Saturday, July 17, 2010

Scott Brown and the Tea Party

This is in response to today's commentary at The Daily Bell

"While the perspective of American punditry is that the Tea Party movement has been co-opted by the Republican party, we would humbly submit that this is not a true reading of the situation. The inchoate Tea Party movement may have been formalized and reconfigured to make it palatable, but the underlying frustrations remain the same and cannot be palliated by political formulations and rhetoric."

The Tea Party as a structure, an entity, is being co-opted -- to the extent that an entity that is yet to take any significant unifying form can be co-opted. I agree that the underlying frustrations have not (and cannot) be co-opted, but the political outlet for these is at risk.

Also, I do not yet accept the idea that the frustrations of the Tea Party are focused around smaller government and less intrusion. I think there is a segment of that -- those that came to the movement from the Ron Paul 2008 candidacy -- but many seem to be of the view that the new programs are putting at risk the old stop the new programs and don't mess with my old program.

"Government, keep your hands off my medicare."

When students agree to give up subsidized schools, and seniors agree to give up medicare and social security, we may be on to something. When the Tea Party as a smaller / shrinking government movement lasts for at least ten years and effects local and national elections with better candidates than Scott Brown, we might have something.

The best we have going for us is that the promises will be broken. Then people will look to local solutions vs. national (or international) ones. That the promises will be broken is certain.

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