Thursday, January 27, 2011
I was very excited to know Michelle Bachmann would be presenting the Tea Party response to the State of the Union gag show presented by the Impostor-in-Chief. Here was a popular woman with all of Sarah Palin's outward beauty, and not so much of her baggage. I was excited about the prospect of a woman other than Palin stepping up to the plate as a voice of the Tea Party. Turns out she's just another Palin putting on a gag show of her own. This was not a Tea Party response; it was a Republican response. One reference to a Balanced Budget Amendment was all she could manage in a speech supposedly responding to what could be the most unconstitutional regime this country has ever seen. Not once did she use any of the words "unconstitutional", "illegal", "constitutionality", or even "Constitution".
While making some good points from a Republican standpoint, this was nothing more than a dog and pony show put on by what Sage appropriately calls the "controlled opposition".
* Unemployment - True words, but no useful solution such as getting the government out of the business of monitoring people's work habits. Republican talking point.
* Debt - True that the debt needs to be eliminated, but no mention whatsoever of the real need to eliminate unconstitutional spending by both parties. Republican talking point.
* Bailouts and Stimulus - Stuck to the Republican line that no one wanted this. No mention at all of its illegality under the Constitution. Yet another Republican talking point.
* Bureaucracy - Made the great point that increased bureaucracy is a bad thing, but fell far short of the real point - that there is no authorization for these bureaucracies in the Constitution. Another Republican talking point.
* Obamacare - Costs too much. Yes it does, but what about its legality under the Constitution? Not a word about it. Republican talking point.
Going on will just piss me off more. Suffice to say her speech was one long Republican talking point.
If you want to vote for Republican talking points, you are free to vote Republican. For that, we don't need a Tea Party. We don't need people who will stand up for the Constitution and then turn around and cast votes for those who can't even recognize its significance in a perfectly appropriate forum.
Paul Ryan's speech, while also decidedly Republican, came much closer to being appropriate for the objectives of the Tea Party. Not only did he mention the Constitution, but he said this:
So I'd like to share with you the principles that guide us. They are anchored in the wisdom of the founders; in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence; and in the words of the American Constitution.Drop the hogwash about safety nets and and creating conditions, and you have a pretty good excerpt for a Tea Party speech. Yes, it was Republican, but it was infinitely more Tea Party than Bachmann's.
They have to do with the importance of limited government; and with the blessing of self-government.
We believe government's role is both vital and limited — to defend the nation from attack and provide for the common defense ... to secure our borders ... to protect innocent life ... to uphold our laws and Constitutional rights ... to ensure domestic tranquility and equal opportunity ... and to help provide a safety net for those who cannot provide for themselves.
We believe that the government has an important role to create the conditions that promote entrepreneurship, upward mobility, and individual responsibility.
We believe, as our founders did, that "the pursuit of happiness" depends upon individual liberty; and individual liberty requires limited government.
Limited government also means effective government. When government takes on too many tasks, it usually doesn't do any of them very well. It's no coincidence that trust in government is at an all-time low now that the size of government is at an all-time high.
So which of these two speakers needs less help to become more federalist? I don't think it takes much to decide. The Republican speaker here was more Tea Party oriented than the Tea Party speaker.
In the meantime, let's all hope for the best for the Tea Party. Whoever picked Bachmann for the SOTU response choked big time.