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Tea Party rally approved by commissioners
A request from the Wharton Tea Party to hold a tax day rally on the Wharton County Courthouse grounds April 15 has county commissioners reviewing their policy.
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One of the characteristics of “progressivism” is the spinning of what one says – to say whatever one wants it to say. It is backed by a philosophy that says the end justifies the means to an extreme. In other words, one says what he has to say in order to get to where he intends to go. This was seen in the healthcare debate when the liberal left continually heaped the entire blame for escalating health care costs on the insurance industry. No mention was made of wasteful uses of insurance benefits, underpaid Medicare/Medicaid payments to doctors and hospitals, treatment of self-imposed addictions and obesities, overcharges by hospitals, etc.
Another characteristic of “progressivism” is the smoke screening of reality by the careful fabrication of words and phrases such as “dozens” instead of “thousands”. If there really are thousands, but the word “dozens” is used to describe the number – it is not really a lie because enough dozens do multiply and/or add up into the thousands. The most important issue for the progressives is not the facts, but the perception they create of the facts in order to accomplish their agenda.
Harry Reid is a master of progressive rhetoric. He once said, “It’s time that America’s government lived by the same values as America’s families. It’s time we invested in America’s future and made sure our people have the skills to compete and thrive in a 21st century economy. That’s what Democrats believe.” What exactly are “the same values as American families” to Harry Reid who has promoted and propagated every possible piece of legislation he can that is diametrically opposed to American family values? Consider this Harry Reid quote from the Democratic minority days when Bush was in office, “The American people do not like privatization. They are afraid of the debt the president’s willing to do. And they don’t like benefit cuts. And everyone here should understand all 45 Senate Democrats are united. We are not going to let this happen.” Hmmmmm….the American people do not like privatization? Reid concerned the people fear Bush’s debt yet he has supported Obama’s increasing mountain of debt every step of the way? Reid concerned about benefit cuts, something the health care bill will cut?
In more recent memory, Reid said of the Republican opposition to health care reform, “Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all Republicans have come up with is this slow down, stop everything, let’s start over. You think you’ve heard these same excuses before, you’re right. When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said, slow down, it’s too early.” The reality is that the slaves were freed under Republican leadership with the Democrats in opposition. Little did the facts matter to Reid who was painting a picture of a “regressive” Republican Party. He did not say the say Republicans held up slavery, but anyone who does not know their American history would come to that conclusion which was what Reid intended through the fabrication of his words.
It is time to take action against the progressive rhetoric of Harry Reid and others like him. As Americans, we have the privilege of hiring and firing our elected officials through the ballot box. It is our right to put a stop to those who are violating our rights by voting them out, but it is up to us to exercise that right. Be a responsible voter in 2010 – America is depending upon it!
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The American patriots who flung crates of imported tea into Boston Harbor on Dec. 16, 1773 were acting against their countrymen’s economic interest. The Tea Act, adopted by the British Parliament, allowed direct shipping of the East India Company???s surplus tea to North America, bypassing middlemen in London and reducing the price in the colonies. But that price still included a tax, enacted by a parliament in which the Americans were not represented. To purchase the tea would violate the principle of ???no taxation without representation.??? And so the Sons of Liberty chucked it into the water. Recall this history as you consider today???s Tea Party ??? and other zealous movements at the other end of the ideological spectrum. Regardless of whether one sympathizes with the Tea Party, MoveOn.org, or none of the above, it should be possible to recognize what they have in common: an attitude. And it is characteristically American. Call it the spirit of anti-compromise. We Americans like to think of ourselves as a pragmatic nation. Problem-solving and compromise have a long history in American politics. So, too, however, do extremism and polarization. As the Boston Tea Party itself illustrates, this country was born in a fit of uncompromising zeal. No less a patriot than Benjamin Franklin was horrified by the Tea Party. From his vantage point in England, where he was attempting to negotiate with King George III???s government, the destruction of the tea struck Franklin as an ???act of violent injustice on our part.??? The Philadelphian spoke for many moderate colonists. But the Sons of Liberty were more intent on making a point than solving problems. Between their uncompromising