TeaParty.jpgBoth the media and many high profile politicos still seem to be flailing around trying to find some way to label, quantify and pigeonhole the myriad tea party groups which are springing up all around the country. Even Karl Rove, during a stop to promote his new book, expressed concerns over whether or not they might spur some sort of third party movement which could hurt the Republican party. After some time out in the trenches I regret to inform them all that the task of defining this movement may well be impossible.

Early on, I was also taken in by a lot of the media hype and found many of my preconceived notions being challenged. I’ve been spending my time this year working on a Congressional campaign which keeps me on the road quite a bit with my candidate, hitting all of the usual stops as well as some ventures into unknown territory. Many of these events are the same old song and dance. I don’t wish to put too cynical of a face on things, but there are plenty of groups out there where you know in advance which points you need to hit. The pro-life groups want to know you’ve checked the right box on your application. Gun owners and sportsmen clubs need to see that you’re up to date on the Heller decision. But when we started receiving invitations to address some tea party meetings I got nervous.

My immediate reaction was to insist that we didn’t send out any invitations to the press. I’d seen all of the provocative video clips from MSNBC and CNN, along with the blaring headlines at Huffington Post. My mind filled with images of pitchfork wielding townsmen carrying around signs with nooses, swastikas and allegations of secret communist plots. “Good Lord!” I thought. “This election is going to be hard enough. The last thing I need is a picture showing up in our local paper of my candidate hanging around with a bunch of Klansmen.

I’ve now met with more than a dozen groups in both Upstate New York and Pennsylvania, and my suspicions have been almost unanimously confounded rather than confirmed. We’ve been greeted by surprisingly large groups of citizens who were polite and obviously very well informed on the issues of the day which concern them. The tone has been far more energized and excited than hysterical. And any expectations of a friendly, conservative base reception were quickly dismissed. They asked questions – very tough questions in many cases – and listened patiently to the answers.

The topics of interest came as a bit of a shock also. As part of my duties I help with crafting the candidate’s stump speeches. Again, not wishing to sound overly jaded, but for the usual Republican gatherings I know what works. I always include the key buzz phrases: “respect for life” and “keep and bear arms” along with all the rest. They are the reliable barn burners which always bring the house down. Imagine my dismay when these tried and true stump winners were met with either silent nods of approval or polite smatterings of applause. It’s not that the audience didn’t agree… it’s just not what they came to hear.

Another part of the speech caught the crowd’s interest instead. The congressional hopeful spoke of his career as a high school history teacher. (For the record, after these speeches I generally have to scurry around and remind people that he teaches at a private Catholic school and isn’t affiliated with the teachers union.) He talked about stressing to his students the importance of Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution and the 10th amendment. That is what brought the crowd to their feet. We had to pause and wait for the ovation to die down. They knew their history and were focused on what they saw as the proper function and authority of the federal government. (And let’s have a moment of brutal honesty here… how many of you had to flip open another tab on your browser to be reminded of what Article 1 Section 8 says?)

These groups do not just hand out their endorsements lightly, either. They don’t toss up the banner of every candidate with an “R” after their name. Thus far they seem to be paying a lot more attention to the state Conservative Party than the GOP. A couple of them have endorsed Libertarians over Republicans.

The point is, meeting with tea party supporters has been a surprising experience. It’s not politics as usual and the old rules about Red vs. Blue and D vs. R don’t apply. Like any large gathering, you’ll find a couple of people with some more fringe outlooks, and that seems to be who the television cameras focus on. (We had one couple at a recent meeting who were obviously birthers and wanted to ask about Obama’s birth certificate, but they were quickly shushed by the rest of the crowd.) But for the most part, each group seems to carry its own distinct flavor and topics of interest. The one thing they seem to have in common is that they are unhappy with the current leadership in D.C. and they have come to play a serious game. If you think you already know the tea party movement, there’s a good chance you don’t. It’s kind of like trying to say you know the ocean. It’s big, it’s powerful, it’s rarely the same twice, and you never know exactly what it’s going to do next.

