Anybody else relieved the ridiculous tax day "tea parties" are behind us? Unfortunately, I don't think those taking part in the national day of saying no to spending will ever grasp that we were all laughing at them, not with them, and that their national organizational effort wasn't really a grassroots anything, unless being the laughing stock can be considered a grassroots effort.
Will those who participated in these little events around the country one day regret their actions or live to see the day when their efforts are looked upon historically as the day the Republican Party stopped being a serious contender in American politics? The idea that conservatives across this country gathered on bridges, beaches and courthouse steps everywhere yesterday to protest government spending in the first one hundred days of the Obama administration is a paradox at best. Where were they while one of their own went on an eight year spending spree, a spending spree that did nothing to insure a grounded and healthy economy? Where were they while that same government poured money into a war we never should have started?
I can't help but wonder if yesterday in some way symbolizes the beginning of the end for the Republican party, the way the Compromise of 1850 began the splintering of the Whig party. When and what will be the equivalent for the Republicans that the Kansas-Nebraska Act was for the Whigs?
I don't say any of this because I am a Democrat, I say this because the Republican party appears to have taken the loss of the White House and their recent losses of control in both the Senate and House as more than simply a political loss. I can't think of another time in American history, even in recent history upon the Supreme Court decision that handed George W. Bush the White House in 2000, where the losing party became so hostile and paranoid. The Republican party, led by the voice of Rush Limbaugh and the talking heads at Fox News, seems to be shouting from every rooftop that Socialism is on our back porch, knocking at the door. The Republican party has demonized Barack Obama and the Democrats who support him in ways we've not seen an entire party deamonized before. Instead of hailing the quick and decisive stimulus legislation that will hopefully reignite the spark that drives our economy, Republicans call the spending frivolous and then go out and support one industry, the tea industry, single-handedly keeping it in business. Had they all gone out and bought cars to drive off bridges yesterday, they would have kept the American auto industry afloat...
There's very little I see coming out of the national tea party yesterday. Those who participated haven't rejected the services they receive because of the taxes they pay. Those who participated didn't benefit the economy any by taking time off from their places of employment to go stand out in the cold with their signs and tea bags. And, most importantly those who participated yesterday aren't going to offer any option that will get this country back on track any quicker than the options the Democrats have offered and are in the process of implementing. What good came of yesterday? None that I see, though I'm sure one or more of my fellow Idahoans see this differently and are happy to see the "grassroots" effort pushed Rex Rammell back into the political arena.