Excuse Us,Who is Trying to Divide America?

Over the weekend, several of us noticed a lot of conservatives posting links to an article on Sarah Palin’s visit to Wisconsin for a tax day rally. At the event, Palin noted her support for Wisconsin Governor Walker in his much publicized fights with his state’s unions. We typically don’t pay too much attention to Sarah Palin. We think she has a lot of star power and can bring in a big crowd.  So can a lot of people…and we wouldn’t vote for any of them for President of the United States.

But here is the part that grabbed our attention:

Counter-protesters surrounded them, banging drums, bellowing into bullhorns and ringing bells. Bitter arguments broke out along the edges of the two groups over everything from the size of government to corporate power. At one point conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart took the stage and told the labor supporters to “go to hell.”

“I’m serious!” he screamed. “Go to hell! You’re trying to divide America!”

Seriously? You’re trying to tell us that others are the ones trying to divide America while you are telling a group of people to go to hell? 

Look, we know that amped up political rhetoric isn’t going anywhere–especially since it seems to be the only way to get through to the average voter. But maybe don’t try to convince us you aren’t a sheep in wolves clothing while you are doing it.

Back to Reality: The Gay Marriage Amendment

As most of you are probably aware, earlier this week the Indiana State Senate did as expected and passed the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.  It didn’t stop there though since banning something that is already illegal wasn’t quite enough.  The bill also makes sure to get rid of civil unions and really any benefits associated with marriage. It now needs to pass through the next elected legislature after the 2012 elections with the exact same language and then will be voted on by Indiana voters most likely in 2014.

Matt Tully penned an interesting column trying to put a positive spin on the situation saying this gives Hoosiers a chance to send a message against discrimination with a vote striking down the amendment in 2014.  He urges sympathetic political leaders, gay rights groups and the business community who view this amendment as anti-business to work together and get ready for the big vote with grassroots efforts and fundraising. And he reminds us that with each passing day, more and more Hoosier see this legislation as spiteful discrimination.  These things, in our opinion, are all true.

But we also think that Tully’s column is full of wishful thinking and is based in a dream world rather than the reality here in Indiana.  While many Hoosiers do believe this is discriminatory nonsense that should not be put in our state constitution, there are a great many who believe it is critical to protect families and marriage. We’re frankly not sure who or what they think is threatening it but they certainly believe it to be true. 

In 2014, these individuals will be worked up into a frenzy by Right-wing advocates like Micah Clark and Eric Miller.  Unfortunately, many Republicans and Democrats will begin to pile on to the issue and use it as a wedge in their close elections. And the amendment will most likely pass. 

If people want to stop this amendment from moving forward, it needs to be done by kicking the can down the road and ensuring the bill does not pass the next legislature.  While all the preparation for a possible 2014 vote is important, the best chance for success is getting a legislature that will not allow this legislation to pass the second time around and will focus on other issues. 

Right now, we have an extremely conservative State Senate that will absolutely pass this bill and there is little chance of changing the dynamics in the upper chamber.  Even more disheartening is that the likely Republican nominee for Governor, Mike Pence, will surely use this issue as well.  The best hope is shaking things up in the House which will be difficult particularly with Pence on the ballot and the TEA Party running around scaring away moderate candidates.

This isn’t a scenario we like very much since we do lean to the Right and typically the folks that support this bill do too. We aren’t advocating to toss Republicans out the door and give the House to Pat Bauer.  Frankly, he voted for the amendment this year in the House session so that is not a solution. 

The only real solution is for the people who care about this issue is to work within BOTH Parties to find and support candidates based on where they stand on this particular issue.  All the groups that Tully mentioned need to begin candidate recruitment and be ready to play in both the Primary and General elections in 2012. 

Gay rights advocates have been used and abused by both political parties.  This is a human equation, not a partisan one.  Until advocates factor that into their strategy, they are going to have a hard time keeping this rock from rolling down the mountain.

Guest Post by Jon Elrod: The TEA Party and Senator Lugar

Much has been written on the TEA Party confab in Tipton as they organize to field a Senate candidate for the 2012 election. A few observations:

First of all, the TEA Party is not “targeting” Lugar. They want a candidate who is more aggressive on TEA Party issues like deficit reduction, federalism, and increased personal freedoms.

These are laudable and reasonable arguments within the conservative movement. This is a debate on whether the 2008-09 TARP/Bail-Outs/Stimuli were worth the trillion dollar deficits and the “too big to fail” assault on free market fundamentals.

Second, the TEA Party has learned from Richard Behney locally, and Christine O’Donnell nationally, that they need to coalesce around competent and electable candidates.

They have also learned from Ross Perot and the Libertarian Party that if you reform the Republican Party from within, you get leaders like Ryan and Rubio. The Pyrrhic victories offered by third party candidates do not advance the conservative cause.

Third, politics is about addition, not subtraction. A few hundred conservatives getting together to talk about fundamental issues of federalism and political strategy is a good thing. The TEA Party is not a threat to the GOP; it is a dynamic addition to the cause. We should not mock our allies.

If there is a threat, it comes from the Left labeling the TEA Party something it isn’t, and sowing dissension on the Right. The GOP should not take the bait.

I’m a Dick Lugar Republican. I wasn’t in Tipton this weekend, I was in Carmel toasting one of sharpest, most knowledgeable, and most dedicated politicians in America. I do not always agree with him, but no candidate will be more capable, qualified, or electable for Senate in 2012.

Lugar’s place in history is secure. His example of integrity and statesmanship has inspired generations of those in public service. We should follow his example, rising to the TEA Party debate in good faith and with good will.

Delph Introduces Bill Creating Tea Party License Plate

At first, we thought State Senator Mike Delph was running for U.S. Senate against Lugar.  Now, we think he is just running for King of the Tea Party.  We told you last month about his birther bill.  Now, he’s introduced a bill to create a license plate for the Tea Party.  The bill, Senate Bill 0115, reads:

Don’t Tread on Me license plate. Establishes the Don’t Tread on Me license plate (plate). Specifies that: (1) the plate must bear a depiction of a coiled snake; (2) the plate is not a special group license plate; and (3) the cost for the plate is an annual registration fee for a vehicle of the same classification and any other fee or tax required of a person registering a vehicle.

With all the different things going on in the legislature like the budget, education reform and township government reform, do we really need to make sure the Tea Party has license plate? Really?

Additionally, you’ll notice that the plate is not a special group license plate.  Does anyone remember the “In God We Trust” license plates?  It looks as though Delph’s bill was drafted based on that bill.  Both plates are not special group license plates and do not require any fee like most specialty plates do.

TEA Party Goes 1-1 over Thanksgiving Holiday

Over the holiday, the TEA Party had a victory and a defeat.

On Wednesday night, Bristol Palin lost Dancing with the Stars to 50-year old Jennifer Grey.  Many speculated that Bristol was only in the running due to the TEA Party grassroots efforts.  TEA Party officials defended the loss saying it really was never fair for any celebrity to be in a dance competition with the star of “Dirty Dancing”.

Later in the holiday, the TEA Party was handed an unexpected victory when President Obama took an elbow in a pick-up game of basketball.

Editors Note:  TEA Party officials didn’t really comment on this.  We’re having a bit of fun before breaking out of our turkey coma and getting serious.

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