It’s been interesting to watch the Tea Party in action. I’ve even had one run for office in my congressional district. He lost, and this is a very conservative area. Let’s see if I’ve got this right. They want the government to exercise fiscal restraint, are deeply concerned about the deficit, and want to restore the Constitution. They’re very, very afraid of government interference and intrusion into private decisions. I know I’m missing a few things, but bear with me.
Anyone remember their stirring fight against many of the provisions in the Patriot Act? You know, the Act that:
to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial, and other records; eased restrictions on foreign intelligence gathering within the United States; expanded the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority to regulate financial transactions, particularly those involving foreign individuals and entities; and broadened the discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities in detaining and deporting immigrants suspected of terrorism-related acts. The act also expanded the definition of terrorism to include domestic terrorism, thus enlarging the number of activities to which the USA PATRIOT Act’s expanded law enforcement powers could be applied
That one? The one that had the government spying on its own citizens, and ignoring the need to get a search warrant to wiretap people? How about their protests against the government arresting American citizens, detaining them without trial, and denying them access to legal help? You know, the ones we labeled “enemy combatants?” Then there were their demands that the government balance its budget, and not continue to run up the deficit to pay for the military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their arguments against the Medicare drug benefit bill, which expressly forbade the government from negotiating the lowest price, and added to the deficit.
Anyone remember all those Tea Party members marching and advocating against such assaults on the Constitution and fiscal irresponsibility? I don’t. Many of these same people argued for them! They noisily advocated for measures to “protect” them against terrorists, cheered on the administration when it ignored citizens’Constitutional rights, and turned a blind eye to the rapidly growing deficits.
That’s the problem with having a functional memory. They may be loud, and claim they’re interested in all sorts of things today, but they weren’t before. They were doing quite the opposite. Some may be genuine, but it’s interesting that it’s only when a Democrat was elected President, an African-American at that, that they suddenly “discovered” that they needed to advocate for balanced budgets, and “restore the Constitution.” It’s not convincing. They’re claiming they’re misunderstood? No, I think I understand them quite well. It’s fear, prejudice, and ignorance, mixed with a heaping dose of hypocrisy. It’s why I don’t believe the Tea Party.