Posted by: mutantpoodle | April 12, 2009


Teabaggin'One final note about the Tea Parties.

I don’t know if they’ll succeed or fail – or, more accurately, I don’t know if they’ll accomplish anything except get coverage on Fox News and give folks who really don’t like Barack Obama a chance to swap phone numbers and recipes. If it’s really about too much government spending, that ship has sailed, and the best bet to change things is to change the majority party in Congress. If it’s about taxes, well, the only direction taxes have gone for most people in the last two months is down. If it’s inchoate rage at the notion that Barack Obama is President and the Democrats control Congress, how is it any different from bitching to the guy at the next barstool?

This is not, as Sister Susan (among others) points out, a “grassroots” movement. It has the sponsorship of a major cable “news” network, which is, itself, a part of a massive global communications conglomerate. It has lobbyists heavily involved in coordination of the events, and in one case taking over the organization of one “local” event. It is now, almost by definition, an astroturf movement.

Protests work best when they’re easy to understand and easier to identify with. Anti-war protesters are against war; anti-Prop 8 protesters are against Prop 8 (and, more generally, in favor of universal marriage rights). Anti-abortion protesters are against abortion. Agree with them or not, they’re focused on an issues that are readily apparent and which resonate emotionally.

Back to the Tea Parties, which, we are told, are about government spending. But which spending? I kind of like that our government enforces laws, has a military (what we do with it is sometimes an issue, but I certainly wouldn’t want it to go away), allegedly enforces financial regulations, builds and staffs public schools, provides a mechanism for retirees to live out their lives comfortably…well, you get the idea. Which of this these should we cut? In my earlier post on this, I noted that my Teabag enthusiast correspondent suggested a 20% across the board cut in government spending. Which is, of course, nuts.

We’ll have to wait three days, but I suspect that the people who meet up at their local Tea Parties will, after very serious deliberation, conclude that Barack Obama is destroying this nation, starting with the highest marginal tax rate and moving on, with the help of his fellow socialists in Congress, to destroy capitalism and free enterprise as we know it.

News flash: the capitalists on Wall Street got there first.


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