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Old April 22nd, 2009, 08:16 AM   #1
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Default What the Left should take from the Tax Day Tea Parties

Yesterday afternoon 250,000 or so Americans, mostly lower-middle class whites, took to the streets to show their frustration with all things related to progressive politics. Multiculturalism, progressive taxation, even spending on the social programs that they themselves benefit from.

The initial reaction to sights like this is one of both shock and humor. Shock that people in 2009 could actually believe some of the things that these protesters believe, and humor from the realization that they're being serious. Once that passes it's easy to fall into a haze of righteous anger at the protesters, but it is critical that you don't, because that reaction is exactly what the organizers of these events want you to have.

The organizers of the Tax Day Tea Parties are well aware that such a thing will have no effect on any policy decisions on a federal or even state level, and that's not the goal. They understand that such a blatant attempt at astroturfing won't change anyone's mind about conservative and neoliberal policies, and again, that's not the reason for these events. The vast amount of money behind the Tax Day parties should speak volumes about what sinister purpose the protests really hold, but before I describe that, it's important to get an idea of who exactly was behind the Tax Day Tea Parties.

Former U.S. Congressman Dick Armey

-The driving force behind the protests, he is the chairman of FreedomWorks, a non-profit astroturfing front famous for it's stances against Social Security, any kind of social welfare, and for lower taxes on the wealthy.
-Famed sexist and homophobe, racist status unknown (assumed: yes)
-Financial status: Millionaire
-Demographic status: Old, white, male

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich

-Just as important as Armey in organizing the events, Gingrich had been promoting them for weeks on talk radio, the internet, and tv interviews with the demagogues at FOX.
-Had 84 ethics violation charges filed against him during his time in Congress.
-Divorced his second wife in the hospital while she was getting chemotherapy in order to marry his secretary with whom he was having an affair.
-Supposedly converted to Catholicism in 2009.
-Financial status: Millionaire
-Demographic status: Old, white, male


While it's true that there were more people involved in the organization of the tea parties, the involvement of demagogues like Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck is not as important as the involvement of the two former congressmen. Their political views aside, the pundits of FOX exist only to inflame for the sake of ratings. Though they contribute to the problem significantly in their own way, the actual motivations are self-serving in an almost pure and childlike needy way. The same cannot be said for the actual organizers, as their motives are both self-serving and sadistic.

As I said earlier, the goal of the Tax Day Tea Parties was neither to influence policy decisions nor was it to rally the base or bring in new people into the fold. The goal in fact was to drive a stake into the newly beating heart of working class solidarity.

The people at these protests, the people that some of us are so angry at, the people who so many of us write off as incurably ignorant, are people just like us. They go to work, tuck their kids in, drink with their friends, and do all the things that every working person around the world does. Their racism, xenophobia, and appeal to the ruling classes is born out of ignorance and fear. These are people whose lives have been destroyed by machinations that they don't comprehend, so they blame blacks. These are people who have lost jobs to globalization, so they blame immigrants. As Obama said, all these people have to cling to is their guns and their religion, and as times get harder, more complicated, and scarier, they turn to the people they trust for hope.

It just so happens that the people who have implanted themselves into the figurehead positions of the white lower-middle class happen to be men who both understand and play on their fears, and then use their undying support to rob them blind. The reason they paint socialism as the devil and liberals as his horsemen isn't because they think it doesn't work, it's because it works against their own personal interest. Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey don't see you and me as anti-American Leftist radicals, but they do see us as a threat to their already swollen bank accounts, and so the strawman is built. But that much is obvious, every rational liberal should understand by now that the guys in charge rarely believe what they preach. The problem is what we don't see, the clever plan designed by the conservative elites has two parts, and so far the second half of it has gone off without a hitch. While we are quick to tear down the effigy they build of people like us, we simply buy into the idea that they create that all conservatives are people like Sean Hannity, who exist only to hate and spew their poison as much as possible. The perpetuation of this myth is the number one goal of the Tea Parties, because it only helps to drive the working classes apart and forces them to engage each other rather than their common enemy, and it turns out that they were quite effective in that regard. How can people who don't know the difference between fascism and socialism be reasoned with? How can we sit down and talk with someone who cares more about seeing Obama's birth certificate than they do about any of his actual policy decisions? The idea that men like Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey want us to take away from these protests is we can't, and if we are to believe that, we may as well join the Republican Party now, because it's about as valid of an idea as any of their policy proposals.

Men like Vladimir Lenin and Che Guevara didn't have a choice except to hate. They lived in a time where information could take days or weeks to be successfully relayed, and the most powerful institutions of the world threw everything they had against them to make sure that their struggle for equality would die a silent death, but the contemporary left is blessed in that regard. We are not bound by distance, nor by ruling power determined to silence our voice. The only thing that prevents us from truly reaching out to these people and promoting a real class solidarity is the subtle and not-so-subtle propaganda of men like Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey that forces us to steel ourselves and hate the same people who are fighting the struggle as the rest of us.

