Tea Party

"Many observers have puzzled over the tendency of Tea Party adherents to favor policies that are often directly counter to their economic interests: Why would a disproportionately older group that is accordingly more dependent of Social Security and Medicare opt for candidates who want to 'reform entitlements?'" Mike Lofgren 

When criticism is lobbed at the Tea Party as being an Astroturf rebranding of the Republican Party, sponsored by the corporate media, it's because it is. (Tina Dupuy)

What we are observing, then, is a populist movement that has done irreversible harm to the material interests of the common people it professes to love so tenderly-a form of class animosity that rages against a shadowy “elite” while enthroning a new aristocracy of bankers, brokers, and corporate thieves. (from What's the Matter with Kansas: Thomas Frank)

Right now, government is being run for the benefit of a few. It doesn't have to be that way. Unfortunately, Americans have been brainwashed by the corporate media to hate the only device that can be used to save them: government. Jay Hanson

The Tea Party isn't a Political Movement, It's a Religious One (7/14/2014)

Tea Party Patriots Local Affiliated Groups Plunge by Nearly 90 Percent (7/8/2014)

The Big TEA Party Lie! Scapegoating Labor Unions While Worshipping The Robber Barons. (10/31/2013)

10 Reasons Why The Tea Party Is So Unpopular (10/18/2013)

What It's Like to Wake Up From A Tea Party Binge ? Ask Florida.

Study Confirms Tea Party Was Created by Big Tobacco and Billionaire Koch Brothers (2/11/2013)

Tea Party: Tobacco Everywhere Always (2/11/2013)

How Banks Bought the Tea Party (5/21/2012)

Why The Tea Party Needs Mitt (1/8/2012)

Why The Republican Crackup Hurts America (12/21/2011)

What If the Tea Party Occupied Wall Street ? (9/24/2011)

Corporate Funds Back The Tea Party

Tea Party's Terrorist Tactics (7/29/2011)

It is a mystery to me why a group of mostly elderly Tea Party people would want to join a Party that wants to 'reform entitlements'.

There's nothing new about the Tea Party, it stands in the tradition of other right-wing movements like the John Birch Society, the KKK, the Goldwater movement, or the McCarthy scare. All are white-supremicist, religious fundamentalist, paranoid, 'conservatives' who are unable to tolerate any change or differences from their own ideology. 

In the free marketplace of ideas, money can often win the argument. The Citizen's United decision caused a flood of it from bank bailouts, health insurance proceeds, wealthy 'conservatives', oil companies and other corporations. Lobbyists handle massive amounts. The Chamber of Commerce can funnel it to media to hide the actual source and a lot goes to Rupert Murdoch's minions.

It seems clear that talk radio and other outrage media were motivators of the Tea Party.

Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich are highly paid Fox News political analysts. So are Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity. These are the people that initiated and nurtured the tea party movement. Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox News, has all of them on his payroll.  (See Radio also.) 

As he took over the Wall Street Journal, Murdoch said "The New York Times sets the national agenda, and we should." No doubt the Murdoch agenda IS the Tea Party agenda. No one should doubt that expensive elections benefit media.

Think about this for a moment: Rush has a $400 million contract. Who would come up with that kind of money for him ?   

Given Murdoch's role, it is no surprise that the tea party message is corporate. Denying global warming is good for oil companies, opposing health care reform benefits insurance companies and  pharma, blocking renewed regulation of the financial sector satisfies banks and sets the stage for another even worse collapse of the economy, privatization removes activities from public oversight, deficit mongering that leads to cuts in government spending help oligarchs dodge taxes but could devastate the economy. (Economists like Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman and James Galbraith opine that the stimulus was much too small and that, given the amount of joblessness, more is needed.) This is not time to balance the Federal Budget. If tea partiers have their way, we are in for much worse. Austerity has been debunked. Taking a meat axe to government is no solution.

TP's cry "Socialism" as if that were a complete argument. Few of them would likely renounce Social Security or Medicare. We should learn some lessons from countries that are functioning well: Finland has the highest quality education in the world, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway all have well-run social programs. All have mixed economies where government does what is best public, and the private sectors are thriving as well.

What health care reform can do is allow people to buy health insurance from a private company, they will be able to buy it even if they have a pre-existing condition, it will not be capped, and they will not be dropped when they actually need it. TP's think that is not a good thing. They are wrong again.  

One of the characteristics of the U.S. 'free' market is it tends to consolidate smaller companies into larger ones.  We are told that this is more efficient, but the consolidation is always followed by layoffs. The product usually declines in quality. Consumer complaints are simply ignored. Pensions get raided. Growing corporate power trumps the wishes of people because they can hire expensive lobbyists and you can't. Some become too big to fail and then require taxpayer bailout. Many have found great profits by moving to subsistence wage countries with no environmental restrictions: capitalist paradise. That's how the free market stripped the U.S. of manufacturing.

