The President's remarks were remarkable. His speech and proposals reestablished his message and allowed him to rise above the rhetorical shenanigans and political posturing of punditry and partisan bickering. (boring...)
The official Republican response was inflexible and unsuccessful in offering clear alternatives to the President's proposals, mostly regurgitating Republican talking points to no real purpose. (next...)
But then there was the "Official Tea Party Response to the President's State of the Union" by Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann. (It aired on CNN, giving it EQUAL BILLING with the SOTU and the official Republican response.) You remember her, don't you? She's the Kato Kaelin grand prize winner that found her way onto "Hardball with Chris Matthews" (I still don't like that name.) and called for media penetration of liberal members of Congress for having "anti-American" views.
I'm loving this Tea Party stuff. Its exposure of the destructiveness and hatred that exists in the extreme right of this country's electorate is exactly what our political process needs. I have many friends, some conservative and some liberal. But more than anything, they are ALL hard-working, decent, generous people who simply want their children to have a better experience of life than they. They are much more alike than different. And none of them carry these types of radical and extremist ideologies. I know. I've talked to them.
There are only two outcomes to this Tea Party movement.
1. The Tea Party movement succeeds in yanking the Republican party further and further to the right in order to maintain its base, rendering most Republican candidates for state and federal office unelectable. The Democrats will respond by moving the center of the country towards the left and offer sensible programs and policy that appeal to the majority of American citizens.
2. The Republican party distances itself from the principles of the Tea Party and moves ITSELF further towards the left, more in the direction of a Dwight Eisenhower sense of conservatism. (Look up his domestic policy. You'll be surprised.) This would also allow the Democrats to move left as well. These two moves would allow for a more healthy bipartisan effort in governing the country, confining the extremists on both the left and the right to the fringes of the political landscape.
Although both outcomes are fine with me, I hope for the second. Republicans have ideas, too. And even though I consider myself fairly liberal/progressive, I recognize my beliefs aren't for everyone and governing should be shared in order for us all to progress together.
So thank you, Tea Partiers, for being so out of your mind. You are serving your country more than you know.