UPDATE: Thanks for the reminder and my apologies for the omission. Disclosure Statement: The author is currently serving as Director of Communications for George Phillips, Republican candidate for Congress in New York’s 22nd District.

JAZZ SHAW, Assistant Editor
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shannonlee
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shannonlee
6 years 6 months ago

When they get into the booth, they’ll vote R….unless there is a legit L candidate. They may be different than the pro-lifers and NRA, but they’ll still vote R…even if they have to hold their nose to do it.

ProfElwood
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ProfElwood
6 years 6 months ago

I’m in a Democratic area (conservative Ds, but Ds none-the-less). Jazz’s experience didn’t surprise me because it’s what I’ve seen with my own eyes. They may vote R this time only because, like most people, there’s still a large group that can’t get out of their R/D thinking. That cycle has got to be broken before politicians start caring about what people really want.

Hoss at BigGuv
Guest
6 years 6 months ago
Well it makes sense doesn’t it if D’s core principle is to fight for expanded government control and R’s supposed (though not recently followed) principle call for reduced government? You also have to remember that there are primaries. There are currently races around the nation where once-considered-shoe-in establishment Republicans are fighting against up and comer, more fiscally conservative rivals — where folks are trying to turn the “supposed principles” into “true principles.” Incumbant/establishment R may be a gun-loving, abortion-hating, war-fighting R, but if they support Cap&Tax-All-Energy, GovernmentMonopolyCare, raising taxes etc and their opponent does not… see what happens. Look at… Read more »
shannonlee
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shannonlee
6 years 6 months ago
“Well it makes sense doesn’t it if D’s core principle is to fight for expanded government control and R’s supposed (though not recently followed) principle call for reduced government?” Exactly! For some reason my opinion comes off as an attack on the Tea Party. I guess we have to use kid gloves with the Tea Partiers. “Yes, Tea Party members! I realize you are different and that you stand for something. I see that you disapprove of both Bush and Obama…you are not brain dead dittoheads.” But you are still going to vote R. Until you put up your own… Read more »
gcotharn
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gcotharn
6 years 6 months ago
I thought your original comment missed what, imo, was the point of the post, i.e. to share Jazz Shaw’s opinion that Tea Partiers are regular Americans, and all that implies – including the presence, inside a large group, of some extremist hateful wack jobs, but not an inordinate number. I did not think your original post was an attack on Tea Partiers … until you defended it! And now I change my opinion and believe your original post was an attack! LOL, but I’m also serious. Look again at what you are saying: I’m not attacking Tea Partiers! I’m just… Read more »
Hoss at BigGuv
Guest
6 years 6 months ago

I think it’s safe to say the core binding principle is not guns, abortion, or foreign policy — but fiscal conservatism: limited government, reduce spending, growth through reduction of burdens on people and businesses — and for heaven’s sake, at a minimum, do not grossly swell government as is happening now. At least that’s why I call myself a Tea Partier and contribute to the cause where I can…

ksb43
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ksb43
6 years 6 months ago

Then please tell us specifically what you would cut to reduce the size of government–and none of that “waste, fraud” nonsense. Mind you, your cuts, to be at all realistic, would have to involve the cutting of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Please proceed.

Hoss at BigGuv
Guest
6 years 6 months ago

Re: S.S., Medicare, Medicaid and health care in general: here are some very sensible ideas here from Rep. Paul Ryan for starters: http://ping.fm/sKn13

Hint: more power to individuals to make decisions rather than mandating that power lie solely in these failed government monopolies. Consumer choice and competition has worked in every other industry, why not here?

And to have a true safety net — not a catch all for everyone or a system designed to create dependencies — for those who need help.

ksb43
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ksb43
6 years 6 months ago

Excellent, Hoss.

Now name me five Congress-persons who would vote for these cuts (hint: Paul Ryan ain’t one of them).

Here, I’ll get you started:

1. Santa Claus
2. The Easter Bunny
3. The Great Pumpkin

Okay, you come up with two more.

