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Sunday, October 23, 2016



Woo hoo, even.

It was a nick-of-time rescue, like when Polly Pureheart is whisked off the railroad tracks right before the train comes barreling through, or the correct wire is snipped and the bomb timer stops counting down with just seconds left.

Last week, hours before a historic default, Congress finally stopped playing chicken with the world’s largest economy and ended the government shutdown.

So . . . hurray, right?

Huzzah, right?

Crisis averted, lessons learned, common sense restored. Everything’s good, is it not?

Well, no. Not even close.

Pardon the pooping of the party, but it’s hard to cheer the aversion of a crisis that:

A) Was entirely manufactured.

B) Will in all likelihood recur very soon.

This is what it has come to in Tea Party America: government of the crisis, by the crisis, for the crisis, government that lurches from emergency to emergency, accomplishing little, resolving less and generally behaving with all the thoughtful reflection of a toddler holding her breath until she gets her way.

Let no one claim this is no big deal because we’ve had shutdowns before. Let no one chirp that this is how things are supposed to work — checks and balances and all. Let none of us act as if it’s anything but bizarre to see a militant faction in one chamber of the legislature bring government to a halt because it doesn’t like a law.

Most of all, let us finally stop pretending this is only about that law, the Affordable Care Act, and the delusional claim that it will usher in socialism, communism and slavery, resurrect Vladimir Lenin and send Nazis marching down Pennsylvania Avenue.

  • John Pigg

    The problem with this faction is that they do not consider themselves Republicans first who happen to be conservative. They consider themselves Conservatives first who happen to support the GOP.

    People like Cruz will cite the Gallop poll as evidence that the GOP doesn’t stand up for their conservative constituents.

    We saw this in 2012 with the defeat of Mtt Romney. After the election the reason he lost was that he wasn’t conservative enough, although the contrary is true you will never be able to make them see it. Most of these people have access to data but when viewed through an ideological prism will always arrive at the opposite conclusion.

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      John, that is because they do not accept “Reality” and demand the right to their own facts, regardless of the evidence otherwise. Unfortunately, the tendency to nominate more and more conservative candidates will result in the Republican Party becoming more “regional” than it already is. Add to that as the very people that the Tea Party Republicans have been alienating in their diatribes grow in population in the areas they “control”, their base will increasingly shrink. What the great irony would be for a Tea Party Republican to lose in a general election to a gay, Black, Hispanic, female, Army veteran.

      • BigFish92672

        What “Reality” don’t they accept? The reality that every dollar collected by the personal income tax goes to pay the interest on the debt? That the US is the brokest nation in history? That every man, women, and child in America would have to come up with $54,000 to pay it off? Or is your “Reality” that none of that matters?

        • Mama62

          If that is their mission, why do their elected reps spend so much time dwelling on social issues and not the economy? Why concentrate on abortion instead of jobs? Why dwell on gay marriage instead of jobs? Why only concentrate on stripping the social safety nets economically instead of looking to revamp an unfair tax code? Why? Because this is not you mama’s Tea Party. They act as if they are the only ones who are capable of fixing the debt and them show up at functions carrying AK 47s and waving confederate flags. Sorry it has turned into a circus and a very uly one at that. They have given cover to the most radical extremist who have found a home at last. When they embrace rather than disavow the bigots and racist in the group, it’s pretty hard to see them as anything positive.

          • BigFish92672

            Tell me what social issue Rand Paul “dwells” on.

          • Mama62

            For starters:

            Paul is opposed to abortion and supports a Human Life Amendment and a Life at Conception Act. He favors the overturn of Roe v Wade. According to the Paul campaign, he received a 100% pro-life score on a Kentucky Right to Life survey and a perfect score fromthe National Right to Life Committee. Maybe he should read the Bible which says life begins with the first breath.

            Paul opposes same-sex marriage. Because you know, homosexuals are actually inferior or defective so they do not deserve their basic rights under the law.

            Paul supports eliminating the federal Department of Education and public schools. Hmm, sounds like the back door of segregation?

