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How the tea party undermines conservatism
Washington Post, by Michael Gerson

Original Article

Posted By:Dreadnought, 1/6/2014 9:49:05 PM

One of the main problems with an unremittingly hostile view of government — held by many associated with the tea party, libertarianism and “constitutionalism” — is that it obscures and undermines the social contributions of a truly conservative vision of government. Politics requires a guiding principle of public action. For popular liberalism, it is often the rule of good intentions: If it sounds good, do it. Social problems can be solved by compassionate, efficient regulation and bureaucratic management — which is seldom efficient and invites unintended consequences in complex, unmanageable systems (say, the one-sixth of the U.S. economy devoted to

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: Really?, 1/6/2014 10:04:04 PM     (No. 9682430)

There is no "unremittingly hostile view of government" in the "Tea Party". These journalists create straw men in their sleep.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: MDConservative, 1/6/2014 10:13:20 PM     (No. 9682439)

FTA: "Where are the creative conservative policy ideas to strengthen civil society and private enterprise in places where the playing field of equal opportunity is scandalously tilted?"

Strengthen "civil society"? The one that is disappearing in such liberal strongholds as Detroit and virtually every large city? "Private enterprise"? The small business owners taxed and regulated to bankruptcy? Those are the liberal ideas...

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Reply 3 - Posted by: unagator, 1/6/2014 10:28:19 PM     (No. 9682451)

To Mike and the establishment "conservatives" it´s like the last 13 years never happened.

You had your chance and you screwed the pooch, enriching yourselves along the way.

Now stick your "deference" where the sun don´t shine and get out of the way.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: TarAndFeathers, 1/6/2014 10:35:03 PM     (No. 9682457)

The Wash Post, aka Izvestia, doesn´t like Americans.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: STLstudent, 1/6/2014 10:43:08 PM     (No. 9682461)

The Republican country club class had possession of the White House and BOTH houses of Congress in the early 2000s. What did they do?

They spent money like drunken sailors. The were completely irresponsible and did NOTHING to reduce the heavy burden of federal regulations.

Don´t blame the Tea Party movement! Blame the unprincipled Republican Party leadership!

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Timber Queen, 1/6/2014 11:03:38 PM     (No. 9682471)

The headline is provocative and sure to warm the hearts of lukewarm moderates.


FTA “In the traditional conservative view, individual liberty is ennobled and ordered within social institutions — families, religious communities, neighborhoods, voluntary associations, local governments and nations. The success of individuals is tied to the health of these institutions, which prepare people for the responsible exercise of freedom and the duties of citizenship. This is a limiting principle: Higher levels of government should show deference to private associations and local institutions.”

This sure sounds like it could have been in any speech given at any TEA movement rally, contrary to Gerson’s view of unremitting hostility to government.

However, he immediately qualifies the above quote with, “But this is also a guide to appropriate governmental action — needed when local and private institutions are enervated or insufficient in scale to achieve the public good.” I guess this is the escape clause used to justify giant government. Never mentioned is the deleterious effect of taxes and regulations that are the geneses of the enervation of basic social institutions.

Returning more functions of government away from the federal level to the state and local level is one of the goals of the TEA movement. It’s also a stated goal of the Republican Party but we never hear them talk about it or see them really fight for the concept.

Despite the headline, Mr. Gerson never really discusses how the TEA movement is “undermining” conservatism, rather than invigorating it.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: thelmalou, 1/6/2014 11:08:23 PM     (No. 9682473)

Oh, thank you, Mr. Gerson (and all your erstwhile moderate GOP friends), for setting all of us ignorant hick flyover Tea Partiers straight.


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Reply 8 - Posted by: absalom, 1/6/2014 11:34:50 PM     (No. 9682486)

Gerson is part of the cabal @ Commentary; all R DC Establishment types at their core. He was typical of the clowns, doofuses and jerks Bush surrounded himself with. Remember McClellan and Perino?

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Reply 9 - Posted by: steveW, 1/7/2014 1:46:02 AM     (No. 9682535)

Gosh, Mr. Gerson, we thought Tea Party meant stopping the GOP from helping Democrats spend the nation to death. Silly us! Just don´t expect any more donations.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: ladychatalie, 1/7/2014 4:30:31 AM     (No. 9682554)

Gallop reports a 12 percent approval rating for Congress in December 2013. So Michael, that must mean that 88 percent of Americans belong to the Taxed Enough Already (TEA) party, which isn´t a party but a traditional American opinion about the role of our federal government.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: MissMolly, 1/7/2014 6:29:52 AM     (No. 9682601)

#8, I don´t find that Michael Gerson has ever written for Commentary, much less as a member of a "cabal". Other Gersons, not Michael, were in Commentary in the early 90s. But, I guess facts don´t matter when you´re trying to make an obscure point.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: stablemoney, 1/7/2014 7:48:19 AM     (No. 9682656)

One of the problems with WaPo is that lies do not advance public knowledge. The WaPo claims intimate knowledge of tea party people, but have never met, or talked with one, and if they should, would not listen to a word they said.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: god of irony, 1/7/2014 8:14:40 AM     (No. 9682691)

It is not government we dislike it is the fools that are running it. They have forsaken the core principles that make this country great for the money and power to keep themselves in office.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: 4poster, 1/7/2014 11:00:55 AM     (No. 9683001)

Where Mr. Gerson goes wrong is rolling up everything and dropping it into a generalized ´government.´ All the things he describes are best left to States. The Federal government has shown time and again it can´t accomplish anything efficiently.

So, perhaps our founding fathers stumbled on to something with Constitutional limits to the Federal government.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: jeffkinnh, 1/7/2014 11:35:31 AM     (No. 9683056)

Poor Michael,

all mixed up as usual.

He starts by making an false accusation against the Tea Party movement and then runs with it.

The Tea Party is about Constitutional government, i.e. Rule of Law. The law represents a consistent yardstick of expectations. AND, laws can be changed with the consent of the governed.

Next the Tea Party is about fiscal responsibility. This doesn´t mean no federal spending, just not out of control spending like what has happened under BO. The ratio of federal spending to GDP has soared. Most Tea Party people want a return to more balanced levels of federal spending, spending we can afford.

Third, the Tea Party is for Free Market principles. This simply means that government should not interfere with business. Less regulation and no funding of ongoing businesses operations. Why? because business is risky and government makes horrible choices that waste tax dollars and yield no benefit. Business and the economic health of the Country are best when the government has a very light touch.

Next, all the programs for personal growth, job opportunity, local government responsibility as encouraged by Gerson are NOT in conflict with Tea Party goals in the least. Local and State governance are where decisions should be made, only rising to federal levels when necessary.

In short, Gerson grossly misrepresents Tea Party goals and puts up a straw dog to poke at. Not surprising for him.


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Reply 16 - Posted by: absalom, 1/7/2014 1:43:43 PM     (No. 9683211)

#11. Gerson, along w/his WAPO tag team partners Jenifer Rubin and Peter Wehner write for Commentary. Next time, hire a pre-teen to look things up for you.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: MissMolly, 1/7/2014 1:52:50 PM     (No. 9683222)

I stand corrected. But, "cabal"? Paranoia abounds. Peter Wehner is a really good guy, for instance.

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Reply 18 - Posted by: absalom, 1/7/2014 4:03:24 PM     (No. 9683353)

#17. OK, just replace Cabal w/GOP DC Establishment flacks who live on the pages of Commentary and the WAPO!

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