Let’s start with this; there is no “tea party”. There is a “tea party movement,” there are “tea party groups,” there are “tea party activists” and there are “people who agree with tea party principles.” In that tea party movement, there are libertarians, social conservatives, immigration activists, fiscal conservatives, Second Amendment defenders, and other conservative-leaning Americans.
While I haven’t seen it, I’m sure there are people that identify with the tea party movement who, like this Hillary Clinton supporter, think that the President is an “inadequate, black male” , and hold on to the notion, like these Clinton supporters, that he was born in Africa. Interlopers infect every populist movement, sometimes intentionally, and sometimes because they think a frustrated audience might be receptive to conspiracy theories. At the end of the day though, most serious tea party activists rally around two common themes: we’re spending more than we can afford and the U.S. Constitution ought to be followed by the people whom we elect.
I want to re-emphasize those unifying points: we’re spending more than we can afford and the U.S. Constitution ought to be followed by the people whom we elect.
I have no idea how that can be considered an “extremist philosophy” but I know why Democrats embrace the meme– it serves to have a bogey-man to demonize while they arrogate more power from you. What is sad is that, rather than state his case for moving towards European-style welfare states (which continually fail), Scott Peters seeks to divide San Diegans into labels, He profits by fueling divisive debate about what should be a robust discussion about the legitimate size, scope, and role of government in our lives.
Carl DeMaio is not a tea party extremist. Like Bob Filner did, he spoke to the San Diego Tea Party. Filner offered praise for the group:
“Thank you for inviting me. I have been in politics for the better part of my life which is to say I am active in my community. Whenver I see an active group who want to take part, want be informed, and want to see politics work, for all the people, I want to be there. So I thank the tea party for its active involvement.
...and we tend to divide people up into various categories…I think what you want…I THINK, is intelligent, common-sense approaches to the problems that we face and those have nothing to do with the parties…we gotta work together and talk about issues that unite us and not tear us apart.”
That was former Congressman and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, a deeply-flawed individual and politician with whom I disagreed much more often than not. It was however, in the 5-6 years I’ve watched Bob Filner, in my opinion, his finest moment (h/t to La Playa Heritage for this video).
My question to Scott Peters— Does that make Bob Filner a “tea party extremist”?
I suppose Scott Peters could answer that Carl DeMaio’s platform is closer to the beliefs of smaller government, reduced spending, and constitutional fidelity than Bob Filner and that would be irrefutably true but the labels Scott have got to stop. Attempting to demonize me, for believing that our government spends more than it collects (fact) and that its elected representatives refuse to follow the constraints of the US Constitution (fact) makes you a hustler, a charlatan, a divider, and the one of the most craven kind of politicians. You are seeking to divide the electorate by turning them all against people like me because you think it might snare a precious few votes.
You’re a petty little bully Scott Peters and frankly, I”m calling you out for it. If Carl DeMaio wants to show me something, he’ll say exactly what I just said.