Maybe Vice President Joe Biden is right. Maybe Tea Party members are "terrorists." After all, they strike “terror” in the hearts of the Obama administration and liberal House members. (And some Republicans too!)
The “terror” they feel is politically based. They know the Tea Party commands the national stage and has fundamentally changed the conversation in Washington. For big spenders in D.C., that is definitely something to be afraid about.
Rule 101 in politics is making sure you demonize your enemy. This is exactly what’s happening to the Tea party right now. The vice president calls them “terrorists”, Sen. Harry Reid calls them “extremists,” and others have likened Tea Party members to “hijackers.”
Conservative evangelicals know a thing or two about being demonized. Remember when Rosie O’Donnell once compared “radical evangelicals” to “terrorists.”
Born-Again Christians are ridiculed all the time. That’s what happens when you stand strong for your principles whether they be fiscal in nature or biblical or both!
We have seen the Tea Party and evangelicals come together as part of this new fiscally conservative movement in America. They have a lot in common because social conservatives are typically fiscally conservative. But now both groups have yet another familiar bond: Fighting the extremist label.
As much as this debt-ceiling vote has shown that the Tea Party has begun to make its move to take over the driver’s seat inside the Beltway, there is the lurking danger of becoming stereotyped and thus marginalized.
The Tea Party may have the fiscal facts on their side but they will need to win the argument in the court of public opinion by convincing independents and other skeptical Americans that their agenda is mainstream. They are going to somehow have to explain and sway people why cuts to Medicare, Social Security (and other entitlements) are necessary.
It can’t just be a list of facts. It’s can’t be a policy driven “White Paper.” It can’t be cloaked in general phrases like, “We’re going broke and something needs to be done.” That won’t cut it.
This will NOT be easy because you’re potentially messing with entitlement checks and benefits that people have come to count on. (Chalk one up for government dependence!) All of this is the REAL challenge.
So while the Tea Party has begun to change the narrative in the halls of power within Washington D.C., there is a lot more work to be done in the living rooms across America.