Andy
Guest
6 years 6 months ago

Yes, there are very few people who are willing to make the hard decisions to keep these program sustainable. That is hardly a deficit unique to Republicans and conservatives.

Hoss at BigGuv
Guest
6 years 6 months ago
And your solution, as you see it then, is to add MORE government monopolies? Do you believe that there exist politicians that are dedicated to expanding government and that they differ from those who are actually dedicated to reducing expansion of government and burdens such as taxes? Actually, unless I’m mistaken, Paul Ryan wasn’t talking specific cut numbers. He was talking: change the structure and the incentives: instead of Big Gov managing everything, why not give people the freedom to take that money they’ve paid in (or subsidized taxpayer $ if you are truly in need) and spend it where… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
6 years 6 months ago

Stuff like that is so depressing because it’s completely self fulfilling. You won’t entertain the only solutions that wold actually work because you know that politicians won’t have the courage to run on these planks. All you are doing is showing the politicians that they don’t have to have the courage to make the hard decisions because you (a member of the electorate for whom they serve) won’t expect or demand this of them (nor will you give them the support they’d need to do it if they were so inclined.)

Rambie
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Rambie
6 years 6 months ago

Most I know are calling for ending the department of education, SS, Medicare/aid, and pretty much any other government programs and regulatory agencies but DoD. So FDA, FCC, etc would be cut or totally eliminated.

If they establish themselves as a viable 3rd party that would do wonders to break the 2-party thinking that we’re stuck in.

RCClark
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RCClark
6 years 6 months ago

Yes, you’re absolutely right that it would be tough (politically) to cut entitlements. And that is why so many Tea Party attenders are dead set against adding more entitlements…like health care! They see this train coming down the tracks and aiming right at them. Not only will the “government” have less and less discretionary funds, but every tax payer will have less and less as well.

paladinwasahero
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paladinwasahero
6 years 6 months ago
Just a thought on some of the first things I would cut: 1:Salaries of government employees who make more then the national average for their positions. Why, they get a great government pension so they are being more then adequately compensated for doing their work for the government that they chose to go into. If you look at the recent polls Government employees make more then the average people in the same jobs, plus they get the golden pension. 2.Have Congress receive social security for when they retire instead of their salaries. Maybe then they would fix it. 3. Get… Read more »
timbo52
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timbo52
6 years 6 months ago
VeratheGun: This is my first time on this site but I have to say that when I see a post like yours it throws up a RED flag for me. You ask someone for specific detail about a post they made and then qualify how they are allowed to answer. That said I would like to address the “nonsense” as you call it. Just a simple example, Credit Card companies have a fraud rate of I believe somewhere just south of 3%. On Medicare alone I think it is 20% to 30% ? I admit I don’t have the exact… Read more »
galtin86
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galtin86
6 years 6 months ago
Not trying to sound like a sound-bite, but why is this outrage just appearing now, Hoss? Both George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan (I presume a hero to most Tea Partiers) swelled government spending and were fiscally irresponsible, whereas George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton scaled back the size of government and were fiscally conservative (recall Bill Clinton pushing for, in his words, “the end of big government as we know it” in the State of the Union). But I don’t recall any Tea Parties breaking out from 2000 to 2008, when the W. Bush pushed through the largest unfunded… Read more »
Hoss at BigGuv
Guest
6 years 6 months ago
Well, sorry, but it is a sound bite. I hear it often. Is the issue of the role of government / what it should and should not do — is this not the issue that we can debate? Do you or others who try this course of debate suggest that we don’t believe what we say? Or is it that you (not sure?) or others who bring it up not comfortable defending large expansion of government spending and control? To answer directly: many fiscal conservatives did speak up previously: they stayed away or voted D’s into office in ’06 and… Read more »
gcotharn
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gcotharn
6 years 6 months ago
galtin86, I will address your question as if you seriously want to know the answer, which is: Internet and social media. Internet and social media provide a method of education and of organization. As crucially, internet and social media provide a method of for conservatives to discover they are not alone, i.e. there are many who are conservative and who want and are willing to do something (tea party protest) about oppressive government. Here, something must be said about major media: it amounts to an informal conspiracy to convince conservatives that they are all alone in a nation which loves… Read more »
jchem
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jchem
6 years 6 months ago
Tea Party types were aghast at Congressional spending under both Reagan and GWB. In GWB’s case, they made their voices heard via voting Repubs out of Congressional leadership in 2006. I’m sorry, but I’m calling BS on this. On one hand we hear so many telling us that this is the first time “tea party” people have ever become active politically; now however, you tell us these people have been paying attention for the past 30 years. Please, toss some links at me of those fire breathing fiscal conservatives who were willing to badmouth Reagan about, well, anything. Your argument… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
6 years 6 months ago
I’m sorry, but I’m calling BS on this. On one hand we hear so many telling us that this is the first time “tea party” people have ever become active politically; now however, you tell us these people have been paying attention for the past 30 years. Yeah, it couldn’t possibly be that some of the millions of people taking part in this movement are political neophytes while others are people who’ve been politically engaged for years. Please, toss some links at me of those fire breathing fiscal conservatives who were willing to badmouth Reagan about, well, anything. It’s a… Read more »
jchem
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jchem
6 years 6 months ago
It’s a bit hard to link to commentary that would have had to have predated the blogosphere. All snark aside, they’re called newspapers – remember them? News didn’t just start with the advent of the blogosphere. Talk about circular logic! By your reckoning, it is impossible for fiscal conservatives to vote their consciences. Either they’re hypocrites if they vote R and get big spending GOPers, or they refuse to vote for that type of GOPer and then they’re responsible for enabling the big spending Dems. Either you totally missed my point or you’re misrepresenting what I said CS. The commenter… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
6 years 6 months ago
How did they do this? By staying home? By voting for the Dems? And for what reason – to teach the party a lesson? Great, that really seems to be working out rather well doesn’t it? The point is, what choice did they have that would have been better? When the party that you agree with more ideologically isn’t conducting itself according to your satisfaction, I don’t think it’s wrong to try to send a message so that in future election cycles your vote might effect the change that you wish for, even when you know that in the short… Read more »
GeorgeSorwell
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GeorgeSorwell
6 years 6 months ago

