After the Tea Party

Congratulations to all who participated in the nation-wide tea party protests.

Yes, you were heard, but in order to have a lasting effect, there must be a follow through.

If there had been no follow through after the 1773 protest in Boston Harbor –  no addition protests, no convening of the First Continental Congress, no Revolutionary War – there would be no United States of America.

If the president and our elected representatives don’t see the follow through, they will view the April 15th protests as just a one day flash in the pan and chalk it up to a few malcontents blowing off a little steam.

Some suggestions:

  • Buy a large box of tea bags and send one each day to President Barack Obama and to each of your elected representatives.  A few dollars a day in postage can pay big dividends over time.
  • Scribble a note on the back of a grocery bag while standing in line at the checkout counter that simply says, “Stop spending money!” and send it to your representative in Congress.  Do this at least once a week.
  • Check to see if your congressman and senators have signed a “no earmark” pledge http://earmarkpledge.com/signers.php Hound yours until he or she does.
  • Check out the new Pig Book at cagw.org and organize the next tea party at the site of one of the recipients of an earmark in your area.
  • Monitor the web sites of your representatives (they all have them) and when one brags about bringing home money from Washington for some special project that would cost less if it were not passed through the federal bureaucracy, stage a protest in front of his or her local office.
  • Don’t listen to what your representatives say.  Monitor what they do.  It’s easy.  Each year the nonpartisan National Taxpayers Union Foundation releases a report card on Congress.  One came out just last week.  It is the only one to utilize EVERY roll call vote that affects tax, spending and regulatory issues.  If you can read down and across, you will know immediately if your representatives should be retained. http://www.ntu.org/main/press.php?PressID=1097&org_name=NTU . Most should not!
  • Do not reelect anyone who has less than an “A” grade.  Give someone new a chance.

It is interesting to note that out of the 535 members of the House and Senate, only 48 lawmakers who were around in the 2nd session of the 110th Congress scored high enough to receive a significantly curved grade of “A” to qualify as a “Taxpayer’s friend.”

Even more significant is the VoteTally study that NTU will deliver in a few weeks on the 110th Congress.  VoteTally measures the marginal effect of each Member’s votes to increase or decrease federal outlays relative to the baseline.  The adjournment of the 109th Congress marked the sixth straight year where no lawmakers had a net voting record that would have reduced overall outlays, even when excluding the growth in entitlement (or mandatory) spending– no, not one!

To be absolutely fair, since 1996, there have been few opportunities to vote on anything that would reduce federal spending.   To put that another way, our presidents (both Republican and Democrat) have failed us, our Congressional leaders (both Republican and Democrat) have failed us and most of the people we sent to Washington to represent us have failed us.

I watched the organizer of one of the tea parties, a Democrat from Louisiana who voted for Obama, being interviewed earlier in the week.  When she was asked if all of the recent spending might cause her to “change parties,” she was hesitant and said that she might consider a “third party,” as if this were a panacea.

Don’t put your faith in a political party.  Do not make donations directly to a political party.    Do not give to a party’s congressional or senatorial committee.  The only reason they exist is to keep their members in power, no matter how bad they are or how they vote.

Do support worthy candidates but make your donations directly to those candidates who pledge to abide by the principles in which you believe.   Also, make donations to political action committees who back candidates (without regard to party) who support these principles.

Please hear me on this: Another party or another hundred parties won’t make a difference, if “we the people” don’t pay attention to what our elected representatives do after we send them to Washington.

All the studies show that the longer a lawmaker stays in Washington, the more he or she spends.  That is a fact!  The price of liberty really is “eternal vigilance.”

7 thoughts on “After the Tea Party

  1. Jane,
    I attended the Tea Party in Ft. Lauderdale. I was happy with the turnout in liberal south FL.

    Even though my messages of protest fall on the “deaf ears” of my lib Dem Congresswoman, I continue anyway.

    But there is something that bothers me worse. Have those “deaf ears” also afflicted Republicans?

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  2. Larry,

    I talked to the chief of staff of a congressman, who had worked for tax-cutting watchdog organization BEFORE he became a congressman, after a bad vote. I said, “What is wrong with your boss? Has he taken leave of his senses?”

    He was dejected but said, “Jane, every day, people come in hear asking him to spend money on this or that. We take call after call from people saying the same thing. We never get a call or see anyone who says, “Don’t spend money.” It just doesn’t happen.

    He was pleading with my radio listeners to make those calls. After a while, the good people just get worn down. It’s a simple as that. And, we expect them to read our minds! It is little wonder that the longer they stay in Washington (without accountability) the more they spend. If a tree gets blown by the wind from only one direction, over years, which way will it lean?

    If more people would take the time to scribble that note on the back of a grocery bag, we could change America. See my Sure-fire, Can’t-miss ways to get your elected representatives attention under “political activism.”
    https://janechastain.com/2006/03/23/my-sure-fire-cant-miss-ways-to-get-your-elected-representatives-attention/#more-7

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  3. How do you like this idea to express your disgust with all the spending and taxing?
    Go out and buy a hand full of the “talking greeting cards” into which you can record your own voice. Record your message.
    Then create your written message on some “stickie backed” paper and cover up the original message on the front and inside. Write out your thoughts on front and on the inside. You could get fancy and create some computer “catchy” graphics.
    This would be “novel” and would get their attention – and – that is just the point.
    Any one reading this – please – pass it on.

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  4. It isn’t a good idea to mail teabags to the WH or Congress, as they will be discarded befor being delivered as a security hazard. A better idea is to mail the tag from the teabag. That way it will be delivered, you can enjoy the tea, and the message will be sent.

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  5. Not so. I just checked with the chief of staff of one U.S. senator and he laughed because his office had just received a “tea bag alert.” The folks in that office through it was a hoot.

    He said, the mail is screened for explosives and anything that look suspicious could be examined. However, anything that that has your name and a proper return address on it will be delivered.

    Not a bad suggestion. Either way, they get the message. The important thing is keep sending them!

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  6. Does our good President not get “IT” when he derides us the American Citizen. Does he not know that the TEA bag is a symbol of over taxation, taxation without representation. We are tired of elected officials who refuse to listen to the very people they are supposed to represent!!!
    I attended a tea party when I heard there would be one in my area. We were of all party affiliations and walks of life joined by the need to be heard.

    Do not make light of it Mr. President, Americans are tired of all the Pork Barrel spending and crazy spending on our backs and the backs of our children
    and future generations. We are hurting not laughing.

    Like

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