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Henry II of England is one of my favorite people in history.  He was a jerk, a womanizer, and had a rather fascinating and dysfunctional relationship with his wife, which led to a dysfunctional relationship with his infamously dysfunctional family.  (FYI – The Pink Flamingo must note that most of my family is basically one branch until Edward III, so I am descended from Henry and Eleanor many times over).  In many ways, he created the modern western world.  When I think about the problems with the tea parties, I think about Henry II and his arch-nemesis (not his wife) but St. Thomas a Becket.

“…The poll also finds that even many Republicans are not happy about how their party is handling it — reinforcing my growing conclusion that the current brand of Republican conservatives risks backlash from many thoughtful Republicans who could at the very least sit out 2012 if a Presidential candidate seems to be a creature of the Tea Party Movement and what I call the country’s talk radio political culture….”

Is it possible the tea parties have miscalculated and the rank and file NORMAL Republicans are turning on them? Want a reason?

“...But while Reagan nostalgia endures, a number of Republicans have begun to admit the obvious: The Gipper would no longer be welcome on the GOP team. Most recently, Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr. (Calif.) called Reagan a “moderate former liberal . . . who would never be elected today in my opinion.” This spring, Mike Huckabee judged that “Ronald Reagan would have a very difficult, if not impossible time being nominated in this atmosphere,” pointing out that Reagan “raises taxes as governor, he made deals with Democrats, he compromised on things in order to move the ball down the field.”…”

 

Try this:

Alan Colmes

One upon a time, when Henry II was a bit soused, he mentioned that he wanted someone to rid him of a certain worrisome priest, who had once been his best bud.  Certain jerks took him just a bit too seriously and decided to suck up for power.  They almost butchered the worrisome priest, who is now a saint. It was a nasty scene that basically destroyed Henry.

“…Plantagenet historian John Harvey believes “The martyrdom of Thomas Becket was a martyrdom which he had repeatedly gone out of his way to seek…one cannot but feel sympathy towards Henry“…”

The Pink Flamingo has never been a Becket fan.  I always thought he was an arrogant jerk who was so impressed with himself and his power that he would allow all of Britain to be excommunicated just so he could prove a point.  He thought Henry was violating the ‘constitution’ or how he saw it, so he basically destroyed himself, his former best friend, and a heck of a lot of lives – to prove his point.

In order to prove that he was right, Becket was willing to destroy himself, his king, his church, and England.  It reminds me of the tea party “patriots”.  They are willing to destroy the country

The Daily Beast

These jerks even threaten Steve Pearce, who is one of the nicest people you would ever meet, and quite conservative.  Evidently he’s not good enough for them.

“...Rep. Steve Pearce, a freshman who won in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District with tea party help, is one of 60 members of the House Tea Party Caucus. In an interview with CNN, Pearce said he supports tea party ideals of less spending. And yet he still receives urgings from tea party supporters. “We get e-mails frequently saying, ‘Just hold the line, don’t increase spending,’ ” Pearce said. “Many are saying, ‘Don’t vote for any debt ceiling.’ But they also kind of qualify it by saying, if you could get a balanced budget amendment or get something significant in exchange — they would understand it.”
Does Pearce feel it amounts to tea party pressure? “I don’t think it’s pressure. I think it’s accountability,” the congressman said…”

NOTHING is good enough for the Beckets of the Tea Party world.  They would rather destroy with their irrational determination for abject purity than to nurture and build.  Doug Mataconis points out how Erick Erickson is willing to harm the country for purity and his idealism.

“…Erickson, though, is making a different argument from Bachmann and Gohmert.  He’s saying Bring It On. He’s perfectly fine with economic collapse because he thinks the President of the United States and the Democratic Party will take the blame, and the Republican Party will benefit. The economic pain that will be suffered by his fellow Americans is secondary, it seems, to the political gains he thinks can be made from throwing the nations economy over the brink. How is that different from someone else hoping that, say, the Iraq War had gone horribly wrong immediately before the 2004 elections because it would hurt the Bush Administration and the GOP?

The answer, of course, is that it isn’t. Willfully hoping that the country is harmed because it might potentially benefit your political party is perhaps the most cravenly partisan thing that anyone would ever wish. You are saying to your fellow citizens that you don’t care that something bad is about to happen because, in the end, it will mean that more Republicans will be elected. Frankly, I find it disgusting….”

 Jeff Greenfield has a piece in the WPost that may explain away the whole nasty problem.  Is this a tea party plot to create a third party and destroy the GOP?  Or – is it stupidity and pandering to the mess the tea party has created.  John Avalon wrote:

“…Call them Debt Ceiling Deniers. Believers in faith-based fiscal policy. Math-challenged cause-and-effect-skeptics. And an uncomfortable chunk of the GOP’s 2012 contenders.

The costs of courting conservative populists should be clearer than ever to reality-based fiscal conservatives inside the Republican Party.  Their “all-or-nothing” meets “what, me worry?” negotiating stance is not only the newest symbol of D.C.’s dysfunction—it is beginning to have an impact on the entire U.S. economy. …The debt-ceiling deniers could be dismissed as just another branch of the conservative populist tribe at war with modernity.  Except this time the enemy isn’t science—it’s math.  And international markets don’t respond well to denial.

The growing popularity of this position among the 2012 contenders should cause real fiscal conservatives in the GOP to take a hard look in the mirror—because the conservative populists they have helped empower for short-term political gain are making long-term fiscally responsible governance almost impossible.

By encouraging default, the debt-ceiling deniers are playing politics with people’s daily lives.  They are making the prospect for economic recovery even more distant while unintentionally adding credence to our competitors’ mistaken belief that America is a great power in decline….”

