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The Tea Party, and a history of going to extremes

The American patriots who flung crates of imported tea into Boston Harbor on Dec. 16, 1773 were acting against their countrymen's economic interest. The Tea Act, adopted by the British Parliament, allowed direct shipping of the East India Company’s surplus tea to North America, bypassing middlemen in London and reducing the price in the colonies. But that price still included a tax, enacted by a parliament in which the Americans were not represented. To purchase the tea would violate the principle of “no taxation without representation.” And so the Sons of Liberty chucked it into the water.

Recall this history as you consider today’s Tea Party – and other zealous movements at the other end of the ideological spectrum. Regardless of whether one sympathizes with the Tea Party, MoveOn.org, or none of the above, it should be possible to recognize what they have in common: an attitude. And it is characteristically American. Call it the spirit of anti-compromise.

We Americans like to think of ourselves as a pragmatic nation. Problem-solving and compromise have a long history in American politics. So, too, however, do extremism and polarization. As the Boston Tea Party itself illustrates, this country was born in a fit of uncompromising zeal.

No less a patriot than Benjamin Franklin was horrified by the Tea Party. From his vantage point in England, where he was attempting to negotiate with King George III’s government, the destruction of the tea struck Franklin as an “act of violent injustice on our part.” The Philadelphian spoke for many moderate colonists. But the Sons of Liberty were more intent on making a point than solving problems. Between their uncompromising attitude and that of the Crown, the situation became polarized. Franklin and other moderates had to choose sides. The Revolution was on.

Today, we admire the American revolutionaries, and subsequent uncompromising movements. But don’t forget: The victors write history. If the South had won the Civil War, what would our schoolchildren be taught about the abolitionists today? Some in the antislavery movement were as extreme, in their way, as the Southern “fire-eaters.” We tend to think of the secessionists as resisting federal authority during the run-up to Fort Sumter. But the antislavery side had its moments of nullification as well. In 1851, a Boston crowd broke into a federal courthouse to free “Shadrach,” a black man being held there by U.S. marshals enforcing the Fugitive Slave Law. Abolitionist Theodore Parker declared this blatant defiance of Washington “the most noble deed done in Boston since the destruction of the tea in 1773.”

I am not suggesting a moral equivalency between the anti-slavery and pro-slavery forces. But I am suggesting an attitudinal equivalency – one that has been played out repeatedly in our history, and that may play out again. If you think today’s discourse is vitriolic, open any history book and read the words – “Judas,” “Traitor,” “diabolical” -- that Americans hurled at one another in the past. Indeed, if you think there’s something uniquely ugly about the contemporary Tea Party’s abusive rhetoric toward President Obama, check out this compendium of violent language aimed at President Bush a few years ago.

But while political movements have embodied the spirit of anti-compromise, political parties have embodied the spirit of compromise. Whatever their names – Federalist, Whig, Democrat, Republican – the most successful American parties threw big tents over diverse interest groups and blurred lines of class, region and ideology. The parties co-opted extremes and – to be blunt about it -- rescued politics from excesses of principle. “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice,” Barry Goldwater announced in 1964. He was declaring war not only on the moderate establishment of his own Republican party, and that of the Democrats, but also on the historic function of all American political parties: to make it possible for government to salve conflicts and solve problems.

No doubt this has involved tradeoffs: Time and again, the parties have brokered peace at the expense of moral clarity. That is probably why the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850, each of which attempted to save the Union while sacrificing African American freedom, ultimately broke down – along with the Whigs and Jacksonian Democratic parties that cobbled them together. At other times, though, the parties have helped hold the country together. In the 1960s, for example, society was polarized, but, broadly speaking, the Republicans and Democrats were not. They hewed to the vital center. The parties incorporated zealous elements on both the right and left, and gradually moderated them.

Today’s political dynamic is very different. Society is relatively moderate – 35 percent of voters think of themselves as independents, according to Gallup. But the parties are polarized; they have been captured by the extremes. As the November midterm election approaches, each of them is trying to fire up a “base” that is increasingly defined by ideology, and for which bipartisan compromise is inherently objectionable.

President Obama protests that his health care policy is “centrist,” invoking past support for similar ideas from such hoary Republican stalwarts as Bob Dole. But for today’s Tea Party, the very invocation of Dole’s name, to the extent anyone still recognizes it, is a reason to oppose the plan. And it was only with the greatest of difficulty that Obama managed to bring his own party’s base around to support the bill; some are still furious that it lacks a public option. Perhaps if Scott Brown’s Tea Party-backed victory in Massachusetts had not enabled Obama to recast the issue as a stark matter of political survival, and a polarized battle between the people and the insurance companies, the Democratic base would not have cooperated.

Whatever its ultimate impact on the health-care system, the bill is likely to further polarize the political system. The Democratic Party's most conservative members (and they are not that conservative) have now been isolated and left exposed to defeat at the hands of Republican challengers in November. Whether House Democrats keep their majority or not, the caucus will be smaller and more purely liberal. By the same token, the Republican caucus will be bigger and more intensely conservative.

This could actually be a positive development, if the ideological purge underway among Republicans and Democrats gives rise to a new party of outcast moderates. But don’t hold your breath. The situation reminds me of the second half of the 1850s, when the combined impact of the Fugitive Slave Law and the Kansas-Nebraska Act led to the breakdown of the old Whig-Jacksonian party system. I don’t think we are headed toward another civil war, of course. But I do expect more partisan vitriol and deadlock before this cycle of polarization ultimately runs its course. Given this country’s problems (economic stagnation, debt, terrorism), that scenario looks dangerous enough.

By Charles Lane  | March 30, 2010; 1:43 PM ET
Categories:  Lane  | Tags:  Charles Lane  
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Comments

Where were all these Tea Party people when Bush unconstitutionally waged war against Iraq for bogus weapons of mass destruction? Where all these Tea Party people when they passed the Patriot Act to spy on citizens that were not terrorists? Where were all these Tea Party people when Cheney was enriching his former employer Halliburton? Where were all these Tea Party people when Bush was handing out huge tax breaks for the rich and large corporations driving the country further into debt? Where were all the Tea Party people when Greenspan refused properly regulate the financial institutions? Where were all the Tea Party when Bush shipping our jobs off to China ,India and Mexico?

Posted by: open400 | March 30, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

open400

They were defending Bush and Cheney.

Posted by: jamesmcgee1 | March 30, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The comparison between now and the latter half of the 1850s is appropriate yet scary. That the earlier period led to a civil war is not to be overlooked. With today's polarization and certain factions' unwillingness to "give an inch," the cohesion within this country could very well be in danger. Many of the tenets on which our government is based and which the Constitution guarantee could be lost. These include separation of church and state, many of the election rules and laws, even democracy itself. Today, those who shout the loudest are not the ones who will help to guarantee the continuance of our nation. They may very well be the ones who bring it down.

Posted by: iroshi | March 30, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Good Job Lane,
I am doing what I can to restore the nation to its former greatness by sweeping out the fascists out of Congress from both parties, like Lindsay Graham. His appearance with Evan Bayh, bemoaning the loss of his locker-room buddy, makes me come to the conclusion that there is a strong correlation between the softness of the palm and the anus.

O'Henry tell the joke about the Texas politicians lying about each other. One tells the People that his opponent was caught wearing white socks. To which his opponent exclaims, "That's a Damn Lie! I've never worn socks in my life!"

Posted by: stanlippmann | March 30, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

We are so saturated with our ideological differences that we fail to acknowledge that we are an over-militarized nation, grossly in debt,and no longer have the capability to manufacture our consumer goods. Even the trinkets at the Whitehouse souvenir shop are "Made In China".
We must have the courage to rearrange our tax structure and charge a penalty for spending rather than earning.
A value-added tax similar to China's would be good place to start.
We have let the Federal Reserve Board make savings accounts essentially non-interest bearing. We need to encourage thrift rather than borrowing and spending.
About health care: My sister-in-law in Canada recently e-mailed me how happy she was with their well-run health care system.
I wish that we had the same.

Posted by: aubreyjb | March 30, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused by the comments of aubreyjb. I thought the country was "grossly in debt" but at the same time aubrey wants the government run health care. Only a maroon believes that government health care will reduce costs...

Posted by: white_rabbit | March 30, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

This is one of the most intellectually flaccid pieces of "analysis" regarding the "tea party" that I've read. Seriously. Conflating moveon.org with these militia-style tea baggers?

"But the parties are polarized; they have been captured by the extremes." Wrong. Democrats, including, yes, Obama, are largely center-left. The Republican party, probably more than any time in the last half century, has veered HARD right.

This is the kind intellectual cover crazies like the tea party get from the mainstream media, i.e. "See? They're BOTH extreme."

What a lazy piece of crap. Seriously, the WaPo will waive anything into print these days.

Posted by: monk4hall | March 30, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Starts with a falsification of history, and a falsification of the tea baggers, and rolls on from there...

The Boston Tea Party was not abut the "no taxation without representation" thing. It was protecting colonial business from a usurpation by the East India company. The tea that colonists were willing to purchase was also taxed. Had been for some years -- since 1767 and the Townshend Acts. By the same parliament.

The tea bagers are protesting what they know not. Most of what they say nis fiction, and they offer no coherent reason why they protest or what they would do other than vagueries taken from bumper stickers about "small government." Whatever that is supposed to mean. They want the government to keep "its" hands off their Medicare.....

This is not a sane or rational or ideological movement. it is yahoos inspired by demagogues to hate without reason. It is the worst of the worst in political impulse and has nothing in common with the Patriots who fought the British but plenty in common with the Know Nothings, the Anti-masonic party, the Knights of the white Camelia, The KKK, The America First CSociety, The American Protective Society, The John Birchers and any other radical right wing extremist hate group I missed along the way. Not Patriots but the very antithesis of American values dressed up in red, white, and blue.

Posted by: John1263 | March 30, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

as usual Obama (AKA BAMBI) his lies are spewing again.

and he is wrong again !! as usual !!!

Posted by: yourmomscalling | March 30, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse


Lane didn't write this.

Does anyone believe, for one solid second, that this Israel firster, intrested only in things neocon in any of his writings, ever,

knows the Kansas Nebraska Act from settlements, that he could or would
wax poetically on the Boston Tea Party or American Patriots.

Lane playing the song of great American patriots is sickening. Particularly since it probably signals a period of people like him playing the game of healing the neocon's reputation. Next we'll have Wolfowitz and Perle wearing Uncle Same suits.

Is anyone that dumb?

Posted by: whistling | March 30, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

A Washington Post-ABC News poll taken last week showed that more people view the movement favorably than unfavorably — and that 62 percent believe it has either the right amount or not enough influence on the Republican Party. Makes one wonder whom is out of touch- I think it's Washington and this administration in particular.

Posted by: snowy2 | March 30, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

open400 and jamesmcghee are mistaken:

The Tea Party movement grew out of the Ron Paul presidential candidacy. His adherents were woken up by his campaign. They weren't defending Bush or Cheney. They instead were quietly grumbling to themselves because the GOP had forced them out of the party after 9-11 (that is, regard those who WERE politically aware), or were occupied by other pursuits.

Ron Paul turned on a lot of people to get involved. The message against tyranny and a run-amok federal government was started with this group. They were done with both the GOP and the Dems. They believe that there's no real difference between the parties.

However, after McCain lost, his supporters latched onto the liberty message and hijacked the message. Further, some loons out there who the GOP had been able to keep quiescent within their party abandoned the GOP's poor leadership and looked for a useful tool to oppose the Obama administration. By hijacking the Liberty Movement, they found their tool.

In the future, be less reactionary and assuming about where these people were. You clearly don't have the information to make the appropriate conclusions or inferences.

Posted by: DaveM4 | March 30, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane confuses that which is "American," and that which is in America. His comments about the people that that threw tea into Boston Harbor refusing compromise confuses the American Revolution, and that which makes us the United States of America - the Constitution.

One, the Tea Party, was born out of a desire to not compromise; the other, the Constitution, was born out of desire to compromise. Neither the Tea Party, nor the Revolution itself, gave birth to the United States. It gaves us at best, a loose and sometimes dysfunctional confederation of colonies.

It took the Constitution, perhaps the best and greatest American compromise of all, to make our nation. It is a pity that fear mongers and bigots across the ages claim to support and revere it, all the while doing their best to bend it to their own selfish interests. If you cannot get your own way by election, then reject those elected by the majority and seek to impose your own will, calling it "popular will." One might say deja vu all over again.

Posted by: kermit5 | March 30, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

There has been no history of extremism in the Tea Party movement - NONE. The extremism historically has, and continues to come, from the Democratic Party and its supporters.

In fact, by aiding in claims that any person or group that opposes Obama or the Democrats is racist or an extemist, and deliberately hiding the violent acts of Democratic supporters while highlighting and falsifying reports of Conservative wrong doing, the Washington Post, and the New York Times have become two of the nation's major purveyors of extremism.

Posted by: mike85 | March 30, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Here's the list of Tea Party ideas:

Less government.
Fiscal Discipline.
Balanced Budget.
Ending Our Overseas Interventions.


Less Government:
See Patriot Act and Department of Homeland Security

Fiscal Discipline:
2000 $5,628.7 (that's ~$5 trillion)
2008 $9,985.8 (that's ~$9 trillion)
What did we get for our $4 trillion?

Balanced Budget
$1 TRILLION dollars debt to China for the War in Iraq

Ending our Overseas Interventions:
Who started the War in Iraq?

As you can see the Tea Party Movement abhors what the Republicans did over the last decade, including the gross invasions of privacy, but in the end they will vote for them to do even MORE damage to the nation.

The Republican National Committee is using the Tea Party to do their dirty work; much like they conned the Christians into it last time.

Posted by: vigor | March 30, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Not quite. The divisive issue of slavery proved too powerful for either the Whig or Democratic Parties to overcome, and so both major parties were cut in two, dividing into Northern and Southern wings, with the Northern elements of both reforming around a new Republican Party. The South stayed largely Democratic, but held two national conventions in 1860 and nominated two Democrats for President.

It was this breakdown of the political parties -- and with them the destruction of "politics as usual" that left no avenue for resolving the nation's tensions but war.

Today is not even remotely similar because only one of our two major parties has imploded -- the GOP, and around issues of cultural identity that regular politics cannot contain. The Democratic Party is largely intact. It may lose a few conservative members in red state disticts as Lane says, but this is not the same as the purges underway in the GOP as RINOs are being fed to the wolves. Democratic losses are caused by pressures on the outside of the Democratic Party, not from within.

Lane is a lazy writer, always has been. He grabs for the easy analogy and tries to drag both parties so that he can avert his eyes from larger destructive forces eating away at the GOP, which no longer exists as a functioning national party, having already been consumed by a mass movement and cable network representing the most extreme right wing, some of whom have joined the Tea Party.

The Beltway Establishment continues to treat Republicans with deference and respect and invite them on their Sunday morning programs because it refuses to accept that the stable two-party system no longer exists.

Elected and Establishment Republicans no longer control their own party. Get used to it.

Posted by: TedFrier | March 30, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane:

You've got it wrong. Although colonists opposed taxation without representation, the main instigators of the Boston Tea Party were tea merchants and smugglers whose economic interests were harmed by the Tea Act and associated monopoly of the East India Company. Throwing the East India Company tea into the harmed boosted their economic interests, which is why they played upon the anti-tax grievances of their neighbors to organize and lead the dumping of their competitor's tea. Perhaps we should be asking who now benefits by the stirring up the passions of modern-day Tea Party members.

Posted by: sannhet | March 30, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Not quite. The divisive issue of slavery proved too powerful for either the Whig or Democratic Parties to overcome, and so both major parties were cut in two, dividing into Northern and Southern wings, with the Northern elements of both reforming around a new Republican Party. The South stayed largely Democratic, but held two national conventions in 1860 and nominated two Democrats for President.

