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16 July 2010


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There are real grounds for policy debate, as you point out. But read this from a prominent tea partier:

It manages to pack probably every sterotype about black people without using the n-bomb. Yes, he talks about resenting government handouts, but it is hard to distinguish between small government conservatism and racial tribalism from people like this. Does he resent the mortgage interested deduction or FDIC deposit insurance, the 40 hour workweek, or medicare or just benefits he thinks go to black people? It is hard to tell with clowns like this.
Most social movements (every?) that have come on the American scene at any time have had to weed out the crazies among them. The tea party would be wise to consider that.

R Whitman

The Tea Party is the spiritual heir to third party movements in the US. In my adult years I have seen George Wallace, John Anderson, Ralph Nader and Ross Perot temporarily influence the political direction of the USA.

All of them have left their mark on the two major parties and I suspect that the Tea Party will too. Their economic piont of view will first be incorporated into the Republican Party.

Who knows if it will have any lasting effect, but past history is not encouraging, however, as usual, I caution people about making predictions based on linear projections in a non-linear world

William R. Cumming

Tea Party's members seem to reflect largely unfocused resentment of various changes in American Society. Was not aware that RACE was a driver but believe the 2010 Census data will come as a real shocker to blacks and non-hispanic whites. And because citizenship was not a question on the census form a remarkable number of undocumented people may in fact end up being counted. Census Bureau is expecting about 310M as of January 1, 2010. I am betting closer to 320M!

Babak Makkinejad

It is style difference, that is all.

Patrick Lang


Are you sure that you are not the Government of Iran? that is the kind of thing they would say. pl


Col: And the Tea Party could do the country a real service if it helps derail the neo-con ideology of permanent war.

I am not a paleoconservative, but I respect that movement.


With the passage of the Civil Rights Act of '64 the original goals of the NAACP have been largely achieved. The 'Teapartiers' are authoritarian conservatives with allot of libertarians in the mix. The two groups are certainly polar opposites.

Meanwhile Harry Reid is taking the lead in the Nevada Senate Race:


I think there's two "tea parties", the Ron Paul version and the Sarah Palin version, the Palin version scares me.

I've never been to a Tea Party event but have attended Ron Paul events here in NH prior to 2009. I saw no evidence from the NH folks of racism or anti-semitism. That being said, I never saw any African Americans at a Ron Paul event but did see Jewish Americans but, forgive me my lack of knowledge, I do think they were Hasidic Jews. I also saw some folks come into Ron Paul Hqs in Concord who were from the Arizona/Nevada area that looked like real toughs, maybe militia or biker types. The NH folks were almost all pacifists with a few anti-abortion people as well, all were anti-war.

Unfortunately, a lot of people like Palin. I don't get it but when I ask them it's, "she's just like me, believes in the same things".


[Sheriff] Joe Arpaio Takes .50 Caliber Machine Gun To Desert, Looking for Undocumented (w/Update)



The United States is on the edge of a precipice. The Tea Party reflects the right side of chasm. The liberal side is hidden from view by corporate media but their view of the future of the USA is just as dire.

The 7 trillion dollars in losses by homeowners has not been matched by a corresponding decrease in the value of their mortgages. If you are paying a mortgage your a sucker because you are giving bankers money that you will never get back in your lifetime. In DC area where the housing market is considered better than most, $200,000 to $300,000 houses (mortgages) are being sold in short sales for $40,000 to $50,000. Either the banks have to be nationalized and the debts wiped off the books or the current happy talk will fall on deaf ears and a revolt against the establishment will erupt.

The prediction of war with Iran in recent comments here has sent a chill down my back. It would be a disaster on the scale of Barbarossa.

First the US Army is cracking. Second, I doubt that a Division of functioning Abrams tanks can be found in Iraq or Afghanistan for a push to Tehran. An Air Campaign will only bring the economic disaster by closing the Persian Gulf. Third, the Persians are smart enough to emulate their client, Hezbollah, and any Invaders will be hemmed in at the first strategic town they try to conquer.

As the USA sits on the edge, anything, an Iranian War, an Oil Shock or the big one hitting California, could lead to the third American Revolution/Civil War.


I'm not quite sure where you stand on this argument Col. Lang, but I have to firmly come down on the side of the NAACP and "big Government".

I also advise anyone who has not read "The Invention Of Peace" by Professor Sir Michael Howard to beg, borrow or steal a copy of this small, sublime and prophetic work and read the last chapter.

Howard correctly foretold (1999) the rise of Taliban and Al Qaeeda like organisations in areas where Western values were deeply antithetical to the majority population and held only by small educated and untrusted elites.

