My evening with the Tea Party

esh_gaJuly 10, 2012

So I went to a debate this evening between two Republicans vying in the primary for the state senate. My usual guy has not had an opponent in 10 years and he got one this year so I thought I'd go and see what each of them had to say. My 17 yo daughter went too.

I didn't realize that the event was being hosted by the local Tea Party so that was a shock. They had t-shirts, hats and bumper stickers for sale. They had a raffle (bottles of wine and conservative books) to raise money. The folks for/against the local transportation initiative were there with literature.

They had 25 minutes of talking, flag presentation/pledge of allegiance (do we have to do that at EVERY event?) and a prayer (groan for me) before they could get started. They talked about taking back the country and our government. I was actually impressed with them until they started talking about cronyism. They brought up four examples - all of them against national democrats (pelosi, reid, even solyndra). I told my daughter that if they can't even admit that cronyism exists in their own party then they are too partisan for me.

Of course the candidates did what they could to bash Obama, healthcare and "stepping on the constitution". All the usual fear-mongering - "we can't take another four years of this!". Praise Reagan, God, the founding fathers,and James Madison in particular (second amendment). It very much reminded me of the things that mrskjun, nik and others bring up.

They topics covered: local transportation special tax coming up, stance on right to life, stance on guns (both boasted about their NRA endorsement), stance on what to do about healthcare if Obama gets re-elected (boos in the audience), local school/charter school stance (biggest difference between the two is on this issue), local ethics bill, state video gambling, and FINALLY, how to get the state economy moving and should we get rid of state income tax.

Typical Republican answers: tax cuts, eliminate regulations and protect the unborn. Minimal name calling, thank goodness.

Some questions didn't get fully answered and I noticed who did and who didn't answer the question. Daughter enjoyed it very much and we had some good discussion on the way home. I plan to vote for the new guy. The founding fathers liked short term "citizen" politicians. It's time for new blood.

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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Better new blood than blood running in the streets, at least for now...

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 6:32AM
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jerzeegirl(9)

I plan to vote for the new guy.

So let me get this straight. You sat through the candidate's government bashing, TP fear mongering, etc. and still feel like you can vote for one of these candidates because his BS was a little bit less offensive than the other guy's BS?

What exactly did the new guy say that makes you think he's the one?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 6:53AM
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pnbrown

James Madison, another freedom fighter and founding father who could not would not free his own human livestock.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 7:14AM
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esh_ga

Well, jerzeegirl, remember, one guy is gonna win so I have to pick the lesser of two evils.

I like the new guy better for two reasons:

- he does not support education vouchers which I don't agree with either

- he was more specific on what he would do to foster more job growth in Georgia (the other guy just kept mentioning tax cuts when pressed for specifics) and he did not support abolishing the state income tax (but agreed it could be reduced).

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 7:32AM
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Circus Peanut

There are no other contenders in this race at all? Just the two Republicans?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 8:32AM
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adoptedbyhounds

"Daughter enjoyed it very much and we had some good discussion on the way home."

Glad you both had a good time. I'll bet your daughter will will always remember her evening out with you as something very special.

PS I think it's amusing that I'm "the conservative," but I've never been to a tea party event, and you're "the liberal," and you have! :) Glad it was a good experience for you and your daughter. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 8:37AM
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jodik_gw

What about women's rights, and other important issues? With a 17 year old daughter, I'd also be concerned about choices, etc...

I've listened to many politicians speak, through various forms of media, and I'm always amazed at how they seem able to give long, drawn out answers that do not directly address the questions asked. Some go off on tangents, some carefully sidestep the main issue and weave together a patchwork of pretty words that really says nothing, at all... and some actually answer the questions, but you wonder whether they've given any thought at all to the eventual conclusions or consequences of their proposals. Many seem like they'd make better used car salesmen, when it gets right down to it... and I would say this about many politicians from all parties.

Physically, I just don't think I could sit through something like that without crippling myself, and usually read or watch highlights on the news. But I think it's great that you involved your daughter, giving her a live view of a political debate... a little local taste of how our systems work. Hopefully, she'll want to learn further and get involved. She'll be voting, herself, very soon.

Personally, I just can't stomach what the current group of Republicans are selling across our nation... there seem to be so few authentic conservatives.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 8:38AM
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esh_ga

Yes, there will not be a Democratic challenger come November so the July primary will decide this.

They did talk about an item that will be on the ballot as a "question" - it is about "would you support an amendment to the state constitution to define that life begins at fertilization". Both candidates said they support this and, when questioned, neither of them "had any qualms" (that was the question from the moderator) about how that would affect in-vitro fertilization (left over fertilized eggs).

Yes, nik, it was a good experience. But I had no idea I was going to a Tea Party event until we got there!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 8:58AM
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david52_gw

The local tea party / 9/12er club held a meeting with the head of the local hospital, and filled them in on reality re health care in a struggling, poor, rural community. So much for the anti-obamacare blind partisan rhetoric.

Oh, so you mean this is a good thing?!?!?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 10:02AM
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jerzeegirl(9)

Well, jerzeegirl, remember, one guy is gonna win so I have to pick the lesser of two evils.

A horrible dilemma to be in and I feel for you.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 10:45AM
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lily316(z5PA)

I'd rather have my fingernails pulled out than sit thru a Tea party "hate in". Why are there no Democrats running?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 11:59AM
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jodik_gw

I would agree with Lily, though to me, sitting that long through anything would feel the same! I so wish our system were more about politicians talking up their qualifications and offering logical solutions to problems... instead of the used car pitch or the hate fests and mud slinging.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 12:11PM
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david52_gw

I live in a county thats 1.5:1:1 Republican / Independent / Democrat, and pretty much all the elections are decided in the Republican primary. This year, the Democrats aren't even running a canditate for county commissioner, sheriff, etc.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 12:14PM
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esh_ga

No Democrat offered to run, I guess. This is a heavily Republican area, so I guess they would see it as futile.

It was interesting to hear them debate even if I didn't agree with them. We were polite and quiet and clapped occasionally when appropriate out of respect.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 12:15PM
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