The Invisible EnemyAugust 14, 2011
What do you do when you are trying to destroy someone through the best means at your disposal – the means that has always worked for you in the past – but somehow, this time, you can’t even point to the enemy and say, “Get that guy!”
This is the difficulty President Obama and his backers are having today. They can’t go after a particular Republican candidate much yet, because in two months (or 24 hours, like Pawlenty) that person could be gone…and all that time would be wasted. But he feels like he is backed against the wall by the events of the last few months and he feels the need to go after somebody, so…let’s go after “The Tea Party.”
I use the quotes because as you probably know, there is for all intents and purposes, no “Tea Party.” It’s certainly not a political party in the sense that the Democrat or Republican Parties are, or even the Socialist or Libertarian Parties are. It’s more of an “idea,” or a “philosophy,” than a platform or ideology.
If you take the Tea Party as standing for Taxed Enough Already, then it is a single-agenda group. It has no lobbyists, no paid spokesmen, no secret decoder rings or handshakes. It’s just people who believe the same way. They don’t want higher taxes. The name was catchy because of the historical connection, that’s all. It gives a sort of a rebellious air to the whole idea, but that’s what the lamestream media has picked up on the most.
(Actually, I think they dug out all their old stuff from the Carter years that said “Moral Majority” on it, scanned it in, and did a search and replace. It all sounds the same.)
I think it’s very hard to generalize about those who believe in lower taxes. I think they include people from so many different groups – the groups the liberals like to sort us into – that it causes their Liberal Sorting Hat to kind of explode. A white middle-aged Wall Street investment guy could be included, and so could a young female Hispanic store owner in San Diego. Even (Heaven forbid) African-Americans could think that our taxes are too high.
Even that 50 percent of the people who don’t pay much income tax might feel that way, if they stop and think about how much of the cost of goods and services they purchase every day is increased because of some kind of taxes. I’m not just talking about Federal income tax, I’m talking about fees to government agencies that are more punitive than they are designed to help make the users of a service pay for it. (I’m for the users of a service paying for the service. I don’t think government is usually the most efficient way to provide most services, but if you use them, you should pay for the service, not the general public.
So back to attacking the Tea Party. What I’ve heard on the news is that the Tea Party is attacked as if it is a combination of the Nazi Party, the KKK, and the Orcs of Mordor all in one. (There’s an image for ya!) But there’s no single face! There is no spokesman. The closest they have is Michele Bachmann, and even with trying to minimize her by putting a ridiculous picture of her on the cover of Newsweek, she came up stronger by winning the straw poll in Iowa.
The other problem they have is that none of the Republican candidates have big problems they can attack. Romney is a Mormon…really, are we going to go there? That would hurt them more than it would hurt him. They can’t complain about lack of experience because Obama was the poster child for lack of experience. They can’t complain about not having a war hero because they didn’t like the last one we did have. So all they have left is this vague “well, they’re all being controlled by the Tea Party” nonsense. Just who in the Tea Party is sending them their orders? Who is the equivalent of George Soros? (Oops, did I let the cat out of the bag, there?)
Maybe some of the Republican candidates aren’t the best. I think any of them would be better than Obama. I think several of them have the potential to be great Presidents. But letting liberals punch at an invisible enemy has one benefit – the candidates can focus more on crafting their messages, and less on responding to the crazies.