But if we start talking about taxing soda, junk-food, or anything else that they use, well then it becomes a problem for them. By the same token, small government folks are always in favor of smaller government, but just as it affects others. But you want to start talking about cutting their government benefits or services, well then it becomes a problem for them. Here I’m talking about the “get your government hands off my healthcare” people who actually receive government-run healthcare.

Hear, hear!!

gcotharn
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gcotharn
6 years 6 months ago
Tea Party types have been paying attention all along – though, in the Reagan days, they could only pay attention via what the major media were telling them. Also, and I’ve never understood how this supposedly worked, but there were media complaints that Reagan was going “over the heads” of media and speaking directly to the people. Re spending and deficits during the Reagan era Factors to consider: 1. The economy was bad during Reagan’s first term, thus depressing tax revenues and increasing the deficit during that period. 2. Congress was Democratic – Tip O’Neill was in charge – and… Read more »
Hoss at BigGuv
Guest
6 years 6 months ago
Re: “When Obama proposed cutting government spending on waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare, we also saw Tea Parties protesting about death panels and Medicare cuts.” What waste, fraud and abuse did Obama propose to cut? It’s gauzy language meant to pretty up that he wants to cut Medicare Advantage solely for ideological reasons: it’s a market-based system. Is Obama now considering real solutions to reduce waste? Tort reform perhaps? His largest donors, the trial lawyers, say, “sorry, not this time.” At least Obama is reportedly making a small concession to smart ideas (i guess it took getting schooled by… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
6 years 6 months ago
Some good points have already been made in response, but I’ll add that it takes time for a movement to reach critical mass. You wouldn’t ask why Iraq War opponents weren’t marching in the streets in early 2003, so why does a similar question with regard to the timing of govt spending protests not seem silly to you? After all, it’s logical to assume that some conservatives did oppose spending under GWB while others were able to rationalize it…but then many more of them were outraged and alarmed over TARP. So if we assume this was the spark, there’s still… Read more »
gcraw
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gcraw
6 years 6 months ago