            Paul opposes regulation of homeschooling. Really,no standards whatsoever? Just keep kids home and teach them whatever your please. Science? Math? History?, maybe-maybe not.
            Seems it’s Ok with him for the government to tell a Woman what she cannot do with a fetus in her own body but once its born, just go ahead and do whatever you want. Don’t care if they get an education, your call. Can’t afford to feed them, don’t look for handouts, let the free market take care of you and that child your were legally forced to give birth to.

            Paul would oppose all gun control a position he says is supported by the 2nd Amendment. Patently not what the Constitution says, perhaps he should study the actual reason for the 2nd Amendment . As proof of his views, he received a perfect score from the Gun Owners of America. No one gets a perfect score from them without being against all forms of gun control, I know, I’m a gun owner.
            He routinely votes with the far right of the party on social issues. Don’t believe me, look up his record.

    • Mama62

      Really John, you believe that Tea Party folks voted for President Obama because they thought Romney wasn’t conservative enough? I seriously doubt that happened.

      • John Pigg

        Not what I said in the slightest. The Tea Party did back Romney, but they assert that the reason he did not win the general election was because he was not a real conservative who had real conservative bona fide credentials.

        They would argue that if you nominated someone like Cruz, that he would make the base excited and get out the vote.

        This theory is absurd but it was advocated and advanced in some conservative circles.

        • Mama62

          Well it certainly is absurd. Most of these folks would have voted for the devil himself before they voted for President Obama and I really don’t think they stayed home since anyone with a brain knows if you don’t vote, you may as well have voted for the other guy. I had friends tell me they would have voted for Hillary but wouldn’t vote for President Obama so they voted for Romney. How much sense does that make?

          • John Pigg

            A lot depending on what you feel or think related to certain policies or issues. Your friends are disenchanted Democrats, they have little to no mechanism to tell the Party they are unhappy except by voting for Romney. Party strategist will think about your friends next election, how to get them back and what went wrong.

            President Bill Clinton witnessed the Ross Perot campaign as Perot was talking about budget issues and took 3/10 of the voting public with him. During his tenure, President Clinton balanced the budget and took a moderate stance on key issues. It could be argued that this is directly related to the success of the Perot campaign.

            For most of the voting public, elections represent a battle between good and evil. But for some, like your friends elections represent an opportunity to communicate with Party leaders through their votes. The only thing that does not make sense is voting without a purpose.

          • Mama62

            No, one is a moderate Republican and one is an Independent. Let’s see from an ideology standpoint, Hillary, Obama or Romney. Gee I can’t have Hillary so I’ll go for the white man. There is no policy issue difference between Hillary and Obama that I know of that compel someone to vote for Romney over Obama if they were originally going to vote for Hillary. Some of Hillary’s supporters were angry with the party over Hillary losing the nomination but voting for Romney instead had nothing to do with policy. There are much better ways to communicate your disapproval to your party than by voting for someone whose policies you don’t agree with. As a matter of fact, one stated that Obama was arrogant and the other one just didn’t “like” him. Neither one liked Romney, but they voted for him anyway. You tell me what was at play here? One is even a big pro-choice supporter…?

  • Dominick Vila

    Whether we like people like Cruz or not, the fact is that what he says and does are reflections of what his constituents, and a segment of our electorate want to hear. The fact that much of what they are proposing is diametrically opposed to what their hero – Ronald Reagan – did, does not bother them at all because they don’t really know or don’t remember many of the policies championed by Reagan.
    They also see themselves as victims of policies ranging from taxation to economic policies such as those used to prevent the potential collapse of the U.S. economy announced in 2008 by none other than President Bush. Most of the claims the Tea Party make contradict historical evidence, especially their efforts to blame the Obama administration for things that have been taking place for decades. They also ignore the fact that some of the most important issues they clamor for – such as abortion – were ignored by Republican presidents, including Bush II when the GOP controlled both chambers of Congress.
    Behind the façade of rightful indignation is an element of ignorance, prejudice, social irresponsibility and greed that, if allowed to succeed, would destroy the fabric of our society, our way of life, our system of government, and our privileged status in the world.

