Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bluegrass Institute Shifting from Tea Parties to School Choice?

Having gathered a few central Kentucly crowds at recent "Tea Parties," it was surprising to learn today that David Adams of the Bluegrass Institute wants to change the Tea Party name (due to the press' use of an objectional homoerotic slang term involving tea bags) and shift to a new issue.

So Soon?

I've been watching the Tea Parties with a bemused mixture of interest and skepticism:
  • Bemused - because of the strange juxtaposition of establishment types, more than a few of whom would have favored police clearing the streets of all protesters in bygone days, now carrying placards;
  • Interest - because it is prudent for all Americans to worry about deficits now approaching 70% of GDP; and
  • Skepticism - because if Tea Parties were a principled effort they should have started during the Bush administration rather than waiting for Obama.
As it is, Tea Parties smack of partisan free-marketers looking for a new angle that might validate - after the fact - an approach toward unregulated free enterprise that nearly crippled us - and clearly has cost America many years of full productivity.

Curiously, Adams suggests a new strategy and a new issue as early as May.

One wonders if Tea Party organizers sense that the sustainability of such protests is just not there and organizers don't want them to be remembered as an idea that simply fizzled. Otherwise, if it is indeed a strong growing movement - why deflate it now?

Most folks don't know what to believe about toxic assets, credit default swaps and other arcane financial instruments that should have been illegal, but weren't. But Americans did see both Presidents Bush and Obama stand up and tell us that the problem was so bad, that if we didn't stimulate the economy, the whole system could collapse.

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I saw America flinch.

BIPPS selection of school choice as the new focus for grassroots activism is interesting. I wonder if BIPPS will be able to generate the same amount of passion for school choice from the smaller segment of the population directly impacted by K-12 education. On the other hand, the Obama administration has certainly given them a platform, and perhaps a level, to go after charter schools in Kentucky - and as far as I can tell nobody in the education establishment wants to talk about it.

Finally, Adams recently complained that the Courier-Journal should not stoop to homoerotic slang in describing the Tea Party protests. He's right.

Perhaps, if the Bluegrass Institute did less name-calling and had a better track record of correcting it's own errors it would stand on higher moral ground when expressing its outrage toward others.

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