The Definitionally Centrist Tea Party

With a big picture of RI Tea Party organizer Colleen Conley clearly caught in the act of that dangerous right-wing activity of listening to somebody speak, Ed Achorn puts forward a theory about whom the tea party types actually are:

… because middle-class Americans, for as long as I can remember, have been too busy (some say apathetic) to protest against the loss of their money and choices. Usually, they just shut up, pay and obey. And professional politicians from both parties, for their part, have long grasped there is a middle America that cannot be pushed around too abruptly. Worried about re-election, the wiser heads from both parties have edged the country gradually toward the bigger, bossier Washington they favor.
But the wiser heads are no more. The more ideological, less pragmatic pols running the show today — undeterred by such flashing-red warning signs as the massive defection of independents in the polls, furious constituents at town-hall meetings and the loss of elections in Virginia, New Jersey and (almost unbelievably) Massachusetts — have so brazenly ignored the public’s concerns that they seem to have awakened a slumbering giant. Middle-class Americans have coalesced around the rather amorphous Tea Party movement, and intend to turn out in large numbers around the country on Tax Day, including at the State House in Providence, to protest the country’s direction.

I say that we should turn back the Big Government time bomb about a hundred years. That’ll give us a century to focus on other things than how much more money we have to make to pay off the government and which of our habits Uncle Obama is going to target for penalties next.

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Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

OK, I’m confused. Help me out here, Justin.
All my conservative friends are constantly telling me that most of the taxes in this country are paid by the top 10% of taxpayer – or even the top 5%.
Now you are telling us that middle class taxpayers, whose taxes have been going down and down (even the recent stimulus had tax cuts in it) – instantly had too much?
It does not make sense. The tea party is a mongrel of vast interests, from multi-billionaire corporations to poor slobs out of work…and everything in between. There are the “users” and the “used” as well as come people who might mean well, but their voices are hard to hear above those like yours, who want us to go back to when the Great Mansions of Newport were built!
You favor a return to the buildup to the Great Depression. That is truly sad.

Swazool
Swazool
11 years ago

“Middle-class Americans have coalesced around the rather amorphous Tea Party movement, and intend to turn out in large numbers around the country on Tax Day, including at the State House in Providence, to protest the country’s direction.”
Large Numbers! I can’t wait to see the number that is reported. Will it be Dozens?
Also I like how Colleen put down Barrington in the article. I hope there were no teabaggers in Barrington reading the projo today!

michael
michael
11 years ago

The Tea Party cannot be centrist when it bills John Depietro, Helen Glover and former Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey (apparently pulled out) as their featured speakers. All three are strongly anti-union. Not anti-government spending; ANTI-union.
The Tea Party is what it is, and I respect that, but it certainly is not something I want any part of.

rhody
rhody
11 years ago

Funny, I didn’t hear any teabaggers complain about the House speaker playing footsie with corporate lobbyists like the fellow who hosted his fundraiser.
But they’d rather attack other working stiffs, anyway. Attacking unions creates a much neater storyline for the corporate powers who are manipulating them,.

mangeek
mangeek
11 years ago

Colleen lives in Pawtucket?!? I’d love to have her over for dinner…
MadMom, if you’re reading this, google me, I’d love to have your ear for a few minutes.

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

Well, folks, this is proof RI is getting smarter! The commenters on the states right wing blog actually have common sense and the ability to discern things!
I’m proud to live in RI.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Stuart gives away his true attitude with the “out of work slobs “remark.He reeks of dismissive arrogance towards what he has called “wage slaves”.There’s a whiff of BS about a lot that Stuart says,but his doglike aspiration to be seen as a junior varsity Sheldon Whitehouse is unmistakable.
Poor Rhody-he’s been relegated to a support position in the left wing nest at AR.Stuart sounds like the 1930’s commies who wailed about the Depression and fantasized themselves as the characters in The Grapes of Wrath and as fighters in the Spanish Civil War( a small number DID walk the walk on that)all the while having soft jobs as “artists and writers”under the WPA program.Phony to the core.
Maybe stuart really is what he says or maybe he’s a ne’er do well-who can know what an anonymous name caller really is anyway?

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

You are right, Joe, one never knows! Even when you meet someone in person and deal with them, you still never know. Look at how many marriages there are where one partner doesn’t even know the other! Let alone the Madoffs of the world, etc. etc. However, I can assure you that I am me – I yam what I yam, and I have never been a member of any organized political party – including republican or communist! However, I did once live in a commune, but if you count that you’ll have to call all the Catholics and monks who live the same way commies too. That would be inconvenient. Hey, what can I say? I’ve had an exciting life in some ways – in others it pales next to some contemporaries and historical figures. But I lived through the cities burning, the 60’s, every time since, the internet and now the first black President. So did you, of course! Heck, I have a friend who I would like to dictate his memoirs to me. He tells me stories that you would not believe – but I know they are true. Like the night his friend called him to pick him up at a local blues club (maybe 1967), and when he got there his friend, Janis Joplin and the Big Brother guy (guitarist) jumped in the car with them. My friend plays harmonica, so next thing you know they were riding down the road smoking a doobie and Janis was singing…… I have nothing that good…….and that’s just one of hundreds he has. Anyway, when it comes to wage slaves it is not them that I feel for – it is our culture which has not advanced enough to care about enough about itself….and therefore pay is going… Read more »

