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Talking Points

Bill O'Reilly: Is the Tea Party Self-Destructive?

By Bill O'Reilly

From the beginning I have supported the Tea Party because I believe it empowers individual Americans, which is always a good thing. Also, the Tea Party wants fiscal responsibility and a smaller federal government. Again, those are good things as well.

But now the Tea Party has come to a crossroads. Some of its members simply do not want to raise the debt ceiling, and that could be catastrophic. Thursday, Standard and Poor's met with Republicans in the House to tell them there is a 50/50 chance America's Triple A bond rating will be cut if no debt compromise is reached.

The goal of any legislation should be to strengthen the country. And there is a way to raise the national debt ceiling while at the same time drastically cutting federal spending and reforming the unfair tax code. If America starts to spend responsibly the national debt will come down and there will be no need to ever raise the debt ceiling again.

So the Tea Party people should reassess the issue. I mean, when you have a senator like Tom Coburn, a very staunch conservative and fiscal hawk, when you have him willing to compromise, you have to take notice. In addition, the Tea Party should be looking out for itself.

Remember, the Yippie Movement in the 1960's. At one point it had some power and influence, but it blew up because it was fanatical. And Americans turned away.

Right now, 19 percent of registered voters consider themselves part of the Tea Party Movement, according to a Fox News survey. That includes 25 percent Republicans, 13 percent independents and six percent Democrats. But 19 percent is not enough to carry the day on anything. And if the Tea Party is perceived by most Americans as being unreasonable, it will not grow any larger.

In fact, if a compromise on the debt is not reached, and the economy gets even worse, the Tea Party will be blamed. At this point in history the Tea Party could become a tremendous force for good in the country. But it could also evaporate.

Most Americans do not like extremism in politics. We need a sane compromise and tough economic reform in this country. I hope the Tea Party will be a part of it.

And that's "The Memo."

PINHEADS & PATRIOTS

As you may know, Juan Williams was fired by NPR for voicing an opinion the left-wing news organization didn't like. Now his wife, Denise Williams, tells Newsmax that NPR people did not treat her well in social situations. And she believes it had to do with her race -- Because there are so few African-Americans working at NPR. Mrs. Williams went on to say that she has been treated much better by Fox News folks.

Now, that's a brave statement. Obviously, Denise Williams is angry with NPR for mistreating her husband, but she gets very specific in her assessment on Newsmax of the social climate at NPR. So we believe Mrs. Williams is a patriot.

And Juan will be here Monday. He's got a brand-new book about his experiences at NPR. Looking forward to that.