TOXIC TEA FOR THE GOP?
September 1, 2010
Barack Obama and the Democrats are doing all they can to hand the November elections to the Republicans. They continue to push big-government, socialist programs down the throats of Americans, and then they wonder why they are sinking in the polls. It's as if all that anger and frustration building up around the country is just background noise to them. For over a year, that frustration and sense that America needs to be put back in the right direction has manifested itself in the Tea Party movement. Grassroots Americans have come together in a way not seen before with a few simple demands: smaller government, less corruption, and more accountability. These themes are exactly what the Republican Party should stand for, and yet, as we enter the home stretch of the campaign season, a former Bush speech writer is warning that the Tea Party is toxic for the GOP. Give me a break!
For some strange reason, Michael Gerson, former speech writer for President George W. Bush, used his space as an editorial writer for the Washington Post to send a warning to "the GOP." I used the quotes there because he's clearly not talking about the grassroots conservatives that make up the base, heart, and soul of the party. Perhaps he is talking to the stuffy insiders that are more concerned about simply gaining and holding onto power rather than those who actually advance the Republican/conservative agenda. The premise of this op-ed is simple: "Tea Party populism is just as clearly incompatible with some conservative and Republican beliefs." This statement is completely and utterly false.
His op-ed is built off of three ridiculous "questions" that he then matches to particular candidates in order to make his point. Starting with Social Security and Medicare, Gerson basically states that it's better to be a big government conservative than to stand up and demand that these programs be reformed or eliminated. Big government conservatism is what got us into this mess of Democrat control. When grassroots activists work hard to get Republicans in office and then they don't act like Republicans, then something has to give. The elections of 2006 and 2008 were the result. And Gerson thinks that's the way to go? More spending and more government?
Here's one of his "questions" to Tea Party candidates: Do you believe that American identity is undermined by immigration? Stupid. This sounds like a liberal polling question such as "Do you favor eliminating school lunches so that millions of sweet, happy, loving children will be forced to starve throughout the day." Why not look at exactly what has Americans frustrated and address the problem? We have too many illegal aliens in America, and we have a federal government that does not enforce its own immigration laws. We have a southern border that is not secure, and only lip service is being paid to that security. Those are the issues. That is why people are frustrated. Yet, Gerson wants to turn it into a liberal love-in by implying a subtle racism if you don't want more immigrants in America. Let's stick to the real issues!
Gerson sums his op-ed up in this way:
Most Americans who identify with the Tea Party movement are understandably concerned about the size and reach of government. Their enthusiasm is a clear Republican advantage. But Tea Party populism is just as clearly incompatible with some conservative and Republican beliefs. It is at odds with Abraham Lincoln's inclusive tone and his conviction that government policies could empower individuals. It is inconsistent with religious teaching on government's responsibility to seek the common good and to care for the weak. It does not reflect a Burkean suspicion of radical social change.
The Democratic political nightmare is now obvious and overwhelming. The Republican challenge is different: building a majority on an unstable, slightly cracked foundation.
As a conservative, I find this completely insulting. Liberals are the ones who believe that government is the only answer, NOT Republicans. Geez... Gerson writes as if there were no religious and private charities in existence to help the poor before government stepped in. People have been helping the poor since the birth of this country, but according to Gerson, we now need the government to do that. Sounds like a Democrat to me. The Tea Party movement is about returning our government to the people. It's a plain and simple philosophy. The federal government spends too much money, has too much power, and is staffed with people who care too much about themselves. That IS what the Republican Party is all about and should stand for. If it did, Mr. Gerson, we'd still be in power now.
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