Skip to main content

My oped on the failures of the Tea Party was published in the Juneau paper today.

Here are a few paragraphs but go read the whole thing.

We have a tendency in this country to treat politics like a sport and forget that it has very real consequences. But unlike a football game, the radical policies the tea party supports will directly change our lives in fundamental ways.

If we privatize Social Security and hand over our retirement to Wall Street, we will have less secure retirements. If unemployment benefits are eliminated because they are thought to be unconstitutional, millions of families whose jobs were outsourced during this recession will fall further into poverty. If Joe Miller gets his way, rape victims will have to give birth to their rapist's child. If we adopt the Republican health care plan, millions of Americans will remain uninsured or be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.


The founding fathers recognized that governments serve many vital functions and they trusted the voters to create a government to collectively improve everyone's lives. That government built the strongest middle class in history with progressive taxation, free K-12 education, affordable colleges, strong unions and good public services.

Our problem now is not too much government; our problem is that we have lost control of our government. As billionaires and corporations have taken control of the levers of power, the once-great American middle class has crumbled. The tea party policies will not fix that, they will hand even more control to unelected corporations. Health care will continue to be rationed by health insurance companies, Wall Street will still take 40 percent of corporate profits and hedge fund managers will continue to have their own lower tax loopholes, brutal spending cuts will pay for tax cuts for the rich not to lower the deficit, more jobs will move offshore so corporations can maximize profits, and corporations will have a freer hand to pollute our air, land, and water.

Forty-five million Americans, including 1 in 5 children, now live in poverty. Income inequality is the highest it has been since 1928, and economic mobility in the U.S. is lower than many other developed countries. Despite what we have been told, in the U.S. if you are born poor you are very likely to remain poor and if you are born rich, you will most likely stay rich. The richest 1 percent now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent and that wealth still hasn't trickled down to the rest of us. Instead of creating jobs, the rich have been using their wealth to buy politicians who will make sure they stay rich. The radical policies that Joe Miller and the tea party are advocating will only make these problems worse. They are the same ideas that failed miserably when President George W. Bush tried them, just rebranded with a new spokesperson.

Update: Thanks for all the recommendations and for sharing this OpEd with others. I wanted to highlight this story about Americans perceptions about wealth inequality. According to the poll, most Americans of both political parties want much more income equality than we currently have, but they are extremely misinformed about how much inequality there is in the U.S. The bad news is that, in this post-Citizens United world, we can expect even more misinformation. The good news is that if we can find ways to educate people, most of them will agree with us.

