Lorie Byrd

Those on the left have spent so much time over the past eight years bashing George Bush that they are having trouble shifting gears. Instead of enjoying their big win in 2008 and going positive, following their leader Obama’s “hope and change” message, they are still tearing down anyone who doesn’t agree with them. The latest attack from the left is not aimed at the Republican party or Michael Steele or Rush Limbaugh, but at Democrat, Republican and Independent Americans across the country who have dared to organize “tea parties” to oppose rising taxes, more government control over private enterprise and less individual liberty.

The Tea Party Movement has caught fire and spread from one end of the country to the other. It has captured the imagination of the conservative grassroots and has taken hold. So far the reaction from the national media has been to downplay or ignore the tea party rallies. Reaction from many on the left most recently is to ridicule and openly attack tea party participants.

According to Michelle Malkin, “Bob Beckel appeared on Fox News this morning to sneer at the nationwide event. He derided tax revolters in Montana, joking that ‘It was a good thing it wasn’t a vodka party, because I guarantee you they all had guns.’Bigoted Beltway jerk. Beckel also claimed the Tea Parties were ‘nothing new’ and recycled the debunked Playboy website report (deleted from the site) spreading false and illogical rumors that the grass-roots movement is directed from the GOP, national tax groups, and CNBC.”

I have been a registered Republican and a conservative for over 25 years and I have never seen a grass roots movement that was even remotely as widespread and successful as the Tea Party movement. The closest thing I have seen would have to be the election of 1994 when the public revolted against the liberal agenda of President Clinton’s first two years in office. There were no widespread protests preceding it, just lots of Americans who woke up to realize the moderate, New Democrat, “end welfare as we know it” message Bill Clinton used to get elected did not match the liberal policies he tried to enact as President. Talk about déjà vu all over again – today’s scenario is incredibly similar.

In just three months the man who attacked George Bush’s deficit spending has introduced us to projected deficits that make Bush’s look miniscule by comparison. The man who attacked John McCain for his associations with lobbyists and vowed to not hire lobbyists took about 24 hours to break his own executive order preventing lobbyists from working in his administration. The man who denied being the most liberal member of the United States Senate has demanded the resignation of Rick Wagoner, chairman and CEO of General Motors, and even told Americans the government would back their car warranties. The man who attacked Joe the Plumber when he warned America about his plans to “spread the wealth around” has engaged in class warfare and promised higher taxes for the highest income earners.

Kenneth Walsh wrote in U.S. News and World Report, “All in all, Obama's agenda seems to represent the biggest surge in government activism since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society in the 1960s. And it is nothing short of a fundamental attempt to roll back the less-government objectives that have dominated debate in Washington since Ronald Reagan ushered in a conservative era in the 1980s.”

It is no wonder that Americans in all parts of the country are rising up from the grass roots in defiance. Those on the left started out ignoring the Tea Party Movement, but now that it appears to only be growing, many on the left have resorted to attack mode.

When I recently wrote a blog post letting readers know how to find the April 15 tea party in their area, liberal commenters posted attacks on the movement ranging from those disputing my statement that thousands were turning out at the tea parties, to those saying the tea party protesters didn’t know what they were doing because they didn’t bring a PA system to one of the tea parties. When I searched for reports and pictures from the various tea parties to provide some numbers, I found that there were many more than I had realized and quite a few of them saw attendance in the thousands, with many more numbering in the hundreds. The silly attack about the PA system just provided more evidence that the movement was truly coming not only from the grass roots, but from people who had no experience in public protests.

According to the Tax Day Tea Party website, which is tracking tea parties taking place across the country on April 15, the events are focused on the following theme: Repeal the Pork, Cut Taxes and Spending. “There are more than 500 tea parties confirmed for that day, and it is expected that over the next week and a half, the number of tea parties will continue to grow. Crowds of 5,000 to 10,000 are expected in multiple cities.” Whether or not the mainstream media adequately cover the events, conservative media including Sean Hannity, Neil Cavuto and Glenn Beck will be broadcasting from tea parties in Atlanta, Sacramento and San Antonio.

I went to work the day after the 1994 election to find Democrats in the office walking around in shock. The result of the election was a 54-seat swing in membership from Democrats to Republicans, allowing the Republican Party to take the majority in the House for the first time since 1954. Not one incumbent Republican lost in that election. No one predicted how devastating that election would be to the Democrats in Congress. This time there are more outward signs of the discontent many Americans have with the Obama agenda.

Liberals would do well to stop ridiculing voters disgusted with the first three months of the Obama administration and spend more time trying to understand why they feel that way. If they don’t pay close attention and start listening to the voters, they might wake up with a huge headache after Election Day 2010.


Lorie Byrd

Lorie Byrd is a Townhall.com columnist and blogs at Wizbang and at LorieByrd.com.

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