Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tea, anyone?

Although I am trying to post more, and plan to continue to do that, it is Sunday, so I will comment on Jack Kelly's column today. I don't have that much to say about him, just a bit. Last week I suggested Jack wasn't really saying anything specific to support the TP, but I would have to say that he's come roaring back this week.

His major themes are that more Republicans are voting in the primaries than Democrats, and that more of the Republicans voting are Tea Party members. I decided not to research that, I suspect Dayvoe of 2PJ's will look (or maybe someone else). But I do want to call attention to an ironic comment made by Kelly "The last time Republicans received more primary votes than Democrats did was in 1930". Maybe it's just me, but I think I'd hesitate referencing an election held early in the Great Depression, given the current economic climate.

I don't think the current mindset of both Republican and Democratic voters is that complicated or hard to figure out. Obama built up some expectations during his run for the Presidency, some that the voters projected on to him, and some that admittedly he stoked. Since being elected, he and the Democrats in congress (mostly the Congressional Democrats) passed a stimulus bill presented as a compromise to unwilling to compromise Republicans. He also helped shepherd through a mild health care reform, something several President's had attempted and failed to do, but he spent/wasted literally a year doing that. He may also have been extending some wiretapping, surging in Afghanistan, and continuing some Bush detainee programs in that year. Meanwhile, the stimulus turned out to do so little that after a weak uptick, the economy has slipped back a bit (it doesn't help that banks and corporations are sitting on billions in capital, no doubt waiting for the results of the midterms or perhaps even the 2012 election). Now, the NYTimes has shown that the Tea Party is rural or suburban, relatively wealthy, white and has concentrations in the states not in the Northeast or California. So it is likely that Tea Party members are not unemployed, but they are people who have never supported Obama, idependents who either vote Republican or don't vote. They appear to be unusually susceptible to the anti-Obama propaganda that is emanating from Fox News and the "grassroots" (astroturf funded by the ultra rich) organizations leading the Tea Party in the absence of a party structure. i'll wait to look at this more in the future, but I think it is no accident that we are seeing anti Islamic fervor as we approach the first national election in the Obama administration.

This is actually a pretty horrible situation, with political neophytes receiving direction from front organizations funded by the ultra rich. These neophyte dupes could become the driving force of the midterms, which could result in a Congress that by this time next year that will have not only repealed HCR, but also voted to eliminate OSHA, Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare (although Obama would likely veto what he could).

And where are the people who voted for Obama? Well, before I answer that, let me repeat a thought I have suggested before (I think I said this before). Once he was elected, I think Obama decided that in being the first actually black African American President (sorry Bill Clinton), Obama did not want to also be the last (at least, the last for the next fifty to one hundred years). So Obama has been ultra cautious, keeping Bush programs (such as war) intact to avoid confirming the expectation that a black President would have a black agenda. In doing so, he is losing his liberal supporters. Which is worse, allow conservatives even more cause to say that Obama is a radical or socialist (more than they already are, which is a quite a lot), or lose that liberal support, enthusiasm and energy? I will allow that it is a tough call, but the process of setting a balance is heartbreaking.

Meanwhile Jack Kelly is crowing because neophytes are being misled with propaganda. I am constantly amazed that people who claim to be patriots are happy when America is put at risk in this manner.

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