Lots of talk these days about the Tea Partyin’ gang because, well, they’re a fun bunch to talk about.
So here is what we’ve noticed. Many say, “these people are angry!” Well, maybe. But more like, these are people that see momentus changes going on in government — don’t like it — and want to get involved.
But how do the “regulars” get involved?
Well, they go to a Republican Party meeting.
Now picture that in your head for a moment.
We’re seeing a small, faux-wood panled room in the basement of a library.
Bad ventilation, with a coffee machine in the corner.
And someone in a polyester suit passing out an “agenda” at the front with an elephant at the top and a bullet point that says, “new business”.
Does that inspire you to get involved?
Of course not.
Now how about something with the idea of “revolution” in the title? And you don’t have to sign-in? And you don’t have to wear your best Sunday suit (and no one else will be wearing one either). (And forget about “smart-casual” too.)
And instead of an “agenda” there will be bull-horns and chanting! Oh, and the whole thing is at a lake!
See, Tea Partiers want to be involved but they don’t want to have to join.
They are free-spirited at heart, and would rather just show up and don’t want to end up on a mailing list.
That’s the way we see it.
But we giggle at those who write and speak about the outrageousness of the Republican Party wanting the Tea Partiers or, frankly, claiming them as their own.
Because, why wouldn’t the GOPers go that route?
Let’s put it this way: Suppose there was a “movement” out there — let’s call it “Woodstock Now!” — who wanted free health-care for everyone, supported increased taxes to support lots of new social programs, had Jesse Jackson and John Edwards speaking at their events and very specifically denounced various Republican politicians, programs and initiatives. And suppose that movement started to catch-on and was getting decent media exposure and popularity.
Now, let’s pretend said movement claimed they weren’t part of the official Democratic Party, but most of the people at the events voted Democrat. Would the official Democrats claim that Woodstock Now! should really support the Democrats? Well of course they would. Would Democrats show up at some Woodstock Now! events? Yes. And would people question whether WN! was really a wing of the Democrats? Of course. But those going to the rallies might claim otherwise. And even though George Soros was funding Woodstock Now!, again, those going to the rallies wouldn’t care — as long as their voices were heard.
That’s what is happening with the various Tea Partiers. And if you saw our email inbox, you’d notice that we get daily updates from about five or six different entities, each calling itself a Tea Party.
Like it or not, that’s the way such a movement it going to be. You’re going to have your People’s Front of Judea, the Judean People’s Front, the Judean Popular People’s Front, the Campaign for a Free Galilee, and the Popular Front of Judea. But in the end, they’re all going to be screaming “Romanes Eunt Domus!”
And don’t get us started on you “Coffee Party” guys.
“What do we want?!”
“When do we want it?!”
So that brings us, tangentially, to the question of who do the “Tea Partiers” support in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District Republican Primary? That of course begs the question (and we’re pretty sure we’re begging the question here, but it’s usually up to grammar debate), what the heck are the Tea Partiers doing fighting in the Republican Primary? Are they independent of the parties or not? Is Mike (er, Matt) Sakalosky a GOP candidate or a Tea Party candidate?
We have been told specifically that MattSak is a GOP candidate, and not endorsed by any groups (such at the 9-12 Tea Partiers). But Sakalosky doesn’t have any history of involvement in the GOP or local politics at all (as far as we know).
There are some particular Tea Party groups that have taken him as “their” candidate, and if cornered we would be surprised to hear Sakalosky denounce any of their causes or groups. Then again, we don’t think we would would hear 2nd District Congressman Lee Terry denounce any of their groups either.
But, like it or not, Terry is the clear standard bearer of the Republicans in the 2nd District — seeing as he is the current Republican Congressman. And, he is in agreement with probably 99% of Tea Party ideas anyway — if it were possible to itemize what those are.
But we would simply suggest, that if there are those who want to change the standard bearer of the GOP, they will need to fill their glass with Republican, as well as Tea. As it were.
So here is a final question that we will put out to the Comment gallery:
Should Lee Terry debate Matt Sakalosky, and if so, how many times and what sort of forum.
Wait, let us answer for each of the campaigns:
MS: Eight times, on broadcast TV at PrimeTime right after Dancing with the Stars.
OK, so onto the arguments. For Lee, the argument, first politically, goes: Debating the guy gets you nothing. You win, you get nothing. You lose, you lose.
Then you could ask on a sort of subjective basis, what sort of threshold does a candidate have to reach to be “entitled” to a debate?
X amount of money?
X percent in the polls? (Whose poll?)
Involvement in the party, at some level?
Having held elective office?
Something beyond a fringe candidate?
We’re not sure what the standards are — or if those are all of the standards. But we would ask if Matt Sak has reached any or all of those points to be entitled to a debate.
And for those of you who think anyone should be “entitled” to debate an incumbent in an organized forum, we’d just ask if Ben Nelson or Mike Johanns should have to debate say, Mort Sullivan on statewide TV. There will be some of you who say “no”. Others will reasonably say, of course not, because Mort hasn’t met a certain reasonable threshold. And many wouldn’t argue against that.
We’re having internal arguments here at the salon at Leavenworth Street HQ regarding this.
We would like to hear what you think, and why. And if you can do it, try to address some of the points made above.