I haven't blogged here for a while. Obama won, I felt positive for my efforts, and I moved on to the "real world" outside politics. Well, events of late have brought out the activist in me again, as I watch members of my former party, the Republican Party, take their idiocy to new levels.
For those who don't know, I was a Republican for 27 years before deciding to support Barack Obama for President this past election. I got a lot of flack, but continued to call myself a true Republican. After President Obama took office, watching the Republican Party continue its shift to the extremist right and choose a path of obstructionism, I decided to leave the Party and become an Independent. While I still hold to the founding principles of the Republican Party, I feel I can no longer associate with the ignorance and extremism of the current Party leadership.
With that said, I feel I have a level of insight that allows me to criticize the newest explosion of idiocy from the Republicans, these so-called protests that they are calling, much to my happiness, "Tea Bagging Parties." Even though I want to join in the fun of laughing about the term, "tea bagging," I'll just let you click on this link to watch Rachel Maddow have the fun.
The Boston Tea Party was one of this nation's founding protests, a precursor to the Revolutionary War, based on taxation without representation. Trying to bring the emotions we Americans have had embedded in us through our public educations about this event into the current day, the Right is calling their anti-Obama protests "Tea Parties." They're sending tea bags to Democrats in Congress and President Obama, they're gathering and polluting rivers and oceans with teeny bags of Lipton tea, and they're gluing up the Internet with their ravings of over taxation and government spending abuses. It's an embarrassment to the memory of the patriots who risked their lives at the Boston Tea Party for freedom to see these arm-chair activists "play patriot," with their zero-risk photo opps, patting each other on their backs for taking a couple hours out of their year to "fight."
How can I criticize Americans for gathering together to protest government waste? Certainly I agree with the idea that spending is out of hand. However, these partisans are late to the party, so to speak. President Bush was the biggest-spending president in world history. Yet, these partisans were silent then, except for a few anti-stimulus blog posts. These Republican-Party-first-America-second twits were happy to allow their party to spend spend spend. Only now, when it's a Democratic president, do they come out and act all appalled at spending. The hypocrisy, which was so obvious during the 2008 presidential campaign, continues unabated and unrecognized by their own party members and leaders. These "protests" are actually bitter Republican "we are still angry that Obama won" protests, not taxation protests.
I don't blame Republican political organizations like the Republican Party and FoxNews for jumping in front of this moron-parade and trying to get some traction out of it. It's the closest thing they have to an agenda or purpose. Floundering around for the past year with no vision, no ideas, no coordination, no leaders and no brains, the Republican Party is effectively dead (something I declared last October).
Yesterday I was invited by the Indiana Libertarian Party to participate in one of these pseudo-protests in Indianapolis. As a libertarian at heart, I've always hoped the LP would organize like adults and become a true third party I could support. So, seeing this, I criticized their participation. I was informed, however, that they are planning to "crash" the party, distribute literature, as opposed to joining the idiocy. That is a good thing, and I might go to help them. Anything that can put actual information instead of propoganda into the hands of these misguided patriots is a good thing. I only worry that the type of Republicans who will be attending this event are too far gone, too closed minded, and possibly too illiterate, to be changed by facts.
What do you think of these Tea Baggers? Is it a much-needed positive galvanization of patriots, or a simple idiot parade meant to disrupt the Obama agenda? You know what I think, but, after changing my political views several times in my life, I am convinced that I could be wrong again. If you don't agree, please try to change my mind.