Ken Connor
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For their efforts, they've been panned as a "destructive posse of misguided patriots" and compared to the "radicals" and "nihilists" of the anti-establishment, anti-war Vietnam Era. This vitriolic response (seen on both sides of the aisle) reveals how warped politics has become in our nation's capital, a place where compromise is king and special interests drive the agenda. If you stand on principle and actually live by your campaign promises, you are deemed a "radical." If you walk the talk, you are viewed as a two headed monster, a bullheaded ignoramus "drunk on the bromides of Small Government, Big Business, and the virtues of a balanced budget." That the "brinkmanship" cited by S&P as a reason for downgrading America's credit rating is being interpreted as a reference to Tea Party "extremism" (and not a condemnation of the entrenched fiscal irresponsibility that created the debt-ceiling crisis in the first place) is evidence of how malignant this mindset has become.??

So much for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. ?One can only imagine how different America would be if politicians in Washington rediscovered the virtues of integrity, honesty, forthrightness, and reclaimed a sense of stewardship in their handling of the people's business. There would probably be a lot more productivity and a lot less drama if our representatives would simply say what they mean and mean what they say. As it stands now, the only sentiments engendered by our government's duplicity and hypocritical conduct are cynicism and disgust. ??Enough with the double speak of the Washington Establishment! Americans want representatives who will stand on principle and live up to their promises. And they want representatives who will live within the taxpayers' means.

If this means the Tea Partiers are "radicals", then may their tribe increase.

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Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.