Saturday, January 09, 2010

Morning Reading: Tea and Justice

A couple of days ago I wrote a bit about the relevance of the tea parties in the Republican Party, partially based off of David Brooks' column on the topic. NYT columnist Charles M. Blow has also joined this trend of analysis on the tea partiers, saying that "the attack on the Republican establishment by the tea party folks" represents "the desperate thrashings of a dying movement." I'm not sure that I would agree with him, although I would certainly like to. He points out that the demographics of the country are changing and that younger folks are getting more liberal, but I just wonder as compared to what, or when? Traditionally the younger generation is often the more liberal element of society, although I guess not always. Anyway, Blow's piece analyzes the goings-on in the Republican party in the view of the five stages of grief, which is interesting.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on whether restrictions on corporate spending in political campaigns violate the First Amendment. An interesting question-- does money = speech? Their decision could have huge ramifications in future elections, and speaking for myself I hope that the court will either tailor their decision very narrowly, or rule that the restrictions are constitutional. There is already too much money poured into campaigns, the last thing we need are less restrictive fundraising rules.

Sarah Palin is back in the press, unfortunately enough-- this time for declining an invitation to speak at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, widely perceived as the biggest must-attend event of the year for the conservative element. More to the point, though, even as she declined CPAC, she accepted an invitation to speak at the first-ever National Tea Party Convention. This of course has set off speculation that she is positioning herself as the movement's leading potential candidate for 2012-- speculation that I would not say is unfair. Not knowing anything about the governor's plans, it sure looks like she's trying to legitimize them and possibly take leadership. Or maybe she's just in it for the speaking fee, rumored to be in the low six figures. Incidentally, it's also worth noting that the tickets to this allegedly grassroots movement's convention are going for about $560.

Finally, thoughts and prayers to the family of Vice President Joe Biden, whose mother (Catherine Eugenia "Jean" Finnegan Biden) passed away yesterday at age 92.

No comments: