Tea baggedPosted: Thursday, April 16, 2009
It’s worth noting that this modern-day “tea-party” nonsense began with a rant by Rick Santelli, who railed against his fellow Americans as “loser” families (who’s anti-American now?) as they tried to grab a piece of the American Dream and simply bit off more than they could chew as others (Santelli anyone?) fostered a national mood built on Easy Credit. Santelli, just like the execrable Jim Cramer, admirably did their part to get us into this economic mess with their remorseless cheerleading of The Market and all but egging on the actions of greedy CEOs over this last decade. (And if you remember Santelli’s rant, you would recall the Chicago traders lustily cheering him on, who I am sure have only acted honorably and charitably in the last decade and did not pursue the greed that has landed the nation in this economic mess. I’m sure of it.)
The nation’s economy is not just the sum of its individuals. It is an interwoven context that we all share. To stabilize that communal landscape, sometimes you have to shower money upon those who have been foolish or self-indulgent. The greedy idiots may be greedy idiots, but they are our countrymen. And at some level, we’re all in this together. If their lives don’t stabilize, then our lives don’t stabilize.
—David Brooks column, New York Times, Feb. 19, 2009
Meanwhile, we have these poor souls being used by propagandists —like so many nascent totalitarian regimes before them — who find taxes so distasteful because they obviously never had police protect their neighborhood, had their trash collected, had their kids educated, had their home protected by fire fighters, drove on roads or over bridges, had those roads and bridges plowed of snow, had their food protected and screened, had a seatbelt to wear, walked in a park or hunted on publicly protected land, filled their SUVs with gas, or, as Whiskey Fire pointed out, evidently never went to a “public space created and maintained by, uh, taxes” to protest taxes … you get the point.
Funny, these protests didn’t seem to crop up when the former President ran up a deficit fighting an illegal war or giving breaks to the more wealthy among us, forcing everyone else to make up the slack. Buy why protest President Bush? After all, he was one of us, not this, um, person in the White House who doesn’t look like any of us, right? Never mind that for almost all of them, their federal taxes have not gone up under the new President (h/t Whiskey Fire again).
As Paul Krugman said, it’s all so much Astro-Truf-roots.
But, apart from columnists like Krugman, the press is legitimizing the GOP talking points, once again.
That said, the Democrats are much to blame in continuing to lose the war for the hearts and minds. They preach to the choir too much, and, as I mentioned earlier, who but President Obama do they have that can promote their side of the story? Who are the young guns on their Triple-A team? As usual, the Democrats collectively roll over and too easily cede the bully pulpit, and we’re all going to eventually pay for this weak-kneed (lack of) reaction. It’s not good enough to be correct. You have get that message across, too.
This is clearly an extension of the Culture Wars begat first by Nixon and then perfected by Lee Atwater. Credit due: like the Devil who convinced the world he wasn’t real, to paraphrase Keyser Söze, the GOP continues to push its message and convert followers who have and will continue to suffer from the economic policies their very GOP heroes are pushing.
How? Today, by pushing the undercurrent of “socialism,” which can loosely translate to “he’s not one of us.” It’s not too far a leap to say “all of them who voted for Obama look like him, and they’re are not part of us, either.”
Again, credit due: the Democrats spent much of their time out of power whining, hiding and fighting back not nearly as hard.