- The Washington Times - Monday, August 8, 2011

THE WAR BEGINS

Angry mob, delusional addicts, racists, terrorists, brown shirts. Those are the actual descriptions for the tea party from assorted pundits, partisan activists and even politicians in recent days, dutifully showcased in the mainstream media. But blaming the plainspoken tea party and its lawmakers for debt woes and downgrades is a mighty hard sell. Now it’s tea partyers’ turn to speak.

“As tea party members warned, Standard & Poor’s said that unless $4 trillion was cut from the budget, the U.S. would face a downgrade,” says Matt Kibbe, president of the fiscally conservative grass-roots group FreedomWorks. “And now that S&P has kept its promise, the tea party has only one thing to say to President Obama: We told you so.”

He adds, “If the Obama administration refuses to take any responsibility, then it’s up to the tea party to lead the nation out of fiscal disaster. It is the Obama administration, not the tea party, which has added $4.3 trillion to the national debt. … If the president won’t lead, then it’s time to get out of the tea party’s way.”

THE SHORT TAKE

“AA+ is still good. Right??? Obamageddon. Barackalypse Now. Downgrade Obama in 2012.” (New t-shirt mottos from Zazzle.com)

PERRYLISCIOUS

Is he getting ready to toss his Stetson into the ring? While the rest of the 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls bump into one another during Ames Straw Poll festivities on Saturday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is revealing his rogue side, journeying to South Carolina, then New Hampshire for some handshaking and speechifying. And announcing, maybe.

One insider speculates there’s about a “70 percent chance” that Mr. Perry will reveal — or at least clarify — news that he plans a White House run, most likely to be revealed during his 1:30 p.m. appearance at the Redstate Gathering in Charleston. Organizer Erick Erickson is noncommittal, however

“I know nothing,” he says, adding that if Mr. Perry chooses the conference for the big reveal, “Then that’s just cool and fine with me.”

COUNTERING KERRY

There are strong words to a certain Democratic senator from Massachusetts, from a media watchdog in Virginia:

“John Kerry is on a crusade to destroy the tea party. To blame the tea party for the S&P downgrade is like blaming the Betty Ford Clinic for alcoholism,” says Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center. “The entire existence of the tea party movement has been based on an attempt to stop the runaway spending of Washington — by the likes of John Kerry.”

He adds, “This is a well-coordinated effort by the left wing to deflect bad news — very bad news — away from their very left-wing President Obama.”

PAPA SANTORUM

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