The tea party is Jacksonian America, aroused, angry and above all fearful, in full revolt against a new elite—backed by the new American demography—that threatens its interests and scorns its values.
This is more than a columnist’s speculation. Stan Greenberg, a Democratic survey researcher whose focus groups with Macomb County Reagan Democrats in Michigan transformed political discourse in the 1980s, has recently released a similar study of the tea party. Supporters of the tea party, he finds, see President Obama as anti-Christian, and the president’s expansive use of executive authority evokes charges of “tyranny.” Mr. Obama, they believe, is pursuing a conscious strategy of building political support by increasing Americans’ dependence on government. A vast expansion of food stamps and disability programs and the push for immigration reform are key steps down that road. [emphasis added]
Yesterday on The Hugh Hewitt Show Congressman John Campbell reported the the breakdown in the House came when those with religious objections to Obamacare objected to any funding deal that extends past the end of the year when rules requiring religious institutions to provide coverage for abortifacients would kick in. As we said yesterday, religion is the elephant in the room.
There are very real and extraordinarily serious religious issues facing the nation.
Some comments need to be made.
Firstly, these issues are too serious and way too deep to be resolved in the current crisis. The best anybody could hope for is an extension in the delay of the implementation of the abortifacient rules. Crisis’ like this are great messaging (up to a point) and they provide strong negotiating leverage for resolving very specific and well-defined policy differences. But they do not and cannot resolve fundamental differences in philosophy, ideology and worldview – within a party or between the parties. This point applies to all the practically innumerable objections to Obamacare. It’s not going away, at least not right now – get specific and get real.
Secondly, being in the minority and in opposition to governance is hardly new to the church. The church in fact arose out of just such a state. It is important to remember that Constantine was not regulated or legislated to Christianity, he converted. Our faith is not defined by our governmental status. Yes, there will be grave consequences to Obamacare’s regulations, but we have suffered many grave consequences throughout history. We are still here, the Roman Empire (among others) is not. We must bear that in mind as we conduct this fight.
Finally, this old Emo Phillips joke too often describes how the church in America resolves its issues. Res Ipsa Loquitor.