MARTY RUSSELL: Tea Party or not Tea Party, that's the question

By Marty Russell/NEMS Daily Journal

I haven’t said much about the Tea Party movement since its inception namely because most people who know me either personally or through this column already know what I think of conservative politics and I don’t (normally) get paid to repeat myself.
Truth is, I find the Tea Party movement entertaining in that it’s fun to watch people foam at the mouth, refreshing in the sense that politics has finally motivated some people to stop yelling at their TVs and go outside and get some fresh air and yell at each other and informative in that, now that I’ve seen their faces, I know who to avoid.
I would never join the Tea Party unless there’s a hookah-smoking caterpillar involved and because, like Groucho Marx once said, I would never join a club that would have me as a member. But I’m glad to see that the Tea Partiers at least present themselves as being equal opportunity haters of both major parties, Democrats and Republicans. It’s good to finally see conservatives waking up and pointing their fingers – or at least one of them – at their own party, the GOP. I’ve been opining for years about how the Republican Party uses its conservative base to get its members elected and then abandons them once in office.
And it’s good to see that the movement has sparked similar efforts by others with differing agendas, like the Coffee Party which purports to be more middle-of-the-road, fiscally conservative but socially progressive. Maybe people have finally figured out that democracy requires audience participation, or maybe they’re just tired of reality TV and decided to try reality instead for a change. If the movements hold together, which I seriously doubt after the November elections, I can envision all types of “alternative” parties cropping up.
How about a Green Tea Party? In the wake of the president’s decision to allow offshore oil drilling in this country I’m surprised this one hasn’t already formed. It could promote an environmentally friendly government, one that uses recycled cardboard for their signs that paint the president as a DDT-guzzling raper of the land.
How about a Sweet Tea Party? Made up primarily of Southerners, this party would attack all incumbents by gathering and shouting slogans like, “Vote them all out! Bless their hearts.”
Or a Hot Tea party, pronounced Hottie Party. Word has it that a lot of current Republicans are interested in this movement because it meets weekly at a bondage sex club in California. No agenda but lots of money, mostly in $1 bills.
Personally, I’m waiting for the Long Island Ice Tea Party. No signs, no slogans, no spittle, just nice tall drinks containing every alcoholic beverage known to man.
As I said, I enjoy watching all the gnashing of teeth but I fear it’s just another doomed political movement. The Tea Party almost certainly will have some influence in the primaries but when November rolls around, thanks to the Supreme Court, it’ll still be corporate America that decides who gets the job.
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 222 Farley Hall, University MS 38677 or by e-mail at

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