Freedom Discussions

There Goes The Tea Party

by Keith Johnson, RotP

What’s going on with the Tea Party?  Remember the good old days when TEA was an acronym for “Taxed Enough Already?”  Today, it’s starting to sound more like “Terminate Every Arab!”

It could be argued that the once noble Tea Party has been thrown to the wolves.  In its place is a political machine that has hijacked the Tea party name and is using it to stage a NeoCon-Republican comeback.

Last week, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) spoke at a press conference in Washington D.C. to announce the formation of a 44-member Tea party caucus in the House of Representatives.  All of the members are mainstream NeoCon Republicans with an allegiance to the state of Israel and an insatiable appetite for war.  As a matter of fact, of the 44 members, almost half of them have recently signed on to HR 1553, which endorses Israeli military action against Iran.  The resolution states that Israel should be allowed,  “to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the use of military force.”

Bachmann is a frightening woman who recently stated—at a Republican Jewish Coalition event—that I am convinced in my heart and in my mind that if the United States fails to stand with Israel, that is the end of the United States . . . [W]e have to show that we are inextricably entwined, that as a nation we have been blessed because of our relationship with Israel, and if we reject Israel, then there is a curse that comes into play.”

Sure, we all got excited when anti-incumbent fever swept the nation and wrangled to unseat many longtime Senators and career Congressmen.  But what did we get in return?  Let’s take a look at some of the big primary winners—who have been dubbed “Tea Party candidates”—and hear what their position is on foreign policy issues like Israel, Afghanistan, Iran and the “so-called” war on terror:

Robert Hurt (R-VA)

‘On September 11th thousands of innocent Americans were attacked by Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist regime known as Al Qaeda. This terrorist regime has only one goal–destroy America and end our free and prosperous way of life.’

‘We need to ensure that fully funding our anti-terrorism efforts at home and abroad is the top priority for our government. As we wage this effort for freedom and security of the American people, we need to stand behind our brave soldiers who are fighting and dying for us. The United States needs to remain vigilant and do everything in our power to monitor, track and defeat these terrorists at home and abroad.’

Mike Lee (R-UT)

“The government currently ruling in Iran presents a threat to the security of both the United States and Israel. I will therefore support efforts to place pressure on the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with an eye toward persuading Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions. Should those efforts prove unsuccessful, military action would be justified.”

“I support direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority based on the fundamental principals that Israel should remain (and be recognized by the Palestinians as) a Jewish state, Israel must have safe and secure borders and the ability to monitor and protect those borders, and any peace treaty must bring a permanent end to any and all claims of the Palestinians.”

Sharron Angle (R-NV)

‘Israel, a democratic nation, is the United States’ strongest ally in the Middle East. Israel’s sovereignty, stability and security are in the best interests of the United States, especially when dealing with radical Islamic terrorism.’

Tom Graves (R-GA)

In reference to H.R. 5501, the “America Stands With Israel Act” that he helped co-sponsor:

‘Our alliance with Israel is of great importance and I strongly support their right to defend their interests. America’s commitment to Israel must be solid, and I am proud to join Rep. King and co-sponsor this important legislation.’

Jon Runyan (R-NJ)

‘The special bond between the United States of America and Israel must never be broken, and believe strongly that the first step to peace in the Middle East is ensuring that Israelis and their Democratic way of life is secure. First and foremost that means that Israel’s neighbors must recognize their right to exist.

The United States must stand with Israel in preventing Iran from achieving nuclear capabilities that can threaten Israel and further de-stabilize the region, and continue cooperative efforts both militarily and economically. As a member of Congress, I will strongly support continued foreign aid to Israel to ensure they have the tools necessary to stand strong in the face of hostilities by their enemies.’

Scott Rigell (R-VA)

From a press release reprimanding Congressman Nye for being one of 54 Democratic representatives who called upon Israel in a signed letter to lift travel restrictions in Gaza:

“Having just returned from a fact-finding visit to Israel, where I met with senior Israel leadership and saw firsthand the rockets that have terrorized the city of Sderot and neighboring cities in the south of Israel, I am stunned by our freshman congressman’s decision to sign this letter.  By signing the letter and aligning himself with the most liberal members of our Congress, including John Conyer, Jim McGovern and Barbara Lee, Congressman Nye seems more concerned about the rights of Hamas than innocent Israeli citizens.  Our freshman congressman fails to fully understand that Hamas is an organization that openly calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and has used Israel’s voluntary withdrawal from Gaza to turn schools into terrorist bases, homes into rocket launch pads, and market places into battlefields.  The travel restrictions on Gaza are reasonable given Israel’s right, indeed its duty, to protect its citizens.  Our freshman congressman has made clear that he has a naïve world view and a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature and scope of the threat posed by Hamas to the citizens of our ally, Israel.”

