Second Time Around

January 28th, 2010

By Larry Ennis 

President Obama gave his first State of the Union address last night, effectively beginning his second year in office. The speech wasn’t anything special in my opinion. A little less arrogant but far from humble, Obama in effect offered little but a promise to do better. He mainly tried to get his fellow Democrats to continue their support in spite of the recent voter revolt in Massachusetts.

The loss of the Senate seat previously held forever by the Democrats has cost the President much of the support of his own Party. Many Democrats are up for election this year. They fear the voters won’t return them to office if they continue to support the President. It seems that more Democrats are now willing to speak out, questioning the President’s agenda.

Most pundits assert that the loss of the former Ted Kennedy Senate seat to Republican Scott Brown was a revolt by the Massachusetts voters. They fail in most cases to credit the voter revolt to the Tea Party people who have come on the national scene within the last year.

Named for another group of disgruntled taxpayers, the Tea Party people have archived some remarkable successes on the American political scene. How much can they affect the midterm elections in November 2010? My question is can they unite nationwide? If they continue to gain strength, these people could reshape the entire political scene in our country.

With a failing economy, two wars, no jobs, and a corrupt political system, the American people are searching for change but not the change this President has to offer. If many feel as I do, we would like to retain the life we know in a country we love. Obama’s idea of change and ours are not the same. He is a man who has enjoyed the benefits of America yet has chosen to attempt to change it radically.

Our corrupt political system has caused us to start paying attention to what’s going on. We find ourselves confronted by career politicians who have been in office for life almost. The have wrapped themselves in lobbyists’ campaign contributions until they are almost defeat-proof. They use the Constitution as a crutch to avoid term limits. They’ve become demi-gods of sorts. Some have gone so far as to lock the public out as they legislate from behind locked doors — not the transparency nor the elimination of lobbyist money promised by the President.

If our elected representatives don’t start serving the people instead of themselves, the Tea Party movement will most likely grow even bigger. A third party perhaps? My fear is out-right physical violence as the divide widens and the liberals and the labor unions unite behind this President.

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9 Responses to “Second Time Around”

  1. Tom |

    On the possibility of a conservative-oriented third party rising up: From your standpoint, you should hope that doesn’t happen. Ross Perot got Bill Clinton elected in 1992 because he split the Republican/conservative vote. Ralph Nader got George Bush elected in 2000 because he split votes away from Gore in Florida. If a conservative, Tea Party-oriented third party comes along now, it will severely hurt Republican prospects for defeating Democrats and gaining and holding majorities in Congress.

    Those who express outrage at the lack of transparency, locking out the opposition, and failing to act in a bipartisan way must have been in a coma for the past eight years. The issue isn’t Obama and the Democrats today; it’s what the political system in Washington has become over an extended period of time, and both parties are pretty equally guilty.

    I’d be interested in what you mean by fear of “out-right physical violence.” Are you talking about the kinds of things that sometimes happen in demonstrations (regardless of who is demonstrating)? Or are you thinking about armed rebellion, massive government repression, black helicopters zooming in from Canada, etc?

  2. Brianna |

    The Tea Partiers might split the GOP vote, but I don’t think it’ll be by a mere 2-3% this time. Too many Americans are in sympathy with them and too many are so sick of the current bums that they’ll put almost anybody in power to get rid of them, including a Tea Partier. Also, the divide between traditional Republican and Tea Partier is not so large; the two main things are that the Tea Partiers don’t really care that much about social issues (abortion, gay marriage, etc.) and that when it comes to free markets and government reduction, the Tea Party might actually practice what the Republicans preach.

    Plus, you’re discounting the (I think) very real possibility of a similar Democratic party split along Blue Dog/Progressive lines. Considering that the main split between the Blue Dogs and the Progressives is that the Blue Dogs actually look at the facts of issues before voting for them and the Progressives are just trying to check off their agenda, the split there is probably going to be both a lot more divisive and a lot nastier.

    “Are you talking about the kinds of things that sometimes happen in demonstrations (regardless of who is demonstrating)?”

    Regardless of who is demonstrating? I haven’t heard a single report of Tea Party violence, and they’ve been demonstrating a lot over the past 12 months. We all know that the Progressives can get violent at demonstrations (Copenhagen, for example), but if you’ve got any Tea Party incidents of violence I challenge you to name them now instead of simply hiding behind the implication (again) that there are a bunch of extremists within those crowds simply itching to do violence.

