Kumbaya with Obama. We're sending them to stop Obama!"

Attitudes like this disgust me. Attitudes that are purely just to throw a fit and say no to everything hurt us more in the end. It's juvenile politics and it's time to grow up beyond that. Sarah Palin needs to take a permanent vacation from politics and keep her mouth shut, but sadly, there are plenty of supporters out there who want absolutely nothing to do with compromise and have the delusion I described before that their party is going to be in office for the rest of forever and that they'll always make better decisions on every issue ever than the others.

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Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2010, 04:05:58 AM »
Go figure.  And this is really the best that the Republican party could come up with to be a VP for John McCain?  Makes me wish for the days when traditionally, the VP was the candidate who got the second most nominations in the party.  Sometimes.  Maybe.

Part of the problem with partisan politics, and why moderation faces such a long road ahead (I feel), is the fact that the media in this country is incredibly stilted.  FOX News (if you can even call them 'News'), Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and their contemporaries make negotiation difficult, if not downright impossible.  They treat politics like a war - either you're for us or against us, and there is no compromise.

Which is fine - in war.  But this isn't war, this is politics, where negotiation and compromise are absolutely key to being able to reach an end decision.

Great example from when all the Obamacare was going on: the moderate Republicans wanted to sit down and talk with the moderate Democrats, find some common ground, hash out a solution.

The moderates, though, were hogtied by Beck, Limbaugh, & Co, who stirred up the country (most notably the elderly) with their talk about 'death panels' and whatnot.  Now, anyone could tell you that that was not where Obamacare was headed, and give a reasonable explanation.

Problem was, the damage was already done, the radicals had declared war, and their battle cry was that the government was trying to kill your dear sweet old Granny.  An oversight?  Of course not!  Anyone with an ounce of common sense would realize that saying that would galvanize people to opposition, because you do not want to negotiate with people who are trying to 'kill' your dear sweet old Granny!


I find it hugely sad and ironic that the American people who are fighting not one, but two wars against radical Islam, and seeing what sort of misery that produces, are not even capable of recognizing radicalism on the part of their own people.

Offline Mr. Vyce

Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2010, 07:06:53 AM »
And, as a brief aside, even childrens' books are not safe from radicalism. There are books for little kids that are pro-Republican, pro-Democrat, and pro-Tea Party alike. At the least, they advocate why their party is innately righteous, will keep Mommy and Daddy employed, protect the citizens and prevent kids from having to sell broccoli with their lemonade.

Offline Brandon

Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2010, 07:16:34 AM »
This is something I often find confusing when it comes to politics: Shouldnt every opinion be given the chance for expression? There seems to be a heavy theme of "they are radicals so disregard them". However in a culture where the free expression of ideas helps our society grow and improve I find the very idea that anyone being disregarded for almost any reason is foolish

Im not saying anyone has to like or agree with an opinion but Im always tempted to cry foul when it seems like any point of view is being stifled or disregarded simply because its considered radical

Offline Jude

Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2010, 07:33:22 AM »
Allowing people to express their opinion isn't the same as paying attention to it.  Radical opinions are better off disregarded in many instances because feeding them attention and making a martyr of them is dangerous.

Offline Brandon

Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #30 on: November 03, 2010, 07:34:40 AM »
Allowing people to express their opinion isn't the same as paying attention to it.  Radical opinions are better off disregarded in many instances because feeding them attention and making a martyr of them is dangerous.

How so?

Offline Jude

Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #31 on: November 03, 2010, 07:36:53 AM »
Burn the Quran man.  In paying attention to him we shined a national spotlight on him that was undoubtedly used to recruit many terrorists.

Practicality aside, you're missing the point of the first amendment.  People are guaranteed the right to expression, not the right to be listened to.

EDIT:  And on topic, I agree that the video is a generalization of the most vocal Tea Party voices and not a representation of every member of the party.

