I Was Born Free

"We're all one thing, Lieutenant. That's what I've come to realize. Like cells in a body. 'Cept we can't see the body. The way fish can't see the ocean. And so we envy each other. Hurt each other. Hate each other. How silly is that? A heart cell hating a lung cell." - Cassie from THE THREE
Posts tagged "Tea Party"


If Tammy Bruce weren’t such a nobody, I’d be kind of mad about this.

If Tammy Bruce weren’t such a nobody, I’d be kind of mad about this.

I hate the Tea Party as much as the next guy, but come on, HuffPo.

THE tea-party movement galvanised conservative voters and helped Republicans take the House and weaken the Democratic majority in the Senate last Fall. Right? Well, maybe not. In the latest edition of The Boston Review, a pair of Harvard political scientists, Stephen Ansolabehere and James M. Snyder, cast doubt on the conventional wisdom about the tea-party movement. Digging into the data from the 2010 mid-term elections, Messrs Ansolabahere and Snyder find that the tea-party movement largely threw its weight behind conservative candidates in conservative districts who were likely to win anyway. ”The penchant for endorsing candidates in Republican-leaning areas almost completely explains the Tea Party’s success rate,” they write. This applies to candidates for the House, at least. What about a tea-party bump for Senate hopefuls? Noting that the relative paucity of senatorial contests makes it hard to draw firm statistical lessons, Messrs Ansolabahere and Snyder nevertheless observe that ”Tea Party endorsees ran three percentage points behind non-endorsed Republicans running in similar states.”

So why did Democrats suffer a whupping in November? As someone once said, it’s the economy, stupid. Again and again political scientists find that macroeconomic variables drive electoral outcomes more than any other factors. The Democrats did about as badly as we should expect the majority party to do during a brutal recession. Nevertheless, humans have story-hungry minds that see agency and intention everywhere. It rains because the gods want it to rain, and Republicans seized the House because Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Brothers funneled a fortune into an astroturf movement that got out the conservative vote. But this is precisely the sort of story about the tea-party movement Messrs Ansolabahere and Snyder say the electoral data debunks.

This is not the picture of a political faction awash in cash funneled from wealthy individuals and corporate interests, as was commonly portrayed in media accounts. Rather, it is of a grass-roots movement faced with heavy overhead for operations at the national level and starved for cash at the local level. Nor is it the picture of an independent political movement that brought a surge in electoral support to the candidates it endorses. Rather, the Tea Party appears to have ridden the 2010 Republican wave more than created it.

Liberals got pummeled at the polls due to the recession, but fundraisers and organisers need villains, not abstractions, to rouse the troops and raise cash for the next go ‘round. But none of that matters as much as the economic climate in the autumn of next year.

The Victoria Jackson subplot is by far the most interesting part of the Tea Party.

(Reuters) - Governor Nikki Haley, a Tea Party favorite elected last fall, rolled out her “report card” for the South Carolina Legislature at a town hall meeting Wednesday night at the College of Charleston.

The Republican governor said she will grade legislators from A to F depending on the level of support they show for her agenda.

The town hall meeting, one of several Haley is holding throughout the state, felt more like a pep rally with a large “We Are The Movement” sign on stage, a slogan-filled video and the governor’s calls for applause.

Haley told the audience of about 400 people that her intent is to give voters what they want, including instituting roll call voting for lawmakers and allowing Medicaid to lower health care provider rates.

"Bashing legislators is not the intent of what this is supposed to do," she said.

But Haley’s grading idea hasn’t been warmly received by lawmakers.

"Who are they issuing the report card to, my wife or my mom or what?" said Republican Representative Chip Limehouse. "I vote with the best interests of my district in mind."

Democrats in the state’s House have introduced legislation that would require lawmakers to grade the governor’s performance.

"I don’t think anybody should be a puppet for the governor," said Democratic Representative John King, a sponsor of the bill. "We are a voice for our constituents and not for the governor."

Karl Kurtz, a political scientist with the nonprofit and non-partisan National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver, said governors typically keep a mental checklist of how legislators handle their priority issues.

"If that’s the case, then why shouldn’t they publish it?" he said.

"On the other hand, it has some negative images," Kurtz said. "This is the sort of thing that is done by narrow special interest groups. You’d think that the governor as the leader of the whole state would be above that."

Ha, no wonder Sarah Palin endorsed this woman.

Wow, and this is the Tea Party’s contribution to the Friday/I’m Zack! trend.