attitude and that of the Crown, the situation became polarized. Franklin and other moderates had to choose sides. The Revolution was on. Today, we admire the American revolutionaries, and subsequent uncompromising movements. But don???t forget: The victors write history. If the South had won the Civil War, what would our schoolchildren be taught about the abolitionists today? Some in the antislavery movement were as extreme, in their way, as the Southern ???fire-eaters.??? We tend to think of the secessionists as resisting federal authority during the run-up to Fort Sumter. But the antislavery side had its moments of nullification as well. In 1851, a Boston crowd broke into a federal courthouse to free ???Shadrach,??? a black man being held there by U.S. marshals enforcing the Fugitive Slave Law. Abolitionist Theodore Parker declared this blatant defiance of Washington ???the most noble deed done in Boston since the destruction of the tea in 1773.??? I am not suggesting a moral equivalency between the anti-slavery and pro-slavery forces. But I am suggesting an attitudinal equivalency ??? one that has been played out repeatedly in our history, and that may play out again. If you think today???s discourse is vitriolic, open any history book and read the words ??? ???Judas,??? ???Traitor,??? ???diabolical??? — that Americans hurled at one another in the past. Indeed, if you think there???s something uniquely ugly about the contemporary Tea Party???s abusive rhetoric toward President Obama, check out this compendium of violent language aimed at President Bush a few years ago. But while political movements have embodied the spirit of anti-compromise, political parties have embodied the spirit of compromise. Whatever their names ??? Federalist, Whig, Democrat, Republican ??? the most successful American parties threw big tents over diverse interest groups and blurred lines of class, region and ideology. The parties co-opted extremes and ??? to be blunt about it — rescued politics from excesses of principle. ???Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice,??? Barry Goldwater announced in 1964. He was declaring war not only on the moderate establishment of his own Republican party, and that of the Democrats, but also on the historic function of all American political parties: to make it possible for government to salve conflicts and solve problems. No doubt this has involved tradeoffs: Time and again, the parties have brokered peace at the expense of moral clarity. That is probably why the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850, each of which attempted to save the Union while sacrificing African American freedom, ultimately broke down ??? along with the Whigs and Jacksonian Democratic parties that cobbled them together. At other times, though, the parties have helped hold the country together. In the 1960s, for example, society was polarized, but, broadly speaking, the Republicans and Democrats were not. They hewed to the vital center. The parties incorporated zealous elements on both the right and left, and gradually moderated them. Today???s political dynamic is very different. Society is relatively moderate ??? 35 percent of voters think of themselves as independents, according to Gallup. But the parties are polarized; they have been captured by the extremes. As the November midterm election approaches, each of them is trying to fire up a ???base??? that is increasingly defined by ideology, and for which bipartisan compromise is inherently objectionable. President Obama protests that his health care policy is ???centrist,??? invoking past support for similar ideas from such hoary Republican stalwarts as Bob Dole. But for today???s Tea Party, the very invocation of Dole???s name, to the extent anyone still recognizes it, is a reason to oppose the plan. And it was only with the greatest of difficulty that Obama managed to bring his own party???s base around to support the bill; some are still furious that it lacks a public option. Perhaps if Scott Brown???s Tea Party-backed victory in Massachusetts had not enabled Obama to recast the issue as a stark matter of political survival, and a polarized battle between the people and the insurance companies, the Democratic base would not have cooperated. Whatever its ultimate impact on the health-care system, the bill is likely to further polarize the political system. The Democratic Party’s most conservative members (and they are not that conservative) have now been isolated and left exposed to defeat at the hands of Republican challengers in November. Whether House Democrats keep their majority or not, the caucus will be smaller and more purely liberal. By the same token, the Republican caucus will be bigger and more intensely conservative. This could actually be a positive development, if the ideological purge underway among Republicans and Democrats gives rise to a new party of outcast moderates. But don???t hold your breath. The situation reminds me of the second half of the 1850s, when the combined impact of the Fugitive Slave Law and the Kansas-Nebraska Act led to the breakdown of the old Whig-Jacksonian party system. I don???t think we are headed toward another civil war, of course. But I do expect more partisan vitriol and deadlock before this cycle of polarization ultimately runs its course. Given this country???s problems (economic stagnation, debt, terrorism), that scenario looks dangerous enough.