I can't remember where I heard this, but Democrats elected Obama on the change platform because they were looking for policy change.  Independents and Republicans who swung for him were looking for policy change on a few key issues but more importantly, they were hoping that the way the administration achieved its aims would be fundamentally different.  The reason Democrats were killed in this mid-term election cycle is because the Obama Administration and Democratic controlled congress largely used the same tactics to the same effect as their Republican predecessors.

The end result?  A bunch of Democratic legislation was passed, the debt was run up, and now we'll have government gridlock while the country is recovering.  Things might be okay, or perhaps the gridlock will exacerbate the situation at a very unfortunate time.  The majority of the country seems to agree with me here:  more should've been done on jobs, as opposed to the Democrats passing through as many of their ideological initiatives as they possibly could while having a majority in both houses of Congress with a Democratic President.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 07:53:29 AM by Jude »

Offline Mr. Vyce

Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2010, 07:50:42 AM »
This is something I often find confusing when it comes to politics: Shouldnt every opinion be given the chance for expression? There seems to be a heavy theme of "they are radicals so disregard them". However in a culture where the free expression of ideas helps our society grow and improve I find the very idea that anyone being disregarded for almost any reason is foolish

Im not saying anyone has to like or agree with an opinion but Im always tempted to cry foul when it seems like any point of view is being stifled or disregarded simply because its considered radical

Good point, Brandon. I'm not saying that people should not have the right to express their opinions by a longshot, as they do help society grow and evolve with the times. (Otherwise, we wouldn't be doing so now.  ;)) It is just this mindset of "you're either with us or agin us" and caricaturizing political foes as soulless tyrants or literal monsters ("Help, Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed!"), particularly in children's books, that is counterproductive in my eyes.

Offline Brandon

Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2010, 08:18:20 AM »
Burn the Quran man.  In paying attention to him we shined a national spotlight on him that was undoubtedly used to recruit many terrorists.

Practicality aside, you're missing the point of the first amendment.  People are guaranteed the right to expression, not the right to be listened to.

That is a superb example of one radical opinion that should have been ignored, but a lousy example for why we should disregard them all. What is considered radical to one culture and time would be normal to another. The same could be said for peoples opinions, what is radical to me might be normal to you or visa versa.

Disregarding anything just because the word radical is put on the person/idea seems foolish to me. Its fine to disregard an idea on its own merits but not just because someone considers it radical

I will agree that a "youre with us or against us attitude" doesnt help anyone. That very attitude helped seal our victory against England in the revolution.


Offline Trieste

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Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #34 on: November 03, 2010, 08:24:34 AM »
You're not off-base about that at all. Palin was quoted as saying: "The GOP has to understand, that machine has to understand, we are not sending Republicans to D.C. to sing Kumbaya with Obama. We're sending them to stop Obama!"

Make no mistake, I'm angry with both parties. I think they are both having difficulties of their own making right now, and it's only making our situation worse.

However, I am angrier with the GOP, because what I see the GOP doing is a) going back on things they offered as compromises not too long ago (see the point in the video about large pieces of the healthcare bill being compromises formerly acceptable to reps now blocking it) and b) doing their damnedest to keep ANYTHING from passing through the Senate and the House and then turning around and screaming about how Obama &co can't accomplish anything.

No.

You don't get to do that.

Fuck you, Washington.

Offline Jude

Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2010, 09:10:44 AM »
That is a superb example of one radical opinion that should have been ignored, but a lousy example for why we should disregard them all. What is considered radical to one culture and time would be normal to another. The same could be said for peoples opinions, what is radical to me might be normal to you or visa versa.

Disregarding anything just because the word radical is put on the person/idea seems foolish to me. Its fine to disregard an idea on its own merits but not just because someone considers it radical

I will agree that a "youre with us or against us attitude" doesnt help anyone. That very attitude helped seal our victory against England in the revolution.
I don't disagree with you at all -- I also don't think anyone "should" be ignored.  Should evokes thoughts of some sort of imperative to ignore a certain category of expressed thoughts, which I disagree with.  I just don't think all opinions "should" be listened to either.  Like I said, the first amendment gives you the right to voice your thoughts, that doesn't mean anyone has to listen.

