News & Analysis
The Tea Party is Process, Not an Episode
Sen. Brown: Forget ‘itty-bitty' R at end of name ... U.S. Sen. Scott Brown (left) said this morning he'll take part in the bipartisan seating at President Obama's State of the Union address, urging that people need to move past the "itty-bitty letter" signifying he's a Republican at the end of his name. "I'll sit where ever they put me. I don't care," Brown said at the Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast in Boston. "That's the type of attitude we need to have not only in Washington but here in our local political system where people need to forget about the little itty-bitty letter behind my name and other people's names and just kind of get going and get our jobs going and do what's best for this state and this country." U.S. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Col.) suggested senators sit together for Obama's annual address on Jan. 25 as a symbolic act to tamp down the bitter political fighting between the two parties. – Boston Herald
Dominant Social Theme: Can't we all just get along?
Free-Market Analysis: Senator Scott Brown soared like a comet in the US political firmament. He was the unexpected Republican victor in a contest for the "Kennedy" seat in Massachusetts after famous Senator Ted Kennedy passed on due to a brain tumor. Brown paid homage to Tea Party support but once in Washington he declared himself his own man and has been pursuing his own vision of the office ever since (see article excerpt above).
This points out a larger difficulty from the perspective of those who are hoping to prune the American Leviathan: Politicians are under no obligation to honor their campaign promises, or, in fact, any of their rhetoric. They can always claim – once they are elected – that the realities of governing make some of their more radical stances impractical.
The new American Congress features a sizeable Republican majority in the House, and the 70 or so new members were elected in large part based on disgust with the over-legislating of the previous Congress. Many of these members were apparently choices of the American Tea Party movement and benefited from enthusiastic support of those who want to shrink the federal government.
Scott Brown's campaign benefitted from Tea Party donations from across the country, and expectations that he would that he would reduce the scope and ambition of government. But once in the Senate, he has simply asserted that the Republican/Democratic divide is not necessarily an obstacle for him. In fact, he proved it by voting for both the Wall Street reform bill and controversial health care legislation that further nationalized medical treatment.
The next controversial piece of legislation in Congress will deal with increasing the nation's debt limit. One would suppose that the Republican party, including those newly elected in the House and Senate, would be opposed to increasing the amount the nation can borrow once again. But this does not seem to be the case, as noted yesterday in an article posted at World Net Daily by editor Joseph Farrah:
Why you can't trust 'fiscal conservatives' ... I'm beginning to believe the term "fiscal conservative" is an oxymoron. As long as I have been reporting and commenting on politics (which is a long, long time), I have noticed that those promoting themselves as "fiscal conservatives" are always among the first to call for retreat on economic issues. Ever since I became conscious of the term "fiscal conservative," I've seen this phenomenon. And I'm seeing it today more than ever – on steroids, as they say.
Let me give you an example. There is a quiet movement afoot ... Certain movers and shakers inside the Beltway – "fiscal conservatives" all – are actively promoting the idea to Republican lawmakers that they should increase the debt limit, as Barack Obama and the Democrats will be requesting. The rationale they give is the following: "We'll tie big cuts in the budget to raising the debt limit."
They'll say this like it's a new idea, when, in fact, it's a very old idea that has never worked in the past. Quite simply, the steep budget cuts never come – and we continue to add an ever-increasing mountain of debt ... Who is promoting such wacky ideas? Who are these unnamed con-conspirators? Who are the "fiscal conservatives" about to betray fiscal conservatism once again?
Farah provides three examples of his thesis. The first, he writes, is Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform. Norquist, an influential lobbyist, has already called FOR raising the debt ceiling. This is not a fiscally conservative position. He cites Dick Morris, whom he describes as "Fox News' favorite expert on everything political." Morris, he claims, holds views similar to Norquist's and the two men, Farrah reports, are doing a sort of "road show" together, meeting with various conservatives to try to convince them of the merits of their position.
Finally, there is Republican Sen. Rand Paul, son of the famous libertarian Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex). Rand Paul, too, is willing to vote for raising the debt limit in return for a commitment to move the nation toward a balanced budget.