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‘Tea Party Express’ stop in Phoenix draws crowd
The ”Tea Party Express” was greeted by about 1,200 to 1,500 supporters as it rolled into Phoenix on Sunday, the third stop on a three-week, cross-country tour that ends in Washington, D.C., on April 15.
Read more on The Arizona Republic
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The man who hopes to wrest the Republican nomination away from four-term Arizona Sen. John McCain blasted the 2008 presidential candidate for his positions on immigration and border security at a Tea Party rally here on Sunday.
Former Congressman J.D. Hayworth, who has emerged as a formidable primary challenger to McCain, seized on amnesty for illegal immigrants and border control, which have become defining issues in the state’s GOP Senate primary race.
“It is unconscionable that nearly a decade after 9/11 the backdoor of the United States remains open,” Hayworth told hundreds of Tea Party members gathered at the Radisson Hotel in Flagstaff. “Our senior senator is looking at this entirely the wrong way.”
Citing escalating drug violence along the U.S.-Mexico border and the murder of an Arizona rancher found shot to death on his Cochise County property on Saturday, Hayworth said, “It’s not only a matter of national security, it’s a matter of personal security.”
But McCain still holds some clout among Tea Party activists, many of whom have not taken sides in the GOP primary, especially since he has the support of Sarah Palin, his 2008 running mate, who campaigned with him on Friday.
McCain campaigned alone on Saturday, and while he did not speak about border security, he addressed another kind of security equally important to Tea Partiers.
“The needs of Arizona today is the economy and jobs and jobs and jobs and jobs,” said McCain, adding that he will fight for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
McCain, who did not attend any Tea Party activities in Arizona over the weekend, also addressed his primary challenger on Saturday.
“I need your vote and I need it and I will be grateful for it. And I want it. And I work for you. I know this is a tough race. I intend to earn every single vote. And with your help, my friends, I will have the greatest honor of my life and that is the ability and the honor of being able to serve the most beautiful state in America, again, in the United States Senate,” said McCain.
Hayworth on Sunday also frequently referred to his opponent. He mocked McCain and others’ use of the phrase “comprehensive immigration reform,” and he criticized McCain’s co-sponsorship of legislation, including the 2005 McCain-Kennedy bill, which sought to pave the way for millions of illegal immigrants to earn citizenship.
“You and I in the real world know it better by a one-word description — amnesty! And it’s wrong!” he boomed.
Hayworth, a popular radio talk show host who is actively courting the backing of many Tea Party voters, said he wants to reintroduce The Enforcement First Act, a bill he sponsored during his tenure in the House to enforce existing immigration laws.
In an interview with FoxNews.com, Hayworth said he’s also calling for increased manpower to patrol the border, including the National Guard and standing military.
The influx of illegal immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border has become a growing point of contention between Arizona residents and state and federal lawmakers — and an issue the Tea Party movement says could well determine the outcome of the Aug. 24 primary.
A July 2009 Rasmussen poll showed that 51 percent of Arizona voters said it was more important for Congress to pass immigration legislation than a health care reform bill. And 65 percent said enforcing the border was paramount to legalizing the status of illegal immigrants already in the U.S.
That same polling firm found in a poll taken March 16 that McCain trumps Hayworth 48-41 percent among 541 Arizona voters surveyed, though McCain has fallen below the 50 percent mark and Hayworth has won the backing of former Minuteman leader Chris Simcox, who also briefly flirted with a McCain challenge.
At Sunday’s Tea Parties in Phoenix and Flagstaff, dozens of local organizers expressed anger over border security, but few offered viable solutions — underscoring the complexities and hurdles of securing the 2,000-mile stretch of land along the U.S. southern border.
“There’s not a single Tea Party member who doesn’t feel immigration is our most important issue in Arizona right now,” said Carol MacDonald, a member of the West Side Avondale Party, one of several Tea Party factions within the state.
“They don’t pay taxes because they’re illegal and they’re draining the money we’ve all worked and saved for our retirement,” she said. “And the people who are here legally from other countries are just offended as we are.”
