Not So Non-Partisan Tea Parties In NR & Hudson

Looks like Campaign 2010 officially kicked off today in New Richmond, North Hudson and across the country as the "grassroots" Tea Parties kicked off. I noticed that the only names getting the blame on the "non-partisan" signs where those of Democrats. I also noticed the same signs and sign holders appeared in both NR and North Hudson. I also noticed more than a few Bush stickers on bumpers of those taking time out to protest against taxes.

I'm all for lower taxes, but I'm wondering where these people were between 2000 and 2008? I noticed that you really didn't start hearing from these people till the Democrats took over the House in November of 2006.

Maybe if these people paid more attention to the facts, they'd finally peel off those Bush bumper stickers and quit being sucker by the Republicans. Of course, will be seeing Obama stickers on cars for the next 10 years -- regardless of the outcome of the 2012 election.

Maybe national politics has been dumbed down to where people are just pulling for the Red or Blue team. The electorate has morphed into two packs of junkyard dogs. They bark and they bite but they don't know why. They just know they like Blue and hate Red and visa versa.

I only made the last half hour of the North Hudson Tea Party, but I didn't learn much more than people where pissed off about their taxes. Would somebody tell me what level of taxes people think is fair and equitable? Do these people think that large business contribute hundreds of millions of dollars via employee surrogate to politician to keep the little guys taxes down? Don't these people realise that these contributions are aimed at mucking up the "free market" so certain competitiors gain advantage over their direct competitors or indirect competitors?

Maybe they could study the graphs below and understand why their children and grandchildren will be paying of the interest and principle of the national debt. Actually, looks like President Clinton was the last President to pay more than just interest on the debt.


Roadkill said...


Looks like I must have missed you at the Hudson event. I too got there about 5:30, just as the speakers were getting started. I would have liked to have been at the NR rally but my job kept me in the twin cities until just before 5:00.

I missed those signs and those bumper stickers that you referred to. I think I would have noticed the signs, which I didn’t, but at the same time I’ll admit that I wasn’t checking cars for bumper stickers either. So I’ll take your word for it.

The speakers I heard seemed to be going out of their way to emphasize that this was not a partisan event. Indeed, the theme seemed to be us v. them, that is, big government v. the little people. One speaker stressed that his view was “as government grows, liberty contracts.” I think that got the biggest applause of the day.

I tend to agree with your point that party politics in this country is getting very vicious, like packs of dogs if you will. But I did not see that in Hudson yesterday. Rather, it was more like a “third way” movement, spewing disgust with both of the major parties.

One point I need to make concerning partisan politics. The idea that conservatives were rock solid behind Bush is nonsense. The fact is, Bush’s popularity plummeted much further than would have been expected from inter-party disputes precisely because he promoted non-conservative policies. While he had the tax pieces right, his lack of discipline on the spending side sent conservatives into apoplexy. Huge, government growth-oriented budgets, the “no-child-left-behind” program, a massive expansion of medicare via his prescription drug program, and his ill-advised bailout plans for failing banks and businesses all discouraged conservative voters an led, predictably, to GOP defeats in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

For Conservatives, Bush was a mixed blessing, inspiring one day and disappointing the next 6, and a leader who, in the final analysis, was unable to rally his base to support his profligate and ill-advised social spending policies. It is ironic that his efforts to act as a “compassionate conservative” earned him nothing but the scorn of both sides; he could not win for losing. The dogs from both packs just tore him to pieces.

So now we see the little people, the regular folks, the hard-working salt-of-the-earth types rebelling against the big government promoted by Bush and now, in a magnitude much, much bigger, by Obama. These “little people,” the ones who work hard and pay their taxes and don’t necessarily find successful people to be the enemy, are rebelling against the political elites who don’t pay their own taxes but want to tell us how to live and what to think and how much we owe the government. It is these out-of-touch political elites – who reside on both sides of the aisle in Congress – that are the focus of the Tea Party Rallies. The Tea Partiers want change, but not the one advocated in the run up to the last election. They want a different kind of change, not just more and more big government but rather a fiscally responsible government that acts within its constitutionally enumerated powers and understands its constitutional limitations.

I must say that it is you, Sunny, that seems to be the unreconstituted partisan here. It is a bias of yours that blinds you to what was going on yesterday, not only in North Hudson, but in hundreds of towns and cities all across America.

I recommend that you check out Instapundit.com for some great photo’s of the national scope and popular magnitude of the Tea Party phenomenon that took place yesterday.

Sunny B. said...

I suspect my partisan hackles went up when I saw the signs with the names Pelosi and Obama on them. My point is, if you are going to name names, let us get them all the guilty parties up.

The Democrats did not elect Obama. He won the votes of the middle people or independents. I think many of those independents got fear sucked in 2004 by the Bush and Chaney platform. They were fooled once and took it personally. In 2008, they went for change in a big way.