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Yes,monks’ communities are just that-communal.Small”c” communist at an economic level,albeit a small level-but communism encompasses much more than economics.Communism denies a Creator for starters,so poor comparison with monks in thatregard.Anyway,I couldn’t care less about monks-I’m neither Catholic nor Buddhist nor Eastern Orhtodox,so it’s all a non-issue to me.
Meeting Janis Joplin was something I wouldn’t have crossed the street to do-a drunken,drug addicted singer?Why waste the time?Obviously we have different priorities.I had a few relatives in entertainment(theater/film) and as far as I was concerned,their lifestyle was nothing I envied.I preferred my own family’s which was extremely modest,but grounded to a large extent.
You make really wild accusations about conservatives,the Tea party,etc.You have a dread of populism if it isn’t left wing.Actually left wing populists are rare birds.Most left wingers don’t live the life they extol for others.
i don’t know that a lot of right wing pundits are much better in some regards,particularly when they are chickenhawks.The “let’s you and him fight” syndrome.
Hate to tell you this Stu,but many,many people moving to the Tea Party side,whether as members or people in basic agreement like me,are not-patriotism and responsible government actually mean something to us.We’re not out to sell books and gold futures.We just don’t plan being docile victims of out of control central planners.
You’re right about one thing-you often don’t really know those you think you might because of close association.That’s a really apolitical issue.

jp
jp
11 years ago

Rhody, I find that the usage of “teabaggers” genrerally renders someone unworthy of serious debate; it’s like debating civil unions or gay marriage with someone that says “God didnt make Adam and Steven”…
And as Michael says, the morphing of the tea party from populous movement for regular people to Republican movement is one amplified by using no-talent bandwagon jumpers like Glover and Dipetro as speakers. Let me know when Bob Healey is scheduled….

jp
jp
11 years ago

Rhody, I find that the usage of “teabaggers” genrerally renders someone unworthy of serious debate; it’s like debating civil unions or gay marriage with someone that says “God didnt make Adam and Steven”…
And as Michael says, the morphing of the tea party from populous movement for regular people to Republican movement is one amplified by using no-talent bandwagon jumpers like Glover and Dipetro as speakers. Let me know when Bob Healey is scheduled….

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

JP,
I think it was always a Republican movement – financed by Republicans and fed by them and their controllers (fox news, etc.)……
It was, by and large, current or former republicans who didn’t like the fact that they lost an election. Sure, they came up with other silly reasons….like they didn’t like the Prez attempting to (and succeeding) at saving our economy from a total depression, and they don’t like decent pay and benefits for people, and they don’t like decent health care for all, etc.
But, basically, they are wolves (GOP) in sheep’s (independent, yeah, right!) clothing.
I’m not doubting that there are 10% of them who might be libertarian or independent, but the movement certainly would not exist in present form except for GOP Corporate and Media backing.

Russ
Russ
11 years ago

“I say that we should turn back the Big Government time bomb about a hundred years.”
Interesting choice of metaphor. That aside… ah, yes, the Gilded Age! Clearly the salad days of the American middle-class.

MadMom
MadMom
11 years ago

Love all the lefty commenters on here who have not a clue. Keep it coming boys. Our movement of regular REAL PEOPLE is going to rock your world this year.
And your continuous attempts at marginalizing the tea party indicates that deep inside, you know it. What are those Alinsky rules…tee hee
Don’t be afraid. Come on down tomorrow and feel the positive energy for yourselves.

rhody
rhody
11 years ago

Somebody’s a little sensitive about the word “teabaggers”…
Probably one of the people painting the Hitler mustache on Obama LOL.
Given that Marquis of Queensbury rules are not in force at Tea Party events, I don’t have a problem saying it.

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

Madmom, sorry you missed the 60’s and 70’s. We could teach you a few things about positive vibrations……….

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

Here is the document released today proving that the Tea Party has been used by the GOP since last year!
http://tinyurl.com/y5na8bl
Madmom, you’ve been had.

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

I was at the Boston Tea Party event today. Looked like a wide variety of people from different demographics. Lots of people in their 20’s (it is Boston, after all). Lots of middle aged men and women with kids there making a day of it. Lots of gay people with supportive signs, which I was surprised but delighted to see. Blacks, whites, latinos, a whole mix. Most of them seemed pretty normal to me.
The statists have a massive misinformation campaign running – I saw no evidence of racism whatsoever.

michael
michael
11 years ago

John Dipietro, Helen Glover and Steve Laffey say all there needs to be said. Too bad, too. There are better people to do the talking for the Tea Party.

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

Sarah Palin appears to be talking for the Tea Parties these days…PAID appearances, of course!
This is new england, danny boy. You have get below the mason-dixon for folks to be comfortable expressing their racism in public.

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

I already knew you were a racist like most progressives, Stuart. Now I know that you also think it’s okay to engage in region-based generalization and discrimination. You’re almost as bad as a smelly, stuck-up Frenchman. Whee, collectivization and bigotry is fun.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Michael-I am with you on DePetro and Laffey.But you are wrong about helen Glover.She runs a pretty good show and is never rude to callers,even if she disagrees with them.She is NOT anti-labor.She didn’t get handed anything and worked some very unglamrous jobs.She also worked for the Navy for about 20 years,so I’d not ever call her anti-civil servant.She’s opinionated,but she believes what she says.Unlike some shock jocks who just say crap to get ratings.

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