The Tea Party’s claim that a government shutdown will force Washington into fiscal responsibility doesn’t mean much to its supporters in South Dakota. A devastating blizzard that destroyed 80,000 heads of cattle earlier this month is showing them the hard way that there are circumstances in which people need government. The only thing more traumatic is realizing that government isn’t there because of the very shutdown they supported.
When Hurricane Sandy devastated businesses in eastern States, Tea Party members of Congress opposed Sandy aid to rebuild businesses because that’s ”pork”.
The Tea Party doesn’t believe in pork, because that leads to a culture of dependency which is bad unless they are the dependents .
The first public battle between establishment and Tea Party Republicans ensued when Tea Party members opposed Sandy aid for New Jersey and New York, but wanted it for Colarado. Once again, that battle exposed Tea Party lawmakers as hypocrites. More importantly, it showed the fatal flaw of the Tea Party’s ideology. Even the Tea Party’s supporters believe that government is a friend when you are in need.
When supporters of the Tea Party shutdown start sounding like liberals, it’s the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Take Silvia Christen, the executive director of South Dakota’s Stock-growers Association.
Some ranchers lost all their cattle. They’ve yet to find one alive… They’re facing absolute destruction. … one appropriate role for these guys is to lend a hand after disasters like this … and they’re not here.
Then there’s Scott Reder who lost all of his cattle in the blizzard. Since the shutdown, Reder passes a federal Farm Services Administration office whose doors are closed. Like most ranchers, he subscribes to solving his own problems and when help is needed he looks to his neighbors.
In other words, Reder isn’t someone who subscribes to this imaginary culture of dependency that Tea Party lawmakers talk about. Losing his cattle and his livelihood through no fault of his own, Reder is seeing that government actually can be a friend when you’re in need.
“We’re just a bunch of ranchers from South Dakota — it’s hard for our voices to be heard,” he said, sitting at the kitchen table at dawn Friday, drinking coffee, fielding calls from fellow cattlemen. “You see crises across the country, the hurricanes and tornadoes, and officials are right on top of it. But something of this magnitude, that has just about leveled this part of the country, and there’s nothing.”
Reder and Christen illustrate the Tea Party’s Achilles heel. Even its base believes in government and in the idea that we’re all in this together.
The Tea Party is so giddy over its victorious government shutdown that they ignored warnings from the sugar daddy who has been paying the bills. Now, as they anticipate turning America into a deadbeat nation, the Tea Party politicians are oblivious to the fact that their political support will follow the U.S. economy over the debt-ceiling cliff.
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