A recent Associated Press story that puzzles over the reasons for Newt Gingrich’s rise to the top of GOP presidential polls says it “seems to upend the notion that this election cycle is driven by tea partyers’ hostility to Washington insiders.”
Where to start?
First, the story doesn’t say whose “notion” it is that the Tea Party is hostile. Is it the author’s – Charles Babington? Or someone else’s? It simply doesn’t say.
More importantly, the passage betrays a fundamental and profound ignorance of the Tea Party movement. The modern Tea Party movement was born out of concern for the financial future of this country. Nothing more, nothing less. It seeks to rein in government spending in order to prevent a cataclysmic failure of the currency or country.
The media – the real party showing hostility – wanted to make you believe the movement is racist, fringe, xenophobic – whatever horrid label they could attach to it. They wanted you to fear it. So, it’s quite natural that some folks don’t understand what it’s all about.
It’s not about hostility toward insiders. It’s about getting the job done. It’s pretty simple, really: If you’re a member of Congress and you’re part of the problem – i.e., you want to keep the country on its current unsustainable track – then, yes, the Tea Party wants you voted out. That’s not “hostility” – it’s called citizenship.
On the other hand, those “insiders” who get it – who realize the extent of the spending problem and its capability to turn us into the next Greece – have been warmly embraced by the Tea Party movement. Stalwarts such as Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and others are excellent examples.
In the long term, we need term limits. Careerists in Congress have learned the more of our money they spend, the more they can perpetuate their careers.
But for now, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been in Washington a month, a year or a decade; the problem is the same. We’ve got to stop stealing from our children’s tomorrows to live comfortably today.