Helsingin Sanomat = laughable journalism
Finnish politics, media and social issues in general are of interest to me, so sorry in advance to those of you who couldn’t care less about HS journalist (?) Saska Saarikoski, but I just couldn’t let this one pass.
Writing in his column in today’s edition of the Helsingin Sanomat, “ace journalist”, Saska Saarikoski, talks about Finnish Foreign Minister, Timo Soini (Finns Party) as being too smart to be a “racist”, (but being too smart to calling him one directly) was being held hostage by the “extreme right-wing nationalists” within his party. He then refers to the Tea Party in the U.S. in a similar way, as a bunch of “extremists” supposedly holding the GOP leadership hostage in the recent resignation of House Speaker, John Boehner.
What’s of interest to me (as well as amusing) is that this journalist, in an attempt to show how smart he is, makes himself out to be a complete ignoramus on US domestic politics by trying to draw comparisons between the two political forces in question. I won’t delve into Finns Party politics, because for me, that’s not the issue here, Saarikoski’s understanding of the Tea Party and GOP party politics, is.
Foreign Minister Soini has become a hostage to extremist nationalists
However, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has become a hostage to extreme nationalists. A similar hostage drama is underway here in the United States.
The US Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner announced last Friday his resignation. The Republican right-wing Tea Party has for five years dug the ground from under the feet of Boehner. In the end, the Speaker got tired of taking out the knives in his back.
“John Boehner’s resignation is a victory for the crazies,” summed up the New York Republican Representative, Peter King..
[TT: If you know anything about US politics, or more precisely GOP politics, you would know that John Boehner is an insider, a lobbyist friendly, crony big business friendly, get along establishment politician, who is merciless towards conservatives as he is a squish towards the Democrats.
He’s not tactician, nor a strategist, and has been outmaneuvered by Obama and the Democrats throughout his entire tenure as House Speaker. Saska Saarikoski shows himself to be completely ignorant of this. John Boehner has for five years dug earth out from underneath his entire party, completely unable or unwilling to take the fight to Obama and the Dems, which was the reason for the GOP to receive huge electoral gains during the time he gained his seat, and in the following election.
His ineptitude and repeated flip flops on promises made is what drove conservative House Republicans to try and remove him from the Speakership, not because he was backstabbed. Rep. Steve King has gone off the rails awhile back, ever since his district was realigned to include more Democrats, he’s an open joke, who is more comfortable on hard left TV cable shows, than with constitutional conservatives. Talk about clueless! ]
The Tea party movement was born in 2009 as a reaction to the Democrats’ electoral victory. The Movement has not much of a common political program other than a jealous opposition to the federal government.
Initially, the Republican Party, welcomed the new entrants, because that’s what all the old political parties dream of: enthusiastic and passionate activists.
However, the Tea Party are fanatics. They hate Washington, and even their own party leaders are felt to be no better than the democrats. The movement has proven to be a virus, in which it’s being let in has grounded Republican Party operations.
[ TT: Here Saarikoski borrows heavily from wikipedia. The Tea Party, contrary to wikipedia, got started during W’s profligate spending spree which made him the biggest spending president in modern times, only to be vastly outdistanced by Barack Obama. That was when the first rumblings of the “Tea Party” conservative movement was first being heard. Only after Obama got elected is when they finally got organized into multiple organizations and under a generalized umbrella.
Contrary to what Saarikoski says, the GOP never embraced these conservatives, in the same was establishment mindset and apparatus that was unleashed against Ronald Reagan, who sought to reinvent a new GOP, one that was established upon principles conservative constitutionalism. Either Saarikoski is ignorant of all this, or he’s just intentionally denying the facts.
The GOP establishment represents the RINO-wing of the Republican Party, which currently operates much, if not most, of its political machinery. They are beholden to the Chamber of Commerce (crony, fake capitalists), love to rub elbows with the Dems, and run which ever part of government comes their way. They hate conservatives more than they are in opposition to the Democrat policies.
The Tea Party stands for the constitution, first, second and third, if they felt that their leaders were of the same mindset, they wouldn’t be loathing them. If not for these patriots, the GOP would never had any electoral successes, for having already waved the white flag after Obama was first elected president, calling themselves a “regional party”.
It’s true that the GOP has grounded itself, but it’s been by their own hands and in how they mounted tepid offenses against an emboldened Obama, who correctly saw a weak-in-the-knees opposition in much the same was a Vladimir Putin or a communist China and Iran views Obama.]
Americans roughly make up ten percent of the Tea Party and Republican supporters consist of a third. However, the movement has clearly managed to get a stronger position within the party .
If someone steps in the Tea Party’s way, they’ll destroy him mercilessly. First, they drive the artillery of the social media to fire against those Republican politicians deemed as too moderate. Then they focus their primary money and voices to the counter-candidate.
The majority of party members are relatively passive, nor are the primary elections turnout very high. So the Tea Party has managed to relegate to Congress many of their own party politicians. Now the rest fear of revenge and do not dare publicly oppose the Tea Party.
Thus the world’s greatest big party has become a hostage to fanatics…….
The number of Tea Party members is actually anywhere between 10-30 % of the American population, with as much as 20% of registered Democrats belonging to it. Contrary to What Saarikoski asserts, John Boehner has held an iron grip on these new members to Congress, with many violating their pledges made to their Tea Party supporters. It was this iron fisted management that was driving the movement to have Boehner removed.
As for the primaries, what in the world are they for if not to challenge establishment politicians who promote party policies over that of their constituencies. That’s the reason for the success of the movement, people’s anger to entrenched establishment types.
What has been going on for the last 8 or so years, is the fight for the New Republican Party, the very same fight Ronald Reagan fought some 30 yrs ago. He ran against the same establishment, and knew how to beat them, by talking straight talk to the American people, not over them, or treating them like gullible children. The Tea Party is just an ongoing continuance of the Reagan Revolution, something of which, totally eludes the clueless Helsingin Sanomat journalist.