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Sunday, October 23, 2016

The far right had been trying to spark some sort of populist movement for decades. Finally in February 2009, as the public began to comprehend the magnitude of the financial crisis that had been killing an average of half a million jobs a week for months, a dry weed caught fire.

CNBC’s Rick Santelli spoke for millions of Americans when he expressed his frustration with the bailouts being rained down from Washington D.C. But his target on February 19, 2009 wasn’t the big banks or the auto industry. Santelli blasted the real villains of the financial crisis, at least for the right — the millions of Americans who were losing their homes:

How about this,  [Mr.] President and new administration — Why don’t you put up a website to have people vote on the Internet as a referendum to see if we really want to subsidize the losers’ mortgages, or would we like to, at least, buy cars and buy houses in foreclosure and give them to people who might have a chance to actually prosper down the road, and reward people that could carry the water, instead of drink[ing] the water.

Within days, the “Tea Party” Santelli had called for in his epic “rant” became a reality, with Fox News literally advertising, then broadcasting events all over the country. And resentful Americans gathered in person and online to blast the first African-American president of the United States for not immediately fixing the enormous problems he had inherited.

A Republican Party with a brand that had been in critical condition after eight years of Bush and Cheney suddenly had a new way to sell itself to millions of Americans facing sudden uncertainty and turmoil unlike anything America had faced en masse since the Great Depression. The Tea Party gave the right new authority to suggest solutions. However, nearly every solution they suggested — including less government regulation, lower taxes and less government spending — had either been a cause of the crisis or effectively strangled any chance of a real recovery.

Five years later, the Tea Party is less popular than it ever has been, and less popular than the Republican Party itself, which has lower favorable ratings now than in 2009. But the damage the movement did to our economy lives on. Here are five ways the Tea Party stopped the economic recovery.

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • lemstoll

    The only reason the economy was blocked was because a black man was in charge of he “white House.”

    Racism pure and simple.

    • STMBT

      SO TRUE, SO TRUE!!! but the republicans will never admit it.

  • Phillip Wilson

    Since we use majority opinion to decide on those who make rules & restrictions, we find ourselves increasingly subjected to their commands.

    • Independent1

      You’re right! And a recent article about light rail in Houston sort of proves that.

      Back in 2003 voters in Texas voted to create light-rail lines for the city of Houston; however, a Republican voted in by the majority, Tom Delay, chose to block building of the line. Now that President Obama has negated Delay’s blockage of the line, and the city has gone ahead with building some light-rail lines; suburbanite Republicans who keep voting in Republicans to represent them, are upset because the new lines really don’t serve them – and why? Because the Republicans they keep voting in keep blocking efforts to build the lines into the surburbs. And we keep wondering why Republicans keep voting against their own best interests.

      If you’re interested, here’s the link that says the urban Houston folks really love the new light-rail while the GOP supported suburbanites are upset they’re not getting a piece of the action:

      When are the suburbanites going to wake up and vote the Republicans out of office that are keeping them from getting the benefits of light-rail??

  • Great article, and as someone who followed this very closely from the start, great insight and articulation.

    Off topic however on site design: it’s a TERRIBLE idea to break up articles into this many pages. Perhaps for really long ones multiple pages or entries would be fine, but trust me, as someone with years of experience in generating traffic for clients, the short term gain in hits you get from breaking up articles into multiple pages will quickly be offset by a decrease in readership. Do everything you can to design the site how your audience wants it to be, which means all on one page.

  • 4sanity4all

    The thing about the Tea Party is, they just love sound bytes that ‘sound good’, and they use them without ever thinking them through to their logical conclusion. And they use them without ever checking on the veracity of their statements. Many of their most cherished sound bytes about financial matters have been thoroughly debunked, but when challenged, they just double down and repeat them ad nauseum, until their adherents are completely convinced that they are true.

    • Independent1

      Here’s the link to an article that clearly debunks virtually all the rhetoric of the GOP, especially their constant droning about high taxes. Over at least the last 607 decades, the only time our economy has done well is when taxes were high. Over that time, six options have been tried to spur the economy (get the rich to spend and invest).

      Here’s the six options that have been tried:

      1.Price and pay freezes.
      2.Government set and regulated prices.
      3.Lower tax rates.
      4.Cash incentives from taxpayers to reinvest.
      5.Pleas and entreaties from the Oval Office.
      6.Higher marginal tax rates.
      Only number 6 has ever really worked; so when the GOP pushes for lower taxes or any of the other options, they’re pushing against history and are setting the country up to fail.

  • JamesHovland

    The GOP wants to campaign on voter frustration with a slow economic recovery. They’ve been banking on this strategy for years now, hoping America will fail so that they can win. They’ve cheered on every bit of bad news and dismissed every bit of good news as false, fabricated or mis-leading. What voters need to be looking at here is what all of our Representatives have spending their energy on. Voters should be frustrated. While Democrats have been trying to help get Americans back on their feet, Republicans haven’t done anything but frustrate those efforts and pray that we fail. If they want to campaign on that, by all means, and I do mean all means, we should help them out and give credit where credit is due!

    • Annette

      I agree. The Dems should make ads reminding people of the GOP’s actions in the federal level & highlighting effects GOP’s policies are by focusing on the States they control. Most if not all are doing badly & their citizen have lose some of their personal liberties along with their voting rights. It looks like the shameful events we’ve read about in the history books. Remember back than only certain landowners could vote.

  • Mark Schmidt

    The GOPers in congress should be arrested and tried for treason.

  • radsenior

    Ever notice each and every local, state and regional person running for office in every state are using anti-Obama rhetoric?
    Ever notice each and every local, state and regional person running for office in every state are railing about illegal immigrants?
    Ever notice each and every local, state and regional person running for office in every state are crying about no jobs production?
    Ever notice each and every local, state and regional person running for office in every state are emphasizing Anti-Obama anything?
    Ever notice each and every local, state and regional person running for office in every state are emphasizing securing the border? That is code for no immigration reform.
    Ask yourselves – Why anti-Obama?
    Anti-Obama is TEA-type code for anti-black president. And why is anti-Obamacare the biggest attacking point?
    Those who carry and display the Confederate flag and call it “heritage.” That heritage is going back to the time when the n-word was used repeatedly, blacks were strung up without repercussion and hatred, bigotry, prejudice and discrimination were the norm in southern states. The civil war was in fact about slavery! Southern states wanted slavery to build up holdings, money and power. Northern states wanted to live up to the laws of the constitution.( )
    Obamacare is law and fully in effect, as Rafael Eduardo Cruz, and other TEA-types want to fight for their insurance handlers.
    Put down your I-phone, leave your laptop and desktop and get involved in local elections. Local control is where the greatest control and influence is exerted.