I was surprised to find out this morning that I am a bona fide member of the Tea Party movement. That informal organization revealed the essence of its thinking yesterday in a newly-revealed “Contract From America” which contains ten points that the ‘membership’ stands for in its ongoing tirade. The contract, to use its own language, asks candidates to agree to: 1) protect the Constitution; 2) reject cap-and-trade regulation of climate-warming gases; 3) demand a balanced budget; 4) enact fundamental tax reform; 5) restore fiscal responsibility and constitutionally limited government in Washington; 6) end runaway government spending; 7) defund, repeal and replace government-run health care; 8) pass an “all-of-the-above” energy policy (referring, in part, to the exploration of domestic energy reserves); 9) stop the pork; and 10) stop the tax hikes.
The problem is that my new found realization also creates a conundrum for me; except for number 7) (defund, repeal and replace government-run health care), I note with alacrity and curiosity that President Obama campaigned and won the presidency by advocating for the other nine points. In fact, since attaining his office, Obama has reduced pork to a mere shadow of its former self, cut taxes for 95% of the citizenry, adapted an energy policy which includes expanded off-shore drilling and abandonment of the cap and trade regulation of climate warming gases, protected our constitution by forcefully speaking out against the recent Supreme Court decision that allows unlimited corporate spending on campaign issues and candidates and responsibly required that the newly passed health care bill pay for itself. As to the latter it must be kept in mind that part D of Medicare was rammed through a Republican Congress by Bush in 2003 providing prescription drugs for all seniors without any plan whatsoever to pay for it. That program and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were all put on the credit card by Bush for future presidents, such as Obama, to have to deal with. Obama went to the drug industry and extracted an eighty billion dollar concession from that industry to the benefit of taxpayers with regard to the Bush unfunded Part D. Obama has fashioned a plan to remove most if not all, troops from Iraq by the end of 2011 which in my opinion, will help reduce the ten million dollars a day cost of that war. I would imagine that the rest of my Tea Party friends will not object to this savings of ten million dollars a day as a consideration in the ‘reduction of runaway government spending’ category.
According to a poll the results of which were reported in the New York Times on April 15, 2010, the vast majority of Tea Parters are white married, males over 48 years of age which also helps to describe me. A difference is that these men are
Republicans whereas I proudly claim my fiercely independent status. In follow-up interviews this poll, Tea Party supporters said they did not want to cut Medicare or Social Security — the biggest domestic programs, suggesting instead a focus on “waste.” Some defended being on Social Security while fighting big government by saying that since they had paid into the system, they deserved the benefits. Others could not explain the contradiction. “That’s a conundrum, isn’t it?” asked Jodine White, 62, of Rocklin, Calif. “I don’t know what to say. Maybe I don’t want smaller government. I guess I want smaller government and my Social Security.” She added, “I didn’t look at it from the perspective of losing things I need. I think I’ve changed my mind.”
So there you have it, my friends. I am a Tea Partier. This country is full of people like me. We all participated in electing Barack Obama to stem the tide of runaway spending, constitutional violations and other misdeeds of the Bush presidency.
Wait. Maybe I am missing something here. Is there something else going on that I don't understand?