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      The Tea Party exemplifies George Santayana’s old dictum that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. These guys do not want to recognize any “Truth” other than that which they invent. At some point the National Republican Party is going to have to get someone back in charge like Lee Atwater who will not longer tolerate the Tea Party antics and tell them to either shape up or get out. If this happens, a greatly weakened Tea Party may run the occasional nominee, and he will be looked on with amusement by the rest of the country. If they do not get another Atwater, but insist on appointing another non-entity like Reince Priebus, then the Tea Party will either end up in control of the National Republican Party, driving it into ignominious defeat, or end up splitting from the Republicans in a position of strength, resulting in both Parties being weakened beyond help. The Republicans may survive due to the financial backing of “old money”, while the Koch brothers, Adelson and the rest of the Tea Party backers will finally realize they have been backing the wrong team.

      • Dominick Vila

        The credibility and support enjoyed by the Tea Party will become evident during the primaries leading to the midterm election next year. The re-election of every Republican senator and congressman that supported reopening the government – and by default funding ACA – will be challenged. I expect the TP to fail in states like Virginia and North Carolina, but I would not be surprised if their candidates are re-elected, or elected, in most Southern states, parts of Texas, and parts of the Midwest.
        Judging by relatives and neighbors, the TP remains as determined as ever to get rid of ACA, privatize SS, dismantle MEDICARE, get rid of MEDICAID, get rid of Affirmative Action, and just about every progressive policy regardless of whether they are efficient or cost effective.

    • Allan Richardson

      A recent survey asked Americans, if you could resurrect one dead President, catch him up on what happened since his death, and have him advise the current President, who would it be? Abe Lincoln: SINGLE DIGITS. Ronald Reagan: 24 percent, about the same percentage as the Tea Party fanatics.

      Maybe that Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment still have some folks that disagree with them?

      • BigFish92672

        Maybe because every other country with slavery managed to get rid of it WITHOUT killing 100s of thousands of people. Greatness has a low bar, indeed.

  • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

    Mr. Leigh states: “The Tea Party has issues with corrupt government just as they did in the Revolutionary War times. But all you National Memo Whigs just ignore that little party out at sea. Laugh at them. Call them names. I’m SURE they’ll just go away. Oh sorry I was quoting the British not you!”

    Well the Tea Party has been brought and paid for by the Koch Brothers and other millionaires looking to control the United States Government so they can do away with laws that protect “we the people” so they can make more profits.

    This is a huge problem with the Republicans and their off spring the Tea Party, they refuse to embrace the future because they will not relinquish the past and keep trying to drag the Unites States back in time.

    “Obamacare is good for you poor folks but not us exempt political types.’ Why do you hate people who are less fortunate than you. Why do you hate the Government? You object paying taxes to maintain roads, bridges, highways yet you want to utilize them. You object to paying taxes to maintain airports and railways and again you want to use them. Why do you object to paying taxes for a public education?

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      That’s because the Tea Party wants to restore an America only seen on “Leave it to Beaver” and “The Adventures (?) of Ozzie and Harriet” that never actually existed. An America where Black women were maids, Black men were Red Caps, and Hispanics were gardeners. Where women stayed home and did dusting while wearing a pearl necklace, and tending to a roast in the oven. Where all the boys played in Little League and were in Boy Scouts, and all the girls sold Girl Scout Cookies. An America where people like Doctor Frederic Wertham made sure that American media never had any controversial stories, and any girl who got “in trouble” was always sent to “visit” a relative for a couple of months.
      That is the America they want. That is NOT the America most of the country NEEDS!

      • Michael Kollmorgen

        What you stated of what the Tea Party wants, never was. America with the vast majority of our population watched many of these programs in our youth only to find that it was all BS as we got to know what reality is really like.

        Of course, there was and is the 10%. Yea, they probably do live like that.

        This is probably why the Tea Party will never get what they want because what they want does not reflect america as it really is. Well, at least the left over 90% of us.

