Freitag, 14. Januar 2011

The Tea Party Movements Awkward Relation with Conservatism and the Constitution

As you may have noticed, your humble blogger has largely stayed away from commenting on the Tea Party Movement and its self-proclaimed darlings, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. Well, that's about to change, because I do feel strongly about American politics and the Tea Party has some rather bizarre claims about the American constitution and an awkward relationship with conservatism.

I have already voiced my displeasure with Sarah Palins remarks on the Tucson shooting. But her self-centred comments were noteworthy, nonetheless. Well, not in a good way. I've already pointed out that when she needed to appeal to the nation, she choose to appeal to her basis; instead of providing comfort, she tried to vindicate her rhetoric and political style. But the overall point is this: She thinks she's the victim since she's been linked by all the lamestream-media hypocrites, as she likes to call it, to the Tucson shooting, for putting cross-hairs on congressional districts. Again, I do not think that there is an actual connection. But for quite a while two things kept striking me as odd.

Her whole notion of being the victim of a vicious lamestream-media attack is a bit ridiculous. For one thing, it might be unfair to charge her with some of the responsibility for the shooting, but than that's politics. For another, she has never shied away from making totally fabricated connections herself. Remember, when in the 2008 presidential campaign, she accused Barack Obama of paling around with terrorists? Whining about such connections is therefore just another example of her awkward double-standards. It also shows the difference in stature between her and President Obama. When he was connected to the racist views of reverend Wright, he rose above the occasion, held a very presidential speech on race relations in the US and practically saved his presidential race. Sarah Palin, on contrast, you get the point.

But what I find particularly, lets be honest, disgusting, is that Palin, Beck and parts of the Tea Party Movement describe themselves as conservatives, when clearly they are anything but conservative. I admire the American constitution and I think it deserves protection and I think it needs politicians who are doing everything they can to conserve it. But when, as Beck recently did, you argue that America is a Christian nation and the separation of church and state has gone far enough, than that is not a conservative argument. The conservative argument would have been to point out that the separation of church and state is a principle and as such is absolute. There is never too much separation, by definition there can only be too little. When you, as Palin recently mentioned, want to repeal the 14th amendment, again that is not conserving the constitution. When, as Tea Party activists have argued, you want to repeal the commerce clause, that, I am afraid, is not a conservative position. These are the exact opposite, these are reactionary arguments and that is what the Tea Party and its darlings are, they are reactionaries. Someone needed to point that out and it might well be me who volunteers.Take a look yourself:

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