Being familiar with the Republican forces and faces in Hudson, most of those in attendance are Republicans who will say their party moved away from them. They are the Rush Limbaugh, Shaun Hannity and Glenn Beck Republicans. They are the Republicans who need to start their own third party. They are the fundamentalist of the Republican Party that believe the literal interpretation of the Constitution. Within that group, there is a wide variety of interpretations of the Constitution. Some are against immigration. Some think Black people should go back to Africa. Some people think taxes were started by the Progressives (and do not realize that the Progressives were the left wing of the Republican Party). Some of them are mindless idiots who have not read a book since they were last forced to 40 years ago in high school. Some of them are extremely intelligent people who know what their conservative beliefs are and stick to those beliefs. You got the same thing going on the Democratic Party side. A large percentage of the Right and Left faithful don't exactly know how to articulate what it is that they want but they think what they want is housed in the comfort zone of the political perspective they have wrapped themselves in.

I have read your comments on the OnTheBorderLine blog. You fit into their discussion quite snugly. However, there is little or no discussion taking place on that blog. They cannot tolerate anyone who dare think differently from them. As I said, they are like fundamental religious fanatics. If you think as they do, you are accepted into their fraternity. Think different and you are chased out of the frat house.

A couple of those OTBL bloggers where among the speakers at the North Hudson Tea Party. They talk nice and sweet in public, but if they catch you in their ideological back alley, they will bully you with their myopic fundamentalism, etc. Believe me, fundamentalist bullies have a short half-life of effectiveness.

The organizer of the NHudson event was Ed Thompson's campaign coordinator for his 2002 governor run. I think he isn't afraid to advocate the thought of a third party approach. However, when it comes time to pull the voting lever, many of those who talk third party won't do it because they are afraid to vote for a loser. I don't understand that approach. I prefer to vote for the person that I think would best represent my feelings on the matter...even if they only get two votes.

I'd be interested in finding out what these Tea Party people think is a just and equitable level of taxation. I keep hearing about how taxes are skyrocketing, but I don't notice it from year to year. I do notice that my effective take-home pay keeps declining as the cost of health care rises and the wealth is distributed upward.

That's another point I'd like explained to me. Most of those people struck me as being in income brackets at or below me. Yet, one of the Tea Party talking points concerns stopping the redistribution of income. It rings hollow to me to hear Limbaugh and Hannity urging their followers to get out and fight against that old communism chestnut called "wealth distribution." What do they think Reaganomics was? What do they think Bushonomics was? What do they think global economics is going?

There are a lot of complicated variables in our national equation and most people want to go into political battle armed with a few bullet points that were uttered by someone the see as a knowledgeable authority. Most people I encounter on a daily basis have no clue about the battle whines of the Right and Left. They got lives to live, kids to deal with, spouses to bitch at, too little sleep and not enough dreams coming true. Like most things, there are good points and bad points and rarely are things as fundamentally black or white as the political opinionators lead on.

They'd rather watch American Idol that read the American Standard or the Nation (which they've never even heard of). They wouldn’t mind stopping for a couple after work like the old days, but there are groceries to buy and soccer and baseball practices on Saturday morning and Saturday night won’t work because Heather is having a sleepover and there’s church on Sunday morning and the in-laws are coming for Tommy’s birthday party on Sunday afternoon. They've never read the Wall Street Journal and are suspicious of those that might read it.

Those are the 80 percent of Americans living between the 10 percent tails screaming on the right and left. That said, I think it’s time to get a beer and go play my banjo.

Roadkill said...


Wow; that was quite a rant. But I think you are dragging baggage into this discussion that has nothing to do with Tea Parties.

Fist of all, I know who organized the Tea Party, and it wasn’t Ed Thompson’s 2002 campaign manger. Rather, it was Stan and Mary Wekkin, who published a press release in the Hudson Observer last week. They are hard working salt-of-the-earth types who, as I understand it, are fearful of the great debt being piled up by the current Congress and Administration. They also told me that they were equally concerned about the Bush Deficits. It seems that while they do not fall into the top income brackets, they are smart enough to know that sooner or later the bill for all this extravagant and unnecessary Federal spending is going to come due, and that taxing only the rich is not going to be enough to pay for it all. They think that we are all going to have to pay, and they do not like the prospect.

Moving on, the idea that Reagan promoted wealth re-distribution is crazy. He wanted to reduce the size and impact of government in our lives. His tax cuts moved in that direction, but due to Congressional opposition he was unable to significantly reduce the size of the overall government. The deficits he ran up, which at the time were large, were due mostly to increases in defense spending, but a strong argument can be made that running the Soviet Union out of business and winning the Cold War were worth the costs.
Can you ever forgive him for putting the “Workers Paradise” on the ash heap of history?

