Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blessedly, Tuesday evening it will all be over – the nasty, distracting, character-assassinating advertising, the name-calling, the gutter-sniping – and for the next 12 months we can try to recover from what has been the most contentious, nastiest election in my memory. And then we have to get ready to do it all over again.

If the Republicans win control of one or both houses of Congress, they had best not forget why Democrat candidates and lost they won: because the American people have rejected the liberal/statist direction that the Democrats have taken the country since winning control of the Congress in 2006.

Much like the transgressions against the Colonists by King George and the British Parliament in the mid-18th century that prompted the original tea party in December of 1773, the behavior of the US government over the last four decades has – finally – raised the ire of the citizenry, resulting in the grass-roots uprising that calls the Boston Tea Party’s to mind.

The Boston Tea Party got the attention of ol’ George, but that wasn’t enough to resolve the problems that drove those colonists to cast the tea into Boston Harbor, and the smart money says that this uprising will not resolve the issues that drove these normal, everyday Americans to attend political rallies for the first time in their lives.

Where in the sixties the Viet Nam War protestors were regaled for standing up against what they viewed as their government’s improper military adventure, today’s protestors are roundly condemned by the ruling class and the media. This is partly because the tea party movement scares the crap out of them, and partly because they do not understand why people are upset. So, their natural reaction is to demean, insult and condemn them as right-wing whackos, and racists, and Nazis.

If only there were as much concern from the Left for getting absentee ballots to our loyal military personnel and guarding against vote fraud as there is over the patriotism shown by the tea party movement.

At the core of this movement is major dissatisfaction with the performance of our government. Most polls have similar results to those of Real Clear Politics, which show, unsurprisingly, that more people disapprove of President Obama’s performance than approve of it, 48.4 percent to 46.4 percent, and only a piddling 19.5 percent approve of Congress’ performance, while a stunning 74 percent disapprove.

And, 61.4 percent think the country is on the wrong track, against only 33 percent who think we are on the right track. What the movement is all about is the hijacking of their government by a bunch of leftists who think government is the answer, regardless of what the question is.

The economy is still uppermost in America’s collective mind, with unemployment at 9.6 percent, 20 percent above where President Obama said it would be after the stimulus bill was passed, and the tepid 2.0 percent GDP figure last Friday tells us all we need to know about the failure of the Democrats to deal effectively with economic challenges.

As for the stimulus, data from the US Department of Labor Statistics shows that only the federal government gained jobs from the stimulus, with a 10 percent increase, while local and state governments showed small declines. However, the private sector is the only area where jobs really count, and the stimulus produced a 7 percent job loss.

The preference of the aloof ruling class for government over the private sector is reflected in the compensation data of the public and private sectors. While in 2009 the average combination of salary and benefits in the private sector was just over $61,000, state and local government employee compensation was nearly $70,000, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. But federal workers made out like bandits, with average compensation more than double that of private sector employees at $123,000.

The people in the tea party movement want common sense reform to their government, moving it back in the direction of the government the Founders created, focusing on the broad principles of fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, less government, states' rights and national security.

All those who win on Tuesday had better read and heed the tea party message, focus on straightening out the mess liberals have created, and put party and incumbent politics in File 13.

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