10 Reasons Liberals Should Be Thankful For The Tea Party

The Tea Party - 10 reasons why liberals should be thankful for them. Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter's tea party.

Why should we bother trying to make the GOP look bad when we’ve got the Tea Party to do it for us? Thanks to them, Democrats can finally win back the House. Image by Elisabeth Parker for Addicting Info.

We liberals have despaired for decades, as we’ve watched the GOP take over the country and steer it further and further to the right. When the Tea Party took over the Republican Party, things started getting even worse. But, as some wise old sage once explained, sometimes things have to get worse before they can start getting better.

The Tea Party has gotten too cocky for its own good.

When Tea Party candidates helped the GOP take over the House in 2010, the extreme Right got cocky and began showing its true colors. It grew more and more clear that the Tea Party was no “grassroots” movement, but rather a tool of nasty rich folks like the Koch Brothers. Conservatives have never been a friend to the American people, nor have they ever acted in our interests. But, for four decades, they have deftly used under-the-radar race baiting, winning words, and Ronald Reagan’s charm to appeal to voters.

Now, the Tea Party no longer even bothers with pays lip service to core American values like freedom, fairness, and a decent shot at upward mobility. Now that voters can finally see the Tea Party for what it really is, the tide has begun to turn.

Here are 10 reasons for us to thank the Tea Party.

Without the Tea Party — and their war on just about anyone who isn’t rich, white, straight, Christian, and male — we wouldn’t have women, gays, non-Christians, people of color, and immigrants coming out in droves to vote. We wouldn’t have hordes of angry former members of the middle class who’ve been battered by the economy and by Wall Street, and whose GOP reps at the local, state, and federal levels refuse to do anything to help them.

(1) The U.S. government shutdown. First, let’s give a BIG thank-you to the Tea Party for shutting down the U.S. government. They put the GOP’s poll numbers in the toilet, and may have handed us back the house in 2014. What kind of insane lawmakers try to hurt voters from their own states (red states get the most welfare money), while plotting acts of sedition and treason? Tea Party @ssholes, that’s who. An October, 2013 poll from ABC / The Washington Post showed that a whopping 80% of Americans “disapproved” of the shutdown, and that 63% of us put the blame squarely where it belongs – on the Tea Party-led GOP.

(2) The pointless siege on Obamacare. The Tea Party-led GOP has also put in an insane amount of time and effort into barring their fellow Americans from having access to healthcare. Americans have long been fed up with an over-priced, under-performing healthcare system that leaves many of us in the lurch. In 2008 and 2012, voters handed Barack Obama a mandate to fix it. The ACA passed in 2009, but the GOP still keeps fighting it four years later. That’ll be harder now that more people have access to healthcare and like it. So long, GOP.

(3) Guns, guns, and MORE GUNS. Most of us are sick of the never-ending news of gun deaths, shooting sprees, accidental shootings, on-purpose shootings, police shootings, neighbor shootings, and so on. The U.S. has more guns and more gun-related deaths than any other country in the world. Yet, the right-wing, Tea Party extremists in Congress and in the NRA refuse to take even the smallest measures to promote gun safety or reduce the number of guns in this country. To add insult to injury, these gun nuts keep citing the Second Amendment, which got added to the U.S. constitution by slave owners so they could put down slave rebellions.

(4) Vote-rigging. Oh, and speaking of old relics from the Land of Dixie … here’s why it’s so hard to get rid of these Tea Party folk. In 2012, Rachel Maddow exposed the GOP’s Red Maps project – the greatest vote rigging scam since the Three-Fifths Compromise. The Tea Party-led GOP went above and beyond common “gerrymandering” to create safe, rural, mostly white districts. This explains why the GOP runs the House, even though most of us voted for Democrats. But now it looks like Red Maps might backfire on them. Their plan didn’t account for a growing – and more left-leaning – Latino population that also lives in these rural and exurban communities.

 (5) Fighting immigration reform. The GOP claims to embrace “family values,” but they don’t care about families with members who come from somewhere else. The Tea Party hates Asians, Latinos, and other not-white-enough newcomers in equal measure. But our crazy laws hurt our neighbors from Mexico the most, because “legal” children, spouses, and siblings are always at risk of their “illegal” family members getting deported. In 2012, Mitt Romney’s self-deportation comment came across as callous and mean. The next summer, the Senate passed a reform bill only to have it nixed by a racist House. Then, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) came out with his over-the-top “cantaloupes” comment. If our Latinos were ignoring politics before, they’re sure paying attention now. That’s why their growing population could turn 44 “safe” districts from red to blue as early as 2014.

