Will common sense prevail?

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If you knew a devastating flood was coming, what would you do? Would you grab some chips, plunk down in a recliner and grab the remote?

Of course not. And yet, that's essentially what our leaders in Washington are doing: They're carrying on as if the sun were shining and everything were peachy, when in fact a catastrophic flood of unsustainable federal spending is enveloping the nation.

And it's our children who are drowning.

Here's a synopsis: We already owe $12 trillion. We're adding over a trillion in debt every year now. The government is also obligated to spend more than $60 trillion in future Social Security and Medicare benefits -- and no one, but no one, has any idea where that money is coming from. Meanwhile, when Social Security revenues start dipping below expenditures in the next decade, as baby boomers retire, the federal government will have to come up with that money as well.

And, oh by the way, Washington has already been spending our retirement nest egg on other things all these years (which, if done by anyone else, would be a crime), so all those IOUs will come due as well.

All this spending cannot help but crowd out other domestic and national security spending.

In short, this government's unprecedented excess is endangering the republic. The orgy of spending could collapse our currency, cripple America's quality of life and immorally saddle future generations with debt that we incurred.

No economist of any repute on either side of the ideological spectrum disagrees on that. And both major political parties are equally at fault.

Enter the Tea Party movement.

The most significant grass-roots mobilization since perhaps the civil rights era, the Tea Party cause has nonetheless been mocked, attacked and ignored by much of the "mainstream" media for the past year. So don't expect to see this statement anywhere else: Its rise from an angry lament by a lone television commentator to a serious political force with a national convention in just one year is one of the astounding political stories of our time.

It all started with an impromptu, live on-air rant by CNBC personality Rick Santelli, who suggested a re-enactment of the Boston Tea Party to protest the out-of-control federal government.

That, it turns out, was all the inspiration needed by hundreds of thousands of Americans worried about their freedoms and their country's future. And so, this week, after months of rallies across the country over the past year and a mammoth march on Washington, the Tea Party movement met as one in Nashville, Tenn.

Organizers were said to formulate their first national strategy Friday: to work within the confines of the Republican Party to elect conservative candidates who agree to further the Tea Party agenda of smaller government, less spending, individual freedoms and strong national security.

The way forward for this young movement will be most treacherous. There are so many things that can kill a 1-year-old. It's almost impossible to keep such a movement alive; divergent factions are always present in any large group, and disagreements on the best path to take could prove fatal if cool heads and compromise don't win the day.

Moreover, while working within the Republican Party is probably the best option -- rather than taking the dead-end "third party" route once blazed by Ross Perot's Reform Party -- it will be an exceedingly delicate matter to work within one of the major parties without being co-opted by it.

This is not, and cannot be, a Republican movement. It is a conservative crusade -- and one of the few genuine grass-roots efforts in our lifetimes capable of effecting massive change to American society.

Columnist Charles Krauthammer today (see below), expresses optimism that the peasants who are revolting -- or maybe the "revolting" peasants, in the minds of the liberal elites -- will impose their will on the government that was set up by the Constitution to be servant rather than master.

"No matter how far the ideological pendulum swings in the short term," Krauthammer says, "in the end the bedrock common sense of the American people will prevail."

Pray he's right.

The fledgling Tea Party movement may be the key to that.

The second year of the Tea Party will determine whether it lives or dies -- and perhaps, with it, the hopes of so many who love this country.

Comments (45) Add comment
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Nat the Cat
1
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Nat the Cat 02/06/10 - 11:51 pm
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Outstanding, Mr. Ryan! I'm

Outstanding, Mr. Ryan! I'm so excited that I may not pay my taxes!! Seriously, this editorial was outstanding and informative as well....
Perhaps I should have known, but I did not know, when, where, and how the modern-day "Tea Party" originated.

Riverman1
84926
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Riverman1 02/07/10 - 12:07 am
0
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"It all started with an

"It all started with an impromptu, live on-air rant by CNBC personality Rick Santelli, who suggested a re-enactment of the Boston Tea Party to protest the out-of-control federal government." As much as I like Rick Santelli on CNBC, I disagree with that bigtime. The movement started with a single old gentleman at a Congressman's hometown meeting in an assisted living home caught on a cell phone camera. He asked the question about the costs of the health care plan and laughed at the Congressman's answer along with others. Research it.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 02/07/10 - 12:10 am
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Great editorial. Government

Great editorial. Government spending problems are impossible for anyone to deny. Who could not agree with the Tea Party philosophy of smaller government and less spending? This should be a movement that attracts all real Americans who are concerned about our future and our kids futures. Anyone who disagrees hasn't taken the time to open their eyes and minds to listen to what this movement really is, they are just letting the mainstream media dictate their thoughts.

Michael Ryan
655
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Michael Ryan 02/07/10 - 12:26 am
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http://dailycaller.com/2010/0

http://dailycaller.com/2010/02/02/the-daily-caller-interview-with-cnbc%E...

Lots of folks are involved, but Rick Santelli is being called the father of the modern Tea Party movement.

