April 30, 2010
When Will They Take Us Seriously?By Carol Peracchio
When voters attending a Tea Party are surveyed about their top concerns, the answers will be emphatic and varied: unemployment at almost ten percent with no decline in sight. An $800-billion-plus stimulus bill that has accomplished absolutely nothing. Iran well on its way to a nuclear bomb. Skyrocketing debt. A state immigration law which mirrors federal law, yet which President Obama says is "misguided" and threatens "basic notions of fairness."
As a nurse, my number-one issue is, of course, the Democrats' comprehensive health care reform, passed by legislative sleight-of-hand on a party-line vote. For others, it could be trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. Cap-and-trade legislation that will cripple the economy even further with skyrocketing energy costs. Terrorist trials being held in New York. An American foreign policy that consists mainly of apologies. Predictions that a VAT is coming. The federal government running car companies, the mortgage industry, and school loans. And all of it topped off with the elite media labeling the Tea Partiers as "more likely to be racially resentful."
The conservatives I see aren't resentful. There's no time. They are too busy educating themselves on what the Democrats are doing to America. They're involved in primaries in their congressional districts, most for the first time in their lives. And they're counting off the days until November 2nd.
So now that the sleeping conservative giant is fully awake, what does the inside-the-beltway punditry (both the left and right) think of these new activists? Do Washington elites take us seriously? Hardly. For example, here's an excerpt from the Fox All Stars discussion of the financial reform bill from Charles Krauthammer:
This kind of analysis is not limited to Dr. Krauthammer, nor to the financial reform legislation. Check out this evaluation of President's Obama's health care win and the electoral consequences:
How about the latest uproar -- immigration reform? Plenty of Republicans, such as Karl Rove and Jeb Bush, are voicing their unhappiness with the Arizona law. Dana Perino, former Bush spokeswoman, sums up their objections:
When it comes to the economy, a recent CNN poll shows, as usual, that the economy remains the most important factor in how respondents will vote this year. The pollster then concludes that "[i]f conditions stay bad or get worse, that benefits Republicans. Improving conditions may help the Democrats hold onto more seats."
Let me sum this up. Charles Krauthammer believes that if congressional Republicans don't come up with their own version of financial reform, then they'll take a hit in November. The left-wing media thinks that it doesn't matter that the Democrats used reconciliation to pass a monstrous health care bill as long as they won. Dana Perino characterizes what Arizonans are feeling concerning illegal immigration as "frustration." And as far as the economy is concerned, if the numbers start going up, voters will return home to the Democrats.
What do they think of us in Washington, D.C.? Not much.
It's not enough for us that Senate Republicans stop another behemoth bill filled with unintended negative consequences that no one has read. We demand a Republican version of financial reform, according to Charles Krauthammer. If they don't deliver, we'll forget about Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Community Reinvestment Act, and TARP and vote for the Democrats. Besides, we only have a thirty-second attention span.
Months of phone calls, e-mails, marches, town hall protests, and Scott Brown's historic election fade to nothing as we admire Obama and the Democrats' health care win. The sleazy process, the bribes, and the partisan vote were merely "shepherding healthcare through Congress." Destroying the greatest health care system on earth no longer matters, because everyone knows that in America, we love a winner!
The porous Arizona border is "frustrating," according to Ms. Perino, and the immigration bill signed by the governor is a "bridge too far." The news reports of murdered ranchers and drug cartels are merely frustrating, not terrifying. It may be understandable, but Arizonans are exaggerating the problem.
Finally, political elites believe that as soon as the economic indicators start inching upward, we'll dismiss the bailouts, deficits, debt, unfunded liabilities, and so on and no longer be discontented with the current Congress. I have heard repeatedly from pundits that it's an eternity until November, and the red-hot emotions we're feeling now will fade, and as long as the economic slide reverses, or even levels off, Democrat losses will be minimal. (Funny, these same talkers will assure each other that conservatives will never forget Republican big-spending ways during the Bush administration.)
What do they think of us? According to the political and media elite, we Tea Partiers are shallow, selfish, easily distracted, and have major problems with short-term memory. We also blow things out of proportion and cannot grasp concepts longer than a sound bite.
To return to my original question: When will they take us seriously? November 3, 2010. It's going to be one seriously sweet victory.
Carol Peracchio is a registered nurse.