A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Libertarians Storm Temple Shalom to Support Tea Party Candidate

Tonight's debate between US 6th District candidates turned out to be little more than a forum to display the talents of Anna Little's machine to fill a room with angry taxpayers venting their spleens at the incumbent Frank Pallone. A boisterous rabble shouted "Anna! Anna!" and made hand gestures at the Democratic candidate to demonstrate their frustration with high local property taxes and the loss of local jobs in the economic downturn. The event was a disappointment but told me a lot about Little's supporters. I wasn't overwhelmed by the cacophony of Tea Party political bile being spewed tonight; it's unlikely that the libertarians in the room fairly represented the voting public.

The League of Women Voters and their hosts at Temple Shalom did an extremely poor job of controlling the event. The room was allowed to become a partisan rally, something the League could have and should have prevented. Those assigned to handle the crowd were unable to silence the constant outbursts from anti-Pallone agitators. And the questions to the candidates were poorly screened by the moderator, who surprised everyone with her unsuitable remarks throughout the event.

Personally, I think the Little crowd tonight wasn't thinking clearly about their own interests and demonstrated no concern whatsoever for those less fortunate than themselves. They blindly support Little, who advocates for a regressive 12% flat tax to replace the Federal Income Tax, the elimination of most government regulations, gross reductions in the size of the Executive branch of government, and the preservation of Don't Ask Don't Tell. She wants retirees and welfare moms to buck up and be less dependent on Federal assistance. She opposes most environmental regulations, including Cap and Trade. She sees no need for the Federal government to be involved in health care and hopes to rescind reforms. And she sees no problem with Arizona handling its own portion of the national defense.

Little's platform makes her and her supporters sound like arrogant, clueless teenagers. If they win, they'll try to implement these policies, at which point either reality will quickly dispossess them of their arrogance and we'll be back where we were, or serious trouble will befall our land.

Aren't consumer and environmental protection worthy regulatory endeavors?  Whose business is it to control Wall Street after deregulation failed to keep the lid on our economy?  The immigration problem is a complicated issue deserving of a policy more sophisticated than the crude jeers I heard from Little supporters tonight. "They're not Americans!" and "Send them back where they came from!" are the dangerous noises of a lynch mob.

Finally, I would point out the power of Pallone's incumbency. His favored place in Congress gives our region great power on the Hill. Little will have no power as a junior Congresswoman from New Jersey.  I can't imagine rejecting a front row seat in the halls of government to bring in a newcomer without enormous cause. As one of his constituents, it is of fundamental self-interest to return him to Washington.


  1. Pallone is a wacko who voted to disenfranchise the entire state of Ohio during the 2004 presidential election.

    Anybody who believes in limited government or enumerated powers should not be voting for Pallone.

    If you like higher taxes and more government, then Pallone's your guy.

  2. It was scary how white and hateful of people "not like me" the tea party people were. Watch your back. These folks are looking for simple answers...for scapegoats. And their favorite stereotypes will do, facts be damned. Reminds me of how all those nice Germans of the 30's weren't being hateful; just patriotic. Is it time to hide yet?

  3. Pallone has my vote. He's the voice of moderation, at least. Anybody who believes in a more limited government hasn't been paying attention. Less oversight brought us financial collapse. Less oversight brought us the least healthy citzens with the lowest level of healthcare in the developed world. Less oversight brought us e coli in our food, Enron era fraud and chicanary, and a population of credit card debt slaves, etc, etc, etc. Good goverment responds to the needs of its people, it does not abandon them.

  4. I hope the above two posters aren't representative of Pallone supporters.

    The first is a deranged paranoia who believes people that the only people who prefer limited government as defined by our U.S. Constitution are white racists akin to Nazis.

    The second believes that "government is the answer to everything" is a "voice of moderation". He then lists a number of "proofs" which aren't true and demonstrate a stunning ignorance of major recent events.

    This is just one reason why we need to get our kids into schools that aren't government controlled.

  5. Aberdeener, we can't ignore the signs of intolerance, even from a fringe group like the Tea Party. Despite your protestations, there are similarities to the 1930's -- a desperate economy and a nationalist group looking to fix what ails us by putting down those less fortunate or different from us. The Tea Party has gone out of its way to avoid discussing social issues because their views are repugnant, but some of us are keeping an eye on them. I just hope more people will vote along the lines of those two submitters above. No one is advocating for profligate spending here, but I at least am an advocate for a social safety net and an inclusive community. Regressive taxation and cuts in social programs aren't going to magically alleviate suffering and social injustice. I shouldn't be surprised that a fiscal conservative like yourself would support the Tea Party's views on fiscal restraint, but can't you see what's behind these bigots and plutocrats.