  • 72Pallas

    With ascent of the ‘Tea Party’ it has become quite obvious that a small
    minority of US adults still can’t get over that fact that the slave
    states LOST the Civil War some 150 years ago. It has nothing to do with
    big government. For them Big Government is just fine so long as it
    provides what they want. When and where it does not then it has to go.

    the ‘Tea Party”, Scott, is/was so concerned about ‘debt’ – where in
    hell where they 13 years ago when Bush bankrupt this country with two
    (at least) costly (and un-winnable) foreign wars and a taxing policy
    that all but crippled us. The rest of your diatribe is just pure,
    unadulterated BS

    • Allan Richardson

      They remind me of the farcical comedy “Idiocracy,” in which a pair of not-too-smart but not-too-dumb subjects in an Army freezing experiment wake up 500 years in the future, when the “dumb” genes have totally overwhelmed the “smart” genes and … well, it’s more OBVIOUSLY bad than the Tea Party, and FUNNIER, but not much worse than if the TP actually got to run the country.

      • BigFish92672

        That’s what a Yale professor thought until he did a study and found Tea Partiers have a better understanding of science than the national average. But that’s probably because commie-libs are afraid of science.

    • BigFish92672

      I understand you hadn’t been born yet 13 years ago, so you wouldn’t remember, but the Tea Party was a splintering of the GOP directly caused by Bush’s running up a $1,000,000,000,000 debt

      • Mike Maricle

        Tea Party DOB: 04/15/2009 = 13yrs?

  • charleo1

    What became evident in the first few days of the Government shutdown, was the
    T-Party had no plan, “B.” Their original plan was to, first close down the Govn’t.
    So far, so good. Then, inform a panicked President, and what they thought would
    be a supportive public. They would gladly reopen the Government, when the healthcare law was sufficiently defunded, debunked, disemboweled, and dead as
    a doornail. They expected there would be counter offers. Which they would
    dismiss one by one. As public pressure increased on the Democrats to make a
    deal, eventually any deal. And by Mid October at the latest, Americans would be watching the celebration of a successful T-Party. That had came to Washington
    and by the courage of their unyielding conviction, managed to confront, and stop Barack Obama, and his big government idea in it’s tracks. It should be noted, swinging for the bleachers comes as naturally for radicals, as ducks to water, or wanderlust to the itinerate hobo. And, for the committed extremist, caution is
    forever in the wind. Something else that became evident about the T-Party. Is
    they may have an idea of sorts, in the broadest of terms, what their agenda would generally look like. But are unable, or unwilling to verbalize it in specific terms.
    So, when it became clear neither the Senate, nor the President was going to budge an inch on healthcare. The topic turned to what other demands might be required
    to reopen the government, and now the added issue of raising the debt ceiling.
    One T-Party Congressman seemed to speak for the rest. When he allowed, “We ought to get something!” It was author Richard Bach that is credited with saying, “The worst lies we tell, are those we tell ourselves.” And, never more appropriately applied than to those T-Party zealots, and their faithful followers. As the Country witnessed again, those lies the T-Party keeps repeating to themselves, produced
    the spectacle of T-Party ideology, smashing headlong into the realities of public opinion outside of of the T-Party’s, nihilism, and introversion. In what was the silver lining in this 24 billion dollar, T-Party conniption. Namely, the education of a wider population, both here, and abroad, of who, and what, if anything outside of obstructionism, and conspiratorial chaos, the T-Party represents.

  • howa4x

    I hope the tealiban rips into the republican party like Sherman’s march to the sea. They deserve it for trying to block Obama’s agenda at a time when we were reeling from the financial meltdown. Mitch McConnell created the culture of no and the tea party were welcomed as fearless warriors in the last crusade to stop multiculturalism. How dare America elect a black man was their motivation to right the ship. Now the tealiban has taken aim at the RINO’s and want to drive the moderates from the party. Great! They only win general elections in very dark red states, for now. Considering they are polling at 14% the majority of people don’t support them. The only strength they have is in the primaries where the true believers come out, but their dark view of America alienates most rational people. Even Dr No in Kentucky is trailing a democrat in head to head polls. People want compromise and reject their my way or the hwy attitude that includes hostage taking to get their own way. Republican’s opened Pandora’s box and allowed all the contents to escape. Now the cloud that seeped out of the box is over taking them and will disintegrate them like it did to the Nazi’s in Raiders of he lost ark when they opened it. It’s called what comes around, goes around and if you dig a hole for someone else dig one for your self.

