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Tea Party: A legitimate third party?

Posted Wednesday, June 2, 2010, at 11:52 AM

A columnist in Louisville's Courier-Journal asks: Is the Tea Party a legitimate political party?

I'd say no -- at least, not yet.

But I can see the possibility.

If supporters can...

* Take a positive approach -- along the lines of "Join us and we'll work together for change" instead of hateful comments and shouting down foes, as the "tea party" became known for early.

* Organize effectively and develop specific leaders who come across as reasonable to the public at large, those voters who don't pay that much attention to issues except near election time.

* Realize that although we may have too many federal government agencies, too little government could be just as bad. The government's inability to handle the BP oil spill is an example of how a poorly-run oversight agency, and a government which admits it has no expertise in handling such a situation, leads to real problems. It's an example of why government can't take a hands-off approach to big business. BP obviously can't handle this situation.

* Understand that to some, the thought of "state's rights" brings to mind racism -- as in Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul's pronouncement that businesses should have the right to exclude customers of certain backgrounds.

I can see the Tea Party becoming one of moderation -- rather than extremism, as some in the media rightfully or wrongfully portray it. It's important not to let extremists full of anger and/or unrealistic expectations take control. And with Republicans and Democrats canceling each other out, this may be the perfect time for the right group to stake out the middle ground.

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cherokee2 asked "what means NO!"

I thought is was simple enough, it means I do not think it will become a A legitimate third party.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Mon, Jun 7, 2010, at 9:42 AM

The only "core issue" for the Tea Party is to hate President Obama. The whole "movement" is really just the far right-wing branch of the Republican party. The people who follow Glenn Beck, Limbaugh, and some of the other wackos you can hear at 99.7 on your radio.

As they continue to attract more and more crazies,(KKK and white supremists from stormfront.org, Birthers, Bible thumpers) their message proceeds to get buried in the....mud.

But their message was confusing to start with. They claim to be against high taxes and government spending. But, last year President Obama's stimulus bill, enacted with no Republican support, reduced federal taxes by almost $100 billion in 2009 and another $222 billion this year.

For those making between $40,000 and $50,000, the average tax cut was $472; for those making between $50,000 and $75,000, the tax cut averaged $522. No taxpayer anywhere in the country had his or her taxes increased as a consequence of Obama's policies.

In fact, according to the Center On Budget and Policy Priorities, this year's income tax is the second lowest rate for middle income families in 50 years.

And when it comes to government spending, overall pork-barrel projects have declined 10.2 percent since the last fiscal year, and the cost of these projects has decreased 15.5 percent, from $19.6 billion in fiscal year 2009 to $16.5 billion this year. The high-water mark for pork-barrel spending took place in fiscal year 2006 and helped lead to Republicans losing control of Congress.

So, all of thier so-called legitimate arguements just don't hold any water. What it all boils down to is a confused and mislead political movement based on ignorance and rage.

I do agree with cherokee2, that the T-baggers as a third party would only spilt the Republican vote.

So I also hope they keep going. As goofy as they are, it could actually turn out pretty good for the Democrats.

-- Posted by Rocket Valentine on Sun, Jun 6, 2010, at 11:24 AM

As a conservative, I agree with most of the ideology behind the Tea Party, but I don't think they will become a legitimate third party anytime soon. The group is more likely to fracture from within due to in-fighting as to core issues that represent the party platform. They appear to have embraced a multi-directional agenda that so far has failed to produce a well organized and specific message that a majority of voters would support. (Too many irons in the fire) I do believe that running a Tea Party candidate in 2012 would succeed in doing nothing more than creating a wide chasm between moderate and conservative Republicans, thus providing a second term for the current administration.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sun, Jun 6, 2010, at 1:31 AM

What means NO ! Wonderwhy. And in agreement with you espoontoon. I qualify as a republican I guess but largely in sync with what the Tea Party is trying to accomplish. Also I say down with the Coffee Baggers. If they can bad mouth us then back at them.

-- Posted by cherokee2 on Sat, Jun 5, 2010, at 5:59 AM

NO !

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Fri, Jun 4, 2010, at 10:22 PM

Your all forgetting one thing!

The United States is Bankrupt. According to Bankruptcy laws, the Bankrupt party can demand absolutely nothing!

Congress can only uphold and protect the United States Constitution to the point that their creditors will allow them to.

The Tea Party can get up and shout all they want to and Congress will still have to obey their Creditors.

We can all vote all the Senators and Representatives out of office and vote new ones in and they would still have to do what the United States' Creditors demanded "UNLESS" they realized that the Debt was made in violation of the Constitution and all those executive orders are in violation and any treat congress has made with the world bankers is in violation of the U.S. Constitution and voids out everything and starts over again.

The world bankers and Big Corporations won't allow such a legal move to take place. We are destined to become a one world order under the control of the antichrist.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Thu, Jun 3, 2010, at 1:58 PM

Organizing the different tea party organizations would be like trying to herd cats.

I think that is a good thing-it keeps it more on a 'grassroots' level. The few that are organized seem to be backed by the republican party, and that defeats the whole purpose.

I like the idea that it doesn't matter who you used to vote for, or what party you were affiliated with, you can still be a part of change in our government.

I don't agree 100% with EVERYTHING they stand for, but I identify with most of it and support most of it.

-- Posted by espoontoon on Thu, Jun 3, 2010, at 6:35 AM

the original (real) tea party had a pretty limited scope, concerning itself mainly with our runaway government. unfortunately, once they spread their umbrella, every racist, conspiracy theorist, religious fanatic, etc, etc ran to take up residence under it.

this has greatly discredited the real tea party.

on top of all the crazies drowning out the real message, the republicans are trying to make use of the neo-tea-party, banking on channeling the lunatic vote to republican candidates, while avoiding being directly connected. and the democrats are hoping for a backlash vote from people appalled at what some so-called tea-partiers are saying and doing.

if the real tea party could take back control, i think they'd have a chance to have a significant voice. and we sure could stand to have their message heard.

as it is, too many people calling themselves "tea partiers" are spewing messages that mainstream america finds repugnant (racism), or crazy (conspiracy theorists), and so forth. i fear that this opportunity has been lost.

-- Posted by lazarus on Wed, Jun 2, 2010, at 9:02 PM

If the Tea Party becomes an actual political party they will lose most of their appeal and effectiveness.

As it is now they are the watchdogs and voice of the "silent majority", pointing out excesses and unconstitutional stances of both sides of the aisle.

All it would take is one candidate running under the tea party label to be involved in some scandal to derail the movement.

I believe their current course is the correct one.

-- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Jun 2, 2010, at 3:10 PM

I am not sure that the Tea Party movement WANTS to become a third party. They certainly want to influence but the comments I have heard so far seem to negate that possibility.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jun 2, 2010, at 2:08 PM

I don't think Rand Paul's comments were directed toward businesses excluding certain peoples. His statement was directed at the wording on the repeal of the Jim Crow laws that does not remove the ability of the federal government passing laws that would make it illegal to do business with certain peoples. That a business has the right to do their business with who ever they wish. He said this due to the fact that after their repeal that some states allowed the rule of the law to stand on their own books. That the federal repeal did not go far enough in protecting both the consumer and the business. At least that's what I got out of his statement.

-- Posted by docudrama on Wed, Jun 2, 2010, at 12:52 PM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.