The Big Tea(se)

Andrew Sullivan points out that the astroturf “tea parties” being organized and promoted mostly on Faux Nooz don’t seem to have a coherent purpose. They’re tea tantrums, not parties, he says.

What are they protesting? Tax hikes? Most of the people who will show up for the parties have just had their taxes cut. So scratch that. The big budget spending proposals and bank bailouts? Dudes, none of us likes running up the deficit and bailing out banks. It’s painful. It’s going to be hard to pay off that debt. But what are your workable alternative proposals to stimulating the economy and preventing the collapse of the banking system?

Cue: cricket chirps.

Finally, illegal immigration. A serious issue, but what did the Boston Tea Party have to do with that?

The Right Blogosphere responded to Sully mostly by calling him names (you guessed it; he’s not a “real conservative”) and throwing more tantrums. The most substantive response I could find still did not address much of what Sully wrote.

The Right expects a world-record tea party turnout on April 15, but just in case the parties fizzle, they’ve got an excuse ready — sabotage by ACORN infiltrators. I swear, ACORN is the new bogeyman.

John Cole:

The best part about all the attention the tea parties will get the next couple of days is that it will all be on film. The usual suspects are already trying to do damage control, pretending that they will have been infiltrated by no-gooders (who else- Soros funded ACRON!), but that is pure nonsense, and the country is going to get a good look at some pure, undiluted, right-wing crazy.

Pass the popcorn.

13 thoughts on “The Big Tea(se)

  1. Thomas Franks described this phenomenon perfectly in What’s the Matter with Kansas. It’s like the French Revolution in reverse, with the sans culottes taking to the streets to demand more power for the aristocracy.

  2. Yeah, the chickens are standing up for Col. Sanders.The Mad Hatter is smiling………

    “‘Conservative Bogeymen’ for $500, Alex.”
    “And the answer is: ‘ACORN.'”
    “What are squirrelly Conservative nut’s afraid of?”
    “Right! Next…”

  4. Actually, I’m VERY angry about the bailouts. I’d be tempted to join one of these tea parties, except that they are obviously Repubican partisan attempts to transfer blame for the economic crisis to Obama. But Obama DOES have something to answer for – that is, he’s continuing the economic policies of Bush. It’s funny that those righties didn’t seem interested in organizing anti-Bush tea parties.

    About bailouts, Maha asked: “But what are your workable alternative proposals to stimulating the economy and preventing the collapse of the banking system?” In fact, there are several good proposals out there, though none will be easy, simple, or without consequences. There is no easy way out of this crisis – the 5 biggest banks in America are insolvent, and need to be nationalized, broken up, and the good pieces sold off, and the shareholders will have to take a bath, and some CEOs need to go to prison.

    Rather than laying out these complex proposed solutions here in this small comment space, I’ll just refer you to, which is well worth reading everyday. I’ve been reading that site ever since the crisis broke in late 2007. The site owner (Mark Denninger) is a former Republican, who voted for Obama, and now is tearing his hair out while Obama continues the Republican’s economic policies.

  5. Ozonehole — I agree with you about nationalizing the banks, but the tea party people are as utterly opposed to nationalizing the banks as they are to the bailouts.

  6. I’m with Ozonehole on this one, and I suspect the majority of participants in the Tea Parties are clueless as to what they are protesting, save some murky partisan malaise that is solely about “us v. them”.

    I have been around too long not to notice that most people don’t even know why they are a registered _____. It’s just some team they want to be on because they are passionate about one or two talking points, ignoring the larger picture. Repugs tend to consistently vote against their own economic interests, and Dems keep erroneously believing their representatives care about the people v. the reality that they represent corporate interests exactly like the Repugs do.

    I find it quite hysterical that there is such us-them tribalism going on when the reality is that the Repugs & Dems are basically the same party. I keep wondering if the majority of people are ever going to get that the us-them thing ought to be about the people v. the oligarchs & their minions.

    I doubt it. Tribalism is snowballing. Panic subordinates reason. The reptilian part of our brains seems to be taking over. While most sales are down, hobgoblins are still selling like hotcakes.

  7. I’m beginning to sense that the sole Republican political agenda these days consists of slinging mud bi-monthly in the fond hope that one of these days a particular mud will have just the right consistency, hit its mark (Obama) and stick.

    Tea tossing is just the latest slung mud and its incoherence makes me think they’re running out of mud.

  8. The news about this is how these are really astroturf groups – orchestrated by elites. I hope this fact is made prominent in the public mind by the time Tax Day arrives. If we had a functioning media in this country, there would be plenty of time between now and then to make this point.

    Sometimes when a wingnut really gets going, I like to shout “Clap louder, slave!!!” I have to say it a few times, until it stops the wingnut in their tracks – they have no idea what I’m talking about. Sometimes I use the word “slave” and sometimes I don’t. Once the “conversation” has stopped, I then explain how the billionaires of this country are playing them for fools, shouting “Clap Louder!” to the masses of idiots they’ve programmed to fight for the goals of the wealthy. I then ask the wingnut: “Are you a billionaire? Why not? Why are you fighting for them?”

    This whole thing, and all the antics of the right reminds me of the crowds at a sporting event, who make all kinds of noise and distraction from the stands, in an effort to get their opponents off their game. For that is all they have left at this point.

  9. OT or maybe not. Yesterday I found myself in traffic behind a “Who Is John Galt?” bumpersticker. It made me wish I could fit all of

    “John Galt is a fictional character in a crappy novel written by a dimwit”

    on a bumpersticker, and still have it be legible.

  10. Wow, all that name-calling with no evidence or substance to back up the (I guess) assertions that:

    – TEA parties are the result of some right-wing paranoia
    – …and closet queens? (grow up)
    – There is no appreciable parallel between the prescient “Atlas Shrugged” and Obama’s America (Ayn Rand dimwit bumper-sticker)
    – If a policy is good for the wealthy, it’s bad for those who aren’t wealthy (pure envy politics)
    – No alternative (crickets chirping)

    These baseless non-arguments are not worth responding to, but I couldn’t resist presenting them together in a neat little package so you can see how childish your rants appear to someone who’s looking for substance in a blog.

    If you think think these TEA party protesters are orchestrated by right-wing radio and Fox news, you’ve underestimated that reasoned, passionate sentiment about what your government’s doing. And if what it’s doing doesn’t get *you* worked up enough to go out for a little “redress of grievances”, you don’t deserve to be called a liberal.

    Your money = your liberty, and if you cheer when they take it from someone else, you’re giving them permission to take it away from you next.


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