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Not a tempest in a teapot

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By John Barnhart

    The TEA Party movement is certainly not a tempest in a teapot. It’s a tempest, alright, but it certainly won’t fit in a teapot. Right now, it looks more like a hurricane and it’s frightening the party hacks in both major parties.

    Back when it first started brewing early last year, “Democratic” Party leadership tried to dismiss it as not being a real grassroots movement. They called it “astroturf.” They were wrong. It is indeed a grassroots movement that has mobilized lots of independents who have not been politically active before.
    “Democratic” Party leaders also tried to belittle it by labeling the TEA Party with a name that turns out to be a vulgar sexual reference. Rick Howell, in his Liberal Agenda, continues to echo them by calling TEA Party folks “tea baggers.” Perhaps he doesn’t know what it means. I didn’t at first until, after reading news stories which mentioned that the name means something nasty, I googled it. It’s really disgusting.
    I can give Mr. Howell the benefit of the doubt, but I can’t do the same for his party’s leaders. I’m sure that they knew exactly what it meant, and they should be ashamed of themselves for resorting to this sort of vulgar name calling.
    Some black liberals, Al Sharpton and others, have been doing another type of name calling. Supporters of President Barack Obama have in the past tried to squelch criticism of the liberal agenda he’s pushing by accusing his critics of racism. They have been using the same tactic on TEA Party people this year by claiming that these folks are racists, although none of them have offered any evidence to back this claim.
    It all demonstrates that “Democrats” and liberals in general are terrified of the TEA Party movement. It’s conservative and it threatens to be a major constituent of a Republican tidal wave that could sweep lots of “Democrats” out of Congress in November.
    It’s not just the “Democrats” who are living in fear right now. The Republican party elites are afraid of the TEA Party too. That’s because it is a genuine grassroots movement and they can’t control it.
    After Christine O’Donnell’s victory in a Delaware Republican primary, beating a Republican Party establishment candidate, the party establishment was apoplectic. Karl Rove, Mr. Howell’s favorite bête noir in past Liberal Agenda columns, immediately blasted her. It didn’t take long, however, for an angry backlash to force him to raise a white flag. The party establishment now appears to be opening the money spigot to help finance her campaign.
    Granted, O’Donnell has made some odd statements in years past and these will probably haunt her. In most other cases, TEA Party backed candidates are doing well, at least running neck-and-neck against established “Democratic” incumbents.
    The party elites of both major political parties need to take fair warning from the TEA Party. The TEA Party exists because people are fed up with the political status quo and they aren’t going to take it anymore. The “Democrats” need to understand that this is a center-right country and we aren’t buying the leftist snake oil their party is peddling.  Republicans need to understand that we want elected officials who are willing to stand on principle. Both need to understand that we are sick to death of politicians that claim to be one thing when they are running for election, then turn out to be something totally different when they get elected.
    It’s time for change that we can actually believe in and maybe this storm will leave an improved political climate in its wake.