We have had our doubts regarding Rand Paul from nearly the beginning of his campaign. On a number of free-market issues he seemed either wobbly or non-committal and we wrote several articles about his campaign and his positions as follows:
Our fears regarding Rand Paul seem to be confirmed by his recent efforts to set up a Tea Party caucus in the US Senate. The caucus is to hold its first meeting on January 27 and Rand Paul's effort is being replicated in the House by the outspoken Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). The trouble with a Tea Party caucus, of course, is that it tends to concretize what cannot easily be reduced to pat, political positions. The Tea Party movement is an inchoate one that emphasizes significant government reduction, especially at the federal level. Policy positions and political horse-trading may not produce the kind of fundamental change that many Americans seem to want.
There are of course several Tea Parties in the US; it began as a libertarian movement in response to Ron Paul's presidential candicacy and was both anti-war and anti- socialist. But over time, power brokers have realigned the message, turning the Tea Party message into something more palatable to the mainstream Republican party. Version 2.0 of the Tea Party is "patriotic,' even pro-war and far more practical when it comes to the kinds of down-sizing that can be accomplished as regards the federal government.
Yes, the powers-that-be have already tried their best to solidify the positions of various Tea Party movements in order to control their supporters' aspirations. Ultimately, however, turning the spontaneous eruption of the Tea Party into a subsidiary of the American Right is probably not going to work very well. Politicians with even as pure a pedigree as libertarian-conservative Rand Paul are apt to get swept up in Washington's seductive atmosphere and end up accommodating business as usual; meanwhile the anger that supported the movement initially remains and is not addressed at a fundamental level.
The anti-government sentiment that grips America currently has been building for decades and has been further facilitated by the truth-telling of the Internet, which was midwife to the Tea Party movement. While the media currently treats the Tea Party as a political entity, it is not. It is an angry sentiment that is borne of the failures of the domestic US economy (see other article, this issue), the burden of 1,000 overseas mllitary bases and an increasingly clear understanding of the central-banking mechanics of modern America.
Conclusion: Like the Internet itself, the Tea Party is a process not an episode. Trying to capture its dynamics in a caucus or a formal movement is like trying to catch lightning in a bottle. But in our view its incandescence will only burn more brightly unless the underlying issues that fuel it are addressed. A caucus is beside the point.
Posted by Bill Ross on 01/20/11 12:02 PM
SB: "that's the type of attitude we need to have not only in Washington but here in our local political system where people need to forget about the little itty-bitty letter behind my name and other people's names and just kind of get going and get our jobs going and do what's best for this state and this country."
Translation to REALSPEAK: If we want to stay in control and keep our snouts in the taxpayer trough, we must work together to stay in control and prevent our divisions from being exploited by the REAL enemy, the American people and their delusions that we are their employees, to be fired on a whim, clamoring for sanity and the "rule of law":
Click to view link
Posted by AmanfromMars on 01/20/11 06:44 AM
"Thank God for elections." ...... Posted by James B on 1/19/2011 11:52:30 AM
Whatever for, James B, whenever they only offer you the illusion that you have any say in a plutocracy which is masquerading as a democracy, which is another pie in the sky concept to delude and mislead the masses. To Hell with elections would be more honest a call if you want to be free rather than enslaved to server the System ......... which incidentally has been hacked and infected/injected with a very particular and peculiar/irregular and unconventional, renegade rogue and mutating virus/trojan/worm/zerodDay.
And although more is shared on that matter elsewhere, and could easily be also shared/referenced to here, it is a quite/very specialised conceptual field and it would only probably be labelled as some kind of alien nonsense and GBIrish, and reveal to System's code cracker/crack coders, the vulnerable state of every party so minded to state the obvious in their misunderstanding through a lack of further relevant information and hard core intelligence on the field. It's a horses for courses thing, and here are interests concentrated elsewhere and on other relative/related matters which are into command and control and elite power systems.
Posted by AmanfromMars on 01/20/11 12:38 AM
"The Tea Party is Process, Not an Episode"
Oh? Is it not a politically astute, cynical distraction? A sort of diversionary chaff to try and fragment and disrupt any growing union of thought which unmasks the games being played in right royal and ancient and modern and PostModernista Power Circles. Or is that union of thought for Successful Singularity of Future Great Game Purpose something which you are yet to experience as ITs Power Circles reveal what has been discovered and uncovered?
And that is freely shared so that you can be aware of the fact that any fiction which would presume to assume that existing command and control facilities/utilities/families will relinquish power, whenever with SMARTer IT Systems can it be easily diverted into other realms which can better protect and use it [or abuse it and IT, for such a dual use/multiuse feature is the universal default norm for any and all novel disruptive change technologies/methodologies/programs] are just that, a fiction without a base supporting the fact.
