Monday, October 31, 2011

Tea Party Then and Now

Even though Ron Paul has tried to take credit for the Tea Party, it was this rant by Rick Santelli that inspired me to go to the Tea Party held in front of Dallas City Hall on April 15, 2009:

I went to the Tea Party because I was absolutely disgusted with all the spending and expansion of the federal government by Republicans. You know those who preach limited government and fiscal responsibility. I went to the Tea Party because I was disgusted with TARP. I went to the Tea Party because Obama picked up where Bush left off and kick it up to warp speed. I went to the Tea Party because I am among those who carry the water.

Most of the speakers at Tea Party stayed on fiscal issues. Stayed with the narrative set by Santelli. But in the audience there was a hint of what was to come. I remember flyers about abolishing the Federal Reserve Bank. A man claiming that we are not required to pay federal taxes. And other people with agendas unrelated to the stated objective of the event.

Two and a half years later and I have absolutely no idea what the Tea Party is about. Yes, there is still talk about fiscal discipline but it is not the only focus. The Tea Party has now become associated with illegal immigration, social issues, Ron Paul. This week I read an article where a Tea Party group suggested Bachmann get out of the race only to have a different Tea Party group urge her to stay in.

The only thing that has stayed constant in the Tea Party movement is frustration. But the movement has lost its focus and now it is undisciplined ball of energy. What will happen next to the Tea Party? I do not know. But they need to refocus on Santelli's rant rather than the agenda of the Tea Party crashers.