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A New American Tea Party: The Counterrevolution Against Bailouts, Handouts, Reckless Spending, and More Taxes

ISBN: 978-0-470-60869-2
224 pages
December 2009
A New American Tea Party: The Counterrevolution Against Bailouts, Handouts, Reckless Spending, and More Taxes (0470608692) cover image


The tax protester manifesto, written by a leading organizer of the tea party protests

On April 15, 2009, a grassroots contingency of Americans that would soon become known around the world as the Tea Party made front-page news. Angered by years of excessive government spending-taxpayer financed bailouts of businesses deemed too big to fail and taxpayer handouts to special interest groups-Americans of all ages and all walks of life took to the streets to take back their country. A New American Tea Party: The Counterrevolution Against Bailouts, Handouts, Reckless Spending, and More Taxes is their story, and it's your guide for contributing to the movement to rein in government spending. The book

  • Summarizes the Tea Party movement
  • Explains how the Tea Party protests were organized
  • Presents a call to action for continuing protests and describes how to best coordinate them

The debt resulting from today's reckless government spending will eventually result in massive tax hikes. A New American Tea Party shows how to focus your outrage into a productive movement that will make a positive difference.

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Table of Contents

Bailout Nation: A Spending Timeline xi

Foreword xxi

Preface xxv

Chapter 1 The Tea Parties 1

Unorganized Organizers 2

From Stewing to Brewing 4

The Planning 6

Game Day 11

We’re All Community Organizers Now 12

The Tax Day Tea Parties 13

Institutional Organization 13

Striking a Balance 15

Internal Complications 16

No, Really, We’re Nonpartisan 16

Bureaucrats and Permits 17

April 15, 2009: The Million-Taxpayer March 18

Chapter 2 How We Got Here: Abandoning Principles and the People 21

Touting versus Learning from Reagan 22

1994: The Revolution That Wasn’t 28

The Quasi-Conservative Presidency of George W. Bush 33

How to Pretend You Are Something You Aren’t 35

Meltdown 35

2008 Election 36

Hope and Change We Can Believe In 38

A Center-Right Nation 38

Chapter 3 The Whistling Teapot: The Financial Crisis and the Bailout Nation 41

The Original Sin: The CRA 42

The Tax Code 43

Easy Money 43

Take a Loan off Fannie 44

Crisis 46

Bailouts, Handouts, and Corporate Welfare 47

Baby You Can Buy My Car 48

Newspapers Bailouts 48

Balance Sheet 49

Account Overdrawn 49

Chapter 4 The Political Class Reacts 51

Memo from the White House: You Just Don’t Get It 52

From the Department of Homeland Security: A Preemptive Strike 54

Congress Claims We’re All Astroturf 62

Straight from the Economist-in-Chief Himself 64

The Response from the Right 68

Others Show a Healthy Respect 70

Out of the Loop 71

Chapter 5 The Media Strikes Back 73

Media Blackout 74

Mr. Obama, Are You Watching? 75

Propaganda and Disinformation 79

Sexual Slurs 82

Bad Comedy, Worse Commentary 85

The Racism Straw Man 88

By the Numbers 94

The Media Market Reacts 94

So You Think You Can Politic? 97

Chapter 6 Radical Ideas 99

Part I: You Earn It, We Spend It 101

Part II: The Intrusion 117

Sliding Down the Slippery Slope 138

Chapter 7 Radical Tactics 141

The Playbook 143

The Organizers 144

The Enforcers 151

Sharp Distinctions 173

Chapter 8 The Teapot Boils Over: Health Care Takes Center Stage 175

The Health Care Policy Debate 176

The Government “Solutions” 177

Real Reform 181

Now or Never 182

Something’s Fishy 184

Dems Feel the Heat 185

Overwhelming Public Response 186

Town Halls 187

What Happened to “Democracy in Action”? 188

Pay No Attention to the Doctors! 190

Don’t Anger the Trial Lawyers! 191

White House Spin and Spam 192

Axelrod’s Turf 194

Mobilizing Union Muscle 195

Lying to Grandma 196

Free-Range or Free-Market? 197

Fannie Med? 199

A Civics Lesson for Congressmen 200

Chapter 9 The Tea Party Manifesto 203

Not Our Turf 204

Who They Are and What They Believe 206

A New Avenue 208

Popular, Not Populist 210

Dispelling False Dichotomies 212

On the Role of Government 213

Not Anti-Tax 215

Rejection of Bailouts, Handouts, and Wealth Redistribution 217

Personal Responsibility 219

“The Ideology of Change” 223

A Rejection of Class Warfare: The Unholy Trinity 224

The Rejection of False Prophets 226

Rejection of the Entitlement Ethic 229

Common Sense over Regulation 231

Rejection of the Mediocrity Ethic 231

The Counterrevolution: From Theory to Practice 233

Chapter 10 Rules for Counterradicals 235

The 9/12 Taxpayer March 237

Arguing from an Imperfect Status Quo 238

Honing the Message 240

Mastering the Art of Rallies 242

Utilizing Coalitions 245

Coordination not Competition 246

Promoting Principles over Personalities 247

Keeping Your Cool in a Fiery Debate 248

Using Social Networking 249

Looking beyond the Rallies 250

Taking Consistent, Principled Action 250

Maintaining Accountability and Transparency 251

Taking It to the States 252

The Right Ideals and the Right People 256

In Conclusion 258

Notes 261

About the Author 301

Index 303

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Author Information

John M. O'Hara is vice president of external relations at the Illinois Policy Institute. Previously, O'Hara worked as assistant director of communications at The Heartland Institute. He served under U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao in the administration of George W. Bush and, prior to that, was a Collegiate Network journalism fellow at the American Spectator. O'Hara has appeared on dozens of radio and television programs as a commentator on the tea party movement and current political affairs. For his work with the tea party movement, he received an inaugural 2010 William F. Buckley, Jr., Leadership Award from the Young Conservatives Coalition. O'Hara graduated from Kenyon College with a BA in philosophy and a concentration in the Integrated Program in Humane Studies and was managing editor of the Kenyon Observer. For more about the author, visit JohnMOHara.com
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"Finally, an accurate overview of the modern tea party movement that has been well researched and without an agenda. While it's obvious that O'Hara is attuned and sympathetic to the cause, he does try and be as objective as possible. . . , this should be required reading for all journalists who are reporting on the tea party saga. . . What is most useful is the fact that he realizes that those involved are motivated with a frustration of politicians of all parties. It is not a left and right issue. . . a well written book on a subject that is very much in the public eye. If you are seeking an accurate [account] of what has transpired so far, then this is the book for you."
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