And let’s not forget the darling of the Neo-Tea Party movement, Sarah Palin, whose positions on Israel and foreign policy are well known to us all.

Jane Fryer of the Daily Mail has been touring the American mid-west on the trail of the tea party movement.  Jane is an ardent left-winger, but nonetheless prudent in her reporting on things I’ve witnessed myself.

During a visit to a small town in Kansas, Jane ran into a burly fellow at a Tea Party rally who spoke to her through a cheek full of tobacco:

‘I love Sarah Palin, I just LOVE her. She’s bright, she’s clever and she thinks like we do, she acts like we do and she lives like we do.  She listens to the people, and she has a proven track record. She talks the talk and walks the walk and she’d make a wonderful president.’

And he’s not the only fan.  The big guy’s neighbor couldn’t wait to throw his two cents in:

‘What’s more, she’s got good old common horse sense, as we call it round here. She tells it like it is. And she can shoot and skin a moose! Not many world leaders can do that.’

O.K., I admit, that was only two out of the 26 attendees.  You’re probably thinking there were at least a few who had a less than favorable opinion about the good ship Mrs. Palin, right?

Let’s hear from 63-year-old Dee Sadler, the organizer of this humble Tea Party event:

‘I just hope she runs for president. She’s the only person who can unite the Tea Party movement and the Republican Party. Sarah Palin is America’s last hope!’

To which the entire groupof 26 chimed in with a chorus of:


‘Sarah Palin for President.’ Think about that.

If you took this woman’s brain and transplanted it into the body of a middle aged homeless man, you’d have a disheveled vagrant standing on the corner—somewhere in Anchorage, Alaska—hoisting a cardboard sign over his head that reads: ‘Jesus is coming…and he’s pissed!’

I guess a Sarah Palin-style theocray is precisely what some people want.  It certainly is in this sleepy little Kansas town.

But I know—you’re going to tell me that this is only one small group of people who don’t really represent the majority of Tea Party activists, right?  Maybe it is—but I’m not finding evidence of real anti-war sentiment among the ranks of the Tea Party members I’ve run into!  Could it be that the only reason the Tea Party has any press at all is because the Tea Party movement is now predominantly comprised of war loving, Arab hating NeoCons who reminisce about the good old Bush-Cheney days?

For those infiltrators who are now emerging as Tea Party leaders, it’s no longer about taxes.  It’s about where those taxes go.  Government run health care, Wall Street bailouts and cap-and-trade schemes are just things that are competing for that precious war dollar.  Is this the same Tea Party that you and I enthusiastically put our endorsement behind?

The Tea Party began as a suggestion by CNBC’s Rick Santelli, who called for a “Chicago Tea Party” to revolt against the Obama Administration’s mortgage bailout plan. That suggestion became a reality when Ron Paul supporters adopted the Tea Party moniker to advance the ideals of their great statesman.

If you want to know what the Tea Party was all about, just follow the career of Ron Paul.  Ron Paul is about limited government, abolishing the Fed and bringing an end to these never-ending—needless wars.

But that’s not what it has become.

Today, the Tea Party has become a branch of the GOP.  And whose fault is that?  Mine…yours, and everyone else who didn’t step up to the plate and take an aggressive stand against the warmongering infiltrators who came to silence our message of peace.

What did we expect would happen when we let Israel’s favorite shiksa, Sarah Palin, feel welcome at our Tea Party functions?  We should have been there from day one calling her out and sending her home!  We should have stepped in front of news cameras and made it nice and sparkling clear that these hijackers were only here to poison the well and stake a claim on a movement they had no part in creating.

Now I fear that it just may be too late to get it back.  The problem now is that public perception of what the Tea Party is about is relegated to this faction of NeoCons, who are the only ones whose voices are being heard.

Do we really want to spend our time defending ourselves against the missteps of others or trying to explain that our Tea Party is not the same Tea Party that everyone is used to hearing about?  That’s exactly what they want us to do.

Maybe it’s about time we just started identifying ourselves as Americans.  What’s wrong with that?

I submit that we should distance ourselves from parties and affiliations.  We’re not part of a movement, a rebellion or a revolution.  Our war was won over 200 years ago and we emerged victorious.

The GOP, the Democrats and many of those who now identify themselves as Tea Party activists are the real rebels and revolutionaries.  They have rebelled against the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence and everything else America stands for.

I’m an American, plain and simple—and from now on, that’s the only thing I’m going to identify myself as.