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Robert Bennett: Tea party influence sparks media attention

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  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    May 30, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    And, the Democrats are funded by George Soros! Nothing could be worse for America. But, "What difference, at this point, does it make?"!

  • T. Party Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 28, 2014 4:39 p.m.

    @SG in SLC "The Tea Party is to the Republican Party what the IRA is to Sinn Fein."

    Yes, because all these dudes in three-cornered hats are bombing buses and stuff.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    May 28, 2014 11:48 a.m.

    CKS007 hit the nail on the head.

    The Tea Party is to the Republican Party what the IRA is to Sinn Féin.

  • Greenwich Time Salt Lake City, UT
    May 28, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    Yes, my comments were addressed to both major political parties and their off-shoots, as well as those of other political persuasions. It behooves us all to remember that tolerance, mutual respect, and compromise are critical in every political discussion and piece of legislation. I need to remind myself of this as much as the next person does.

  • T. Party Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 28, 2014 7:44 a.m.

    @Twin Lights "Thank you. I am aware that this is America."

    Happy to help.

    "...high-handed methods..."

    As the slow train wreck of Obamacare proceeds, I'm more and more grateful that Mike Lee did his level best to avoid it.

  • Editorial Notes At Home In, UT
    May 27, 2014 11:44 p.m.

    @airnaut
    Everett, 00 and your "likes"

    @Editorial Notes
    At Home In, UT
    And your $4 Trillion war in the Middle East?
    I'm still waiting....

    MY $4 Trillion war in the Middle East?
    That's a rather bold accusation - do tell of all your assumptions in order to assert it.

    I'm still waiting...

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    May 27, 2014 3:55 p.m.

    T. Party,

    Thank you. I am aware that this is America.

    Agreed that politicians ultimately answer to the people (not that it always seems that way but that is certainly the way it should be). The punishment for not doing so should be dealt out at the next election.

    But none of this addresses my critique unless you are suggesting that the Tea Party should be ousted for their high handed methods.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 27, 2014 3:42 p.m.

    @Greenwich,
    Re: "Politics in our country – indeed the very Constitution upon which our government is founded – are based on compromise"...

    I agree, but you need to share those platitudes with Democrats as well (not just Repugs and T-people).

    Our Founding Fathers were a great example of compromise.... they didn't lock the doors and change the locks preventing access by the other party when discussing the Constitution. That's something DEMOCRATS did... (because they had the famous super-majority and decided only one party needs to be involved, the other was locked out, and they can't stop us anyway)....

    That could have caused people in the locked out party to want to show they CAN stop them.

    ====

    Do you think the founding fathers would have been proud of Democrats not being able to tolerate input from other party, debate, or meaningful compromise on the ACA? I don't!

    Do you think they would have been proud of ANYTHING that's gone on during the Obama Administration? ACA lockout, IRS crackdowns on opposition groups, Warrant-less Government spying on citizens? What would Founding Fathers be proud of in this administration?

  • Greenwich Time Salt Lake City, UT
    May 27, 2014 2:16 p.m.

    This debate highlights the importance of what history teaches (or should teach) us about government. Like the importance of tolerance and mutual respect. In politics, the notion that “compromise” is a dirty word is itself a dirty and incorrect notion. Politics in our country – indeed the very Constitution upon which our government is founded – are based on compromise. An examination of what was originally proposed by each of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 shows that none of them achieved exactly what they originally sought there. The Constitution that they came up with, and that we needed, was the result of one compromise after another. When opposing sides strive to satisfy as much as possible of what’s important to each side through compromise, the good of the whole is often achieved. As fellow Americans it’s important that we keep this in mind when politics are debated and laws are made.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 27, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    @airnaut,

    If Mike Lee "Stole" Bob Bennett's Senate Seat... Do you think Bennett would win IF he ran again? I challenge Bennett to quit writing sour-grape articles and just run again IF he thinks he could win now. Then we (the voters) could decide it once and for all (even if he has to run as an independent).

    I suspect the reason he won't run now... is the same reason he ended his bid when he came in #3 at Convention and refused to run as an independent... he knew he wouldn't win.

