A Light Bulb Moment for the Tea Party?

While 100,000 people gathered in Madison, WI yesterday to demonstrate for their right to collective bargaining, 2,000 Tea Party supporters gathered in Phoenix for their first “national policy conference.” Mark Meckler, the Grass Valley attorney who cofounded Tea Party Patriots, a coalition of 3,300 groups says they are for fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets. I guess some of those groups couldn’t make it. But it made me wonder if by “fiscal responsibility” they meant giving tax breaks to big business, like Governor Walker did in Wisconsin thus creating a budget deficit for his state that he planned to fill by taking away workers rights to bargain for fair pay. I guess that encompasses “limited government” too. And Walker, also, with this bully boy bill is trying to give himself the power to sell Wisconsin’s public utilities to private businesses without a competitive bid. That’s a bit different from how I learned “free markets” in school.

Two supporters, Roger Langenberg and his son, Don, drove two days from Eugene, OR to be there said, “They are not concerned that Tea Party Patriots avoids taking positions on gay marriage and abortion.” Which made me wonder if perhaps they had missed the news for the past year or so. After all South Dakota just shelved a potential law that would have made it “justifiable homicide” to kill an abortion provider and something like 14 other states, lead by Tea Party candidates are considering such laws. Now if that isn’t a position, a position like a gun fighter in the street at noon, I don’t know what is.  They won’t decriminalize marijuana, but they’ll decriminalize shooting health care providers. And when they say the Tea Party hasn’t taken a stance on gays, perhaps they missed the stink in Montana. “I would consider it a distraction to deal with those issues,” Dan Langenberg, 29, said Saturday. “That’s not going to affect our jobs and the debt.”

A couple of their heroes and honored speakers at the gathering were Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce, author of the state’s controversial new anti-immigration law, “We can take this country back, one state at a time,” said Pearce, who recently introduced a measure that would require  schools to notify law enforcement if enrolling students could not provide proof of legal status. Apparently they are taking the war for “fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets” to  school students. Way to go guys. I know a lot of parents that have a hard time getting their kid to remember their lunch, now they must remember their papers.

Rep. Joe L. Barton (R-Texas) was one of the few veteran Washington politicians to attend. When he told the crowd he’d been in Congress for 26 years, a veritable chill fell over the room. But he was cheered when he mentioned he had sponsored an effort to repeal the law banning incandescent light bulbs.

One politician that was warmly received was businessman Herman Cain, the former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza who has apparently declared his candidacy. Cain advocates lowering the corporate tax rate, eliminating the capital gains tax and suspending taxes on profits parked overseas by American companies. So his idea is to give money to the rich, including himself. looks like he is trying to do an end run around those IRS agents looking into off shore and Swiss Bank account tax fraud too. Still, it’s better than banning incandescent light bulbs, and Barton should have done his home work and known going in that the Tea Party doesn’t back anything green….unless it’s “parked over seas by American companies.”

Former Minnesota Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty ended the conference with an appeal to the “Birthers” by saying, “Now, I’m not one who questions the existence of the president’s birth certificate. But when you listen to his policies, don’t you at least wonder what planet he’s from?”

What planet are you from, Tim? And have they replaced the incandescent light bulb?

The Dirty Lowdown

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About DirtyLowdown
I was born in Pomona, California at a very young age. I had a pretty normal childhood…or I was a pretty normal child hood if mom is telling the story. I was a paperboy who always porched , usually on the subscribers porch. I washed cars and bussed tables which left me with a life time affliction of chapped lips. I was a soda fountain jock-jerk and a manic mechanic but my first real job was as a labor organizer in a maternity ward. Then, because of the misjudgment of a judge I spent nearly 10 years in the service of our country mostly on KP duty. Our country sure turns out a lot of dirty dishes. I am a past master at pots and pans. They eventually recognized my real talent and let me wander around some very unfriendly places carrying a big radio that didn’t work. Along the way I took up the bass guitar, jotting down stories, electronic engineering and earned a degree in advanced criminal activities. I spent most of my adult life, if you can call it that, working in the I.T. industry, which I was particularly suited for since we worked in rooms with no windows. On and off I taught in colleges, universities and reform schools as a student teacher… I like smog, traffic, kinky people, car trouble, noisy neighbors, and crowded seedy bars where I have been known to quote Raymond Chandler as pickup lines. I have always been a voracious reader, everything from the classics, to popular fiction, history to science but I have a special place in my heart for crime fiction, especially hard-boiled detective fiction and noir. I write a book and music review blog for all genres at The Dirty Lowdown and another dedicated to Crime Fiction and all things Noir called Crimeways. It’s named after the magazine that appeared in the Kenneth Fearing classic, The Big Clock. There I write scholarly reviews of the classic hard boiled, noir and crime fiction books from the 20's through today. Mostly I drool over the salacious pictures on the covers. I also write for Technorati/BlogCritics where I am part of a sinister cabal of superior writers.

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