It was this breakdown of the political parties -- and with them the destruction of "politics as usual" that left no avenue for resolving the nation's tensions but war.

Today is not even remotely similar because only one of our two major parties has imploded -- the GOP, and around issues of cultural identity that regular politics cannot contain. The Democratic Party is largely intact. It may lose a few conservative members in red state disticts as Lane says, but this is not the same as the purges underway in the GOP as RINOs are being fed to the wolves. Democratic losses are caused by pressures on the outside of the Democratic Party, not from within.

Lane is a lazy writer, always has been. He grabs for the easy analogy and tries to drag both parties into it so that he can avert his eyes from larger destructive forces eating away at the GOP, which no longer exists as a functioning national party, having already been consumed by a mass movement and cable network representing the most extreme right wing, some of whom have joined the Tea Party.

The Beltway Establishment continues to treat Republicans with deference and respect and invite them on their Sunday morning programs because it refuses to accept that the stable two-party system no longer exists.

Elected and Establishment Republicans no longer control their own party. Get used to it.

Posted by: TedFrier | March 30, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

I thought the article was well written, but leaning to the left. The Tea Party generally wants a return to Constitutional government, and spending within our means. I find it frightening that this is considered "Extremist."

Posted by: jack29 | March 30, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Milbank, you forget the most important difference between extremists (of whatever ilk) in the 19th century and today. And that is the internet. The rise of todays liberal and conservative extremists ranks is directly related to their ability to spread a message in a milisecond. Compound that with a 24 hr media cycle that demands new and dramatic stories and you start to see why organizations and parties such as the Tea Party have a voice far larger than their respective constituencies.

Posted by: newsmctado | March 30, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

What makes this writer think there is an "ideological purge" taking place among Democrats? Is it because people of all persuasions elected Barack Obama in 2008?
The only "purge" taking place is within the Republican Party. THEY are the ones requiring a "purity test" for their candidates.
Democrats have always been known to be a group with many different opinions stated openly and honestly and continuously. Democrats do NOT require "purity". In fact, the requirement for "purity" is undemocratic to Democrats.

Posted by: cms1 | March 30, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I've been asleep for 20 weeks (like that Rumplystiltyhopeychangey guy).. and now I've just awakened to the WaPo blog.. last time I was 'awake':
-The GOP was getting its PostMortem
-The Tea party was wingnuts with no point
-Obama was King of the Free World

I'm never going to sleep for that long..ever again..

Posted by: newbeeboy | March 30, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Party folks have no expectation for respect. The name calling and derogotive terms that were screamed at legislators, those folks are emotionally stunted. Is basically a group of people more angry than informed. Will have no lasting impact. Maybe we should offer them remedial High School civics lessons?

Posted by: lancepcope | March 30, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of moral clarity, to draw an equivalence between the vitriolic but peaceful Bush protestors and the heavily-armed militias of the right is simply to fail to draw any distinction whatsoever.

With respect to the term "moral clarity," the real problem with the idea is that there is no single hierarchy of moral values. Values conflict. Often what is needed is not clarity but balance. (See the writings of Isaiah Berlin on this and the dangers of idealism--what the author calls "excesses of principle." Idealism leads us to having haters for Jesus and preachers of "patriotic" sedition.)

Posted by: scientist1 | March 30, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

white_rabbit wrote:

"Only a maroon believes that government health care will reduce costs..."

The health care bill will reduce the deficit because it includes provisions to cover the additional cost.

Now who you calling maroon?

Posted by: neilmckenna | March 30, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Tea Party or not, the point is that the liars and cheaters in congress no matter what party they belong to will be removed. People are taking back this country. Black and White, all people are sick and tired of the federal governments strangle hold on our freedoms and our pocket books. The latest shenanigans of the current administration are the last straw. Call it what you want, I call it a reckoning. Lives were lost; a high price was paid by many of all colors to gain the freedoms we have in this country. It is now the time to take control out of the hands of the federal government and back into the hands of the American people.

Posted by: hanocul6 | March 30, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

white_rabbit wrote:

"I thought the country was "grossly in debt" but at the same time aubrey wants the government run health care. Only a maroon believes that government health care will reduce costs..."

Only a "maroon" doesn't know that the health care bill includes revenue-enhancing provisions that cover the additional costs.

Posted by: neilmckenna | March 30, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

There are three basic types of people in the known universe. They are white people, non-whites and white supremacists/racists. White people are "people who classify themselves as 'white' and have been classified as 'white', accepted as 'white'... and who generally function as 'white' in all of the nine major areas of activity." Non-whites as are "people who have been classified as 'non-white', and/or who generally function as 'non-white' in their relationship with each other..." White supremacists/ racists are "people who classify themselves as 'white', and who generally function as 'white', and who practice racial subjugation (based on 'white'-'non-white', at any time, in any place, in any one, or more of the nine major areas of activity. activity (Economics, Education, Entertainment, Labor, Law, Politics, Religion, Sex and War)."

I submit to you that the teabaggers fall into the third category.

Posted by: demtse | March 30, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

The more Obama moves more towards socialism , the more this conservative democrat is beginning to like the tea party movement

Posted by: farmsnorton | March 30, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't mind another civil war - and I think we all know who would win. These backwoods lunatics need to be smacked down.

Posted by: fleeciewool | March 30, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I think the Tea Party movement has gone too far with their violence.

The slurs and assaults were wrong and the Tea Party is not actively standing against it. Even worse are these Tea Party Christian Militia people who were plotting against the US Government and who were planning to kill police officers.

I think we will see more arrests and even some very ugly violence from the Tea Party, What we won't see is solutions to our problems.

Posted by: colonelpanic | March 30, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

fleeciwool, hahaha. dream on . jefferson alluded to the no-good characters that inhabit cities. the dem led cities in this country have collapsed under their violence. bring your violence out of the city and expect to get met.

Posted by: 12thgenamerican | March 30, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats have been purging themselves of their "left" since the late 70's when they went pro-corporate anti-populist, and moving to the "right". Nixon today would be more along the lines of the DLC of today.

to the 1/4-1/2 of the tea party that is just worried about overspending & balancing the budge, the part that is more or less libertarian. Your are welcome to join the conversation. The other half, the neo-Nazi's, Christan fundamentalist, KKK types, well I am never gonna say we should kick em out of the country, but its hard not to.

Posted by: alex35332 | March 30, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Um in cultural wars 1 witch ended in revolution, 1 witch ended in civil war... Liberalism is 3-0.

Conservatives supported the Crown, the South and segregation... Good record so far.

Posted by: alex35332 | March 30, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

It's time to lose the kid gloves. The only lying cheerleaders for the tea party brownshirts are Fox "News," and CNN. They are the far right who cheered hate crimes from racists, the murder of a doctor by a religious terrorist, and fellow violent militia groups. They are the mentally disturbed people who are the ultimate danger to this nation.

Posted by: revbookburn | March 30, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

"Regardless of whether one sympathizes with the Tea Party, MoveOn.org, or none of the above, it should be possible to recognize what they have in common: an attitude. And it is characteristically American. Call it the spirit of anti-compromise."

Ah yes, the doctine of false moral equivalence, so beloved of timid, feverently "non-ideological" corporate journalists.

I suppose the fact that MoveOn.org ended up supporting a health care compromise that didn't include a public option (much less a single payer system), while the teabaggers threatened to unleash the Second American Revolution if the legislative majority didn't yield to the minority and scrap the entire project, doesn't really count for anything -- not if it stands in the way of a journalistic coward looking for an easy way out.

Ask a stupid question, etc.

Posted by: PeterPrinciple | March 30, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Wussy right wing kooks they'll get put down by the Army and Marines....losers one and all.

Posted by: tuttlegroup | March 30, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

What a crock. This guy suggests the Demos are as polarized as the Repubs. That is far from the case - the left is about where it has been for decades, in fact further to the right than it was for most the period after WWII. The Republicans, on the other hand, have kicked out anyone who is not ideologically pure enough, leading to their having lost most of the north and north east, and becoming more of a regional party. Will this continue? Let's see in November, but we can only hope the electorate, which really is quite moderate, tires of the overheated rhetoric and gives them another drubbing.

Posted by: harkish | March 30, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Look People I am an alien - a foreigner, one about to travel to the USA to see what you as a people represent that my country, Australia, seems to want to copy. We have a health plan, nationally, that is accepted by a large majority of the population, it aint perfect and we are trying to improve aspects of it, but it mostly works.

It is based on the idea that all Australians have a right to basic health care, and in emergencies, the best we can provide. Those of us that can afford it can supplement this with health insurance to give us quicker access to hospitals or specialists, and some rebate on the extra costs involved. Our arguments about the Health Program are based on those two principles that I thought represented the least we should provide to all members of our society, irregardless of race, religion, sex, sexual preference, or employment status.

I just do not understand how a society like yours can seek to deny health care to people on whatever grounds you seem to think serve the interests of wealthier people. Health care costs money, it is expensive, and we accept that the Government - State or Federal - has to be the major provider of it. Private intrests are there and complement the public health service but you need to be insured to use them. However, in emergencies, private hospitals and doctors are utilised for people. It seems a given here that when it is available at some level to all in the society health services provide a social unity that overcomes whatever divisions we have created...and makes a better country to live in.

What I dont understand is - what kind of people think all the above is some kind of evil plot to take away your freedom?

Posted by: santenr | March 30, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Amazing how these fruit cake movements just suddenly crop up with a Dem is in office... When the real damage was being done... They did their patriotic duty and sat down and kept their yaps shut.
Where were these people when the Patriot Act was passed? When we spent 1.2 Trillion on a tax cut that yielded no jobs? These extremists and that is what the the tea party are, a bunch of extremists... are the in your face wing of the RNC, they are funded in part by Dick Armey. They are traitors to this country... (these rightists labeled anyone who opposed George W Bush a traitor so turnabout is fair play)

Posted by: dwdave67 | March 30, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it interesting that so many religious believers rely on texts that were written 100's (if not 1000's) of years ago. And so do a certain sect of the American people with regard to their Constitution. As if Madison, Franklin et al could foresee the future 300 years hence. In this regard, the only true believers might be the Amish. Must leave Sarah Palin feeling a bit left out.

Posted by: wturecki | March 30, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Where were all these Tea Party people when Bush unconstitutionally waged war against Iraq for bogus weapons of mass destruction? Where all these Tea Party people when they passed the Patriot Act to spy on citizens that were not terrorists? Where were all these Tea Party people when Cheney was enriching his former employer Halliburton? Where were all these Tea Party people when Bush was handing out huge tax breaks for the rich and large corporations driving the country further into debt? Where were all the Tea Party people when Greenspan refused properly regulate the financial institutions? Where were all the Tea Party when Bush shipping our jobs off to China ,India and Mexico?
1. Posted by: open400 | March 30, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------
open400
They were defending Bush and Cheney.
Posted by: jamesmcgee1 | March 30, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------
You “know” where we were.
We were there, beside Bush, urging him on. We believe we’re in the right. Read a bit. Count the number of Democrats, that signed on, for the Iraqi war. The Republicans weren’t alone.
We know that Saddam Hussein had WMD’S. We gave them to him, during the Iraqi/Iranian war. Do you think he used them up against Iran? Or, do you think he moved them into Syria? Name one instance, in recorded History, wherein a Tyrannical Ruler, or Dictator, has given up his most potent, or dangerous weapons?
Neither did Saddam Hussein.
We were complaining, while Dubya was giving the store away.
I never claimed that he was fiscally conservative.
Tax breaks to Americans, were definitely a plus.
Name two things in your home, that was brought to you, by way of anything, other than a Corporation.
If you hunted for it, and killed it, it “may” not have come from a Corporation.
I believe that you’re complicit, in the outsourcing of jobs.
There’s an easy test. Count all the “Stuff” in your home. How many items did you find, that were “not” made in China, Mexico, Indonesia, Viet Nam, India, or Pakistan?
If you don’t find any, all your “stuff” is over 40 years old.
If you did find many, we know who to blame.
They won’t make it in China, if we don’t buy it.
Dennis

Posted by: Shadowsmgc | March 30, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm way to Mr. Lane's left, but I am certain that it's a good thing to read through some history as accurately as he tells it in these remarks, which I take to be ultimately anti-"Obamacare".

Teabaggers would do well to look, listen and learn how an intelligent moderate challenges this policy.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | March 30, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

When conservatives express their opinions, why is it called "extremism" and when the leftists who are pushing to transform our nation express their opinion, the big media calls that "progressive." Progressive to what: Marxism?

Posted by: johntu | March 30, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

"But that price still included a tax, enacted by a parliament in which the Americans were not represented. To purchase the tea would violate the principle of “no taxation without representation.” And so the Sons of Liberty chucked it into the water."
------------------------------
The modern Tea baggers had a vote for representation and they lost and are sore losers.

Posted by: Emmetrope | March 30, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

"But the Sons of Liberty were more intent on making a point than solving problems."

indeed. It's a lot easier.

Posted by: mikem1 | March 30, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

The GOP is trying very hard to coop the Tea Party and turn it into an intimidating enforcver of corporate standards. For that, they need a thoroughly corrupt leader, and Palin has declared herself their queen. Palin is an employee of Fox News, that would make the Tea party the political wing of News Corp, and enthusiastic supporter of the radicalized Cheney Neocon agenda, the oil companies, and torture. Lots and lots of torture. Will the tea party fall for it? They are so conditioned to soak up propaganda, it seems hard to believe that they won't.

Posted by: BurfordHolly | March 31, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

I hate to argue about whether the Dems or GOP are "nicer," because people that want to argue about who's "nicer" are usually vicious lunatics.

But hey, let's just say dems are just as bad as the GOP.

But you'd still have to concede that it is the GOP that has gone all in using the classic themes of Fascism (national spirit, militarism, will, xenophobia, racial purity, paranoia, nostalgia, betrayal) and a pervasive use of propaganda that has choked off debate even within their own ranks. Their appeal is purely based on anger and manipulation. The Tea party in particular is a distinctly neofascist movement under corporate control.

Posted by: BurfordHolly | March 31, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

The Tea Partiers are not the extremists.The RAT Traitors in this administration are.We are the norm.The Traitors want to "transform" America.The writer must be one of the Traitors.

Posted by: Imarkex | March 31, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse

The Boston Tea Party was more about the monopoly of the East India Company than about taxes. The taxes were just a convenient excuse for what happened. It was stated that Franklin disapproved, but so did John Adams. John Adams was a conservative if there ever was one.

Posted by: chlind | March 31, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

monk4hall wrote:
"Democrats, including, yes, Obama, are largely center-left. The Republican party, probably more than any time in the last half century, has veered HARD right."

=========================================

I agree. If you don't, look back at the health care positions by both parties a year ago. Some very liberal Democratic ideas from a year ago were scrapped (Public Option) in favor of more conservative methods of reform, including things the Republicans said they supported (clear language against federal funding for abortion, no denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions, etc.). The Democrats took a more conservative approach than they wanted to a year ago. The Republicans chose to attempt to "kill the bill," even though it contained many of the things they previously supported.

I see Democrats moving to a more centrist position, while the Republicans move further to the right every day.

Posted by: damascuspride04 | March 31, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Tea Party or not, the point is that the liars and cheaters in congress no matter what party they belong to will be removed. People are taking back this country. Black and White, all people are sick and tired of the federal governments strangle hold on our freedoms and our pocket books. The latest shenanigans of the current administration are the last straw. Call it what you want, I call it a reckoning. Lives were lost; a high price was paid by many of all colors to gain the freedoms we have in this country. It is now the time to take control out of the hands of the federal government and back into the hands of the American people.

Posted by: hanocul6 | March 30, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse
****

What freedoms have you lost? How will you "control" the government? Will you stop the robber barons of industry who have reaped in hundreds of Billions in salary, stock and bonuses while giving their employees 2% or 3% pay raises and making them pay more for their benefits?

