Today, the Washington Post hosted a Q & A session with Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation. Presumably that makes him a big wheel in the Tea Party movement, and Someone To Take Seriously, as opposed to the random riff-raff who seem to dominate TV coverage of tea-related demonstrations.
And so one might expect to get reasonable, well-thought-out answers to questions, outlining specific policies and measures that the Tea Party supports. One would be wrong.
Small govt.: I get that the tea partiers want smaller government, but you all seem to think government should have no part in basically life at all. The scandal arising today over lack of control in the plant producing children’s medication as well as the oil spill make me very much weary of this point of view. I want the government actively protecting and monitoring my food and drug supply. Leaving that up to the free market will result in disaster, as has been proven time and again. What is your response?
Judson Phillips: If you leave it up to the government, you end with 72 million doses of a vaccine that no one wants. One of the liberal myths is that the Tea Party Movement wants no government. No, we want a constitutional government. Throwing someone in jail because they do not want to buy government health insurance is not smaller government. It is a dictatorship
Is there any way to read that other than “let’s get rid of the CDC, USDA, FDA, because it’s better to have trichinosis in our pork chops, than to waste money by overestimating how many people will want flu shots?
Notice, too, the unsupported cheap shots: what, exactly, about our current government is unconstitutional? And unless I’m missing something, there’s no “government health insurance” that I can buy.
And to all the people who complain that requiring them to buy private health insurance is unconstitutional, there’s a simple fix: you find an insurance plan that works for you. But instead of paying the company directly, the cost of your insurance becomes a tax that you send in to the IRS. The IRS then forwards your money to your insurer.
That way, it’s a government service contracted out to private enterprise, and paid for by taxes. Of course, that’d probably get the anti-big-government people in a lather, and it’d be a lot simpler to just pay your insurer directly, but it’d be constitutional.
Phillips goes on in that vein, spouting slogans, but never getting down to nuts and bolts, despite being prodded several times by readers. Color me less than impressed by the teabagger movement.
Oh, and for anyone who gives me grief over calling them “teabaggers”: if they didn’t want to be called teabaggers, they shouldn’t have called themselves that. But maybe I’ll reconsider when the right wingers learn that there’s an “ic” in “Democratic”.