Friday, February 28, 2014

Tea-riffic Anniversary

obama, obama jokes, cartoon, humor, political, tea party, conservative, birthday, stilton jarlsberg, hope n' change, hope and change

Yesterday marked the fifth birthday of the Tea Party movement, and Hope n' Change thinks it's a cause for genuine celebration - not least of all because it makes the Lefties so freaking miserable that we've lasted this long and aren't going away.

The Tea Party is, and always has been, a pretty simple movement based on easy to understand principles: government limited by the Constitution, and the long-overdue establishment of fiscal restraint and responsibility.

But that's not how we've been depicted. The Left and the mainstream media (or is that redundant?) have painted the Tea Party as terrorists, serial killers, racists, misogynists, hostage-takers, and xenophobes...all without a scintilla of truth.

The Left has done everything they can think of to discredit us. Remember when Nancy Pelosi accused Tea Party members of being paid shills who she referred to as "astro-turf" rather than a true grassroots movement?

And how about the Left's attempts to create counter movements: the "Coffee Party" was supposed to be the liberal answer to the Tea Party but it quickly fizzled because it didn't actually exist outside of a few bogus news stories. After that, "Occupy Wall Street" was vigorously promoted as a true "people's movement" to shove the Tea Party aside.

Unfortunately, despite massive praise from high-ranking Democrats and alleged newspersons, Occupy Wall Street lost its luster when it turned out that the membership mostly consisted of unwashed drug-using hippie types who enjoyed destroying property, beating on drums, committing casual rapes, and defecating on police cars.

Of course, the Tea Party hasn't exactly been embraced by the barnacle-encrusted GOP, either - owing to the fact that the old guard GOP isn't really keen on the whole "fiscal restraint" and "limited government" thing.  Nor does the old guard GOP show anything but resentment about the fact that it was the Tea Party- and ONLY the Tea Party - which won back the House in 2010.

Moreover, the Tea Party might have had a huge impact in the 2012 elections if it weren't for the inconvenient fact that IRS harassment made it nearly impossible for Tea Party action groups to organize. Currently, the government's investigation into the IRS abuse is deliberately going nowhere... and new government rules are going into place to further inhibit conservative political speech.

And yet, after five years, the Tea Party is still here.

Still fighting for what's right, still working for the best interests of this country and, importantly, still giving genuine hope that there are better days ahead.

Happy Birthday, Tea Party Patriots!

BONUS: Here's Mark Levin's keynote address at the Tea Party Patriots 5th Anniversary.

And while we're on the subject...

Until working on today's commentary, we didn't realize that we'd somehow missed the 5-year anniversary of Hope n' Change's creation last month! Sincere thanks to all of you for your much-appreciated support and friendship!


Bruce O'Hara said...

Congrats and Happy B/day Stilton!!!
Hi Penny :-)

CT Yankee said...

Happy birthday, Hope 'n Change! Thanks for five years of sharing misery with us. Let's count to three and all make the same wish when you blow out the candles!

Geoff King said...

I have a bit of a different take on the Tea Party. While I agree with most of their philosophy, they are not a true political party and therefore will not have any actual candidates to offer. I am a member of the Libertarian Party, which is the 3rd largest party in the country after the Republicrats. We run candidates in almost every election, have been around since 1971, and base our platform on a verbatim interpretation of the Constitution - very similar to the Tea Party position. However, the Libertarian Party seems to be ignored by the majority of even the Conservatives. Other than when Ron Paul ran on their ticket, most don't realize that the grassroots party still exists. This is primarily because they cannot afford multi-million dollar ad campaigns. The Libertarian Party, while having equal ballot status in most major elections, also refuses the matching campaign funds they are allowed which the Reps and Dems gobble up, because they believe taxpayers should not be footing the bill. I feel it may be time for an announced merger of the Tea Party, the Libertarian Party, and all other Constitutionalist parties. Together we could take our country back.

TrickyRicky said...

I am decidedly libertarian, and have voted for Libertarian candidates in local elections where I thought they had a snowball's chance of winning an election. On the national level, I have always regarded a third party as a distraction at best, or a spoiler at worst. See H. Ross Perot.

I believe that our only hope of derailing the current march of folly in time to even hope to save our country as founded is to recreate the success of the 2010 midterms. Work to get conservatives on the ballot, and vote republican over democrat, even if you have to hold your nose. Here in Colorado, we have a great chance to unseat Udall and Cory Gardner is the real deal and hasn't caught Potomac fever yet it seems.

We need to purge the beltway, squishy, entrenched GOP hacks. But we need to slow down the Marxist tyrant in the White House first. The damage that he can inflict with three years as a lame duck is unimaginable.

