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It Takes Time to Awaken a Sleeping Giant

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:04 pm - April 19, 2009.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Tea Party

Reminding us of the spendthrift ways of President Bush and the Republican Congresses of the early 2000s, Democratic officials and liberal bloggers attempt to deny the sincerity of Tea Party protesters and conservative Republicans decrying the excessive government spending proposed by President Obama and passed by a Democratic Congress.  Their line of attack shows they would rather dwell on our alleged hypocrisy than defend their excessive spending.

It is shocking that some of the very people who attacked then-President Bush for increasing the debt burden we are passing onto the younger generation support his successor’s plan to increase that debt far quickly than W ever dreamed possible.

Now, I do agree that our critics have a point when they wonder why we take to the streets to protest increased spending in the Bush era.  To be sure, we did speak out against his profligacy, but not to the extent we are doing so now.

I think that’s because it takes time for a movement to coalesce.

The roots of this one lay in the TARP bailouts last fall.  Back then, some of the conservative bloggers most strongly supportive of the Tea Party movement (notably Michelle Malkin) spoke out against such multi-hundred billion dollar plans.  Those bailouts sparked the outrage at government profligacy which would coalesce in the tea parties.

Perhaps, some who opposed the bailouts found solace in Obama’s election, believing that he, being of a different party than the then-incumbent President represented a real change.  I mean, it was a Republican Treasury Secretary who proposed such bailouts.

But, when they saw that that change was just more of the same, only on steroids, with a spendthrift “stimulus,” followed by excessive increases in government spending (i.e., as advanced in Obama’s budget), the outrage began to grow.

It takes time to awaken a sleeping giant.  In under six months time, the American people saw our elected leaders propose successive increases in federal spending.  As we watched deficits increases, we just wondered if thought the federal treasury was a never-ending source for their largesse.

Yeah, maybe we should have been awakened sooner.  But, just because we didn’t react more strongly earlier doesn’t mean we are wrong to address it now.  It takes some gall for those on the left to fault Republicans for deficits in the hundreds of billions of dollars and then question the sincerity of those who get upset at deficits twice and three times that number.

Instapundit links.  Thanks, Glenn, much appreciated. He builds on my point with perhaps the perfect analogy (perhaps more on this anon):  “But you know Al Gore’s story about the slowly-boiling frog? Obama’s turned the stove up to 11, and the frog has started to kick.

UPDATE: Commenting on this post, Jehuda at Rhetorican offers, “Hypocrisy has nothing to do with the Left’s gripe about the Tea Parties.” Exactly. They’ll just use whatever club they can to attack us.

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22 Comments

  1. I do agree that our critics have a point when they wonder why we take to the streets to protest increased spending in the Bush era. To be sure, we did speak out against his profligacy, but not to the extent we are doing so now.

    No. They don’t have a point. Let’s go back to The Chart:
    http://www.gaypatriot.net/2009/03/30/bush-deficits-vs-obama-deficits/

    Here’s the short version for the click-challenged:

    – Bush deficits: In the 100-400 billion range. Not anything that doubled the national debt (or came close) in 8 years. Not a threat to the survival of the nation.

    – Obama deficits: In the 1-2 trillion range. Something that will double the national debt in 8 years and threaten the survival of the nation.

    When the government does something bad, you speak out against it. When the next government does the very same thing *only four or more times as much*, and *after promising not to*, then you demonstrate. Most of us here have done both / are doing both. No inconsistency. No hypocrisy.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 19, 2009 @ 5:51 pm - April 19, 2009

  2. Yeah, maybe we should have been awakened sooner.

    No. Maybe THEY (people dumb enough to vote for Obama and think he represented “hope” or “change”) should have awakened sooner. I’ve been fully awake to this issue for years now, thank you.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 19, 2009 @ 5:56 pm - April 19, 2009

  3. Now, I do agree that our critics have a point when they wonder why we take to the streets to protest increased spending in the Bush era. To be sure, we did speak out against his profligacy, but not to the extent we are doing so now.

    I think that’s because it takes time for a movement to coalesce.

