Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

02/19/2010 (4:37 pm)

Tea Party Anniversary Day, and A Little Reminder

fireCommemorating the day when Rick Santelli first called for a Tea Party in Chicago, the mainstream press and its friends on the hard left are attempting to pin a lone murder/suicide on the Tea Party movement.

A software engineer with a grudge against the IRS went postal yesterday and flew his Piper PA-28 airplane into the IRS office building in Austin, TX, killing himself and at least one other person. Before taking the action, though, he posted a fervid rant on the Internet and burned his house down. Steve Spruiell at the National Review predicted a knee-jerk attempt to pin the action on the Tea Party movement a few minutes ahead of the first MSM report doing exactly that. More attempts followed.

I suppose it’s not impossible that the demented fellow attended a rally or two, but it’s not all that likely. His rant includes accusing corporate capitalists of committing “scores of atrocities,” calls those who organize religion “monsters,” accuses the American medical system of committing murders, and compares the IRS to the Catholic Inquisition. If this sounds “similar to the alienation we’re hearing from the extreme elements of the Tea Party movement” to Capehart at the WaPo, it’s probably because he has a bigoted and ill-informed view of that movement.

Of course, the left has similarly been attempting to discredit the Tea Party movement from the beginning. Just yesterday I posted regarding the Clintonistas planning their slam attacks, but that’s just the latest in a long string of ineffectual fulminations. Michelle Malkin’s cheat sheet on the Tea Party movement’s origins from last April included this little summary of the early attempts to pooh-pooh the obviously genuine grassroots movement:

And along the way, detractors have fumbled and bumbled over how to discredit the Tea Party organizers — first blaming a cabal tied to CNBC, then jeering at the amateurishness of the participants before crying “astroturf,” then claiming the events were “financed by Fox News” or (fill-in-the-blank) conservative conspiracy, then smearing the protesters as crazed gun nuts (FNC’s Bob Beckel) and racists (FNC’s Geraldo Rivera).

A handful of psychologists might provide some interesting clues regarding why they feel the need to do this, but I think it’s a combination of snobbery and envy. Leftists disdain the average American, thinking him an under-educated, unthinking dolt incapable of managing his own life (and “clinging to guns and religion…”) If the Proles are restless, it must be something really stupid that they’re restless about, right? But then again, the energy of the Tea Parties is so real that it exposes leftist agitation for the put-on that it is; leftists spend a great deal of their emotional energy affecting rage over issues that were relevant no more recently than 1972. They’re jealous of those who belong to a movement that’s actually relevant. Remind yourselves of FireDogLake’s Jane Hamsher’s sour-grapes denunciation from her failed attempt to counter with a leftist anti-Tea-Party last April (hat tip to Frank Strategies for the vid):

Sad and pathetic. “Financed by Fox News” turns out to mean “reported by Fox News,” in a little demonstration of FDL’s journalistic ethics (follow the Frank Strategies link above the video). Not to mention that Hamsher has about the scariest eyes I’ve seen in a year; there’s something wrong with that woman.

hellno_IneedHowever badly they want to make the entire Tea Party movement look loony, they can’t, because it’s not loony; it’s authentic grassroots Americana. The Tea Party movement, at its core, is simply individuals who have taken the basic soundness of the political system for granted most of their lives, but who have come to realize that the entire system is failing them. They stand for simple, straightforward virtues like individual liberty, fiscal sanity, limited government, free markets, and reward for honest labor. They believe that neither party represents those interests reliably, that both parties have abandoned them in favor of personal nest-feathering and ideologies headed in the wrong direction. They have chosen to exercise their Constitutional right as the People from whom the authority of government arises, and are petitioning the government for redress of their grievances. Gatherings totaling everything from a dozen to a million have met peacefully all over the nation to make these petitions public. If that’s loony, then God bless us for a nation of loons, ’cause that seems sane, decent, and appropriate to me.

It frightens the government because it threatens their jobs and their power. It frightens the left because it stands directly in the path of the progressive march toward neo-fascist statism and says “hell no.” Neither is reacting well.

Let’s all remind ourselves how it started: an outraged reaction against the government bailing out distressed and possibly undeserving mortgage-holders using hundreds of billions of dollars that simply were not available (speaking of how we got a $1.6 trillion deficit). A handful of home-schooling moms around the country organized rallies, footing the $50 municipal permits out of their own pockets, and a movement was born. A few days later, Rick Santelli of CNN made his famous rant from the trading floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange:

My own reaction was here.

If you think of it, offer a prayer of thanksgiving and blessing toward the “professional organizer” who started the whole thing rolling, Keli Carender. Better yet, why not get involved yourself in the next Tea Party gathering? This is America, after all, and even if the dollar is toast, We the People are still the sole source of authority here.

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