Responding to what he dubs “an intriguing anti-SoCon rant” by libertarian lawyer-blogger Doug Mataconis, Smitty of Stacy McCain’s blog writes:
And to all of the new Tea Party folks, let me pass on a warning: the two ears, one mouth rule applies. There is much to learn about the sordid realities of our government, as it’s deviated well off course. Relax. Focus the passion on sober, positive deeds that advance the Constitutional ball. Screaming about Barack Obama’s Martian birth certificate and obvious status as a High Priest of Cthulhu is ONLY ABETTING HIM.
I know it seems counter-intuitive, but spend some time studying. The history of How Things Got So Jacked Up is important if you want to help in ways that are actually constructive.
It’s easy to get pissed off, disgusted, drop some F-bombs, and leave. But half the recovery battle is showing up; the other half is staying engaged. Your foe has massive endurance. Our task is to execute Gramsci’s Long March through the Institutions in reverse. Stand by for a multi-decade struggle. Homeschool your children. Teach them right from wrong. Teach them history. Teach them to reject the corrosive Postmodern piffle passing for thought these days.
But don’t expect instant gratification.
Also, look for common cause with your allies even if you disagree on specific issues; as Ronald Reagan was reported to say, “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor.” Especially these days, when the Fiscal Times notes that “Obama’s Scandals Help the Tea Party, Hurt His Friends:”
But the cumulative impact is a controversy that has re-empowered his ideological foes and offended the civil libertarians who bought into Obama’s message of hope and change back in 2008.
After testifying before Congress last week about being targeted by the IRS, Karen Kenney of the San Fernando Valley Patriots returned home to a voicemail box that filled up three times and hundreds of emails. She expects that attendance at her group’s monthly meeting will almost double to 90 people.
“It’s like ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’—only in the digital age,” Kenney told The Fiscal Times. “It has been gratifying and exhilarating. I first thought it was a Godzilla meets Bambi moment when the IRS was coming down on us, but now I don’t think so.”
Momentum from the Tea Party movement carried Republicans to the House majority in 2010, angered by the government rescue of banks during the financial crisis and the passage of the Affordable Care Act—nicknamed Obamacare—to increase the number of Americans with health insurance.
By the start of this year, the movement’s popularity had fallen to an all-time low. Just 23 percent of voters felt positive about Tea Partiers, while 47 percent had negative opinions, according to polling for NBC News and The Wall Street Journal. A follow-up survey released last week shows a decent rebound, with 26 percent feeling positive and 38 percent having negative associations.
The umbrella group Tea Party Patriots will hold an “Audit the IRS” rally in Washington on June 19. Andrew Langer, one of the scheduled speakers, said that Tea Party organizations—which tend to be structured on a county or regional level—began to emphasize local issues after the 2010 election.
“There is now enough going on where the focus has brought these local groups to looking at these national issues,” said Langer, president of the Washington-based Institute for Liberty.
The assorted scandals converge in a way that unites the Tea Party against its fears of an intrusive government.
Not only did the IRS direct its bureaucratic firepower at these groups, but under Obamacare the IRS also has the responsibility to impose tax penalties on Americans who elect not to have health coverage. The acquisition of phone and Internet material in bulk helps to justify their paranoia about the government building databases that contain dirt on anyone and everyone.
In short, Obama has accomplished something that Mitt Romney could not last year. He has helped galvanize small government conservatives to action.
As the Professor notes, leftwing Democrat Ed Markey “should be a shoo-in in Massachusetts. If he’s facing even a little trouble, dems in less-blue areas are in a lot more danger.” But only if, as in 2010, sufficient people show up to be that danger.