Geoff King said...

There appears to be a good chance that information will be released next month by Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Cold Case Posse investigative team that could spell the end of Der F├╝rher:
Let us keep our fingers crossed.

TrickyRicky said...

BTW, Stilton, thank you for being here for 5 years helping us maintain our sanity and laugh in the face of truly unsettling events.

Reiuxcat said...

We're most happy you're Stilton around Mr Jarlsberg. (see what I did there?)

Your sardonic humor and rapier wit is most appreciated.

Chuck Ef said...

Thanks for five years of erudite hilarity and snarky jocularity, Stilt! It was refreshing when I came across this site - reminding me that there were, after all, others out there that felt the same way as me. Wandering alone in the vast wilderness of progressive scat was disheartening. Still is but now I can laugh about it.

Happy Anniversary! Keep up the good work.

Pete (Detroit) said...

Difficult to believe it's been 5 years of fun, but thinking about it, I remember 'chicken boy' BEFORE he worked for WalMart, so it HAS been a while.
Hoping the health of you and yours allows you to continue to enbrighten our lives, and disembiggen our fears / frustrations w/ the Currant Occupant...

dafuq captcha of the day - knuckles hatemi

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Stilton.
And to all of us tea partiers.

Thanks for all you do.


WMD said...

I don't remember exactly when I found HnC. It has been a number of years now, I do know that. And I really love Johnny O. I don't comment everyday but I visit everyday and read what everyone else has to say.
I've always enjoyed the seeming anonymity of this site, kind of like we were an exclusive little club off the beaten path. I realize Stilt, you would probably prefer to be more popular and have more hits. But I kind of relish the perception that we here at HnC were our own little community of like minded folks who enjoyed sharing out thoughts and ideas.

Then, not long ago, you mentioned that one of your cartoons got picked up by Lt. Col. Allen West. And I thought, how great is that? And at the same time, well, that'll draw some more attention.

I don't know how the rest of y'all feel about this but I am truly grafetful for Stilton and his efforts. After all the ranting I've done here my perception had been that it was just us reading it. Maybe I was wrong. Either way, I love this site and, well, with a couple of exceptions, the commentors. I have learned a lot from coming here. And to those exceptions, you know who you are.
Thanks Stilt.
Happy Birthday HnC!

CenTexTim said...

Happy Birthday to you, them, and us!

@Geoff King - I've had discussions with libertarian friends about why there hasn't been a merger between the Tea Party and the Libertarian Party. Our conclusions:

1. Social issues get in the way. Many Tea Partiers are also social conservatives, and have trouble supporting the Libertarian position on issues such as abortion and gay marriage.

2. Many Libertarians (or at least some Libertarians) are hard core 'Big L' Libertarians and unwilling to compromise their strict Libertarian principles - what I call ideological purity vs. pragmatism. A good example is the refusal of the Libertarian Party to accept matching campaign funds. While admirable from a 'principles' standpoint, it hamstrings efforts to gain attention and get candidates elected. Why not get your people in office and then change things?

3. As you point out, the Libertarian Party is an established political party. They have the most to gain by reaching out to the Tea Party. Yet as far as I know, there has been no effort by the Libertarian Party to form an alliance.

Don't get me wrong. I'd love to see the two groups working together for the common good. But I don't think it's going to happen.


Geoff King said...

The core belief of Libertarians is that the Constitution is the law of the land and congress has no right to regulate, restrict, or otherwise infringe upon our rights until a two-thirds majority votes to ammend said document. On the issue of abortion, the main feeling is that government should have absolutely nothing to say on the subject. It is a matter of personal choice. That said, I personally know no Libertarians who actually are pro-choice. Here is what party chairman Mark Hinkle had to say about it: "Like so many others, Libertarians wrestle with the moral issues associated with abortion.  While our party includes a significant number of people who describe themselves as pro-choice, just as many members describe themselves as pro-life.  In my own view, however, there is no conflict: the best way to respect life is to prevent government from interfering with individual rights."
You are correct in saying that many Libertarians are unwilling to compromise their principles. They reason that it is compromise that got our country down the wrong path and away from our Constitutional beginnings in the first place. That is the main objective: restore our Constitution to it's original intent, and then we can debate and possibly pass ammendments on side issues such as abortion. Unless the Constitution is honored and respected as written, it will be whittled away to non-existence. On that point, I believe Libertarians and the Tea-Partiers should be able to find common ground.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Bruce O'Hara- Penny says "Woof!" right back at you. By the way, we've decided that she's a shepherd/beagle mix. She's put on 7 pounds in the last two weeks (none of it fat) and may turn into a pretty good sized dog!