Only when an opinion is so far out of the mainstream that it is clearly without merit and paying attention to it could possibly do damage would I endorse ignoring that opinion.  This isn't without problems, as it is easily abused and often used to silence thoughts which conflict with pervasive, widely held opinions.  You have to be careful.

Offline Serephino

Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2010, 09:47:57 PM »
Make no mistake, I'm angry with both parties. I think they are both having difficulties of their own making right now, and it's only making our situation worse.

However, I am angrier with the GOP, because what I see the GOP doing is a) going back on things they offered as compromises not too long ago (see the point in the video about large pieces of the healthcare bill being compromises formerly acceptable to reps now blocking it) and b) doing their damnedest to keep ANYTHING from passing through the Senate and the House and then turning around and screaming about how Obama &co can't accomplish anything.

No.

You don't get to do that.

Fuck you, Washington.


This!   It is seriously pissing me off that they stomped their feet and dragged their heels trying to block Obama from getting anything done, and then during the election they point and say look!  He didn't do what he promised! 

I'm not saying President Obama and the Democrats have all the answers, but it seems like all the Republicans care about is getting back power.  Like Noelle said, they're two year olds with power.  They passed the health care bill with tons of compromises then cried that they were bullied into it.  *grumbles*

But if I remember my Civic lessons correctly, only half the House and Senate were up for election this year.  The other half are up next year, and if Republicans don't make things better they'll be the ones getting slaughtered.   

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Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #37 on: November 04, 2010, 05:07:44 AM »
There weren't really that many compromises on the health care bill, and the republicans didn't pass it.  It went through the house without a single republican vote.

Frankly, I don't see things getting better, but I could be wrong.  Right now we have a heavily republican house, a senate with a slight democrat majority, and a democrat president.  This would be an excellent time for the two parties to stop behaving like children and work out a few compromises to get the country back on the right path.  If they don't work together, not a single thing will be accomplished until the next election.  They haven't been playing nice for years now, they aren't going to start now, however.  What is going to happen is that the republican's first move will be to try to repeal the health care bill that they all feel was forcibly shoved down the country's throat, which, in all honesty, it was, and then start from scratch.  Obama and the Democrats will see their "historic legislation" in jeopardy and do everything they can to maintain it, and absolutely nothing will get accomplished. 

Yeah, the next two years will be all kinds of fun.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #38 on: November 04, 2010, 11:21:57 AM »
If they repeal that healthcare bill, it had better be because they have an acceptable replacement inked and ready to go. If they try to 'repeal and replace' without actually replacing, I'm pretty sure they will end up earning the ire of every damn parent in the nation whose kids just LOST THEIR MEDICAL COVERAGE because the GOP was being GO-stupid. The current one (PDF here) doesn't really cut it in the new parts, and also seems to include a lot of the old parts that are also cornerstones of 'Obamacare'.

It's ridiculous.

So, uh, not only was this particular bill not 'forcibly shoved down the country's throat', the GOP is also hardly going to 'start from scratch'. My heroes.


Offline Brandon

Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #39 on: November 04, 2010, 12:06:29 PM »
While not the topic, I have to say that from my point of view obamacare was shoved down our throats. With the exception of Elliquiy I can think of only 2 people out of probably around 50 who wanted it. A handful of unsures (I'll be generous and say ten) and then the rest didnt want it for varying reasons.

Obamacare was something that the majority of people in my life didnt want for one reason or another. They expressed their opinions to our state legislation but the politicians forced it on us anyway

Offline Trieste

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Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #40 on: November 04, 2010, 12:10:58 PM »
And the rest of the Tea Party arguments...?

