Tea Party Leader: We’ll Accept Raising Debt Ceiling If You Reinstate Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

But, but I thought the Tea Party wasn’t concerned with social issues:

For Tea Party Founding Fathers chairman William Temple, a reinstatement of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and keeping women out of combat roles would also be acceptable.

Temple, who addressed the audience in his trademark colonial garb, is organzing the Tea Party Freedom Jamboree this fall in Kansas City. He railed against Boehner and the GOP leadership in his speech, calling them “wimpy RINOs” and even attacked Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) Medicare-destroying plan passed by the House last month as a “so-called ‘courageous’ budget”

Temple is 100% opposed to raising the debt ceiling, and said that how members vote on the issue will be the sole item on the tea party scorecard when it comes to rating candidates in 2012. Vote for the increase, you get a zero. Vote against it, you get a 100. Apparently it’s that simple.

But even Temple said he understood a compromise might be coming. So he offered a long list of things the Republicans could do that would lead the “tea party movement as a whole” to “possibly forgive Boehner and the House Republicans a small bump in the debt limit.”

On the list was keeping the front lines of America’s wars as free of openly gay people and women of any sexual leaning as possible.

Temple said that “if the House Armed Services Committee and the Pentagon slow down on injecting open homosexuality and females into forward combat roles,” tea partiers might be able to put up with their new Republican House voting to ensure American government services are paid for with more borrowed cash.

Temple’s line of reasoning:

When the Pentagon’s own studies show that military effeminization may have an extremely costly impact on recruiting and retention, when Islamists have shown their willingness to sexually brutalize American female reporters, why would John Boehner’s House Republicans be caving to political correctness? Why would House Republicans who know better be fostering inappropriate attractions in the intimacy of tents, bunks, barracks, platoons, subs, tanks, convoys, cockpits, latrines, showers, toilets and locker rooms when we are fighting wars in three Muslim nations?

The speakers spent most of their time talking debt limit, but Temple wasn’t the only one to bring up DADT. Rev. C.L. Bryant, a Louisiana tea party chapter founder, former Garland, TX NAACP president and filmmaker, also connected his attacks on Boehner and company to DADT. He said the repeal of the policy banning gays and lesbians from serving openly was “not prudent,” according to military leaders (in fact, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was a proponent of ending the policy before it was repealed last year.)

“What is the point of having the stick that we gave you if you’re not going to protect the interests of the American people?” Bryant said. “Also, we send this message to those who have in fact spoken about changing the very nature and the very reason our Army protects this country and the principles that have guided it.”

What does this tell me? That whatever it might have once been, whatever some people think it is, the Tea Party movement is really nothing more than the far-right wing of the Republican Party under a new name.


FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, Military Affairs, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Al says:

    Freedom Jamboree! (Unless you’re gay or a woman!)

  2. An Interested Party says:

    …the Tea Party movement is really nothing more than the far-right wing of the Republican Party under a new name.

    Some of us have known that for quite some time…

  3. ptfe says:

    “Whatever it might have once been”? That’s a pretty bold assertion that it was ever only about the deficit and not social issues. A Tea Party that was really fiscally concerned would have sprung up in 2002, then thrown a proverbial shitfit in 2003 before the invasion of Iraq, crapped their pants in 2007 at the start of the economic downturn, and gotten really mad in 2008. Instead, we got a mysteriously strong group after Democrats took over all three seats of governance and a few dozen prominent right-wingers threw piles of money at what had been grassroots organizations.

    It’s no mystery where the Tea Party came from and what it’s always represented. Indeed, all evidence indicates that my prior assertion is coming to pass: in the wake of putting (R)s in charge of the House, the Tea Party is effectively dead.

    I still anticipate Zombie Tea starting early in 2012 — watch for TP ads to start popping up, followed swiftly and inexplicably by the numbers at rallies swelling to numbers that are eclipsed by dozens of other rallies in any given year, but which are Way Too Leftist To Be Mentioned. At that point, the media will start asking whether the Tea Party is relevant again, we’ll be treated to symbolic posing by the Republicans as “Constitutional defenders” in front of a crowd of a few thousand gathered on the Mall, and we’ll get to endure six months of hearing their far-right pablum disguised as incoherent, quarter-formed fiscal ideas leading up to November 2012. Like Ross Perot, the TP will be a fringe group that we’re forced to consider as a Serious Movement with Serious Ideas that will swing the election.

  4. mantis says:

    “Whatever it might have once been”? That’s a pretty bold assertion that it was ever only about the deficit and not social issues.

    “Whatever it might have once been” is not a bold assertion.

  5. john personna says:

    Can’t make this stuff up.

  6. The Tea Party’s BS here is a red-herring–just read this damning piece on the disturbing ubiquity of heterosexual male rape in the military.

    — ThePlatoReport.com

  7. michael reynolds says:

    Wow. Imagine that. The Tea Party is just another bunch of right wing bigots motivated by fear and tribalism. Quel surprise!

    The giveaway was the timing and the white (heh) hot fury. This was always about a segment of the population (old and white and rural) who feel that society is passing them by. TARP and the rest of it were just displaced fear.

    Not mistaken fear, though. They are right: they no longer hold the place of privilege they imagined themselves holding. The times they are a changin’.

  8. ptfe says:

    @mantis: Thanks for the edit. A more accurate choice of words would have been “rather misleading implication”, as it makes Doug sound like he thinks that it may have been something very different from what it clearly is now. And I actually don’t think he believes this — indeed, comments like this make it seem like he pegged the whole movement pretty early — which just makes the statement a bit of a head-scratcher. If it never was that way, why act like it may have been? It’s kind of like reporting that the Earth is round by saying, “Whatever it might once have been, the Earth is now round.”

