Wednesday, April 1, 2009
What Is The Tea Party Manifesto?
Lefties have assiduously tried to paint the Tea Party movement as an "astroturf" campaign orchestrated behind the scenes by the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (notably in the retracted bogus Playboy story about the Koch Foundation; despite the retraction that one is considered received wisdom in the Left blogosphere). This push has played at least some part in the major media's dogged insistence on ignoring Tea Party events, but the problem with that theory is that the movement to date has been almost entirely inchoate, and far too disorganized to be the product of any kind of plan. Look at the local and blog reporting from the earliest wave of Tea Parties, you'll find no coherent message other than "this sucks!" While true, that isn't enough to get you anywhere in the political process.
The other day I heard Neal Boortz asking a Tea Party enthusiast caller what she wanted to accomplish out of the events. Paraphrasing, she replied along the lines of "show them how angry we are" and "make a statement." Boortz replied that he didn't see the point, and he was correct in doing so. "Expressing anger" is not a coherent platform, it's just venting. As Boortz noted, no congresscritter is going to pay any attention to a box full of tea bags on his doorstep; it's just empty symbolism.
If the Tea Party movement is going to amount to anything more than people who wouldn't normally go to a protest protesting, it's going to have to come up with a consistent set of concrete (and realistic) goals, and clearly express those goals to the press and to the rest of the public.
A Tea Party Manifesto should have no more than ten items, and each one should be a clear, achievable goal. No fair putting in platitudes like "fix the financial system," that's too much like hopey-changitude, the point here is to be practical and specific. Some suggestions:
1. A moratorium on bailouts, whether for Wall Street bankers, General Motors, or the irresponsible guy down the street who "bought" too much house. "Failures must be allowed to fail."
2. Repeal of all "Stimulus" spending for the years 2011 and beyond.
3. Repeal of all "Stimulus" pet projects in 2009-2010 with no stimulative effect.
4. Defeat of the Obama 2010 budget, with a new budget set at 2008 levels plus inflation. We've already spent too much money that we don't have.
5. Defeat of any politician who voted for the February "Stimulus" bill.
6. Complete selloff and shutdown of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and an immediate ban on campaign contributions from both, as well as any other firm in Federal receivership.
That's a start. Feel free to add your own.