@CT Yankee- I'm pretty sure we are all making the same wish about now!

@Geoff King- Although I don't give it as much virtual ink as I should, I definitely consider myself Libertarian and would love to see the sort of merger that you describe. By the way, on Fox's excellent "Red Eye" program (both funny and informative), Andy Levy is a very articulate voice for Libertarianism.

@TrickyRicky- Back in the day, I actually voted for Ross Perot and thereby helped foist Bill Clinton on this country. I'm still doing penance for that blunder.

As you say, one of our most critical (and difficult) tasks right now is limiting the damage that Obama can do - but sadly, until the GOP challenges his abuse of executive orders, that's not going to happen.

@Geoff King- It's hard to imagine any "universe shattering" revelations about Barry's birth, and I wish they'd scale back the hyperbole. That being said, oh please please please let there be some substance to this.

@Reiuxcat- I'd like to make clear that my wit is consensual, not rapier. Thank you, goodnight, and don't forget to tip your waiters.

@Chuck Ef- The great pleasure for me on this site is enjoying the company of like-minded folks. I'm happy to have provided the stone for the stone soup that so many others contribute to!

@Pete(Detroit)- We haven't seen Chicken Boy in awhile; I need to bring him back. Or maybe have him visit Johnny Optimism!

@Mech- Thank you!

@WMD- As much as I wish I had a huge readership, the truth is that I'm a creator and not a promoter. I'm not an active social media user and am by nature an introvert, so it's just not natural for me to be whipping out "tweets" all day or doing the other things necessary to build site traffic.

This site tends to log several thousand views per day, and has had about 3.5 million views over its five year history. Which does more or less make this a private club by Internet standards.

However, Hope n' Change ranks highly in Google searches, indicating a bit more clout than our numbers would suggest.

I'm also affiliated with the Facebook group "Barack Obama's Dead Fly," and the material I post there tends to get a lot of hits and shares.

I must admit that I have an ongoing fantasy about Rush Limbaugh or some other national figure taking 30 seconds to praise the site, after which I'd suddenly find millions of new visitors. Although with my luck, I'll probably only get mentioned in association with a story about a drone attack in north Texas.

And I'm glad you like Johnny Optimism. He's really important to me on a personal level.

@CenTexTim- Good breakdown of what's keeping the Tea Party and Libertarians apart. Personally, I think the social issues are poison for the Tea Party movement and should be jettisoned. Mind you, people can and should still express their social conservatism if they wish to - just don't put it under the Tea Party banner.

@Geoff King- Well said.

SC said...

What WMD said.....except, I know I have been reading (& loving the site) for more than 3 years. Some troll really ticked me off about healthcare & called conservatives selfish and I made my first ever post to a website & it was HnC.

I don't post too often, but, always visit. It's like a family here & it's encouraging to know that there are others with similar opinions and values.

Happy Birthday to HnC....and many, many more. Same goes to the Tea Party!

Stilt, all your hard work is appreciated.

Geoff King said...

I learned of your site when Alex Jones linked to one of your cartoons on, so you are gaining some well deserved attention in Right Wing circles.

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

And we're not going away anytime soon!

Judi King said...

The non-compromising and stay at home people (along with the cheating) got us what we're dealing with today. Some things just have to be stopped..... period.

Judi King said...

Happy Birthday to all the "right" people.!!

JustaJeepGuy said...

I've been wondering for five years what part of Taxed Enough Already do the socialists not understand? Isn't the "T" the main thing?

Bruce Bleu said...

After hearing what lamont said about giving money to children of color today, I think it is QUITE appropriate to name this type of reverse-discrimination in honor of ol' "shit-for-brains" and call it "Aparturd"! Just imagine if George Bush had declared that HE was going to give money to HONKY'S and stiff the melanin-enhanced youth? Jesse Jerkoff and Al Not-so-sharpton's HEADS would explode! I WOULD pay $1,000 to watch it, but I won't have to make a trip to the ATM any time soon, I'm SURE.

Karl Uppiano said...

My instincts are decidedly lower-case libertarian. However, in elections, I vote for the most libertarian candidate that has a snowball's chance in hell of winning. Which means I don't usually vote for the Libertarian. What I hope is that the Republicans will eventually get their principles straight, and become more like libertarians.

DavidD said...

While IRS suppression of TEA Party groups is wrong, it seems to me that it's overrated as an excuse for poor showing in the 2012 election. How can the same groups have been a success in 2010 without 501(c)4 status and yet a failure in 2012 due to a lack of 501(c)4 status. No, something else was to blame.