Tea Parties and Rhode Island

As illustrated in a recent National Review print edition piece, Mark Steyn gets the tea party movement more than most:

… The signs on display get the underlying principles of the Obama era: “LET THE FAILURES FAIL!” Teenager: “STOP SPENDING MY FUTURE!” Senior: “THIS GRANDMA ISN’T SHOVEL-READY.” Just as importantly, the demonstrators understand the essentials more clearly than many of the think-tankers and Sunday pundits and other insiders hung up on the fine print. “Death panel” took off because it clarified the health-care stakes in ways none of the other oppositional lingo quite managed. My NR colleagues were sniffy about it, and, like many health policy wonks, seemed to think it an extreme characterization of whatever this or that provision in paragraph 7(d)iii on page 912 of the bill actually entailed. All irrelevant. Yes, once the governmentalization of health care is fully accomplished, there will be literal “death panels”, like Britain’s NICE (the National Institute of Clinical Excellence), an acronym one would regard as Orwellian had not C S Lewis actually got to it first — NICE (the National Institute of Coordinated Experiments) in his novel That Hideous Strength. But that’s missing the point: The entire reform package, not page 1,432, is the death panel, in the sense that it will ultimately put your body under the jurisdiction of government bureaucrats.

What’s really disconcerting, though, is how accurately, if inadvertently, he describes the end-game through which Rhode Island is suffering (or game-ender, if you prefer to assume ignorance rather than malice in those who brought us here):

If you expand the dependent class and the government class, you can build a permanent governing coalition, and stick the beleaguered band in the middle with the tab. …
At a certain point, why bother? As fast as you climb the ladder, you’ll be taxed and regulated down the chute back to the bottom rung. You’ll be frantically peddling the treadmill seven days a week so that the statist succubus squatting on your head can sluice the fruits of your labors to Barney Frank and the new “green jobs” czar and whichever less hooker-friendly “community organizer” racket picks up the slack from Acorn, as well as to untold millions of bureaucrats micro-regulating you till your pips squeak while they enjoy vacations and benefits you’ll never get. Who needs it? If you have to work, work for the government: You can’t be fired and you can retire in your early 50s. But running your own business is for chumps.

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Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
14 years ago

Are we witnessing the birth of a third major political party? There’s pent-up and growing demand for conservatism even as the GOP is telling the “conservative consumers” to look elsewhere. Also from that Steyn piece: But, when “liberalism” means prostration before a profligate, inept but omnipresent state, there are worse labels for an opposition to latch on to than “liberty”. “Small government” can often sound like a shriveled and stunted concept, but re-frame it from the opposite end as “big liberty” and it’s as inspirational as anything the other side’s got. Mark Levin’s Liberty And Tyranny has now sold a million copies. Reclaiming this word is a huge service to the right. He and his readers seem to understand what’s at stake. By contrast, it’s not clear that the GOP does. Laura Ingraham made a good point on Fox News the other night – that conservatives are doing better than they’ve done in ages at a time when the Republican Party is leaderless. I like it that way. The tea parties are a pack not a herd, which is one reason they’ve been effective. If Obama is on the defensive over health care, it’s because of the “mob”, not because of John McCain or Orrin Hatch or Lindsay Graham, who no doubt are panting to “reach across the aisle” on this and much else. The GOP Congressman who turns up at a tea party and expects a cheer for negotiating this week’s trillion-dollar boondoggle down to a mere $850 billion will find few takers. There is no detectable enthusiasm for the Republican Party per se, although individual Republicans (Sarah Palin, Joe Wilson) will be spoken of approvingly to the degree they diverge from the factory-produced cookie-cutter craven RINO-squish reach-across model. Conservatives support the Republican Party faute de mieux, but, after… Read more »

14 years ago

Right on Ragin’! The WSJ reported this week that the tea party activists are giving the GOP agita regarding upcoming elections as the Republicans put forth RINO candidates which are soundly rejected by the tea party folks. If the GOP does not see, hear, and act upon the message that the tea partiers send, they will relegate themselves to permanent minority status.
Unfortunately, we do not have the time to forge a viable new third party in order to avert major crisis ahead. The GOP MUST purge itself of spendthrifts and heed the call of the tea party, which is simply asking for real leaders to come up with real solutions and treat our tax dollars like it is real money. Statists want Freedom from want. Tea Partiers want Freedom to do what we want.
God help us all if the GOP does not embrace this gift that has been literally thrown in its lap.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
14 years ago

Here’s proof that “moderate Republicans” are really Democrats.
Democrats refuse to learn from history, i.e., that socialism / collectivism doesn’t work, makes everyone poorer (except party officials) and typically leads to tyranny.
Moderate Republicans likewise refuse to learn from history. Moderate / Rockefeller Republicanism led to a moribund (and minority) Republican Party … until Ronald Reagan came along. And look at what’s been happening with Moderate Republicans in the Northeast – they make dodo birds look like a vibrant species.
As Santayana said, those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

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