Why weren't you protesting Cheney's invasion of Iraq and the billions and billions that he has secretly handed out to his own companies and those of his friends? How about those airplanes loaded with American dollars that were given to the thieves, frauds and God knows who else, that Cheney and Bush and the Republican Congress conveniently ignored? Why were you not screaming your head off about "big" government then? Where was you voice when Cheney hired a private 100,000 man mercenary Army, owned by a hard right "Christian" son of a Preacherman and paid them hundreds of millions using criminals, thugs, rapists and murderers? Where was your anger?

Why has your anger suddenly come forth because we have a half black President and you cannot accept that? What damage has he done? He is not giving our money to huckster Arabists for phony intelligence. He is trying to stop the money drain that has nearly brought down this country through their greed and criminal acts. He is trying to help Americans have access to medical care. Are you people on the right so damned selfish that you resent paying one nickel for all of the things you have in America?
That is what we hear, you just resent paying your fair share. Shame on you. You have no idea what you are talking about, you just don't like the black man and you don't want to pay taxes. Bigger government? What is your idea of smaller government? You don't know, do you? fritz

Posted by: papafritz571 | March 31, 2010 1:49 AM | Report abuse

THE REAL QUESTION is lack of representation. The far left and far right feel under-represent -- and they're correct. . . . . . I know in Louisiana,the way they draw districts politicians have to be more moderate in order to win elections. . . . . . . Going against conventional wisdom, I've said that what we need or three or four David Dukes' and three or four Malcom X's in the legislature. . . . . . . People often responded, "There'd be bloodshed-!" . . . . But my response was, "You put them in the same room together, and I bet you'd end up with some of the best racial legislation we've ever had."

Unfortunitly -- this never had a chance to happen, because districts that would have produced this dynamic were always, on purpose, diluted. . . . . . And having only two political parties have fostered this dilution.

Also, the Corporate Sponsored media has not helped. The far right is well represented there. They have talking heads like Limbaugh, Coulter, Beck, etc. BUT-!!! The Corporate Sponsors won't allow their far left counterparts anywhere near the airwaves -- anyone heard of Jim Hightower? . . Didn't think so. . . . . . . . . Moreover, the Tea Partiers got a lot of media coverage, some good, some bad. But again, the far left got so very little, and that fustration can leave one quite upset -- how many of us understand just how much single-payer would save the nation? . . Like 17 percent-! Didn't think you really understood.

And any comparison between the left and right regarding Obama and Bush? . . is night and day. Bush as President ignored his opposition; Obama articulate his opposition's points of view quite often. . . . . Bush would create straw-dogs that never resembled what the left was saying and then kick them over as it their issues were so stupid. If Bush had epitaphs thrown at him he deserved it. Obama has never stooped so low as to deserve the vile thrown at him.

Posted by: Here2day | March 31, 2010 2:04 AM | Report abuse

The problem with naming Moveon.org as an extremist group at the other end of the political spectrum from the Tea Party is that Moveon.org did and does compromise. Moveon did support the health care bill, despite what the group perceived as the bill's flaws. They were among the bill's strongest advocates, even though most members of Moveon.org originally supported single-payer health insurance as the preferred reform. Moveon urged its members to support the public option when that was still an option, and when the public option was no longer part of the bill, Moveon urged its members to call members of the House to ask them to vote for the Senate bill plus the "fixes" proposed to go through reconciliation. Moveon was a major force supporting the bill that ultimately passed and became law. That is hardly an extremist or uncompromising position.

Would the Tea Party activists support a bill that did not meet their standards for ideal legislation, as Moveon did? I doubt it. I think there is actually no group on the left with any political influence that acts like the Tea Party does on the right. Maybe some of the readers of Commondreams.org are purists on the left the way the Tea Party is on the right, but they are not organized. Groups on the extreme left like the old Socialist Workers Party have little or no influence in the real world of politics.

In contrast, the Tea Party has much influence on the Republican Party, to the party's detriment, I think. The crazy extremist right used to be isolated and ineffectual, visible in places like Arizona where the John Birch Society put up billboards against the United Nations. Now the crazy extremist right has a significant influence on Republican politics, and this, I think, is bad for that party and bad for reasoned and reasonable political discourse. Republicans who take reasonable stances face pressure from the Tea Party to move to the extreme right or face defeat within their own party primaries. Nothing like this has happened or is happening to moderate Democrats within the Democratic Party. I do not see Moveon.org targeting moderate Democrats for defeat because they voted for the health care bill. Instead, Moveon is urging its members to phone Democrats in Congress and thank them for voting for health care reform. That is a big difference between Moveon and the Tea Party.

Posted by: alivo | March 31, 2010 2:29 AM | Report abuse

"...if you think there’s something uniquely ugly about the contemporary Tea Party’s abusive rhetoric toward President Obama, check out this compendium of violent language aimed at President Bush a few years ago."

The difference is that the Tea Party rants and marches are on every front page, while the rants about Bush and anti-war marches were ignored, moved to a "Free Speech Zone" or the "non-patriots" were arrested.

Posted by: wizard2 | March 31, 2010 3:24 AM | Report abuse

When I see the angry red-faces in the tea party rallies the question I have to ask is: how many of these people even know how to type? How many of them passed algebra in high school?

The modern technical world is leaving, has left these people behind. And they know it, whether they admit it to themselves or each other or not.

I believe them to be generally honorable people, hard working people. But the modern world really doesn't need them anymore. They have "ignoranted" themselves out of value.


But guess what folks? Your unemployment is running out, there are no unskilled or semi-skilled jobs looking for you, and you're going to be needing the support of those who are working - you're going to be the ones parasitizing the educated people who are earning a living in the modern world.

Your refusal to educate yourselves, your intensifying hatred of the educated and education in general means you are fast approaching that same parasitic state of the people you hate the most. And frankly, I'm not going to pay for your obesity.

Posted by: barferio | March 31, 2010 3:27 AM | Report abuse

According to www.ushistory.org:

"The Tea Act
The Tea Act, passed by Parliament on May 10, 1773, ... was not intended to raise revenue in the American colonies, and in fact imposed no new taxes. It was designed to prop up the East India Company...."

I don't think there's one idea in this column with which I agree. The history of this country is not that moderation wins out but rather that one side ultimately loses. The Pro-Slavery states lost. In World War I, the isolationists lost. In the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960's, the racists lost. In the battle of Gay/Lesbian rights, the right is losing and probably will lose. In the Vietnam War, the hawks lost. And on and on.

The colonists threw the tea in the harbor because it undermined their own middlemen whose business would suffer. Government was favoring a monopoly and cutting out the profit the colonists were making on tea. It had nothing to do with taxes.

Present day teabaggers are on the wrong side. They like monopolies and they like what the US Government does for our monopolies including waging war and overthrowing governments. What is happening today is a small, virulent, misguided, group of teabaggers is trying to determine what kind of government we as a people shall have and what kind of country we shall become. And they have strong opposition; a war, figuratively, if you will, with those of us who find their views anathema.

The teabaggers are a negative and dangerous force of angry people who have directed their anger at the Federal Government in general and at President Obama in particular. Just as the right wing talk show entertainers have incited them to do. The angrier the teabaggers get; the richer the talk show hosts get.

The teabaggers aren't smart enough to know that they're being had. Not only are the talk show hosts using them to get rich, the Republican Party, not known for it clear moral compass, is also using them.

The Tea Party is dangerous because it misunderstands American history. The Tea Party is dangerous because it gives people the impression that all they have to do is read the US Constitution in the comfort of their home and now, Voila!, they're experts in Constitutional Law and Interpretation with the expertise to tell all of us exactly what the US Constitution means. And all from the comfort of their armchairs. We have a Supreme Court to do that and we don't need them. They're naivete is shocking.

It is, after all, a right wing entertainer who started the campaign to read the Constitution and become an expert just like him. And the teabaggers fell for this hook, line and sinker. In the Tea Party, they found a place for all their hatred and their rage.

That is dangerous. They are dangerous.


Posted by: flamingliberal | March 31, 2010 4:22 AM | Report abuse

The Corporate Sponsored media has not helped. The far right is well represented there. They have talking heads like Limbaugh, Coulter, Beck, etc. BUT-!!! The Corporate Sponsors won't allow their far left counterparts anywhere near the airwaves -- anyone heard of Jim Hightower? . . Didn't think so.

Moreover, the Tea Partiers got a lot of media coverage, some good, some bad. But again, the far left got so very little at all, and that fustration can leave one quite upset -- how many of us understand just how much single-payer would save the nation? . . Like 17 percent-! Didn't think you really understood.

And any comparison between the left and right regarding Obama and Bush? . . is night and day. Bush as President ignored his opposition; Obama articulates his opposition's points of view quite often. . . . . Bush would create straw-dogs that never resembled what the left was saying and then kick them over as if their issues were so stupid. If Bush had epitaphs thrown at him he deserved it. Obama has never stooped so low as to deserve the vile thrown at him.

The comparison between Bush and Obama can be seen even more clearly by looking at Sarah Palin. At Palin's campaign rallies there were those in her crowd shouting, "Kill Obama-!" You never saw anything even close to that at Obama's rallies.

It is stupid to name Moveon.org as an extremist group at the other end of the political spectrum from the Tea Party. Moveon.org did and does compromise. The health bill had no drug negotiated pricing and no single-payer -- BY FAR AND AWAY THE BIGGEST COST SAVING ENGINES THAT COULD HAVE REASONALBLY BEEN IN THE BILL. But moveon didn't have a conniption-fit over it. In addition, a lot of moveon's ferver came at the intolerance and impertinence of Pres. Bush.

This gets back to the same old argument around in the Bush days, "Clinton did it too." . . . . . . . . as if Clinton's stealing a thousand was equal to Bush's stealing a million.

One of the biggest problems is the Corporate Sponsored media. They encourage people like Limbaugh, and they are quick to equate Clinton's veneal sins to Bush's cardinal sins. Or, Obama's taking an ounce of license to Bush's ten pounds of license. . . . . . . Did Clinton or Obama accuse the loyal opposition of being unAmerican? . . No of course not.

Posted by: Here2day | March 31, 2010 4:50 AM | Report abuse

This is one of the most intellectually flaccid pieces of "analysis" regarding the "tea party" that I've read. Seriously. Conflating moveon.org with these militia-style tea baggers?

"But the parties are polarized; they have been captured by the extremes." Wrong. Democrats, including, yes, Obama, are largely center-left. The Republican party, probably more than any time in the last half century, has veered HARD right.

This is the kind intellectual cover crazies like the tea party get from the mainstream media, i.e. "See? They're BOTH extreme."

What a lazy piece of crap. Seriously, the WaPo will waive anything into print these days.

=========

I do find the level of rhetoric of the Tea Party members and those who frequented DailyKos and Democratic Underground during the Bush administration to be about the same. A few fairly rational posts lost in a sea of partisan venting and ranting. I see your Sarah Palin and I raise you a Cindy Sheehan.

The big difference between today and the "W" era is simply a matter of which groups feel completely alienated by those in power. The level of dehumanization of "the enemy" is about the same, as is the relative lack of rational argument. Both sides had (have) good reasons to oppose the status quo, but tend to have done (do) so in a manner that does not allow any sort rational exchange about the issues at hand or compromise.

Your conflation of the Tea Party movement with Militias is completely overblown from what I've seen of the Tea Party people. Their agendas are completely at odds with one another. The Tea Party people on average are significantly to the left of Libertarians when it comes to their ideas about the proper scope of government, while the militia people are off the end of the same scale. Conflating the Tea Parties with the Militia groups is similar in scope to calling Obama a Communist. It is much more instructive of the person leveling the charge than the charge itself informs one about reality.

Posted by: robert17 | March 31, 2010 5:02 AM | Report abuse

The problems confronting the nation are "economic stagnation, debt, and terrorism".
There's your problem! What have or are we doing about any of these issues. Nope, the focus is on health, climate and pure politics.

Posted by: dgra | March 31, 2010 5:44 AM | Report abuse

white_rabbit wrote:

"I thought the country was "grossly in debt" but at the same time aubrey wants the government run health care. Only a maroon believes that government health care will reduce costs..."

Only a "maroon" doesn't know that the health care bill includes revenue-enhancing provisions that cover the additional costs.

Why don't you call those "revenue-enhancing provisions" by their proper name? Additional TAXES that we can't afford.

The Tea Party movement is filled by people who are not extremists, but instead are sick of big, instrusive, expensive government that robs Peter to pay Paul in order to get Paul's vote. The Tea Party movement sees that all of this excessive spending is going to bankrupt America and force a dramatic decline in the standard of living and security of ALL Americans. Better to follow the Tea Party and accept a little pain in the way of reduced govt and entitlements than the vastly greater pain that the current path will lead us to.

Posted by: honorswar26 | March 31, 2010 6:16 AM | Report abuse

Part of the big issue with the Tea Party is that the laws were being made in England, which were favorable to The East India Tea Company, whose shareholders included the king and many others among the wealthy noble ranks. The Tea Act allowed the much larger East India Tea Company (comparable to say Wal Mart) to under sell the colonial merchants, making it difficult for them to compete. It's like small businesses today trying to compete with much larger corporations, and the deck continues to be stacked against the little guy by people who have vested interests in these companies, by people who are essentially legally "bribing" our law makers with their massive campaign contributions.

Posted by: ggwalt | March 31, 2010 6:18 AM | Report abuse

The tea party is similar to other extremist, populist movements in that it channels personal frustration and anger into a larger cause, even if that cause is misguided. It is similar to the Islamic extremist movement which channels the economic and social desperation of young people in poor countries into a rebellion against the West. It is often funded by governments for political purposes and packaged as a religious crusade to give it moral purpose. Very similar to the tea party. In fact when you hear the protestors most of them are dealing with personal financial issues or other setbacks, and this gives them an outlet for their anger. That is understandable and obviously empowering for the members, but as a prescription for policy its a disaster. Unfortunately they do have influence in the Republican party which, when combined with districting and the primary process, does impact the policy platform of the Republicans. This has almost eliminated moderates in the party and made bi-partisan cooperation impossible except on certain issues where resistance is politically very difficult to defend (ie. a jobs bill).

Time and history are against the tea party, and ultimately this country has shown that it continues to make progress despite conservative resistence.

Posted by: spencerj7 | March 31, 2010 6:24 AM | Report abuse

I have a hard time taking the Tea Party crowd seriously when they were utterly silent during the Bush years. Where were they when Bush and Cheney were racking up all that debt and trampling the Constitution?? Where were they when Bush was ramming through the very expensive Medicare drug benefit program? They look more like a bunch of sore losers and racists, rather than a group with a coherent message. And by the way, who is financing this group?? Touring buses are expensive. I'd also like to know how many in self proclaimed Tea Baggers are benefitting from government programs like Medicare, Social Security, Unemployment, and Disability. Would someone like to do some research and get back with us?

Posted by: ggwalt | March 31, 2010 6:25 AM | Report abuse

I agree with many of these comments. The so-called Tea Party movement is a total farce. Many of these people are totally clueless about this country's history or what the Tea Party actually meant, let alone the significance of the Constitution. Again, I say, follow the money. Find out who's pushing, organizing, and financing this group. It's a bunch of wealthy Republicans, corporations, Fox News corporation, etc. The Tea Party crowd are largely a bunch of ignorant misguided rubes dressed up to look like a grass root movement. Just like the Christian conservatives, they're being used by the right wing elite. It's sad for them and sad for our country. They're an angry misguided bigoted mob.

Posted by: ggwalt | March 31, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

I do find the level of rhetoric of the Tea Party members and those who frequented DailyKos and Democratic Underground during the Bush administration to be about the same.
!!!!!!!!!!!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~!!