(6) Constant gay bashing. Whether they’re trying to ban oral sex and sodomy, making stupid anti-gay comments, cheaping out on tips for their gay servers, screaming about ‘faggots,’ trying to keep them from getting married, or saying that gay parents are bad for children, you’ve got to wonder. What are these people so afraid of? It seems crazy for folks who keep going on about “freedom” and “family values” to poke around in our bedrooms and keep whole groups of people from getting married and raising children. Since 52% of Americans support marriage equality, the Tea Party’s bizarre obsession is bound to hurt the GOP’s chances in the future. Buh-bye, GOP.

(7) No help for the struggling middle class. Middle class voters have felt okay with cutting programs for the poor since Reagan won the 1980 election in a landslide. That’s starting to change now that much of the American middle class has become the poor … or at least a lot poorer. Exit polls from 2010 reveal that the Tea Party-led GOP took the House in 2010 mainly because of voters’ concerns about the economy. But neither the Tea Party nor the GOP have brought any good results. In fact, the GOP’s spending cuts have slowed our recovery to a crawl, and their government shutdown alone has cost our economy $24 billion. The Tea Party-led GOP also stands staunchly against any policies that would help the middle class – like raising the minimum wage, supporting unions, providing free or low-cost daycare, pumping more money into the economy, or solving real problems instead of fighting Obamacare.

(8) The war on women. Jeez, it’s become clear that the Tea Party-loving GOP hates just about everyone. Especially those of the female persuasion. They’ve gone all out to assault ACA-mandated birth control coverage, roll back a woman’s right to choose, and deny women the right to equal pay for equal work. They’ve cut food stamps so mothers must struggle even harder to feed their children. Plus, they can’t seem to stop saying ugly, stupid, and downright creepy stuff about rape.  Now, they wonder why women don’t like them and likely won’t vote for them. A recent poll found that only 14% of women felt the Tea Party-led GOP has come closer to representing their views. The gap grows more dramatic with younger women.

(9) The “Christian” thang. In case you had any doubts, the U.S. is a deeply Christian nation. A poll from ABC / BeliefNet reports that 83% of Americans say they are Christians. But some “Christians” differ from others, and the Jesus Christ worshipped by the Tea Party is a lot different than the Jesus Christ we read about in the Bible. Tea Party Christians preach hatred and screwing the poor. They also hide behind their bibles so they can deny “inconvenient truths” like climate change, evolution, and the fact that all human beings are equal. More and more of us have started to notice that. Now, the tide is turning as people from the Christian faith – like Pope Francis and the Rev. Dr. William Barber – show the world what real Christians act like.

 (10) The assault on our right to vote. The most vile and reprehensible thing that the Tea Party-led GOP has done is to try and keep people from voting. Those most affected are, of course, folks who are most likely to vote for Democrats — like senior citizens, people of color, young people, low-income people, and college students. In 2011 and 2012, 34 states had passed voter ID laws. These laws were mostly struck down by the courts for the 2012 election. But since the right-leaning Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in June 2013, all bets are off. Luckily for us, the Tea Party and the GOP may have underestimated people’s desire to vote, and help others vote. In GOP-run Florida, 2012 voters cared enough to wait up to six hours in line when polling places were overrun due to a law that cut early voting hours. Since North Carolina passed the worst voting law ever in August 2013, more and more people have joined the growing Moral Mondays protest movement. Meanwhile, the Texas voter ID law has made a laughing stock of the Tea Party and the GOP when a state judge and a much-loved former Speaker of the House faced trouble at the polls while trying to cast ballots in a special election. Groups like 866OurVote.Org have also gotten savvy about the GOP’s assault on voting rights, and provide up-to-date information for voters and groups that want to help them exercise their right to vote.

The most bizarre thing about the Tea Party and today’s GOP is that — despite all they say about loving America its cherished “traditional” values — they’ve forgotten some of the most important things about what it means to be an American. We come from all over the world. We are scrappy and determined. We believe in fairness and freedom. We have faith in our system’s ability to get back on the right track when we veer off course. And we love rooting  for the underdog.

Thank you, Tea Party, for making us remember what it really means to be an American.