He then continued, in the last chapter, to explain the quandary we are in. Peace is an invented human condition. It is currently created by nation states who have the ability to make peace treaties with other nation states and enforce these agreements on their populations whether they like it or not.

However the very concept of the Nation State itself is under sustained attack on a variety of groups, ranging from the "me generation", various elites, including the religious, as well as ethnic and geographic groups, transnational corporations and now a variety of American states that should know better.

The Nation State of course justified itself from about 1860 to 1960 on the basis of the huge citizen armies necessary to preserve it's existence, which is why the education of males during that time included a military subtext that still saw me, as a thirteen year old, taking public transport to a rifle range each Saturday morning, military rifle slung over my shoulder, under the approving smiles of the other passengers. That world is gone, and with it, the main justification for the nation state.

The trouble with the demise of the Nation State is that we have no other means of making peace. Look no further than Arizona and its illegal immigration legislation. Isn't this the purlieu of the Nation State? What happens when Arizona decides to unilaterally seal the Mexican border? What happens when Texas, New Mexico, California etc., make a compact and follow? What about "incursions" into Mexico and vice versa? Look at the Kurds, Do you see where this is leading?

Then there is the transnational corporate issue. Look at BP. Can the Federal Government reign in BP? Barely, if at all. What happens when all of us take delivery of our shiny new F35's and Lockheed decides that it is not in Lockheeds interests for us to use them on our nearest neighbour? Do you understand what I am saying "not in Lockheeds interests", I didn't say "Not in Americas interests".

All I can say is that if the Arizonas, tea parties, libertarians and corporations get their way, and the strong central nation state concept is jettisoned and not replaced with some form of world Government, then the world will gradually deteriorate to small pockets of enlightenment in a sea of Afghanistans.

Patrick Lang


The onl thing you have said is that you greatly prefer a highly centralized large state. Australia is not a "nation state." To think it is you would have to believe that there is an Australian nation that excludes New Zealanders, Anglo-Canadians and even the Poms.

How much sovereignty/autonomy do Australian states have?

Oh, yes, I am a small government/small jurisdiction guy down to the local level. for example, I think Alexandria, Virginia is too large and should divest itself of all of the city west of Van Dorn and I-395. pl

Paul in NC

If race is not the main thing, it's the second thing. And I think it's the main thing. Let's be charitable and call it tribalism.

Where were these tea party people when GWB was creating a leviathan national security state, consolidating the "unitary executive", shredding the constitution, and exploding the deficit? They were in lockstep agreement, that's where.

Which means their complaints about an out-of-control Obama administration are pure... let's be uncharitable and call it racism.

Augustin L

The tea party is to be applauded for some of the ideas it is defending especially those related to our freedoms and the constitution in general. That being said, it seems to me that this movement has been coopted by a ultra-reactionary fringe. This fringe is populated by the likes of Sarah Palin and bankrolled by the Koch family. This fringe, like the liberty league of the 1930's aims to channel the rightful rage and discontent which is simmering in the population.Thankfully in the 30's we had an incorruptible general in Smedley Butler who refused to go along with the plan of the oligarchy. It seems to me, that contrary to what occured then our officer corp has in large part (just like our decaying society )forgotten the best of our traditions. The military industrial complex is so deeply entrenched in the fabric of society, I can easily see some neoconservative faction use part of this group as a Phalanx to crush what remains of our rights that were not already obliterated by the ''Patriot act''. Make no mistake this faction allied with corporate oligarchical monopolies abhorrs our constitutional form of government. They WILL PROMESS RENEWAL AND A NEW FOUND GLORY, evidently this new found glory will only be attained through some sort of purgatory fire. This raging fire will consume any dissenting, non-conformist voices opposed to this white nationalist movement. Considering the actual failure of our current administration and the blatant theft of various kleptocrats which goes unpunished we can only expect the worst. When Chaos ensues,the most fanatical and the most prepared faction will come out on top. As a black man, that scares the hell out of me.


Col. Lang,

"How much sovereignty/autonomy do Australian states have?"

Broadly similar to American States, but I think much more settled where it comes to jurisdiction.

In addition, the egalitarian nature of our society (which comes from the convict past) means that we try and provide an equivalent standard of infrastructure and services right across the nation through cross subsidization through sharing of Federal grants to the States.

For example, My State, Victoria gets a smaller share of the Federal funds pie on a per capita basis than some of the larger States because its easier to deliver services here.

That also means that an attempt by one state to become a "Small Government" state or a "Big Government" state is going to be financially frustrated by the Federal Government.