Here we go again comparing Obama with Bush (the most incompentent Pres. in American History). . . . . rediculous

Posted by: Here2day | March 31, 2010 6:46 AM | Report abuse

All this nonsense reminds me of one of the funniest bumper stickers I ever saw: "ANNIHILATE ALL EXTREMISTS!!!"

Posted by: RaoulDuke1 | March 31, 2010 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Its clear that throwing tea in the river or waving a poster at a Tea Party is pointless. Our supposed representatives dont care!! As in 1776, and 1864, WE need to take action.

Posted by: movette | March 31, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

These modern day tea partiers claiming to be 'patriots' reminds me so much of Al Bundy and his claim to fame: scoring 4 touchdowns in one game.

Posted by: barferio | March 31, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

The Fact that you do not understand the Tea Party Mr. Lane makes it difficult for me to understand why you are employed as a pundit. They have made their position quite clear. Limited Government which abides by the Constitution. Low taxation. No more Federal Government defecit spending. Of course to the left that is fringe extremist thinking because it endangers your favorite thing, out of control big government which infringes on our Constitutional Rights, and endangers our security by runaway defecit spending. What does the Left stand for Mr. Lane? Why does the Left want big government and defecit spending? Why does the Left hold such low regard for the Constitution as it is written?

Posted by: bobbo2 | March 31, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

bobbo2, since when did your favored republicans actually come through on these requirements of yours?

it's easy to pick on the democrats, they're not lying about these things you claim they want - the not only admit it, they're proud of it. But these republicans lie to you when they say they want small government and fiscal responsibility.

You can't change the democrats, but you can change the republicans. Why don't stop wasting your time complaining about the democrats and start pressing the republicans to actually DO these things?

The last republican president to balance a budget was Richard Nixon. Each and every single republican president since has done as much or more deficit spending than all the democrats.

This is why you tea partiers are not going to win over the independents. You're really just a bunch of wannabe republicans, no better than the democrats.

Posted by: barferio | March 31, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Thanks so much to John 1263 & Ted Frier for posting the ACTUAL history instead of stuff Lane made up. People like me who have forgot their early American history can become pawns of lazy writers &/or pseudo-historians like Lane. You guys did a great public service today.

The Constant Weader at www.RealityChex.com

Posted by: marieburns | March 31, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Why pay taxes? Timmy Gietner pays some, Harry Reed says they are voluntary, Chuckie Rangle thinks they are optional. For the rest of us, $1.4 Trillion wasted on Democrats pet projects, Omamacare creates new taxes paying for 30 million to have coverage they can not afford. College loans by the Government (bigger Government and more SEIU Employees). A deficit that is so big that if interest rates on the debt reach the 60 year average of 5.5%, 2/3 of all tax dollars will pay for the interest on the debt.....there will NOT be money left for frivolous things like; social security, health care, medicare, student loans. The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples money. Wake up America the Democrats are spending the USA into oblivion.

Posted by: SmGovGood | March 31, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

I think the Tea Party has some solid footing. Unlike groups that say: "this is right, becuase I think so" which is usually wishful thinking. The Tea Party appears to push for fiscal responsibility. Spend no more than you make is much easier to understand and measure than many other claims made by people. I don't see an extremist position here.

Posted by: JohnnyGee | March 31, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

These media attempts at equivalency/fairness are very irritating. Yes there were serious charges levelled against George Bush. Of course there were -- he lied us into war, and he committed war crimes. At the time, this was compared to Clinton's lies. Now it's compared to epithets hurled at Obama. Both comparisons are obscene. No one in their right mind can compare lying about sex to lying us into war. Nor can they sanely compare passing legislation that is distasteful to committing war crimes. Yet those are the exact comparisons that we are expected to swallow. No thanks.

Posted by: douglassforgan | March 31, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I think the Tea Party has some solid footing. Unlike groups that say: "this is right, becuase I think so" which is usually wishful thinking. The Tea Party appears to push for fiscal responsibility. Spend no more than you make is much easier to understand and measure than many other claims made by people. I don't see an extremist position here.

Posted by: JohnnyGee | March 31, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

As a Socialist I am all for fiscal responsibility. So would the tea party be in favor of removing the cap on social security so that we can keep it solvent and in the black?

Posted by: alex35332 | March 31, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

This is just another highly misleading propaganda piece that tries to forge a false equivalence between today's hateful conservative rhetoric and that of the liberals and the past.

There are multiple examples, but consider the author's attempt to relate treatment of Obama to that of Bush. There is absolutely no comparison, either in the amount of abuse hurled at Obama (in only one year), or the intensity of the abuse (socialist, alien, racist, etc.). This is simple intellectual dishonesty on the author's part.

As for the comments, I agree completely with those arguing that the Tea Partiers are a very sad lot. They allow themselves to be revved up into a paranoid, mean-spirited state by their propagandists (e.g., Beck, Palin), in large part because they can't fathom the idea that poor people will now have health care.

Posted by: dougd1 | March 31, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

By refusing to compromise, the man who ran as a uniter on a change platform is showing himself to be on pace to be the greatest divider in a century. The health bill is the hallmark of the spirit of Anti-Compromise you mentioned.
Time and time again ideas form the other side were totaly ignored and the underlying causes of health care inflation are entirely in place today just as they were a month ago.

Posted by: SayWhat4 | March 31, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Hey White Rabbit. Wen you say "Only a maroon believes that government health care will reduce costs...
Are those the maroons who looked and the the evidence of every oterh wetern nationand founf that they delivered generally better health care at a lower cost than the SU system>? Or who looked and saw that U.S. Medicare delivered greater cost efficiencies than private health care in 2/3 of circumstance?
Only a maroon would make a claim or assertion without some kind of evidence to back up their claims. All you've got is your "belief..." And its blind belief in mem that drives the stupid in the US debate.

Posted by: rpp1 | March 31, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

I suggest anyone agreeing with Mr. Lane check out his article last December where he thinks LOWERING THE MINIMUM WAGE IS A GOOD IDEA! These right wingers at the Post have taken over. Equating the teabaggers with move on.org is ludicrous.One is a group of average citizens trying to make America a great country again. The other is a group of morons who are too stupid to vote in their own self interest and seem really po'd that there is a black guy in the White House.I have a feeling that if any of these teabaggers have a job, it's for minimum wage!

Posted by: hughsie48 | March 31, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Extremism? Maybe we should adobt some extremism from Code Pink since this writer does not know what extremism is.

Posted by: Imarkex | March 31, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane implies that both the GOP and the Democratic Party are moving toward their respective extremes in the representation in Congress. No one can deny that is the case for the Republicans.

But I see little evidence that that is the case for the Democrats. If the year-long HCR process showed anything at all, it is that the more centerist Democrats control the more liberal members of the caucus by a wide margin.

Mr. Lane's definition of an historical cycle of politics from the middle to the extremes and back again is, I think, valid. But in this current instance, it only seems to be happening on on side of the aisle.

Posted by: tunkefer | March 31, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse


Extremism started in 1492 when Euopeans visited Hispaniola, Cuba, etc.

DeSoto followed suit with his expedition.

Jamestown, etc.

If we want to look to where extremism started, it's with the Euopean mindset that you take what you want, and if someone tries to stop you, you take them too.

It may not be entirely accurate, but it's pretty darn close!

Posted by: DannyP1 | March 31, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Hey Code Pink did you not know Soetoro (alias Barrak Husssain Obama) is still involved in the war? Or are you just racists?

Posted by: Imarkex | March 31, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

jack29 wrote: "I thought the article was well written, but leaning to the left. The Tea Party generally wants a return to Constitutional government, and spending within our means. I find it frightening that this is considered "Extremist."

------------------------
------------------------

The desire for competent government and spending within our means are truly validated. If the Tea Party were just about that, and other common sense issues, they would most likely be seen in a completely different light.

However, the likes of Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, the right wing of the RNC and Republican Party have seized upon the Tea Party and declared the movement to be in line with their ideology. It is extremely difficult to hear what the Tea Party has to say other than what the conservative demagogues have decided to label it as.

I suggest the Tea Party make a clear and unequivocable statement that they are in no way affiliated with the loud and childish ultra right wing, and they might get a chance to be heard.

Posted by: swatkins1 | March 31, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

kermit5 wrote: "It took the Constitution, perhaps the best and greatest American compromise of all, to make our nation. It is a pity that fear mongers and bigots across the ages claim to support and revere it, all the while doing their best to bend it to their own selfish interests.

------------------
------------------

Fear mongerers and bigots also twist and bend the Word of God to their own selfish interests. Cherry-picking verse from the Bible is a boiler plate republican conservative methodology. Al Qaeda and the Taliban also do this, only their book of choice is the Koran.

Posted by: swatkins1 | March 31, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

By refusing to compromise, the man who ran as a uniter on a change platform is showing himself to be on pace to be the greatest divider in a century. The health bill is the hallmark of the spirit of Anti-Compromise you mentioned.
Time and time again ideas form the other side were totaly ignored and the underlying causes of health care inflation are entirely in place today just as they were a month ago.

Posted by: SayWhat4 | March 31, 2010 8:31 AM
========================================
My comment:
- The individal mandate? A Republican idea going back to 1970 is in HCR.
- The retention of the private insurers system? A Republican idea is in HCR.
- Vouchers/subsidies to those who cannot afford insurance so they can buy their own instead of an expanded Medicaid structure? A Republican idea in HCR.
- The Public Option excluded? A Republican idea.

The only Republican idea of significance not adopted was to scrap the whole enterprise.

Considering that only _one_ Republican member of Congress even came close to voting for HCR, I'd say the Republicans got a great deal of what they wanted for nothing in return.

Posted by: tunkefer | March 31, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

so if you want to compare the teabaggers to moveon.com, how many moveon.com protestors spit on a Congressman? How many hurled racial and homophobic slurs at Congressmen? How many Dem lawmakers stood on the balcony and cheered the protestors on? How many country stars were professionally ostarsized by the liberal media and received death threats, especially those that were traditionally married with kids?
answer:NONE

Posted by: katem1 | March 31, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

No member of Code Pink has ever done hard time for their activities, nor can I think of any incident off hand where a member of the anti-war movement had. I don't think any of them has ever been arrested and put in jail for more than a weekend and that was only because the Capitol Jails don't let you post bail after a certain hour. The Militias in Michigan, being tried for sedition.

When those of Downing Street memos said they wanted to impeach GWB, they did years worth of research found documents that they said showed that the President knew there were no WMD's, they argued that outing a CIA agent was against the law and worthy of impeachment. They said argued that unilateral action in Iraq violated several treaties of the US with the other global powers. There are those on the right saying we should impeach the current president, I have yet to see what law they claim he broke, an actual law.

From 200-2008 how many left groups were arrested by the FBI for actually trying to violently overthrow the government? Were they harassed, oh ya. Spied on, tones of them, I know a guy who was officially labeled a Terrorist by the state of Maryland for his protesting outside a defense contractor and for his protesting of military recruiters access in schools. But the most radical on the left are usually willing to peaceably use the system all be it they love their bull horns.

Posted by: alex35332 | March 31, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

When you protest in favor of keeping the status quo you are -- an extremist!

Posted by: scott3 | March 31, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

What a weird twisting of historical fact and political philosophy. The very first line is a re-writing of the entire meaning of the Tea Party, which was to protest direct taxation without any representation. And history, right back to Andrew Jackson and even before that, views political PARTIES very negatively because of their polarizing effect on American politics. Finally, while I approve of your Tindal and Shi originated perspective that "America is about pragmatism," but that ended after Dwight D. Eisenhower. We haven't been about pragmatism in over 60 years. You get a fail, as do most journalists, on American history. I recommend you go back and re-read Bernard Bailyn and Tindal and Shi's American History from 1877.

Posted by: DPoniatowski | March 31, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

The "Tea Party" crowd was where everyone else in the country was "when Bush unconstitutionally waged war against Iraq for bogus weapons of mass destruction"; making decisions on information doctored and censored by the Administration.

The members of the "Tea Party" crowd are ordinary Americans coming to the late realization that the government is not acting in their interests. They are people self-educating on government, ethics, and morality because the school systems failed to do anything more than indoctrination.

When people finally begin to think for themselves, they come to understand the un-Constitutionality of the Patriot Act. They begin to see that the power players in Washington, like Richard Cheney, don't give a damn about the majority of the people of America, only about his bank account total and how much control he has. They are now understanding that tax breaks are always skewed to favor the rich and powerful. They are now understanding that the economic experts are either falsely labeled as experts, or are influenced by big business to implement policies that are harmful to the majority. As for off-shoring of jobs; the "tea party" might just decide that it's time for American businesses that fail to invest in America should be taxed at a higher rate on all their foreign investments.

Posted by: OneCandle | March 31, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I don't know how the author compares the tea party to moveon.org. Moveon.org isn't spitting in anyone's faces, calling gays and blacks derogatory names or threatening to use their guns.

Posted by: hankbear | March 31, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

So you are a zealot when you are concerned about a government that is spending our nation into bankruptcy? I would submit that the zealots are on the other side - more entitlements anyone?

Posted by: marknelso | March 31, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

@ open400 "Where were all these Tea Party people when Bush unconstitutionally waged war against Iraq for bogus weapons of mass destruction?"

I didn't realize a court had ruled that the bi-partisan vote to authorize force, for which our current Vice President and Secretary of State voted for, was unconstitutional.

Where was the Tea Party then? They were in the same place the vast majority of America was, and Biden, Edwards and Clinton were (among others)....in support of the action.

Posted by: ArlingtonMiller | March 31, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

The tea party actually started with the TARP bailout by Bush that Obama inherited and fully supported. So stop with the ridiculous "where were you" posts.

Posted by: marknelso | March 31, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

alex35332,

How many terrorist tea party members are now university professors and considered power brokers in the tea party movement? None. This is in stark contrast to the liberal movement and the way it has embrased the Weathermen.

I'm not saying that this makes liberals right or wrong. What I am saying is that your argument -- that some members of the right are dangerous -- doesn't really address the salient issues. Both sides have their skeletons.

Also Katem1 and the like, if you have a link to the video showing spit and slurs please post. I haven't seen it and have heard that this is all a lie. I would really like to know one way or another. (It may be a lie, but I wouldn't be surprised what some idiot might do.)

Also, no moveon.org member has used slurs against Republican officials? They wouldn't spit on a Republican official? Not one? That is hard to believe. I've seen the way they post here on line.

Posted by: scott3 | March 31, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

As a Socialist I am all for fiscal responsibility. So would the tea party be in favor of removing the cap on social security so that we can keep it solvent and in the black?

Posted by: alex35332 | March 31, 2010 8:23 AM
Most, if not all of us would have no problem with that as long as we could be sure that the money was going to SS and not to fund politicians pet projects.

Posted by: rchayes | March 31, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

GIVE WASHIGNTON, DC, HER RIGHT TO REPRESENTATION IN CONGRESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: samf911 | March 31, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Most, if not all of us would have no problem with that as long as we could be sure that the money was going to SS and not to fund politicians pet projects.

Posted by: rchayes | March 31, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I think people on both sides could completely agree to that. The only people that are fans of earmarks and diverting funds are the politicians.

Ok that could temporarily solve Social Security's contribution to the national debt. Who wants to fix the Miltiary Industrial Complex's 1 Trillion dollar a year problem?

Posted by: alex35332 | March 31, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

"But that price still included a tax, enacted by a parliament in which the Americans were not represented."

Which is not quite the same as the current health care legislation which was enacted by duly elected representatives.

I walked the streets knocking on doors to help get our current administration elected and I resent spoiled crybabies crying foul and trying to imply that this was against the will of the people. The only poll that counts is the one that is taken in November. My party won that poll.
We endured George W. Bush's deplorable actions and disastrous management of the economy for 8 years---AND he was not elected but appointed. So I have no sympathy for the tea-partiers or their apologists.

