“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!” – Samuel Adams

Shooting the Messengers

Ken Connor, Chairman, Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC

Ken Connor, Chairman, Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC

In the wake of Congress’s 11th hour vote to raise the debt limit through the fall of 2012, the Tea Party is once again the center of attention for Beltway insiders and media pundits.  Still reeling from the losses suffered in the 2010 midterms – and dismayed by the outcome of the debt-ceiling debate – Liberals are outraged that a minority movement within the Republican Party was able to wield such dramatic influence.  So are some of the special interests that stand to lose if Washington mends its profligate spending ways.

Of course the “Tea Baggers”, as they are disdainfully called by the effete snobs that inhabit the Beltway, contributed nothing to the spending patterns that got us in this fix, but that’s irrelevant.  They had the audacity to point out that the emperor had no clothes.

How could it happen?  How could such a small contingent of no-name, know-nothing nobodies derail the well-oiled machine that is the Washington, D.C. establishment?  And what’s in it for them?  Why would they bring the government to its financial knees?  Why would they jeopardize our credit-worthiness and compromise our ability to meet our financial obligations?

Tea Party protest sign during the Taxpayer March on Washington. (Photo credit DB King)

The answer, while simple, is something utterly foreign to the professional politicians who represent us on Capitol Hill.  The answer is principle.

The Tea Party-backed members of Congress got themselves elected in much the same way that most Republicans do:  They pledged to cut spending and reduce the size of government.  What set these candidates apart, however, was how they acted once they arrived in Washington.  Instead of immediately abandoning their campaign promises in favor of feathering their political nests, these men and women took seriously their mandate from the folks back home.  They stuck to their guns and exerted every ounce of political influence they could muster for the cause of halting America’s runaway debt train.

For their efforts, they’ve been panned as a “destructive posse of misguided patriots” and compared to the “radicals” and “nihilists” of the anti-establishment, anti-war Vietnam Era.  This vitriolic response (seen on both sides of the aisle) reveals how warped politics has become in our nation’s capital, a place where compromise is king and special interests drive the agenda.  If you stand on principle and actually live by your campaign promises, you are deemed a “radical.”  If you walk the talk, you are viewed as a two headed monster, a bullheaded ignoramus “drunk on the bromides of Small Government, Big Business, and the virtues of a balanced budget.”  That the “brinkmanship” cited by S&P as a reason for downgrading America’s credit rating is being interpreted as a reference to Tea Party “extremism” (and not a condemnation of the entrenched fiscal irresponsibility that created the debt-ceiling crisis in the first place) is evidence of how malignant this mindset has become.

So much for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.  ?One can only imagine how different America would be if politicians in Washington rediscovered the virtues of integrity, honesty, forthrightness, and reclaimed a sense of stewardship in their handling of the people’s business.  There would probably be a lot more productivity and a lot less drama if our representatives would simply say what they mean and mean what they say.  As it stands now, the only sentiments engendered by our government’s duplicity and hypocritical conduct are cynicism and disgust.  ??Enough with the double speak of the Washington Establishment!  Americans want representatives who will stand on principle and live up to their promises.  And they want representatives who will live within the taxpayers’ means.

If this means the Tea Partiers are “radicals”, then may their tribe increase.

Attorney Ken Connor is the Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC, and the former President of the Family Research Council. He served as counsel to Governor Jeb Bush in Bush v. Schiavo during the Terri Schiavo case, and is co-author of “Sinful Silence: When Christians Neglect Their Civic Duty.


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2 Responses to “Shooting the Messengers”

  1. I’d say the voters are now wise to the lock-step Leftists in the Democrat Party, since the Tea Party helped turn a historic election last November and changed the very terms of the debate in the recent debt negotiations, even if we were unable to force any real kind of meaningful “deal” out of the process.

    It seems the depth of your intellect and understanding of this issue is confined to regurgitating pap and propaganda you’ve received from Daily Kos, MoveOn.org, and the Leftists in the “mainstream” media. How do I know this so easily? Your comments are utter propagandistic nonsense.

    Tea Party patriots loathe socialism and are fighting socialism–yet you call us “Nazis.” The Nazi Party was the “National Socialist” Party. You’re a real smart one.

    Terrorists? The Tea Party patriots are also at the forefront of standing for our nation’s strength in the face of our enemies, who at this time are primarily terrorists. Again, you are stupid enough to attempt labeling the Tea Party as the very things it opposes.

    Elderly white rich racists who unflinchingly back rich corporations? Leftists like yourself have been saying that about the great men who founded this great nation for years, so anything that identifies us with the noble people who founded the nation you now leech off like a pathetic parasite…I guess we can live with that.

    It’s your kind of anti-American thinking that has nearly ruined and bankrupted this great country. But I have news for you: real Americans are not about to stand by and allow you to destroy the greatest nation God ever established on this planet. We’re just getting warmed up, and come 2012, you’ll see the next big step in restoring fiscal (and other types of) sanity to this nation, as well as putting it back on the path of freedom.

    Deal with it.