Before we can bring about social justice, before we can fight the revolution in the halls of Washington, we must first fight and win the revolution in our own hearts.
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 08:31 AM   #2
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What fuckin' retard wrote that garbage?
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 08:34 AM   #3
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What fuckin' retard wrote that garbage?
Keith Oberman

This is going to be good......
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 08:37 AM   #4
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that was pretty good, but I like Matt Taibbi's article better:

http://trueslant.com/matttaibbi/2009...ant-mentality/

It took a good long while for news of the Teabag movement to penetrate the periphery of my consciousness — I kept hearing things about it and dismissing them, sure that the whole business was some kind of joke. Like a Daily Show invention, say. It pains me to say this as an American, but we are the only people on earth dumb enough to use a nationwide campaign of “teabag parties” as a form of mass protest, in the middle of a real economic crisis.

What’s next? The Great Dirty Sanchez-In of 2010? A Million Man Felch? (Insert Rusty Trombone joke here).

This must be a terrible time to be a right-winger. A vicious paradox has been thrust upon the once-ascendant conservatives. On the one hand they are out of power, and so must necessarily rail against the Obama administration. On the other hand they have to vilify, as dangerous anticapitalist activity, the grass-roots protests against the Geithner bailouts and the excess of companies like AIG. That leaves them with no recourse but to dream up wholesale lunacies along the lines of Glenn Beck’s recent “Fascism With a Happy Face” rants, which link the protesting “populists” and the Obama adminstration somehow and imagine them as one single nefarious, connected, ongoing effort to install a totalitarian regime.

This is not a simple rhetorical accomplishment. It requires serious mental gymnastics to describe the Obama administration — particularly the Obama administration of recent weeks, which has given away billions to Wall Street and bent over backwards to avoid nationalization and pursue a policy that preserves the private for-profit status of the bailed-out banks — as a militaristic dictatorship of anti-wealth, anti-private property forces. You have to somehow explain the Geithner/Paulson decisions to hand over trillions of taxpayer dollars to the rich bankers as the formal policy expression of progressive rage against the rich. Not easy. In order to pull off this argument, in fact, you have to grease the wheels with a lot of apocalyptic language and imagery, invoking as Beck did massive pictures of Stalin and Orwell and Mussolini (side by side with shots of Geithner, Obama and Bernanke), scenes of workers storming the Winter Palace interspersed with anti-AIG protests, etc. — and then maybe you have to add a crazy new twist, like switching from complaints of “socialism” to warnings of “fascism.” Rhetorically, this is the equivalent of trying to paint a picture by hurling huge handfuls of paint at the canvas. It’s desperate, last-ditch-ish behavior.

It’s been strange and kind of depressing to watch the conservative drift in this direction. In a way, actually, the Glenn Beck show has been drearily fascinating of late. It’s not often that we get to watch someone go insane on national television; trapped in an echo chamber of his own spiraling egomania, with apparently no one at his network willing to pull the plug and put him out of his misery, Beck has lately gone from being a mildly annoying media dingbat to a self-imagined messiah who looks like he’s shouldering more and more of the burdens of Christ with each passing day. And because he’s stepping into a vacuum of conservative leadership — there’s no one else out there who is offering real red meat to the winger crowd — he’s begun to attract not professional help but apostles, in the form of Chuck Norris (who believes we have to prepare for armed revolution and may prepare a run for “president of Texas”) and pinhead Midwestern congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, a woman who is looking more and more like George Foreman to Sarah Palin’s Joe Frazier in the Heavyweight Championship of Stupid. Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!


This new Holy Trinity of right-wing basket cases has been pushing all sorts of crazy hallucinations of late, from Bachmann warning that the Americorps program would eventually be turned into a regime of forced re-education for American youth, to Beck’s meanderings about Obama creating FEMA-run concentration camps to warehouse conservative dissidents, to Norris and Beck stirring up talk of secessionist movements. And a lot of people are having fun with this, because, well, it’s funny. It’s like a Farrelly Brothers version of right-wing political agitation. But it’s also kind of sad.

After all, the reason the winger crowd can’t find a way to be coherently angry right now is because this country has no healthy avenues for genuine populist outrage. It never has. The setup always goes the other way: when the excesses of business interests and their political proteges in Washington leave the regular guy broke and screwed, the response is always for the lower and middle classes to split down the middle and find reasons to get pissed off not at their greedy bosses but at each other. That’s why even people like Beck’s audience, who I’d wager are mostly lower-income people, can’t imagine themselves protesting against the Wall Street barons who in actuality are the ones who fucked them over. Beck pointedly compared the AIG protesters to Bolsheviks: “[The Communists] basically said ‘Eat the rich, they did this to you, get ‘em, kill ‘em!’” He then said the AIG and G20 protesters were identical: “It’s a different style, but the sentiments are exactly the same: Find ‘em, get ‘em, kill ‘em!’” Beck has an audience that’s been trained that the rich are not appropriate targets for anger, unless of course they’re Hollywood liberals, or George Soros, or in some other way linked to some acceptable class of villain, to liberals, immigrants, atheists, etc. — Ted Turner, say, married to Jane Fonda.

