SC “Tea Party” Blowback
In addition to government’s ongoing habit of blowing trillions of dollars on crap that America doesn’t need and can’t afford, one of the biggest problems with this country is political “self-labeling.”
We’re talking, of course, about free-spending liberals who refer to themselves as “Republicans,” or even “Tea Party” members.
“The problem with self-identification in politics is that anybody can say they’re anything,” we wrote recently.
What prompted that insight? U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson and fellow members of his “Tea Party Caucus” getting busted requesting more than $1 billion in federal earmarks last year.
Anyway … you would think that this website would be adored by true Tea Partiers (and to some extent, we are). After all, you will not find a more aggressive advocate for the best interests of South Carolina taxpayers – nor will you find a bigger thorn in the side of this state’s political oligarchy. FITS has remained unswervingly loyal to our fiscally conservative, socially libertarian viewpoints from the beginning – and our growing influence and audience is a testament to the growing prevalence of these views as well as the consistency (and aplomb) with which we have advanced them.
Some Tea Partiers don’t like us very much, though.
Take Cory Norris, a Tea Party leader and GOP activist from Lexington County, who recently rebuked our characterization of his Facebook activity – which included “liking” an article that endorsed violence against local law enforcement officers.
“There are a multitude of reasons that someone may click the ‘Like’ button,” Norris told FITS. “I was NOT trying to say that (a) cop should have been shot and my comments later on reflected that.”
Okay … we’ll grant Norris that point. And this explanation is eminently more sensible than Norris’ initial response to our story – which was to accuse us of being paid by S.C. Democratic Party chairman Dick Harpootlian and S.C. Sen. Vincent Sheheen to write hit pieces about him.
Wow … we can almost hear the black helicopter rotors whirring from here …
Apparently Norris doesn’t realize that to be targeted with hit pieces, it helps for people to first be aware of your existence.
Speaking of people we’ve never heard of accusing us of malfeasance, a Myrtle Beach-area Tea Party leader objected Wednesday to our story about would-be seventh congressional district candidates weighing in on Washington D.C.’s recent “debt dereliction deal.”
In discussing presumptive candidate Mande Wilkes’ objections to the deal, we referred to her as a local “Tea Party favorite …”
Apparently that angered Joe Dugan, who is chairman of the “Myrtle Beach Tea Party” – an organization we never knew existed prior to receiving Dugan’s angry missive on its behalf.
“Please be responsible and respectful enough, to at least contact us for confirmation, before connecting our name to any future issues, candidates or othe(r) associations,” Dugan wrote. “We respect your first amendment rights, but they do not include the right to make false and misleading statements.”
So let’s get this straight … according to this dude we erred by not contacting a group that we were unaware even existed? Oh … and not only that, the leader of this “bingo meeting disguised as a political organization” seems pretty confident that we shredded the first amendment in the process?
Needless to say, our founding editor had response for Dugan and his “inconsequential band of pablum-lappers.”
“In the event you wish to dismount your high horse and discuss this matter with me in a rational, non-accusatory manner – please feel free to do so,” Sic wrote. “I may even be willing to consider different ways of phrasing things in the future so as to minimize the amount of sand that winds up in your vagina.”
Labels are labels, people … like flags, they don’t mean a damn thing. Politicians apply them perpetually (and usually with impunity) in an effort to make you think they stand for something. Our advice? Ignore them … and look at the substance of the individual standing behind them.