The Liberal Tea Party
July 19, 2010
By Humphrey Stevenson
The liberals figure if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em and the liberals certainly have been taking their lumps from the tea parties of late. With this in mind they are going to start themselves a Tea Party. According to an article in the Washington Post the coalition of some 170 liberal and civil rights groups will be called “One Nation.” (It would seem that “Under God” didn’t make the cut.) They are hoping to counter the Tea Parties’ power and influence and “help the progressive movement find its voice again.”
The major groups involved are the usual suspects. They include the National Council of La Raza, the Service Employees International Union, the NAACP, the AFL-CIO, and the United States Student Association.
They think that in working together they can defeat the conservative resistance. They came to feel their strength in unity when the Health Care bill passed earlier this year. They feel that they were instrumental in getting the bill passed against “heavy resistance.” Heavy resistance? The Democrats had and continue to have majorities in both Houses of Congress. All it took was bribing a few squeamish Democrat members of Congress and the bill was assured of passage.
While the Tea Parties differ on some issues, on major issues they tend to agree. This is done without some central authority to coordinate the tea parties’ stand on these matters. This agreement is shocking to the liberal left and has led them to undertake fruitless searches for the Tea Parties’ leadership. The Tea Parties agree on limited, decentralized government, lower taxes, the right to personal property, reverence for God, respect for the family, and maximizing liberty for the people. The left does not understand that the reason for the general agreement between the various Tea Parties is not because of some central authority. It is due to the fact that these are heartfelt, deeply held beliefs that define us as conservatives and our basic core values guide our position on issues.
With the left, every position is a political calculation. They have no core values other than maximum governmental control and they are generally a coalition of disparate groups. Therefore, they must carefully consider the effect of a particular position on one or more of their groups. Further, the central authority must make sure that any group that might get short-shifted in a position decision does not leave the fold. This must be no mean feat. For example, I have never understood why minority parents who want a better education for their children could stay so beholden to a group dead set against school vouchers out of deference to the teachers’ unions.
It seems curious why at least one of these founding groups would want anything to do something “Tea Party-ish.” The NAACP is drafting a resolution condemning racist elements in the Tea Parties. Softening the language of an earlier draft, the civil rights organization settled on, "What we take issue with is the Tea Party's continued tolerance for bigotry and bigoted statements. The time has come for them to accept the responsibility that comes with influence and make clear there is no place for racism and anti-Semitism, homophobia and other forms of bigotry in their movement.”
NAACP Chairman Benjamin Todd Jealous went further in his speech to the convention. He compared the Tea Parties to the White Citizens Council of the 1950s and ‘60s and suggested that Tea Party members routinely carry signs calling for the lynching of Barack Obama and Eric Holder. The evidence he provided was the discredited claims that Tea Partiers shouted racial epitaphs and spat upon black congressmen outside of the Capital back in April.
The first part of the second sentence of the quote points to what the NAACP really has a problem with, the Tea Parties’ influence. The Tea Parties are making a difference while the NAACP sees its own, once formidable, influence waning. So, though childish, it is understandable that the NAACP would lash out at the Tea Parties. But, can’t they come up with something more original than racism. It seems that is all they have anymore. Of course, this charge is coming from a group that supports a political party that up until a couple of weeks ago had a Senator that was a former Klansman.
Once again the left reveals that it has zero understanding of what the Tea Parties are and why they are becoming a force in resisting tyranny.