    Fact is... it was never Bennett's Senate Seat... it's OUR Senate Seat. We don't owe it to Bennett or anybody! As a politician... you have to perform and impress your local voters... or every 6 years you have a chance of losing the seat we gave you... he lost!

    What are you going to do if Mike Lee decides to run and wins when his first term is over? Current polls indicate he has a lot of support from local Utahns (probably not in Oregon)...

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    May 27, 2014 11:31 a.m.

    "1. Eliminate Excessive Taxes
    2. Eliminate the National Debt
    3. Eliminate Deficit Spending
    4. Protect Free Markets
    5. Abide by the Constitution of the United States
    6. Promote Civic Responsibility
    7. Reduce the Overall Size of Government
    8. Believe in the People
    9. Avoid the Pitfalls of Politics
    10. Maintain Local Independence"

    If that is the tea party platform then they're doing a horrible job of passing legislation which promotes their platform.

    Somehow, I fail to see how privatizing SS, repealing Obamacare, raising taxes on the middle-class, eliminating early voting, cutting hours at the voting booth, handing out corporate welfare, making it harder for solar to compete, subsidizing farmers while cutting food stamps, passing bills allowing business owners to discriminate, blocking background checks, obstructing bills they previously supported or sponsored (Like the DREAM Act), etc.

  • CKS007 Clearfield, UT
    May 27, 2014 11:24 a.m.

    In the early, early days of the tea party, they truly were a grassroots movement. Then they were taken over and are now the radical arm of the Republican party. It created several mistakes including Mike Lee. I'll be happy to see Lee out of office, but I wish that Lee wouldn't continue to receive benefits (my tax dollars) after his term.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    May 27, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    @Janesmcmeyer
    "Mike Richards is absolutely correct; THAT IS THE TEA PARTY. Any and all alternate definitions or descriptions, including ones given here, are incorrect. They're given by people who -do- oppose some of those things, because those things put a choke-hold on the centralized power needed to enforce destructive and wicked ideals."

    The deal is that the tea party should be able to define itself and that progressives should be able to define themselves, yet somehow at the end there my side gets branded as wanting to put a choke-hold on power to enforce wicked ideals.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    May 27, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    @Mike Richards
    "1. Eliminate Excessive Taxes
    2. Eliminate the National Debt
    3. Eliminate Deficit Spending
    4. Protect Free Markets
    5. Abide by the Constitution of the United States
    6. Promote Civic Responsibility
    7. Reduce the Overall Size of Government
    8. Believe in the People
    9. Avoid the Pitfalls of Politics
    10. Maintain Local Independence

    ===

    Which of those platform planks do the "anti-tea party" people disagree with?"

    It's more a disagreement over how to go about certain things, not a disagreement on a basic idea itself. Like with 4, the tea party wants to get rid of all sorts of regulations while my side believes that proper regulations prevent corporatism from seeping in.

    @DN Subscriber
    "By the way, if big money donors are such anathema to Democrats, where is their outrage at Soros and Bloomberg dumping millions of dollars into shady Democrat-allied outfits? They just want to stop free speech by conservative any way they can."

    The campaign finance reform measures we support apply to everyone, including the likes of Soros and Bloomberg.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 27, 2014 10:22 a.m.

    The real goal of the Tea Party is not to get Tea Party people elected, or to insure a majority of seats are held by T's (like the R's and the D's). It's about influencing the conversation in Washington.

    If they can even get people THINKING and TALKING about a balanced budget, and maybe even getting politicians to commit to reducing our mountains of debt... they have succeeded.

    Many politicians have either moved a little right, or come out of the closet in support of even bigger Federal Government spending, so the people know where they stand and can vote with a little education on where their representatives stand on spending, debt and taxes.

    That's what they were looking for. It's not a third-party. They are trying to influence the conversation (not win a majority of seats for a specific party). They call out candidates and elected officials (of both parties) and expose their record.... what's so terrible about that??

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    May 27, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    All of our politicans have to govern which is something the tea party has been unable to do. Their ideas are like liberlism, better suited for the class room and text books than the halls of congress. Mike Lee will be voted out in a few years and hopefully he'll return to Alpine and start making good on his defaulted loans.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 27, 2014 9:01 a.m.

