Have you ever heard of Judson Phillips? (If you read this blog, you probably aren’t the kind of person who would care much about his part of the political spectrum.) Phillips is credited with being one of the founders of the Tea Party Nation. He was the organizer of the National Tea Party Nation Convention that was held a year ago that charged a hefty price for admission and paid Sarah Palin an estimated $100,000 to speak. She later claimed that she would donate her speaking fee to various deserving conservative organizations...
I’ve tried digging around and I can’t find out much about Mr. Phillips’s background. I believe he is a Tennessean and probably an attorney. He is certainly very, very politically conservative and has a knack for making headlines for himself. And, frankly, the more I dig around, the more clearly one can see him as a first-class trouble maker.
One of his latest attacks is against the United Methodist Church which he says is the first church of Karl Marx. Why? For openers, the Church supports the Dream Act and considers Hillary Clinton a member in good standing. Here are some more strikes against the Methodists from the Gospel According to Phillips (his blog): [Here]
Reading the Methodist social justice manifesto is like reading a socialist wish list. They want amnesty, they want “economic justice”, they opposed “global climate change” (earth to the Methodists, man isn’t doing it), fighting global poverty (here is another hint, most poverty is caused by a lack of freedom and lack of a free enterprise system). Not shockingly, the Methodists side with the Islamists against Israel, and of course oppose America in Iraq.
In throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the Methodists, one gets a sense of how far right Mr. Phillips is and, by indirection, how reactionary the Tea Party Nation is.
The latest Phillips idea is that one should be a property owner in order to vote. That notion was rejected in the first half of the Nineteenth Century. I guess Mr. Phillips has never thought about (and probably never even heard of) Andrew Jackson and the Jacksonian revolution. (Maybe Glenn Beck hasn’t gotten to Jackson, yet.)
What is frightening about Phillips and his Tea Party Nation cohorts is that they are actually advocating voter disenfranchisement. As a Thinkprogress blogger points out [Here] this creates a potential for intergenerational strife and effectively strips the vote away from the young, the urban working class and all renters.
What Mr. Phillips and the Tea Partyers are advancing are policies which would lead to a seismic change in citizens’ voting rights that would turn back the clock to the Nineteenth Century. Many of them don’t even want the direct election of the U.S. Senators. (The GOP controls most state houses which would, in turn, choose the Senators.)
These Tea Partyers are not benign, flag-waving, politically naive folks who like wearing period costumes and just wish to blow off some steam. Phillips latest rabble-rousing is a list of five groups which he calls “liberal hate-groups.” Topping the list is the Southern Poverty Legal Center. The SPLC recently listed the Tea Party Nation as a hate-group and Phillips is simply returning the favor.
Next on the Phillips hate list is the DHS for:
silly political posturing from the most corrupt regime in the history of this country.
Third is the ACLU which Phillips calls “a hate group with a law license." Fourth is the SEIU which he says has used violence against employers who have not allowed workers to organize. Fifth is the NAACP, which the Tea Party Nation simply flings back a charge of “racist.” Phillips wrote: [Here]
To the NAACP, anyone to the right of Karl Marx is a racist.
No, these Tea Party folks are not benign. The ease with which they distort history and facts is chilling. Politics should not be a game of name-calling and an exchange of stupidity.
I sometimes feel as if I am back in the early 1950’s when political reason had fled the country and fear-mongering had captured the GOP.
Does Joe McCarthy’s name ring a bell?