"Hey how 'bout these tea bags?!"
Trying to create the illusion of a rising tide of conservative populism, corporate lobbyists have created the "tea party" movement. It's a loose coalition of anti-tax, anti-government, mainly anti-Obama protesters, funded by lobbyists and conservative think tanks and heavily promoted by FOX News. Oh and it's supposed to remind you of the Boston Tea Party. Today--on tax day!--there were teabaggin' rallies staged all over the country.
How'd it go? Well, let's see. In San Francisco, 300 or 400 confused white people waved little tea bags in the air. In Washington, the Secret Service shut down the rally at the White House when someone threw a package over the fence. The teabaggers wanted to dump a million tea bags in the already-polluted-enough Potomac River but realized they would be arrested. Then they were going to dump them on the ground in Lafayette Park, near the White House, but weren't allowed to drive their big rental truck into the park. In Chicago, a CNN reporter interviewed a teabagger who had a poster calling President Obama "a fascist." When asked why he called the President a fascist, the man answered, "Because he is."
And so went the story all across the country. Corporate money organized angry, snow-white crowds. Right-wing TV exaggerated their numbers and boosted their story:
And the rest of us were left confused.
What country are the teabaggers living in? They are vaguely worked up about taxes being raised when the only taxes going up are those on people making over $250,000 a year and on cigarette purchases. Their signs say things like, "Taxed Enough Already" and "Taxed to Death!" when 95% of American households just got a tax cut. So their messages only make sense if they are...
- Very rich,
- Tobacco company executives,
- Representatives/lobbyists for the rich, or
- Completely duped by a right-wing ploy to get working people to lead a "revolution" to demand more wealth and power for the wealthy and powerful.
I've studied the crowds a little bit, and I'm pretty sure it's #4.
***BTW, the calling-it-like-it-is award goes to the creators of this new website, $ave the Rich, that exposes the real power behind the tea party movement.