It is th Frog in the pot of hot water syndrome. While we have been asleep Liberals have changed into Progressives and Republicans into Go-alongs. The fedral government has incrementally increased its power. Now Congress and the Executive is going for broke. The (mistakenly) turhned the flame on high. It is too late to say, well Republicans have agreed to this or that, and you never said boo when the Bushes were fiscally unconservative. We know – Our bad.

timbo52
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timbo52
6 years 6 months ago
First of all you may not have heard it but there were a lot of people who were not happy about what George W. did in his second term. Clinton only did what he did because he was held in check by a Republican controlled congress. We can throw up comparisons about what past president did what but I think there is one issue that’s a little different here that you fail to mention. The current administration, and congress are spending more money than “any” other in the past. And, here it comes, WE WERE BROKE WHEN THEY STARTED. It… Read more »
dduck12
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dduck12
6 years 6 months ago

do not grossly swell government as is happening now.”

Good going.

CStanley
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CStanley
6 years 6 months ago
I don’t think it’s just a reflex that would cause most of these people to vote R…it’s the conundrum in our two party system whereby a vote for a third party candidate almost always results in a win for the party that you least want to win. I still think it’s healthy that these people aren’t responding to the typical partisan dog whistles and are motivated by core principles. They may not be willing in most cases to vote for the party that opposes the GOP, but I’d bet a lot of them will stay home if there isn’t a… Read more »
casualobserver
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casualobserver
6 years 6 months ago

Hey, Jazz……..stop with this firsthand reporting stuff. We need to stay with unsupported armchair speculation like shannon offers above.

I have residences in FL, AZ and NH. In all locations, the political conversation from fiscal conservatives is actually moreso anti-incumbent than favoring R over D.

Rambie
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Rambie
6 years 6 months ago
From school I do remembered the main subjects of each article: “Article 1: Legislative branch”, “Article 2: Executive Power”, “Article 3: Judicial” and the first ten amendments are the “Bill of Rights”. I will admit I don’t know them down to specific sections and a little fuzzy on the exact order of the amendments. So which section of A1S8 do they question you on the most? Immigration, Declaring war, Pirating of the high seas, Printing money, or something else? Amendment 10 is the tug of war with States rights. There is legislators here in Utah are trying to it for… Read more »
The Monster
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6 years 6 months ago

Jazz, you might talk to George about the idea of repealing the 16th and 17th amendments, to put the teeth back into the 9th and 10th. I bet if he used that exact phrasing, the crowd would instantly know what he meant, and blow the roof off the hall.

GarandFan
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GarandFan
6 years 6 months ago

A lot of incumbents this November are going to wish that they never heard the term “Tea Party”.

Larry Marso
Guest
6 years 6 months ago

Photos from the Marin County (San Francisco Bay Area) Tea Party “Groupa-Palooza” on 3/7.
slideshow: http://bit.ly/br2RZ7
gallery: http://bit.ly/9Tmdxv

CStanley
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CStanley
6 years 6 months ago

All snark aside, they’re called newspapers – remember them? News didn’t just start with the advent of the blogosphere.

OK, I was being snarky but still, a lot of what appeared in newspapers or older media sources from the 80s isn’t going to be found online. I did give this a few moments thought though and realized that George Will’s columns would be a good source of the kind of criticism you are asking about, and he even has some more recent stuff where he chastises conservatives for worshipping Reagan.

Here’s one example.

jchem
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jchem
6 years 6 months ago
Thanks for the link CS. I think its undeniable that Reagan certainly left an imprint on the system – of course, political bias will color the view, nonetheless. Critics will argue one way and supporters the other, but they do that with anyone. I would agree with Will that sainting Reagan isn’t something that conservatives in general should rally behind. They need a new leader, and so far I don’t think they have found one. As far as the whole teaching the party a lesson thing; that has always bothered me, primarily because I think it just helps perpetuate the… Read more »
Andy
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6 years 6 months ago

It continually surprises me that so many continue to place deficits at the feet of Presidents. All a President can do is choose to sign a budget or choose not too. It’s Congress that controls the meat-and-potatoes of spending in this country.

