Memo from Tea Party: We’re watching and taking down names

In this March 23, 2010, file photo Sal Russo, the California-based co-founder of the Tea Party Express, holds a model of the Tea Party Express bus in his Sacramento, Calif., office. The robust, hard-right political movement that helped drive the GOP's November triumphs still has clout, and perhaps a brilliant future. But in an January 2011 interview from Wyoming while visiting potential 2012 Senate candidates Russo said "There's a little bit of expectation that they can do more than they really can do", and pointed out that Democrats still control the Senate and White House. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

Welcome to Washington, tea partiers.

Now that they’re freshmen in a GOP-run House, the political movement’s candidates are running smack into the traditions, partisan divisions and powerful competing interests that make it so hard to redirect the government.

Some tea party activists — part of a loose-knit, libertarian-tinged network advocating small government and less federal spending — already are dismayed to see their new lawmakers plunge into familiar patterns of raising political cash, hiring former lobbyists and stopping short of the often-heard vow to “change the way Washington works.”

Others are more lenient and patient.

“There’s a little bit of expectation that they can do more than they really can do,” said Sal Russo, a California-based co-founder of the Tea Party Express. Democrats still control the Senate and White House, he noted in an interview from Wyoming, where he was visiting potential Senate candidates for 2012.

Russo said the recently enacted tax cut compromise reached with President Barack Obama was imperfect but “as good a deal as we’re going to get.” The tea party must expand its influence with each new election, he added.

Other activists, however, fear their newly elected lawmakers will fall too quickly into old Washington habits of turning to special interest groups and their lobbyists for information, advice and campaign money. Some winced at a Jan. 4 fundraiser at Washington’s W Hotel, where ticket prices ranged from $2,500 for individuals to $50,000 for “donors.” It was sponsored by a political committee founded by freshman Rep. Jeff Denham of California and other Republicans who won election with tea party support.

Denham defended the event, telling reporters his freshman class needs campaign money to stay self-reliant and win future elections.

Some tea party activists also fear their newly elected allies will weaken or break promises to dramatically cut federal spending. Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler told CBS it’s an “absolute joke” for House Republicans to back away from pledges to cut $100 billion this fiscal year.

Newly elected Rep. Kristi Noem, a South Dakota Republican with tea party ties, says critics should simmer down.

“They should stay focused on the results we deliver,” Noem said in an interview shortly after taking office. “They pick little fights, but I think in the future they’re going to be satisfied with the results and solutions that this Republican Congress brings forth.”

House Republicans plan on Wednesday to fulfill a tea party priority: voting to repeal the health care law passed by Democrats last year. The pace and rhetoric of the drive have cooled in recent days because of the shootings in Arizona that severely wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who supported the new law.

Nonetheless, GOP leaders are sticking with a title for their resolution that Democrats say is inaccurate and unseemly in light of the six people killed in Tucson: “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.” Republicans acknowledge that the Senate is certain to block a repeal.

Some veteran House members say it’s unrealistic to think that even a freshman class of 87 Republicans, most of whom have tea party backing, can make a significant impact in their first term.

“They are raring to go,” said five-term Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa. But with Democrats controlling the Senate, “we can only do what we can do in the House,” he added.

“We’re going to run a lot of issues up the flagpole and create a lot of national discussion,” he added, acknowledging that may be as far as they get.

Nine-term Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, said tea party newcomers who are eager to slash federal spending will soon learn how difficult it is.

“Back in Ohio, almost everybody says, `Oh, you’ve got to cut spending,’” LaTourette said. “But then they say, `Oh, I didn’t know you meant my spending.’ And there’s going to be a lot of that.”

Deep spending cuts would anger many interest groups, and Republicans may pay a price, he said.

Republicans picked up nearly three dozen House seats when Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, LaTourette noted.

“Half of them were shown the door two years later,” he said. “Not because they did anything wrong. They kept their promises. But when you’ve got to cut a lot of money out of the budget, everybody’s got a pet program, a pet disease, a pet something, and people are going to get fired up.”

Indeed, the House’s new Republican speaker, John Boehner, another Ohioan, is moving cautiously. When NBC asked him to name a federal program he’s willing to cut, Boehner replied, “I don’t think I have one off the top of my head, but there is no part of this government that should be sacred.”

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press

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27 Responses to "Memo from Tea Party: We’re watching and taking down names"

  1. Almandine  January 17, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Maybe catching on ???

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/shaffer/shaffer228.html

    • griff  January 17, 2011 at 10:38 pm

      Nice.

      • Almandine  January 17, 2011 at 10:54 pm

        Yeah, I particularly liked:

        “As we discovered… you cannot lose your innocence more than once.

    • logtroll  January 17, 2011 at 11:40 pm

      Nice bit of intellectual masturbation. Posit a thing, create some context for it, then present the preordained conclusion.

      Might be true. Probably part true. Probably part false. Might be a total lie. I didn’t find anything in the article that I can use, however.

      • Almandine  January 17, 2011 at 11:49 pm

        Not surprised.

        • logtroll  January 18, 2011 at 12:02 am

          Did you? Share, please, your dudesomeness.

          • Almandine  January 18, 2011 at 12:21 am

            The quote from Spencer, the one from Rothbard, and the comparison of choice and aggression regarding free markets versus the state all seemed worthwhile to me. Food for thought and consideration… sorry you couldn’t find any value there.

      • Almandine  January 18, 2011 at 12:38 am

        Perhaps you can point out the incorrect parts for us and illuminate more rational alternatives.

        • griff  January 18, 2011 at 8:02 am

          He didn’t mention insulation.

        • logtroll  January 18, 2011 at 9:23 am

          C’mon, the imposition of order by a government leads to aggression? That is such a breathtakingly expansive assumption, and one with no possibility of demonstrating (much less proving) any documentable cause and effect, that it has no starting point.

          The whole article is such a cloud level assemblage of hypotheticals it could only be approached by the lord and master of all Strawmanity himself, Rushbo.

          Nice try on dogding my request for how you think this piece of fiction could be used to affect useful change in government by challenging me to defend my dismissal of it as blowhardism. You first.

          Avoidance is the next best thing to not being there.

          Compliments on the comeback, Griff, I’m devastated. Tomorrow I might “ilucidate” more on the wonders of saving energy instead of wasting it. ‘Scuse me, I need to look up ilucidate to find out what it means — right after I finish trying to follow the math on whether cold fusin will work or not…

          Carrion, boys!

          • Almandine  January 18, 2011 at 10:12 am

            Our exchange as I track it…

            “Might be true. Probably part true. Probably part false. I didn’t find anything in the article that I can use, however.”

            “Not surprised.”

            “Did you? Share, please, your dudesomeness,”

            “The quote from Spencer, the one from Rothbard, and the comparison of choice and aggression regarding free markets versus the state all seemed worthwhile to me. Food for thought and consideration… sorry you couldn’t find any value there.”

            “Nice try on dogding my request for how you think this piece of fiction could be used to affect useful change in government by challenging me to defend my dismissal of it as blowhardism. ”

            Well, Troll, I can’t find anything even remotely near a request by you for me to opine on how Shaffer’s piece could change govt. I hadn’t thought of it as mere blowhardism, though, but you know what they say about your words revealing your thoughts…

            As for changing govt, using the vision that Shaffer creates… less force and more individual choice would stabilize our economy and our liberty. We’d probably be a whole lot happier, less violent bunch, too.

            • logtroll  January 18, 2011 at 10:29 am

              Al,

              Perhaps there was a glitch in our disjointed and staccato exchange. I assumed that your “Not surprised” was in response to my “didn’t find anything in the article that I can use”, thusly “Did you?” was my question as to what you found you could use.

              Shaffer’s vision isn’t a bad one, but I don’t see what is actionable in it, and it is still based on a huge amount of conjecture.

              I find the funniest part of the article is where another paper from his teenage years is brought forth as a citation for supporting the current theme. That’s chutzpah!

              It’s as if he said, “I made this part up from thin air and, when you react it with what I pulled out of my ass, voila! Con-fusion!”

              • Almandine  January 18, 2011 at 7:09 pm

                And, yes, I told you what I could use… if for nothing more than consideration and future reference. Your need for something “actionable” is an entirely new requirement as far as I can see.

                As far as the basis of Shaffer’s argument is concerned, perhaps the piece he wrote years ago is better supported academically. I didn’t check, or need to, as even a dog will bite you if you kick it. In fact, it seems from your writings that you understand quite well the concept of getting pissed off when someone tries to tell you what to do or how to think.