  • Elisabeth Gordon

    sedition n. the Federal crime of advocacy of insurrection against the government or support for an enemy of the nation during time of war, by speeches, publications and organization. Sedition usually involves actually conspiring to disrupt the legal operation of the government and beyond expression of an opinion or protesting government policy.

    I cannot understand why Cruz and his prick friends have not been brought up on charges of sedition….anyone?

    • charleo1

      Vile, obnoxious, unbecoming a member of Congress, undermining the
      security, and good name of the Country, while inciting insurrection. All
      seemingly valid reasons to enact, and enforce vigorously a law aganist
      sedition. And, Congress has seen fit to pass such laws several times.
      Only to repeal them later. As such laws present an unacceptable risk
      to our First Amendment Right, of freedom of expression. For when the
      State may prosecute an individual, or individuals, for criticizing the
      government. Or, if elected officials acting within their Constitutional
      authority, may be penalized for voting, or not voting, or voting aganist
      any issue that might be construed as being harmful to the Nation.
      We have just removed the authority granted in the Constitution to
      such members in the Legislative Branch. And, of course find the
      Constitution has made no directive as to where, or whom this authority
      then, should be granted. And while I’m supportive of the sentiment.
      I’m just afraid we Citizens will need to continue to make those kinds of determinations via the ballot box.

    • BigFish92672

      Patience, comrade, you’ll get your re-education camps soon enough

  • Michael Kollmorgen

    There are the Islamist Taliban. These people represent the radical wing of Islam.

    The same can be said for the Tea Party. The Tea Party represents the radical wing of the Republican Party. The Tea Party is our “Christianized” American Taliban.

    In both cases, they both are just as dangerous to the county which hosts them. The only difference is that we have laws on the books that prohibit the type of terrorist activity that the Islamist Taliban commit over there, that the American Taliban would commit if given the chance here.

  • sleeprn01

    Mr. Pitts you are wrong about one thing, their are Nazi’s marching on Pennsylvania Ave. Except they exhibit pseudo patriotism by wrapping themselves in the flag, both USA Stars and stripes and the CSA Stars and Bars; instead of the Tea Party they should be known as neo-confederates. However, instead of waging war on the battle field as they did 150 years ago, they are waging the war in the halls of Congress using subterfuge and nefarious tactics to sabotage the Federal Government. I think that President Obama has been one of our most compassionate and intellectual presidents. But unfortunately his presidency has exposed the ugly under belly of a racist America.

  • Pamby50

    The Tea Party can’t help themselves. As I listened to Matt Kiebbe from Freedom Works, he is upset that the shutdown didn’t continue on. He believes they would have won eventually. They will try again. It is in their nature.

    • foundingprinciples

      It is in the nature of the patriots of the Tea Party to adhere to our Founding principles.

  • Bryan Blake

    I was stripped of Congressional Representation through the Republicans trying to rid the Texas delegation of one of its few progressive members. He moved into the new contorted district and was re-elected anyway. So now I have a bona fide Tea Party congressman. To add insult to injury the infamous Ted Cruz is now one of our Senators. Cruz, by defeating an establishment candidate, caused our other Senator to take a spot near the door of the Tea Party Parlor.

    I wish I could say otherwise, but it appears that they are here to stay for the foreseeable future. So states like Texas are going to continue electing Tea Partiers to Washington. Our state government is almost totally infected by them.

    The Tea Party is one of The Founders’ fears come true. The Teas are “the ignorant and unruly mob” that The Founders feared could take control of the Federal Government. That is the great motivation in allowing only the House Of Representatives to be directly elected.

    • foundingprinciples

      It is understandable that the Republican Party would want to rid itself of “Progressives.” What do you expect?

    • BigFish92672

      Who wrote that a “the ignorant and unruly mob” would take control? More important, “if” a Founder had such a fear, what check did he put in place?

      • Bryan Blake

        Start with Gouveneur Morriss. At first he was against the Revolution and then became a supporter of the Revolution. He was an unabashed elitist who believed in the superiority of wealth and property. At the Constitutional Convention, with only one delegate who could be described as an everyman, Morriss was the quintessential “elitist”. He apparently believed that common people would invariably become the mob and take control of the government. There is the name of at least one Founder who “feared” the unruly mob.

