Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tea Party Protests Today

All across America today thousands of citizens will be gathering at Tax Day Tea Parties to protest the out-of-control spending of the Federal Government. Critics (usually on the Left) claim that non-partisan protests are really backed by the Republican Party, but such protests are disingenuous.

True, the Republicans would like to use these protests to hammer home their opposition to the current administration, but it wouldn't be nearly so easy for them if the Democrats hadn't surrendered the budgetary high ground so completely. Rather than show themselves the very models of fiscal restraint like President Obama promised in his campaign, the Democrats have spent money like it grows on trees--no, like it runs like rivers from the snowcaps. They opened themselves wide to this.

But make no mistake. Most everyone out there protesting today is just as fed up with the Republicans, especially those who switched sides to pass the Stimulus Bill and the Federal Budget. We feel the government in general has betrayed us and sold out our future.

The Democrats would prefer to--and have tried to--redirect the frustration and rage toward Wall Street in general, and AIG and GM specifically, but while they're part of the problem, they are not the problem. The problem is a government that doesn't do what it is supposed to do, and does what it shouldn't to make up for it.

Does the government really have the moral high ground to lecture Wall Street on poor business decisions? How can they be upset with AIG for over-leveraging themselves when the government turns right around and over-leverages itself? The only difference is that while AIG's customers and investors can take their money and go elsewhere, the government's customers and investors (ie. taxpayers) can't. We don't even get to attach condition on how our tax contributions are used.

Today is especially poignant. It's the day we're all forced to pay up, whether we like it or not, while a large number of our public officials have not paid up for years, and only do so when it appears their illegal activities may interfere with securing the posts they seek. Why do they get a pass and a cabinet seat, when the rest of us would get fines and jail time?

No, the Tax Day Tea Party protests are not about which party is right. It's about both of them and the government they have built being wrong. There's plenty of blame to go around. This is a warning shot across the bow. We want the mess cleaned up, and we don't care who does it, so long as someone does.

By downplaying, criticizing, or outright ignoring these protests the democrats and the media risk appearing as if they deserve the blame. Rather than oppose the protests as "GOP manipulation" the Democrats should jump on the bandwagon. There's room. Rather than sending out MoveOn and ANSWER to counter-protest they should join in and make sure the protest stay generalized. If they feel they're innocent they have nothing to fear. By getting defensive they risk painting themselves as the target.

Like I said, I don't care who cleans up this mess. Just clean it up. NOW!

No comments: