Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tax day tea party... the local dead tree media view.

In our local newspaper (Lancaster Intelligencer), Larry Alexander had an opinion column. Larry is a staff writer with Lancaster newspapers. In this column, after stumping for his own book (he can find no buyers, sad to say) he comments on the April 15th 'Tea Party' that he didn't attend.....

"I hope all of you had a happy Tea Bag Party Day last week. On April 15, tens of Americans, in a grassroots movement sponsored by conservative groups led by guys like Dick Armey and heavily promoted by Fox "Fair and Balanced?" News, dumped tea bags at various places.

In Lancaster, some 400 people — all of one-tenth of 1 percent of the county population — gathered in Musser Park to hear a talk by state Rep. Sam Rohrer of Berks County, who evidently had no parties to go to in his own district, chastize the Obama administration for wanting to increase spending. The Republican solution to the sagging economy is a spending freeze.

I've never actually talked to an economist — I've tried, but every time they open their mouths, I fall asleep — but I understand economic theory says that to cut off cash flow to an economy starving for money is similar to cutting off food to a hungry person. In each case, the victim weakens and dies.

Some of the tea bag folks were ticked off at President Barack Obama, whose heavy taxes are crushing the … wait. That's not right, Obama cut taxes for everyone making less than $250,000 a year.

Others protested Obama and the bank bailouts that are robbing our … no, that's not right either. It was President George W. Bush who pressured Congress to pass the no-strings-attached bailout program.

Many of the tea bag protesters opposed Obama's stomping on the U.S. Constitution in trying to tell the big car companies how to operate and possibly nationalizing the banks.

Too bad they didn't yell when Bush shredded the Constitution through a widespread program of spying on all of us through our phones, e-mails and planting electronic bugs in our underwear drawers.

Another major protest topic was Obama's supposed push toward socialism through such things as a national health care plan.

Hmmm … I wonder how they feel about Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security?

I'm beginning to think the only positive thing that came from Tea Bag Day was a spike in profits for Lipton."

Here is my reply, in 'letter to the editor', submitted on-line. It won't be printed, and I know that in advance. While the paper has printed some 60 of my letters in years past, that ended when a new editor took over some years ago. Effective conservative letters are almost never printed anymore. I know neither he nor the paper's editor and directer have any interest in any opinion except a straight Democrat party line, and they make that clear every single day in their paper. Letter follows......

Our friend Larry Alexander had a column recently about the Lancaster Tea Party. After reading his thoughts, I am left with the impression he did not attend, and for that I am sorry. I suspect he would have enjoyed it hugely.

I was there, curious to see what the surprising movement is about down at the street level; in this case, at the 'muddy lawn' level. In the cold rain over 400 people gathered to hear speakers and read each others signs, which were fascinating. These were people who had clearly never been to a 'protest' in their lives, for the most part. I witnessed folks climbing out of vehicles emblazoned with political party stickers of every affiliation. Obama stickers were rubbing bumpers with McCain stickers, and surprisingly the world did not end.

Larry, you should have seen it. People were laughing and talking with each other and just generally having a heck of a good time in the cold rain. Sure, under all else there was a shared concern about a quadrupled federal deficit and the problems that will give us, but that didn't stop folks from enjoying a good discussion with newfound friends.

What I found most interesting was the wide variety of people there in Musser's park. I suspect a poll of the crowd would have found no majority of any party, but a strong mix of all. The tea party movement seems not to be driven by a party bias, so much as a deep concerns for what government spending will do to our nation. Perhaps Michael Steele, head of the RNC, realized this when he was rejected as a speaker at a tea party. I bet that came as a shock to him, finding out grass roots conservative movement had no time available for a party that always called itself conservative in name, if not in deed.

No Larry, I am pretty sure you missed this party, based on what you wrote. I was there, and what I saw does not mate with what you wrote. Perhaps you can make the next one in the area. I'm sure there will be a next one, and more after that. Given the tax day grass roots tea parties had better than 600,000 people attend nation wide, all with no central planning, I am certain there will be many, many more.

Come on over for Tea, Larry. It's a fascinating brew.

Lancaster Online (the newspapers online effort) also has a video up from Gil Smart, associate editor , "unrepentant anti-conservative", and political commentator. Gil's leaning is the driving force behind the papers slant. It's also a good part of the reason the paper's circulation is dropping so fast (down 25% this year alone). Take a look... it's an interesting bit of Pravda, even if it bears little connection to reality.

1 comment:

Crucis said...

That's similar to the reaction from the KC "Red" Star. Not only do they make the same, tired, WRONG assumptions, but they won't bother to do a little research to learn the truth.

The Tea Parties weren't about taxes. They were about the unrestrained SPENDING!