Slandering the Tea Parties

The “tea party” protests against out-of-control government spending have been very clear in identifying what wasteful spending they object to. One example is Obama’s $800 billion stimulus package, which was falsely sold to the public as needed to prevent “irreversible decline,” but which the Congressional Budget Office repeatedly pointed out would actually cut the size of the economy “in the long run.” Another example is the Obama Administration’s mortgage bailout, which would benefit even high-income people with modest mortgages (see the “I can’t afford your mortgage” sign).

But the protesters are frequently criticized by journalists like Andrew Sullivan for supposedly offering no solutions or constructive suggestions.

For having the temerity to protest Administration lies and out-of-control spending, the protesters have been called “despicable” by a liberal Congresswoman, and attacked in the left-wing blogosphere in the most vicious language as “redneck, racist Republicons” and as “a bunch of white old people and rednecks” who “got together and tried to start a revolution…to drive the Fascist/Communist n****r out of the White House and stop the fags from stealing their children.”

As a Harvard-educated, arugula-eating, urban dweller whose office hosted the end of the Washington tea party, I find these claims baffling. I am certainly not afraid of my Asian, black, and Hispanic relatives, my French-born wife, or the gay neighbor whose children play with my daughter.

Andrew Sullivan derides the tea parties as “opposition to the Obama administration’s spending plans, manned by people who made no serious objections to George W. Bush’s.”

I did too make “serious objections to George W. Bush’s” spending plans. I condemned his costly prescription-drug entitlement in the Washington Times, and repeatedly condemned the $160 billion Bush “stimulus rebates” in 2008. I publicly called his $700 billion Wall Street “bailout bill dangerous, inflationary, unnecessary, and unconstitutional.” And I condemned his multibillion dollar auto bailout.

And contrary to Sullivan’s claims, I do indeed have a “constructive and specific argument about how . . . to reduce spending and debt and borrowing” — cancel the wasteful $800 billion stimulus package, most of which has not been spent yet, and may cause inflation when it finally is.