It’s not unusual for supporters of a particular political party to be sorely disappointed that their candidate failed to win the big prize, but what’s emerging within the Tea Party Express is a completely different political animal, which seeks to exact all measure of restitution and revenge upon its rivals. We’ve all seen the nasty public displays of vitriol aimed at Democratic lawmakers and others who oppose the Tea Party’s agenda. The most notorious incident occurring shortly before the passage of the Health Care Reform Bill, where long tenured Congressmen John Lewis and Barney Frank were spit upon, called the “N-word” and threatened with physical harm as they exited the Capitol building. After the passage of the bill, the threats against lawmakers escalated into ominous voice messages and acts of vandalism at their offices and homes.
According to the Tea Party’s website, their manifesto is to reclaim this country and scale back the federal government’s involvement in their personal lives, especially with regard to federal taxation, which sounds like an obvious repetition of Republican ideology. And the reason it sounds so repetitious is because the Republican party actually created the Tea Party Express in response to the rising popularity of then Senator Barack Obama.
Many of us were shocked to see middle age white people, standing and shouting at televised town hall meetings, blatantly questioning the legitimacy of Obama’s birthplace and referring to him as an evil Muslim. Even John McCain seemed completely caught off guard at the mob-like mentality that was bubbling up at Republican rallies, which eventually became public forums for people who were intent upon demonizing Obama and portraying his political ascendancy as America’s Armageddon.
When Obama assumed his role as President, divisive commentators such as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, continued to stoke the fires of dissidence within this movement by proclaiming that they wanted Obama to fail and continued to question the legitimacy of his birthplace. The Republican party seeking an opportunity to disrupt Obama and the Democratic Congress’ agenda, seized upon the ferocity of this movement and decided to officially incorporate it into the Tea Party Express and established the Tea Party Headquarters within the GOP offices. The Tea Party is in fact the Republican Party’s attempt to clone itself into a supposedly fresh grassroots organization, that’s designed to attract disaffected Independents and Conservative Democrats, who opposed the bank bailouts and the Stimulus Recovery Act. But as we know from scientific discovery, clones often have fatal defects and the Tea Party appears to have many.
Republicans weren’t prepared for the idea of a Frankenstein like faction that could eventually splinter off to become a competitor and challenge GOP candidates. At a recent Tea Party rally, Sarah Palin pleaded with the attendees to begin to start “picking a side”, which certainly evokes images of a cunning Dr. Frankenstein attempting to coax his man-made beast back into the laboratory.
The core constituency of the Tea Party Express are undoubtedly the same people who shouted at town hall meetings, questioned Obama’s birthplace, spat at Democratic lawmakers and vandalized their homes and offices after the passage of the Health Care Reform Bill. The Republicans, however, conveniently distanced themselves from these acts of violence, knowing full well that they provided the forum and the atmosphere for such heinous acts to take occur.
Most Americans aren’t thrilled about the idea of paying the federal government a healthy percentage of our earnings, but as citizens we also realize that each of us benefits from the mandatory collection of taxes, which actually only accounts for about 30% of our GDP. When compared to other highly industrialized nations such as France, England, Canada and Germany, whose tax collections account for almost 50% of their GDP, Americans are the least taxed and yet enjoy the highest standard of living.
So the Tea Party Express could eventually run out of steam once the hysteria of America becoming an overly taxed, socialist nation, run by an evil Muslim President begins to wane. And with the continued shift towards ultra conservatism and violence, the Republican Party as a result of their co-opting of the Tea Party movement, risks becoming less the party of Reagan and more like the party of Rush.