Posted by: martymar123 | March 31, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Wow, is this another " discredit and marginalize the Tea party posting? Great, I was wondering if the Post would have one today. Thanks WAPO, I can always count you!

Posted by: skscottkeyes | March 31, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

This is a great link that details the craziness of the tea party. Only a few minutes long and lots of great footage of what the teabaggers really think. Kinda makes you think they are just plain whaco: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6b1VOAATNk&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: permagrin | March 31, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

The parties have not become polarized - but the rhetoric has. This talk of extreme right and extreme left taking power is pure nonsense, looking at it from the leftist standpoint. Or, looking at it from a health care point of view:

- extreme left: single-payer system, long waits, people literally being told what doctor they have to see (not sure which countries have it this way at this point)
- moderate to slightly left: single-payer system where everyone is covered (Sweden, Germany, Canada - you know, the educated countries where people go to college)
- public option: centrist to slightly right (does anyone even have this option?)
- Obama's plan that just passed and that I am unfortunately grateful for: very conservative, as insurance companies will still be making profits
- current program: very right-wing, with no control or checks and balances.

The issue is that many people here do not know the ways of the world, so any change to the already existing system is viewed as some type of a takeover of liberties. Also, the newspapers and tv media have not been doing their jobs, as they try to equally represent everyone's point of view, when the current Republican Party should be marginalized. In most European countries, they would be viewed as a fringe group, and not as a serious player. In fact, when a conservative party wins in Canada or in Europe, health care provisions do not drastically change.

And, most importantly, people can elect their representatives, but they cannot elect CEOs and other profit-makers employed by the insurance companies.

Posted by: sharedgum | March 31, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

If we were to go back in time it is clear WaPo would have been on the side of King George. Fast forward a few centuries and they would have been apologist for Joe McCarthy. History will show we are moving from the "age of entitlement" to the "age of personal responsibility," and WaPo is on the wrong side of history.

Posted by: marknelso | March 31, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

sharedgum,
I do think there are a handful of former USSR countries that have a system like the public option version of HC

Posted by: alex35332 | March 31, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

This the Government misresprisenting the Tea Party as Extremes. Because they know their time is near the end of their era.

Posted by: JWTX | March 31, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

In all honesty I believe we are most definitely headed for civil war, though perhaps not on a scale seen in 1861. The prospect terrifies me.

Posted by: JLErwin3 | March 31, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm a proud member of the tea-party movement, and there's not one comment here from its detractors that shows a clue as to what the movement is about. You're just hurling blather. We're not racists, we're not corporatists. In fact we're not anything your little minds can fathom. That is, we're about free enterprise, limiting government intrusiveness, promoting individual responsibility, and for reminding people that the Constitution is more than just a set of quaint rules to follow. As such, we're on the side of all Americans, thinking ones and not.

Posted by: RossOdom | March 31, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Clearly, the message has gone down from Party Central Leadership to its media operatives and journalist lackies:

ORDER OF THE DAY: "Defame & Destroy the TEA Party Movement with all due prejudice!"

Posted by: pmendez | March 31, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps Lane could bolster his false equivalency by giving us a link to the run on guns and ammo in the months leading up to and well into the Bush admin?

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | March 31, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I doubt the tea party is a coherent group in the first place. If it is, indeed, born of the Ron Paul crowd, it has since been taken over by the Fox News/Limbaugh/Beck wingnuts who took over the Republican Party, which saw anyone getting attention for opposing Obama as a wagon to hitch to, coherence be damned.

The average tea party member's zeal for defending the Constitution is in inverse proportion to their understanding of same.

and is the author actually suggesting that since violence in opposition to authority is a time-honored tradition that the calls to violence are legit?

Posted by: JoeT1 | March 31, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Hey teabaggers:

You didn't get mad when five conservative judicial activists on the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.

You didn't get mad when Dick Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate energy policy, or when the NRA set up shop inside the White House.

You didn't get mad when a covert CIA operative in charge of keeping us safe from terrorists trying to obtain nuclear weapons got outed.

You didn't get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.

You didn't get mad when Bush lied us into a needless, useless war that has cost us over 4,300 killed in action, and over 30,000 wounded in action (many missing arms, legs, and eyes), and $1 trillion.

You didn't get mad when over 10 billion dollars just disappeared in Iraq.

You didn't get mad when you found out we were torturing people, and that Republicans had lied about it all along.
You didn't get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans without warrants.

You didn't get mad when we didn't catch Bin Laden, or when Bush disbanded the CIA unit tasked to get him.

You didn't get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.

You didn't get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans, drown.

You didn't get mad when we gave a 900 billion tax break to the rich.

You didn't get mad when the deficit hit the trillion dollar mark under George Bush.

You finally got mad when the government decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick, and we extended access to health care to 30 million Americans in a move that will reduce the deficit over $1 trillion in the long run.

Illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, are all okay with you, but helping other Americans...oh h*ll no.

You people don’t even know what you’re mad about. Fox “news” and some gasbags on AM hate radio told you to be scared, and you are. Something to do with “socialism”… which you can’t even define.

You conservatives and teabaggers are the worst hypocrites in America. It’s really all about getting the GOP back in power (evan though teabaggers pretend not to be GOP foot soldiers), and not liking the fact that our president isn’t 100 white.

Your ignorance, stupidity, and cowardice are breathtaking.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | March 31, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

@losthorizon10: No one is 100% white. And, how do you know they were not mad at those things? They were not even a group then.

Calling conservatives and teabaggers the worst hypocrites in America while making such wildly unrealistic accusations and assumptions doesn't really work too well....

Posted by: ArlingtonMiller | March 31, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Also Katem1 and the like, if you have a link to the video showing spit and slurs please post. I haven't seen it and have heard that this is all a lie. I would really like to know one way or another. (It may be a lie, but I wouldn't be surprised what some idiot might do.)

Also, no moveon.org member has used slurs against Republican officials? They wouldn't spit on a Republican official? Not one? That is hard to believe. I've seen the way they post here on line.

Posted by: scott3
_______________________

I wonder who people proved things happened in the days before cell phone cameras. Could it be that when a person says he or she was spit upon, it was believed?

It sounds as if you are calling the recipients liars. Are you calling them liars? Because if you are then you have better be able to prove every claim you ever make with a video.

I would bet those who yelled slurs were not inclined to video it. I would bet those who may have spit were not inclined to video it. I would bet those who may have videos but are sympathetic to the protestors are not inclined to share those videos.

That's just my perspective. You seem to prefer to call a congressperson a liar. Be careful what you ask for, poster. Others will hold you accountable.

Posted by: arancia12 | March 31, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

The south was fighting for state's rights in the War between the State- not slavery. The southern states didnt want the federal govt to have the power to tell them what to do. Look what resulted, the fed's are now telling people they have to buy healthcare.

Posted by: daddy_axe | March 31, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Discussing this in light of America's history gives great perspective.

Posted by: to_robert | March 31, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

You are a joke!!!

You are so far left you think a centrist independent movement is extreme????

This is the whole problem with the Marxist Media in this country!! and Democrats!!

Posted by: jjcrocket1 | March 31, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Conservatives must have gotten accustomed to being on the losing side. They've been doing it for over 200 years.

Conservatives are the 2008 Detroit Lions of America.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | March 31, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

losthorizon wrote

"You finally got mad when the government decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick, and we extended access to health care to 30 million Americans in a move that will reduce the deficit over $1 trillion in the long run."

--------


No - we finally got mad when a bunch of self aggrandizing pandering politicians created an underfunded entitlement and used all kinds of budgetary tricks to pretend that they can pay for it; leaving the bill and mess to all our children and ensuring continued high unemployment in our economy.

Posted by: marknelso | March 31, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Someone below described this analysis as "flaccid"
and the word fits. It's also disingenuous. The writer wants us to believe he is taking a reasonable view from the middle ground. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Whenever leftists are in opposition, we don't hear analysis that suggests they are "anti-compromise." When opposition to the Iraq war bordered on the treasonous, did Mr. Lane write a column suggesting Democrat opposition and behavior was uncompromising? Did he care?

And then there is this gem: "Perhaps if Scott Brown’s Tea Party-backed victory in Massachusetts had not enabled Obama to recast the issue as a stark matter of political survival, and a polarized battle between the people and the insurance companies, the Democratic base would not have cooperated."

The implication is that the those millions in widespread opposition to the bill are to blame for Obama and the Democrats shoving the bill down the people's throats.

Democrats had an idea of what kind of bill they wanted. Republicans knew that the bill would violate the constitution and small "r" republican principles. Democrats were not going to compromise and allow Republicans some cover to vote for the bill. Period. It's a Democrat bill and they will pay the price for it in the future. Unfortunately the country will also.

The bill is a legislative atrocity that we will be fighting over for decades. The problem is not the opposition to the bill. The problem is the bill itself.

Posted by: theduke89 | March 31, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

"I'm a proud member of the tea-party movement, and there's not one comment here from its detractors that shows a clue as to what the movement is about. You're just hurling blather. We're not racists, we're not corporatists. In fact we're not anything your little minds can fathom. That is, we're about free enterprise, limiting government intrusiveness, promoting individual responsibility, and for reminding people that the Constitution is more than just a set of quaint rules to follow. As such, we're on the side of all Americans, thinking ones and not.

Posted by: RossOdom | March 31, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse"

Right, clown, and you just happened to appear two months after Obama became president. You're fooling no one, teabagger.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | March 31, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"No - we finally got mad when a bunch of self aggrandizing pandering politicians created an underfunded entitlement and used all kinds of budgetary tricks to pretend that they can pay for it; leaving the bill and mess to all our children and ensuring continued high unemployment in our economy.

Posted by: marknelso | March 31, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse"

Right, numbnutz. You didn't get mad when Bush said the Constitution was just a piece of paper. And you didn't mind when Bush started an unnecessary war and left the bill for that to your children.

You're a disgracful, lying clown.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | March 31, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

The "Tea Party" is currently like nothing so much as the "Shmoo" of old L'il Abner comic strips. Its participants just seem to be against things, and they imagine their "party" agrees with them on every issue. At some point, if they are going to be more than a short-lived phenomenon, they will have to present a coherent program for addressing the country's problems. At that point, the disparate group of libertarians, theocrats, states-righters, objectivist atheists, etc., will splinter badly. The GOP currently thinks it can manipulate these people to its advantage, but to do so they have to keep things vague...

Posted by: Howdeb | March 31, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

koolcat 1960 wrote:

"Right, numbnutz. You didn't get mad when Bush said the Constitution was just a piece of paper. And you didn't mind when Bush started an unnecessary war and left the bill for that to your children.

You're a disgracful, lying clown."

----------------

Since both the Sec of State and VP supported above unconstitutional wars (your view) I guess you believe they should be impeached?

Posted by: marknelso | March 31, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Obama came into office under false pretenses. He promised a more bipartisan administration. He lied. What we got is the most divisive, most partisan administration in modern history. Stop tap dancing around the FACT that this man is a socialist. He has said so many times before his election in speeches to the labor unions. If you read his books and see who he associated with prior to taking office it is all there. The main stream media never vetted him and got carried away with his "coolness".
The public got conned by this smooth operator. Watching the corrupt health care process(against the cries of the majority of Americans) loaded with bribes and bullying and pleas from Obama that his presidency was on the line was a wake up call to the nation. It is all about him and his agenda. Jobs and the debt are are the nations biggest concern, health care was way down the line.
He has taken advantage of a nation on it's knees and is bullying, ridiculing and persecuting those who dare to disagree with him. This is straight out of Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" play book. We must take back the House and Senate and stop this man on his mad rush to destroy our nation.

Posted by: katie6 | March 31, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I thought the article was well written, but leaning to the left. The Tea Party generally wants a return to Constitutional government, and spending within our means. I find it frightening that this is considered "Extremist."

Posted by: jack29
----------
The problem with that thinking is that we have a Constitutional government but the problem is derive from people in it who plays divider to win which how politics have become because opinions have become crystalized even if the truth expose it to be wrong.

For the living within our means invoke good ideas however within that group are those who get support from the various programs but demand don't touch my stuff which is the political equivalent to saying cut off the person behind the tree but don't touch mine.

Can't have it both ways.

Posted by: beeker25 | March 31, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Thinking twice before buying into the propaganda to disarm the USA?

Here is some food for your thoughts:

..."Hayworth said the next series of elections are not about revolution, but about restoration of a government that governs best by governing least and a return to the tenets of the Constitution. He said that the Tea Party started as a Taxed Enough Already protest, but has evolved to include those Tricked Enough Already by Obama’s failures, promised transparency, accountability and an unaffordable healthcare program. Border area residents have joined the movement because they have been Terrorized Enough Already.

Illustrative of Hayworth’s difficult task of ousting McCain was that the crowd of 1,000 to 1,200 people applauded and cheered his statement that the Obama Administration is “doing nothing” and his promise to appeal the healthcare reform legislation if elected. But only about half the crowd clapped when Hayworth asked for their votes and support.

Following Joe the Plumber’s edgy pep talk, Hayworth informed the crowd that the smuggling and illegal immigrant chaos along the border had claimed another American’s life. Cochise County rancher Robert Krentz called his brother Friday saying he had found a person in the desert who appeared to need medical help. Krentz was not heard from again. A search party found the rancher shot dead and his dog wounded.

The Cochise County Sherriff’s Department is releasing few details, but reports are that Krentz was murdered by one person who investigators tracked for 20 miles—where the suspect crossed back over the border into Mexico. Word of the killing cast a somber hush over the Phoenix crowd who had moments before cheered raucously when the Joe the Plumber said the real solution to the border problem was to build a fence and start shooting.

The cost to ranchers in the sparsely populated border area from destruction of property, robbery and stock losses caused by smugglers and illegal immigrants is estimated to have cost the Krentz family ranchers $8-million over the years. Those close to the border believe the situation is out of control and feared American’s deaths would occur. The problems and threats of violence are not limited to the border areas alone.

On my own 10-acre property, 150 miles North of the border, illegal immigrants left two acres strewn with truckloads of garbage, human waste, used diapers, abandoned clothes and water jugs. I was physically threatened during a confrontation with the uninvited campers on my property and lost about $5,000 in tools and equipment stolen from a small tool shed that was broken into twice.

The local sheriff’s deputy, who declined to come out to the property because he would have had to walk a quarter-mile from the road, advised me to call the Border Patrol. Not once did anyone from any agency come to the property when I called."...

read more here:

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=36256

Posted by: dottydo | March 31, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse


Where were all these Tea Party people when Bush unconstitutionally waged war against Iraq for bogus weapons of mass destruction?

Posted by: open400

-----------------------

Open400, you, like most liberal extremists, conveniently forget that 67 Democrats testified in Congress about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and the need to go after them. And, those Democrats included Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid. Also that the resolutions in both the House and the Senate to invade Iraq were nearly unanimous.

Posted by: mike85 | March 31, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

But have you heard the Tea Partiers speak? They are not so much revolutionaries as directionless rabble-rousers relying on blind faith over facts.

Posted by: joshlct | March 31, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Obama came into office under false pretenses. He promised a more bipartisan administration. He lied. What we got is the most divisive, most partisan administration in modern history. Yada, yada, yada....
Posted by: katie6
___________

Your post points out the idiocy of Americans.

BI-partisanship needs two parties to cooperate. President Obama cannot be bipartisan when the Republicans refuse to cooperate.

For instance, health care reform. For 8, that's eight, long years the Repubs didn't absolutely nothing to reform how health care is acquired or delivered. They didn't even really talk about it.

Once Dems start down the road they promised voters when they were elected, Repubs simply obstruct. They want to suddenly stop work and start all over.

Sorry, dearheart. That is not acceptable. If the Repubs were serious about health care reform they would have participated in the discussion when they held the presidency and and the congress. They would have had plans on the shelf. They did not. They were not inclined to offer constructive ideas, only to stop and start over.

