Posts Tagged ‘Tea Party’

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Just How Stupid Can We Be?

September 30, 2010

It really turns my stomach to listen to the Tea Party Bund and far-right Republicans rant about taxes.  Don’t get me wrong, taxing people is at best a necessary evil, but what people like Dick Armey, Sara Palin, Karl Rove, Glenn Beck, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and the rest, are doing is lying to the public.  They simply hope to scare people in an attempt to keep them from understanding just how close Republicans and big business came to destroying the country.  By scaring you, they hope to have another bite at the apple and finish running the country into the ground.

It’s like the nation threw a big party for eight years and ran up a huge bill.  Now that we’ve started to clean up the mess, they want to complain about the cost of the cleaning supplies.  Where were Tea Party Bundists and Republican stalwarts when we spent the nearly ten-trillion[i] in long-term public debt during the Bush years?  No, they want to ignore that and complain about the less that one and a half-trillion President Obama financed the same way to fund programs to stabilize the economy.  While I can admire the gall of these people, I do recognize what it really is, an attempt to shift blame.

Recent news is full of comments about raising taxes.  Representative Boehner, Sara Palin, and the rest of the clan, make comments akin to “you don’t create jobs by taxing job creators.”  I happen to agree with that thought but their lie is President Obama is not talking about taxing job creators; he is talking about taxing the top 2% of income earners at the pre-Bush tax cut levels.  Republicans are fond of pointing out that small business drives our economy and small business is where job growth occurs.  Small business owners do not make the sort of money that would put them in the top 2%.  While small businesses may generate large amounts of money, profits are slim and it’s profit that gets taxed, not gross receipts.

You want to talk about wasteful spending, I’m there.  You want to express the need to control cost – I’ll carry a sign for you.  Now, if you believe the crap these liars promote to give a billionaire a tax break, forget it!  These idiots ran our economy into the ditch.  Even if I don’t agree with President Obama, I am not stupid enough to give the morons that created the problem another shot.  Again, it is small business that drives our economy and that is where tax breaks need to be, not with the super rich and big business.  They, along with their political cronies, are the ones that put us into this mess in the first place, regardless of what Tea Party darlings want us to believe.

I’ve refereed to the Tea Party as a bund; it is one.  Just as the German-American Bund’s goal was to promote Nazi ideals in pre-World War II American[ii], the Tea Party’s goal is to promote its ultra right-wing ideological views with the same propaganda styled tactics.  Grass-roots members buy into the idea of returning to an America that never existed in the first place.  Just as the German-American Bund tried to usurp American history by placing images of George Washington next to a Nazi flag[iii], Tea Party-ists (and Glenn Beck specifically) try to usurp our history by laying claim to our history and tying American ideals to their perverted ideology.

The Tea Party is simply the cutting edge for extreme right-wing ideologues like Dick Armey[iv].  Grassroots members may wish for it to be an organization to return government to the citizens, in reality it is an organization whose sole goal is to return government to the people that nearly destroyed the American dream.  If you buy into the Tea Party Bunt’s rhetoric, you are as misguided as the loyal Americans that believed the Nazi propaganda prevalent before World War II.  Just because you don’t agree with the direction President Obama is pushing policy, you don’t have to buy into this tripe.


[i]“U.S. National Debt Graph: What They Won’t Tell You.” ZFacts on Controversial Topics. Web. 30 Sept. 2010. .

[ii] “German American Bund.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 30 Sept. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_American_Bund&gt;.

[iii] Color Guard at American Nazi Rally. 1939. Photograph. Bettmann, Manhattan, New York, New York, USA. Corbis Images. Comp. Bettmann/CORBIS. Corbis Corporation. Web. 30 Sept. 2010. .

[iv] “Dick Armey’s Tea-Party Coup.” The Daily Bell. 18 Aug. 2010. Web. 30 Sept. 2010. .

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Always Know What Game You’re Playing

February 11, 2010

Around 1985 I stopped in the city of New Orleans as I drove across country.  The French Quarter has always been an interesting  place to spend a few days.  It offers many wonderful distractions and provides great fun and excitement.  Like any town that has a vibrant tourist industry, the Quarter has street vendors; they add local color to say the least.  You really have to watch your step with the various vendors that earn a living off  naïve visitors, visitors like me.  A lesson I learned on that trip that still serves me well today.

