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Chan Lowe: Tea party bomb throwers


It helps to look at the tea party congressional freshmen, who form the core of the opposition to a sane, reasonable resolution to the debt ceiling problem, the way one looks at terrorists: individuals who are so committed to their cause that their own martyrdom in its service is considered an acceptable sacrifice.

These are especially dangerous groups, because in the past both the political process and the nation’s security have been predicated on the idea that the actors wish to live to see another day. When some guy lights his shoe on an airplane, or pursues a catastrophic political course in the name of his dogma without caring if he’s reelected, it becomes much more difficult to defend the established order.

The problem is that both terrorist and tea party freshman believe the world will be a better place if they get their way, whether others agree with them or not. In the political case, the fact that an overwhelming majority of Americans favors compromise over default means nothing if a sacred balanced budget can be attained through deep cuts and no increase in revenue.

Some of these freshmen have said, “I didn’t come to Washington to get reelected. I came here to fix the problem,” which sounds noble, except that reelected they surely will not be once their constituents start having to do without the programs they’ve come to take for granted.

Yes, it was an angry electorate that vaulted these people into Congress. But you ain’t seen angry until those checks stop arriving.

Meanwhile, the damage the zealots could wreak would be lasting.

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Sounds like what they used to say during Vietnam: "We had to destroy the village in order to save it." Only now add "But at least we defied Obama--and WE DID NOT RAISE YOUR TAXES" and you have the credo these people seem to be working under.
Oh, yeah, there's another old saying that comes to mind: be very careful what you wish for--or whom you vote for--because you might get it.

Why do you continue to trash the Tea-Party, while depicting them as a bunch of un-educated rednecks? They done polls on these people and the majority of them are highly educated people who sincerely want to correct this country's financial woes and restore the republic in which the founding fathers envisioned this country to be.

True, there are a certain faction of people within the Tea Party that fit your blanket description of the Tea Party, but those are not the original members. They are the ones who jumped aboard as soon as Palin and Bachmann saw the political opportunity of appealing to the Tea Party.

But what is the use, judging from your editorials, you are a staunch Democrat who seems to believe that Obama is the best solution for this country no matter how much the facts will say other wise.

Remember how the Bank bailout, the Economic Stimulus, the Auto Bailout, the Quantitative Easing, the Federal Home rescue program, the Summer of Recovery tour, and the Health Care Reform was to prevent a deeper and recession while we "spend our way" out was supposed to work?

Well nothing that Obama and Pelosi and Berneke has worked, and the results are proving this to be TRUE.

But keep blaming the Tea Party actually wanting to fix the problem but cutting Federal Spending, and keep calling on politicians in Washington to keep spending money we don't have by charging the credit card even more.

I am glad that the tea party is standing up for the people . Where was your cartoon when Pelosi and Reid were in control and never once listened to the other side. The country is going broke , what don't the far left understand about living within their means . They keep growing government with failing programs and it is time for it to be stoped.The people spoke in the last election as President Obama said he was shellacked all across the country .Now cut the budget especially wasteful programs.

the condenscending tone of the cartoon implying that tea party members are inarticulate is palpable

to a liberal, "compromise" means that conservatives do what liberals want. please list the compromises that obama, the dem controlled house or senate (before last election) made.

why have a debt ceiling at all when it can just be increased at will? we are currently spending 43 cents of every dollar to pay interest. we are borrowing money to pay for the interest on borrowed money. the fed is buying our debt...that would be like a wife being overdrawn on the checking account...and the husband writing a check on the same account to cover it.

it has to stop...and we are doing it.

Chan- Looks like you've been hit with some wet,sloppy, tea bags...
My answer to them...
Tea Party...You've been plucked,--just like a Colonel Sander's chicken...Wake up middle Americans, and smell the feathers burning,cause their yours if you keep believing what the corporatist tell you what to say...and think....

Excellent piece. About 10% of the general public agree with their extreme views. They will be voted out of office as fast as they were voted in thank God.

The people who want to bring fiscal responsibility back to Washington are being vilified by the press.Spending under this administration is up 28% over the last 2 years.Its unsustainable .OBAMA = DISASTER.

The Tea Party has a schizophrenic, oxymoronic operating philosophy. It is nothing more than a well-healed mob of somewhat upper-middle class greedheads trying to protect their own bank accounts. These sheeple are led by the nose by oligarchs and their stooges who seek permanent barriers between the upper class and the rest of the American working people.

Freedom is not free. Shut up and pay your taxes.

For decades Congress has been filled with people wanting to do the politically expedient thing and save their political careers and the expense of the taxpayers and voters. This is why we have had low taxes and high spending. In order to survive, politicians have had to borrow, borrow, borrow to satisfy the typical Americans desire for low taxes and high spending. Now, however, we have a group of politicians (that word doesn't really describe them) who are willing to make some tough economic choices in order to do what is fiscally responsilbe -- regarless of its effect on their reelectability. While their stance may not be on the conservative side (cut spending rather than raise taxes), their motivation is sound: they put the long-term needs of the American people in front of Americans' short-term need for instant gratification -- and also ahead of their own personal political careers. For this I applaud them. If politicians always had this attitude towards serving in Congress, there would be no need to choose between higher taxes and/or decreased spending, because we would not have 1/10th of the problems that we have now.

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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