According to Thom Hartmann, Grover Norquist is President of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), an extreme right-wing anti-government lobbying group. Their radical agenda centers on shifting Wealth Accumulation to the rich and building-up the military-industrial complex. It should be noted that Grover Norquist is also a very wealthy man, so while the Tea Party has embraced the so-called Norquist Pledge of no new taxes and passing themselves off as somehow being "populist," the truth of the matter is - they are not anywhere near being populist!
I am sure by now that most people are sick of my assertions that the original Tea Party Movement was a broad coalition of fed-up Americans wanting fairer government and, more importantly, that their elected officials actually listen to them - but I continue to believe it with conviction. You see, I was once all-in with that message because as a nation, we needed a new direction in our political discourse. However, I began seeing very early on that the lack of a credible National Leadership Organization would be the undoing of that grassroots movement. And that held true.
The fundamental mistake, as I saw it, was that the movement could not unify the energies of the many localized and regional organizations with what eventually opened the door for the Radical Right to seize the momentum and infiltrate it. Unfortunately, at least for some of us, those who associated with the original ideals of the movement had no choice but to fall away. Personally, I think America missed a golden opportunity to establish a more moderate agenda and forge some common-sense and forward thinking policies. I also believe that that missed opportunity has led to more vitriol in our politics.
There is no doubt in my mind that America needs a viable 3rd Party to diffuse the rancor between Democrats and Republicans. And until we get that - the nation will remain fractured politically. Both sides of the aisle refuse to bargain in good faith, if at all. The Tea Party, meanwhile has even splintered the very party they are aligned with. In spite of the staged for media appearances by Speaker of the House Boehner and Eric Cantor, the reality is the GOP is in danger of imploding. While the prospect of that may be an enticing one, given the latest poll showing that 71% of Americans are blaming Republicans for the current debt impasse, the reality of that should make people shudder. If you don't believe me, well, ask any Illinoisan what one party control means to the masses. However, if you want to save the time and effort, I can assure that it has been nothing short of being a fiscal disaster!
I have tried my best to warn readers that the Tea Party has an ulterior motive, and in spite of their public pronouncements of being "For The People" - they are not! The Middle Class, which spurred the grassroots movement in the first place, has again been left disenfranchised and are even closer to extinction than before. Redistribution of wealth, to the already mega-wealthy, is just not a common sense or sound policy. But, that is exactly what Oliver Norquist and his Tea Party disciples are pushing for. Sure, they will sprinkle in a populist message or two during their stump speeches, but, that is merely done to further dupe the unsuspecting.
If you recall, I have said all along that Paul Ryan's Path To Prosperity fails to address the huge costs associated with the military-industrial complex, and as such, cannot be viewed as a credible means to an end. It does, however, confirm exactly what the true Oliver Norquist / Tea Party Agenda is.
Well, I happen to find that very troubling. The Tea Party is so far removed from what began as a promising populist grassroots movement, and designed to protect the Middle Class, that they simply cannot be trusted as being the agents of change that we were looking for. Look, Americans have a right to to demand that they have "a government of the people, by the people and for the people." Unfortunately, that is something that we have not been given in quite some time. At the same token, though, I have to believe that anyone still thinking that the Tea Party is the one to give it back to us is seriously deluded.
America needs to wake up again, but, this time for real!