Sunday, February 13, 2011

87 Tea Bags Make a Powerful Brew

Hard to Dilute This Tea
We've seen it too many times. A savvy politician emerges with strong principles and stronger rhetoric, vowing to go to Washington and make a difference, only to be swallowed whole by the establishment after a month or two. Ultimately, the only difference he makes is in his own commitment. It is precisely for that reason that I have long advocated the need for an army of new representatives who could form a caucus and stand strong to what they promised.

2010 was the year that finally happened, with an impressive number of Tea Party-backed people being elected and beginning their freshman year in 2011. There were 138 candidates with Tea Party support running in 2010, 129 of them for the House of Representatives and all as Republicans. 87 were elected, and they immediately set about making their presence felt.

In the budget debate that ended on Thursday night, the freshman class forced the hands of established Republican leaders in the final number for budget cuts, securing a figure roughly triple that which was being sought by appropriators and the committee. In the end, the House settled on cuts of $100 billion to the resolution that will fund the government through this fiscal year, ending September 30th. And the old guard got a taste of what the Tea Party actually represents, not to mention that of a little humble pie. 

Spending Is No Longer Popular
People are now much more receptive to the Conservative message simply because they have personally witnessed the effects of attempted Socialist practices. They are tired of the reckless spending habits of this administration and the mounting debt, and are hungry for constraint in Washington. Now they are beginning to see it.

With the number of freshman sharing the same goals of fiscal and social Conservatism, they are a formidable group, and not prone to the absorption typical of a single person or even a small group by the established members. Further, they are helping to embolden some existing members who may have quietly shared the same philosophies but were formerly too timid to express them.

Last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the tone was decidedly more intense than in previous years, with speakers unabashedly more vociferous in their opposition to the Democrat's agenda. The popular theme throughout the conference was an insistent repudiation of Liberal social and economic policies, a mantra that is a much easier sell these days because the listener doesn't have to believe it in theory alone. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

Rep. Allen West (R-FL) 22nd CD
The crowd at the CPAC was enthusiastic, but one man was clearly the star, receiving the most energetic applause. Allen West, who was recently elected to Florida's 22nd Congressional District, closed out the conference with a rousing speech that offered plenty of red meat to supporters. West promised "a new dawn in America", bringing the crowd to its feet, and not for the first time.

West was not meek in his speech, assailing programs considered "Holy Grails" by Liberals, and harshly criticizing Obama. He specifically targeted the tax code, capital gains taxes, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and defended the institution of the American family as crucial to liberty.
"I say we start looking at every government agency and program that's been created in the last ten years, and let's start making some hard choices."
"If you break down the American family, that leads to government dependency."
With Allen West and the other 86 "tea bags" steeping in the House of Representatives, it will make for a very potent brew. And for those on the left who insisted that the Tea Party is little more than a fad, I would suggest that they reconsider, even as I hope that they remain as cocky as always. Keep believing that your agenda is secure, Liberals, and we'll just be over here making things right again.

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Rick Supplee said...

I thought the start at CPAC was Mitch Daniels, Governor of Indiana. For he has actually implemented reducing taxes and government spending in his state. I so wish Republicans care about this but I fear they do not. They are closed to results like Daniels. They would rather elect someone like Mitt Romney who implemented Obamacare in his state when he was Governor.

Woody said...

Despite what the media bobbleheads and Democrat politicians tell us, the Tea Party isn't going away, Rick. The Republican party is undergoing a change that will ultimately bring it back into the fold of the will of the people.

Folks like Mitt Romney have been chosen in the past simply because of a perceived "marketability". Those days are waning as people begin to realize that media influence is not in their best interest, and that we should choose the most qualified over the most known.

With the advent of the internet age and the wealth of knowledge available, more people will be more likely to vote for someone they trust over who the media tells them to.

Justin said...

Now we just need to keep a close watch on our Tea Party caucus...both to keep them honest, and to keep their spirits buoyed up. It seems that once conservative politicians get to Washington a concerted effort is made to convince them that their election was a fluke, that the nation "really wants" big government, and that they'd better make nice with the Democrats in order to "get things done" if they want to get reelected.

I don't think West will fall into that category...but I've been surprised at the number of people who have. I never expected in the late 80s and early 90s that former POW John McCain would end up governing the way he has. I thought Lindsey Graham would be far more conservative than he's turned out as a senator. I was shocked when Mitch Daniels decided to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by rolling over for the Democratic minority in IN and dropping the right to work bill.