    It may be "good news" for establishment-Republicans... but not necessarily "good news" for the Constitution, Taxes, the Budget, and the Debt we will leave to our children to pay off when we are gone...

  • T. Party Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 27, 2014 8:30 a.m.

    @Twin Lights "my way or the highway"

    This is America. Our political leaders are our employees, not our bosses. The power we lend them isn't intended to be used for their personal advantage. If we find them working against our interests, we give them fair warning, and then we fire them.

    Bailout Bob learned that the hard way. (Or failed to learn, as the case may be.)

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    May 27, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    @Editorial Notes
    At Home In, UT

    And your $4 Trillion war in the Middle East?

    I'm still waiting....

  • Editorial Notes At Home In, UT
    May 27, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    Another article positioning Utah establishment candidates for 2016.

    If "tea-party fiscal responsibility" is hard for people to swallow, just have The Fed print us some more Weimar cash- because that won't have any bad consequences...

    The "government shutdown" was caused by Pres. Obama's refusal to approve anything that didn't fund Obamacare.
    What Cruz, Lee, Paul etc offered was funding to the federal government excluding funds for Obamacare- which is Congress' right and responsibility...
    Obama refused. HE "shut down the government"- if that's what you want to call it.

    (Please don't point to to the national parks as an example-
    If states owned their own land Obama couldn't have closed them...)

    It doesn't take "tea party" labels to see that voting for going over the cliff at 200 miles an hour or over the cliff at 75 miles an hour is, in reality, the same choice. Someone has to be willing to finally say- "I am not willing to compromise going over the cliff in the first place!"

  • T. Party Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 27, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    @Bailout Bob

    If the Senate passes a budget, that will be a tea party victory, as clear as any since 2010. It will show that people like Mitch McConnell have begun to get the message. But let's not congratulate anyone until it actually happens.

    And even that would only be a start. We are $17,000,000,000,000 in debt. Our leadership must either change their ways, or be replaced.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    May 27, 2014 7:52 a.m.

    If I borrow money, I am morally obligated to pay it back. "We" collectively borrowed money for all kinds of things and still do. When will someone suggest that "we" pay it back? What exactly are "we" going to cut out to stop the fiscal hemorrhage?

    It does not matter what political party you belong to, but the onus is upon those who preach fiscal and moral superiority to show us how we are going to pay back our debts and how we are going to stop incurring them in the future. All other rhetoric is barnyard matter intended to inflame and not inform.

  • Creaver Sandy, UT
    May 27, 2014 7:33 a.m.

    I don't understand how Snack Pack and others still snakily gloating over Senator Bennett's defeat some four years after the fact constitute the "civil dialogue" the Deseret News says it is trying to create.

    For my part, I think Mike Lee has made a lot of noise and accomplished next to nothing. Utah made a huge mistake when they tossed aside a respected, effective senator for someone so ineffective. These latest election results show that most other Republicans across the country agree with me.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    May 27, 2014 6:51 a.m.

    Without putting down the Tea Party too harshly, they're not pragmatic. Their ideals are true, but the impression I often get from prominant Tea Party events or individuals is one without much compromise. Not that Democrats or liberals are any better, mind you-they're equally against compromise, they just have more media muscle to promote their one-sided iideas.

    That's not to say that the Tea Party is "wrong", however. After all, as said, "establishment Republicans" have had to "move to the right" somewhat to win. Republicans have had control over Congress running on Tea Party principles. (Granted, the senate and white house haven't let congress do their job, but a deadlock is better than the one-sided steamroll that brought Obamacare.) Mike Richards is absolutely correct; THAT IS THE TEA PARTY. Any and all alternate definitions or descriptions, including ones given here, are incorrect. They're given by people who -do- oppose some of those things, because those things put a choke-hold on the centralized power needed to enforce destructive and wicked ideals.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    May 27, 2014 6:48 a.m.

    Is it just me,
    or do you think Bob Bennett is postitioning himself for another run for the Senate Seat Tea-Party Darling Mike Lee "stole" from him?

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 26, 2014 10:22 p.m.

    Wow. Just wow.

    Some people seem to actually believe the talking point fantasies of Harry Reid, the Democrats, and even repudiated ex-Senator Bob Bennett.

