GOP: Avoid Tea Party Kool-Aid | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

GOP: Avoid Tea Party Kool-Aid

That Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant and many Mississippi Republicans are aligning themselves with the tea party comes as little surprise. Bryant told The Clarion-Ledger last week that tea-party beliefs "are much like mine."

Republican lawmakers have largely embraced the cantankerous, almost exclusively white party, but the GOP should be nervous about championing its call. Tea partiers can make radical demands, ranging from the Mississippi Tea Party's dangerous call for a return of the McCarthy-esque General Legislative Investigating Committee to its hypocritical push for phasing out welfare programs.

State lawmakers created the GLIC in the 1950s to study "un-American activities" and present its findings at every regular session. We have no idea what constitutes "un-American" in the modern tea party's agenda, but the information the GLIC gathered throughout the 1950s and 1960s commonly dealt with activities "intended to overthrow, destroy, alter or assist in the overthrow, destruction or alterations" of the U.S. or state constitutions, and the State Sovereignty Commission used its reports to justify laws requiring racial segregation.

During the 1950s, the GLIC—now defunct—had a habit of linking communist activity to the desegregation movement, but we're not sure how something like that can be used to press the tea party's agenda. GLIC investigations wouldn't get much done on the local level regarding the recent change in U.S. health-care laws because those revisions must be changed at the federal level. The same argument goes for gun-control laws and laws guiding the states on property taxes—two other issues tea partiers tend to abhor.

The tea party push to roll back welfare programs is hypocritical because of the close proximity the average tea partier has with the nation's welfare system. Look at the crowd at any tea party rally in Mississippi, and you'll find people who qualify for Social Security (or will soon) making the party's call for welfare restriction appear disingenuous, at best.

We also don't see the party's push to eliminate property taxes in favor of a higher sales tax getting traction among the majority of Mississippians, who hover more closely to the national poverty level than any other state in the nation. Imagine the annual tax deduction for property taxes that many Mississippians take on their federal income taxes disappearing and being replaced with a higher sales tax on groceries, gasoline, that new car part you need—we don't see that happening, nor should it.

In fact, if most Mississippians understood the total implications of the Mississippi tea-party message beyond "get Obama out of the White House," they'd probably drop the platform like a dead rat.

Keep that in mind as you try to tie a tea bag to your GOP lapel.

Previous Comments

ID
160473
Comment

So you are saying Phil Bryant is an aging racist? Is that it? You have two articles on this site that basically boil it down to: Tea Party = Aging Racists Hell Bent on Reinstating Slavery. Yeah, I'm being funny but check you editorial continuity. Phil might actually hear about this. Just keep the Free Press free.

Author
Mr Fat Back
Date
2010-10-21T19:42:35-06:00
ID
160480
Comment

Come now, Fat Back. You know the editorial said no such thing. Rather than caricature, perhaps you could explain why we shouldn't be troubled that the Mississippi Tea Party wants to resurrect GLIC?

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2010-10-22T10:02:10-06:00
ID
160482
Comment

Well, BCJ, I was reading it as the average Mississippian would. And, no, I'm not afraid of any of these so-called commissions as the feds have a big bull's eye painted on Mississippi. They can have all the commissions they want but nothing will ever be allowed to happen. There are far more righteous liberals in D.C. than in the entire Deep South who are just waiting to pounce. States Rights has gone R.I.P.

Author
Mr Fat Back
Date
2010-10-22T11:32:10-06:00
ID
160483
Comment

"States Rights" ... Good grief, that old saw again. "States Rights" has been used to justify every nasty piece of business that human beings have managed to foist on one another in America, from slavery to eradication of entire cultures of people (aka Native Americans). What states rights are being taken from you Fat Back? As to our repeated stories about the tea party, I'm not sure we (or any other media) can say enough about those groups. The more I know, the more I know I don't want anything to do with them.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2010-10-22T13:05:43-06:00
ID
160484
Comment

No point-After tracing family roots, I had a great-great-great-great SOMEBODY who's real God-given Christian name was "States Rights Gregory". Craziness. What in the world did they call him? I mean, other than a secessionist.

Author
Lori G
Date
2010-10-22T13:21:44-06:00
ID
160485
Comment

Oh no, "states rights" has elicited a hysterical response! Happens everyday I make comments. It seems libs have a that "labeling thing" down to a science. I guess I'm a States Rights Nazi now. That's okay, sticks and stones . . . . BTW, states rights are guaranteed by the constitution but have been under assault for decades. The next, possibly fatal, blow may be dealt by SCOTUS over immigration laws. (This is not the place for that.) Encroachments over a people's rights to govern themselves as they wish is never good. All these terrible things you speak of were not just happening here in this state and federal oversight apparently wasn't too disturbed about any of it until national civil rights leaders emerged to give their cause uniform traction. I cannot understand why JFP feels so threatened by a political party that is going to have a very short lived existence? If any are elected they will surely be one-termers unless the country goes nose down in the financial gutter. (Are you about to short some stock?) One thing, you refer to TP'ers as being gray and that it's ironic that the TP wants to curb welfare. Social Security is not welfare. You pay into it every paycheck just like I do. It is an earned benefit due to all who contributed. (PS. After working for the feds for four years I decided I was no longer a repub. There is only a nickel's worth of difference between them and the dems. I'm a Centrist.)

