“…and help these people who are dependent on the government. I think it’s wrong to be dependent, and you’re right it shouldn’t happen. We should work for the day when these individuals can take care of themselves once again, be self-reliant.” – Rep. Ron Paul
After Paul’s “self-reliant” rant, Lawrence O’Donnell pounced: “…That’s just code language to abolish Medicare. You want to get rid if Medicare.” That’s the bottom line, even if Rep. Paul won’t be honest about it.
People supporting Tea Party candidates just don’t understand the impact of what these candidates want to do, or already have done in the case of Ken Buck, even if none of them have calculated what it means themselves. Caterwauling about “smaller government” is convenient, but specifics matter. A lot.
See Sean Wilentz in the New Yorker, who makes the same case I’ve been making for well over a year:
[...] In 1906, early in the Progressive era, the humorist Finley Peter Dunne’s fictional barroom sage, Mr. Dooley, put the social and political tumult of the day into perspective. “Th’ noise ye hear is not th’ first gun iv a revolution,” Dooley remarked. “It’s on’y th’ people iv th’ United States batin’ a carpet.” A century from now, or even a year from now, Americans may say the same about the Tea Party. For the moment, though, it appears that the extreme right wing is on the verge of securing a degree of power over Congress and the Republican Party that is unprecedented in modern American history. For defenders of national cohesion and tempered adversity in our politics, it is an alarming state of affairs.
It’s the Republican Party’s “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” mentality on steroids. So it’s no wonder wingnut radio candidates like Ron Paul and Ken Buck are running into walls when they have to explain the Tea Party’s foundational tenets, especially when real life events are involved.
Ken “vote for me because I don’t wear high heels” Buck’s Tea Party mantra has now exploded in Colorado, because it goes so far as to blame a rape victim for her attack. It’s causing him further troubles, with women’s groups already having issues with Buck who’s proven he’s a misogynist pig. Part of a transcript is below, which is going public in a very big way:
(139) KB: Because when you look at what happened earlier in the night, all the circumstances, based on his statements and some of your statements, indicate that you invited him to come to your apartment… that you told him how to get in …. It would appear to me and it appears to others that you invited him over to
have sex with him. Whether that you, at that time, were conscious enough to say yes or no… ?
(147) V: So you’re telling me that previous sexual relations is enough to provide consent, and you’re telling me that because of me calling him and because of previous sexual relations and because I invited him up and told him how to get in, that invited him up for sex…
(153) KB: I’m telling you that’s what the circumstances suggest, to people, including myself, who have looked at it. Although, you never said the word yes, but the appearance is of consent.
V: Even though, he also stated that I told him no.
“Small government” sounds great in theory, especially considering the very real financial crisis we’re facing, which no Democrat disputes. But when Gov. Chris Christi starts scuttling infrastructure projects that create jobs because he doesn’t understand the purpose of basic economic recovery programs, or Tea Party candidates like Ron Paul or his son Rand start opining about Medicare recipients being “self-reliant,” or deductibles being raised, people should wake up and take a look at the consequences of installing Tea Party candidates who don’t know what they’re doing.
The Tea Party plan for America is just now getting drawn out and it’s not going to be good for anyone.
It’s a further illustration of why Obama and Democrats getting sidetracked with the foreign money “stealing” elections meme was so ludicrous.
Lawrence O’Donnell did more to advance the Democratic ball last night, as did Rachel Maddow with Ron Paul, than Tim Kaine, Barack Obama and the DNC have combined. The argument against the Tea Party platform is not that hard to make at a time of maximum populism interest. It’s just many of the current Dems can’t sell it. It’s also the reason Bill Clinton and Joe Biden are more effective this midterm than anyone else, especially Pres. Obama.
This post has been updated.