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    The core of the Tea Party movement

    The core of the Tea Party movement

    I don’t have much time to “analyze” Palin’s speech in Indianola (text here), Iowa and what it all means in terms of the political landscape.

    But what jumped out at me is that she expressed one of the core principles of the Tea Party movement, that corporate interests are not necessarily our interests:

    Now to be fair, some GOP candidates also raised mammoth amounts of cash, and we need to ask them, too: What, if anything, do their donors expect in return for their “investments”? We need to know this because our country can’t afford more
    trillion-dollar “thank you” notes to campaign backers. It is an important question, and it cuts to the heart of our problem….  It’s because we believe in the free market. I believe in the free market, and that is why I detest crony capitalism. And Barack Obama has shown us cronyism on steroids. It will lead to our downfall if we don’t stop it now. It’s a root that grows our economic problems. Our unsustainable debt and our high unemployment numbers and a housing market that’s in the tank and a stagnant economy – these are all symptoms. Politicians are so focused on the symptoms and not the disease. We will not solve our economic problems until we confront the cronyism of our President and our permanent political class.

    So, this is why we must remember that the challenge is not simply to replace Obama in 2012. The real challenge is who and what we will replace him with. It’s not enough to just change up the uniform. If we don’t change the team and the game plan, we won’t save our country.

    This view closely follows my own view, which is that for too long we have played into the Democratic narrative that Republicans are the party of big business.  The reality is that Democrats too are the party of big business (with Big Labor), they just hide it better.

    It’s the reason I see nothing inconsistent with being a plaintiff’s lawyer at heart and a Tea Party movement supporter.

    I have seen for too long how the federalization of law has had negative effects on the ability of individuals to seek redress in state courts.  Whether it is federal preemption of state common law in areas of importance to defrauded investors, or application of the Federal Arbitration Act regardless of state legislation to deprive investors of access to state courts, too often Republicans and Democrats come together in Congress and the federal courts in the service of big business over the individual and the ability of states to find their own ways.

    It’s why I oppose federally mandated tort reform, which is a goal of the insurance industry, while I respect individual state’s rights to find their own way on tort reform.

    You can’t have it both ways, opposing an intrusive national insurance mandate while supporting an intrusive national tort reform mandate.

    I don’t know what the future holds for Palin, whether she will be a candidate or just a powerful voice against crony capitalism.  I also don’t know whether the two are compatible.  I am not convinced that even the Republican electorate is ready for the message.  That’s for another day.

    What I do know is that in attacking crony capitalism, Palin gave voice to those of us who refuse to buy into the Democratic narrative that the answer to Democratic union pandering is Republican big business pandering.  It’s not about them, it’s about us.


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    ithacarobin | September 5, 2011 at 7:51 am

    You chastise Sarah Palin for, in your mind, entertaining a 3rd party run, then you say you’ll write in Gary Johnson if she’s the nominee? How does that square in your mind? People like you will reelect Obama if you do not vote for the GOP nominee. I have no doubts that Palin will either run as a Republican or not run. She would not see another 4 years of this administration. I hope you can say the same.

      gs in reply to ithacarobin. | September 5, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      People like you will reelect Obama if you do not vote for the GOP nominee.

      The Republicans have played me for a chump since 1988. Possible exceptions like Paul Ryan are not in control. (I share the Tea Party’s stated goals, but they have yet to convince me that they can win a national election or that they can govern.)

      If the GOP’s shtick continues to be:

      Vote Republican. We Wreck the Country Slower.

      my response is:


    David R. Graham | September 6, 2011 at 1:44 am

    The goal is to break the back of the ecclesial/academic/media/bureaucratic monopoly that killed John F. Kennedy and has been sucking power into the federal system ever since. Sarah Palin is the only religious/moral/political personality of national and international prominence who embodies that goal.

    The professor is right on this issue. There is huge similarity between big government, big labor and big business … and that is the quid pro quo self serving layer of lard in their managements.

    Both parties have been culpable in this mess, whether it’s Obama and GE or Bush and Haliburton … see the Bunnatine Greenhouse case for an example of what happens to an honest federal employee, even more notable because she was at the SES level … among the few at that grade that actually had done the work overseen.

    That case is not an exception other than her rank and the particular situation. It goes on every day, in industry and in government, where lies are expected, even demanded, from one another, to perpetuate a misdirected program, top to bottom. The ugly layer of lard in government is the SES, all appointed (long ago removed from civil service system), most with no experience at the working level of the fields they oversee, and “at will” more or less … e.g., subject to the favor of cabinet level people.

    Some will say “pshaw”, this can’t be. I will tell you that in a period from 1968 through 2006 in my time as a uniformed then later civilian “fed” for the Army, that you are wrong. I have been there, done that, at lower levels, either to survive or just to get on to more important matters … with approximately 3+ “whistle blower” episodes where my identity was kept confidential. I grew tired of it, and near 2006, refused to lie anymore, or ignore blatant law breaking. It was time for me to go, and I did.

    The “Tea Party” appeals to this socially liberal, fiscally conservative person precisely because it poses an alternative to the status quo of both houses. To be effective, the TP must invigorate the Republican Party to set itself apart in real terms.

    And I repeat, the professor is right. “Big Labor” is a joke today to this old time skilled tradesman, both in military and civilian guise, and Mr Trumka is a comic figure … a self styled firebrand leader who never worked a day in his life where dirty fingernails could be had, straight from law school to union leadership, and subsequently to the defeat of industrial unionists in the AFL-CIO.

    Thank you, professor, for stating the conundrum so simply and plainly. I apologize for being so verbose.

    Dang .. I screwed up the link. It should be Bunnatine Greenhouse.

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