Author
Mr Fat Back
Date
2010-10-22T16:00:47-06:00
ID
160496
Comment

I happen to know a tea partier who is on social security, disability and other welfare entitlements. He is an older white male who rails against "the dang gubment and Barack Osama." He is sick of government intervention and interference in his life. I'd like to see how sick he gets when the checks dry up. Some of these folks are quite puzzling.

Author
redlion
Date
2010-10-22T21:14:35-06:00
ID
160507
Comment

Mr Fat, the JFP is not threatened by marginal political parties. We are appalled, however, by supposedly reasonable politicians such as Lt. Gov. Bryant who pander to folks using very similar language to the old Citizens Council, and who want the the state to bring back the spy agencies that helped build the reputation of our state as a harbor for racists. If you don't agree with those things and are, indeed, a "centrist," i'm rather surprised you're not calling it out as well, instead of attacking the messenger. We don't have to look backward very far to see these very strategies, including attacking the messenger, used in our state to justify extremism. Say what you will about the JFP, we will call this out. So get used to it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2010-10-23T20:16:09-06:00
ID
160509
Comment

If nothing else, Fat Back, you demonstrate why Mississippi still needs federal training wheels when it comes to guaranteeing the constitutional rights of its citizens. You rely on the feds to save state government from itself. You also wrote: Encroachments over a people's rights to govern themselves as they wish is never good. That statement seems to ignore the fact that we are a constitutional democracy. Your statement should read, "Encroachments over a people's rights to govern themselves as they wish is never good, unless they are determined to abuse minorities." As for "welfare" versus "social security," it's a distinction without a difference. We all pay taxes in one form or another. People can qualify for social security benefits even if they have not paid in anything to the system. Disability benefits are an example. Also, many senior citizens draw more in social security benefits than they pay into the system. For example, my Fox News grandfather in Wichita has drawn far more in benefits than he ever contributed, all while he rails against "socialism."

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2010-10-23T21:37:38-06:00
ID
160520
Comment

Fat Back, what is your stance on corporate welfare? I know people on the right tend to get into a tizzy about welfare towards the poor (which makes up a trickle of the federal budget), but really say nothing about the $125 billion dollars in corporate welfare yearly. I've read before that welfare for the poor is about $50 billion (I'd have to find sources to verify that). Those are old figures so it could be higher or lower. The amount of money going towards corporate welfare is what the Tea Party should be railing against. I'm not counting money that went towards the bailouts. At least, it was a loan and not a grant.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2010-10-24T22:15:15-06:00
ID
160530
Comment

Oh no, "states rights" has elicited a hysterical response! I have no idea what you're talking about Fatback. In what way was either response hysterical? I do notice, however, that instead of answering my question, you simply skewed and slammed what I wrote, going so far to call yourself a "states rights nazi" (as if anything I wrote was even approaching close to that ridiculous statement). That's a typical troll response. But you're right in this: Few cared one iota about the rights of minorities until the civil-rights era, including those of blacks, Native Americans or women. Are you saying that the rights of those American citizens shouldn't be honored? If some states (including Mississippi) had their way, Fatback, we'd still be dealing with segregation on a level found during the Jim Crow era. Also, you're correct about Social Security not being an entitlement. However those graying tea partiers frequently make noises about the government keeping its hands off their money, conveniently forgetting that Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid are all government-administered programs. It's "government encroachment" that they have an issue with. (If some had their way, Social Security would all be privatized and put in the hands of Wall Street. I guess because the street has proven itself to be better at managing money than the government. But wait! The government had to bail out the Street, didn't they, because the exact opposite is true.) As to the JFP's being threatened by the tea party, I'm not sure I agree; however, people can do a lot of damage in two years. I'd much rather avoid that altogether, thanks. There's too much money and too many powerful people throwing in with the tea party to just think it's going to go away on its own. If that's what you think, I suggest that you've got some magical thinking going on, friend. So I'll ask it again: What states rights have been taken away from you?

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2010-10-25T11:21:44-06:00
ID
160531
Comment

I'd go further and ask what rights period have been taken. They all keep saying that their freedoms are being taken away, but I bet they couldn't name one.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2010-10-25T11:30:52-06:00
ID
160535
Comment

