I just have to ask, "How has the movement known as the "Tea Party" (A.) managed to grab so much media attention, and (B.) how, given the fact it is based on little more than misdirected anger and whacky conspiracy theories, not to mention ignorance and fear, has it transformed the once great and honorable party of Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, Henry Cabot Lodge, Margaret Chase Smith, Edward Brooke, and William Weld , into the party of Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Glenn Beck, and, more locally, Bill Hudak?"
It truly boggles the thinking person's mind; be one a Republican, a Democrat, a genuine conservative, a liberal, or an independent.
Thankfully, I think more and more intelligent Republicans and independents are asking those questions, especially since it's come to light that the Tea Party, rather than expanding citizen participation in our democratic processes, is actually trying to limit it.
They are doing so by calling for repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution that, in 1913, took the power of electing US Senators away from often corrupt state legislatures and gave it directly to the registered voters in each state.
The amendment greatly expanded voter participation, strengthened democratic processes, and gave power back to the people.
There's a strange irony in the Tea Party, a movement that calls itself "grass roots", and an advocate of taking the government "back" on the "people's" behalf, championing a cause that will do just the opposite.
But then, this movement is full of "strange ironies".
It is a movement based on the belief President Obama is an impostor president.
It is a movement that believes health care reform will bring a new, Nazi like Holocaust to America.
Its members, in one of the most disrespectful displays I've ever seen relating to the Holocaust, used actual photographs of Hitler's victims at their rally on Capitol Hill last September to score cheap political points against the health reform legislation wending its way through the halls of Congress.
The Tea Party's de facto leader, Sarah Palin, a woman who can't seem to decide if she is a good Christian woman or a leather dominatrix in the making (twice, in the last few weeks, she's showed up at political events dressed in some kinky looking leather outfits), revved up the Tea Partiers' paranoia with claims that Obama was looking to euthanize people like her little Down Syndrome son Trig, not to mention Grandma and Grandpa - and most of the Tea Partiers seem to have swallowed the lie, hook line and sinker.
Sarah's other half, no not Todd, Michelle Bachmann; the right wing, looney tune, congresswoman from Minnesota, drove the Tea Partiers' paranoia into overdrive when she urged them to break the law by refusing to fill out the census.
Why? Because Bachmann claimed the census was really a tool devised by Obamamaniacs to identify the impostor president's political opponents so that they could, at a later date, be rounded and up and sent to domestic Guantanamos run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Funny thing though, when one of her aides clued her in that if people in her district listened to her and didn't fill out their census forms, her district and, hence, her job, might be eliminated, bats in her belfry Bachmann became a born again champion of filling out the census.
More locally, the Tea Party is represented by none other than Bill Hudak, the apparent GOP nominee for the 6th district congressional seat held by Democrat John Tierney.
Hudak is an admitted "Birther", in that he, like most of the Mad Hatters of the Tea Party, believes Barack Obama is an impostor president.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Hudak had life size cut outs of then Senator Barack Obama dressed as Osama bin laden on the front lawn of his home in tony Boxford.
He has publicly stated he believes issues pertaining to people's civil rights should be put to popular votes, but won't answer if that applies retroactively to things like Brown v. Board of Education, the 1960's Voting and Civil Rights Acts, woman's suffrage, or the right of interracial couples to marry.
He's a piece of work, this Bill Hudak. But he is our local Tea Party candidate for Congress. It makes me feel badly for the many decent and intelligent Republicans I know who reside in the sixth district.
A lot of this might be funny if it weren't for the fact that, not too far below the surface of the Tea Party movement, there is a level of racism, xenophobia, and homophobia, not to mention rhetoric that comes perilously close to inciting violence, that should concern all intelligent and reasonable Americans, regardless of party affiliation or political philosophy.
It's all so ironic. The Tea Party claims it cares about people's freedoms and is working to defend them but, the record shows, and the call to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment proves, its intent, if its members were to ever gain real political power, is to do just the opposite.
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