Michael Ryan

TheFederalist
1
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TheFederalist 02/07/10 - 12:45 am
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BRAVO! Right on AC! Ahh, how

BRAVO! Right on AC! Ahh, how the worm turns! Just a little over one short year ago, we were without any real concern about this basic US nightmare that continues unabated. Now, there is some hope, as this movement illustrates. Lots of folks across this great nation do "Get It!", and it is not the right/left garbage coming out of washington. It is one basic concept that now has threatened to eclipse all others. Our nation is broke, and rapidly going further into the tank. Our national economy is absolutely linked with our national security, prestige, and future. Now, this issue must override all others. We must send financial conservatives to washington, regardless of their political affiliation, and try to stop the bleeding before it is too late. I urge everyone to contact their elected reps and demand that any further votes for spending will mean a defeat at the ballot box. Imho, that is the only way we can turn this thing around. Just one man's opinion. Peace.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 02/07/10 - 12:53 am
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Who cares who's on first?

Who cares who's on first? The TEA party is a primarily conservative movement that needs to consider compromise a bad word. For the time being, compromise is necessary to co-opt the foundation of the current Repub party, but compromise is how the Repub party slipped to it's current position...almost indistinguishable from the Dem party. Conservatism is the answer. It works every time it's tried. It fails when it compromises.

Riverman1
84926
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Riverman1 02/07/10 - 01:02 am
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Hahaha, I love your sources

Hahaha, I love your sources that have been in existence for about a month. The Daily Caller. Smile.

Petey Aitchess
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Petey Aitchess 02/07/10 - 02:39 am
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"This is not, and cannot be,

"This is not, and cannot be, a Republican movement. It is a conservative crusade -- and one of the few genuine grass-roots efforts in our lifetimes capable of effecting massive change to American society." Amen!!! Thanks Michael and staff for hitting the nail squarely again.

Dixieman
15331
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Dixieman 02/07/10 - 05:28 am
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Sometimes the Republicans

Sometimes the Republicans stray from the flock and need to be herded back onto the right path. Republican Liberty Caucus does this and so do the Tea Parties. Nice editorial!

Petey Aitchess
0
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Petey Aitchess 02/07/10 - 05:32 am
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Dixieman, President Obama has

Dixieman, President Obama has my eternal gratitude for getting complacent conservatives off their hineys.

Dixieman
15331
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Dixieman 02/07/10 - 05:58 am
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November 6, 2012.

November 6, 2012.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
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overburdened_taxpayer 02/07/10 - 07:16 am
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Bin Laden said a long long

Bin Laden said a long long time ago that the way to bring down the "Great Satan" is in ruining its economy. Obama is just living up to the teachings of the Master.

Ga Values
27
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Ga Values 02/07/10 - 07:55 am
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Our junior Socialist Senator

Our junior Socialist Senator Johnny Isakson voted for TARP and wrote the $34 Billion Housing Taxpayer Ripoff. Johnny needs to go this year, Georgia needs Republican Senators not the 2 SOCIALOST we have.

dashiel
176
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dashiel 02/07/10 - 07:59 am
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American history is replete

American history is replete with populist movements. If the Tea Party is to be effective, its advocates will need leadership, not grifters like Judson Phillips and Sarah Palin. A healthy, measurable, indication that common sense might be prevailing is reflected in the attendance (about 500) at the bash in Nashville this weekend. It was shyster Phillips' idea to incorporate "Tea Party Nation" and charge $349 to hear Palin's $100,000 talk about what's wrong with America over steak and lobster.

southernguy08
499
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southernguy08 02/07/10 - 08:36 am
0
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CAIN, FYI, if you don't have
Unpublished

CAIN, FYI, if you don't have bullets, someone will take your butter, along with everything else you have, including your life and the lives of your loved ones. Instead of jumping on the backs of our military, as you always do, why don't you mention the billions our "compassionate" government pays every year to the worthless dirtbags who do nothing but sit around and produce more little dirtbags who sponge off the taxpayers? At least our military is working and paying into the system.

seenitB4
88176
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seenitB4 02/07/10 - 08:39 am
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We can heal our country if

We can heal our country if we really want to....Stop sending good paying jobs away... shut down the borders & send illegals back to home country..stop 50% of welfare/food stamps (grow a dimn garden)term limits on congress(so it won't be a career for folks)...give teens a JOB when out of school(cut back on crime if they are busy)If a person is jailed make him/her pay back the cost to taxpayer..& STOP THE PC CROWD..& to Cain,, I think O learned a few things when he became Pres. maybe that's why he is spending money on the military...Because bombs hurt,, & he wants to live just like we do.. IMHO

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 02/07/10 - 09:04 am
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Foreign military adventures

Foreign military adventures have spelled doom for countless empires over history. Afghanistan is known as "the graveyard of empires". China is not waging war in Afghanistan because some Uighurs trained there. Up to this point China has been happy to lend us money at interest and have us wage a proxy war for them.

There are signs that China has become unsatisfied with the current arrangement and will be more assertive in its foreign policy and more prudent in the money it lends to United States. China is refusing to go along with sanctions on Iran. We aren't going to like it when China asserts its political and economic power, but we will be too broke to retaliate in any substantive manner.