Oh no, "states rights" has elicited a hysterical response! I have no idea what you're talking about Fatback. In what way was either response hysterical? I do notice, however, that instead of answering my question, you simply skewed and slammed what I wrote, going so far to call yourself a "states rights nazi" (as if anything I wrote was even approaching close to that ridiculous statement). That's a typical troll response. **You ladies don't have much of a sense of humor. Rhetorically, I said I guess, BY YOUR STANDARDS, I must be a States Rights Nazi. Are you saying that the rights of those American citizens shouldn't be honored? If some states (including Mississippi) had their way, Fatback, we'd still be dealing with segregation on a level found during the Jim Crow era. **Now you are getting hysterical by putting words in my mouth. I've never infringed on anyone's rights, ever. But, I've had my rights infringed. Rights are supposed to be a two-way street and I have not experienced that here locally. Also, you're correct about Social Security not being an entitlement. However those graying tea partiers frequently make noises about the government keeping its hands off their money, conveniently forgetting that Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid are all government-administered programs. It's "government encroachment" that they have an issue with. (If some had their way, Social Security would all be privatized and put in the hands of Wall Street. I guess because the street has proven itself to be better at managing money than the government. But wait! The government had to bail out the Street, didn't they, because the exact opposite is true.) **I can't divine what the TP really stands for because in reality it is a moving target. I believe most TPs are concerned over what they consider unnecessary social spending. There are so many social programs lying around it would takes days to dig them all up. The privatization of Social Security is nonsense. It would only serve to lose a portion of an individual's benefit in the bleak economy we have where nothing is certain. As to the JFP's being threatened by the tea party, I'm not sure I agree; however, people can do a lot of damage in two years. I'd much rather avoid that altogether, thanks. There's too much money and too many powerful people throwing in with the tea party to just think it's going to go away on its own. If that's what you think, I suggest that you've got some magical thinking going on, friend. So I'll ask it again: What states rights have been taken away from you? **I haven't seen a candidate that I would willingly vote for yet this election. I feel threatened by the total lack of commitment politicians have for our country and it's rapid decline. Two years isn't a lot of time and it will be spent grandstanding for the next presidential election. My concern is that our current President has brought us closer to national socialism than anyone in our history. Unfortunately, people are too blinded or numb to realize that. Post Modern Liberalism and Multi-Culturism has killed us all. PS. I have lost as much of my states rights as you have under the Tea Party.

Author
Mr Fat Back
Date
2010-10-25T12:56:04-06:00
ID
160536
Comment

I'd go further and ask what rights period have been taken. They all keep saying that their freedoms are being taken away, but I bet they couldn't name one. **How about the Patriot Act? That got by you didn't it? Obama said he would not renew it...that was one of the first things he did! Do you realize that under that act you can be randomly be wire-tapped, web-tapped, email-tapped, and searched without warrant? What about the failure to enforce immigration laws pressuring states into passing laws to fill the enforcement gap? (Only to be challenged in court to leave it status quo.) Every job taken by an illegal is robbing a citizen of the chance to work. (Remember the 600 illegals at Howard Industry here in Mississippi?) How about the Pres signing off on the assassination of US citizens involved in terrorist activities? Sounds innocent at first, doesn't it? It's not.

Author
Mr Fat Back
Date
2010-10-25T13:04:45-06:00
ID
160546
Comment

**How about the Patriot Act? That got by you didn't it? Obama said he would not renew it...that was one of the first things he did! Do you realize that under that act you can be randomly be wire-tapped, web-tapped, email-tapped, and searched without warrant? I do agree with you on that. However, it was started under Bush and none of the Tea Party members said anything about it (though they weren't around at the time). Once Obama took power, the Tea Party only complained about freedoms being taken away under Obama. What about the failure to enforce immigration laws pressuring states into passing laws to fill the enforcement gap? (Only to be challenged in court to leave it status quo.) Every job taken by an illegal is robbing a citizen of the chance to work. (Remember the 600 illegals at Howard Industry here in Mississippi?) Jobs that a lot of native-born Americans are not working? I don't know the details of what kind of work the undocumented at Howard were working, but nonetheless, do you blame the undocumented or Howard Industries for letting that happen? No, I don't advocate that people illegally cross into this country for any reason, but at the same time, I don't blame them for wanting to make life better for themselves. How about the Pres signing off on the assassination of US citizens involved in terrorist activities? Sounds innocent at first, doesn't it? It's not. I don't like that either. But again, why isn't the Tea Party coming out against such policies? It's only the falsehood of people's freedoms being taken away because of healthcare reform and other "socialist" policies that people are fighting against.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2010-10-25T16:04:11-06:00
ID
160547
Comment

Multi-Culturism has killed us all. How so? Enlighten please!

Author
golden eagle
Date
2010-10-25T16:05:36-06:00
ID
160551
Comment

Fat back, wishing that you knew the actual definition of "hysterical," I figured it would just be easier to enlighten you. hys·teria (hi ster′ē ə, -stir′-) noun 1. a psychiatric condition variously characterized by emotional excitability, excessive anxiety, sensory and motor disturbances, or the unconscious simulation of organic disorders, such as blindness, deafness, etc. 2. any outbreak of wild, uncontrolled excitement or feeling, such as fits of laughing and crying So, unless you're a psychiatrist, please stopping calling me names. If you want me to laugh at your jokes, try making one. As to my "putting words in your mouth," I've done no such thing. I am asking you questions. My concern is that our current President has brought us closer to national socialism than anyone in our history. Unfortunately, people are too blinded or numb to realize that. Post Modern Liberalism and Multi-Culturism has killed us all. My parents grew up under national socialism, commonly called Nazism. Obama is doing no such thing. Read your history and economics. As for post-modern liberalism and multiculturalism, you'll have to explain those concepts and how they have "killed us all." Sounds like a sound-bite from hell.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2010-10-25T18:36:50-06:00

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