It was a politically hot summer, partly due to the Tea Party Movement. I've been trying to figure out some sort of logic to the Tea Bagging political thinking, but I've having a hard time. Some questions I have:
1. If Tea Baggers really want smaller government, why are so many against a woman's right to choose? I heard the Republican nominee for the New York Governorship answer the question about a woman's right to an abortion after rape or incest by saying, "There's adoption for that." Said another, "I believe God has a plan for everyone." What? God has a plan for a fourteen year old girl to get raped by her father and then be forced to bear the child?
2. The same goes for same-sex marriage. If you want government out of everyone's life, how can you support government deciding that same-sex couples shouldn't marry?
3. Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana, may not technically call himself a Tea Bagger, but since his election, he sure has been on the cut spending, lower taxes, kill government bandwagon. That is, until Louisiana needs the money after the BP oil spill. Then he pleads with the federal government for money and gets upset when it doesn't come fast enough. Isn't this a contradiction?
4. Tea Baggers claim that they want to get back to the basics of the Constitution, but how many have actually read it? One example is their blatant disgust of the judiciary. They seem to want the government to run with only two branches of power. That certainly isn't what I understood the Constitution to say when I read it, and, years later, taught it. For a far more nuanced discussion of how Tea Baggers misrepresent the Constitution, visit http://www.media-ocracy.com
5. And one last question. Why is it that so many of the Tea Baggers who want lower taxes and smaller government draw the line at their own entitlements? Jon Taplin has a great entry about this on his blog. Here's some of what he writes:
The New York Times-CBS Poll on the Tea Parties is notable for the great number of contradictions revealed. Since 75% of the Tea Party are older than 45, we can probably assume that at least 50% of them are on Social Security or Medicare. They don’t seem to grasp the contradiction.
And nearly three-quarters of those who favor smaller government said they would prefer it even if it meant spending on domestic programs would be cut. But in follow-up interviews,
Tea Party supporters said they did not want to cut Medicare or Social Security — the biggest domestic programs, suggesting instead a focus on “waste.”
It's going to be a long election season. Stay tuned.