Tea Party must still be rockin' in November
Will the applause lines of April still keep the voters fired up in November• That's the challenge for the tea party movement.
In bright downtown sunshine the other day last week, Pittsburgh area tea partyers came out by the hundreds to "take back America" together.
The pain was all so fresh in everyone's mind. It was the income tax deadline, April 15.
Who could forget the twin fiscal aggravations of 21st century America that tangle like weeds• How much of so many people's pay has to go to government, and how it's still far from enough.
The federal budget alone will be over $1 trillion more in debt in every foreseeable year, while still adding entitlements like the new health care "reform," which tea party folks want no part of.
The conservative-leaning but non-partisan movement, now into its second year, has been drawing all its energy from America's lurch to the left under the Obama administration.
Still, righteous anger gets hard to maintain when speaker after speaker repeats its buzzwords. "Balance the budget!" and "Follow the Constitution!" draw weaker applause, never mind the wisdom therein. Likewise, "No Cap and Trade!" "Strong National Defense!" "Fiscal responsibility!"
If the message doesn't grow more varied and fleshed out with dollar-and-cents policy alternatives, tea party planners are courting listener tune-outs. Hundreds more marches and rallies are planned nationwide and in Washington.
Several speakers at the Mellon Square touched on themes worth underlining.
As government grows hungrier for revenue and less able to restrain spending, some citizens will be paying 70 percent of their income to all tax levels in toto, federal, state and local — especially if Congress creates a European-style value-added tax (VAT) too, said veteran entrepreneur Glen Meakem.
Americans "are way overtaxed" as it is, he said. The 50 percent level has been breached by many. This squeezes the private sector, seedbed of productive jobs, to finance government's make-work and constant growth. Meakem said so-called progressives are actually rolling back progress by "appeasing public sector unions and destroying welfare reform."
Other speakers included Dale McCoy, a self-professed union Democrat (tea partyers are mostly Republican or libertarian). He said his original liberalism lost him when it veered into virtual or outright government takeovers of big banks, automakers, and student loan programs.
The Rev. C. L. Bryant said he and other African-Americans have been misled by "people in government who make every issue an issue of color." Liberal domination of school subject matter "is truly poisoning the minds of children," he said. "Government should get out of our doctors' offices, out of our children's lives, and out of our pockets."
Enlivening the party was a forest of homemade signs. Among the eye-catchers: "Liberty is all the Stimulus We Need." "Obamanomics is Trickle-Up Poverty." "Abortion, Euthanasia: Not the Way to Die for Your Country." "No More Lawyers in Government!" "Throw the Bums Out!" And, with reference to the income tax filing: "I just got raped at my accountant's office."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Comeau’s hat trick leads Penguins; Crosby reaches career points
- Steelers’ backups Archer, Harris ready to run
- Pregnant woman struck by van in North Side dies; doctors save baby
- Starkey: Rutherford will add when timing’s right
- Police on hunt for suspects in unrelated Penn Township, Manor cases
- Amusement parks fight off home entertainment threat
- Pitt plays best game of the season; routs Kansas State
- Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger says Saints game is ‘must win’
- Fatal crash closes Flight 93 chapel in Somerset County
- Parents can make holidays ‘teachable moment’ for kids
- Blairsville judge accused in hit-run set to enter program for 1st-time offenders