Friday, April 10, 2009

Right-wing Teabaggery

Tax revolt has a long and often proud history. This is not one of one of those times to be proud of. This is one of those movements to be embarrassed or amused by, depending which side of the ideological spectrum you sit on. I'm referring of course to the "Tea Parties" occurring supposedly across the nation on the 15th, covered so amusingly by Rachel Maddow here (highly recommended).
The Tea Parties, despite how it has been sold as a "populist" revolt, are nothing of the kind. Besides running completely contra general public opinion, Think Progress documents clearly how these represent prefabricated protest:
Despite these attempts to make the “movement” appear organic, the principle organizers of the local events are actually the lobbyist-run think tanks Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works. The two groups are heavily staffed and well funded, and are providing all the logistical and public relations work necessary for planning coast-to-coast protests:

– Freedom Works staffers coordinate conference calls among protesters, contacting conservative activists to give them “sign ideas, sample press releases, and a map of events around the country.”

– Freedom Works staffers apparently moved to “take over” the planning of local events in Florida.

– Freedom Works provides how-to guides for delivering a “clear message” to the public and media.

– Freedom Works has several domain addresses — some of them made to look like they were set up by amateurs — to promote the protests.

– Americans for Prosperity is writing press releases and planning the events in New Jersey, Arizona, New Hampshire, Missouri, Kansas, and several other states.

The "movement" unsurprisingly, is being hyped by FOX news. There's also the little matter of what the hell they're actually protesting. By some accounts, they're protesting "pork-barrel spending", which is somewhat different from protesting taxes. Steve Benen:
The stickers, signs, and shirts have a simple enough message: "T.E.A. Taxed Enough Already."

And that's where I start to get confused about why these events are occurring. Obama already passed the largest middle-class tax cut in history. Yes, he's proposing increasing the top rate back to where it was when our economy was healthy, but that only means that folks with household income below a quarter-mil aren't really in a position to whine about the administration's agenda.

Which brings us back to where we started: what are these people whining about again? They don't like economic recovery efforts, but the stimulus has already passed and it's a little late to rally opposition to it. They don't like budget deficits, unless they're run by Republican presidents. They don't want their taxes to go up, but Obama has already passed a significant tax cut.

Andrew Sullivan summarized this nicely: "These are not tea-parties. They are tea-tantrums. And the adolescent, unserious hysteria is a function not of a movement regrouping and refinding itself. It's a function of a movement's intellectual collapse and a party's fast-accelerating nervous breakdown."

It's useless to try to find any intellectual merit to the position of these "Tea Parties" whatsoever, they represent no more than a brain-dead movement babbling to itself incoherently. Expect more coverage from this blog on Wednesday, when these protests are scheduled.


Webmaster said...

Speaking of incoherent, you commies have to be asleep or on drugs to not know what just happened at the G20.

And you are wrong, the NH tea parties are all organized by local groups, about 20 of them. Why not do your homework before spewing Rachel Maddow's madness and pure hatred?

We have rights to protest the illegal fed, the IRS and the out of control spending and handing over of our sovereignty to the cabal of foreign bankers for whom this joker in the WH works.

He's a tool. You're a fool.
3,000 tea parties and wait until we march on DC in May.... Obama will shit his skinny little pants.

Ewan Compton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ewan Compton said...

I have to say, this comment is bat-shit insane. We're going to turn over our sovereignty over to "a cabal of foreign bankers" (doubtless with Jewish names). The only thing missing is the Illuminati.