Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Paradox: The Congressional TEA Party Caucus

I was captivated, and not surprised, by the news, issued last Thursday by CongressCrazy Michelle Bachmann had sent a letter to Nancy Pelosi requesting her permission to allow formation of a new caucus in Congress: the TEA Party Caucus.

Captivated in that I had a hard time trying to figure out how someone who is ostensibly a Washington, DC insider, an elected congressman no less, has the gall to organize a caucus within Congress that endorses the notions of Teabaggers who are rather shrill in their demands for the replacement of all congressional incumbents.

It’s sort of like Jews for Jesus. It’s kind of like Alcoholics for Prohibition.

But given the originator, Michelle Bachmann, who is demonstrably a few peas short of a casserole, I was not at all surprised at the move.

And for the longest time, no one stepped up and signed on to the new congressional caucus, a complete list of which you can find here.

And so today I waited with bated breath as the first meeting of the TEA Party Caucus was held at 10 AM EDT to see who, if anyone, signed up for this group – a group, I will remind you that is in solidarity with those that support the replacement of . . . well . . . the caucus members.

And I finally found a comprehensive list of the 35 members here.

But what really caught my eye, again not surprisingly, was that the caucus was joined by seven, now eight members of the Texas delegation. That’s right, nearly a full one quarter of the initial caucus members are from Texas, another fun fact of which we can all be proud.

Teabaggers from the Texas Delegation follows: Joe Barton (R-British Petroleum), Michael Burgess (R – Fort Worth), John Carter (R – Round Rock), John Culberson (R - Houston), Louie Gohmert (R - Tyler), Pete Sessions (R -Dallas), Randy Neugebauer (R - Amarillo) and Lamar Smith (R – San Antonio).

What, no Pete Olson? Has Pete Olson distanced himself from the Teabaggers since last April when he was the highest ranking speaker at their Teabagger rally in April 2009 in Sugar Land?

Apparently not.

Add to that list of dim bulbs the following: Mike Pence (R - Ind) – the only one of these jokers, by the way, in a leadership position in the House, Paul Broun (R - Ga), Joe Wilson (R – You Lie), Steve King (R- Iowa), Dan Burton (R - Ind), Todd Akin (R – Mo), Roscoe Bartlett (R - Md), Gus Billirackus (R-Fla), John Fleming (R - La), Trent Franks (R - Az), Phil Gingrey (R - Ga), Walter Jones (R - NC), Doug Lamborn (R - Colo), Cynthia Lummis (R – Wyo.), Jerry Moran (R - Kan), Tom Price (R - Ga), Cliff Stearns (R - Fla), Rodney Alexander (R -La), Rob Bishop (R - Utah), Tom Graves (R - Ga), Tom McClintock (R - Calif), Denny Rehberg (R -Mont), Adrian Smith (R - Nev), Cliff Stearns (R - Fla) and Todd Tiahrt (R - Kan).

At first blush, one look at this crew and you realize that the cover that Teabaggers like to associate to themselves, that is, the “bipartisan” label, is totally blown here. These aren’t Independents. These aren’t representatives of the “right of center” that Teabaggers like to identify themselves with, these are from the right wing of the Republican Party.

Even the Libertarian crowd in Congress – and Libertarianism is at the root of the TEA Party Movement, neither Ron Paul nor Ted Poe have allied themselves with the TEA Party Caucus.

Indeed the ones that might be considered more moderate in the Republican Party, have pointedly excluded themselves from the TEA Party Caucus.

And three individuals previously named in the caucus have either withdrawn their names or their staff has denied their involvement: Gary Miller (R – Calif.), Todd Akin (R – Mo), Pete Hoekstra (R - Mich).

In short, these 35 minus 3, Republicans all, have identified themselves with the voting bloc that are more likely to vote against the incumbent, whether they are Democratic or Republican.

So it’s nice then, that these 32 Republicans are self identified as incumbent candidates that Teabaggers are urged to vote against because they, as incumbents, have joined their number.

Normally I would end this piece with the words “It can’t get weirder than this” except that there is something down deep inside me that tells me that I would be premature in making that pronouncement.

I really don’t think we have found the bottom of this thing yet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I heard a newscaster mention that the average age of the Teabaggers is 55 plus. Hmmm-in summary, the Teabaggers seem to long for past days and yearning for what use to be, and taking their country back (I wonder from whom the Teabaggers want to take their country???)

When I think about the past and what use to be, a return to yesteryear would not be good for a diverse society, I'm inclined to think.