Bush economics are another story. Both Bushes were “Rockefeller Republicans” who promoted government spending and largesse. The reason Bush I was a “one-termer” was due primarily to his spending and taxation policies. Bush II would also probably have had only one term but for the public’s agreement with his views on the war on terror and the weakness of the Democrat candidate in 2004.

I disagree with your opinion that the attendees at the Tea Party in Hudson are just right-wing radio aficionado’s. While I suspect that many of them may listen to those shows, most are independent types who are genuinely worried about national debt and potential tax increases. They are not Republicans so much as they are Conservatives, who desire limited, decentralized government. Not Democrats, not Republicans, but Conservatives. Hate to say it, but they are, in a word, Jeffersonians.

So too, your disparagement of those who believe in the “literal interpretation of the Constitution” is very strange, and I think you need to elaborate on that idea. If the words of the Constitution are not the law, what is? A judge’s interpretation of those words? That, my friend, is a recipe for anarchy, for it the words of the Constitution mean only what we want them to, then the personal preferences of sitting Judges becomes the law. That is, in effect, a government of men, not of laws. Didn’t we have a bit of a dust-up with the British over just this issue?

I think you’re an interesting guy, Sonny, but sometimes I think you best stick to your beer and your banjo.

Roadkill said...


Here is some polling data on those Tea Parties that you find so objectionable:

“According to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, fifty-one percent (51%) of Americans have a favorable view of the “tea parties” held nationwide last week, including 32% who say their view of the events is Very favorable. Thirty-three percent (33%) hold an unfavorable opinion of the tea parties. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure.

“While half the nation has a favorable opinion of last Wednesday’s events, the nation’s Political Class has a much dimmer view—just 13% of the political elite offered even a somewhat favorable assessment while 81% said the opposite. Among the Political Class, not a single survey respondent said they had a Very Favorable opinion of the events while 60% shared a Very Unfavorable assessment.

“One-in-four adults (25%) say they personally know someone who attended a tea party protest. That figure includes just one percent (1%) of those in the Political Class.”

Of note is that Rasmussen describes respondents as “Americans” and not “Likely Voters.” I suspect that “Likely Voter” percentages would be even more pro-Tea Party.

This all begs the question: What’s with the political class (which includes, presumably, an equal measure of both Republicans and Democrats)? Are they really so out-or-touch and out-of-sych with their constituents? I suspect that we will find out in the fall of 2010.

Sunny B. said...


The Tea Partiers have little or no control over their local Republican or Democratic Parties. My guess is few even participate in their local Dem or GOP parties. The population of St. Croix County is approximately 65,000. A well attended monthly Democratic Party meeting might have 50 people and that would be in the months leading up to a Presidential election. The local Republicans don't have open meetings or meetings with their members. They have events like the Lincoln Day dinner, etc. They might get 75-100 at these events. But they are infrequent and fund raisers.

One percent of 65,000 is 650 and I know there were not that many GOP or Dem volunteers working on elections in St. Croix County last fall. In fact, a large portion of Dem volunteers come from across the river where the outcome is assumed to be Democratic.

If the were 65 menm women and children at the North Hudson Tea Party, I'd be surprised. Most of those where there because they are pissed off about their taxes...and they are always pissed off about their taxes. The GOP Party elite probably ignored the Tea Parties as much as Obama...although he is going to look for a $1 billion in budget saving to passify the unwashed masses.

We will see what happens in 2010. If the economy bounces back, you will still see the GOP gain ground. All the screaming about taxes gets peoples attention. Until the last couple of Bush years, there was just crickets chirping about Bush's spending. Besides, 99 percent to the Tea Partiers voted for Bush the first time and 95 percent voted for him the second time. Sure their made as hell...and thankfully they have FOX News to back them. Otherwise there would be 15 seconds of APril 15th Tax Day reporting and on to the American Idol contestants.

Amother problem will be that people won't actually see the horror story on their taxes next year. Most will see less and most will have less to pay because of layoffs and reduced, paid work days. I know I'll be in that category. Once again, you've got millionaires like Limbaugh, Hannity, Gingrich and Dick Amery pushing these Tea Parties. These are their constituents. They would love for Gingrich to run, but I doubt his Clinton-like infidelities would play well with the family values crowd...or the independents who can smell a two-faced turd encased in a Brooks Brothers suit.

A Pew poll I saw on Sunday said 48 percent of the people think they pay too much in taxes and 49 say they pay about the right amount and 3 percent said they don't pay enough (I met those 3 percenters at a Dem meeting). I don't trust this poll, because most people I know bitch about their taxes.

Roadkill said...


I'm with you on 95% of what you just wrote.

We really need to get together for that beer in downtown NR.

R / RK

Sunny B. said...


Drop me an e-mail at ohwilber@yahoo.com and we can figure out a time to get together for a beer.