It is telling, isn't it, that Democrats and liberal pundits in the wake of a week of Tea Parties and general bad press for their side, spent the weekend speculating about what, exactly, made so many people become unhinged enough to disagree with them? Instead of asking themselves what it is about what they
are doing that has so many of their fellow citizens irritated enough to take time off of work (or, more sadly, time off from looking
for work that is still too hard to find) and protest the big government policies they've created, these liberals worry about the "violent" tendencies in the Tea Parties and the "irrational" longings they stir. Don't "these people" know that they are biting the hand that feeds them?
But, truthfully, there is not much to learn from people who refuse to learn--or, even, to make cogent observations about the realities around them. So, if you are looking for some sensible commentary about the phenomenon from an observer who can actually think as well as talk, Michael Barone
today fills that gaping media hole quite nicely.
Barone notes that the Dems are doing a huge amount of missing the point as they observe the Tea Parties if they think this is really all about taxes. The American people are so far beyond having a problem with taxes--though many of us, of course, still feel the injustice of tax code and dread the coming abuses that bigger government must bring. But that's only one piece of the puzzle, and not even a coveted corner piece. And being able to acknowledge the minor role that taxes by themselves are playing in this movement is one reason why I think the Tea Parties have the political potential to make the Tax Revolts of old look like an offering of crumpets and scones to the Democrats.
Far more significant to the American people, is the extent to which Democrats and big government policy appear to be turning our country over to a culture of dependence. Americans are holding up a mirror to themselves and to their country and they are in the beginning stages of that realization we all have from time to time that something has to change. They no longer like everything that they see in that reflection--things are sagging and lumpy where they once used to be fit and svelte. We note times where we lumber along and remember when we used to sprint. We want to get in shape again and we're ready to fire this trainer . . . the one who would let us eat cake (just as long as there were no trans fats or salts in it).
Americans are tired of government by the elite, for the elite and of the rest of us. We want to reassert our belief in our capacity for self
-government. The only question is whether Republicans will be sharp enough to understand and articulate that so as to make it politically meaningful. They had better be . . .
In case you haven't had enough of Barone after reading this piece (and, honestly, is there such a thing?) then you might want to check out this link
to a talk he gave last week at the annual meeting of the Philadelphia Society which is on the same theme.
Oh yeah . . . some guy named Schramm was also there. I understand that he might have had a few cogent thoughts to offer as well.