    Oh come on. You don’t think it has something to do the new occupant in the White House? That’s just a total coincidence, huh?

    I might be a little more willing to believe in your sincerity if you guys didn’t spend all your time on absurd stuff like Obama bowing and accusing him of letting pirates hold all of America hostage. Spending isn’t the only thing you guys don’t seem to be very serious about.

    Comment by Levi — April 19, 2009 @ 5:58 pm - April 19, 2009

  4. Levi, see #1. Just because GPW is over-generous in kind of apologizing to you where you don’t deserve it, doesn’t mean your follow-up dumping on him is remotely clever or truthful.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 19, 2009 @ 6:02 pm - April 19, 2009

  5. P.S. To say it another way: Suppose that Obama, instead of arguing for Porkulus and $1.6 trillion deficits by saying “I won”, had argued for **cuts in domestic spending** and pork, keeping the deficit under the $400 billion level, by saying “That was the promise I won on.” Make no mistake: I’d be giving him credit for it.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 19, 2009 @ 6:06 pm - April 19, 2009

  6. (But… Obama didn’t.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 19, 2009 @ 6:25 pm - April 19, 2009

  7. I hear this lame "hypocrisy" argument a lot and it’s never made a lick of sense to me.

    1.) Per Goldberg’s review, linked to in an earlier post, in order to charge the right with caring too much about deficits now, you must concede that the left just SUDDENLY STOPPED caring about them.  Levi? I hear crickets. “Does this have something to do with the new occupant in the White House?”

    2.) Bush, facing a crisis, was forced to choose the best option available to him as one branch of divided government.  The current president, you will agree, has no such limitations.  He could have done anything and he chose – without comment, mind you – to do a 180 on his campaign promises and just ask house Democrats for a wish list.   Bush broke with orthodoxy and was apologetic.  Obama proudly proclaimed the spending a victory.  Well? The Democrats took full ownership of this one.  Is profligate debt a bad thing or not? 

    3.) For chrissakes, other than one ambivalent essay by Ponneru about Bush’s prescription plan, I’ve never heard anyone on the right advocate a bigger bureaucracy.  Why are we apologizing?  We’ve been harping on this since DHLS was formed and now the debt’s quadrupled in four friggin’ months.  I want to know how you can watch all this and NOT be furious!

    4.) The left has no credibility in accusing anyone of distracting critiques.  The fake turkey scandal made the New York Times and we’re the ones being distracting?  Come on!  In one week, Obama lost his last hire to tax fraud allegations, hired a car czar who “probably won’t be indicted”, had his biggest fun time teleprompter gaffe and ignored the North Korean saber-rattling.  Slate though it would be a great week to revive their “Bushisms” feature!  Email them, lefties, they might be hiring.

    Obama comes out worse in this debate no matter how you slice it.  Please. Please. Please. Keep bringing it up.

    Best wishes,
    -MFS

    Comment by MFS — April 19, 2009 @ 9:11 pm - April 19, 2009

  8. “and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

    Ever hear those words before, Levi?

    The evils were BARELY “sufferable” but are now completely UN-sufferable. Some of us have JOBS and LIVES to attend to, and we have done so – but now all of that has been compromised by an utterly corrupt Congress (you know, the guys holding the nation’s wallet?). They ALL need to go, post haste.

    Comment by Angie — April 19, 2009 @ 9:15 pm - April 19, 2009

  9. Levi’s disgust for Chairman Obama might be more believable if he didn’t try cheer leading for him so and trashing us to make his master look better.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — April 20, 2009 @ 12:55 am - April 20, 2009

  10. You guys lost and will continue to loose. Even if you retake the Senate and House President Obama is going to be re-elected and become the Democrats Reagan.

    Comment by DaveA — April 20, 2009 @ 4:39 am - April 20, 2009

  11. #9: Keep dreaming, DaveA. Obama’s Presidency isn’t even 100 days old and already hundreds of thousands of Americans have taken to the streets to protest the fact that he plans to pour trillions upon trillions of dollars of their money down a rat hole. And for the last three months, Obama has been trotting the globe, trashing his own country and assuring every evil, homicidal despot that will take his call that they can count on an uncompromising policy of appeasement from his administration for the next four years. By the time November 2011 rolls around, we will have seen the (likely tragic) effects of him sucking up to Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, China, and Venezuela, and we will be trillions in debt with nothing to show for it but record inflation and unemployment.