And should you have any doubts, just ask them, if you can find them to answer. And if you can find no one to ask/question, does it cause perfectly valid speculation on whether or not such establishment controlling power structures and/or beings really exist and exercise control ......... or whether they just create chaos to disguise their deficiencies?
Posted by Bluebird on 01/19/11 10:47 PM
Thanks, friends, for the kind words.
Posted by Bionic Mosquito on 01/19/11 10:35 PM
You and Lew, two peas in a pod!
Click to view link
Posted by John Danforth on 01/19/11 09:07 PM
$500 billion only gets us about halfway there. If they can cut $500 Billion from the budget, they won't have to borrow for about six months. If we don't raise the debt ceiling, they HAVE to cut the spending. If they don't have to cut the spending, they will NOT cut the spending, to less than income.
I do not give my consent for them to borrow another thousand billion dollars to rule over me with, then hang the responsibility on me to pay it back with interest.
We do not need or want government that big. I don't intend to pay that debt back. They can stop doing all kinds of unconstitutional things and have lots of money left over.
Posted by Rmcnnlly on 01/19/11 06:58 PM
Unless the true enemy of free markets and the sovereignty of the United States of America is clearly identified and marked for abolishment by the Tea Parties, there will be no hope and no restoration of our prosperity and sovereignty.
I unequivocally state that the head of the beast in the United States of America is the twin headed monster of the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations.
These two organizations have total hegemony over the executive branch of the US government, large corporations, the financial sector and our education institutions.
Either this twin headed monster is abolished along with the Federal Reserve or the United States of America is finished as a sovereign nation along with our wealth and future prosperity....let alone our freedom.
There is no retreat in this struggle. Unfortunately, the Tea Parties are still attacking the symptoms and not the causes of our steep decline.
We must hammer away at these facts and keep the attack fixated on the true enemy and targeted for utter and total defeat or we shall be defeated and enslaved.
This can be done peacefully, but forcefully and we must not back down and give no quarter to these filthy swine. The leaders behind these organizations must be arrested and tried for treason. No exceptions.
Posted by Bionic Mosquito on 01/19/11 05:55 PM
Rand has (had?) the opportunity to step into his father's shoes. If he stays true to liberty, as his father has; if he educates and speaks out, as his father has; he will get all the support he needs to stay in his seat for as long as he wants.
On what appears to be his current path, he will go down in history as one in a not-so-long line of "conservative senators." In other words, no one will remember him and he will have accomplished nothing of lasting worth. We don't need more of these.
Or he can go down as the continuation of his father's voice, with a much more powerful pulpit that comes with the senate. In this, he would be remembered (and be as effective) as his father will be.
One hundred years from now, people will remember Ron, either as the one who spoke out and changed a nation, or as one who spoke out as the last hope for freedom. But he will be remembered positively by those who desire freedom.
Rand is making his choice as to his legacy. We want another leading voice for freedom. We don't need another "effective" senator.
Posted by Raymond Simons on 01/19/11 05:42 PM
Sirs, Thank you for your response to my comments regarding Rand Paul. You are quite correct when you state that he is no Ron Paul. His views differ considerably from that of his father's as they should. After all he is the son of Dr. Paul and not his clone.
As to him being toast if he votes to increase the national debt I respectfully disagree. There is a great outstanding principal of morality here. "ONE MUST NEVER TAKE ACTION WHICH WOULD CAUSE CHAOS."
And failure to increase the national debt would do just that. Rather; we simply must stop the spending and de-fund projects already costing us trillions including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The only purpose of such wars is to generate wealth for those who would completely enslave us.
Reply from The Daily Bell
After responding to you, we were made aware that Rand Paul is about to offer a budget bill chopping US$500 BILLION from the federal budget. We may have to rethink our perspective as a result. Offering this and publicizing it may provide an "education" of itself, similar to what his father - a great man in our view - has accomplished.
Posted by Mark Y on 01/19/11 05:16 PM
I think there is a big difference between being in the House (like Ron Paul) and the Senate (as Rand Paul is). It appears to me that Ron Paul views himself as an educator of free market priciples. On the other hand, a member of the Senate has much more power than a House member. Rand may believe he can cause actual changes rather than just serve as a beacon of truth as his father has done for so many years.