Offline Brandon

Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #41 on: November 04, 2010, 12:35:25 PM »
My understanding of the tea parties goals, arguments, and beliefs is quite limited. Ive had some conversations with people who identify themselves as tea partiers or support the tea party and we have had limited political discussions driven partly by intellectual curiousity but Im no expert on them. I can only give my point of view from my experiences with them

Now if you're asking me if I think they are right about everything then the answer is no. I have yet to find a party that I agree with on every issue which is why I am still an independent. However they, like all Americans, have every right to express, discuss, and evaluate their and others opinions and concerns. I believe they should be heard and if their arguments dont add up dismiss the individual arguments based on the arguments own merits, not because it comes from the tea party

Offline Vekseid

Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #42 on: November 04, 2010, 12:38:43 PM »
Precisely. The video's purpose is only to make liberals feel better about themselves. It is a parody indeed, a parody on what people who identify themselves as Tea-Party people are, or rather what liberals like to fool themselves (and others) into believing. The last laugh will be on them.

If one was truly and genuinely compassionate, they would realize the limits of government to protect us from ourselves. Keeping a caged bird fed and fattened is far more insidious than letting it free, even on the risk of failure, injury or death.

The Tea Party isn't opposed to the nanny state, however.

The only major, clearly nanny-state program is social security, and I've only seen the younger ones oppose that. Insurance items such as national defense and universal medicare increase their benefit and reduce costs with the size of the protected pool, but those aren't being opposed by the tea party either.

Budget wise, everything else is a drop in the bucket, the vast majority of which is similar single-investment-mass benefit stuff like that (chemical evaluation and testing, water management, etc). No human can protect themselves from every threat, and the convenience of government is that, at least until malregulation comes into play, you can make that work on large scales.

Offline mystictiger

Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #43 on: November 04, 2010, 02:33:07 PM »
To say that the Tea Party has goals is to fundamentally misrepresent the nature of the Tea Party. It is not an ideologically homogenous group. Granted, neither are the Democrats or the Republicans. It, at least from this side of the pond, draws on many different groups, ideologies and approaches that have simply nucleated around a few simple messages:
Small government, lower taxes, more 'freedom'.

The rhetoric is so deceptively simple - they don't say which bit of the governments that they would cut, they don't say how they would balance the budget, and they don't say how they champion freedom but if you are against them you are automatically against freedom.

To dismiss the Tea Party as intellectually weak or lacking or strange is not a valid response. There are genuine greivances. It is the duty of the political leaders to reveal the shallowness and narrow focus of this movement. If you vote on a single issue subject, you end up getting only one answer you want amidst a blizzard of ones you don't. I think one should vote for a party that best reflects your hopes and dreams rather than your frustrations and anger.

But then I'm actually a socialist, unlike Obama.

Offline Jude

Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #44 on: November 04, 2010, 04:28:47 PM »
The Tea Party is as single-minded as the Republican and Democratic camps, perhaps more so -- maybe not at its inception, but the movement was hi-jacked by ultra conservative figures like Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and the Koch Brothers.  The Tea Party has become less of a tax-payer revolt (which is what it began as) and more about conservative ideological purity.  Look at the candidates that they backed if you don't believe me.

If you believe it's not valid to dismiss the Tea Party as (on the whole at least, not even individual) intellectually weak, then I don't think you're aware of all of the facts about them.  The Tea Party is still primarily based on tax policy and small government, yet Tea Party members are ignorant of actual tax rates.  Some of their philosophical points might have weight, and I'm not saying that they're any dumber than any other organization out there comparatively speaking (because I have nothing to back this up), but that doesn't change that they are fundamentally wrong about the facts of their central platform.  You'd think it would be intelligent to have the actual statistics on your position before coming to a philosophical conclusion, but no, they apparently don't feel the need to research their opinions.

EDIT:  There's various facts throughout these threads about Tea Party ignorance and ultraconservative hijacking.

http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=65361.0
http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=63731.0

There are more too -- I suggest looking at Vekseid's recent one about the funding for Tea Party events.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 04:39:44 PM by Jude »

Offline mystictiger

Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #45 on: November 04, 2010, 06:30:18 PM »
I have a very different perspective on all of this - the outsider looking in.