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Tea Party Uses Searchlight To Find Its Way
The Tea Party has kicked off another national bus tour, this time near Searchlight, Nev., home of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He faces a tough re-election bid, and those at the rally wanted to send a message: They will work to defeat Reid and the policies supported by his party.
Read more on NPR
SEARCHLIGHT, Nev., March 28 (UPI) — Thousands of Tea Party activists rallied in Nevada against Democratic healthcare reform in the first major protest since the bill became law.
The activists denounced the president, congressional Democrats and the “mainstream media” they say unfairly blamed them for harassment and bigotry targeting the bill’s congressional supporters, Politico reported. And they vowed to work to unseat healthcare reform supporters in congressional midterm elections.
A few miles north of Searchlight, the hometown of Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, a sponsor of healthcare reform, one sign read, “Bury Harry Reid in November.”
Other protesters declared President Barack Obama a socialist, Marxist or a Communist.
But protesters appeared to want to distance themselves from the threats and vandalism against Democratic House members who voted to overhaul healthcare.
Protesters said no evidence has linked Tea Party members to vandalism, which included breaking a congressional office window and severing a gas line at the residence of a brother of a congressman.
“When we talk about fighting for our country, let’s clear the air right now about what it is that we’re talking about,” former Alaska governor Sarah Palin said during the rally. “We’re not inciting violence. Don’t get sucked into the lame-stream media’s lies about … Americans standing up for freedom as inciting violence. Violence isn’t the answer. It’s a bunch of bunk that the media is trying to feed you.”
Judson Phillips, founder of the Tea Party Nation, told protesters: “The Tea Party movement has to do more than complain. … We need to replace bad leadership with good leadership.”
Tea Party organizers have raised concerns momentum might be lost with the approval of healthcare reform, the movement’s galvanizing issue, and have shifted their focus toward defeating those Democrats who voted in favor of reform.
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Palin rallies tea party activists in Nevada desert
SEARCHLIGHT, Nev. – Sarah Palin told thousands of tea party backers assembled in the dusty Nevada desert Saturday that Sen. Harry Reid will have to explain his votes when he comes back to his hometown to campaign.
Read more on Worcester Telegram & Gazette
LAS VEGAS — Sarah Palin and thousands of tea party activists plan to descend on Sen. Harry Reid’s hometown in the Nevada desert Saturday to call for the ouster of Democrats who supported the health care overhaul.
Organizers predict as many as 10,000 people could come to tiny Searchlight, the hardscrabble former mining town where the Senate Democratic leader grew up and owns a home. But a light turnout or disruptions could lead to questions about the emerging movements’ credibility and direction.
Since the health care vote, “Everyone is waiting to see if the tea party movement is reinvigorated or if we’ve resigned ourselves to defeat,” Joe Wierzbicki, a spokesman for event sponsor Tea Party Express, said in an e-mail.
The rally that’s been called a conservative Woodstock takes place just days after the historic health care vote that ushered in near-universal medical coverage and divided Congress and the nation.
The vote was followed by reports of threats and vandalism aimed at some Washington lawmakers, mostly Democrats who supported the new law.
Police don’t expect problems but the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is sending dozens of uniformed and plainclothes officers to patrol the crowd.
Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, is scheduled to appear after spending Friday campaigning for Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who led the 2008 ticket.
Now a Fox News analyst and potential 2012 presidential candidate, Palin faced criticism after posting a map on her Facebook page that had circles and cross hairs over 20 Democratic districts. She also sent a tweet saying, “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!”
She said Friday she was alluding to votes, not guns.
A string of polls has shown Reid is vulnerable in politically moderate Nevada after pushing President Barack Obama’s agenda in Congress. His standing has also been hurt by Nevada’s double-digit unemployment and record foreclosure and bankruptcy rates.
The tea party movement is a far-flung coalition of conservative groups angered by Washington spending, rising taxes and the growth and reach of government. It takes its name from the Boston Tea Party in 1773, when colonists dumped tea off English ships to protest what they considered unfair taxation by the British crown.
The rally kicks off a 42-city bus tour that ends in Washington on April 15, tax day.
Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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