Sunday, April 18, 2010

Heirs to the Original Tea Party - Unfitting and Unfit

Back when Bill Clinton booted George Bush sr., out of the White House, the Republicans and their neo-Con henchman launched a concerted effort from day one of the new presidency to do everything possible to get rid of him. Bill helped matters along some years later with the Lewinsky nuttiness, but there had been no doubt from the start that a coup d'etat was being carefully orchestrated. For it is bad enough to have a Democrat in power but absolutely devastating for the American right for the guy to be a better speaker and populist than any of their own good old cracker boys.

Flash forward past the Clinton presidency and the eight year moronic rule of George jr. and history repeats itself with another high camera appeal Democrat at 1600 Pennsylvania. To make matters worse for the bigots, the guy is - omigod - Black. And so the wheels of the great right wing machines once again are grinding and spinning, searching for any way possible to make sure that Obama's tenure is short and unsweet. Although 16 months into this well-planned hysteria, Obama's stimulus package and health care initiatives are cited as the reason why a "new revolution" is needed, in fact the right-wing machinery started up its hate campaign even before the man was taking his presidential vows. On January 19th, the day before the inauguration, a conservative chat-group's moderator posted a call for a "commemorative tea party" as her way of saluting the incipient Obama years. Don't let the guy even warm his new Oval Office chair before trying to stir up evocative imagery of insurrection.

And so it has continued from the earliest stages of Obama inheriting Bush's mess. Well aware that the new Administration might be in a weak and stupefied state on realizing the horrendous financial bequest of the predecessor, the Republicans and their fundamentalist allies struck fast.

By February 10, less than a month into Obama's term, the rallies had started and in March, CBS News would rhetorically headline, "A Growing "Tea Party" Movement?"
Syndicated Fox commentator, Dave Ramsey raved on about the need for a new Tea Party on February 11, 2009. Feeding off the fear and loathing that stemmed from nationwide foreclosures and ban failures, a battery of nasty media-savvy proselytizers strove to create - with at least partial success - the appearance of spontaneous popular uprising. Soon there would even be martyrs to the cause such as lifelong anti-tax nutbar Joe Stack who killed and injured others on his suicide airplane run into the office building housing the Internal Revenue Service in Austin, Texas. Incredibly an elected US congressman from Iowa would then opine empathy for Stack's attack, stating, "if the U.S. had abolished the I.R.S back when I first advocated it, he (Stack) wouldn’t have a target for his airplane.” This while a family was still grieving the death of a father and grandfather whose crime was just having worked for the IRS.

Aside from the gargantuan unpleasantness of these people and their ideas what is most offensive to me as a guy who once lived for several years in Boston and enjoyed boning up on its impressive history, is the utter opposite-ness of what the original Tea party and its participants were all about versus these inarticulate little fascists who have pirated the name for their scurrilous mission. The Boston Tea Party in December 1773 was precipitated by legislation imposing stiff new taxes on tea. The leaders of this insurrection were not, however, principally griping about costs added to their favourite beverage. They were upset at having to continually live with decisions imposed by legislators over whom they had no control. Their key slogan was "no taxation without representation." Boycotts were organized and when ships carrying the now politically-unpalatable tea refused to head back to England, protesters dressed as Mohawks, boarded the vessels and dumped the goods into the harbour. This in turn set off a vigourous intercontinental debate, with leaders in the Thirteen Colonies largely siding with the "party" while outrage and a call for strict and military measures stormed in Britain. The American Revolution followed less than 3 years thereafter.

Now keep it firmly in your mind: the original Tea Party was about asserting the rights of Americans to elect those representatives for making critical public decisions. Flash forward to the demagogues and their redneck followers who are today's "tea parties," and you can see what a travesty and insult taking that name is. This mainly lily-white network of cloned mobs, at its roots, hates the guy and the congressional majority party that fellow Americans democratically elected. In particular, they loath the young president who received 53% of the popular vote in 2008 and perhaps even more so, Nancy Pelosi, who hails from that foreign city on the US west coast polluted with gays, abortionists and that sort. Pelosi it may be necessary to recall was elected repeatedly to the House of Representatives in legitimate congressional elections by legitimate electors. In 2006, she was unanimously endorsed as the House leader by the party which had captured the majority of seats in - I shall be repetitive - a legitimate election open to a free electorate.

These pathetic self-appointed heirs to that noble first Tea Party, vigourously wish to undermine the democracy which those Bostonians demanded 236 years ago. The government and system that arose from 18th century courage is precisely what they want to pull down and replace with the worst of the losing leaders, the ones the majority of Americans so wisely rejected in 2008. This time around unlike in 2000, the republican candidate did not have the Florida ballot boxes overseen by his brother or a Supreme court packed with his dad's and Reagan's cronies to seize power from the Democrat who won. So the "Tea Party-ers" figure they can accomplish a similar illegitimate wresting of power from the electors by proudly and loudly making braying asses of themselves at every opportunity.

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