The arrests on March 28 and 29 of nine people associated with the so-called Hutaree Militia in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio have provided media commentators and reporters with an opportunity to broadly smear all political conservatives, constitutionalists, Tea Party activists, and opponents of President Obama's health care as "extremist" and "anti-government."
State governments across the nation are facing debt problems that seem overwhelming. California, when all the state obligations are counted, has a debt equal to 37 percent of its annual income, at least according to one estimate. Pensions account for much of this problem. Andrew Biggs at the American Enterprise Institute observes that if those pension debts are included, the Rhode Island would be so deeply in debt that it would fall outside the 60 percent governmental debt limit set by the European Union, as would even oil-rich Alaska.
On a cold night in December 1773, some three years after passage of the Tea Act by the British Parliament, colonists were fed up with the British crown’s haughty disregard of their rights as Englishmen, and they dumped 342 chests of the iconic British beverage into Boston Harbor, becoming icons themselves. The protesters (estimates range from as few as 30 to as many as 130) refused finally to be placated by repeated promises of change and reform and, rather than wait for legislative response, they exercised the Lockean right of “self-defense” and boldly resisted the alienation of their God-given liberty.
A recent poll conducted by Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio indicated that 41 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party Movement. This support is manifest in the influential role played by Tea Party activists in the defeat of Governor Jon Corzine in New Jersey, the landslide election of Governor Bob McDonnell in Virginia, and most recently and visibly, Scott Brown’s historic victory in the special election in Massachusetts to fill the seat left vacant by the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy. To varying degrees, all of these men owe their success to the skill, spirit, and stamina of the men and women of the Tea Party Movement.