I’ve been thinking about the Tax-Day Tea Party protests, and the ironic thing is that I personally agree with much of the underlying sentiment of these protests, and wish that they had actually been real.
If you follow this blog, you know that I am a social liberal, but I am also a fiscal conservative and an unabashed capitalist (perhaps because of my experience as the CEO of more than one company). I believe that bailing out Wall Street and the automakers is a huge mistake and that anything that is too big to fail should be chopped up into little tiny pieces, not propped up and spoon fed our tax dollars.
So I am naturally sympathetic to protests against wasteful government spending. But even if I disagreed with what they were protesting (which I did not), I am almost always happy when people protest. Protest is not just a constitutional right, it is one of the foundations of our country. Anything that gets people involved with their government is a good thing.
So to those people who were actually part of a grass-roots effort to protest government spending, I salute you, and I apologize if I appeared to be making fun of your cause. Furthermore, if you were dismayed by the slimy efforts of Fox News and others to cynically capitalize on your protests, or of some politicians to co-opt your protests to attack our new president, then you have earned my highest respect and support.
Next time, though, do try to pick a name for your movement that isn’t also used to describe a sexual act.
UPDATE: Here’s a “serious and sincere letter” written to the Tea Partiers by a Democrat, that summarizes some of the reasons why progressives had a hard time taking the tea parties serious.