The British press characterises the Tea Party as "loosely-organised, leaderless and libertarian", or that "it has no leader, no national committee, no website. Instead there are many groups who vie to lead and speak for the movement". I find the idea that there are 'many Tea Parties' to be a compelling analysis - different groups with different agendas, united only by low-tax, small-government and so on. The Economist's analysis was delightful, mostly because it mocked the French, but their analysis of Tea Party affiliation was very interesting, especially the large amount of support by the Independents.

It appears that you can make a list of what your average democrat or republican (or labour or conservative or liberal democrat or Scottish nationalist) believe in. It'd be a fairly long list with lots of different issues, topics, policies, and areas of concern - a manifesto if you will. By contrast, the list of things that the Tea Parties advocate and commonly share would be much much smaller.

This, though, is as said - the view from the outside. We might not have the partisan bias that people in the US might have, but we also don't have the cultural sensitivity and connectedness.

Offline Noelle

Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #46 on: November 04, 2010, 06:37:21 PM »
You might find the demographics of the Tea Party to be of interest to you.

I think they initially aimed to be a party to transcend partisan lines, but they failed miserably when they embarked outside of their original message to start preaching about social issues instead of sticking to their less tax, smaller government shtick. The demographics all point to a heavily Republican-type crowd; old, white guys with money, the majority of which have little, if any college education. My diagnosis is just a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Offline mystictiger

Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #47 on: November 04, 2010, 06:49:40 PM »
Thank you for the link, but I think you over-state the case that they're basically Republicans. This table was very interesting indeed:

I agree that they tend to be male and also tend to earn more than $50k (well, anyone earning a lot of money is bound to want to pay less tax). I was struck by how... well... normal (and white) Tea Parties are. To directly quote the survey,

"Tea Party supporters are decidedly Republican and conservative in their leanings. Also, compared with average Americans, supporters are slightly more likely to be male and less likely to be lower-income"

"In several other respects, however -- their age, educational background, employment status, and race -- Tea Partiers are quite representative of the public at large."

"While opposition to the healthcare bill is perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of Tea Party supporters in the new poll, their views on abortion are also notable. Nearly two-thirds consider themselves "pro-life" on the abortion issue, compared with 46% of all national adults."

I suppose that I don't understand why these people aren't republicans, but rather list themselves as indies?

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Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #48 on: November 04, 2010, 07:28:08 PM »
They are basically Republicans, and Sarah Palin is their movement's homecoming queen. Anyone who tries to tell you differently is either deluded or lying.

There are regional Tea Party sects, but the national face is GOP - why do you think there was so much concern that they would hurt the Republican party? It isn't because the Tea Party is taking votes away from the Democratic party, or liberal-leaning independents. :P

The thing is that the GOP has been touting the benefits of smaller government and lower taxes for a long time. I personally am just completely on the opposite of that mentality, myself, so they do not and have never appealed to me. However, they certainly appeal to people with money to actually lose, don't they...?

Offline Noelle

Re: Tea Party Arguments Summed Up
« Reply #49 on: November 04, 2010, 07:29:57 PM »
They may be representative, but unfortunately, they're also less-educated and less-informed on facts (as was shown here). I think part of the reason they distinguish themselves is because many Teabaggers feel that the GOP has gotten 'soft' and just aren't conservative enough anymore. I think that's why you see people like Sarah Palin jumping on the bandwagon from the GOP, and probably why the founder feels a lot of annoyance at the way the party has evolved. America is unsettled with both parties at the moment, so you have these conservatives struggling to separate themselves from the pack to say "See! I'm not like them!" and hopefully get an edge on the competition.

Me? I'm waiting for the day that the Tea Party politicians show that they don't have all the right answers just like any other party and that they're not some specials snowflake organization that magically speaks for "real Americans". If that phrase was never used again, I wouldn't miss it in the least.