August 14, 2009

What TEA Partiers and Sarah Palin Have In Common

Republicans were sensing momentum earlier in the summer, but events of
the August recess -- specifically, the town hall meetings in which
opponents of the Democratic health care reform plan have turned out in
force -- have changed their view. "This month has opened our eyes,"
says one plugged-in House aide. "We're seeing real people who are fired
up who weren't engaged before -- the first time we've had a popular
movement that could really benefit us electorally.
That's the take this morning from Republican House members talking about their prospects in the upcoming 2010 elections. Both Democratic and Republican insiders are talking about the effect of the TEA Party movement, and there's widespread agreement that it's generally bad news for congressional Democrats.
"I think what's going to happen is Obama's going to be fine, and the
Democrats in Congress are going to get their asses kicked in 2010
says one Democratic strategist who prefers not to be named.
It's only the middle of August and the TEA Party movement is already making itself felt deep inside the halls of Congress. That's why you're seeing people like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi ratcheting up their rhetoric against the grassroots who are spontaneously rising up across the country. They're genuinely scared. (They're whistling past the graveyard with regard to the potential impact on Obama, but that's a discussion for another day.)

In mid-term elections, the president's party generally loses seats in Congress as there is generally some pushback against the agenda of an incoming president - no matter what his party is. But this year has been exceptional in that conservatives have taken to the streets, a virtually unheard of phenomenon, early and loudly within months of him taking office. Reid and Pelosi may publicly be dismissing TEA Partiers as "rent-a-mobs" carrying swastikas who only show up at the behest of insurance companies, but privately they understand its true grassroots nature.

This is the second time in less than a year that genuine grassroots enthusiasm from the other side of the aisle has thrown Democrats for a loop, and they are returning to the only thing they really understand: demonizing the opposition. The first instance was the vice presidential nomination of Sarah Palin, and I don't think I need to remind anyone how the Left continues to hound her even today. The fire she lit under the conservative base briefly pushed McCain over Obama in the polls and struck fear into the hearts of Democrats. So they responded with the most vicious smearing of a politician in recent memory, with the active assistance of the mainstream media which has since admitted that they took sides against her.

Even in the last few days, Palin has had an impact on the ObamaCare discussion by forcing the Senate to drop the end-of-life counseling from its version. A recent headline proclaimed that "Sarah Palin Defines the Health Care Debate." When was the last time that the vice presidential candidate on a losing ticket was able to make her voice heard a year later with nothing more than writing a few paragraphs on her Facebook account?

TEA Partiers should look forward to more hate-filled diatribes to be directed their way from both Democratic officeholders and the mainstream media. Like Palin, they will be dismissed as stupid and ill-informed. They will be accused of being tools of nefarious corporate interests and hating poor people. Can you remember an effective opponent of Leftist ideology who they didn't say these exact same things about? There hasn't been an original thought in the Leftist playbook for decades: they go after all their opponents the same way.

But TEA Partiers should take every sling and arrow which is thrown at them with pride. They should recognize that the greater the insults being hurled at them, the closer they are to the mark. There's another saying from the bomber corps that TEA Partiers should keep in mind:

You only take flak when you're over the target.

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