The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Whether you agree or disagree with them, the Tea Party Movement represents an important turning point in American politics. The Obama administration and its political and media supporters have done everything possible to delegitimize, and more recently, to demonize the millions of citizens (most of whom are everyday Americans with a very few lunatics thrown in) who support the Tea Party. Beginning with Nancy Pelosi’s inane “astroturf” comments, followed by the media’s quest for evidence of endemic racism, and now Bill Clinton’s surprising suggestion that “…these threats [alleged by Tea Party participants] against the president and the Congress. … I just think we all have to be careful. We ought to remember after Oklahoma City. We learned something about the difference in disagreement and demonization.” Although I like and respect Bill, I do find it odd that he didn’t express similar sentiments when his own party and their supporters vilified the past president.

Richard Fernandez of The Belmont Club comments:
The point Bill Clinton is missing is that the danger doesn’t come from right wing ‘anger.’ The anger is just a byproduct. The voices he hears from the Tea Party crowds aren’t threats; they’re warnings. The real peril is coming from somewhere else: the demographic decline in industrial world working populations, the increasing cost of energy and the international movement in the factors of production. A whole generation of failed policy from both parties is coming to a head and it probably means that the welfare state, the European Union and by consequence the Chinese economy are heading for a cliff.

What’s driving the Tea Parties isn’t amorphous hate. It is concrete fear: worry that pensions have been devalued; medical care will become unaffordable; taxes are too high and jobs are gone, never to return. And a look around the world shows there’s no place to hide. When the wave hits it will be global. In the UK membership in political parties is at near historic lows. In America Congress’s popularity is lower than whales**t. The Eurozone is cracking up under its weight of debt. First Greece, now Portugal are being ripped off the cliff face like a zipper — and all the climbers are roped together. Japan is like a kamikaze sub heading for the depths and tapping out a sayonara. Russia was history long ago. And China, when it has used up its flowering moment, will face the consequences of its one-child policy. And Middle Eastern potentates, stuck in the same old, same old, are warning about a Summer War. The Tea Parties aren’t about putting some country club Republican in the White House, though Bill can’t help hearing it like that.

Those of us in the Center recognize all of these things. That’s why Independent voter support for Barack Obama has been in free-fall for almost a year. It will not recover.

The reason isn’t that all of us support the Teapartiers—although most of their central concerns make a lot of sense. Rather, it’s that we, like them, have chosen to face the reality of crushing debt, irresponsible spending in the name of social justice, and a government that, like a nightmarish fog that invades every crevasse of our existence, is spreading without bound or reason.

Hard decisions are coming, whether we like it or not. In the final analysis, the further we go into debt, the more those who need the social safety net—the poor, seniors, pensioners, the sick, among many—will suffer. Stopping the bleeding now is the most socially conscious thing this country could do, even if it takes relatively extreme and unpleasant fiscal measures. Too bad those who seem to thrive on moral preening can’t see that.