Time for Tea Party to Learn How Washington Works

Tea Party folks either need to form their own party or learn how Washington’s game is played.

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I was outraged today when Tea Party Patriots cofounders Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin stated they would be watching the newly elected Congress to make sure they’re doing the “right” thing. They said this during a taping of Follow the Money, one of the Fox Business Network programs I appear on. Just what exactly is the “right” thing? Oh you mean what they want? Or perhaps their demands?!  [See editorial cartoons about the Tea Party.]

They also have stated that “the healthcare repeal vote is an important gesture” (no kidding--it’s a show for the voters as it won’t pass the Senate or be signed by the president!)

And on Chris Matthew’s Hardball when Meckler and Martin were asked if they trusted John Boehner or Mitch McConnell the answer was “no.”

Wait a minute!!!

If you don’t trust your House and Senate leaders in the GOP, then how come your candidates ran on their platform?!? And if you don’t favor the GOP platform then where were the numerous Democratic Tea Party candidates running in the last midterm elections?!!?

[See a slide show of new faces in the Senate.]

It is a very slippery slope when an organization, which comprises only a minority of House members, Senate members, and even voters start deciding what’s “right.” Is it “right” to repeal healthcare when that doesn’t cut spending, create jobs, or secure our borders?! And whose benefits do we take away first, the children who are ill or anyone who has a pre-existing condition!?! You decide. Ah those family values! What would you know who do!?!!

Mark Meckler, Jenny Beth Martin, and all Tea Party folks either need to form their own party or learn how Washington’s game is played.

When a bill comes up for a vote, there are only two ways it goes: Yay or nay. That would be Democrat or Republican. Even the independents in the Senate like Joe Lieberman and Bernie Sanders cast their vote for one side of the aisle or the other. The “Teapublicans” as I like to call them, will end up voting with the GOP for the most part, since their constituencies are more conservative; and that certainly doesn’t lead to a left leaning Democratic position on a piece of legislation. Add to that the lobbyist’s ideas of what’s “right.” Oh yes, the Tea Party folk like Meckler and Martin might have funded and promised to continue to back financially and otherwise anyone who does things their way; but let me remind you that organizations like the NRA, tobacco, and big healthcare have more money and therefore more power to “buy” one’s vote. I was told that the major health insurance companies have 6 lobbyists to every 1 U.S. Senator.

[See a roundup of political cartoons on Democrats and on Republicans.]

I suggest that all elected officials listen to their constituents, not the polls, not the press and not even the Tea Party. It’s the reason they’re in Washington. It’s’ the reason they were elected. It’s the only way they’ll get things done and the only way they’ll be re-elected.

I’ve always said “it’s the economy, stupid.” And regardless of Mark and Jenny roaming the halls of Congress keeping a watchful eye on their congressional prizes, if the economy’s good, the incumbents will enjoy a sweet swift ride to re-election; and that includes our president. And that would be “right” now wouldn’t it?

  • Follow the money in Congress.
  • See a slide show of new faces in the Senate.
  • Check out a roundup of this month's best political cartoons.
  • Corrected on : Corrected 01/06/11: An earlier version of this blog post incorrectly identified Fox Business Network.