"The tea parties are mostly an honest spontaneous effort by ordinary people from all over the political spectrum to express their outrage at government hubris from absurd spending, corporate bailouts, etc." - Mike Huckabee (R-Fox News)or
"The Tea Party was born because of the economy" - Sen. Reid (D-NV)
But the origins of the Tea Party go back much further than this recent flare-up. To see that, we must first have a clear idea of what exactly the Tea Party means.
- The Tea Party Patriots [TPP] list their core values as Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government, and Free Markets. In explaining what they mean by Fiscal Responsibility, TPP describes taxation as unjustly restricting liberty. They reference states rights while outlining what they mean by Constitutionally Limited Government. And they "oppose government intervention into the operations of private business".
- The National Tea Party Federation lists the same three items under its "objectives" as the TPP's "core values" (see above).
- The Nationwide Tea Party Coalition lists core values of "Limited Government, as authorized by the Constitution", Fiscal Responsibility, and Free Markets. In other words, the same three as the TPP in a different order.
In all cases, the Tea Party orientation is conservative. And it is a particular familiar flavor and traditional style of conservative. This is the same conservative position as President Reagan, who called for limited government, preached fiscal responsibility, and spoke of "free and open markets". While for one reason or another Reagan did not always practice his ideals during his term (with huge deficit increases and some protectionist policies), those were his ideals nonetheless. But Pres. Reagen didn't invent that stance either, as he learned his conservative politics campaigning for Barry Goldwater and took over spearheading Goldwater's platform after Goldwater failed in the 1964 Presidential campaign.
"My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible." - Barry Goldwater in The Conscience of a Conservative
Goldwater's conservative stance was not stamped out by his 1964 loss. It continued under the banner of Reagan and others. There is no big difference. There is only an additional name, "Tea Party", and more funding from the likes of the Koch brothers who have realized that Goldwater's talking points could be the most effective way to fight reasonable environmental regulations.
But this begs the question: why call it the Tea Party? Calling them the Tea Party, we've been practicing a deceptive comparison to a the Boston Tea Party. The Boston Tea Party protested against a monopolistic corporation and imposition by an authority other than our duly elected representatives. Today's inheritors of Barry Goldwater have no resemblance whatsoever to that Boston Tea Party. They fight for the corporations involved in their issues and the policies they oppose were implemented by duly elected representatives. Shouldn't we be calling a spade a spade? The so-called Tea Party of today are merely re-packaged Goldwater conservative Republicans with corporate conglomerate funding. Michelle Bachmann is just the leader of the Goldwater wing of the GOP, unless they should decide to finally split and form a full-fledged Goldwater-based political party.
They're not Boston-style Tea ... they're just Goldwater. JJH55DM59KYR