I was in the Navy back then and very much a man of the world.  After all, I had been all over and dealt with all sorts of people.  I walked around with a self-assured confidence that I could handle anything the city could throw at me, bravado if you will.  One evening, as I walked down Bourbon Street, a teen-aged young man asked me if I wanted a shoeshine.  I did not agree to the shine but the young man seemed interested in my boots asked if I would put my foot on his box and let him look – to that, I agreed.

Smiling at me, the young man said, “I know where you got those boots at!”  Of course, there was no way he knew, I purchased them at a shop in Naples, Italy the year before.  I told him he must be mistaken, he could not possibly know.  Then it came, the hook.  He said, “I bet your $20.00 against a free shine that I know.”  I made the bet.  Of course, by now there was a small crowd standing around watching this interaction between us.  Taking his time, he studied my footwear, looking over every detail.  Suddenly, he stood up, board straight and said with a big smile, “you got those shoes on your feet and you at Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana.”  Perhaps the bravado I spoke of earlier was simply arrogance.  Having learned my lesson, having provided the onlookers with a hearty laugh, I gave him the $20.00.

There are many axioms that come to mind when I think about that evening.  In the end, I was playing a man at his own game and did not even know it.  What’s worse, we played in his backyard.  Game, set, match to my young friend.  Somehow, he knew out of that whole crowd, I was the one that simply would not walk away.  My own arrogance was the weakness he sensed.  I thought we were playing one game – he knew we were playing another!

This sort of interaction happens everyday on many different levels.  We hardly ever understand the true motives behind people we come in contact with.  Whether that contact is at a personal level or in the form of a speech we hear.  With that in mind, think about the recent Tea Party excitement, do we really understand the motives behind the controlling elements?  The words they say are easy enough to understand, their true meaning is another matter.  These are the same people that rallied behind conservatives over the last twenty years and now, after they made the mess, cast their own actions aside and accept no culpability at all.

The current course is not the best one to be on, at least it avoids the rocks the conservatives headed our country toward.  Now, they simply repackaged the same old rhetoric, added a few new twists, threw in patriotism for good measure, and want another chance.  Just because I don’t like what is going on now does not mean I want the silly idiots that created the mess back.  This time, let’s not get their shoeshine, more importantly; let’s not place a foot on the shoebox at all and walk on past.  What’s at stake is a lot more than $20.00; it’s the nation as a whole.  Let’s make sure we know what game they’re truly playing.

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Tea-Party Run Over by Bus

January 12, 2010

The Boston Tea Party remains an icon of the American Revolution.  It speaks to our independent nature as well as our demanding a voice in any government body that levies a tax on us.  It is only natural for current Tea-Party Protesters to associate themselves with it.  As easy as this connection is to understand, it is only a connection at its surface.

The Boston Tea Party was an event, not a movement.  It was the culminating action of various groups that opposed the Tea Act of 1773.  That act established a monopoly over the sale of tea, for the British East India Company, in the American Colonies.  Before the Tea Party took place on the night of December 16, 1773, in other cities, including New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston, citizens prevented the taxed tea from unloading.  In the case of Charleston, SC, they unloaded the tea but left it to rot on the docks.  In Boston, Governor Hutchinson prevented tea ships there to leave without unloading.  The destruction of the cargo was a direct action to thwart the Governor.

The connection between this historical event and the various groups today assumes a false theory of history – the colonists opposed paying taxes.  In truth, they did not, they opposed a lack of say in the matter.  Tea-Party groups today oppose specific government spending, while American Colonists, as British subjects, protested a lack of representation guaranteed them in the Bill of Rights of 1689.

Furthermore, whatever the original intent of modern-day tea parties, conservative pundits have usurped the movement for there own purposes.  While there is much to oppose with current government actions, the Wall Street bailout for one, the goal of the right-wing conformists is to return control of the government to the very people who created the mess in the first place.  Vehicles like the Tea-Party movement unwittingly play to this end.

If the intent of the Tea-Party movement was to address the concerns of America’s middle class over inequities, how can the people who “threw them under the bus” speak for them now?  The financial mess today rests at the feet of conservative leaders like Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey.  They both support efforts of the Tea-Party, some say they are even behind its formation.  Whatever the truth, the Tea-Party movement today has nothing in common with Boston Tea Party.

In the end, conservatives have used the Tea-Party movement successfully.  They have created in it a confusing mash of ideas that key on divisive issues rather than offer meaningful ideas to better the nation.  The conservative bus ran the movement over.

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