        The Constitution is clear about the checks upon the mob. Three branches of government to form checks and balances. That way Morriss and the rest of the elitists could provide Reason in governing while the “mob” was isolated in the lower chamber of the Congress. Only the House was directly elected. The Senate by state governors/legislators. The President by the Electoral College.

        Let us not forget the federal judiciary and its lifetime appointments that produce such unaccountability as found on SCOTUS today. They are the ultimate way to keep the mob in check. While their powers are not enumerated they are nonetheless implicit based upon the Reason of the Founders.

        But Morris and The Founders believed in a living, breathing Constitution. Prime Example: The Bill of Rights. The great majority would probably be very comfortable with the Federal Government of today. But they would be fearful about the presence of The Tea Party in a part of the Congress – a.k.a. The Unruly Mob!

        • BigFish92672

          Strange that you think the Tea Party is in control; for every Tea Party representitive I can think of, I can name 5-10 statist-socialist representives. Strange also that you label people like Dr. Paul “ignorant and unruly”. Is that your Alinsky training or are you naturally intellectually dishonest?

          • Bryan Blake

            Like me and Dr. Paul everyone, by definition of the word, is ignorant. None of us has the intelligence to know everything about everything. I grew up in a town about 60 miles south of Dr. Paul’s congressional district. So when he took office I became familiar with his particular brand of right wing Libertarianism. There are one or two things that Dr. Paul and I agree on. For example: close down the foreign military bases of our American Empire. Limit our foreign military intervention only to those incidents that are clearly required for self-defense. Despite my vehement disagreement with 90% or more of what Dr. Paul advocates I do not consider him to be “intellectually dishonest”. In reality Dr. Paul is one of the very few intellectually honest Libertarian extremists. But I do consider him and his followers to be terribly misguided – especially in their advocacy of Limited Government. Until the last 15 years, more or less, Dr. Paul has been outside the mainstream of conservative Texas politics. But he stuck to his beliefs and was reelected several times – all within the system established by The Framers.

            Your characterization of those who disagree with you as “statists-socialists” reflects your own lack of knowledge as to the full spectrum of political ideologies. In particular of those who occupy elected offices in the Legislative and Executive Branches of the Federal Government. The Honorable Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, is the only modern-era self-described Socialist to be elected to Congress. But even Senator Sanders is not an advocate of the destruction of capitalism or replacement of our Constitutional government with a statist form. He apparently believes that inherent human rights are an essential function of government. I must agree with the good Senator.

            But I am not a Socialist or Communist nor Statist. Until I became disabled I spent almost all of my adult working life as a small business owner. I know from personal experience that so called “free-market capitalism” is rigged in favor of the rich and ultra-rich. The only form of capitalism that can function for the benefit of all is Dynamic Capitalism. That which is regulated to allow all to compete on a level playing field. If you have a good idea and work hard you can go as far as you can without the oppression of the rules now protecting the rich, ultra-rich and mega corporations. Only a strong central government can enforce the rules which produce an altruistic economy in which all prosper to the best of their ability. Of course that is an anathema to modern conservatives who unconditionally support the greed-fueled fraction of the 1%.

            In order to maintain my “intellectual honesty” I must make the following disclosure: I would like to be the most ultra-rich bastard among the 1% just so I could attack those extremists who are waging an open, but legal, revolution against our democracy and We The People! The Founders did just that against the British Monarchy and its corrupt 1%!

            “Where o’ where have The Founders Gone?
            Into a grave dug by Nefarious Billionaires’ money!”

          • BigFish92672

            You have maintained NOTHING! You claim there is only one statist-socialist in congrab. You call our present system “free-market capitalism.” You write you are not a statist then claim a leviathan central government is required. You disagree 90% with Dr. Paul, but you are not a socialist or communist. You are a textbook example of “intellectually dishonest.” Have you no shame?

          • Bryan Blake

            The only shame I will have is if I reply to another of your factless, transparent and “willfully ignorant” posts. There are serious people making posts on this site with whom I disagree and can have intelligent exchanges. They deserve my time.

  • Liberalism is Nonsense

    Since liberty enables the freedom to fail, it is rather common that the results from our own use of liberty leave us unsatisfied.