When one takes the high ground, they have a greater responsibility to follow through with their moral convictions. When one touts a standard and uses it to judge others, either explicitly or implicitly, then they are not only judged by the same standard but are held to higher account. They place themselves in the spotlight and everyone’s expectations of them increase tenfold.

Frankly, this is never a good idea because it is too easy to be bruised and battered by a public that thinks you are most likely a hypocrite. It is too easy to lose your credibility and look foolish. When you raise expectations, people legitimately expect you to follow through with your commitments. No matter how difficult, no matter how hard, people expect principled actions.

We have all seen the Tea Party rage machine in action. They were a very powerful force in the sweeping realignment of Congress. They championed deficit reduction as their number one issue. I think you can see where I am headed by now but no one should have been surprised, least of all the Tea Party. When the first official act of Republicans in Congress was agreeing to add close to one trillion to the national debt by borrowing that money from other nations, the lack of the Tea Party rage machine was ample evidence that they are looking for their cake and ice cream too. Where are they as we sink deeper into debt? A few petitions were on the internet and a few lone voices in the wilderness but a lackluster response from the guardians of excessive borrowing and spending. A hypocritical posture at best and an outright deception of their motives at worst because they have been complicit in sinking this nation into a deeper hole, without much of a peep!

The 9th District of Georgia elected a Tea Party supported candidate, Tom Graves. Do you want to guess how Graves voted on “kicking the can down the road”?  The man was elected by yelling and screaming about the national debt and freckless spending in DC? That did not stop him from voting for the dramatic increase in borrowed spending that is larger than the “stimulus bill” from last summer. He is freckless indeed and the Tea Party sits idly by. You see, it is who spends the borrowed money, not the spending of the money. They doubled the national debt in seven brief years and were put back in power. They just demonstrated that the excessive spending lesson was not learned.

I can go on about the hypocrisy of the red and Lipton parties. Remember, they took the high ground on these issues. Senator Chambliss votes to end earmarks and then fails to pull his pork from the omnibus spending bill. Or the audacity of Senators Cornyn and Thune to call a press conference to assault the earmarks in the bill as shameful even while the bill contained their pork projects. Or Mitch McConnell pledging to end earmarks and, likewise, refusing to remove his pork. The sheer hypocrisy! These guys are giving the Tea Party the finger and the Tea Party quietly sips tea? Their priorities are backwards. First you cut spending. You do not add a trillion dollars of debt first thing.

They should stop whining about working between the holidays and conduct the nations business. They took the high road on the debt but their concern seems to be symbolic, not real. How else can one explain actions that are diametrically opposed to their words?

###
Jim Fitzgerald

Jim Fitzgerald

A clinically trained psychologist, Jim had a private practice in Cobb County for almost 30 years. For the last ten years he has been a Professor of Psychology at Goddard College in Plainfield, VT, but lives in the North Georgia Mountains.