You’ve heard all about Christina Green, but do you know about Brisenia Flores? Like Christina, Brisenia was 9 years old, and she also lived in Pima County, Arizona, not far from Tucson. Like Christina, she was gunned down in cold blood by killers with strange ideas about society and politics.

But there are also important differences. While the seriously warped mind of Christina’s Tucson murderer, Jared Lee Loughner, is a muddled mess, the motives of one of Brisenia’s alleged killers— a woman named Shawna Forde — are pretty clear: She saw herself as the leader of an armed movement against undocumented immigrants, an idea that was energized by her exposure to the then-brand-new Tea Party Movement. But unlike the horrific spree that took Christina’s life, the political murder of Brisenia and her dad (while Brisenia’s mom survived only by pretending to be dead) has only received very sporadic coverage in the national media. That’s a shame, because it’s an important story that illustrates the potential for senseless violence when hateful rhetoric on the right — in this case about undocumented immigrants — falls on the ears of the unhinged.

All right, seriously you guys.  This is what we’re up against.

John Boehner is the ultimate Beltway hack, a man whose unmatched and self-serving skill at political survival has made him, after two decades in Washington, the hairy blue mold on the American congressional sandwich.

Today a gunman, identified by the press as 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, walked up to the parking lot of a Tucson supermarket and shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and shot and killed as many as six other people, including a 9-year old girl and federal Judge John Roll. But he did so much more than that. When he pulled the trigger on his semiautomatic rifle, he also attacked American government, the American public and its right to assemble peacefully and without fear—and so consequently his assault was also an assault on American democracy. And that is why I am shaking with rage as I type.

Tonight there is much rage across the blogosphere and on Twitter too—140 character declarations that Sarah Palin has blood on her hands; that Glenn Beck has blood on his hands; that Rush Limbaugh or Michele Bachmann or the Tea Party or Birthers or Birchers or nativists have blood on their hands. Through the looking glass on rightwing websites there are assertions that Loughner was a lefty, based on nothing more than the books he listed on his Myspace account or comments he allegedly made on incoherent Youtube videos or tweets from an alleged former classmate who said he was a leftist in 2007—much of which could also easily be used to assert that his rampage was motivated by rightwing tendencies. The impulse to conclude, without any knowledge of Loughner’s motives or state of mind, that this was a partisan attack has proved nearly irresistible—for those on both left and right.

It may very well turn out to be a partisan attempt at assassination. But we don’t know that yet.

What we do know is that Loughner targeted an elected official, that he took advantage of the fact that she was meeting her constituents in public to do so and that some of those constituents were also murdered by him. Even if it turns out that Loughner had no partisan or ideological motives to speak of, that is all we need to know to say definitively that he committed a political crime in the broadest and most egregious sense. He attacked political public speech—and that should trouble all of us. Giffords could have been a Republican; those bystanders could have been her supporters; or they could have been her fiercest critics, showing up to confront her votes for healthcare; or they could have been without political party, like the 9-year old girl who will never grow up to cast a vote. Everyone who seeks to engage the political process has been hurt today.

Journalists are right to point out that Giffords had been violently targeted after she voted for healthcare reform; that Sarah Palin put crosshairs on her district in campaign literature on her website (a post that has subsequently been scrubbed); and that Gifford’s 2010 opponent, Jesse Kelly, once invited his supporters to “shoot a fully automatic M16” to “get on target for victory” and “remove Gabrielle Giffords from office.” They are also right to note that in the past few years it’s been rightwing extremists who have most sought to shut down the open political process by disrupting townhall meetings and by indulging in language that casts political opponents as un-American and traitorous.

But at the moment, we don’t know if Loughner was influenced by any of this—or that he was even aware of any of it. But we don’t need to draw the lines of culpability so tightly to conclude that it is politics writ large that he assaulted today. And for tonight at least, we don’t need to know anything more to cherish more dearly the practice of politics and citizenship and government as something noble in its intent, something to expand and celebrate—instead of something to denigrate as the enemy of the people.


Also we have new voices from people who were thought to be beholden to the libprog thinking. First one is a great leader who commonsense leadership who will help shape the 112th house he is a man who when asked why he threaten a terrorist. He said “If it’s about the lives of my men and their safety, I’d go through hell with a gasoline can.” Therefor Conservative male of the year It is Congressman Allen West.

For female of the year we have a commonsense conservative who is daily punching evil in the face is always awesome to listens to and her viewpoint as a former now crowd leader help show us how evil organized and think. Therefore it is my honor to name Tammy Bruce Conservative female of the year.

This movie is borderline unwatchable at times, but boy does it explain the Tea Party.

I lost somewhat of a friend to the Tea Party.