As much of an anti-Obamaite I was back in 2008, I have decidedly become an anti-Tea Partyist here in 2010. A bit odd it may seem, but hear me out before you judge.
Back in high school I remember seeing a guy wearing a button that read "Dissent is Patriotic." I laughed at him and judged him a social misfit who could never be happy at the status quo. I guess I may fit that bill by some now.
I see it that the Tea Party's slogan of "Less Government" to be on par with Obama's "Change we can believe in." Inspiring to a large audience but rather empty rhetoric when you think about it. Less government? Less state government? Less federal government? Less local government? I am unclear to the extent that "less government" can be applied to, but I figure it has something to do with spending.
Another problem I see with the Tea Party's approach is the misguided belief in electing unknown politicians who are promising things in an opportunistic political environment. Not even promising anything very concrete except for "accountability in government spending" and "returning to the Constitution." I think they did a good job in reading Obama's 2008 playbook by speaking to their audience and a very upset independent voter base. I will not be surprised to see the same disillusion (albeit at a quicker pace) as what has rolled over Obama's base.
So the logic of sending people to Washington that are "of the people" and will "listen" to "us", seems a bit - unclear. Now with some obvious upset from the people passing an unpopular healthcare package (which passed on March 22 with a 9% for to a 13% against – depending on which poll you looked at), it wasn't like that was a surprise. It was the cornerstone of Obama getting elected.
So will, in the attempt to do "right" for the country, the Tea Party and its supporters have to raise taxes on everyone to pay off the national deficit? Will the Tea Party and its supporters, in the "best interest" of the country, put tariffs on all imports from China? Will the Tea Party and its supporters, looking out for what is "best" for the USA, cut all social programs for 2 years to help balance the budget. That means no Medicare, food stamps, unemployment benefits…
I bet you thought some of those were good and some of those were bad. I'm also sure there is someone else who thought they were all good and someone else who thought they were all bad. But what happens if those 3 people all vote for a Tea Party candidate and that candidate decides for or against some of those choices? Does that mean that the candidate no longer is "listening" to "us"? That he is a politician and not "of the people"?
So what are the alternatives to the mainstream political parties? Does the Tea Party serve as a good blueprint for people who are disillusioned? Is this a good thing? These type questions are opinions and so I am not interested in answering for you. But one opinion I will share is this: I have a healthy distrust of ANY political party/organization/network that wields power. To the point that I will rail against the Tea Party as much as I railed against Obama 2 years ago. I believe that the government will only work for its own benefit, and what we have here is no different.