Gary Hubbell: The Redneck Tree Hugger
Aspen Times Weekly
Aspen, CO Colorado
You can call me a Tea Party member, I guess, since I’ve been to one of their rallies. Does that make me a member? You be the judge.
I watched and listened as several speakers stood up to the microphone and gave their thoughts on running this country according to the Constitution, ceasing the madness of uncontrolled deficit spending, and fighting against political correctness. One speaker was white; another a young Hispanic; and two were black.
The crowd was polite but engaged, listening and cheering, waving signs, and they all carefully patrolled the area after the event was over to pick up their trash. Quite a bunch of radicals. So what is it about the Tea Party, pray tell, that is so threatening to both die-hard progressives and establishment Republicans?
It’s the end of the chummy relationship between die-hard politicians, lobbyists and special interest groups, that’s what. It’s an organic movement that comes straight from the people, not the establishment.
When Tea Party favorite Christine O’Donnell won Delaware’s Republican Senate primary, Karl Rove, former senior advisor to George W. Bush, just about swallowed his tongue on the Sean Hannity show.
“This is the inexplicable one,” he sputtered. “She’s going to have to answer her own checkered background. I’ve met her. I wasn’t frankly impressed with her abilities as a candidate. It does conservatives little good to support candidates who, at the end of the day, while they may be conservative in their public statements, do not evince the characteristics of rectitude and truthfulness, and sincerity and character that the voters are looking for. There’s just a lot of nutty things that she’s been saying that just don’t add up.”
Nice congratulations speech, Karl. Millions of Americans were stunned at the level of vitriol coming from Rove. But should we be surprised? After all, Rove was a big part of the problem. I’ve received thousands of e-mails on this subject, and every time I get a nasty, impassioned e-mail from a progressive or liberal about my criticism of Barack Obama, the subject is always “But what about Bush! He inherited a surplus and turned it into a $1.3 trillion deficit! He was the guy who started the TARP program! Bush was the architect of the stimulus plan!”
True. All true. And it was with the guidance of people like Karl Rove. You see, Rove believes in Keynesian economics, the rubric that spending is good and you have to stimulate the economy by stealing from the citizens in the form of future tax liabilities. Is a $787 billion unfunded liability an example of conservative thinking? No. Is a $400 billion prescription drug program for senior citizens a Constitutional act? No. It was a political payoff to a demographic in order to win another election – and it didn’t work.
Rove, like many other Republican insiders, is a “win-at-all-costs” guy, happy to chalk up an “R” in the column, even if your candidate is a wishy-washy hack like Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Bob Bennett, Scott Brown, Lisa Murkowski, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, or in this case, Mike Castle, a nine-term Congressman and the proud owner of an indefensible voting record.
Well, people are sick of this garbage. They’re tired of debt. They’re tired of entitlements to people who don’t deserve them. They’re tired of political correctness. And most of all, they’re tired of compromise, especially when they know the end result is wrong.
Progressive rags such as Newsweek attack the Tea Party movement as a racist, fear-mongering organization, which is a fundamental misunderstanding of the movement. It’s all about two issues: spending and following the Constitution. If legislation is not Constitutional, and if it can’t be funded without endangering our future, then it should never become law. Period.
All this “reach across the aisle” and “big tent” sentiment is just a lot of crap. We’re looking for candidates who will stand up for their own principles. The notion that conservative candidates can’t get elected is a bunch of nonsense. The idea that we have to compromise and accept immoral, unethical, unconstitutional legislation in order to see a common-sense agenda approved is simply wrong.
This fall will prove the Tea Party right in the sense that very conservative candidates can get elected in this election, and the next one, and the next one – if they stay true to their principles. The Republicans’ “Pledge to America” is a good start – repeal and replace health care legislation, promise to cut spending, stop tax hikes, help small business, cancel TARP payments, reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, cap the federal budget, fund our troops and missile defense, enact sanctions against Iran, and most important, require that every bill have a citation of Constitutional authority.
This is all well and good, but as soon as Republicans start playing kissy-face with liberals and compromising in the name of political correctness, set-asides, deficit spending and pandering for votes, they’re sunk.
In the words of Bruce Springsteen, “No retreat, baby, no surrender.”
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Pitkin County administrators are proposing a more than $142 million budget for 2020, which is about $6 million less than this year because of fewer construction projects and capital improvements.