    The charges that the tea party people (there is not really a "party" as such) are racist bigoted homophobes or somehow funded by two rich guys are both total fabrications as well as libelous slander on the millions of good people who support the tea party principles so well articulated by Mike Richards above. This is the sort of defining your enemy and making it personal attack urged by Obama's hero, Saul Alinsky in his "Rules for Radicals."

    By the way, if big money donors are such anathema to Democrats, where is their outrage at Soros and Bloomberg dumping millions of dollars into shady Democrat-allied outfits? They just want to stop free speech by conservative any way they can.

    The tea party principles must prevail, or our nation will surely crumble from bankruptcy, and it is just as bad done by liberal Democrats as it is when "moderate" Republicans are the big spenders. Do it for "the children" won't you?

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    May 26, 2014 2:53 p.m.

    The list from one comment above represents a typical Republican laundry list.

    The problem is the Republicans only have the list...

    When in power...for example 2001-2006... they spend like Reagan on steroids.

    The t-party was funded by the Koch Brothers.

    As soon as the t-party served its usefulness...unifying the base of the Republican Party...the funding was funneled toward other Koch Brother priorities.

    For example...all those grass roots events were simply astro-turf.

    When the Koch Brothers reduced their funding of these events...the events went away.

    The Koch Brothers are now on a path to make the USA look like a page out of the John Birch Society playbook.

    Given their enormous resources to make things happen...it just might happen.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    May 26, 2014 12:06 p.m.

    THose awful Tea Party people, balanced budget? less red tape? lower tases? Heck no. We want More debt and social spending. We need more folks on welfare and food stamps.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 26, 2014 12:01 p.m.

    The few party isn't on it's way out.

    Quite the opposite.

    The tea party has been legitimized. It has taken over the GOP establishment. Mitch McConnell, Orrin Hatch, Jon Boehner all repeat tea party talking points.

  • ER in AF Harare, Zimbabwe, 00
    May 26, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    Hey Snack Pack, had the voters in the primary that Sen Lee ousted B. Bennett in been a true reflection of the voting population, then there would not have been a "Sen." Lee. Bennett would still be our Senator and Lee would be a footnote in history. I doubt Lee will win again. The only way he will win is if he CONTINUES to distance himself from the extremist views of the TeaPartiers.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    May 26, 2014 11:55 a.m.

    Mr Richards,
    It does not matter what you say the platform of the Tea Party is. It matters what it does once it controls the levers of government.
    The Tea Party controlled states have made marquis laws out of anti-choice, anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-woman and, anti-minority voting rights. They promote "Christian" (as defined by them) laws, and make themselves victims of the "oppressive" expressions of tolerance and acceptance that most in this country believe in.
    Say what you will, but acts speak louder than words.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 26, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    @Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    =======

    If you had read the article,
    nobody - especially former Sen. Bennett - said anything about principles.

    Rather, it is the radical, no compromising, all-or-nothing, My way or the highway, "You Lie!", We'll shutdown the Government if we do not get our way -- extremism that 80% of America's disdain about the Tea Party.

    Sometimes you shoot because of the message,
    Sometimes you shoot because of the messenger.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    May 26, 2014 11:12 a.m.

    @Mike, I contend the tea party is certainly not about your ten points. Not at all. The tea party is about racist reaction, denying science, starving our schools, eliminating Muslims from the planet, and leaving poor and dependent people to get sick and die (cf. the loud calls for that very thing at one of their venomous meetings last year). The chief values of the tea party are selfishness, ignorance, and vengeance.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    May 26, 2014 10:51 a.m.

    Mike Richards,

    Avoid the pitfalls of politics? Seriously? Is THAT what the Tea Party has done? No. They have been the most politically strident, my way or the highway folks in Congress.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 26, 2014 10:39 a.m.