How many times would they demand stopping and starting over? Until Repubs had the presidency again, and then the topic would be dropped. Again.

As for your rant on socialism...you seem to think caring for others is socialism. It's not. It's called "decency" something you may be unfamiliar with.

If you want to frame it as socialism no one can stop you. For many of us, sharing the wealth that is America is the foundation of Christianity itself.

I prefer to share our wealth with OUR citizens and not with Iraqi or Afghanistani warlords. You seem not to mind pissing our money away in those countries. I call you foolish.

Posted by: arancia12 | March 31, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"Given this country’s problems (economic stagnation, debt, terrorism)"

The health care bill is deeply tied to our economic stagnation as they attempt to try and curb the massive wasteful expenditures that are the current medical system. The US spends more money on health care than any other country in the world while the coverage and service fall somewhere in the bottom 1/3. This is wasteful and senseless. As for the debt, let's be real here, the US will forever have a massive debt load that will never be paid down to anything comprehensible and will not effect the way we do business, regardless of who is in the White House or controls Congress. Just let it go. Finally, terrorism, really? Yes 9-11 forever changed this country but the money spent to fight terrorism is just getting flushed down the same toilet as the War on Drugs - which has been so successful that California is about to legalize weed and make billions in taxes from the sale, just like they do with booze in Canada. The fact is that the US economy was left to its own designs since about 1980 and with the exception of the Clinton years (although not necessarily his doing) the country has been slipping down. People are stupid, self-concerned and greedy. We need governmental regulation to save us from ourselves, socialist-democracy is not Marxism, just ask Canada, Sweden, Norway, and others. Also, I reaslly hope we are not headed for another civil war because the hate spewing Tea Baggers already have all the guns and the pen is not mightier than the bullet.

Posted by: np2131 | March 31, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

We must take back the House and Senate and stop this man on his mad rush to destroy our nation.

Posted by: katie6
-------
You forgot to put Bush and Cheney in the same category you place Obama in. Can't have it both ways.


========
Democrats had an idea of what kind of bill they wanted. Republicans knew that the bill would violate the constitution and small "r" republican principles. Democrats were not going to compromise and allow Republicans some cover to vote for the bill. Period. It's a Democrat bill and they will pay the price for it in the future. Unfortunately the country will also.

The bill is a legislative atrocity that we will be fighting over for decades. The problem is not the opposition to the bill. The problem is the bill itself.

Posted by: theduke89
-----------

All the Democrats did was to rehash the Clinton idea and added a few things needed to take into account of the changes occurred and even included some of the Republicans' ideas.

The Republicans were playing with the same set of the talking points that was prevalant in 1994 in order to defeat it politically- Did you notice Betsy McCoughtey using the same tactics this time around after doing it successfully the last time?

Second of all, the Republicans had 12 years of using the same set of principles only to find the country was facing diametrically different sets of problems but they continued to push for the same set of solution but not once they tackle the health care issue despite the fact health spending has spiraled out of control.

Posted by: beeker25 | March 31, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I would like someone to tell us the difference between today's Tea Party movement and the Hippie, Beatnik, & Flower Children movement in the 60's.

The only difference I see is the Tea Party is conservative based and the 60's was liberal based. The liberals were also in the streets when Bush went to war.

To use the word "extremists" is a relative statement. Come November, America will realize the Tea Party supporters are conservative constitutionalists made up primarily of republicans and independents, with a few constitutional democrats tossed in. They will be a significant voting bloc that will determine the outcome of most elections.

Posted by: thehamptons1 | March 31, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I guess all the so-called "progressives" have are ad hominem attacks? The Tea Party message is one of fiscal and personal responsibility. The United States has been on the slippery slope of liberalism for over 80 years. Europe's troubles brought on by two world wars, along with favorable demographic trends enabled us to fritter away our wealth with little consequence. However,the coming demographic crisis, along with the renewed competitiveness of the rest of the world (especially Asia), have created a situation where we can no longer paper over our irresponsibility. Unfortunately, we have elected a Leftist entitlement crazy president at the wrong time in our history.

Posted by: marknelso | March 31, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I have to laugh every time I read or hear about the Tea Party being a group of extremists. The liberal media and politicians paint them that way because they are afraid of them, not because they really believe they are dangerous but because these concerned and angry citizens are armed with common sense, the truth, and the Constitution. Those are the things that will win out in the end because the vast majority of the American people have common sense and value truth and the Constitution, no matter what party they voted for at the last election.

The days of liberal extremism are numbered, and the Democrats should make haste toward the center if they wish to keep any of the power they hold at the moment. Unfortunately, for them, they are either too stupid or so arrogant that they refuse to move to the center. This will be their undoing, and they will only have themselves to blame, not the Republicans or the Tea Party, when they lose their power in Congress and the presidency.

The majority of the American people have had enough.

Posted by: lashadow | March 31, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

would like someone to tell us the difference between today's Tea Party movement and the Hippie, Beatnik, & Flower Children movement in the 60's.

The only difference I see is the Tea Party is conservative based and the 60's was liberal based. The liberals were also in the streets when Bush went to war.

To use the word "extremists" is a relative statement. Come November, America will realize the Tea Party supporters are conservative constitutionalists made up primarily of republicans and independents, with a few constitutional democrats tossed in. They will be a significant voting bloc that will determine the outcome of most elections.

Posted by: thehamptons1
_________________________

The difference is 40+ years. You'd think conservatives would have learned something from the 60's movements, huh?

You can't really be serious. Hippies, flower children, beatniks, were all loosely organized with no political aspirations except "make love, not war."

Teabaggers are explicitly political. Now if you're talking about the difference between the teabaggers and say, the SLA or Black Panthers, that I could understand. And my answer would be that in the 40+ ensuing years we have learned that violence against your own people is not a winning proposition. That lesson seems to have to be learned over again by conservatives.

You guys are just late bloomers.

Posted by: arancia12 | March 31, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The majority of the American people have had enough.

Posted by: lashadow
_____________

The vote, which apparently you didn't do in 08. Don't whine in the streets and make silly pictures of the President as The Joker and label him a socialist and a Kenyan or a Muslim or make stupid signs that say "If Brown can't stop it, Browning will."

Just vote. You'd have John McCain and Sarah Palin today if you had just voted.

Posted by: arancia12 | March 31, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

TEA?
Taxed Enough Already

Tricked Enough Already

Terrorized Enough Already


Apparently, the next President of the United States


..."J.D. Hayworth said that "the Tea Party started as a Taxed Enough Already protest, but has evolved to include those
Tricked Enough Already by Obama’s failures,
promised transparency, accountability and an unaffordable healthcare program.

Border area residents have joined the movement because they have been Terrorized Enough Already."...

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=36256

Posted by: dottydo | March 31, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mike85 "In fact, by aiding in claims that any person or group that opposes Obama or the Democrats is racist or an extemist, and deliberately hiding the violent acts of Democratic supporters while highlighting and falsifying reports of Conservative wrong doing..."
-------------------------------------
Well, since they ahve been using racial slurs and such, yeah I would say thay are being racist and even on your beloved FoxNews there has been nothing about Dems throwing brinks and firing bullets into Repuublican offices, while several Tea Party activists and Good Ole Sarah have spoken about violence

Posted by: schnauzer21 | March 31, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Nice post, several cuts above what one ordinarily reads on PostPartisan!

Posted by: Itzajob | March 31, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

white_rabbit,
Only a "maroon" believes that the health care bill is anywhere close to government health care.

Real universal health care, however, IS cheaper. Most other developed countries have a form of government run health care (and still allow a private option for those that wish and have the money to pay for it) and spend less on health care as a result and often have better care. How is this possible? Because a for profit system is based on charging for service, so doctors are motivated to have costly, and often unecessary tests, and benefit from people being sick, not healthy. In a government system, health is the primary goal, and keeping costs down is the second. So their is a larger focus on prevention and public health. We might think its silly that the government pays for your taxi ride to the hospital in England, right? But isn't that $20 much cheaper than the ambulance ride the American takes? In England, they will not send an ambulance unless you need care en route. To pay for the cab is cheaper. Its that atittude toward health care that keeps costs down in a universal system and costs high in a for profit one like ours.

Also, the government in a democracy is acountable to the people. Corporations are not. I would much rather get my health care from an entity I have a voice in (the govenrment) than one that sees me as just a commodity (corporations).

Posted by: EAR0614 | March 31, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

The vote, which apparently you didn't do in 08. Don't whine in the streets and make silly pictures of the President as The Joker and label him a socialist and a Kenyan or a Muslim or make stupid signs that say "If Brown can't stop it, Browning will."

Just vote. You'd have John McCain and Sarah Palin today if you had just voted.

Posted by: arancia12
___________________________

What you fail to realize is that most Americans can be swayed to vote for either party, which is why sometimes we have a Republican president and sometimes we get a Democrat. That hasn't changed with Obama's win. Last election, the majority of voters wanted change and to feel good about electing the first "black" president (I put that in quotes because the laws of long ago would have considered him to be white because his mother was white), and, unfortunately, we got change that most people now do not want.

Last election, I not only voted, I worked as an election judge. Do you realize that if you do not have election judges from both parties at the poll, that the poll cannot open? You should thank election judges of both parties for their participation so that you can exercise your right to vote.

Now, as a homework assignment, I ask you to review the vile signs and slogans that the left used in protesting the Bush presidency. If conservative protesters used such signs and language, the liberals' heads would explode. They've got Bush with the Hitler moustache and a noose around his neck. If anything, the left should applaud that Obama is beginning treated the same as any other president. You want him to be treated the same as our white president's, right? I hope you are not supporting reverse racism.

As Americans, we have the right to freedom of speech. This right is not given to us in the Constitution. It is one of those rights that we already had and always should have that the Constitution protects. Signs are okay, whether you like them or not, whether you agree with them or not. Threats are not. Violence is not. Protesting someone's right to carry a sign infringes on that person's freedom of speech. Saying that someone cannot express themselves is unconstitutional.

I suggest that you look upon those signs as evidence that our Constitution still stands as the law of the land. Perhaps that will make you feel better because it sounds like you are someone who is supremely interested in allowing people to exercise their rights.

Posted by: lashadow | March 31, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

lashadow,

Thanks for working as an EJ, FYI there is no law requiring both parties have an EJ at a precinct, thats a state or sometimes local rule. And one that should be challenged as my rights as a member of a third party are being violated there.

Posted by: alex35332 | March 31, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I think maybe the people degrading the tea party should go to a rally and see who 99% of the people are and then make judement.

Posted by: samuellenn | March 31, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

The abortion issue will fracture the Democrats when all is said and done, just as foreign policy, drug policy and nativisim will fracture the GOP. The nativism of the TEA party faction will lead to the end of the GOP however, pushing those who are more reasonable to form up and form a new party with those who are none to happy with the Democratic abortion stance. At first, the Democratic congressional caucus will grow too big to sustain itself, followed by a candidate for nomination to the Presidency who comes in second and decides that he or she has enough support to beat Sarah Palin out for second place (and possibly his or her opponent for first).

Posted by: michaelbindner | March 31, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Also PS, yes everyone has the right to free speech. And those who think the tea party's speach comes out as raciest have the right to say so, so stop trying to silence them.

Posted by: alex35332 | March 31, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Tax reform and how to deal with the debt might also be a defining issue in 2012 or 2016.

Posted by: michaelbindner | March 31, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse


But Lane doesn't consider HIS own 'ism'

zionism, and extreme? The rest of the world does.

And the neocon Lane slobbering sweet on the AMERICAN founding fathers and their deeds? No one will believe it.

Posted by: whistling | March 31, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

When is every good American going to demand the War Criminal Obama be brought to justice? He is the one ordering the killing of innocents today in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Yemen and other foreign lands. he acts like a mafia Don, flying in at night to put out contracts on innocents.

Posted by: catotheelder1 | March 31, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Another thoughtful and balanced article brought to you by the Democratic Office of Propaganda and People's Enlightenment.

Posted by: SSTK34 | March 31, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Biology tells us that we all act selfishly and in our own self interest because that's the way our genes have evolved. Selfishness results in "my" genes being propagated while altruists eventually die out.

First comes me; then my family; then relatives and if I am nicely fixed, I may help others who pose no competitive danger to me and my genes.

What does that have to do with politics? Just this: I align myself with either the liberals or conservatives because underneath all the rhetoric, I sense that my chances and that of my family will do better under the one or the other.

I understand Horse Manure 101 and when Pols stand there, wave the Flag and sing the Star Spangled Banner and tell me they are going to stand for the National Interest, it all becomes very, very smelly. The Dems and the Reps will say whatever it takes to WIN so their little genes beat my little genes out. It is all 100% horse manure and if you fall for it, shame on you.

Therefore, you might as well save your money and forget your Kabuki dance lessons because the Dems and Reps will never dance together, at least not in my lifetime.

Posted by: edfo | March 31, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Replying to:

"Where were all these Tea Party people when Bush unconstitutionally waged war against Iraq for bogus weapons of mass destruction? Where all these Tea Party people when they passed the Patriot Act to spy on citizens that were not terrorists? Where were all these Tea Party people when Cheney was enriching his former employer Halliburton? Where were all these Tea Party people when Bush was handing out huge tax breaks for the rich and large corporations driving the country further into debt? Where were all the Tea Party people when Greenspan refused properly regulate the financial institutions? Where were all the Tea Party when Bush shipping our jobs off to China ,India and Mexico?

Posted by: open400 | March 30, 2010 3:52 PM |"

Excellent questions all, Open400! It never fails to amaze me that Tea Party members and their sympathizers (like Mr. Lane?), CLAIM to be following in the grand tradition of American protest against tyranny. Yet virtually every single injustice and abuse they cite began or was perfected during the long, dark years of GOP one-party rule preceding Barack Obama's election. So much for knowing our country's history!

If even one Tea Party spokesperson would admit that Republicans, not Democrats, were in charge when the federal government committed its power grab, I would take their position seriously. But I'm sure not holding my breath for that!

Posted by: DCSteve1 | March 31, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

open400 ~ where was the Tea Party BEFORE just about a year ago, long after Obama had been elected and "W" was having a long, well-deserved vacation.

This is a new movement.

Your talking points are old and getting older by the second.

Now, regarding the Constitutionality of the war against Iraq, everything was in order. The President was authorized the use of force and it happened.

That's all it takes.

If you imagine there's a specific formulary for a Declaration of War, there's no such thing. It's not in the Constitution, nor has a law ever been passed prescribing the language to be used.

Concerning the reasons for the war, the firt one was that Saddam was a very bad man and deserved to be put to death.

That's enough for me. If you need more I suppose we could trot it out, but frankly, your constant harping on nonsense is very boring.

Posted by: muawiyah | March 31, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I do think there's "something unique" about threats to Obama. Obama is the first Black president, and I do think that stirs people up in ways that are worth keeping an extra eye on. And I do think some racist things are going on. Witness the stubborn persistence of the "birthers" (and the lack of complaints about McCain being born outside of the US), the slurs aimed at a Black Congressman, etc. I am not saying every right-wing person is a racist, and I'm sure even some Tea Partiers arent. But the company people keep reflects on them.

That said, I do find myself wondering why so few media outlets have mentioned any of the violent people on the extreme left. I've personally argued with friends of mine who have strong feelings on corporations that no, they will accomplish nothing by throwing bricks through people's windows.

Some people are convinced that such actions mean more than simple vandalism. And those people are wrong.

But I do think that the Tea Party 1) has racist elements and 2) is gaining traction in a way the extreme left didn't really during the Bush years. There were calls for impeachment, yeah, and rude signs... but there was no third party that formed in the face of Bush's "evils," nor were there politicians picking up the rhetoric in the incendiary ways the Republicans are now.