Don't tell me that our military adventures financed by foreign powers do not have a downside. India and other Asian economies cannot fill the breach when it comes to lending us the money we have become dependent on to finance our military machine.

willienelson
5
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willienelson 02/07/10 - 09:10 am
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Actually the average E5 earns

Actually the average E5 earns $26022 per year. If he is buying a home valued at $130,000 he would pay no federal income tax, if deployed overseas, he would certainly pay no income tax.

dstewartsr
20389
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dstewartsr 02/07/10 - 09:44 am
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In reference to Cain's

In reference to Cain's obscenity-laced post of 7:20, there is an excellent book, "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers," by Paul Kennedy (1987) which absolutely parallels what is going on right now. It's 540 pages, but I have been assured on an other forum that there are many retirees here with nothing else to do. : )

seenitB4
88176
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seenitB4 02/07/10 - 09:57 am
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Now Mr. Stewart you know

Now Mr. Stewart you know exactly what I was referring to about retirees... You said limit the # of posts a person can put on here..I said that wasn't right because SOME of us are retired & had more time.. SOO if U want to state your words put it all on here..

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 02/07/10 - 10:06 am
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First, I'd like to say the

First, I'd like to say the original scenario of fiddling while disaster looms doesn't seem to hold much water since the residents of New Orleans did EXACTLY that during three weeks of warnings about Katrina. (not one of these victims was a Repub voter)

SCEagle Eye
917
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SCEagle Eye 02/07/10 - 10:54 am
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When will the tea party folks

When will the tea party folks speak out against the nuclear socialism that big government and the nuclear industry have cooked up? Another bailout is before us now and this has got to stop!

grouse
1635
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grouse 02/07/10 - 11:04 am
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Once again, The Chronicle
Unpublished

Once again, The Chronicle neglects the spending on "wars", one an invasion, and the other a quagmire. "For the people" does not compute in The Chronicle's world.

TheFederalist
1
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TheFederalist 02/07/10 - 11:06 am
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Thank you SCEagle Eye for

Thank you SCEagle Eye for using the correct term for the Tea Party Movement. Regardless of your opinion about this group, for the sake of civil discourse, could we please stop referring to them by the gutter sexual reference, which was originally coined to denigrate this group? I suppose if Democrats were continually referred to by a slang sexual reference that would be ok with you who have posted here today using this word? I think not. You would have reported a post like that in a hearbeat. So how about using the correct term, and stop acting like children because you get to use a bad word without consequence, all the while giggling to your little friends. We all know what it means, and we all know why you keep using it, which speaks volumns about your character. Nuff said.

corgimom
33163
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corgimom 02/07/10 - 11:07 am
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Take a long, long, long, look

Take a long, long, long, look at American demographics. America is turning more and more diverse, which means Democratic, not Republican. You can rant and rave all you want, but the truth is the truth. Hispanics- who traditionally vote Democrat, and they are gearing up, btw- will determine the elections in the future. Anybody on here a Whig? No? Anybody on here a "Know-Nothing"? No. I foresee that a new party will start, with a new name, to drop the negative associations that the Republican party now stands for. When the Republican party decided to make their main party planks abortion and Christianity, instead of the economy, it all went downhill, and will continue to do so until they change their focus.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 02/07/10 - 11:10 am
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All guesses of how long the

All guesses of how long the TEA party movement lasts and how long it will be influential are just that at this point...guesses. As long as the conservative perspective is maintained, the party will have strong backers, but as soon as compromise becomes the way to do business, the movement will fade. The conservative values of honor, honesty, responsibility and accountability are the foundation of the movement. The Dems "P.C." these qualities with ridicule and derision and the current Repub party compromises them. This is the primary reason the two parties are so similar. This is also why the TEA party movement has so much momentum.

Riverman1
84926
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Riverman1 02/07/10 - 11:37 am
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With all the speculation

With all the speculation about the changing demographics in the country, who is to say there will only be two major parties? Maybe the Spanish voters will want their own party? Blacks? Regiional parties? Anything but whites having a party would be okay. A White Party would be met with derision like the whites only basketball league even if there are in fact already completely white and black leagues, churches and groups around here. Yeah, rambling thoughts I realize.

Riverman1
84926
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Riverman1 02/07/10 - 12:26 pm
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Tim Tebow is going to be such

Tim Tebow is going to be such a bust as an NFL quarterback that the team who drafts him may wish his mother hadn't been so pro-life.

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 02/07/10 - 12:29 pm
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dashiel, the fact that Sarah

dashiel, the fact that Sarah Palin continues to terrify the Dems is proof that she is no grifter. The fact that she refuses to be manipulated by the left wing press is further proof. The fact that the TEA party continues to grow is yet further proof. Ask yourself what happens every time Obama supports a project or candidate.

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 02/07/10 - 12:34 pm
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Riverman1, you associate

Riverman1, you associate honor, honesty, responsibility and accountability with being white? How strange. The TEA party movement doesn't discriminate according to color or race, but according to character. MLK would be welcome, Jesse isn't.

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