    Yeah right, DaveA. Americans are really going to want four more years of that.

    P.S. The Democrats’ Reagan? What does that even mean? Using the word “Obama” in the same sentence with “Reagan” is an obscenity.

    Comment by Sean A — April 20, 2009 @ 5:27 am - April 20, 2009

  12. P.P.S. DaveA, it occurs to me that the primary, threshold reason that Obama will never be anyone’s “Reagan” in anything he does as President is because Reagan never missed an opportunity to praise the virtues of our country and unapologetically promote its values, ESPECIALLY to our enemies.

    Comment by Sean A — April 20, 2009 @ 10:15 am - April 20, 2009

  13. There is a large (and thanks to the Democratic Party, ever-growing) segment of the voting population that doesn’t want liberty. They’d rather give up their liberty for security — job security — perfectly satisfied with their public sector job where they don’t have to compete with anyone (including themselves) all the while knowing that the taxpayer gravy train will always remain recession-proof. This, plus the satisfaction of a kinder, gentler nation without the embarrassment of those not covered by health insurance and where war is simply too expensive. Everyone has to participate — it’s only fair, after all.

    Comment by Ignatius — April 20, 2009 @ 10:55 am - April 20, 2009

  14. F. William Engdahl wrote an important article on “Geithner’s dirty little secret” in Asia Times.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/KD03Dj02.html

    Here is an except:

    What Geithner does not want the public to understand, his “dirty little secret”, is that the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act in 2000 allowed the creation of a tiny handful of banks that would virtually monopolize key parts of the global “off-balance sheet” or OTC derivatives issuance.

    Today, five US banks, according to data in the just-released Federal Office of Comptroller of the Currency’s Quarterly Report on Bank Trading and Derivatives Activity, hold 96% of all US bank derivatives positions in terms of nominal values, and an eye-popping 81% of the total net credit risk exposure in event of default.

    The top three are, in declining order of importance: JPMorgan Chase, which holds a staggering $88 trillion in derivatives; Bank of America with $38 trillion, and Citibank with $32 trillion. Number four in the derivatives sweepstakes is Goldman Sachs, with a mere $30 trillion in derivatives; number five, the merged Wells Fargo-Wachovia Bank, drops dramatically in size to $5 trillion. Number six, Britain’s HSBC Bank USA, has $3.7 trillion.

    The truth is, if there were a run on these five giants, the world economy would tank. This is beyond toxic. It is nuclear. And at the same time, Obama calls for mega-deficit spending and entitlements that are in the additional trillions.

    The “government” is looking at trading the burden of the derivatives debt for equity shares in the institutions. To put it plainly, the “government” will join the Ponzi scheme as the controlling player. The money to fund the Ponzi scheme will come from the tax payers, devalued currency, rampant inflation and moxie. The “moxie” will come in the form of the US government forcing the chinese, et. al. to carry the debt, because we will only submit to foreclosure at the point of a nuclear missile.

    Comment by heliotrope — April 20, 2009 @ 12:13 pm - April 20, 2009

  15. […] Politics, Economics, Free Speech, News, Money trackback Via Instapundit: At Gay Patriot, some comment on one of the strategies of the  Tea Party Attack Poodles.  It’s the hypocrisy canard: “Reminding us of the spendthrift ways of President Bush […]

    Pingback by The Hypocrisy Red Herring « The Rhetorican — April 20, 2009 @ 1:53 pm - April 20, 2009

  16. I always knew the Left’s attack on Bush and earlier Reagan for deficits was so much smokescreen. Deficit spending has been a pillar of modern “liberalism” since the day they discovered Keynes. I used to always say, “You want to reduce the deficit? Fine. Let’s eliminate all spending not connected to defending us against Commuists and terrorists. In other words, abolish the Welfare State,” Crickets chirping . . . .

