Tag Archives: Marlin Stutzman

In Which I AGREE with a Tea Partier

Maybe we really are in the “End Times.” I entirely agree with what a Tea Party Senator has just said.

Utah Senator Mike Lee was arm-in-arm with crazy Ted Cruz during the recent shenanigans that shut down the government. But in the wake of that fiasco, he has made a speech that at the very least shows a self-awareness we are not accustomed to seeing from Tea Party folks, and in places sounds positively progressive!

“Especially in the wake of recent controversies, many conservatives are more frustrated with the establishment than ever before,” Lee said. “And we have every reason to be. But however justified, frustration is not a platform. Anger is not an agenda. And outrage, as a habit, is not even conservative.”

Instead of “outrage, resentment, and intolerance,” the party should project a message—and more than a message, a principle—of “optimism,” he said.

“American conservatism, at its core, is about gratitude, and cooperation, and trust, and above all hope,” Lee said. “It is also about inclusion. Successful political movements are about identifying converts, not heretics.”

 But the paragraph that most struck me was one in which Lee actually seems to occupy reality, and to see what most Tea Party folks resolutely refuse to acknowledge:

“This opportunity crisis,” he continued, “presents itself in three principal ways: immobility among the poor, trapped in poverty; insecurity in the middle class, where families just can’t seem to get ahead; and cronyist privilege at the top, where political and economic elites unfairly profit at everyone else’s expense. The Republican Party should tackle these three crises head on.”

Actually, I’d settle for a GOP that wasn’t insistent on making them worse.

That said, if this speech actually represents Mike Lee’s current perspective, it is immensely welcome–if considerably overdue. Maybe we could get him to talk to several members of Indiana’s Congressional delegation.

I’m especially looking at you, Todd Rokita and  Marlin Stutzman.

Ignorant? Or Venal?

Question of the day: are the Tea Party zealots venal? Or are they simply ignorant?

As the nation struggles to emerge from the latest unforced error by the Keystone Kop wannabes we inexplicably elected, I have one small request: let’s retire the loudmouths demanding ever more cuts to programs that don’t personally benefit them.

And yes, Marlin Stutzman, I’m looking at you.

Stutzman wants to cut food stamps that benefit poor children, but not the 200,000+ he gets each year in farm subsidies.

I guess we can categorize Stutzman as “venal”–or at least selfish and hypocritical. But what can we say about Idaho Tea Partier Tedd Collett, who ran for office demanding that government discontinue any and all involvement with medical care–and whose ten children are on Medicaid?

Shades of the idiot who attended a Town Hall a couple of years ago with the now-famous sign demanding that government “keep its hands off my Medicare!”

Okay, I suppose the two categories aren’t mutually exclusive.