    I respect former Senator Bennett and I respect Mitch McConnell and think he's done a reasonable job as minority leader. I also have no doubt that as soon as Republicans control the Senate and the House and possibly the Presidency then we're back to business as usual in DC with Republicans getting the pork instead of Democrats. Then the Democrats will start whining about the debt and deficits that don't bother them now. It's so predictable. And in 24 years Mike Lee will be running commercials about saving Hill AFB. And no one will really care about deficits as long as the Social Security and Disability checks don't bounce.
    But I would like to suggest that Mr Bennett write his next column about Richard Lugar, Arlen Specter, and Charlie Crist. They were all "wonderful Republicans" also as long as the mood suited them. Then they turned on the Republican party out of sheer selfishness. Because it was always about them and not any real principles other than pork and power.

  • Demiurge San Diego, CA
    May 26, 2014 10:37 a.m.

    The Tea Party groups talk about money while trying to get elected, but when and if they do so, it's clear that they're really about legislating morals.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 26, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    What is the "Tea Party" Platform?

    1. Eliminate Excessive Taxes

    2. Eliminate the National Debt

    3. Eliminate Deficit Spending

    4. Protect Free Markets

    5. Abide by the Constitution of the United States

    6. Promote Civic Responsibility

    7. Reduce the Overall Size of Government

    8. Believe in the People

    9. Avoid the Pitfalls of Politics

    10. Maintain Local Independence

    ===

    Which of those platform planks do the "anti-tea party" people disagree with?

    America is a nation where the people tell the government what to do and how to do it. Many in government find that concept restrictive. Obama finds the Constitution restrictive. He finds Congress to be an impediment. He mocks the Court. Maybe it's time to read what the "Tea Party" is all about before throwing stones at those who want the Constitution to be the Supreme Law of the Land.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    May 26, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    It really insults the intelligence of the informed reader to propagate the notion that the Tea Party was really all about fiscal accountability. Yeah, the Tea Party folks headlined a shout-out about fiscal responsibility. However, their main message in governance and policy is to establish theocratic principles into law. Serious analysis of Tea Party influence on the Republican party and their governance would reveal this. Stop abortion, restrict voting rights, fight against gay marriage, prayer in schools, and all the other socially conservative platform items are what most Tea Party politics have brought to us. These dog whistle messages send the older, predominately male and religiously conservative into paroxysms of ecstasy.

    Has the national Republican party campaigned to end our national deficit spending, and told us how they plan to do it? Does it make sense to lower taxes when we have so much money to pay back that we spent? Can we afford the massive military we have? Do we intend to turn the United States into a Christian Iran? These are questions that need to be asked of the Republican party, and which our tone deaf media refuse to ask.

  • Snack Pack Lehi, UT
    May 26, 2014 9:02 a.m.

    Thanks Bob Bennett. Um.., we'll take Mike Lee. Next.

  • Basketballgirl75 Provo, , UT
    May 26, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    The Tea Party is finally on it's way out. Too many of our mainstream Republicans are tired of being hijacked by the Tea Party and their extremist view points. I for one will not forget the takeover and shut down in Washington. When Mike Lee runs again, I will vote for anyone but him, even if it is a moderate Democrat.

  • David King Layton, UT
    May 26, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    Putting "tea party" in the title of an article is a great way to guarantee page views, numerous comments, and almost no productive dialogue. I'm confident that the response to this article will follow that script pretty closely.

    Rather than spending so much time on whether the tea party has influence or how much we hate them, I wish we could instead focus on the main issues that led to the tea party's inception.

    A major point of concern was the complete inability of Congress to deal in any meaningful way with our nation's budget challenges. This has not changed.

    The budget deal in December is a perfect example. Hailed by the "problem-solvers" and "moderates" as a great compromise, it reduces the deficit by a pitiful $23 billion or so over ten years. That almost matches exactly the estimated cost of the government shutdown.

    It won't matter if the tea party exists in ten years. What will matter is if our representatives can begin addressing seriously our fiscal challenges. All attempts to this point have been so timid as to be meaningless.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    May 26, 2014 1:55 a.m.

    If the establishment Republicans do not feel heat from the Tea Party we will have the Democrats controlling the Administration and the Courts and Democrats- lite controlling Congress. Remember that under Bush Congress spent a lot of money. Of our total national debt on $17,000,000,000,000, $12 trillion was amassed by Bush and Obama and there is no hope of reaching a balanced budget in the next 10 years.

    Does anyone think we can keep adding hundreds of billions to the debt year after year without it finally catching up to us?