  6. Pat,

    I'm extremely familiar with 1930's Germany and the Tea Party movement couldn't be further removed from the Nazis.

    I've not seen any tinge of racism or bigotry whatsoever within the Tea Party movement nor do I know any Tea Party candidate who would condone such a thing.

    Yes, they want to roll back social programs because we can't afford them, many of them undermine the principal of individual responsibility, and programs like Obamacare limit our freedoms and will cost lives.

    The Tea Party's goals are freedom and prosperity. If you really feel the Tea Party is being led by bigots and plutocrats, can you name one? That way we can argue specifics and not generalities.

  7. OK. Let's look at excerpts from The Philadelphia Inquirer today:

    Lock the doors: Muslims equal terrorists. In a North Carolina ad, Republican House candidate Renee Ellmers features slasher-flick music, historical paintings of Muslim warriors, and a deep-timbered narrator intoning: "After the Muslims conquered Jerusalem, and Cordoba, and Constantinople, they built victory mosques - and now they want to build a mosque by ground zero! Where does [incumbent] Bob Etheridge stand? He won't say. Won't speak out. Won't take a stand." Cut to Ellmers: "The terrorists haven't won. And we should tell them in plain English, 'No. There will never be a mosque at ground zero.' " I see three messages here: All Muslims are terrorists; a proposed community center a few city blocks from ground zero is actually "by" ground zero and "at" ground zero; and members of Congress are supposed to "take a stand" on local zoning issues. Painting Muslims as bogeymen is a '10 staple - although, thankfully, the whole "mosque" phantasmagoria is so seven weeks ago.

    A civic message that wouldn't pass muster with the League of Women Voters. In Nevada, a Republican front group called Latinos for Reform has produced a TV ad with a simple message for Latino citizens: "Don't vote this November." In the past, Republicans have favored more subtle (and well-documented) voter-suppression techniques, such as misinforming Latinos about polling hours and locations, and claiming that unpaid traffic tickets are grounds for ineligibility. Now they're taking a more frontal approach, since they know that the burgeoning Latino vote could make a big difference in key Senate races, such as Harry Reid's reelection bid in Nevada. Telling Latinos to stay home is not exactly a high-road pitch for democracy, but at least this time the GOP is being honest about it.


  8. As for plutocracy, just check out The Sacramento Bee's article on plutocrat Tea Party posers.


    Anna Little is not unlike the rest of the Tea Party candidates in hiding her social agenda behind her economic one. I personally don't like her tax policies because they specifically help the rich and hurt the poor and elderly, but she masks her hateful social agenda to keep it out of the public view. She obviously doesn't want her fellows to come up to the microphone and spew embarrassing venom, like one woman did to McCain during the presidential campaign. Little's supporters in the audience at Temple Shalom (shalom means peace, mind you) did enough to tarnish her reputation by shouting harsh slogans against illegal immigrants. They also rallied vociferously behind her call for Arizona to defend the US border against Mexicans, a clear violation of the US Constitution.

    Little's call for a 12% flat tax is regressive. Her elimination of the current tax system would remove all incentives to support non-profits, encourage home ownership, and promote investment in green technologies, for just a few examples.

    What of Bill O'Reilly's recent comments against Muslims on The View last week? He obviously didn't activate his "liberal translator" before the broadcast and went on using the language his FOX viewers are used to hearing. It wasn't until two members of the show walked off the stage that he felt compelled to clean up his rhetoric and clarified his comments. The Tea Party routinely makes loose references to Muslims and Mexicans and gays to fuel their supporters' hatred. The tv pundits like Glen Beck are entertainers run amok and you are giving them succor.

    Christie is fast becoming a national representative of a growing tax revolt that uses slash and cut politics to destroy the carefully knitted fabric of our society. In the process people like Christie are attempting to remove support for what they find repugnant while not declaring that as their objective.

    Under the guise of fiscal conservatism and responsible government, Christie has put our social ethic in crisis here in New Jersey and now he's taking his show on the road. I wish the nation well as they watch the Tea Party cut growth, slash education, and undermine social progress throughout the land. Think of them like vampires: don't invite them in.