The American Tea Party

…has a Facebook page.

You know, maybe the American Tea Party is a third party that could actually get enough adherents to work…

[Update a few minutes later]

Of course, that was just an off-the-cuff comment, and it deserves a lot more thought. “Clarendon” has provided some:

I’m not objecting to the protests. Far from it in fact. I’ll be at the protest in Washington, D.C. But I am not expecting anything other than street theater, or the political equivalent of clearing our throat rather than the yelling our politicians deserve to hear. I won’t compare it to the Boston Tea Party, because there is no comparison. To claim otherwise is to both cheapen the actual protest by 200 Bostonians and their thousands of supporters, and to inflate the magnitude of our current actions.

I wonder, what are we expecting to achieve from these protests? Are we content to merely register our disapproval, or are we seeking to change what Congress and our president have done? If it is the former, I’m sure the politicians will note our objection, and wait for us to quiet down. If it is the latter, I fear our current protests are too scatter-shot to do any real good.

What is the target of our protest? Are we protesting the President and Congress for an act already passed, or are we petitioning our state and local governments to refuse to accept the stimulus money?

What do we do if these protests do not result in the change in policies we are asking for? What happens next?

Make no mistake, once a movement like this has begun, it will, sooner or later, have to answer these difficult questions or risk failure. Now is the seed-time of liberty, and the steps we take and the words we use will either be recalled triumphantly by our grandchildren, or seen as a sad charade conducted by children who could not muster the strength and conviction of their ancestors.

It’s a good question. But a strongly related one (though not one that the original tea partiers had thought through themselves) is “what does this movement stand for? What are its principles?”

It’s very easy to say that we’re opposed to the bailout(s), just as “we’re opposed to tyranny and taxation without representation, and a tax imposed on our favorite hot beverage with no recourse.” But to what else are we opposed? What are we for? Those are the issues on which third parties have foundered over the decades, even ignoring the institutional difficulties of starting one. It’s very easy to unite against something, because the enemy of my enemy is always my friend, but the devil lies in the details of determining what one stands for.

I’d like to think that this is a small-government movement, but I fear that people who are opposed to the bailout(s) aren’t really opposed to big government — they just don’t like what the big government has been doing lately.

[Late Pacific update]

Here’s more from PJ Media.

[Sunday morning update]

Has the revolt of the Kulaks begun?

[Another update later morning]

OK, I didn’t watch Schoolhouse Rock, but I think I get it anyway.

[Early afternoon update]

Per one of the commenters, yes, the Perot mania is exactly what I was thinking when I expressed the concerns above. That was a Seinfeld campaign — a campaign about nothing.

57 thoughts on “The American Tea Party”

  1. > In the most simple interaction between two people, who’s more likely to get what both people want? Two that love one another and share a common understanding of humanity, or a group where one or both is negative, filled with hate, piss and vinegar?

    > The answer is those who will cooperate,

    While that may be the answer to the question posed, the question posed doesn’t have much relevance in a world where Dunbar’s number is a factor.

    As ESR put it, love doesn’t scale. Every society beyond the isolated tribe has to handle that fact.

  2. The only, way to stop earmarks and wasteful spending is to limit Congressional terms to 2 terms. Got to get a movement started so it can be put on the next election ballot. Until we get rid of these “locked in” Senators and House of Rep” they will continue doing this to guarantee that their constituents vote for them.

    Quote: “When a Government robs Peter to pay Paul, it can always count on Paul’s support”….George Bernard Shaw

  3. Here is an idea which might slow down the career politicians. Limit any term they might serve in one position to two terms, and if they wish to run for another office they must wait one term before running for that new office. They must also finish whatever term they ran for, no running for President from a Senator’s seat (I mean really, how is that effective for the people who saw fit to vote them in as a Senator anyhow?)

    For example, you have a one or two term Senator who wishes to run for President. He must finish his term, wait a term as a civilian, and not holding any other political office. Once he has waited that term, he may run for political office again.

    By waiting that year, it would hopefully nullify whatever political favoritism and power they might garner during their initial term(s). It would also require that a potential Presidential candidate be very selective on what years they choose to serve in order to even be eligible for a Presidential bid. It would also prevent career congressmen from leeching at the coffers longer than necessary. We as citizens also need an easier way to fire politicians we feel have broken the public trust.

    I’m tired of career politicians or politicians feeding at the public trough, doing as they please, and feeling as though they do not have to answer for us. When we have bills being voted on that a majority of the public would have them vote against it, it is simply a breach of the public trust and a disenfranchisement. The body politic must be constantly refreshed and reminded of who is exactly holding the leash, and who is on the tethered end.

    I myself am on the verge of demanding that we as citizens remind them of who is in charge through civil disobedience. Which is almost incorrect in usage, when you consider that they work for us, and how can we be “disobedient” when they work for us. How can we be disobedient, when they are refusing to follow our directives?

  4. I believe that something has to be done by those of us who want our country to be run as the founders intended. My husband and I have been watching the state sovereignty resolutions being introduced in 27 states last time we counted (which DO NOT promote secession, by the way).

    I have my tea bag ready to go on April 1st. However, I am wondering whether this move is very worthwhile since President Obama has no worries about being elected for four years. Shouldn’t the tea bags be going to state representatives whose more immediate future depends on the popular vote?

  5. While surfing I picked up this thread from Google. I’m an advocate for a new 3rd party with a different political attitude. Called Republic Sentry. Noticed the number of posts relating to a 3rd party. I missed the TEA Parties held in my area but will definitely show at any follow on’s.
    Comments about the life of a Democracy were daid on. The minority winds up in control of the majority and anarchy follows. IMO that is pretty much the situation today. Corporations/conglomerates have a stranglehold on government. So, IMO all the protesting and letter writing in the world won’t result in any major reforms. Ere go, Republic Sentry. I just put an article on the site ‘A TEA Party or a Third Party’, a couple of days ago. I hope you can find time to visit the site,, and leave an email or post a comment.

    Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve!

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