Monday, July 06, 2009

Rep. Phil Roe's Odd Tea Party

According to the OpenPen blog, 1st District Congressman Dr. Phil Roe (aka Dr No) had some fiery words to stir the crowd -- but just what was he calling on the crowd to do?

(Rep. Roe also made time to attend a few other "tea party" events, along with the former 1st District Congressman David Davis, State Senator Steve Southerland
R-1st, of Morristown, and state Rep. David Hawk, R-5th, of Greeneville, but they did not speak and were not recognized by any of the speakers and other elected officials.)

Chris Lambert at OpenPen writes:

While I have my own differences with the Tea Party crowds and some of the reasons that they claim have brought them together, I fully respect and appreciate their right to protest and gather to voice their concerns. But what really confuses me is their timing and I have to ask, where were they for the past eight and a half years? The timing is highly suspect in many eyes, coming right after a very heated campaign and election of a Democratic President. So why all of a sudden, have these protests started popping up? They rail against government spending and the economic collapse, two areas where the previous administration redefined our perception of the terms and set the stage for the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression. Where were the Tea Party protests then? I ask because I would have considered joining them myself, if these are the two areas that are the most troubling to this group. I think all of us, irrespective of our political ideology, could get behind a movement to hold our government accountable for rampant and out of control spending across the spectrum of our government."
"Dr. Phil Roe, our Congressman, decided that he would use the opportunity to fill in the Tea Party protesters on just what he is doing in Washington – voting No at every opportunity on every issue, much like the rest of the Republican Party. He also had this interesting quote to give to the crowd:

“It’s not about firecrackers. It’s about 56 people standing up declaring themselves independent of a king and we might have to do it again,” Roe said.

That raises some interesting questions about Congressman Roe and what he feels is needed at this point. Looking at his words, it’s plain that he see’s President Obama as a “King”. Does Congressman Roe believe, like many others in the Tea Party protests, that another revolution is somehow warranted because of policy differences with the present administration? I thought we had a political system that was designed to prevent such horrific things from occurring, mainly through the ballot box and through such offices as the one that Dr. Roe now holds? So why is it that Congressman Roe feels that our current state as a nation rises to such a level as to suggest such a thing? It’s clear by his own presence at this protest that he was playing to the crowd, but does Congressman Roe have the backbone to refuse all Federal funds coming his way to our district? That’s the only way that he can put his money where his mouth is and prove to all of us that he really is standing against what he perceives as a threat to our “freedom”. And going further, how exactly are our freedoms being threatened by this administration? The last time I checked, the Bill of Rights is still intact (albeit after 8 years of being threatened in many ways).

I find it very strange that I didn’t see Dr. Roe in the streets a few years ago, when President George W. Bush was spending our country into oblivion and making some of the worst decisions on an international scale that have cost our country billions and an immeasurable amount in human suffering. Now, a new administration comes along that just happens to not be of the same political party of Dr. Roe, and he’s outraged and ready to take to the streets? Call me skeptical of his intentions."

Meanwhile, former congressman Davis offered this comment:

The event’s keynote speaker, former U.S. Rep. David Davis, spoke out against politicians using the tax code as a tool for social engineering.

“They use it to control our behavior, steer our choices and change the way we live our lives,” Davis, a Johnson City Republican, said of the tax code. “Our elected representatives should only use taxes to fund the necessities of government, and they must put a stop to both social engineering and corporate bailouts.”

Before he spoke, Davis was asked if his remarks represented an unofficial kickoff to his 2010 campaign to unseat Roe.

“I haven’t decided whether I’m going to run yet,” said Davis, who lost to Roe in the 2008 GOP primary. “I’m keeping the door open. This event is really about freedom and liberty. ... We’ve lost our faith in God as a Christian nation. And we’ve lost our faith in the Constitution. If we get back to those two things, America continues to be a shining city on the hill.”

When asked why “Tea Parties” weren’t held when the policies of former President George W. Bush were adding to the national debt, Davis responded: “I think there should have been. The Republicans spent too much money. But this is not a Republican crowd. This is not a Democrat crowd. This is an American crowd. I think Americans right now are fed up with politicians.”

Part of me is rather proud that citizens feel duty-bound to speak out on how our government works. But the real work is done day-to-day, talking directly to elected officials, writing letters and making phone calls, encouraging discussion among friends and family, taking part in community groups whose goals include improving the quality of life on local, state and national levels.

But here's the problem in the 1st District - voters have allowed for only representatives from the Republican Party to hold office for over 120 years in Congress. Maybe that's the problem you should fix first.


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