A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NYT Poll Shows Confusion in Tea Party Ranks Over Entitlements

The New York Times just conducted a poll on Tea Party supporters and found most of them hungry for smaller government no matter what the cost. After all, the White House and Congress have run amok with spending on domestic programs, so Tea Party supporters want severe cuts in entitlements. Well, so long as those cuts are focused on the entitlements of people less fortunate than them. There shouldn't be cuts in government entitlements due to the middle class and rich folks. They deserve their entitlements, while poorer people don't. Poor people's entitlements are socialist, while middle and upper class people get patriotic benefits of some sort. Yeah, that's it.

This seemed like a contradiction to one Tea Partier interviewed in a follow up by the NYT. “That’s a conundrum, isn’t it?” asked Jodine White, 62, of Rocklin, Calif. “I don’t know what to say. Maybe I don’t want smaller government. I guess I want smaller government and my Social Security.” She added, “I didn’t look at it from the perspective of losing things I need. I think I’ve changed my mind.” If she lived in New Jersey, she'd already understand the concept of losing things she needs because someone wants her to have a new, dimmer perspective on life.

That woman might want to watch The Daily Show and become better informed. I mean, you can't find a better reporter on this nonsense than Jon Stewart, who has been lampooning the Tea Party movement and its incestuous relationship with Fox News since last year's Tempest in a Tea Party. Most recently Stewart exposed the bigotry of Tea Party members in a bit called Clash of the Teatans.


  1. Tea party members are bigoted? Such a damning claim, I'm sure you have evidence.

  2. You obviously missed this Huffington Post coverage:

    Abusive, derogatory and even racist behavior directed at House Democrats by Tea Party protesters on Saturday left several lawmakers in shock.

    Preceding the president's speech to a gathering of House Democrats, thousands of protesters descended around the Capitol to protest the passage of health care reform. The gathering quickly turned into abusive heckling, as members of Congress passing through Longworth House office building were subjected to epithets and even mild physical abuse.

    A staffer for Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told reporters that Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) had been spat on by a protestor. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a hero of the civil rights movement, was called a 'ni--er.' And Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was called a "faggot," as protestors shouted at him with deliberately lisp-y screams. Frank, approached in the halls after the president's speech, shrugged off the incident.

    But Clyburn was downright incredulous, saying he had not witnessed such treatment since he was leading civil rights protests in South Carolina in the 1960s.

    "It was absolutely shocking to me," Clyburn said, in response to a question from the Huffington Post. "Last Monday, this past Monday, I stayed home to meet on the campus of Claflin University where fifty years ago as of last Monday... I led the first demonstrations in South Carolina, the sit ins... And quite frankly I heard some things today I have not heard since that day. I heard people saying things that I have not heard since March 15, 1960 when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus."

  3. Or this excerpt from a piece from the 6 February edition of The Guardian (UK) covering an event in Nashville:

    Prejudice and principle brew at tea party meet

    600 delegates from all over the US descended on the cavernous Gaylord hotel to plot strategy as opening speech harks back to America's segregationist past

    America's disparate army of angry ­conservatives assembled under one roof yesterday at the first national tea party convention in Nashville, amid controversy over an opening speech which preached bigotry bordering on racism.

  4. Rep. Clyburn's claim of racist chanting is refuted by the absence of any supporting audio despite the multitude of cameras present.

    As for the Brit's, here's the "bigot" quote -
    "Tom Tancredo, a former Republican congressman from Denver in Colorado who ran for president in 2008, devoted most of his opening speech on Thursday night to illegal immigration. He said the fabric of US society had been eroded by the "cult of multiculturalism", "Islamification", and large numbers of immigrants who did not want to be Americans.

    In his most incendiary comment, he invoked the segregationist methods of the southern states, saying that Obama had been elected because "we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote in this country". Southern segregationist states used to prevent black people having the vote by setting them restrictively difficult qualification tests, a historical allusion lost on few of the delegates present."

    So, it appears if you oppose illegal immigration or demand that people know something about government before casting their votes, this borders on bigotry.

    Why are conservatives presumed to be racist? Can't a person oppose illegal immigration or push for voter education without being called a bigot?

  5. So you're a firm believer that trees don't make a sound when they fall in the woods when no one is around? And you give 50:50 odds that Rep Clyburn's claim of racist chanting is a lie? You're in denial as to the true nature of these people. You realize, don't you, that they represent the most conservative fifth of the Republican party? They are the same people who had to be officially warned by the Tea Party to cool it at more recent rallies. And they are the ones who had to be told to stop threatening our senators and congressmen after the Fox News talking heads suggested that they were an obstacle to democracy.

    Most naturalized citizens have a better basic grasp of US civics than native born Americans because of the tests they have to take to become citizens. Testing people before they can vote smacks of racism, not immigration reform. The UK media are right on when they point to the experience of blacks in the segregationist South and not of Mexicans crossing the Rio Grande.