Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fill in the Blanks Yourself

The Boone Tea Party, represented by Diana Poranski, was given editorial space in Sunday's Watauga Democrat to ... editorialize. The product is an interesting mix of patriotic pabulum and inflammatory (yet vague) posturing. (For whatever reason, the WatDem has not posted this piece of writing on-line, so you'll have to get hold of the Sunday paper to read the whole thing. We recommend the local library.)

The piece opens with patriotic pabulum:
"America is an exceptional country with exceptional people; we are a determined and resourceful people who do not cower in the face of danger or back down when faced with..."

And that's where it veers into inflammatory (yet vague) posturing:
"...when faced with an over-reaching government that behaves more like tyrannical dictators than citizen representatives."

Whoa. The government "behaves more like tyrannical dictators"? That's a bit vague and demands at least one measly example to be persuasive. Have there been jackbooted thugs bearing government warrants tromping on porches out in Valle Crucis? Black helicopters landing in yards? People disappeared? Newspapers shut down for reporting too much truth?

I'm serious. What prompted this over-heated and totally unsubstantiated rhetoric? If you're talking about the mandate to buy health insurance, then you should say you're disturbed about a mandate to buy health insurance, and we can then judge your "tyrannical dictators" verbiage on the merits. But since health insurance isn't even mentioned once in the entire editorial, we have to assume that there's something else much more "tyrannical" and "over-reaching" that's poked you in the eye.

For example, perhaps it's tyrannical over-reach for the government to regulate where an asphalt plant can be sited. Some people certainly think so, though Watauga County regulates asphalt plants (to a small degree). Is it tyrannical over-reach for Watauga County to mandate no billboards on the Doc & Merle Watson Memorial highway? Just be specific so that we can evaluate your argument and assess your values.

Oh, it's probably taxes she's talking about, yes? But taxes are never mentioned in the editorial either. Watauga County has one of the lowest property tax rates among the 100 NC counties, and our sales taxes are lower than many other states. If the editorialist wants to defend the millionaires' tax break, I wish she'd just come out and say so.

She does talk about revering the Constitution but does not mention that in fact the ability of the government to collect taxes from its citizens, as part of a social contract, is included in the Constitution.

Here's the main passage where this Tea Partier comes closest to saying what she wants:
"We share the common values of re-establishing limited government, free market/fiscally conservative principles, reassertion of states rights, equitable application of the law and individual rights."

That's a mouthful, granted, but again, exceedingly vague. "Free market principles"? Would that include the free market principles that repealed the Wall Street rules that in turn allowed the big banks to bring us to the brink? Would that include the free market principles that would tell the oil companies they can drill whenever, wherever they want, and we'll trust them to do it right? Would that include the free market principles that would allow, say, sweat shops and child labor?

"States rights" used to be code language for suggesting that Southern states, particularly, might be okay to disenfranchise black voters. Is that what this writer is hinting at, or does she not know that history? And we're just naturally curious how far this writer would take "states rights"? As far as "nullification" of law or even secession?

She'll get no quarrel from us over "equitable application of the law and individual rights," but what does she mean exactly by "individual rights"? The right of any couple to get married? A woman's right to an abortion? Specifics are left entirely to your imagination.

Which, when you think about it, is kind of the Tea Party's modus operandi -- imaginary goals, vaguely arrived at.

At the time this was first posted, the editorial certainly was not available on-line, but now it is. Here. Scroll down.


brotherdoc said...

Very good analysis, JW. I guess one really has to be inside the "movement" to understand the TPers' rhetoric and nostrums, but I can only regret the level of ignorance, coupled with rancor, that seems to possess them. Rational argument means nothing to them. Meanwhile our rascally right wing politicians are given their backing to act irresponsibly in Washington and Raleigh. We will see what they try to accomplish locally--I imagine they are closeted someplace even now trying to figure out how to accommodate the angry electorate.

Liberal POV said...


The modern day Tea Party seems to be a repeat of the 1934 American Liberty League.

"Created in August 1934, this association of wealthiest corporate leaders said its goals were “to combat radicalism, to teach...respect for the rights of persons and property, and generally to foster free private enterprise.” It attacked government funding for poverty relief and social services and opposed all “burdensome taxes imposed upon industry for unemployment insurance and old age pension.”



