As noted, the conclusion of the debt ceiling deal has led to some rather interesting consequences.One of the more irritating has been the categorizing of the Tea Party movement as “terrorists” and whatnot. Several other worthies have already expressed their take on it. Jonah Goldberg had an epic rant over at National Review Online, and Ace of Spades eviscerated a couple especially odious examples. Takeaway quote from Ace:
So, let’s see– in that one paragraph, Tea Party Congressmen are compared to 1, Nazi totalitarians, 2, Islamist totalitarians, and 3, Communist totalitarians.
Incidentally, America has gone to war with all three groups.
Anyway, I can’t touch those gentlemen on outrage, so I’ll take a different tack. I’ll just note that every single thing the Tea Party movement has done, it has done within the existing legal and political systems.
Which is precisely what we should be encouraging.
Years ago, I heard the American political system described as “institutionalized revolution.” We avoid violent revolution by having regular, non-violent revolutions. In all our history, there has never — not once — been a violent change of government. No matter how radical the change is, it is always peaceful, and the defeated gracefully hand over the reins of power to their conquerors. And we don’t allow our system to go after the defeated, and punish them for their political “crimes.”
It is entirely within that spirit that the Tea Party movement works. They have held public rallies. They have formed organizations focused on the issues they agree upon. They have supported, opposed, and even put forth their own candidates for election. They have participated in those elections, celebrating their victories and accepting their defeats. And once in office, they have stood firm on the principles they ran upon and were elected to uphold.
Which is a violation of certain unwritten political laws, where “reasonable” and “serious” and “mature” means “willing to be bought, and go along to get along.” Standing on principle is almost unheard of in official Washington.
And there’s a bigger danger here, one I’ve spoken about before. And that’s the possibility that some of those people will grow tired of being called a terrorist and a suicide bomber and a hostage-taker and jihadist and all sorts of other things, and simply say “screw it, I’m being blamed for it and called it, why shouldn’t I go ahead and do it?”
The ironic part, of course, is that many of the same people calling the Tea Party folks “terrorists” are those who are so reluctant to apply that term to actual terrorists, who renamed the War on Terror “overseas contingency operations,” who likened Iraqi terrorists to our Founding Fathers, and so on. It appears that they hate and fear their fellow Americans who want to work within the system than those who want to kill us.
Oh, and one more irony: ever notice that our political system and very way of life (and, in Nancy Pelosi’s case, the fate of the world itself) are most greatly endangered when liberals start losing elections and political battles? It seems that their victories are affirmations of the health of the system, and their defeats the signs of impending tyranny and apocalypse. Talk about sore losers…