(There were no "Hell no you don't"s, no "You lie!"s, no "Baby killer!"s. There was criticism that the politicians tapped into and picked up, but it was not quite like that. Those breaches of decorum are noteworthy and worrisome.)

Posted by: amm72 | March 31, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I do think there's "something unique" about threats to Obama. Obama is the first Black president, and I do think that stirs people up in ways that are worth keeping an extra eye on. And I do think some racist things are going on. Witness the stubborn persistence of the "birthers" (and the lack of complaints about McCain being born outside of the US), the slurs aimed at a Black Congressman, etc. I am not saying every right-wing person is a racist, and I'm sure even some Tea Partiers arent. But the company people keep reflects on them.

That said, I do find myself wondering why so few media outlets have mentioned any of the violent people on the extreme left. I've personally argued with friends of mine who have strong feelings on corporations that no, they will accomplish nothing by throwing bricks through people's windows.

Some people are convinced that such actions mean more than simple vandalism. And those people are wrong.

But I do think that the Tea Party 1) has racist elements and 2) is gaining traction in a way the extreme left didn't really during the Bush years. There were calls for impeachment, yeah, and rude signs... but there was no third party that formed in the face of Bush's "evils," nor were there politicians picking up the rhetoric in the incendiary ways the Republicans are now.

(There were no "Hell no you don't"s, no "You lie!"s, no "Baby killer!"s. There was criticism that the politicians tapped into and picked up, but it was not quite like that. Those breaches of decorum are noteworthy and worrisome.)

Posted by: amm72 | March 31, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

kermit5 ~ there are a number of people who imagine this country came to be called "The United States of America" with the Constitution of 1790.

The Declaration of Independence also revers to "The United States of America".

Since it's in the news the "Don't Tread On Me" flag is identical in dress with the old Scandinavian "Kalmar Union" flag.

People in America, if not elsewhere, understood what that flag was up to.

I'm still digging up the haggiography of the flag to see what contemporaries thought about it. However, the Kalmar Union was a Union of Scandinavian Kingdoms that was broken up by the perfidious actions of the Danish King.

What he did was to sneak assassins into Stockholm where they went to the main hall of the parliament and murdered all the nobles they could find.

That pretty much left the King of Sweden without a nobility, nor apparently any way to protect the kingdom.

Well, did he ever fool those guys. He brought in a new nobility made up of rich guys, smart guys and guys with connections.

Then in the matter of about 50 years the Swedish empire was created and they conquered most of Europe.

For some reason there were always a lot of Scandinavians who wanted to recreate "the Union". They left their ambition on the names of towns throughout America ~ "Uniontown", "Union Township", "Union County", and so forth. There's a string of them headed Wet all the way to the Great Plains ~ it begins in the old New Sweden colony established in 1638.

Just to remind you that for many Americans the thought of union, and the discussions related to it, and to a "united states", began LONG BEFORE the settlement by Europeans, or even to the arrival of the British in North America.

A union of states was considered a very highly desirable thing, particularly among people whose own ancestors had lost their own unions ~

Posted by: muawiyah | March 31, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

As for Mr. Lane, I keep hoping he will one day learn how to construct an intellectually sound argument. After all, he's clearly intelligent and not a bad writer. But alas, yet again his ideology has led him astray.

Yes, of course there are plenty of precedents in U.S. history for the Tea Party. The problem is that the vast majority of them represent ideas that were (or should have been) abandoned LONG ago. Consequently, citing the earlier incarnations as intellectual ballast for the current version of the Know-Nothing Party--which I would nominate as being their closest antecedent--does them no favors. Bad ideas do not improve with age or repetition!

Moreover, Lane's comparison between the Tea Party and Move On is absolutely ludicrous, not only in terms of tactics but strategy. As another poster said, the Black Panthers or Weathermen would be much better analogies--but then that would force Mr. Lane to acknowledge the very bent toward violence and hateful rhetoric he does his best to downplay in the Tea Party.

Posted by: DCSteve1 | March 31, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

amm72 ~ Democrats raised the issue of McCain's "foreign birth" first. That kind of precipitated the questions about Obama's "foreign birth".

If you guys would just learn to do some long range thinking these sorts of things wouldn't come up ~ but n-o-o-o- you gotta' be loud mouths.

Posted by: muawiyah | March 31, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

arancia12 ~ I do believe you are railing at the wrong crowd when it comes to those "silly pictures of the President as The Joker".

The guy who created that piece of art is a FAR LEFT EXTREMIST Leftwingtard.

One of your own people.

He created it.

Others use it.

Go tell it to the creator Firas Alkhateeb, a senior history major at the University of Illinois.

Try this URL for the full story: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/08/obama-joker-artist.html

Posted by: muawiyah | March 31, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

schnauzer21 ~ the way I figure it you Leftwingtards don't actually pay attention to the news.

An Obama contributor was just arrested for planning to kill Representative Cantor and his family.

No, the killer wasn't a Teapartier.

Posted by: muawiyah | March 31, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Replying to:

"arancia12 ~ I do believe you are railing at the wrong crowd when it comes to those "silly pictures of the President as The Joker".

The guy who created that piece of art is a FAR LEFT EXTREMIST Leftwingtard.

One of your own people.

He created it.

Others use it.

Go tell it to the creator Firas Alkhateeb, a senior history major at the University of Illinois.

Try this URL for the full story: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/08/obama-joker-artist.html

Posted by: muawiyah | March 31, 2010 3:34 PM"

Muawiyah, I did check out the URL to refresh my memory, and guess what? Alkhateeb created it AS AN ART PROJECT to test a digital photography application, pure and simple. And he describes himself in the interview as a SUPPORTER of Pres. Obama, not an opponent.

Your attempt to discredit Arancia12 is both feeble and dishonest. I'd say shame on you, but that would be a waste of time and energy.

Posted by: DCSteve1 | March 31, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Dear Lashadow:

I posted a response to your post but apparently it was too long so the board put in under moderation. It may never be seen.

At any rate, I was disappointed by your response to me.

It doesn't matter if voters can be swayed. Even the gullible have the right to vote. So get out there and sway them. You may have been an election judge but whom did you influence to vote? Not enough apparently. I helped organize in 08 but I never stood in the street with signs implying violence or showing John McCain as Hitler.

Was President Bush ever accused of not being an American citizen? Was he ever accused of not being Christian? Would it have mattered if he wasn't? Did over a quarter of the Democratic Party think President Bush was the antichrist? Let me help you with that. No, No, No, and, let me see, No.

I presume you are looking for praise for being an election judge. Thank you so much. You are my hero. You have protected the US. Does that make you feel more valued? Good.

And you're wrong. Long ago a person with one drop of black blood would be considered black. And the Declaration of Independence cites the rights given by the creator as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Not freedom of speech. That is granted by the Constitution. If the framers felt it was a creator-given right available to all, they most likely would have left it out of the Constitution, as they did the pursuit of happiness.

You say my criticism of the signs carried by protestors infringes on their freedom of speech. And you were an election judge? What are the qualifications for that job? Breathing? If I smashed someone's sign that would infringe on their freedom of speech. My criticism does not. By your logic the signs criticising a politician's words or policies infringe on their freedom of speech. You've created a logic loop that doesn't work.

As a 24 year military veteran I value everyone's freedom of speech and I pride myself that my service ensured everyone the right to protest. Even when some respectful anti-war protestors were being harrassed by pro-war conservatives, I stood up for the anti-war group and their right to speak their minds. I would have stood up for the pro-war group but they were too busy shouting everyone down and calling names. Still, rude as they were, they had the right. They were just rude, potentially dangerous, and misguided people.

I still work for the military industrial complex. I face protestors every day on my way home from work. I respect them for their beliefs. They don't call me a baby-killer or a traitor, they tell me I should use my mind to help others though non-violent means. Maybe they are right.

I was called a traitor when I was on active duty. It was by a Bush Conservative. I have never called a teabagger a traitor. I've called them impolite, potentially dangerous, and misguided, but not traitors. See the difference between honest disagreement and hate speech?

Posted by: arancia12 | March 31, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

to the guy from australia, if you get down this far, you have socialized medicine and a humanitarian government because you ain't the cop of the world. the us government has spend 200-400 billion a year on defense at least from the time of reagan. every other country in the world has citizens rights, we have a defense contractor oligarchy. we were warned by eisenhower but not to the methodology of the republican party. scare the hillbilly. first it was godless communism then the negro is gonna get you job then your sister now the socialist rant from trailer trash idiots. i'll give an example. i was at home depot helped by an elderly gentleman working probably for health insurance and it dawned on me. big business wants health care cost to explode so that the jobs they offer are 70% benefits and the rest in salary. insurance that cost 16-17 thousand a year its an natural.then when the hillbilly gets sick the fine print takes over and he is denied his coverage, now the conglomerate is only out the 3-4 dollars an hour they paid the fool. see it all makes sense now. palin and the fox propagandist scare the hillbilly and the agenda is so far above the trailer trash high school diploma. see the texas public school textbook farce. we need educated hillbillies and we need them now.sure we do.good luck america, the future of this country is in the hands of the dumbest segment of white trash you can find.50 years of dedicated klan eugenics to produce the laziest most bigoted white scum imaginable. hitler would be so proud.

Posted by: trjohnson8890122 | March 31, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

To brainlessly lop the Tea Party-ers with "militia-style" cranks is disingenuous to an incredibly large group of Americans who look on dismay at what the country wrought in placing Barack Obama in the White House and Democrats in majority of both houses of Congress.

And the Tea Party group is growing. It is expanding. We are reaching a point where Liberals are in the VAST minority and they are sinking more every day.

But the Liberals (and the Media in general) apparently will continue to spend this spring and summer attempting to cram the two groups together in various and insipid ways. And they will be doing so at the cost of their own hide come November and ultimately in 2012.

Posted by: bryanmcoleman | March 31, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

some day people will realize that there is no government takeover of health care in the reform bill. there is no government plan.

some day people will realize that half the cost of the insurance subsidies doesn't cost a cent. It's just a wash with the elimination of half a trillion in payments under the existing system to health care providers who incur bad debts for the uninsured. Subsidizing insurance instead is infinitely more sensible because it gets folks preventive care and keeps them out of expensive ERs.

some day people will figure out that the individual mandate is simple personal responsibility, and that the new private money and additional insureds that will result will help to moderate the cost spiral. Unless you want to wear a bracelet that says "I don't want to buy insurance so if I have a heart attack don't take me to the ER because I will just be sticking you with the bill," then we can talk.

Some day people will read some of the bill, with hundreds of pages of pilot programs to revise the reimbursement system to end the fee-for-service model that encourages useless tests, and discourages keeping people healthy.

some day people will realize that getting nearly everyone covered is itself a huge part of the cost control puzzle.

some day people will realize that Obama really did want Republican input, but that Republicans decided to oppose him at all costs (even though the bill was the product of a republican think tank revision of Nixon's proposal, later borrowed by Romney) just to deprive him of any success.

some day people will realize that Frum was right that the above strategy was a collosal blunder, because they didn't succeed and the bill is less moderate than it would have been had they not taken their ball and gone home (and come on now folks, they went public with their strategy, so don't pretend that this is Obama's fault)

and as Frum also said, when the people realize that they absurd rhetoric they used to pursure their strategy was a bunch of garbage, the folks will really turn on the republicans.

Obama's numbers are going up, and polls still show that two thirds of people think they will have to change their health plan. When all of them find out that's not true either, look out.

Posted by: JoeT1 | March 31, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

DCSteve1: DCSteve, thanks so much for showing the class on the right. Leftwingtard. I thought you Palinistas didn't like the 'tard word. Everytime you use it you punch her in the gut. Meany.

And you need to read a little more. The guy who created the Obama poster was not a fellow liberal. He was a Chicagoan but he did not vote for Obama. He considers President Obama a person of "no substance." Hardly a liberal viewpoint, don't you think?

His words below:

Although Alkhateeb claims he was making no political statement with the artwork, he's plugged into the Washington debate. Though born in the United States, his Palestinian family closely follows Middle Eastern politics.

"I think he's definitely doing better than Bush was," Alkhateeb said of Obama. Alkhateeb's views on foreign relations align with the Democrats, he said, while he prefers Republican ideals on domestic issues.

Alkhateeb's assessment of Obama: "In terms of domestic policy, I don't think he's really doing much good for the country right now," he said. "We don't have to 'hero worship' the guy."

Wow. What a, what are the words you used, far left extremist, eh? They sure don't make extremist like they used to!

Thanks, dude, for proving me right about you wingnuts. I wonder if that term is like a punch in the guts to Mrs. Palin too...she sooo sensitive...

Posted by: arancia12 | March 31, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

schnauzer21 ~ the way I figure it you Leftwingtards don't actually pay attention to the news.

An Obama contributor was just arrested for planning to kill Representative Cantor and his family.

No, the killer wasn't a Teapartier.

Posted by: muawiyah
_____________________

Another 'tard user! You're hurting Sarah Palin! Stop it!

PS. The man is not a "killer." He killed no one. He threated to kill, which I don't approve of, but please, be correct when you label people.

And he wasn't an Obama contributor, he was a DNC contributor. He was however, a self-professed Obama supporter, apparently.

Now let's use Congressman Cantor's own words. By complaining about the death threats against against him, and the bullet hole in his campaign office (ruled accidental by police) and bringing the suppressed threats of violence to the surface, Congressman Cantor encouraged this man to threaten his life.

This is what Cantor accused Democrats of. Of enciting violence against them by talking about the violent rhetoric out there. So he has to live by his own words. He incited the violence against him by loudly denouncing the Democrats for denouncing violence.

Posted by: arancia12 | March 31, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

there are a number of people who imagine this country came to be called "The United States of America" with the Constitution of 1790.

The Declaration of Independence also revers to "The United States of America".

Posted by: muawiyah

However, the country of the United States of America did not exist as a sovereign entity until it had a Constitution. Before that it was simply a descriptive title of a group of states united on the continent of America.

Posted by: arancia12 | March 31, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

It becomes even more shocking when you identify with a group that stands basically for "STOP SPENDING OUR GREAT GRANDCHILDRENS MONEY" on things we do not need, but then are labeled as "an extremist" by media outlets like the Post. PATHETIC. Aomeone needs to stand up and say "The Gravy Train ends HERE!". There is a difference between what we need and what far left and right extremists want in our government. But dare to stand up and express yourself and say "enough", and WHAM...you are now an extremists whom we in the "mainstream" media will marginalize, because "if we don't report or acknowledge you, you do not exist" and we can go back to our "gumdrop world" where money is printed at will to pay for people and projects which only enrich the real extremists and their pet projects, leaving the centrists great grandchildren with the bill to pay as they go off to real jobs.

Posted by: jwess917 | March 31, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

open400 ~ where was the Tea Party BEFORE just about a year ago, long after Obama had been elected and "W" was having a long, well-deserved vacation.

This is a new movement.

Your talking points are old and getting older by the second.

Now, regarding the Constitutionality of the war against Iraq, everything was in order. The President was authorized the use of force and it happened.

That's all it takes.

If you imagine there's a specific formulary for a Declaration of War, there's no such thing. It's not in the Constitution, nor has a law ever been passed prescribing the language to be used.

Concerning the reasons for the war, the firt one was that Saddam was a very bad man and deserved to be put to death.

That's enough for me. If you need more I suppose we could trot it out, but frankly, your constant harping on nonsense is very boring.

Posted by: muawiyah
____________________
Open400, allow me to translate. Muawiyah cannot tell you why the teabaggers sat on their hands through the cost of two wars and the first Bush bailout, but come out of the woodwork now screeching about deficits. In Dick "deficits don't matter"
Cheney's America it was apparently OK to spend more than the country had.

Therefore, your point is old. And getting older. Meaning it's no easier to answer the more you ask it.

Muawiyah, here's some good adivce I got from a young troop once. "If you don't know, just say you don't know."

