Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tea Partiers have farm subsidies principles

Apparently some Tea Partiers are bothered by the fact that their Tea Partying reps are taking farm subsidies:

But for one important detail, Stephen Fincher could be a perfect "tea party" candidate: a gospel-singing cotton farmer from this tiny hamlet in western Tennessee, seeking to right the listing ship of Washington with a commitment to lower taxes and smaller government.

The detail? Fincher accepts roughly $200,000 in farm subsidies each year.

Some tea party activists say Fincher, a Republican candidate in Tennessee's 8th Congressional District, isn't "pure" enough to deserve the backing of a movement built on the idea that government must spend less. But others have pledged their support, highlighting a division over what constitutes orthodoxy in the amorphous cause -- and who gets to decide.

Though some (including Gawker and its commenters) see this as hypocrisy, I'm inclined to see the glass as half full and say that the fact that the Tea Partiers even recognize the problem and are trying to do something about it is a relatively positive step. Few (no?) Democrats or Republicans are principled enough to let something like that get in the way of them supporting a candidate, and the fact that the rep promised (sort of) to vote against them is a good sign.

John McCain – surprisingly enough – is also generally against farm subsidies, although who knows if the rhetoric would have translated into action come the bidecennial farm bill scam.

That having been said, it sure would be nice to have a real mainstream advocate for a free market in agriculture – in either party – but sadly I don't see it coming anytime soon.

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