WPost

These people are doing great harm to the GOP.

Rasmussen

 “…Now, most of the cuts agreed to by the White House and congressional negotiators are subject to the ratification of future congresses. They are, senior Republicans argue, the same accounting gimmicks that appeared in the budget. The McConnell proposal requires the president to propose offsetting cuts for each increase, but it does not require the cuts to become law for the debt ceiling increases to happen.

For his troubles, McConnell attracted nothing but hatred from the Republican base. Conservative blogger Erick Erickson compared him with Pontius Pilate and suggested activists both burn him in effigy and send him a weasel. DeMint pledged to “use all the tools available in the Senate” to stop the plan. And though Boehner said McConnell’s plan was a good backup, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, whose role in the negotiations has increased in the last week, rejected it outright.

Time is winding down before the U.S. reaches the limits of its deficit spending. For Republican leadership, the goals in the critical week ahead will not only be to reach a compromise with the White House, but to lay the groundwork so that their own members accept the eventual deal. Given the reluctance of the membership itself to go along, and the pressure emanating from outside activists, it’s less clear whether it will be harder to reach agreement with Obama or with the new class in town….”

W Post

Unfortunately, the GOP has been so manipulated, cowed, whipped, and abused by the tea parties, Americans for Prosperity, and the Club for Growth, that they are going to go down in flames, I fear. It is all about money – for people like Rupert Murdock and the Koch Brothers.

“…None of the key players behind Prosperity 101 were keen to speak to AlterNet, and Stephen Moore, the Wall Street Journal editorial board member, was no exception. After Moore failed to respond to an e-mail request for an interview, I tracked down him at last September’s Values Voter Summit, an annual political gathering of the Christian right in Washington, D.C., where he took part in a break-out session sponsored by the Heritage Foundation on why fiscal conservatism is a natural part of the “family values” agenda.

Heritage is one of the two Koch-funded think tanks through which Moore launched his career as an anti-tax guru; the other is the Cato Institute. Both Cato and the Heritage Foundation issue materials denying the human role in climate change, a major tenet of the Koch agenda, as Koch Industries’ core businesses are rooted in oil and gas. Moore has repeatedly told audiences that global warming is “the greatest hoax of the last 100 years.”

Before he joined the Wall Street Journal, Moore served as the founding president of the Club for Growth, an organization which, as of March 9 — the day Walker’s union-stripping bill passed the Wisconsin Senate — had purchased 826 ads in support of the bill, at a cost of $193,605, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette, outstripping opposition spending by the AFL-CIO….”

The GOP is also being manipulated by Grover Norquist and his absurd no tax increase pledge.  There is NOTHING wrong with a no tax increase pledge, but he considers even dumping welfare tax breaks for ethanol a tax increase.

Yahoo News

The tea parties have made the GOP look like a bunch of fools.  The libertarians have dumped Reagan.

“…Tea Party Republicans call a vote to raise the debt ceiling a threat to their very existence; Reagan presided over 18 increases in the debt ceiling during his presidency.

Tea Party Republicans say they would sooner default on the national debt than raise taxes; Reagan agreed to raise taxes 11 times.

Tea Party Republicans, in “cut, cap and balance” legislation on the House floor Tuesday, voted to cut government spending permanently to 18 percent of gross domestic product; under Reagan, spending was as high as 23.5 percent and never below 21.3 percent of GDP.

That same legislation would take federal spending down to a level last seen in 1966, before Medicare was fully up and running; Reagan in 1988 signed a major expansion of Medicare.

Under the Tea Party Republicans’ spending cap, Reagan’s military buildup, often credited with winning the Cold War, would have been impossible….”

Perhaps one of the best slams against so many of these people comes from David Brooks.  He lets ‘em have it, right between the eyes.

“…All of these groups share the same mentality. They do not see politics as the art of the possible. They do not believe in seizing opportunities to make steady, messy progress toward conservative goals. They believe that politics is a cataclysmic struggle. They believe that if they can remain pure in their faith then someday their party will win a total and permanent victory over its foes. They believe they are Gods of the New Dawn.

Fortunately, there are still practical conservatives in the G.O.P., who believe in results, who believe in intelligent compromise. If people someday decide the events of the past weeks have been a debacle, then practical conservatives may regain control….”

The Pink Flamingo has reached the point where I wish someone would rid us of these vile tea party “patriots”.  Unfortunately, the lesson of history says when something vile and nasty happens to them, they win, the way Becket did.  Henry II is the person who laid the groundwork of the British Constitution, which is the basis of our Constitution.  Historically challenged idiots who even remember him do so for the slaughter of Thomas a’ Becket, rather than the fact that Henry II is probably the father of Common Law.

“…Henry II’s reign saw the establishment of Royal Magistrate courts. This allowed court officials under authority of the Crown to adjudicate local disputes, reducing the workload on Royal courts proper and delivering justice with greater efficiency. Henry also worked to make the legal system fairer. Trial by ordeal and trial by combat were still common in the 12th century. By the Assize of Clarendon in 1166, supplemented a decade later by the Assize of Northampton, a precursor to trial by jury was implemented. However, this group of “twelve lawful men,” as the Assize commonly refers to it, provided a service more similar to a grand jury, alerting court officials to matters suitable for prosecution. Despite these reforms, trial by ordeal continued until the Fourth Council of the Lateran forbade the participation of the clergy in 1215 and trial by combat was still legal in England until 1819, albeit only rarely resorted to after the twelfth century. Nevertheless, Henry’s support of juries was a great contribution to the country’s social history and allowed for a smoother transition from ordeal to jury than was managed in other European nations where trial by inquisition and even torture became commonplace…”

 

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