Republicans find tempest in the Tea Party

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, February 13, 2011 14:11 EDT
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WASHINGTON – Top US Republicans put on a brave face this week after a series of surprise setbacks, some suffered at the hands of their own archconservative political shock troops in the Tea Party.

“We’re in a new era,” House Speaker John Boehner told reporters, shrugging off his woes as the new majority’s growing pains. “That means that the leaders may not get what they want every day.”

Republican aides declare they are winning the war over slashing government spending — saying it’s about how much, not whether, to cut — and rolling back regulations they charge smother job growth in red tape.

But individual battles have resulted in some embarrassing high-profile setbacks: the House of Representatives on Tuesday defeated an extension of high-profile surveillance powers designed to thwart extremist attacks.

The measure fell short in part because 26 Republicans, including many Tea Party-affiliated members, sided with Democrats in opposing the measure.

And the House failed Wednesday to approve a bill demanding the return of surplus US payment into an obscure UN account — a measure Republicans had touted as a symbol of their resolve to cut government outlays.

Finally, on Thursday, a Tea Party insurrection forced Republican leaders back to the drawing board when the fired-up activists rebelled against a spending blueprint they said fell short of drastic austerity steps they promised in last year’s campaign.

Boehner shrugged again: “We’ve been in the majority now five weeks. We’re going to have a long year. You’re going to see more spending cuts come out of this Congress than in any Congress in the history of this country.”

Democrats, now the minority in the House after a November elections rout, enjoyed their opponents’ struggles, with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pointedly referring to “the disarray in the Republican Party.”

“I think what they’re finding out is that it’s easier to talk about cutting than it is to actually do it,” she said.

The Republican-led House could approve the cuts in a vote expected next week on a measure to fund the US government to the end of the current fiscal year on October 1.

But that would set up a battle with the Democratic-led Senate, which has shown no appetite for the kinds of massive, painful cuts Republicans say are necessary.

And President Barack Obama, who still holds the veto pen, has called for a blend of cuts in some areas and investments in education and infrastructure, part of a plan to slash the massive federal deficit by $1.1 trillion over 10 years, according to his White House budget chief.

Republicans have proposed major cuts totaling $100 billion for the current fiscal year, and insist Obama has not done enough to trim the deficit.

“Presidents are elected to lead, not to punt, and this president has been punting,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan told “Fox News Sunday.”

Democrats and some Republicans have notably condemned calls for deep cuts to foreign aid as a dangerous retreat from global affairs, saying three decades of military-to-military ties with Egypt gave Washington clout in the crisis there.

“This long relationship bore at least some measure of fruit during the recent crisis when the Egyptian military remained loyal to the people of Egypt — not its ruler,” said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

“This should serve as both a reminder and an example of why the United States must always resist the temptation to disengage from the world.”

But Republican Representative Ron Paul, speaking at an annual conservative conference, railed against US ties to Egypt’s longtime president Hosni Mubarak, who stepped down Friday after weeks of street protests and under US pressure.

“We need to do a lot less, a lot sooner, not only in Egypt, but around the world,” Paul told cheering supporters, drawing boos when he said Washington had given Mubarak $70 billion over the years.

“I’m still against foreign aid for everybody,” said Paul, a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2012.

“Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of rich countries and giving it to the rich people of poor countries.”

In a straw poll Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference gauging the popularity of potential presidential candidates, Paul came out on top of a wide field that included Tea Party favorites Sarah Palin and Representative Michele Bachmann.

Paul took 30 percent of the vote, while Bachmann and Palin received four percent and two percent respectively.

Agence France-Presse
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  • Anonymous

    So disappointing. I was hoping Palin and Bachmann would get over half the vote.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/RepublicConstitution?feature=mhum TruthRegimes

    The Big Government loving Establishment Republicans and the War loving Neo-Cons are losing their grip on the Conservative movement as Libertarians, Constutionalists, and Anti-War people form a strong front against the Big Government loving/War loving Establishment Leftists such as Obama and his predecessor on almost all relevant policies (Bush).