    I bet what Larry’s worried about is the same thing I am: Progressive protests that devolve into violence as they start to realize that their jig may well be up not just for now, but for good. You may think that Glenn Beck was wrong to compare the Progressives to the Nazis and Communists, but the fact of the matter is that have been outliers comparing those groups together for literally decades. What’s remarkable about Beck’s program is not that he said it, but that he said it in graphic detail on national television to 4 million viewers.. and that he was able to get those 4 million people to tune in. What’s remarkable about the Tea Partiers is not their beliefs in low taxes and limited government; they’ve always thought that way, they just never saw much point in taking to the streets over it because they thought the liberals who protested “free tibet” and “end genocide in Darfur” were just silly idealists who had the right to waste their time if that was what they wanted. What’s remarkable about the Tea Partiers is that they’re holding demonstrations all over the country, showing up in Washington in the hundreds of thousands (at least, when you see the 9/12 tapes) and finally shouting their beliefs proudly and at the top of their lungs.

  3. Tom |

    The third party problem is much more serious than that for the Republicans/conservatives. We’re not talking 2-3%. In 1992, Perot got 19% of the national presidential vote, for a total of about 20,000,000 votes. Clinton beat Bush by about 6,000,000 votes. The vast majority of Perot’s votes would have gone to Bush, and when worked out state-by-state it’s pretty clear Bush would have won.

    In Florida in 2000, after all the hullabaloo Bush beat Gore by 500-something votes. Ralph Nader got about 97,000 votes. Almost all those would have gone to Gore, ergo Nader (the third party) beat Gore. Same thing in New Hampshire with Nader’s votes.

    The reason I say it’s a Republican/conservative problem is that the Democrats/liberals aren’t going to split into a third party. The closest they might come is a very weak Nader-like effort, which wouldn’t be likely to be so decisive in 2012. On the right, however, while I don’t think it’s likely, it might happen that a third party could emerge out of the Tea Party movement that might be as strong as Perot’s movement, and in that case the Republicans/conservatives are screwed. Practically speaking, there couldn’t be any other result.

    I agree that most, if not all, demonstration violence comes from leftist groups, except for race riots (and maybe that’s the same thing). My question to Larry was what kind of violence he’s worried about — demonstration-type violence, which is always possible, or something “evil” and “sinister.”

  4. larry |

    I was speaking of demonstration-type violence like the kind that occured during an Obama rally in St Louis.
    Yes I believe that the violence could get beyond the fist fight stage.
    BTW Tom, I’m not a member of the black helicopter crowd. I feel is a figment of some goofy liberals imagination. although its rumored that the BATF has several A10 Wart Hogs equipted to plunder the redneck trailer trash that the liberals fear so much.

  5. Tom |

    Well, I certainly hope nothing goes beyond the “fist fight” stage. That kind of thing happened in the past — nearly urban warfare in Chicago, neighborhoods burning in Washington, huge violent riots in LA. We certainly don’t need that kind of stupidity again.

    As far as the “black helicopter” conspiracy theories are concerned, it’s more serious than a figment of someone’s imagination. Wikipedia has a good discussion. It’s true that there may not be a large number of people stupid enough to believe this stuff, but there’s more than a few out there.

    Are you joking about the A10 rumor, or being sarcastic?

    Does anyone actually believe that liberals (or anyone else) actually fears “redneck trailer trash?” People who might fit that category (whoever they are) aren’t feared, but they’re looked on by elites of left and right with disdain and no respect. But they don’t care much; they just drink their long-necks, listen to Willie a while, then go out and do the essential work that the elites won’t (and in most cases can’t) do.

  6. larry |

    I made a mistake. The BATF aircraft are AV10 Bronco’s.

    Black helicopters do indeed exist. Mostly used by the DEA in this area.
    Rednecks are a needed commodity in American culture. Without them the elite, and the liberals would have no one they could feel superior to. If in the process that type of attitude causes the redneck to resist the liberal yoke then you may see rebellion.

  7. Tom |

    Quite a mistake. The OV-10 is an old light armed reconnaissance aircraft. The A-10 is a modern, powerful, ground attack aircraft. In any event, to think that the government wants to use any military aircraft, however old and lightly armed, “to plunder the redneck trailer trash” is, plainly put, stupid. You might want to point that out to whomever passed on that rumor.

  8. larry |

    Well Tom if your a redneck with a sharp stick, that damned old lightly armed airplane is very intimidating. Although I don’t know any rednecks that have had a face-off with an OV10, you might consider the fate of those that faced tanks and APC’s during the WACO redneck turkey shoot.

  9. Tom |

    Larry, loony conspiracy theories about the government going after rednecks aren’t supported by the seige of the Branch Davidians at Waco. The Branch Davidians were a heavily armed extremist religious cult in possession of illegal weapons, involved in abuse of minors, and in violation of other laws. The government didn’t plan or execute the initial action very well, and then they waited 50-some days before finally taking the place down. At any point, David Koresh and his fellow religious nuts could have surrendered and not been harmed. Aside from any errors on the part of the government, the ultimate blame for the deaths, including those of children, belongs to Koresh and his followers.

    I realize that Waco has become a rallying cry of some perverse sort for ignorant right-wing extremists. Anyone who would put himself in that camp would benefit from actually learning something about what happened before making a fool of himself by saying that it supports the idea that the government intends to go out and shoot “rednecks.”

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