The other thing for us is that having a relatively small population and historically limited national means, the States have been much happier to work together through the Federal Government to get things done.

We fight about the subject of States rights every Ten years or so in our Supreme Court. The latest fight is about irrigation rights from the Murray river system that spans Four States.

The point i was trying to make is that while I think I understand the argument about American State rights, I think that you need to be concerned about the downside of weakening the Federal Governments power.

Arizonas attempting to usurp a little foreign policy power vis a vis illegal immigration is a good example of this. What if Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California start dictating policy to Mexico?

What really annoys me is that most of the "small government' rhetoric is code for unfettering transnational Corporations.

Patrick Lang


As I said, you prefer strong central government.

The federal government would love to have "jursidiction" "settled" vis a vis the states. The balance f power between the states and the federal government is an open and dynamic question.

I would not agree that the Arizona law has anything to do with foreign policy. arizona policemen are not going to cross the border to enforce thr\e law. this is a domestic issue.

"What really annoys me is that most of the "small government' rhetoric is code for unfettering transnational Corporations." What evidence is there of that? pl



"Where were these tea party people when GWB was creating a leviathan national security state, consolidating the "unitary executive", shredding the constitution, and exploding the deficit? They were in lockstep agreement, that's where."

Untrue. We were the Ron Paul movement. We spoke out, more accurately SHOUTED out, against the national security state, executive power grabs and congressional spending leading to national bankruptcy. We held the very first nationwide "tea party" on December 16 2007. We did all we could to reach out to antiwar democrats. Alas, you all were into that ObamaMania kick. Now, in the off chance Ron Paul runs again in 2012, will you join us this time? Or will you insist on a second term for Obama? There won't be many more chances.


"The Tea Parties are the exact mirror image of the NAACP. They have no central bureaucracy. " (pl)

What about Dick Armey's Astroturf outfit? I think that would certainly qualify...The origins of the "tea party" movement have corporate lobby $$$ all over them. Other than that, your point is well taken. Especially the point about the VA & KY resolutions ...


Sorry to respectfully disagree, Colonel, but here we go...

To first order, the Tea Party is composed of older middle- and upper-class Republicans, e.g., well-to-do older baby boomers. There are plenty of exceptions to that broad characterization, but they are still that, i.e., exceptions. For example, Gallup's most recent poll on this topic (earlier this month) put the GOP association at nearly 80%.

The movement is classic astroturf, funded by the likes of the Kochs. This is faux populism at its most obvious, and is little more than an attempt to derail the burgeoning "stop the wars, soak the rich, and stop the bailouts" movement by co-optings its motivations into something more amenable to (a) the war party, (b) the rich, and (c) the bailed-out.

I think we'll see a real political reform movement forming soon enough, but it won't be the Tea Party, mostly because the financial backers of the Tea Party want nothing to do with real populism, as that's anathema to their interests.

The emerging movement is developing some good leaders, however, and if this new movement takes shape, we may see some changes made for the good. Ron Paul is certainly one of those leaders, and Elizabeth Warren is another: both of them scare the daylights out of our so-called "elites", and that's a good sign right there.

There's plenty of potential political talent out there, and interesting things could happen if the desire for a return to good-old American constitutional values took on a bipartisan backing with leaders who actually knew what they were talking about, and whose actions matched their words.

Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

Black & White in US are thoroughly Americans. There are no substantial differences among them, in my opinion. What distinguishes them is style; the way they approach the world, the way they present themselves, and their approach to solving problems.

NAACP and the so-called Tea Part folks want the same things: a strong federal state but the NAACP wants to use the power of that state on the resolution of domestic issues and the Tea Party on the resolution of foreign issues; in my opinion.

NAACP stands for "...Advancement of Colored People" yet that organization acts as thought it is the only "Colored People" in US.

The other side, considers itself the only "White" population in US.

And both thrive on politics of racial division.

Need I say more?



The Tea Party movement also did not read American History or they would know that the tea party was a protest against the bailout of the British East India Company, not high taxes.

Patrick Lang


Iran, right? Be honest. you won't be banned. pl

Patrick Lang

Cieran et al

I don't like either self-righteous group. My post is about the conflict between them. pl

William R. Cumming

PL I liked you comment to Walrus!


I would probably fall under the Ron Paul "Teas", since Palin-Fox News "Teas" are to quick to highlight their use of white sugar.

Like the Civil War, the extremist will always be the one serving the hot drink.

The funny thing is why they only attack the minority half of the Democratic coalition, not the "white" half of unions or Jews.
Like the Civil War, we need to know who is brewing the tea to get that answer.

Babak, خوشاومدین

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