    Americans are waking up to the fact that they can never be in control of their own lives as long as Big Government spreads from the Right and Left through the Welfare State and the Warfare State. Both are Collectivist systems that suppress individuals.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/RepublicConstitution?feature=mhum TruthRegimes

    Palin/Bachmann are the Neo-Con version of the Tea Party and they both want war with Iran just like Hillary and Romney. Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Gary Johnson, others stand against these wars and the violation of civil liberties. Ralph Nader and Dennis Kucinch agree with them on MANY issues and Ron Paul calls both Nader and Kucinich his friends and Rand Paul has said that Al Franken has taken him under his wing so that they can build broader coalitions.

  • Anonymous

    The government budgetary balance, the private domestic balance and the trade balance equal zero as a national accounting identity (not an economic theory based on assumptions.) If the domestic private sector is saving/deleveraging and there is a trade deficit, then there must an an offsetting government deficit if the economy is not to contract. Persistent high unemployment shows that the budget deficit is too low, given the propensity to save/delever and to import.

  • Anonymous

    I hope every nut job speaks out all their crazy ideas so their ranks continue to shrink.

  • mjcc1987

    I’ll bet your a barrel of laughs at an orgy.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll bet your talent for inquiry and analysis have gotten YOU very far. Ass hole.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not disagreeing with you. I just want to see the GOP go so batsh!t crazy they can’t get elected dog catcher.

  • mjcc1987

    um….. asshole is one word.

  • http://twitter.com/StevenVasquez StevenVasquez

    “If you want government to intervene domestically, you’re a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you’re a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you’re a moderate. If you don’t want government to intervene anywhere, you’re an extremist.”
    — Joseph Sobran

  • Anonymous

    openabook….maybe you should do as your user-name says, then come back and post some more drivel…

  • Anonymous

    When you mention welfare state, I am sure you are referring to corporate welfare. Actual citizens only get a penny or two for every $100 that is handed to, or not collected from corporations.


  • oldswede

    “Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of rich countries and giving it to the rich people of poor countries.”
    Is Paul admitting that the rich don’t pay taxes in the US? Is he really that honest?

  • Anonymous

    There is a comment here about the welfare state and that is fine, however it may be useful to understand that a politician’s use of that term is designed to trigger a reaction from the those they speak to and to create a image in our minds. That image gives us a chance to look down on some and be angry at them, plus it allows us to temporarily bolster our ego by viewing ourselves as better than some. It is an old trick. You may notice that the lion’s share of welfare goes to large corporations, corporate farms and defense contractors and that is never mentioned by those same politicians.

    It be of value to” let go of your ego and avoid playing their game”.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OPVQJIZRU3ENNGDUF2LZGIXCSI Che_G.

    Looking at the Rawstory news picture above of the leading 4 Washington Republicans walking outdoors in Washington all dressed up in wedding shoes, boring balloon suits and neck ties…Like its Church day or someones funeral. Everyday!
    It just makes me think whether these are guys who consider themselves capable, self reliant or just handy around tools or can cook a wild pig in their back yard. The business suit is a sign of loyalty to the Wall Street uniform even on weekends. Are they allowed to wear jeans,(not slacks) Would they feel normal in Levis and a white T-Shirt? I really doubt it.

  • Anonymous
  • BrainRagYell

    That is a really stupid quote.

    Checking his bio at Teh Wiki, and I see why.

    This guy knows nothing about nothing.

  • BrainRagYell

    What, you don’t remember this: http://www.blogcdn.com/www.politicsdaily.com/media/2010/09/pledge-to-america-427bn092310.jpg

    As natural and as comfortable as the day is long. You got some nerve comin’ down on these guys as if they’re not genetically hardwired into the nervous system of Real America. There is only one Real America, you know, don’t you forget it. All us homos and commies on the left and right coasts (where the populations are more dense than in the middle of this country), all we are is lookin’ out for ways to sell out America’s conservative core and to make everybody wait on bread lines and have abortions.

  • Anonymous

    This is what I heard in church today. No really…..:


  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Isn’t “pot” in there somewhere, too?

  • Anonymous

    Politely stated.

  • http://harry-canary.myopenid.com/ Harry Canary

    They have gone batshit crazy but it still has not stopped prople from voting for them.

  • Anonymous

    The monster ultimately turned on Dr Frankenstein too.