For a great refutation of the various left-wing attempts to discredit the Tea Parties protesting ever-increasing government spending and tax hikes which are concomitants of such spending, just take a gander at Frank Cagle’s piece, Wallace, Perot demonstrated anger’s impact on political process. In fact, I recommend you do as I’ve done and print it out, so you can highlight his salient points.
Not only does Cagle offer a sound defense of the Tea Parties, but he also offers a nutshell version of why the GOP fell part in the first decade of this century and what help revive the party in the coming years.
More succinctly than any post or article I have read on the phenomenon in which I (and many of our readers) participated last week, Cagle rebuts the left-wing slur that these rallies were “astroturf,” i.e. fake grassroots:
Well, yeah. Instapundit, talk radio, and Fox News enabled the meet-ups. You don’t think The New York Times and MSNBC would help them get the message out do you? But you can’t turn people out for a protest if there isn’t a motivating energy and, yes, anger that drives it. Ask the environmental movement or any other issues-oriented interest group the last time they were able to organize a national protest with this kind of turnout.
The energy is real and significant and it ought not be ignored. There is very real anger across America and if political polling is to be believed it is not directed at President Obama. It is an anger directed at Washington in general, both political parties, and the prospect of a bankrupt federal government. The pictures I saw at the protests across the country had as many anti-Bush signs as anti-Obama signs.
Emphasis added. While I did see a few anti-Bush signs (and one anti-Bush T-shirt) in Santa Monica and Van Nuys, I actually saw far more signs critical of his successor. We’ll see more such signs unless the incumbent takes seriously the causes of the protesters’ anger.
Given the insignificance* of Obama’s recently proposed cuts to his previously proposed increases, I doubt he gets the depth of the feelings which drive this grassroots phenomenon. So, that of what Cagle calls the “two predominate political parties” in America, it’s up to the Republicans to tap into our concerns.
To that end, he poses the question which may well determine the fate of the GOP: whether this anger finds expression and “whether it re-invigorates the Republican Party or splinters it to pieces.”
He concludes, “Republicans can embrace the dissidents and reinvigorate the party, or they can sit by and let someone else tap that energy for another purpose.” Exactly. If the GOP doesn’t tap into this, the party will fail to both address the concerns of a large chunk of its rank-and-file, including many who have become disaffected in recent years and to build its base by tapping into the libertarian sentiments of a large segment of the population.
*If you follow the link, look for the fingernail comment.