Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Serving or Selling Out?

No sooner than Scott Brown, the newly-elected, Tea Party-activist backed
Republican U.S. Senator sat down in the very seat formerly occupied by
the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, the liberal icon, that Sen. Brown did something
quite unexpected and to some, dismaying --- Brown voted in favor of a
jobs bill endorsed by Persident Obama. He joined four other Republican
senators in cutting off a potential GOP filibuster on the bill, which faces
a final vote today in the Senate.

Now, the other four Republican senators who voted for the bill were certainly of no surprise; Maine's Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins,
George Voinovich from Ohio, and Christopher "Kit" Bond of Missouri.
They each have a history of going against the party's leadership (including
Republican presidents) and its platform on important issues, voting often
with their Democratic colleagues. Sen. Bond has been the least egregious
of these four in this regard, but now feels free to buck the GOP more as
per his whimsey, as he is not seeking another term this fall. The other
three, though, have well and truly earned the acronym moniker "RINO"
(Republican In Name Only) by having amassed voting records virtually
indistinguishable from those of the Senate Democrats over time.

But what gives with Sen. Brown? He ran on the promise to vote against
President Obama's health care legislation, and it was thought by the
voters in Massachusetts that Brown would oppose Obama and the
Democrats on all of their lavish-spending ideas. Brown assured his state's
voters that he would also fight any legislation which would increase both
the nation's deficit and debt, and of course send taxes on a rocket ride.
Did he make a "pie crust promise" just to get elected?

The Peasant will play "Devil's Advocate" here, quoting Jeffrey Berry, a
political science professor at Sen. Brown's alma mater Tufts University:
"Scott Brown knows that he's going to be judged differently in 2012 than
he was in 2010... He's facing a different electorate, with more Democratic
voters, and Barack Obama at the top of the ticket, in what is still a blue
state." Indeed, this is true. Sen. Brown likely figures that he will be seen
as working to create jobs in his economically distressed state.
Furthermore, the Democrat's jobs bill has some provisions that have strong bipartisan support, including a proviso exempting businesses
hiring the unemployed from Social Security payroll taxes through
December of this year, and giving them a $1,000 credit if new hires
stick around for a full year. Important sweeteners, these are. And,
Sen. Brown was elected only for the final two years of Sen. Kennedy's
final term, so he has a limited window of opportunity to show the
voters in Massachusetts that they were right to vote him into that
open Senate seat.

On the other side of the ledger, however, the jobs bill --- should it pass
and be signed into law --- might not be any more effective in job creation
than was Obama's 2009 Stimulus Package (called the "Porkulus" Package
by opponents). One of its supposed benefits was to foster job growth as a factor in stimulating the economy, and all it did was consume $780+
billion with unquantifiable job creation to show for it.

Some of those who voted for Scott Brown have contacted him to voice
their dismay and displeasure at his stunning vote, calling him a "RINO"
and accusing him of selling out right out of the starting gate. But The
Peasant urges calm and patience, as Sen. Brown deals with the political
realities of being a Republican senator from a Democratic state. He was
elected not because his state's electorate had suddenly turned Republican,
but because it has grave doubts about at least some of the policies of the
Democratic administration that it had helped vote into office. The voters
of Massachusetts want to sample what Scott Brown has to offer before deciding to buy for the long haul. Let's wait and see what the new U.S.
Senator from Massachusetts does in the weeks and months to come.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Sarah Palin's Tea Party Convention Speech

Your beloved Peasant just got the link to YouTube to see and hear Sarah Palin's speech
that she gave at the recent Tea Party Convention. Click here and enjoy:

I'll be back next week with another article for you, my beloved readers.
Yours in Freedom & Liberty!


Friday, February 12, 2010

Thoughts on the Tea Party Convention

The Tea Party Movement, the rapidly growing and spreading political
movement fueled by resentment and anger aimed at arrogantly unresponsive
elected government officials, recently concluded its very first confab ---
a three-day convention in Nashville, Tennessee. Deliberating from Thursday,
February 4 through Saturday, February 6, the gathering was designed to form
alliances with various tea party groups nationwide to be a force for persuading
the country's two major political parties to listen to and serve the people rather
than dictate to them.