  9. Drew says:

    “Temple said that “if the House Armed Services Committee and the Pentagon slow down on injecting open homosexuality and females into forward combat roles,” tea partiers might be able to put up with their new Republican House voting to ensure American government services are paid for with more borrowed cash.”

    This attempt to correlate non-correlated issues is ridiculous; more importantly, harmful. Given the severity of our financial issues, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory is not a good or welcome outcome. I haven’t followed this whole Tea Party thing closely so I don’t know much about Temple (actually, nothing), but I suspect many if not most of the Tea Party “soldiers” who favor the sort of financial prescriptions esposed by the Tea Party “leader” don’t hold the same views on social issues.

    I would note that all those here taking potshots weren’t exactly declaring Obama an anti-American racist bigot, even though the guy who married him, and in whose church he sat for years, most obviously is.

    Selectivity………..and intellectual honesty. You can go with this, or you can go with that…….

  10. Janis Gore says:

    I’d like to see a face-off between one of those effeminate gay marines and the manly Mr. Temple.

  11. hey norm says:

    Shocking, shocking I say.
    A group of people with tea bags dangling from their hats, orchestrated and supported by Dick Armey and the Koch Bros, are masquerading as something they are not?
    How dare you jump to a glaringly obvious conclusion Mr. Mattaconis?
    What next?

  12. hey norm says:

    @ Mr. Reynolds…
    In addition to old and white and rural you should add well-off.

  13. Tsar Nicholas says:

    The real irony of course is that these “Tea Party” numbskulls won’t be able even to figure out the irony.

  14. michael reynolds says:


    We’ve missed you coming around to tell us how “unready,” and “unfit,” and “amateurish,” “affirmative action,” and “assorted other racist euphemisms,” Obama is in the aftermath of the Osama raid.

    Have you dropped that and moved back to Rev. Wright? Is that what you’ve got left? No implications that he must be a terrorist because he met Ayers a couple of times? Come on, try harder.

  15. mattb says:

    BTW, for those who tend to assume the worst when the spectre of homosexuality is involved, let me share the key paragraph from the article that ThePlatoReport shared:

    While many might assume the perpetrators of such assaults are closeted gay soldiers, military experts and outside researchers say assailants usually are heterosexual. Like in prisons and other predominantly male environments, male-on-male assault in the military, experts say, is motivated not by homosexuality, but power, intimidation, and domination. Assault victims, both male and female, are typically young and low-ranking; they are targeted for their vulnerability. Often, in male-on-male cases, assailants go after those they assume are gay, even if they are not. “One of the reasons people commit sexual assault is to put people in their place, to drive them out,” says Mic Hunter, author of Honor Betrayed: Sexual Abuse in America’s Military. “Sexual assault isn’t about sex, it’s about violence.”


  16. Drew says:

    That was pretty weak, even for you, Reynolds.

    BTW – much better picture. You had me worried with that prevous picture that you had volunteered for Japanese nuclear power plant clean-up without a suit……

    If you want to hang your hat on this single operation feel free to do so. MSM reporting practically has him in night goggles and fatigues storming the compound himself. One only marvels at the mindless drooling that has occurred. Yes, it was a successful op. That success has many people to thank. But the post op bungling speaks for itself. And as for not “spiking the ball,” the self congratuatory post op victory lap has become almost bizarre. Those of us from IL have seen the pattern before, and are not surprised.

    As for the balance. I will never be able to take you as a serious person if you persist in this habit of castigating anyone with an alternative point of view as a racist. Its just so cheap, juvenile and intellectually light.

    Finally, I note you chose not to deal with the thrust of my comment. This Temple guy must be an idiot. Intellectually honest people can acknowledge this. Unfortunately, my obvious, non-selective, observation that Obama sat in the church for years with an absolute goon doesn’t fit your worldview……..or capability to be intellectually honest.

    Drool on, mate.

  17. Southern Hoosier says:

    DeMint, along with every other Republican in the Senate, supports a balanced budget amendment that, if passed, would a) require a balanced budget within 10 years; b) limit federal spending to 18 percent of gross domestic product; and c) require a supermajority vote to raise taxes. DeMint won’t vote to raise the nation’s debt ceiling unless the amendment is passed first. And in Greenville, he made clear he’ll only consider a candidate who feels the same way.

    Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/2011/05/demint-demand-gop-hopefuls-must-hold-line-budget#ixzz1M66uIlEH

  18. Hey Norm says:

    DeMint voted for the Bush Tax Cuts and the invasion and occupation of Iraq, two of the biggest drivers of the deficit and debt along with the interest of those unpaid for items. Now he doesn’t want to pay for the obligations he made. Not a very conservative stand is it? Only deadbeats don’t pay for the things they have bought on credit.

  19. Southern Hoosier says:

    Hey Norm says: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 22:03

    Only deadbeats don’t pay for the things they have bought on credit.

    When is Comrade President going to pay back all this money he is borrowing?

    Isn’t part of a balanced budget paying down the national debt?

  20. hey norm says:

    hoser…all the money he’s borrowing? do me a favor…take the bush tax cuts, the iraq war, medicare part d, and the interest on those items out of the deficit and tell me what remains. then tell me how that relates to the average debt carried by the US since…lets say ww2. ill even let you keep the stimulus and tarp in the debt – even though both those big ticket items were made necessary by the previous administrations mis-management.
    and while you are at it explain to me how you reconcile this mindless comrade label when the private sector is growing and the public sector is shrinking.
    once you have done your homeowrk you can come back out to play.