Posted by: arancia12 | March 31, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

The primary funding sources for the Tea Party are two conservative groups: Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks which receive substantial funding from David Koch of Koch Industries, the largest privately-held energy company in the country, and the conservative Koch Family Foundations. Koch industries are responsible for hundreds of Oil spills spread over multiple states.

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/assets/binaries/wanted-for-climate-crimes-cha

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/polluterwatch/koch-industries-secretly-fund

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/polluterwatch/koch-industries

Posted by: liveride | March 31, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't mind another civil war - and I think we all know who would win. These backwoods lunatics need to be smacked down.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Agreed. With all of the blacks and Hispanics and recent immigrants in the military... we would have the martial know how... combine that with the financial power of the North East... we could choke them out

Posted by: veronihilverius | March 31, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse


No - we finally got mad when a bunch of self aggrandizing pandering politicians created an underfunded entitlement and used all kinds of budgetary tricks to pretend that they can pay for it; leaving the bill and mess to all our children and ensuring continued high unemployment in our economy.

Posted by: marknelso | March 31, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

You mean like Mr Bush's wars and No Child Left Behind?

Posted by: flamingliberal | March 31, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

What is truly sad is that it seems no one either left, right, or middle is entitiled to an opinion anymore. If disagree with the President's policies you are a rasist, neo-con, right wing nut, get all of your news from Fox News etc... If you agree with the President and the Democratics you are a Communist, Socialist, Facist (which is really the wrong term to use btw), liberal wing nut, kool aid drinker etc... Heavn help you if you somehow fall into the middle like most Americans. Yes we need to learn from our mistakes and yes Bush did horrible things to the deficit, but guess what? Not everyone who opposes the Health Care Plan because of the deficit impact or the stimulus plan are Bush Supporters. Bringing up the past is instructive as a lession. Bringing up the past to justify bad behavior doesn't make any sense. If we don't change our course as far as the deficit goes we are going to be in more trouble than we already are. And finally a couple points of order:

1. Bush didn't sign NAFTA, Clinton did.
2. The Iraq and Afgan wars combined have yet to reach a trillion dollars.
3. The Iraq war was competely legal and the majority of Democrats voted for it.

Posted by: Silmiril | March 31, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

The linked blog post illustrating the numerous death threats made against former Presidnet George W. Bush completely and totally discredit the demagoguery of Colbert King, Frank Rich, and Eugene Robinson, among others.

Posted by: austinrl | March 31, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

How many death threats has MoveOn sent to politicians? How many times have they called politicians the n word? How many times have they spit on them?

How many militias have they been in?

Answer: NONE.

For you to put them in the same category is a downright lie.

I didn't bother to read the rest of your column.

Posted by: solsticebelle | March 31, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

My ear to the ground says that the conservatives intend to vote every incumbent out of office and vote in the most conservative of any party. The Republican Party dropped the ball with an uncontrolled economic overlord system of big banks. The Democrats talk of change but with the fox still in the hen house, that is a sham. The economy is not only at risk but more at risk. The Democrat one party rule has made people unhappy, but can it be worse than the Republicans? A 3rd party can not hurt things. The one core problem is that we are broke and getting broker. It has never helped any marriage. Our jobs are in China along with our T-Bills, and heavy manufacturing capabilities. Large problems create large debate. Everyman has a voice. The dumb think they should be heard. The elite know that is non-sense. So we bicker, and is it not grand that we can do so.

Posted by: onlooker2 | March 31, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse


This nasty zionist neocon preaching on
and on about the American founding fathers,

makes me nauseous.

Posted by: whistling | March 31, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse


I was against the Iraq War, but to stage protests against the war when our troops were in Iraq risking their lives for our country, would have undermined our service men and women.

If one lesson was learned in the Vietnam War, was the fact that when our service men and women came home, they had to change in civilian clothes when they walked out on the street. Otherwise they would have been attacked by extremists on the left. There were incidents that attested to this fact.

Also, there were no "Welcome Home" signs and very few parties when they came home from Vietnam.

The Tea Parties are different. They are not destroying Tea or anything else. This is a peaceful protest against the government's wreckless spending that is bringing us to the point of bankruptcy and losing our AAA rating.

The healthcare bill is too all-encompassing at a time when we should be showing fiscal restraint.

Although, Obama's real motive is to dismantle the Insurance Companies and take over another 16% of our ecomony. That brings the government control over our economy to 48%.

If Obama was really concerned about covering the uninsured, it would have been more prudent to place them on the rolls of the CHIPs program and keep it under the States' control.

The Republicans would probably have voted for this and Obama would have had bi-partisan approval of this bill.

But that would have been too easy and would not have given Obama the control which was the main purpose of Obamacare.


Posted by: janet8 | March 31, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

How about "The Washington Post and the History of extermism?"

Nah... That's a dog bites man story.

Posted by: Cdgaman | March 31, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Less than a year after then-Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) quit the government to pursue other projects, Alaska leads the way in its debt-to-GDP ratio when its unfunded pension obligations are taken into account, followed by Rhode Island, New Mexico, Ohio and Mississippi.

In total, Alaska's debt equals 70% of its GDP. By contrast, California's is 37%.

The teabaggers favorite Queen of Stoopid didn't even finish her term, and look how she messed things up.

Just like when she left the tiny town of Wasilla $30 million in debt.

Right wing loons are the biggest lying drama queen hypocrites in our history.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | March 31, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

My favorite thing about the "Tea Party" movement is that nobody seems to know what it is. Everyone has a different opinion.

It really doesn't help that one of its main proponents is now a Hollywood celebrity: Sarah Palin has left the political arena and is now an entertainer. She is a Fox employee, and every word that comes out of her mouth has to be understood in that context.

Posted by: frantaylor | March 31, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Just because they are stupid doesn't mean they can't have their own political party.

Posted by: steveboyington | March 31, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

There seem to be an awful lot of howls about the Tea Party attendees having strong opinions and being passionate about their beliefs. I'm just wondering what would constitute an "acceptable" expression of dissent by Tea Partiers, to many who have no qualms about the words and methods of moveon.org ("General Betray Us") or Code Pink (screaming accusations at a book signing by Karl Rove) or perhaps even the gentrified Bill Ayres and his Bomber Buddies?
What's good for the goose...

Posted by: SavingGrace | March 31, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Your attempts to draw something from the past to make a point is useless because there is no model to use other then the Tea Party label. Taking what happened in the past, out of it's proper domain destroys the purpose of it's place in history. Had the government attempted a take over using health care and everyone was forced into health care, then a model of the past could be used. Since there is no model of government take over using health care, no example can be made or used because it never happened. Got another point to make?

Posted by: houstonian | March 31, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

How about Soetoro's history of extremeism?Now there is an extremeist.

Posted by: Imarkex | March 31, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

I thought the article was well written, but leaning to the left. The Tea Party generally wants a return to Constitutional government, and spending within our means. I find it frightening that this is considered "Extremist."

Posted by: jack29 | March 30, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

==============================

The Tea Party is interested in constitutional government. That's a sick joke. Where was the Tea Party when the Republicans were committing grossly unconstitutional, disgusting and immoral acts, such as torture and indefinite imprisonent without pressing charges?

Spending within means? Where was the Tea Party when George Bush laucnhed two wars, one of them with an arsenal of lies about weapons of mass destruction. If you opposed these wars, you should have been out protesting them. If you supported the wars, and you really believe spending within your means, why wasn't the Tea Party outraged that Bush not only didn't raise taxes for the wars, but he cut taxes, especially the taxes of the rich.

Posted by: StarRiders | April 1, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Clearly Chuck Lane peaked when he canned Stephen Glass. The logic here is ridiculous. The idea that right wing violence always has something on the left to "balance" it. Is just ridiculous, whatever happened among the opponents of slavery would have difficulty competing with decades of lynching, beating, etc. that continued well after the Civil War and well into this century. Ditto there is no group of people to left of Olympia Snowe, the pseudo-moderate, who can compare with the people calling for rock throwing, etc. The guy who has been caught vandalizing a GOPer office and garnered all the publicity appears to have been a sad mentally ill, equal opportunity hater. Lane ignores the how the organized Right and the GOP have aided and abetted the militia movement both in the present day and back in the 90s. I guess we need another OKC bombing before winsocks like Chuck notice.

Posted by: thebuckguy | April 1, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

is the wapoop having a contest to find the stupidest bastard on the planet ???

cuz we got a contender here

---------------------

I am not suggesting a moral equivalency between the anti-slavery and pro-slavery forces. But I am suggesting an attitudinal equivalency

--------------------------------------

so people who fight to free slaves have the same attitude as people seeking to enslave people

what a dumb piece of excrement

what is wrong with you ???

Posted by: nada85484 | April 1, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

To brainlessly lop the Tea Party-ers with "militia-style" cranks is disingenuous to an incredibly large group of Americans who look on dismay at what the country wrought in placing Barack Obama in the White House and Democrats in majority of both houses of Congress

----------------------------------

nice try, you stupid teabagger

your "incredibly large group of Americans" has had their say

SIXTYNINE MILLION AMERICANS VOTED TO ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT

still want to tell me about your "incredibly large group of Americans" ???

and while your at it, explain why these people think their opinion matters more than the votes of MORE THAN 69 MILLION AMERICANS

Opinions change

votes do not change

when you stupid bastards lose in November, remember that YOU think your opinion is more important than those votes

that and a dollar will buy you a cup of coffee

ya stupid teabagger terrorist

Posted by: nada85484 | April 1, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

this is a sad understanding of history and just horrible "analysis".
Where does the Post find these uber-hacks?

Posted by: lomaxsports | April 1, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

This is one of the most nonsensical pieces of putrescence I have seen in the Post, and that's saying something. What is this "attitudinal equivalence" nonsense? So breaking into a jail and freeing a prisoner, hurting no one, is the same as starting a war which killed hundreds of thousands of Americans? Oh yeah, they were both defying the government. So is not filing your tax return. Is that an "attitudinal equivalence" as well?

Nonsense.

Posted by: TheFritoPundito1 | April 2, 2010 2:48 AM | Report abuse

Hey, moron, Shadrach Minkins was his name, hence, it does not have to be put in quotes. He was a human being, not a thing.

Krauthammer at least has the excuse of being insane, but Charles Lane is really a revolting, noxious, lower, form or life.

Posted by: Gatsby10 | April 2, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

"Recall this history as you consider today’s Tea Party – and other zealous movements at the other end of the ideological spectrum. Regardless of whether one sympathizes with the Tea Party, MoveOn.org, or none of the above, it should be possible to recognize what they have in common: an attitude. And it is characteristically American. Call it the spirit of anti-compromise."

Ta Da!!! Here it is, folks. From the swamp rises the disease of faux balance. MoveOn.org is an organization dedicated to furthering their political agenda. The Tea Party movement is dedicated to furthering it's political agenda........ oh, with racist slurs, breaking glass, spitting on elected officials and guns, let's not forget the guns.

Otherwise they're exactly the same.

Nice going, Lane. You've managed to contract The Broder Conventional Wisdom Virus and you're now a carrier. Infecting everyone else. Nothing to worry about though. The only symptom you will experience will be an elevated intake of cocktail weenies. Enjoy!

As fort rest of the country? Well done! By the end of the first paragraph, your readers are dumber for having read your piece.

jesus, this country is hosed.

Posted by: thad1 | April 2, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Has no one taught you history Mr. Lane?

I can now understand why you were so easily bamboozled by Stephen Glass's imagination.

Posted by: david6 | April 2, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

the stupidity in the thread knows no bounds

MoveOn dot org was founded to make a compromise to avoid the Impeachment of Bill Clinton

the title comes from the phrase "Censure and move on"

it is an organization founded upon the idea of a specific compromise

and look what this twit writes today:

--------------------------

"Recall this history as you consider today’s Tea Party – and other zealous movements at the other end of the ideological spectrum. Regardless of whether one sympathizes with the Tea Party, MoveOn.org, or none of the above, it should be possible to recognize what they have in common: an attitude. And it is characteristically American. Call it the spirit of anti-compromise

---------------------------------------

how any idiot could say that moveon dot org is "uncompromising" is unbelievable

to lump moveon in with the teabagger terrorists is to prove you are an idiot

there is no equivelency between the teabagger terrorists and moveon dot org

only a goober or a hypocrite could make that mistake

Posted by: nada85484 | April 2, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

"Charlie," at least go with John Brown if you want a Northern psychopath who happily applied extreme violence against innocent people to get his way in the same sense that every single slave owner, slave driver, slave trader, slavery defender and slave catcher did. Witnessing your historical illiteracy makes me embarrassed for both of us, but your moral idiocy in comparing Shadrach's "attitude" in thinking he was a man to the "attitude" of those who were convinced he was a monkey should shame everyone who had a hand in raising, educating or training you.

Posted by: light_bearer | April 2, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Can you cite a single point of evidence to support your contention that Democrats are engaged in ANY sort of "purge" of the more moderate members in their ranks, as you allege in the final paragraph?

And just to join the chorus, yes, the scare quotes around "Shadrach" ARE offensive.

Posted by: CrunchingsandMunchings | April 2, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"Charles" seems like the sort of "human" who would own a slave or two if it were legal to do so.

Posted by: MoeLarryAndJesus | April 2, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"This could actually be a positive development, if the ideological purge underway among Republicans and Democrats gives rise to a new party of outcast moderates."

"Charlie" is only a Washington Post Columnist, so there's no way he could be expected to know this, but Sen. Joe Lieberman remains very much in possession of his chairmanship and Democratic seniority perks after. I'm not sure how a party cooperatively spanning from Kucinich and Ted Kennedy, RIP to Ben Nelson and Bart Stupak could be intelligently thought to be conducting a "purge."

Posted by: light_bearer | April 2, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"Charles" seems like the sort of "human" who would own a slave or two if it were legal to do so.
Posted by: MoeLarryAndJesus | April 2, 2010 3:13 PM

Perhaps he'd be a free white northern man who would merely condemn the uncompromising extremism of those gaudily passionate Barn Burner types wanting to outlaw slavery. "Charlie" is a "centrist," which means he doesn't care about any policy on its merits but only wants to make sure there are no radical, meaning any, to the status quo and current power structure.

Posted by: light_bearer | April 2, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

You're right "Chuck". The left and the right are equally insane. No difference. Tea Partiers are exactly like abolitionists.

Jeez, can the Post get a writer who is smarter than a fifth grader??

Posted by: jake14 | April 2, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

And to think this is the same Charles Lane who fired Stephen Glass for making up!

Glass has nothing on The Washington Post when it comes to dishonesty.

Posted by: jelperman | April 2, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

The "columnist" was part of the Stephen Glass fiasco? That shouldn't surprise me, but at least Glass' writing looked like it *could* be true, not something "Lane" could claim for himself.

Posted by: light_bearer | April 2, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

After watching how Charles Lane and Michael Kelly were portrayed as bastions of journalistic integrity in "Shattered Glass", I realize that Attack of the Clones, Jumper and Revenge of the Sith aren't nearly as fanciful.

Posted by: jelperman | April 2, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

There is no equivalency - attitudinal or otherwise - between people who freed someone headed for slavery with no deaths and people who killed 100,000 Americans and tried to destroy the United States to defend their 'right' to own other human beings. Similarly, past extremism and violence are not an excuse for current extremism and violence particularly when the major complaint of the current extremists is that the majority of Americans voted the other way. The Tea Party is anti-(small d)democratic - thanks to a black man being elected President they are outraged that a majority vote can make law even when they disagree with it. They are not making a principled moral stand, they are just angry that they can't force the rest of America to be just like them. That the Washington Post would publish a column that takes false equivalency and he said/she said ridiculousness to such an abominable level is disgusting. I'm removing this paper from my reading list, which is how sane people react in a democracy.

Posted by: Grocer | April 2, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

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