". It was largely financed by some of the most powerful business interests in the country, including the du Pont family (which provided roughly 30% of the League’s budget) and the leaders of General Motors, General Foods, Chase National Bank, Standard Oil, and other major corporations."

"As a political phenomenon, then, the Tea Party shares many of the same tenets and clearly emerged from some of the same forces and fears that gave rise to the American Liberty League in 1934."

"The du Ponts – through their control of the Remington Arms Co. – were also prepared to provide weapons for the Croix de feu-like veterans’ organization that the conspirators wanted Butler to lead as part of their plan to overthrow the government."

"The League distributed 50 million copies of extremely right-wing, often blatantly fascistic, pamphlets. It bankrolled a speakers’ bureau, hosted nation-wide radio shows and launched lawsuits targeting the New Deal’s 1935 Wagner Act because it allowed collective bargaining."

read it and weep said...

it is certainly interesting that more people agree with the Tea Party than with brotherdoc and Liberal POV. Witness the election.

No Compromise said...

JW, what do you mean it's not posted online? It's at http://www2.wataugademocrat.com/editorial. BTW, there's no mention of jackbooted thugs, only unconstitutional laws. Why are you afraid of the Constitution, JW?

Liberal POV said...

read it and weep

What's popular is not always right and whats right is not always popular.

Anne said...

The Tea Party is just the radical side of the Republican Party. That's all there is.

in disbelief of liberal ignorance said...

The Tea Party is made up of members of the Republican Party, the Democrat Party, Independents or Unaffiliated Voters, and Libertarians. look at the local election returns and see for yourself.

So now the truth comes out. Majority rule is only allowed if the left is in the majority.

As was said when Obama duped people into electing him. You lost. Get over it.

Liberal POV said...

in disbelief of liberal ignorance

"The Tea Party is made up of members of the Republican Party, the Democrat Party, Independents or Unaffiliated Voters, and Libertarians. "

But controled and funded by the world's richest billionaires see post on The American Liberty League of 1934.

Your being conned to work against your own political and economic interest.

used to be Anonymous but extorted by the blog said...

Oh I see. George Soros who bought the Democrat party for the far left is now in the Tea Party.

Thanks for the info, LPOV

Popcorn said...

The government does indeed overreach which is why the liberal lost big last month. The Patriot Act was named as an issue on this very blog by the Bush haters and then not a peep when the Messiah took office. The Tea Party must attack the Patriot Act because the liberals sure didn't want to (it fits in with their model of people control and big government).

Henery said...

"Not a peep (about the Patriot Act) on this blog after the Messiah took office"???

Took me all of 15 seconds to prove that's a lie. Simple Googling found this: http://blog.wataugawatch.net/2010/09/what-hells-wrong-with-obama-part-two.html

There's more, but that one example is enough to show how you guys lie through your teeth ... or at the very least just make stuff up to suit your narrative that All Liberals Are Evil.

U both r Correct. said...

The last two posters are correct. This blog did argue against the Patriot Act when bush was in office, but has not since Obama took over, except for the conservatives. This is strange, because Bush wasn't a conservative. He is a progressive.

bettywhite said...

Bush is a progressive?? What rock did you crawl out from under? Sheesh.

I know one when I see one said...

He was a proponent of big government. He increased the deficiet (altouhg not nearlyas much as Obama). He started the Patriot Act that Obama has strengthened. (for instance the scans and pat down searches that violate the fourth amendment) Can you deny it BW? He was a progressive.

Brushfire said...

I know- Just because you define the word the way you want to, doesn't make it valid. Progressives don't like big government for the sake of big government. We, or at least I, believe that the constitution mandates the federal government to promote the general welfare,provide for the common defense, establish justice, and ensure domestic tranquility. By definition it takes a complex and largish government carry out all those mandates in an extremely large and complex society such as ours.
The "Patriot Act" has nothing to do with progressive ideals, but is right out of the neo-con playbook. The only people to protest it were the progressive liberal "elites" you hate so blindly. In fact the first lawsuit against it (as far as I know) was filed by the ACLU.

easily seen said...

Brushfire, the literature the other progressive put out do not agree with you. Their entire purpose is to create big government in a strange socialist/fascist mixture.

Sorry, but you are wrong.

bettywhite said...

So Bush was a socialist? Wow...