Neo
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Neo
6 years 6 months ago

In large part, the “Tea Party” folks have asked themselves the fundamental question “will I be better off if I work harder ?” and they realize that with the current Washington leadership, the answer is “probably not” and that answer means the death of the “American Dream.”

jeff_pickens
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jeff_pickens
6 years 6 months ago
“Liberal union-constricted, government monopoly education is broken and destroying children…” Oh my gosh. Okay this will be my only post on this article, but really? This kind of statement categorically becomes the conversation stopper in my estimation. Tea-party hogwash. Fantasy rage. Received my entire education through those demon-worshipping liberal-brainwashing public schools (where, here in Texas, a picture of Jesus, the US flag, the Texas flag, and a favorite-college-pendant hung in equal height and in that order,) grade-school through medical school. Several of my life-long heroes remain my school teachers and college professors. I have a bunch of hard-working relatives who… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
6 years 6 months ago

Kind of like the way a lot of honest hard working family physicians and pediatricians must have felt when Obama demonized members of their profession for yanking out kids’ tonsils to make more money.

jeff_pickens
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jeff_pickens
6 years 6 months ago
CStanley you do have a point. ( I promised I wouldn’t post another but I’ll respond at least here. ) Obama’s not probably up on indications for tonsillectomy, and it was a bit weird for him to use that situation as an example. That WSJ opinion article probably mistakenly identified the “victims” of that barb as pediatricians, but we pediatricians don’t take out tonsils, we just refer to ENTs. I do spend a significant amount of my time with consultations discussing whether or not a recommended ENT procedure is “really necessary” or “would it really help,” as I’m sure any… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
6 years 6 months ago
Heh…of course I had no idea you were a pediatrician…that example just leapt to my mind as a similar type of demonization. In both cases (the one you were criticizing from one of the commenters and the example I mentioned of Obama’s rhetoric) there is a real problem that’s being pointed out (some schools systems, particularly inner city ones, really are broken, and some doctors really are unscrupulous and may use shady criteria to increase the number of procedures they perform)…but using that type of demonization just shuts down the conversation for anyone who didn’t already agree with the speaker/writer… Read more »
jeff_pickens
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jeff_pickens
6 years 6 months ago
CStanley, agreed. Thanks for your post, I have so much admiration for veterinarians, and recall many times explaining to parents that much of pediatrics is a little like veterinary medicine! If those darn sick infants could verbalize their problems! I worked with a nurse who was the hospital nurse for Alf Wight during the last few weeks of his life, (“James Herriot”) whose books I devoured and who will continue to have my undying admiration. I think one of the reasons I ended up in human medicine instead of veterinarian medicine was because it was harder for me to find… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
6 years 6 months ago

Good article, jeff_p…thanks for the link. I’ve made similar points in some of the HC threads here because veterinary medicine really is a good real world model for the practice of medicine without the middleman of health insurance- and you can see how the decisionmaking is affected by the varied dynamics.

I fully agree with the analogy between pediatrics and vet medicine..and of course with your admiration of Dr. Wight. His books were inspiration for most of us in the veterinary field.

ProfElwood
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ProfElwood
6 years 6 months ago

veterinary medicine really is a good real world model for the practice of medicine without the middleman of health insurance

My wife and one of my guinea pigs had a hysterectomy a couple of months apart. The pig’s operation cost about $300, my wife’s was, well, a bit more. Since then, I’ve been wondering if there was some way to get the next medical procedure from my vet.

