Huffpost Politics
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Dave Pederson Headshot

Tea Party for 2.0

Posted: Updated:

Last week as the Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of President Obama's landmark legislation the Affordable Care Act, a familiar drama was playing out on the steps of the High Court. On the steps protesting universal health care for American citizens was my favorite GOP splinter group, the Tea Party. Yes, the Tea Party is back like a case of herpes, spreading across the American political landscape once again.

So what ignited these valiant freedom fighters back in 2010 has sadly conjured them back on the political stage. "What galvanized this movement was health care. People engage when something is personal, and there's nothing more personal than health care," said Amy Kremer, chairman of the Tea Party Express. "And here it is front and center at the Supreme Court. Of course, people are energized and engaged because it's central to begin with." Jenny Beth Martin, a co-founder of Tea Party Patriots also added, "The past week and a half reinvigorated the Tea Party." What's the difference between these two Tea Party groups? It seems that the Tea Party Express has a bus. I originally thought that Tea Party Express was just moving to full Idiocracy at a faster pace, while the Tea Party Patriots were more about wearing tri-corner hats and waving "Don't Tread on Me Flags." Wait, I think those two thoughts are still valid.

Kremer later went on to call it "Tea Party 2.0" and said that they would look to make "change on a state and local level." I have no problem with them working at community levels. I do believe change can be made and seen at those levels, and it gets citizens involved in the democratic process. However, what this statement really cries out is that the wind is out of their sail -- or the gas has run out of the Express bus -- and they are stranded by themselves in Crazy Town. The Tea Party is hoping to do to the Senate elections what they did with House elections in 2010, but I don't see that happening with the seats up for grabs.

What truly irritates me about the Tea Party is their choice of "freedom" issues and non-stop Reagan deification. The Tea Party Express touts these principles: no more bailouts, reduce the size and intrusiveness of government, stop raising our taxes, repeal Obamacare, cease out-of-control spending and bring back American prosperity. The most ironic part of this is that Reagan did the opposite, no matter what their revisionist history lesson espouses. Well to be fair, if you count 10 percent of the population prospering, then they are right on that principle.

As for no bailouts, why are they not throwing this support to the Occupy Wall Street movement? Or how about asking the government to fix the loopholes at the CTFC put in place by past presidential administrations? Also, where are these brave freedom fighters when it comes to the government's intrusion into our civil liberties? The Patriot Act was ushered in after 9/11 amidst typical hysteria without legislators even reading the act. I mean, it says patriot so it must be good for freedom, right?

I would love for them to tackle this issue and not health care. Freedom and prosperity will come when all people in the system are profiting. Making sure our citizens are healthy, able to work, buying into the system and not going bankrupt because of outrageous health care costs is true freedom and prosperity. For everybody.

No tea for me, thank you. Not even with one lump. Or 2.0.