The bottom line on Rand Paul's legacy will be if he is able to dismantle the "nuclear power plant" of the welfare/warfare state " The Fed. My suspicion is that he will try to avoid being entangled in too many "Hamburger Hill" battles and work to disable the real enemy of freedom. A Bell interview with Rand would be very interesting!
Posted by Huh on 01/19/11 03:20 PM
@James B on 1/19/2011 11:52:30 AM
"Thank God for elections."
Don't Vote. It Just Encourages the Bastards. " P J O'Rourke
Posted by John Danforth on 01/19/11 02:23 PM
If Rand Paul votes to increase the debt ceiling, he is toast.
There can be no clearer issue on which to judge betrayal. He was sent there to stop it. Congress is the only branch of government that can stop it. It needs to be stopped now, not equivocated on. Any compromise now hands the statists a triumphant victory and assures a much, much more painful collapse later.
Once he shows his weakness, the victors will gleefully defile him in public and dance in the end zone on every cable channel for weeks over it.
We don't want him to expand his influence. We want him to vote "Hell No!".
Posted by Raymond Simons on 01/19/11 02:10 PM
The Honorable Rand Paul is not attempting to "catch lightning in a bottle" as you so erroneously report. Rather he is making a sincere attempt to gather like minded senators into a sub group of the
U. S. Senate. By doing so they can share experiences and ideas as to how to be the most effective they can possibly be. In other words: Senator Paul is attempting to form them into "The Point of a Spear."
They can't possible win all the battles but as a spear point they can most certainly make changes. A lesson I learned long ago is that one cannot ever completely control any situation but one can always influence every situation to some extent. Senator Paul is simply doing his best to enlarge this influence. In your feeble attempt to discredit the man you support the very enemies of free enterprise you allegedly oppose.
Reply from The Daily Bell
And yet we publish his father's articles. In fact, we have known his father for 20 years. His father came to libertarianism via Rothbard and Rockwell at a time when perhaps 100 people in the country understood human action and free-market thinking.
The father is a true scholar in our opinion, or was. His point of view bubbled up from a soul that resented the manipulations of a banking elite - of all elites, clearly and without compromise. He even ran for president on the Libertarian ticket.
We are not sure what Rand Paul is but thus far we can state clearly he is no Ron Paul.
Posted by Dogwood on 01/19/11 01:19 PM
Just because a few grandmothers of servicemen support our wars, and just because a few politicians turn tail; what does that have to do with a *movement*?
Reply from The Daily Bell
Turn tail? You mean cowardly politicians who do not support the bombing and shooting of women and children in Afghanistan and Pakistan?
Posted by Reegje on 01/19/11 01:19 PM
Bluebird: I feel the same way, let the whole thing come crashing down.
Posted by REEGJE on 01/19/11 01:13 PM
America has many many problems and one of them is the blame game. Instead of rolling up the sleeves and solve what is wrong, they endlessy debate, who was at fault. And in the meantime the country is going down the drain.
Please check out what this TBTF Pirate of Wall Street is doing
Click to view link
Posted by James on 01/19/11 12:47 PM
You unfortunates who supported Scott Brown have my condolences. You are not alone. Hell, I voted for Sarah Palin in the Alaska Republican primary to unseat a governor, and then in the general election for governor. I have regretted it more every day since. I know, we must have been giddy, caught up in the rhetoric. Subsequent reality reinforces the idea that politicians will tell any lie (no matter how clumsy) to get in power and stay there. I appreciate the fact that the only state where Palin is less popular than Alaska is Massachusetts.
Posted by Ryan on 01/19/11 12:09 PM
The Symbolic Debt Ceiling by Gary North
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Posted by James B on 01/19/11 11:52 AM
I, as a Tea Party member, suggest senator, that you enjoy your position in the Senate. I do believe it will be short. Betrayal is the most dangerous stance a politician could take-part in. You have revealed your true loyalties and they are not with the American people whom made it posssible for you to be a U.S. Senator. Thank God for elections.
Posted by Peter on 01/19/11 11:39 AM
In my view, Rand's actions are sensible. If you do not have a group of people backing you failure is almost guaranteed. Tea Party Caucus might be the instrument for providing that support and backing. Ron Paul has been in Congress for 35 yrs, yet became visible and effective only after organizing support groups in 2007. Why giving up chance of success?