CStanley
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CStanley
6 years 6 months ago
Well, you might have tried slipping in an application for your wife’s procedure if your local Humane Society has a low cost spay/neuter program. It would help if her name were ‘Goldie’ or ‘Big Red’ or something. 😉 In all seriousness though, I hear that all the time (as the vet in the article also said), not only strictly because of costs but also the way we practice. We give more face time to clients and take the time to explain ailments and procedures and to listen to the clients’ concerns. We also call back just about every client to… Read more »
ProfElwood
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ProfElwood
6 years 6 months ago

to take just one element, labor costs will be higher in human medicine due to more advanced formal training

We’ll there’s also liability, in that even killing a good horse is cheaper than injuring a person. But even figuring in malpractice insurance would probably add only a few hundred per person. I bet that there’s no vets earning over $50,000/month, no matter how good they are. I also know that medical was much cheaper (and doctor earnings were much lower) before public and private insurance became common.

dduck12
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dduck12
6 years 6 months ago

Obama demonized members ”

Whether good or bad politically, he is a master at “demonizing”. Thanks, CS, I have been trying to remember that word for a while as I hear bankers, insurance companies, doctors, Reps, (and I hope his non-alergic dog never gets sick, maybe vets, getting blasted). I realize this is the #4 strategy for politicians (1-3, get reelected) and I know when he meets with these people privately he can turn on the charm and pass the basket.

The Monster
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6 years 6 months ago
I have several relatives and friends who are teachers. The good teachers are hamstrung by insane rules (they simply aren’t allowed to give a failing grade to a student, no matter how badly they do). The indoctrination into leftist thinking (Heather Has Two Mommies and An Inconvenient Truth are but two examples) is undeniable. Those good teachers are fleeing the government schools and going into private/charter schools if they can, and many of them are giving up teaching entirely out of frustration. Some of us want the government out of education to LIBERATE these good teachers. We are not belittling… Read more »
jeff_pickens
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jeff_pickens
6 years 6 months ago
Monster: you are correct of course–the expectations of a school teacher in a public school are staggering–combination of educator, fund-raiser, psychologist, nurse, surrogate-parent and punching bag for administration and irate parents. Like it or not what you describe is happening, and here’s a taste of a bit of the future I’m suspecting: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35819848/ns/us_news-education/ I appreciate your concern for teachers, and believe you understand their dilemmas accurately. What I can’t agree with are people who make the claim that public schools are “destroying children.” That’s just hyperbole that is meaningless, as well as insulting. And I try to remember that public… Read more »
elrod
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elrod
6 years 6 months ago
Whenever a tea partier talks about fiscal conservatism and doesn’t include a tax INCREASE to balance the budget then I knew s/he is BSing. Trying to grow the economy out of a huge deficit – not to mention long term debt – by tax-cut based economic growth is every bit as pie-in-the-sky fantasyland stuff as anything proposed by the far left in the 1960s. Tax cuts can only go so far in stimulating economic activity. Eventually there is a point of diminishing returns where tax rates become little more than a rounding error in the larger investment calculation. Except in… Read more »
elrod
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elrod
6 years 6 months ago

How did a discussion about the Tea Party movement devolve into an exchange on guinea pig hysterectomies?

THIS IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH AMERICAN POLITICS!!!!! :)

StockBoySF
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StockBoySF
6 years 6 months ago
Jazz, great post and I love your observations and experiences! I knew there was a reason why I like you. By the way…. one “subtopic” among the commenters in the thread is how long the Tea Partiers have been involved in politics. The way you describe them they are very knowledgeable on events. This leads me to believe that the majority of them have been involved for a while. People don’t just suddenly “get smart” over night. Well…. individuals do, but not whole crowds of people at the same time. Whether they voted D or R shouldn’t matter…. they probably… Read more »
DLS
Guest
DLS
6 years 6 months ago

“As for Article I, Section 8, as a poster says upthread, it includes so many elements as to be meaningless.

… if you cannot or will not read and understand what it says and means, that is. Not of all us choose that.

DLS
Guest
DLS
6 years 6 months ago

“how long the Tea Partiers have been involved in politics”

Don’t be surprised if many of them were Perot voters, and even if some were Anderson voters.

StockBoySF
Guest
StockBoySF
6 years 6 months ago

“Don’t be surprised if many of them were Perot voters, and even if some were Anderson voters.”

Exactly! From across the political spectrum.

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