Saturday, November 6

THIS Is Some of What is Behind the Tea Party's Ire

Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post writes: “The first African American president takes office, and almost immediately we see the birth of a big, passionate national movement - overwhelmingly white and lavishly funded - that tries its best to delegitimize that president, seeks to thwart his every initiative, and manages to bring the discredited and moribund opposition party roaring back to life.”

Think back to 2007. There was dramatic vilification of the President, calls for his assassination, calling him a liar and stupid and worse. Obama said Bush was spending too much money while voting in the Senate to spend more.

The American voter objected strenuously to the increase in the national debt and they believed Obama’s promise of hope for the future meant fiscal responsibility.

But “almost immediately” -- in two years -- Obama has spent recklessly and carelessly, according to the US Treasury Department, in 19 months, Obama increased the national debt by $2.5260 trillion, which is more than the accumulative national debt from Washington through Reagan. In four months (May through August 2010) Obama ran cumulative deficits of $464 billion, which is more that the Bush administration ran through the entire fiscal year of 2008. As far as the GCP is concerned each of Obama’s two years rack up the biggest federal deficit percentages since World War II.

So. Wrecking the national economy is one reason for Tea Party ire.

“One thing that struck me from the beginning about the Tea Party rhetoric is the idea of reclaiming something that has been taken away.” Okay. Let’s look at what has been taken away: The freedom of the individual to choose the kind of health care s/he wants. The freedom NOT to have health care insurance if you don’t want it. (There are people who can afford to pay for their health care without depending on insurance.)

The freedom to choose doctors, keep a health plan you like and the freedom to choose high-deductible coverage.

The freedom to hire or not to hire minorities and/or illegal immigrants.

The freedom of business owners to make business decisions without government intervention.

Most of all, though, with the dramatic increase in the size of government (14.5% in two years), he is denying us freedom from “Big Brother” and massive government oversight of our lives. And that’s just a beginning.

“Again, who's in possession of the government, if not the American people? The non-American people? The un-American people?” It looks like the latter. People who promise transparency then refuse to listen to ideas from the opposition (specifically Obama’s refusal to listen to alternative ideas for the health care legislation and his cramming it down legislator’s throats without anyone even reading the bill).

“So who stole the government? What makes some people feel more disenfranchised now than they were, say, during the presidency of George W. Bush?” And just exactly what do you refer to here? What disenfranchisement? This is a vague accusation without substance.

“After all, it was Bush who inherited a budget surplus and left behind a suffocating deficit - I'm not being tendentious, just stating the facts.” True, and that’s part of why Obama was elected. But certainly no one expected Obama to more than triple that debt in two years. He was supposed to remedy it, not add to it.

“Bush was vilified by critics while he was in office but not with the suggestion that somehow the government had been seized or usurped - that it had fallen into hands that were not those of "the American people." Did you not hear the outcry over the Patriot Act? That’s exactly what was being said. Both Bush and Cheney were accused of treason, no less.

“But why would this concern about oppressive, intrusive government become so acute now? Why didn't, say, government surveillance of domestic phone calls and e-mails get the constitutional fundamentalists all worked up?” Because the surveillance of phone calls and e-mails were only of people who were contacting terrorists and terror cells. And because a growing Federal government has no need for existing except to intrude on the lives of the citizens. That’s what government agencies do.

“I wonder how he can be seen as "elitist," when he grew up in modest circumstances - his mother was on food stamps for a time - and paid for his fancy-pants education with student loans. I wonder how people who genuinely cherish the American dream can look at a man who lived that dream and feel no connection, no empathy.” I can explain this – Obama was raised by his grandparents (his grandmother was a banker) and attended two very expensive and exclusive Muslim schools in Hawaii. He attended Harvard after working for some high-powered political operatives in Chicago (it was Michelle who had student loans to pay off). And he attended Columbia and Harvard, hardly public education. He’s elitist all the way.

“I ask myself what's so different about Obama, and the answer is pretty obvious: He's black.” That is hardly it – more than 10% of the population of the US is black, and there is quite a large number who are extremely successful in all walks of life.

What is so different about Obama is that he is young and inexperienced. He did nothing to earn or even to qualify for his position. He’s just a pretty face and a good actor – a modern Harry Belafonte with powerful friends.

So you begin your article by saying it’s not racist to differ with Obama or to criticize him or to be a Conservative or a member of the Tea Party. And you end your piece by saying the only explanation for opposition to Obama is racism.

You can’t have it both ways.

1 comment:

American Daughter said...

Hey Sunnye, good to see you writing again!

Merry Christmas to you and yours.