In Washington, spending less next year than originally expected is considered quite conservative, even if that spending is still a growth in the budget. Thus, the emotional reaction by many in the Beltway is to say the Tea Party – which wants not only real reductions in government spending, but a balanced budget in the near future – is “extreme.”
This was on display Sunday, when Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile talked about how extreme the Tea Party allegedly is.
First, it was Rep. Castro who said the GOP has been “taken over” by the “more extreme base,” and thus Senators Cruz and Paul are particularly popular when talking about the 2016 elections. In other words, Rep. Castro is saying following the Constitution and wanting to limit the cost of the federal government before the nation goes off the fiscal cliff is “extreme.”
He also said nominating a candidate like either of the aforementioned Senators would be an error because the majority of Americans don’t agree with them. By that logic, moderates like former Senator Bob Dole, Mitt Romney, and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) should have won in their respective Presidential races – but all three were beaten soundly by Democratic opponents.
Brazile was next, comparing the Tea Party to a fire that is “burning” the Republican Party because “it has narrowed the base of the party.” In fact, it is the Republicans who are abandoning their base by supporting massive spending and amnesty. It is Republicans who won’t commit to tax reform. It’s Republicans who are moving their party towards the proper title of Democrat-Lite, thus abandoning the conservatives who have long made up its base of support.
Later, Brazile asked if the Transportation/Housing & Urban Development (THUD) bill that failed in the House was too extreme in its cuts. As Tea Party Patriots recently explained, the problem was not the cuts – the problem was and is the unwillingness of moderate Republicans to hold to existing law on spending. These Republicans want to spend more than sequestration allows, ignoring existing law.
Is the Tea Party extreme? Only if spending within our means is an extreme concept, and having a fair and equitable tax system is dangerous. Following the Constitution is only extreme if you’re not doing so, and wanting less fraud/waste/abuse/duplication is only problem for those in the Beltway.
In Washington, anything that breaks the status quo is “extreme.” But that says more about D.C. than the Tea Party.