While the “tea party” is still garnering national attention as a “relevant” “grassroots” movement. Today Columnist David Sirota points out that with all of the differing opinions of the “tea party” (I have made my thoughts clear) that the best way to gauge what the “tea party” truly stands for is to use a test case. He finds his his test case right here in Wisconsin.
Thus, with both sides at loggerheads, the only way to objectively define the tea party is to find a test case. And thanks to Wisconsin’s Senate race, we have exactly that.
On one side is Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold, who has made his name championing many of the tea party’s purported views about the state, the Constitution and national sovereignty. For instance, when it comes to “big government,” Feingold has opposed wasteful pork barrel spending, worked to trim the defense budget and voted against financial bailouts. When it comes to the Constitution, Feingold was the only senator to vote against the Constitution-defying Patriot Act and has boldly questioned both parties’ willingness to let the state trample citizens’ civil liberties. And Feingold has been one of the few senators to consistently oppose NAFTA-style trade deals – pacts that usurp domestic control over our economy and lay waste to the very industrial heartland the tea party claims to cherish.
On the other side is Republican Ron Johnson, the antithesis of everything the tea party says it stands for. In business, Johnson built a company propped up by government grants and loans – otherwise known in tea party terms as “bailouts.” As a board member of a local opera house, he lobbied for funds from the same “big government” stimulus bill the tea party despises. During the campaign, he has touted NAFTA-style trade policies’ “creative destruction” of Wisconsin’s manufacturing economy. And rather than promoting the freedom the tea party says it values, Johnson has praised China’s repressive communist regime for its economic policies.
Candidate contrasts rarely get starker than this. And clearly, if the tea party is as nonpartisan as it asserts, then its supporters should be flocking to Feingold.
I think we can all see this test case and see what the “tea party” truly stands for!