Tea Party Checklist

Copyright © by Len Holman, 11/20/10


  The Tea Party has risen, Venus-like,  above the foam of traditional political activity, and though it is far from a monolithic block, it exerts leverage disproportionate to its size, including spelling it with capital letters and LOTS of dire warning about the End of The Republic—which would probably make Tom Jefferson snort with derision.  It does have a lot of closet aficionados and they have—both openly and through their more traditional Republican colleagues—stated certain objectives, and hinted at others, when they get to the House and Senate in January.  I say, why wait until then?  Tell everyone specifically what you’re planning to do.  Herein follows my modest suggestions for the Tea Party agenda.

1)       Eliminate all offices for House and Senate members.  The Japanese did it in their factories and it seemed to work out well for them, since about a million books were written about their wonderful management style.  Get rid of that fancy oak desk big enough to play hockey on.  Fire the fifteen staffers you get and buy a clipboard and a Bic pen.  Meet in the gym or find a park bench to work.  Yes, all these hangers-on will lose their jobs, but you campaigned on smaller government and less reliance on federal largesse, so this is right in your wheelhouse.  Keep that common touch and your base will love you.

2)      To “take the country back” as you often say, you might as well take it back to 1789, and trim the size of the government down so all of it fits into one room, as during George Washington’s tenure.  Of course this means having to get rid of lots of departments, which you promised to do, so:

3)      Get rid of the Department of Education first, although it’s number nine on your “contract.”  It is obviously not doing its job, since the proof is that you are in office.  Let the states handle their own children’s education needs.  After all, doesn’t, say, Mississippi know best what its children need?  Isn’t Intelligent Design a viable alternative to Socialist, Godless Darwinism? 

4)      Next, dump the Department of Energy.  It is merely getting in the way of free enterprise and the market system.  Almost no one has a glacier in their back yard, so melting ice is just an annoyance in your glass of VO, not a national emergency.  So what if, some day, New Orleans disappears underwater?  It’s just one less cesspool of decadence to worry about, one less unholy city to sully God’s America.

5)      Taxes must be cut.  Fees are taxes.  Anything Americans have to pay must go.  Of course, the budget is a prime target. You can’t touch the military budget because we have to eventually invade Somalia and from there, who knows?  We’re going to need all the weapons and equipment and troops we can get.  Medicare can’t be touched, since old people tend to vote---mostly against people who screw with their checks, and your REAL job is to get re-elected.  Social Security?  Hmmm…old people’s wrath again.  Unemployment?  Ok, now you’re on to something.  Let them eat cake.  Earmarks?  Well, you’ve pledged to disown them, but what about that re-election thing?  How can you go back to the folks in Armpit, Arkansas and not have a building or bridge or highway to the Governor’s third home to brag about?  This is going to be a problem unless you re-name earmarks.  So call them “voter privileges.”

6)      No more government spending!  The populations demands that Socialism be abolished and that we return to “fiscal sanity.”  Maybe you didn’t REALLY mean taking our federal budget back to 2008.  Maybe you decided that a bumper-sticker slogan, repeated a zillion times, would be enough to get to D. C.  But listen:  There is no way we need five chicken inspectors for every chicken plant in the country, or milk inspectors or cheese police.  Let the free market decide on the best.  If a hundred people die from tainted milk, well, that company loses out and no one will buy their milk and they’ll go bankrupt and that will prove the validity of Ayn Rand’s theories.  Or is that Rand Paul?  It’s confusing, I know.  Let the free market decide which car company survives.  Let the market decide which snack food makes it to America’s mouth.  One small plea:  Please leave Twinkies alone.

7)      Eliminate health care for everyone who can’t afford the best, OR whoever is a Senator or Representative, or both.  It is much better to save all that health spending now, and worry about the long-term health problems of kids untreated during your term, and the subsequent increase in money needed to treat them.  You won’t be in office then, so why worry?

8)      Those damn immigrants!  Pledge to build a high-tech, immigrant-proof fence from California’s ocean to the east end of Texas.  Of course, we’ve had problems with the few miles of fencing we’ve built so far, but we can probably get improved parts from China, so no worries there.  Immigrants use up our precious resources and corrode the American spirit by taking jobs real Americans would love to have.  I mean, what MBA kid fresh out of Yale wouldn’t want to scrub toilets for minimum wage?  Imagine her pride of accomplishment when she gets that first check!  If all the toilet-scrubbing, fruit-picking, lawn-cutting, busboy jobs were filled with our citizens, the economy would stop heading toward third world status and become a second-and-a-half one.  Much better.

9)      Finally, the one issue every one of you hammered on:  private-sector jobs.  No Vista, Peace Corps, leaf-raking, FDR-style stuff. Real jobs.  So far, all you’ve said is that if we stop spending, let the tax cuts ride a few more years, and all will magically improve.  You need specifics.  I know you want the “trickle down” thing to be the Way of America, but will the rich take their already-huge portion of income and buy stuff?  They already HAVE stuff, so how many refrigerators and baby bottles and Kias will they be likely to buy?  Back to those damn immigrants:  They DO buy stuff, and then more stuff has to be made to re-supply them….I’m just saying they could be a useful resource until the USA starts making steel  in Pennsylvania again, so maybe tell Gov.Brewer and her fellow-travelers to knock all that rhetoric off until then.

  So start shrinking that mean old government—the one that built the interstate highway system, the one that delivers the mail and checks for lead in your kids’ toys and the one that keeps people from loading their Fruit-of-the-Looms with PETN.  Consider how you will shrink a government so much, in this century, that trillions will be saved, WITHOUT any new revenue coming in.  Oh, wait.  You folks don’t consider, you just promise and then when it becomes apparent you can’t deliver, you blame.  But think about this:  your supporters have been badly misled by you, so you owe them, at the least, some new slogans for 2012.


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