Obama battles reactionary Tea Party activists in US
US politics is on a war-footing as President Obama battles a hostile
Right-wing group called The Tea Party reacting vehemently against his
broader-based social policies.
The challengers comprised mostly of upper middle class wealthier and
slightly more educated activists, holding protest rallies mimicking the
anti-British Boston Tea Party, staged by US colonies in 1773. This
looked nothing more than class-warfare, most analysts observed.
The Tea Partys standard bearers have paraded in thousands in many
cities also defying Obamas consensual approach to foreign policy as
being a drift from their avowed theme of US global primacy.
Many of them project an anachronistic narrowness of vision rejecting
the notion of being stakeholders in a pluralistic, multi-cultural and
nonjudgmental era. They denounced Obama for being apologetic about
American exceptionalism. No such outrage erupted when resources were
drained away by the misguided Bush war in Iraq.
Tea Partyers cringed when policies like healthcare were passed by the
US Congress after an 18-month debate. They unashamedly rejected even a
semblance of social-sharing threatening to win back the country from
the socialist way of the current occupant of the White House. They
dismissed climate change legislation as unwanted rubbish.
The Tea Party started with a small white, male, married and older
than 45-group and majority of them Republican who burst onto the scene a
year ago protesting the economic stimulus package passed by Obama
administration as an antidote to the recession.
The Tea Party has vowed to purge even the Republican Party of
officials they considered not sufficiently conservative and not doing
enough to block the Obamas agenda on the economy, the environment and
Former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin recently published an
electoral map of Democratic Party Congressmen to be marked as targets
for retribution during 2010 November mid-term elections.
Obvious double standard
They staged many protests on April 15 – the day Americans pay their
annual income taxes.
It was the British Government who were the enemy then. Now it is the
socialist Obama administration. Most Americans, however, believe that
taxes they pay were fair but Tea Party folks were making a different
The double standard is obvious. The Tea Party members are enjoying
the benefits of Social Security and Medicare (government pension and
lowered healthcare costs) that account for 30 percent of the US Budget.
Most of them send their children to public schools and are not reluctant
to use the vast array of education endowments and scholarships available
to most Americans.
Over 50 percent of them collectively believed that policies of the
Obama administration favour the poor, and 25 percent think that the
administration prefers blacks over whites – compared with 11 percent of
the general public according to a recent survey by the New York Times.
Class antagonisms seemed to be embodied in their rhetoric and some
even came close to being racists. They are more likely than the general
public, and Republicans, to say that too much has been made of the
problems facing black people by the Obama administration.
Many seem to think that the only way they could stop the government
spending money on the less affluent people was by revolting. A
66-year-old semi-retired lawyer in Florida said in an interview after
the poll. Im sick and tired of them wasting money and doing what our
founders never intended to be done with the federal government. There
is an air of disguised sedition emanating from some of the Tea Party
Their favourite slogan is that the country is headed in the wrong
direction. They blame the current administration for the recession and
everything else rather than the Bush policies that plunged the country
into the expensive war against Iraq and running the largest budget
deficit in history.
The vast majority of the Tea Party followers seemed to claim
exclusive authorship of social values in denouncing attempts by the
government to better the conditions of the have-nots.
Recently, when interviewed a retired medical transcriber in
Jacksonville said I just feel Obamas getting away from what America
is. Hes a socialist. And to tell you the truth, I think hes a Muslim
and trying to head us in that direction, I dont care what he says. Hes
been in office over a year and cant find a church to go to. That
doesnt say much for him.
Obama takes fight to the Opposition
President Obama has not budged from his positions and taken the
battle to the opposing camp proposing a major overhaul of the financial
system which is now being debated in the Senate. The real answer to the
critics would come as the economy recovers and the job situation become
rosier in the months ahead.
Tea party antics would not stand the test of time due to another
reason. Trying to advance the overarching cause of liberty and justice
by the Tea Party folks got annihilated in the face of notions indicating
that less unfortunate people were deemed disposable. Tea Party attempts
to endow their actions with a convenient moral gloss has failed.
They were ignoring centuries of efforts to end enslavement, a freedom
fight amidst a devastating Civil War and political turmoil of
reconstruction under Lincoln, followed by disfranchisement, segregation
and, finally, the struggle for equality by men like Martin Luther King.
Their rationale is not good governance for all but
make-believe-dreams of perfect happiness for few defined in terms of
consumption, celebrity, unencumbered individual choice and the
gratification of personal appetites. For them people power is bandying a
lifestyle which is gradually losing its charm even among the Americans
with a broader grasp of the meaning of overall happiness.
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