Getting this off my chest
My only personal experience with the Tea Party crowd was when one of them was in front of the local post office a few months back. He had the costume on and was holding up a poster of Obama with a Hitler mustache. I told him he should be ashamed of himself implying that Obama was the equivalent to Hitler, and he replied (exact quote), “Why don’t you move to Europe and take your darkie friends with you?”
I pretty much stopped paying attention to them after that, but the other night one of them was on the Daily Show (http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/tue-april-20-2010-john-o-hara) and the guy seemed pretty reasonable and impressive, as was John Stewart. The bottom line is that there is a legitimate debate to be had in this country about the size and role of government, but that debate is not served with people equating a fairly modest (essentially Bob Dole’s 1993 plan) healthcare bill with “tyranny,” “fascism,” “Stalinism,” etc.
My friend Jeff is pretty cynical about the ability of “government” to run anything well, not without reason. However I happen, based on my own experience, to have a little less faith in the private sector than him to get things right. We have all worked at companies where incompetence was the rule. The TM and I spend about a combined 4 years at Health South cleaning up that mess caused by incompetence, fraud and plain old criminal behavior. I don’t trust private sector health insurance bureaucrats and CEO’s making millions (for paying claims) any more than Jeff trusts Nancy Pelosi. I believe Adam Smith said that the trouble with capitalism is capitalists. It is obvious that an unregulated Wall Street is only too willing to bend us over and jam it in as far as they can. It is also obvious that the “government” all too often does bonehead things that stifle creativity and economic growth. I believe in the free market, but not an unregulated market where cheaters, crooks, and scammers can thrive.
So, I’m sorry Tea Party folks that Obama won the election, now get over it, nobody stole your country. If you are willing to engage in a reasoned discussion about the size and role of government, I for one will listen. But equating Obama with Hitler, Stalin, tyranny, etc. doesn’t advance the discussion.