TP's think the 'market' makes better decisions than democratically elected government. That sound like respect for the Constitution

It was uncontrolled capitalism that caused our current financial collapse. It happened in the 1930's, and there were a number of lessons learned at that time that 'conservatives' worked hard so that we would forget. When income disparities get too large, the economy does not work, and that is why a heavily graduated tax is a good idea. A graduated tax is designed to weigh on those who can best afford it. It is a good response to obscene gains of hedge fund managers, bankers bonuses, and unrestrained CEO's. If there is highly leveraged speculation, then the real economy can be the victim. Repeal of the Glass-Steagle Act that kept banks from speculating with government insured deposits was folly. Corruption naturally arose because no one was watching, that's why reregulation is a must to avoid worse crashes in the future. The tea partiers, disregarding predatory lenders, would oppose this. 

When 'conservatives' strike fear into the tea parties about deficits, the subject usually turns to cutting Social Security or yet another attempt to privatize it.  Although we have the world's largest military budget, that never comes up as wasteful expenditure even if when it is plain to see that there is massive corruption. There is always plenty of money for war, never for people. We need better social programs, not worse, because in economic downturns, they stabilize. 

Large amounts of corporate money are given to denying global warming and the TP's are persuaded. We live on the only planet capable of human habitation and these 'conservatives' have no intention of conserving it for future generations.enough of the tea party

Fox News, funded by irresponsible corporate advertisers, is a propaganda outlet for the Republican Party and it has successfully convinced the TPs to vote against their own self interest. Fox fosters this by disdaining educated opinion. Since Republicans are the party of the wealthy, their main concern is cutting taxes.    

The tea party movement is wilfully ignorant, uncompromising, polarizing, armed and angry. That too benefits corporate war profiteers. There has been a run on guns and ammunition. Angry mobs with guns will naturally lead to militarized police, expensive 'homeland security'. The new arms race is between the police and the people. 

The way a broadcaster can influence public policy for the worse, incite the people to rebellion, arm them to create civil disturbances, and hype elections is now a fundamental problem for Americans. We have seen the power of talk radio in Rwanda. (Don't worry though. You ARE protected from those 7 dirty words...unless you pay for them on premium cable channels.)

Murdoch's empire should be broken up, but instead a recent Supreme Court ruling will allow unlimited corporate spending on elections. That will mark the end of real elections in the U.S. What brought us back in the late 1930's was a massive government spending program: World War II. This may be a Weimar moment. If it is, a lot of credit goes to Rupert Murdoch and his tea party movement. (See Fascism.)

...we can look forward with confidence to character-building bankruptcies, picturesque bread riots, thrilling cavalcades of splendidly costumed motorcycle police. Lewis Lapham (Harper's Magazine Oct. 2005)

"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis (1935)

How the Right-Wing and Corporate Media Brainwash Americans (8/1/2010)


 

The Weekly Spin, August 18, 2010

Highlight This Week

USA Today Drinks the Tea
by Anne Landman

Drink the TeaThe front page of USA Today August 13 was consumed with an extensive article titled "Faces of the Tea Party: Tea Party members offer ground-level view," which featured anecdotal interviews with ordinary people who said they agree with the movement. But the article offered no information putting the movement in the context of the larger political picture in the U.S. For example, it points out that Tea Party candidates were victorious in primary elections in Colorado, Kentucky, Nevada and Utah, and, while it questions the ability of the candidates to win in the general election in November, it fails to mention that the candidates' victories boost the possibilities that Democrats will ultimately prevail in these states. Another significant omission is that article also fails to mention how remarkably far out of the mainstream many Tea Party candidates are. Nevada's victorious Tea Party Senate candidate, Sharron Angle, seeks to dismantle Medicare and Social Security and hand their functions to the private sector. Kentucky's Tea Party Senate candidate, Rand Paul, belongs to a group of physicians that denies the link between HIV and AIDS and argues that Barack Obama controls his audiences through a covert form of hypnosis. Colorado's victorious gubernatorial Tea Party candidate, Dan Maes, told a crowd of his supporters that Denver's new bicycle sharing program is really part of a United Nations plot to "rein in American cities," put the environment above citizens' rights, and curtail personal freedoms.

Read the rest of this item

 

7 Tricks Teabaggers Will Use to Conceal Their Extreme Right-Wing Beliefs

Tea Party Fact Checking (2/8/2010)How the Right-Wing and Corporate Media Brainwash Americans

Is America Yearning for Fascism ? (3/30/2010)

Tea Party mocks man with Parkinson's Disease

Why Do Anti-Government Tea Partiers Love Government Handouts ? (3/28/2010)

Why aren’t Tea Partiers upset about McCain and Lieberman’s power grab? (3/22/2010)

What if Tea Partiers Ran the Country ?

Racism, Homophobia dominates Tea Party Protest Over Health Care Bill (3/22/2010)

The Economic Elite vs The People of the United States

The Axis of the Obsessed and Deranged (2/27/2010)

The GOP's 'Tea Party' Dance (2/21/2010)

Unmasking Astroturf: Smear Campaigns Threaten Health Care and Net Neutrality (8/21/2009)

"Over the past few weeks there have been a number of commentaries about Ronald Reagan's legacy, specifically about whether he exploited the white backlash against the civil rights movement. The controversy unfortunately obscures the larger point, which should be undeniable: the central role of this backlash in the rise of the modern conservative movement." Paul Krugman, The New York Times: 11/19/2007

Video

Billionaire's Tea Party

Bibliography

Tea Party Nationalism:

Change They Can't Believe In, the Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America: Christopher S. Parker and Matt A. Barreto

American Grace: Robert Putnam and David E. Campbell

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