The Tea Party have successfully undermined everything Obama has attempted

US republicans have shown a new way to govern – by giving up on winning elections


Now the American government is open again, I wonder what tactic the Tea Party will try next to get their way. One favourite must be chilli powder down Barack Obama’s underpants. One of their senators will explain in a live interview from Washington, “We have no choice but to do this until the President shows he is willing to negotiate”, while in the background we can hear, “Yeaaagh they’re on fire”, and Michelle saying: “Don’t put your fingers in your eyes love or they’ll start stinging as well.”

Or they’ll set a leopard loose in the House of Representatives, as a legitimate means of expressing the will of the common man from Utah. Whatever they do, to them it seems utterly reasonable, so they make statements such as, “It’s the President who is causing this conflict, by insisting on implementing the policies he was elected on. So what choice did we have but to urinate over the Democrat senators in alphabetical order? It’s only what Abraham Lincoln would have done?”

The issue that’s angered them this time is Obama’s healthcare plan, designed to address the problem of millions of Americans having no access to healthcare. The Tea Party has a carefully considered objection to this policy, which is on the home page of its website. It’s worth repeating in full to do justice to the prose. It goes “Destroy Obamacare. This abomination from hell must be eradicated.”

As with all the best political writing, it’s the delicate details that make it so engaging. To start with, this displays an impressive knowledge of The Bible, as few people are aware of the section that goes, “And God saw that Satan had spread his wickedness among the people. And he did say unto Abraham ‘Eradicateth this abomination for they will burn in hellfire who are carried upon a stretcher with no charge’”.

John Culberson, a Tea Party spokesman from Texas, was slightly less subtle, declaring his support for the strategy of shutting down the country by saying, “Like on 9/11, let’s roll”, a reference to the passengers who said “Let’s roll” before confronting terrorists on their plane. This could be worrying if he visits an NHS surgery in Britain. He’ll stab all the doctors, and explain: “I could see one of them diagnosing gastro-enteritis without charging a fee and knew I had to act straight away.”

To be fair, the Tea Party takes up other issues as well as healthcare, employing the same subtle arguments. Their supporter Stephen Schwarzmann, a hedge-fund billionaire, contributed to the tax debate by saying: “Tax rises on equity firms is a signal for war, like when Hitler invaded Poland.” It could be argued it’s even worse, because at least when Hitler invaded Poland the casualties couldn’t run crying to the Third Reich for free medical care.

Maybe the reason they come up with minor exaggerations is they struggle without them. Tea Party senator Louis Gohmert was interviewed about whether the deal they've agreed to was a success. In his exact words, this is how he answered: “The fact is all those children gathered round by Nancy Pelosi and they weren’t of legal consent age and we’ve stolen $12bn dollars from those children and the least we can do and all we’re asking if we had leaders who do the right thing they look listen it’s illegal.”

I wonder how many people saw that and thought, “At last, someone who’s saying exactly what I’m thinking”. It appears they’re reasoning is the Republican Party lost the election because in crucial swing states such as Ohio, voters thought “the trouble with Mitt Romney and his supporters is they’re not do-lally enough”. In which case none of this matters, as it only ensures they’ll lose by even more next time.

But maybe there is logic to their strategy. Because since Obama became President, the Tea Party Republicans have been able to undermine everything he’s attempted. Even the budget following this agreement is seven per cent less than the amount Obama originally proposed. The healthcare plan will still leave around one fifth of the population with no care, and many of the promises, such as closing Guantanamo Bay or on gun control, have been abandoned altogether. Partly this has been a result of backing down to the constant niggling of the Tea Party.

Obama even had to spend much of his first year in office proving he was the President as they insisted he wasn’t born in America. So they can do that again. For example if Hillary Clinton wins they’ll say they’ve got evidence she’s Russian and fought at the Alamo on the side of the Mexicans, and her real name’s Hillary Mohammed Trotsky Lucifer Compulsory Free Liver Transplants For Everyone Even If You’re Completely Healthy Jihad Abortion Clinton.

They’ll say she was born under the sea, and they’ve got evidence she eats live squirrels, and it’s their constitutional duty to flood the Senate with mercury until she agrees to abolish tax for oil companies. Because for many of the rich and powerful, why bother going through all the hassle of winning an election to get your way, when it’s much easier and more fun to let the other side win, then refuse to accept the result and bring everything to a halt until they do as you want anyway.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 5 Teacher

£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...

Software Developer

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...

Systems Analyst / Business Analyst - Central London

£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...

Senior Change Engineer (Network, Cisco, Juniper) £30k

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...

Day In a Page

Read Next

i Editor's Letter: A huge step forward in medical science, but we're not all the way there yet

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
David Cameron has painted a scary picture of what life would be like under a Labour government  

You want constitutional change? Fixed-term parliaments have already done the job

Steve Richards
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album