But actual rich people can’t ever be the target. It’s a classic peasant mentality: going into fits of groveling and bowing whenever the master’s carriage rides by, then fuming against the Turks in Crimea or the Jews in the Pale or whoever after spending fifteen hard hours in the fields. You know you’re a peasant when you worship the very people who are right now, this minute, conning you and taking your shit. Whatever the master does, you’re on board. When you get frisky, he sticks a big cross in the middle of your village, and you spend the rest of your life praying to it with big googly eyes. Or he puts out newspapers full of innuendo about this or that faraway group and you immediately salute and rush off to join the hate squad. A good peasant is loyal, simpleminded, and full of misdirected anger. And that’s what we’ve got now, a lot of misdirected anger searching around for a non-target to mis-punish… can’t be mad at AIG, can’t be mad at Citi or Goldman Sachs. The real villains have to be the anti-AIG protesters! After all, those people earned those bonuses! If ever there was a textbook case of peasant thinking, it’s struggling middle-class Americans burned up in defense of taxpayer-funded bonuses to millionaires. It’s really weird stuff. And bound to get weirder, I imagine, as this crisis gets worse and more complicated.
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 08:40 AM   #5
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 09:44 AM   #6
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that was pretty good, but I like Matt Taibbi's article better:
By better you must mean more retarded.

These two opinion pieces are full of lies, it shows just how scared the left is of the tea party crowd. It also shows just how stupid some people are for getting their news from MSNBC and the like.....Dumbass
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 10:17 AM   #7
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By better you must mean more retarded.

These two opinion pieces are full of lies, it shows just how scared the left is of the tea party crowd. It also shows just how stupid some people are for getting their news from MSNBC and the like.....Dumbass
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 10:40 AM   #8
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By better you must mean more retarded.

These two opinion pieces are full of lies, it shows just how scared the left is of the tea party crowd. It also shows just how stupid some people are for getting their news from MSNBC and the like.....Dumbass
It is not from CNBC or Keith Olbermann. The message was that in the grand scheme we are all on the same team. You may hate fags and hippies, while I hate xenophobia and racism, but that doesn't matter. What does matter is putting these polarizing differences aside and focusing on the bigger picture. I think we can all agree that something needs to be done about corrupt government spending and corporate collusion, no?

Also, "scared", lol.
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 11:43 AM   #9
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It is not from CNBC or Keith Olbermann. The message was that in the grand scheme we are all on the same team. You may hate fags and hippies, while I hate xenophobia and racism, but that doesn't matter. What does matter is putting these polarizing differences aside and focusing on the bigger picture. I think we can all agree that something needs to be done about corrupt government spending and corporate collusion, no?

Also, "scared", lol.
You have some interesting reading comprehension issues
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 11:52 AM   #10
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It is not from CNBC or Keith Olbermann. The message was that in the grand scheme we are all on the same team. You may hate fags and hippies, while I hate xenophobia and racism, but that doesn't matter. What does matter is putting these polarizing differences aside and focusing on the bigger picture. I think we can all agree that something needs to be done about corrupt government spending and corporate collusion, no?

Also, "scared", lol.

1.) We are not all on the same team. Some of us want this country to be what it is supposed to be, a free Republic, and some are working to make into something it will never be, a socialist utopia.

2.) I don't claim to hate anyone.

3.) Race, sexual orientation, xenophobia, and hippies have nothing to do with the TEA parties. That's distraction from the real issue.

4.) The real issue or the "bigger picture" is chosing between tyranny and liberty, it is polarizing by it's very nature so choose your side because there is no middle ground.

5.) We agree something must be done about the government. I say we return to a strict following of the Constitution and nothing else.
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 12:05 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Aceshighxxx View Post
It is not from CNBC or Keith Olbermann. The message was that in the grand scheme we are all on the same team. You may hate fags and hippies, while I hate xenophobia and racism, but that doesn't matter. What does matter is putting these polarizing differences aside and focusing on the bigger picture. I think we can all agree that something needs to be done about corrupt government spending and corporate collusion, no?

Also, "scared", lol.
I get the feeling you're sitting on your front porch waiting for a welfare check, and contemplating what it would taste like to suck your King Obamas dick.
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 01:03 PM   #12
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I get the feeling you're sitting on your front porch waiting for a welfare check, and contemplating what it would taste like to suck your King Obamas dick.
you mean like a....."porch monkey"?
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 04:40 PM   #13
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you mean like a....."porch monkey"?
You know the old saying.....If the shoe fits...
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 08:44 PM   #14
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 08:52 PM   #15
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