The possibility of a left-right alliance has been discussed here at TAC and I have written about the possible reaction anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan might possibly receive at a Tea Party. It seems as though Medea Benjamin of Code Pink has gone to a Tea Party and tried outreach on her own.
Well, if one wants to bring forth or at least begin a left-right alliance, then perhaps Sheehan and Benjamin and other members of Code Pink and those on the antiwar Left, should simply declare that they are Tea Partiers too and organize Tea Party events as well.
Why not? Is it against the law? Are there rules or bylaws saying they can’t be Tea Partiers? Who are Sarah Palin or Dick Armey to say who can or cannot be Tea Partiers? Political parties have always had Left, Right, libertarian and centrist wings, why not the Tea Party?
Of course there have got to be a few principles one should adhere or acknowledge at least to mark things off:
1). Smaller government – Certainly the members of Code Pink wouldn’t object to a smaller government, especially when it comes to reducing the number of U.S. military bases around the world and the size of the military industrial complex. Or opposing the Patriot Act, Real ID or warrantless wire-tapping, all “big government” things.
2). Opposing taxpayer bailouts and “too big to fail” corporations – I’m sure agreement can be reached in this area.
3). Opposing wasteful spending, such as the spending for for undeclared, overseas wars for example and all the wasted money that goes towards them and the corruption they have spread throughout the government.
4). Opposing taxes, especially when those taxes pay for bombs dropped on innocent civilians.
So with these principles in mind, there’s no reason why Code Pink or Cindy Sheehan or Noam Chomsky or others on Left can’t be Tea Partiers. And as Tea Partiers, it would be hard for the media or the Tea Party’s critics to suggest the movement is nothing more than an “angry white male” caucus. In fact, such a movement could easily reconstruct politics no more on the worn-out Right-Light paradigm, but along the lines of insider-outsider, cosmopolitan vs. provincial or better yet centrist vs. populist. And for those who would cry “Infiltrator!” one can respond that since neither Ms. Sheehan or Mr. Chomsky or the members of Code Pink will be invited to the White House anytime soon or will taking part in Democratic Party fundraisers (while Fox News reporters and contributors happily give to the establishment Republicans) such a charge is certainly not true.
They say if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. But being a Tea Partier isn’t simply jumping on a bandwagon, it’s keeping that bandwagon moving and moving faster past the powers that be.