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Culture wars &Tea Parties &Team Obama Richard Falknor on 02 Mar 2010 09:09 pm

No “Apology Tours”* for Tea Partiers or Other Conservatives

 “Conservatives target their own fringe” trumpeted the headline in Kenneth Vogel’s “Politico” post last Saturday where he chronicled a mixture of Left assertions, and fears of nervous Republican Party-oriented voices that the Tea Partiers are including some “fringe” activists. (We would not, however, so characterize any of the Maryland or Virginia Tea Parties we have attended.)

Anyone who was at the 2010 CPAC knows, moreover, that the giant conservative gathering had little outrageous rhetoric and was quite color-inclusive.

Again, the Tea Parties we have joined have many older, accomplished participants.  They would view as presumptuous and patronizing this quote from former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson who pontificated in his Washington Post column “A primer on political reality” —

 “Sometimes it takes courage to stand before a large crowd and proclaim that two plus two equals four.”

In his column on the conservative spectrum, Gerson shamelessly lumps together, with isolationists and left-wing extremists, those serious conservatives who opposed the former president’s deafness on immigration and confusion about US sovereignty.  Gerson mocks, moreover, the research of the analysts and investigators here and here and here who have tracked the current president’s hard-left upbringing and political development.

The Tea Parties are a spontaneous uprising against the Political Class. Why invite their voices back in as guides?

The Tea Partiers did fine without “minders” in 2009, and the political sophistication of many local participants may well exceed that of putative national “leaders”and “trainers.”

The underlying theme of the nostrums advanced by voices in the Vogel article amount to a mug’s game: apparatchiks running about to ensure that no Tea Partier says anything politically offensive. That is an approach with an outrageously demeaning implication.

For that says that local Tea Partiers are somehow not savvy enough to present their own case effectively – – and suggests a largely futile course of action because the Left will always contrive to find ways to demonize us.

As Ann Corcoran of Potomac Tea Party Report counsels – –

” . . . [T]o maintain your independence from any supposed NATIONAL Tea Party organization. . . [t]hink nationally but act locally!

There are, however, some troubling omissions Tea Partiers and grass-roots conservatives should worry about: 

The Potomac Tea Party Report highlights  a current example of grass-roots focus on illegal immigration:

 “Last Saturday [February 20] the North Central West Virginia Tea Party held a candidate forum for 6 Republican candidates for the 1st Congressional District.  The Times West Virginia reports that 4 issues were at the top of the list of concerns of those attending.  Immigration was one of those.”

In Maryland, a “magnet state” for illegal aliens, there is no question that the grassroots worry about illegal immigration.

We agree with some conservative critics that trying to make the president and his administration go away by arguing that he is not a citizen is, to put it charitably, probably not a productive course. But there should be no subtext to these critics’ message discouraging anyone from looking into the many unanswered questions about the president’s upbringing, education, and Chicago life.  Here for example is respected conservative scholar Stanley Kurtz’s analysis just before last election.  For those – on either side – who want to go beyond a knee-jerk discussion, here is Andrew McCarthy’s article in NRO  “Suborned in the U.S.A. The birth-certificate controversy is about Obama’s honesty, not where he was born.

Getting Education and Culture on the Tea Party Agenda

In her pathfinding American Thinker piece *”Conservatives, End the Apology Tour,” (the theme for this post’s title) Mary Grabar tells us – –

Although various conservative advocacy groups like Americans for Prosperity have kicked into high gear in reaction to the threat of government takeover of health care, I have not seen similar action in response to the takeover of education. Most of these groups target citizens already disposed to be wary of large government. But where is the program to instill the idea into a nineteen-year-old’s head that a Washington bureaucrat determining health care decisions is antithetical to our notions of freedom? Where is the program to counter the dominant pedagogy that insists that students make ‘collective’ decisions and write “collaboratively”? Where is the program that encourages independent thought?” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Scholar Grabar sums up her priorities for conservatives – –

The reaction to the rot in education and culture does not match the reaction to health care, as evidenced by town halls, where one participant told Arlen Specter, ‘You have awakened a sleeping giant.’ Indeed, hard-working, middle-class, middle-aged America has awakened from its stupor on this issue.But wouldn’t it make more sense to try to rescue the values and culture of the West and implant them in the minds of the young in a way that is associated with intellectualism (as in fact it is)?   If we did, we would not be reacting in panic to such issues as government health care (with the fires of Afghanistan, illegal immigration, and free speech popping up too). In other words, we would not simply be reacting according to a script from the Saul Alinsky playbook, but establishing our rightful place as intellectual leaders.  Then Glenn Beck and I will not be seen as isolated Jeremiahs, shouting and weeping.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

But we have one qualification to Mary Grabar’s otherwise sound recommendations on education and culture.

Obamacare must be stopped now or we won’t have much flexibility to address anything else.

Republicans: In Office or In Power?

And Mark Steyn tells us where our weak point lies right now 

“In shoving health care down the throats of the American people in the teeth of overwhelming public opposition and any sense of parliamentary decency, the Democrats are in effect taking a bet on Republican wussiness — that, whatever passes, the GOP will have no stomach to undo, no matter the scale of their victory in November. That seems to me an entirely rational calculation. The Dems will be punished; the Republicans will take over the committee chairmanships and be content, as they often are, to be in office rather than in power; and after a brief time out the Democrats will return to find their new statist behemoth still in place. From their point of view, it makes perfect sense.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

For a look at Truthers, Birthers, Oath Takers, the John Birch Society, Alex Jones, and  Lyndon LaRouche, see long-time conservative investigator Cliff Kincaid’s two posts here and here “The Media, Extremists and Conspiracies, Part One and Part Two” commenting on the same Vogel piece in Politico.

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