The Death of the Tea Party Movement

By Bill Press

Tribune Media Services

Farewell to the Tea Party. It was fun while it lasted. It certainly got a lot of undue media attention. But it died a premature, yet welcome, death.

Ironically, what killed the Tea Party was not opposition from either the Republican or Democratic Party. The Tea Party committed suicide, rendered irrelevant by a succession of current events.

The central premise of Tea Party loyalists, after all, was that they were anti-government. You know the drill: All government is bad. Taxes are bad. Government bureaucrats are bad. Then, unfortunately for them, just as they were gaining traction, tea baggers ran into the reality of tornadoes, disastrous floods, an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and a terrorist attack in Times Square. In each of those cases, whom did people turn to for help? The government. And the future of the Tea Party was suddenly kaput: as dead as John Edwards’ political career.

Take the Times Square bomber. He was identified, tracked down, and apprehended exactly 53 hours and 17 minutes from the time he parked his lethal van at 45th and 7th Avenue. How? Through excellent police work by the New York City Police Department, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security.

Proud tea partiers, note: All of those police officers work for the government. All of them are paid by our tax dollars. They did an incredible job. Thanks to them, one more terrorist is behind bars. Let those who “hate” government explain why they hate law enforcement officials who are keeping us all safe.

Take the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Yes, according to law, BP is responsible for conducting and paying for the cleanup. But who were the first ones on the scene? The Coast Guard. Who’s overseeing the work of BP and other contractors to make sure they are doing everything possible to stop the leak, minimize onshore damage, and reimburse watermen for lost wages? The Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Department of the Interior.

Again, they are all federal employees, paid by our tax dollars — and they were the agencies all five Republican governors of the Gulf States turned to for help on April 22, when BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and burned.

Take the recent series of storms and tornadoes that recently hit the South, causing so much death and destruction. When tornadoes swept across Mississippi and Alabama, and when severe flooding struck Nashville, the pattern was the same. Local officials, unable to cope alone, called for help. FEMA officials arrived on the scene. Soon thereafter, President Obama declared the most severely impacted areas of those states as federal disaster areas, making residents eligible for grants for temporary housing and home repairs and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses.

Governors in those states did not reject the federal government’s help. They actually requested it, and thanked Obama for it. “On behalf of all Alabamians, I thank President Obama for his response to this terrible storm that has affected so many people,” said Governor Bob Riley. “The president’s actions will help those communities recover more quickly.”

One final example. In no state have government-hating Tea Partiers been louder or more active than in Virginia. Conservative Republican Governor Bob McDonnell was elected last year partly on an anti-big government platform. Yet no state profits more from federal largesse.

As reported by The Washington Post, ten cents of every federal procurement dollar spent anywhere on earth is spent in Virginia. More than 15,000 Virginia companies hold federal contracts. … Total federal spending in the state has more than doubled, to $118 billion, since 2000. By 2008, it accounted for a stunning 30 percent of Virginia’s entire economy. And so far, McDonnell has not refused one penny of it. Don’t expect him to any time in the future, either.

All of which makes a mockery of the entire Tea Party movement. When trouble comes, those who complain the loudest about big government are the first ones with their hands out for federal help. Until tea partiers are willing to tear up their Social Security cards and Medicare cards, and reject all help from the FBI, Coast Guard, EPA, FEMA, or any other federal agency, they’re nothing but a bunch of phonies.

© 2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

17 Responses to The Death of the Tea Party Movement

  1. Don’t count out the “liberal media” playing Frankenstein with the darling “Rock Star’s” favorite party … you betcha …

  2. - Great article ! – I just don’t think they can see how hypocritical they are. Just a fringe movement within the party of hypocrits.

  3. Bill, you don’t even articulate that TEA is Taxed Enough Already. The movement is not anarchist and doesn’t preach “no taxes”, but instead calls for responsible spending and less government involvement in our lives. I’m disappointed in your willful, or ignorant, misrepresentation.

    Get informed.

  4. The same could be said of George bush during Katrina. The government worked and people got saved. the problem is that the standard is not applied the same is it?

  5. Billy boy – the bomb did not explode because it was manufactured poorly or Times Square would have been leveled. Sure – fine job by all those government agencies.

    NYPD is top notch – no doubt about it.

    I cannot believe that one human can be so full of $hit like B. Press.

  6. Bill, you do know that “tea bagger” is a perjoritive, in reference to a sex act? Why must you go there, you scum bagger?

  7. Bill – you are absolutely right about the Death of the Tea Party Movement. This party was nothing else but a venture by Dick Army trying to make noise against an Obama administration trying to put order into America.

  8. “Taxed Enough Already” activists should review the history of the IRS schedules. The income tax is lower than it’s been since the 1950’s. Lower than it was under Reagan (who raised taxes 11 times during his two term). Lower than under either Bush. Lower than under Ford or the guy he replaced, Nixon.

    So instead of mindlessly whining about imaginary problems, how about you come up with some…….solutions to real problems?

  9. Bill you cannot be more right, Im a middle school student in VA and all I here is “Obama is a terrorist” and “Obama isn’t a American” I think we need to look at the real terrorist, those automatic fire arm supporting, government hating anarchist that call them selfs the tea party. I am one of the only 17 democrats at my school and if any of you rednecks want to challenge me Ill stand my ground to you, after all, it will just be hollow threats about how you’ll kill me with your shotguns.

  10. most all tea people need or do now, or will need and call on government assistance virtually all will one day if not now. try and get a insurance policy at age 65 for any price u will need socialist medicine and thank god that this anti union, anti middle working class movement could not repeal medicare as they are on record as saying .also most all tea people neeed social security yep u guessed it they dont like that either its called -privatize it .because they dont want social government programs and all of these folks need these socialized program it is a movement against itself.it is a house built on cutting taxes on the richest 1%, while reducing helpand paying for the rich by asking americas middle class and poor.to pay for the highest costing socialized program for the super rich 700 billion $$$$ .is the repuclicin born and bread tea party check they want to cash.

  11. It always amazes me when an article is written about the right wing conspiracy how fast the far right gets on any website, liberal or otherwise, and quickly plays the victim. What liberal, big “L” or little “l” have time for this? None of them because unlike many Conservatives, Republicans, and Tea Partiers, liberals take a more objective view of the information they read… Oh yeah, and THEY ACTUALLY READ BEYOND THE FIRST THREE SENTENCES. Look at yourselves in a more objective light; government may not be the answer to every problem, but it sure as hell isn’t changing for anyone on either side of the argument.

  12. It’s hurts me to see such slander raised without regard for the facts against a group of Americans exercising the freedom we enjoy in this county. This author should be ashamed, and many of those who’ve commented should put more effort into actually being informed than ruthlessly tearing down fellow Americans for having different political views.

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