Originally posted to aprichard on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 10:25 AM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Pat K California, Thumb, JekyllnHyde, RobertInWisconsin, Ed in Montana, Angie in WA State, Doug in SF, buffalo soldier, Terri, From the choir, RF, CJB, catdevotee, True North, Odysseus, thinkdouble, askew, Better Days, glitterscale, Cali Scribe, artr2, NYmom, BigOkie, mattman, sacrelicious, bosdcla14, Emerson, tommurphy, LynChi, Hesiod, Jay C, Arlyn, mslat27, celdd, dkistner, azale, Sandy on Signal, AustinCynic, FyodorFish, object16, Sandia Blanca, exNYinTX, marge, niemann, Creosote, regis, Addison, entlord, opinionated, bronte17, 88kathy, indybend, Nellcote, cskendrick, cyberKosFan, elveta, OCD, djMikulec, because, CoolOnion, pedrito, ovals49, someRaven, greenomanic, superba, dchill, Swordsmith, jalbert, ClickerMel, Iberian, bustacap, Cedwyn, antirove, wader, nio, Dube, psnyder, Nag, Moody Loner, nancelot, MrSandman, Miss Jones, synth, peternight, JimWilson, NYFM, MmeVoltaire, Catte Nappe, puffin6092, rlharry, kalmoth, kismet, MeToo, Donna in Rome, zett, zerelda, ybruti, KayCeSF, JayDean, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, Mosquito Pilot, Steven D, xyz, bablhous, rambler american, bibble, Armand451, Frank Vyan Walton, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, Julie Gulden, seronimous, madaprn, Skennet Boch, Recovering Southern Baptist, Red State Misfit, maybeeso in michigan, historys mysteries, Bluesee, SisTwo, Tinfoil Hat, RaveON, Ckntfld, UncleCharlie, vinylgirl, JanetT in MD, socks, Erik the Red, PBen, PsychoSavannah, Alice Venturi, DocGonzo, basquebob, ChemBob, kaye, TigerMom, chidmf, EJP in Maine, Gary Norton, reflectionsv37, boofdah, Spoc42, mojo workin, cfk, aaraujo, ladybug53, Little Lulu, woobie, WisePiper, power model, Shotput8, neroden, sodalis, peacestpete, Snud, kathny, fhcec, xaxnar, begone, RJDixon74135, lcork, martini, happynz, Shirl In Idaho, Jennifer Clare, BachFan, Orinoco, LeighAnn, tarheelblue, tommymet, cybersaur, 417els, Clytemnestra, ferallike, BlueInARedState, Themistoclea, Dvalkure, arlene, SarekOfVulcan, blueoasis, AnnCetera, MJ via Chicago, erratic, A Siegel, Lashe, bubbanomics, nonnie9999, gatorcog, Libby Shaw, orchid, real world chick, JVolvo, happy camper, armadillo, Preston S, gabriella, AndyS In Colorado, ER Doc, MBNYC, Aocreata, llbear, IL clb, inner light, CA Nana, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, lynneinfla, Bernie68, bstotts, Granny Doc, Hedwig, Nulwee, Pandoras Box, Aaa T Tudeattack, DBunn, Thinking Fella, tegrat, clinging to hope, sephius1, old wobbly, pinkhighway, RagingGurrl, marykk, bluicebank, dotsright, Habitat Vic, jhecht, camlbacker, leema, Dartagnan, NovatoBon, threegoal, edsbrooklyn, FishOutofWater, rgjdmls, Mary Mike, Duccio, Cofcos, DWG, Shadowmage36, aliasalias, Strabo, RosyFinch, malharden, TerribleTom, NoMoJoe, puzzled, Seneca Doane, artisan, bluehen96, jedennis, buckshot face, steamkettle, martyinsfo, netguyct, millwood, owl06, Progressive Chick, Rumarhazzit, uciguy30, M Sullivan, LWelsch, JML9999, cacamp, sable, South Park Democrat, vet, wuod kwatch, oxon, LynneK, TomP, Empower Ink, rmonroe, VA Breeze, JDWolverton, MKinTN, kafkananda, rogerdaddy, KLS, revm3up, jack 1966, Devsd, lisastar, glutz78, Justus, BobBlueMass, RickMassimo, ScottyUrb, OleHippieChick, Senor Unoball, ReEnergizer, elwior, Ectoras, ajr111240, slapper95, Mother of Zeus, Its any one guess, mikeconwell, robroser, billd, Yohannon, Lujane, pamelabrown, RandomNonviolence, TH Seed, Jake Williams, Jeff Y, Ladyhawk, Tam in CA, brasilaaron, mofembot, Seamus D, temptxan, codairem, PMA, luckylizard, emidesu, DixieDishrag, A Man Called Gloom, allie123, Executive Odor, HarpboyAK, palantir, dmhlt 66, watercarrier4diogenes, Diogenes2008, vmdairy, squarewheel, Purple Priestess, fayea, R Rhino from CT4, clent, maggiejean, 1BQ, Bule Betawi, multilee, weaponsofmassdeception, Fonsia, DontTaseMeBro, MTmarilyn, ProfJonathan, Magick Maven, juca, CanyonWren, Mislead, Stranded Wind, Norm in Chicago, janmtairy, Partisan Progressive, Ohiodem1, velvet blasphemy, bigmikek7, Apphouse50, shalca, DefendOurConstitution, Daily Activist, followyourbliss, elziax, marzook, Framlingham, bfitzinAR, allep10, Denise Oliver Velez, Dark UltraValia, IreGyre, DreamyAJ, realwischeese, sfarkash, maxzj05, jimmylutherking, karenina044, PoliticalJunkessa, Little Flower, nancat357, Livvy5, futureliveshere, Adept2u, deviant24x, SweetMartha, Larsstephens, Hunter Huxley, cassandraX, Railfan, Ajipon, Just Bob, ZAP210, chambord, smileycreek, kydoc, coppercelt, mamamorgaine, hillgiant, awcomeon, marabout40, p gorden lippy, flitedocnm, dvbernard, Loli, Vacationland, LaughingPlanet, imamish, amk for obama, piers, Interceptor7, Anima, luvsathoroughbred, citizen31, Crabby Abbey, angelajean, trixied13, ATFILLINOIS, Eddie L, ctlrick, pixxer, ItsSimpleSimon, Hoopgreen, Mariken, sharonsz, Earth Ling, SoonerG, abrauer, shel3364, Texnance, roystah, elengul, kenwards, Floande, Loose Fur, Oh Mary Oh, cherylm, Jonze, not2plato, Eric0125, Onomastic, gobears2000, Jasel, mrbeen38, ozsea1, DoubleT, vahana, freesia, La Gitane, BlueJessamine, m00finsan, ardyess, BlackQueen40, QuestionAuthority, FarWestGirl, Arkieboy, mikejay611, imokyrok, kevin k, Nicci August, AmericanIdeal, NormAl1792, CoExistNow, two moms in Az, Late Spring, PedalingPete, mrsgoo, Haf2Read, marleycat, laurnj, majii, Cinnamon Rollover, thomask, RadicalRoadRat, dle2GA, akmk, jg67, KVoimakas, RfrancisR, JWK, dakinishir, MRA NY, createpeace, Vtdblue, IL JimP, COkdub, EdgedInBlue, corvaire, peregrine kate, Crider, dibsa, Aquagranny911, poliwrangler, VTCC73, Frameshift, TrahmalG, wide eyed lib, Vatexia, daveusf, blue aardvark, SteelerGrrl, bluck, zenox, KingofSpades, weinerschnauzer, googie, CoyoteMarti, Kurt from CMH, drawingporno, No one gets out alive, Mathazar, Rejoinder, Lambunao, Stinkmeaner, sciphile, AnnetteK, livingthedream, jacey, mod2lib, ridemybike, AZ Independent, CuriousBoston, buzzybodhi, TheLizardKing, Siri, wordfiddler, SilverWillow, J Brunner Fan, AnnieR, The Red Phone Is Ringing, talismanlangley, belinda ridgewood, Cathy VA, radical simplicity

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site