Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why the Tea Party and GOP Did Not Swap Valentines

Some pundits have now determined that the time has come to discuss a marriage between the Tea Party and the Republican Party. While this is an interesting notion, one has to wonder if they should even date.

Well-meaning conservatives have pointed out that there might be benefits to such a romance. The Tea Party contains many energetic, grassroots people new to politics but the group lacks structure. The Republican Party is structured and offers necessary organizational and political knowledge but needs more energetic people who connect well to the grassroots. Sounds good, right?

Life is rarely as straightforward as theory and this situation follows that normal pattern. There are good reasons why the Tea Party-GOP merger will not, and should not, happen. It would be bad for both and the “fit” between the two is largely illusory and the imaginary product of those who understand neither group.

First of all these are not two political parties. The GOP is a political party, but the Tea Party is a movement. Like most movements, the Tea Party is a single issue cause. While the definition of that cause will be more narrowly defined by some, in order to include all branches of the Tea Party, the only accurate working definition is “to increase personal freedom by a reduction in the size and scope of the federal government.”

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Nine Months

In nine short months, a child conceived today will be a new, living, breathing American citizen. For the child's mother, that nine months will seem an eternity of ill-fitting clothes, lower back pain and being unable to roll over at night. The days will seem to stretch on endlessly, especially the long, hot days of August and she will long for the first week in November. The child will rest blissfully; only occasionally kicking or making itself known. Meanwhile, the world rocks on.

In nine short months, 435 men and women will be elected to the United States House of Representatives. Those 435 people will serve in "the people's House" and hopefully be our most direct connection with our federal government. I say "hopefully" for a reason.

Throughout the past Congressional term, filled with the promise of a large majority in the US House and a filibuster-proof US Senate, Congressional Democrats have done what they do best: look down their collective noses at middle-class American citizens.

Perhaps it's a misunderstanding based on ignorance. I don't see US Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer or Jim Marshall being especially aware of the price of a gallon of milk or even the problems with our public school systems. Somehow I can't see Nancy discussing the merits of .45 caliber bullets versus those of the 9 millimeter or the .40 caliber variety; or Steny raking leaves while chatting with a neighbor over the back fence about last week's Sunday School lesson.

I also can't see any of them, including my Representative Jim Marshall, worrying about our looming national debt because they all voted to increase it. Now I know they'll say that they didn't want to increase the federal debt limit but had to in order for the United States to meet its financial obligations. Well yes, that's true as far as it goes but it doesn't go very far. The reason it doesn't go very far is that Pelosi, Hoyer and Marshall all voted for the earmark-stained spending bill that spent more money than we had.

Blog Directory