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Tuesday, December 14, 2010


The "Tea Party" movement is, by definition, rather without definition. During the recent November elections, likening it to the Republican Party that spawned it seemed like comparing jelly to marble. The structures could not be more different because, for one, there seemed to be virtually no Tea Party structure at all.

Though it was easily disproved, we were told that the force behind the Tea Party movement was organic, furious and, most of all, pure. We were told that there was a purity of political and fiscal philosophy (with a dash of the moral thrown in), but we learned these were just a more attention-grabbing way of articulating what essentially were Republican arguments, with President Obama serving as an avatar for their discontent.

In their post-election incarnation, those claiming the Tea Party label have shown several contradictions in their supposed fiscally conservative and socially libertarian principles. But if what we've been told is to be believed, you'd think this would jar them:
House Republicans on Wednes­day promoted Bachus to chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which has wide jurisdiction over banks, capital markets, housing, consumer credit and the overall health of the American fi­nancial system.

No, it's not Congressman Bachus' promotion that should shake those folks. It is what Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-Alabama) said. Seriously, read these two paragraphs (emphasis mine):
Bachus, in an interview Wednesday night, said he brings a "main street" perspective to the committee, as opposed to Wall Street.

"In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks," he said.

Bachus' quote is notable for its frank admission of what many likely suspected, but I'd guess that a Tea Party movement worth its salt would find this objectionable, since we've been told that they helped put Republicans in charge to avoid exactly this kind of pandering to power.

Or perhaps the only thing that was ever pure about the Tea Party movement was its desire to see Republicans (of varying extremes) elected. And it's not as if Republicans have pretended to be anything but what Congressman Bachus articulated. So actually, Tea Partiers have to be thrilled, right? This is what they asked for. They are who we thought they were.

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