    Basically you have to remember that the Hive is like The Terminator. Basically their target is your wallet, and they are zeroed in on that. Whatever argument they have to make to further their relentless pursuit of grabbing you by the ankles, turning you upside down, and shaking you until all your money runs out, they’ll make. Basically these people are the New Tories, and they have the State’s mailed fist up their butts they can taste Rustoleum.

    Comment by Bilwick1 — April 20, 2009 @ 2:00 pm - April 20, 2009

  17. The “hypocrisy” charge is pure nonsense for several reasons.

    1) Although much of the “right” did not raise a huge objection to the Iraq War-generated deficits, they certainly did with respect to the domestic spending. True, they re-elected Bush, but their priority at the time was the war.

    2) The Left seems to be saying now that because Bush ran what today look like small deficits, it’s OK for Obama to run vastly larger deficits. Under that argument, if anyone supports running any size deficit for any reason, they aren’t allowed to object to any subsequent deficits, no matter the size OR the reason. An absurd argument. But typical of a pttern the Left uses today: don’t address the issue, merely discredit and disqualify the opponenet. Like the old “chickenhawk” argument over the war, wherein anyone who has not personally gone to war can have no valid opinion about the war (excepot, presumably, to oppose it,) now no one who has not strenuously objected to ALL deficicits for ALL reasons can objects to ANY deficits for ANY reasons.

    3) Isn’t the real hypocrisy among the Democrats, including Obama, Reid Pelosi and so many others who very loudly criticized the Bush deficits and now breezily dismiss any concerns at all over their vastly larger ones? Only through profound intellectual dishonesty can someone have supported these two contradictory positions. This argument is even more absurd than #2. ANy Democrat who opposes GOP-generated deficits can support far larger Dem-generated deficits and accuse the other side of hypocrisy.

    Comment by Victor Erimita — April 20, 2009 @ 4:23 pm - April 20, 2009

  18. Well golly gee, you’re right….we should simply just return to the failed, “self-regulation” of the finance industry that got us into this big mess in the first place….

    11: Opponents have just found another way to show “sore loser-itis”

    Comment by Kevin — April 20, 2009 @ 6:37 pm - April 20, 2009

  19. Ooh, what a stunning comeback, Kevin. Nice of you to conceed all our points.

    Lets not forget that in the last 8 years (unless it was for supplies for the troops) the democratic screed was that President Bush didn’t spend *enough*

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 20, 2009 @ 7:58 pm - April 20, 2009

  20. […] GayPatriot has a posting on the Left’s attempts to delegitimize the Tea Partiers by using that…  “Their line of attack shows they would rather dwell on our alleged hypocrisy than defend their excessive spending.”  I think this post answers the allegations of hypocrisy, but, again, considering who is part of this protest movement (namely people who have not protested before), does the charge of hypocrisy even apply?  Well, I suppose it does if you’re used to protesting every perceived slight or concern about your agenda, cause, pet peeve, etc.  Sorry, Leftists, the rest of us have this little thing called real life.  Get one and maybe you’ll understand! […]

    Pingback by Above The Fold, Monday, April 20, 2009 « The Lone Maryland Conservative — April 20, 2009 @ 8:02 pm - April 20, 2009

  21. What “self-regulation” of the finance industry, Kevin? The liberals like Dodd & Frank, who were getting kickbacks, spent years trying to convince us there were plenty.

    And in what alternate universe does a “greedy” business think they’ll get even more money by lending to people who can’t afford to pay it back?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — April 21, 2009 @ 6:20 am - April 21, 2009

  22. If I didn’t complain when I stubbed my toe that doesn’t mean I can’t complain if someone tries to break my leg.

    BTW, the internet-troll invasion of blog comment sections you mentioned in a prior post is pervasive, and their common theme seems to be the one you’ve addressed here. You’ve got enough active commenters that you needn’t be bothered, but they can dominate a small blog. In my case the comment moderation feature eliminated the problem.

    Great post, GayPatriotWest.

    Comment by Geo — April 21, 2009 @ 10:27 am - April 21, 2009

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