                • logtroll  January 18, 2011 at 8:51 pm

                  Now you seem to be mumbling… and I ran out of gin. I don’t know what you are talking about and I’m not getting any inspiration to counter (or agree). Maybe it’s time to change threads if this one is played out.

                  Ever made gin?

                  • Almandine  January 18, 2011 at 9:50 pm

                    Beer and wine… had to give up the hard stuff.

                    Not a problem on a new thread.

          • griff  January 18, 2011 at 10:14 am

            Affecting useful change in government (or life) first starts with changing one’s way of thinking. A difficult task when one’s “independent” thoughts are spoon-fed to them by politician and pundit alike.

            One example given is the idea that minimum wage laws (government force, intrusion in the free market) actually leads to higher unemployment. A potential employer and employee should be free to negotiate a wage acceptable to both parties based on the needs of the parties and the value of the items being exchanged, i.e. labor for wages.

            The entire piece, appropriately titled “In Defense of Clear Thinking,” was meant to do just that – inspire you to think.

            My house is well-insulated, as I do love to save money on energy.

            • logtroll  January 18, 2011 at 10:31 am

              I think I had some thoughts… mission accomplished!

              Thumbs up on the insulation!

              • griff  January 18, 2011 at 9:06 pm

                In fact when I built my house seven years ago, I spared no expense on the best insulation and the most efficient radiant heating system.

                I’m not rich, but I know quality and efficiency, and will spend for it accordingly. And I do so hate donating unnecessary funds to the power company.

  2. eve  January 17, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Boehner replied, “I don’t think I have one off the top of my head, but there is no part of this government that should be sacred.”
    -per article

    Depending on how one looks at these words, this could be encouraging or frightening.
    Then again, he IS a politician and probably doesn’t mean a single syllable of it anyway.
    LOL!

  3. Carl Nemo  January 18, 2011 at 2:52 am

    I hate to say this logtroll, but as time goes by you are making me miss Guardhouse Lawyer’s comments to this site and that’s saying a lot relative your sound bites.

    You seem to be a fairly ‘bright bulb” so why don’t you ilucidate and hopefully illuminate us groundlings as to how “the worm turns” so to speak on the various issues of the day. / : |

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Carl Nemo  January 18, 2011 at 12:56 pm

      “ilucidate” should read…elucidate

      Logtroll made reference to the word in his reply to Al and Griff. Instantly I realized I misspelled the word. Not an excuse, but I’d had one too many shots of Jack causing a general degeneration of my thought processes.

      My apologies. : |

      Carl Nemo **==

      • griff  January 18, 2011 at 7:37 pm

        Jack’ll do that to ya.

  4. woody188  January 18, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Ah the Tea Party Express…probably the worst thing that ever happened to the tea party movement.

  5. Guardhouse Lawyer  January 18, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    ““They should stay focused on the results we deliver,” Noem said in an interview shortly after taking office. “They pick little fights, but I think in the future they’re going to be satisfied with the results and solutions that this Republican Congress brings forth.””

    Huh? What? When did that happen? The Senate went Republican? I must have been more asleep than I thought. Either that or this Noem person doesn’t know that there are two houses of the Congress. These people are dangerous in their rank stupidity.

    • Almandine  January 18, 2011 at 11:48 pm

      So she’s in the HOUSE and you’re exactly what?

  6. eve  January 23, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    As long as we’re reading about those in the US taking names and making memos ………. the Patriot Act is up for renewal.
    Make a note of it and contact your rep to let them know what you think about their plans to renew.

    If you have time to post here about it, then you have time to make a memo to contact your rep and let them know as well.

    • Carl Nemo  January 24, 2011 at 1:45 am

      Thanks eve. I’ve already done my part contacting my reps and signing web based ‘petitions’, but I have little to no hope that it will not be renewed.

      To do so would be tantamount to disassembling Homeland Security, TSA and a host of other post 9/11 inspired legislation and orgs such as these along with their engineered creation of a labrynthine, byzantine emergent police state, Constitution be damned…!

      The crimpols we have in Congress have a vested interest in maintaining a police state environment along with instilling ‘fear’ of the the man; ie., ‘them’ on an ongoing basis.

      Our leadership is fearful of the people. They know what they’ve done to “We the People” and they lose sleep thinking of the supreme price they might have to pay in time.

      They’ve sown an evil wind and we shall all reap the mighty whirlwind including them too. There simply won’t be enough room in the bunkers to save them all from their collective perdition.

      Carl Nemo **==

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