However, some Tea Party activists steered clear of the proceedings, believing
that its true purpose is to turn the movement into a top-down, heirarchical
organization which could also be co-opted by the Republican Party and its
moderate/liberal leadership. Other activists worried that the event would lead
to the establishment of a third political party which would likely split the
nation's conservative vote in elections, leading to Democratic Party victories.

The convention, organized by Tennessee activists Judson and Sherry Phillips,
put up what these wary Tea Partiers perceived as red flags:

*A $549 price tag for an all-access pass for the three-day event. For anyone
coming just to hear the convention's main speaker, former Alaska Governor
Sarah Palin, $349 to purchase the ducat. Gov. Palin said that she would
donate her honorarium to some conservative political groups. Many people
declined to attend the bash because they simply couldn't afford to, and had
complained that the pricey tickets ran counter to the populist purpose of the
Tea Party Movement, even with Gov. Palin's generous intent for her fee.

*The Phillipses are long-time Tennessee Republican Party figures, having
worked on many GOP campaigns in their home state. This fact led many
Tea Partiers to believ that the convention was a ruse by Republicans to
take over the movement.

*Some of the scheduled speakers, including U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn
(R-TN) withdrew from the conference because of the two aforementioned
facts. Some partnering Tea Party organizations pulled out as well. Your
faithful Peasant did not attend, though I certainly would have loved to,
because of the cost of the respective passes.

Now given all of these things, The Peasant says this:

First, holding a Tea Party convention was a good thing to do. It was an
opportunity to gather Tea Party activists from around the country to exchange
ideas for the movement's next step, and how it should thus proceed. But the
attendance prices should not have been stratospheric, for the sake of those
wishing to attend but having been waylaid by the effects of the staggering
economy as well as to preserve the populist feel and purpose of the convention
and the movement itself. Let the fat-cat elites in the Big Two political parties
have their $500 + gatherings; the Tea Party Movement is supposed to be
about "regular" Americans, many of whom don't have that much disposable
income to spend on attending political get-togethers.

Second, the success of the Tea Party Movement is in its "outsider" appeal.
As a phenomenon having originated with "regular" Americans via grassroots
activity, in part as a reaction to the cavalier behavior of the Republicans and
Democrats and their big-monied constituencies (Big Business, Big Labor, etc.),
it must be and be seen to be independent of these groups. If the Tea Party
Movement is to exert pressure on the politicians to get them to change how
they function, then it cannot become entangled in the latter's web, lest its
purpose be distorted and very possibly co-opted.

Third, the Tea Party Movement should maintain a balance between being a
protest movement and being a watchdog over our elected officials. It must
point out what the government is doing wrong, then propose and advocate
what alternatives must be initiated. Furthermore, the movement must have
the leeway to spontaneously organize and hold Tea Party rallies whenever
and wherever the need arises; its participants should not have to wait for
permission and instructions on whether and how to proceed in taking action.
The Tea Party Movement should neither be a third political party, a component
of one of the existing major political parties, nor a corporate entity. Any of
these things would compromise the integrity and purpose of the movement.

The Tea Party Movement, however, is young. It is experiencing growing pains,
and this is to be expected. In time, though, it will mature and thus function in
ways which will be most fruitful in aiding the cause of reinstituting constitu-
tional restraint and responsibility in government. And the American people
will no longer be shoved aside from the process of governance.


NOTE: The Peasant wishes to thank USA TODAY Online and The Washington for their coverage of the National Tea Party Convention, their
coverage being the source of information for today's article.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sorry, No Article This Week

My apologies to you, my wonderful readers, but I will not be posting an article this week.
I have taken ill yesterday and have been bedridden for a day and a half, thus setting me
back on my schedule for the week. This has, unfortunately, affected my timetable to get
a posting up for you this week.

I am starting to feel a bit better, and my energy is returning. I am now up and about, and
am at least able to post this message for you so you won't wonder what has happened to your
favorite Peasant and his observations on our political scene. I shall, of course, have an article
posted for you next week; I presently have some notes ready to craft into the article that I
was to have posted this week. So my offering will be delayed just a wee bit. Better late than

Thank you all for your kind understanding! We'll get together next week!