Just Like Your Neighbor

Just Like Your Neighbor

by digby

'Average citizens' find voice in Tea Party ideals

Tea Party tax rallies occurred all over the nation on Thursday. Members oppose high taxes, government spending, and what they see as a lack of adherence to the Constitution by a Democrat-led Washington. Members of the Tea Party say they represent the “average citizen.”

“Look around,” said Ernest Comisac, a retired engineer from Pennsylvania. “When you walk up to people here, they are like your neighbor. They go to work, pay their taxes, try to put their kids through college.”

Joe Vinskey, an employee of the federal government in Dayton, Ohio, said that one of the things that made him become involved with the Tea Party was that it’s a nationwide movement with no leader in Washington to make it “D.C.-centric.”

“They're not trying to start another government party,” Vinskey said. “They are trying to fix what we already have.”

Raymond Tignall, an estimator for a mechanical contractor in Eldersburg, Md., said he and his wife heard of the Tea Party through conservative talk radio.

“I don't want to be a government-controlled country,” Tignall said. “We're all leaders. We give the government its power. And the Tea Party embodies that.”

“I'm here primarily to support the idea of small government,” added Comisac. “You can't depend on your politicians so how can you allow the government to have this much control?”

Comisac cited the recently-passed health care overhaul bill and the Wall Street bailouts as examples of the government's over-intervention in citizen's lives and the country's economy.

“I want to see non-partisanship in our government,” he said. “Non-partisanship to the point that barely any legislation will be passed, because I hate to say it, but when anything happens in Washington, it's bad.”

Carowick, echoing a sentiment held by many party members, said she thinks the welfare system is out of control.

“I think we do need to help those who have less,” she said. “But the taxes are too much and we aren't seeing any difference in the situations of those less privileged.”

Members at Thursday’s Washington rally decried politicians for failing to listen to constituents.

“The way health care was pushed through was potentially a constitutional crisis,” Vinskey said. “Our elected representatives today aren't respecting the Constitution.”

It's all been said and I don't have the energy this morning to say it again. But suffice to simply reiterate that it isn't unconstitutional to pass legislation with a majority under the rules of both houses of congress. It just isn't.

Now, calling the Vice Presidency a fourth branch of government and holding that the President has unlimited powers during what he alone defines as "wartime" actually is an assault on the constitution, but these people don't mind that because they are quite sure no president will ever use such powers against them. Considering their loathing of Obama, I wonder if they've thought that through?

Here are your "average citizens" according to the NY Times poll last week, graphically illustrated by Charles Blow:

It's pretty clear they are anything but "average."