Could it be?
As a founding member of the Barb City Tea Company I think I’m somewhat qualified to say that the Tea Party movement has been misread. The Republicans are party crashers and the Democrats are in denial.
The Tea Party Movement is not partisan.
For us, when the Barb City Tea Company started with an unsuccessful effort to put the Home Rule question on the April 2009 ballot, there were already other tea parties that had formed in surrounding communities. It seems people, and it really didn’t matter which political party affiliation, were angry with City Hall, U.S.A.
City Hall raised just under a dozen taxes and fees in little over a year with little or no regard for anyone or anything else other than their revenue streams. We were mad because no matter how high they raised the cost of providing government services they had to borrow even more.
Republicans saw their chance and jumped on the bandwagon early and there are some grassroots-in-costume-only official Tea Party committees who are doing quite well at fundraising. Some Democrat tea partiers went underground so as to not be identified as a wing nut after the GOP crashed the party.
So the question of how much impact the Tea Party will have on the balance of power in the U.S. House and Senate is only part of the story. Democrats should be worried. So should the Republicans. It won’t be pretty for almost any incumbent in a contested race — even at the county board level.
The Tea Party movement won’t end with this mid-term election and incumbents will remain the target as long as bureacracy only exists to protect the bureacracy. Voters are less afraid of change than they are status quo. This is a grassroots movement that will shake the tree tops like an earthquake.
We’re still mad.
Some people lost their jobs. Some their homes. Some lost their life savings. But bailed out bankers got their bonuses. Public administrators got their raises. Mortgages became negotiable. Property taxes still aren’t. And the appetite for borrowing money and extending the public credit lines grew unchecked. In fact, the bond appetite was fed with recovery money that was manipulated with full time equivalent formulas instead of any real job creation.
Crooked governors signed game show deals and got hung juries. Pay to play became an acceptable form of government. The County Board sold landfill space to 17 counties in exchange for pet project tipping fees.
Maybe it is time for some bottoms-up re-prioritizing. Finally.
Let the surprises begin.
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