I have been accused of being too harsh on the Tea Party. "They are just a bunch of patriots who have brought the three-cornered hat back into the spotlight," the political commentator Larry Arnstein argues.
Actually, I have been too kind. These people are dangerous subversives seeking to undermine the American system of bipartisan government. They are coming much closer than the groups making Attorney General Tom Clark's famous list of "Totalitarian, Fascist, Communist, Subversive, and Other" organizations inimical to the American way of life. That list, which was first published in 1947, included such threats as the Garibaldi American Fraternal Society, the Hollywood Writers Mobilization for Defense, the Tom Paine School of Social Sciences, the Philadelphia School of Social Science and Art, and the Hungarian-American Council for Democracy, none of which had the clout of the Tea Party.
It has been suggested that, to clarify the threat for the largely befuddled, tolerant, politically free zone that is the American public, the news media might refer to the mugwump Republicans as the T-Party (T for Terrorist).
The T-Party people in Congress remind me of the Somalian pirates. After the election of 2010, they boarded the ship of state and began holding the country hostage. Holding a gun to our head, they have been saying, "It's our way or the highway -- and we don't want it repaved with stimulus money that would increase the deficit."
The ransom demanded by the Gang of 69 is based on their basic principles. If you don't go along with their demands (i.e., balancing the budget by cutting social services spending for middle-class benefits for the 99%, with no tax increases for the 1%), they can hit us where it hurts.
Just recently, we watched the drama of another close shave -- the refusal by T-Party Representatives to pass a compromise payroll tax and unemployment benefits renewal. Suddenly, they wanted a year's extension. Usually, they want a more temporary fix, so they can play T-Party Roulette with the country's future.
Well, it's a free country. If they want to destroy the country, it's their right. But more importantly, the T-Party is wittingly or unwittingly destroying whatever is left of the credibility of the Republican Party.
We Republicans should not be so tolerant of the Trojan horsemen in our midst. The two-party system is based on compromise, which has worked rather well for the last 222 years. Our party's policy toward those who won't compromise should be "If you don't like it, lump it."
On the other hand, I can appreciate the T-Party being uncomfortable with a party containing old fogey, old style Republicans like myself, who believe in a fuddy-duddy two-party system trying to solve common problems like an economic disaster largely caused by our own party.
I always like to end on a positive note. So I am suggesting now that, instead of whining about being saddled with us socialist-leaning Republicans, the folks in the T-Party should form their own party and let us wither on the roadside.
Third parties usually fail. That's why I am suggesting they form a fourth party. Call it the America Fourth party. America Fourthers won't have the usual money problems of new parties, so they won't have to nickel-and-dime the public with begathons. If they play their cards right, this could be the We the Corporate People of America party of choice. In 2016, the America Fourthers could even nominate Michele Bachmann (or whoever is left from the 2012 Republican Debacle) to lead the country off the cliff.