Utah Sen. Mike Lee delivered a pretty amazing tea party response to President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. Lee’s speech was completely separate from Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ official GOP response to the State of the Union.
Here are six reasons why Lee’s speech should be hand-delivered to every single Republican lawmaker and also broadcast most hours of the day on stadium Jumbo-trons and that big TV screen in the middle of Times Square:
1. Slammed establishment Republicans
“In the few minutes I have tonight — I’d like to speak especially to those Americans who may feel they have been forgotten by both political parties. Those individuals and families who work hard, play by the rules, balance their budgets, honor the Golden Rule … and don’t understand why their government in Washington can’t do the same.
… To be fair, President Obama and his party did not create all of these problems. The Republican Establishment in Washington can be just as out-of-touch as the Democratic Establishment.”
2. Called for protest and cited the Founding Fathers
“I believe we need to do what Americans have always done — come together and press for positive change. Protesting against dysfunctional government is a great American tradition, going back to the original tea party in Boston, about 240 years ago. Americans have a natural instinct to stand up and speak out when they know something is wrong.
In 1773, Americans had simply had it with a London-based national government that had become too big, too expensive and far too intrusive …”
3. FINALLY offered a populist Republican explanation of economic inequality
“This inequality crisis presents itself in three principal forms: immobility among the poor, who are being trapped in poverty by big-government programs; insecurity in the middle class, where families are struggling just to get by and can’t seem to get ahead; and cronyist privilege at the top, where political and economic insiders twist the immense power of the federal government to profit at the expense of everyone else.
… [Inequality is] guaranteeing insurance companies taxpayer bailouts if Obamacare cuts into their profits.
Inequality is blocking thousands of middle-class jobs in the energy industry as a favor to partisan donors and radical environmental activists.
… But where does this new inequality come from? From government — every time it takes rights and opportunities away from the American people and gives them instead to politicians, bureaucrats and special interests.”
4. Emphasized education, a social issue Republicans have won on in the past, and can win on again in the future (Repeat: education, education)
“Inequality — real inequality — is trapping poor children in failing schools to benefit bureaucrats and union bosses.
… Sen. John Cornyn has legislation that would empower states to improve K-12 education across the country. Sen. Tim Scott has reforms to improve our job-training programs. And I’ve introduced a bill to modernize higher education, making it more accessible and affordable for lower-income and non-traditional students.”
5. Pushed states’ rights (READ: Also a great way to get out of the social issues debate, which Republicans are not winning)
“It’s denying citizens their right to define marriage in their states as traditionally or as broadly as their diverse values dictate.”
6. Don’t spy on Mike Lee
“[Inequality is] changing laws without congressional approval, and spying on American citizens without constitutional authority.”