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Fred Siegel
Tea and Hostility « Back to Story

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Tea party = GOP. By far. Sure, there are exceptions, but they are few and far between.

Boston Tea Party was not really a rebellion against taxes - it was rebellion against tax exempted monopoly - East India Company. The closest to it would probably be Exxon Mobile or BP today. Did they completely cancel history courses in schools?

Revolt against spending? A quick search quickly shows that those tea-party red districts spend the most. In California, conservative Fresno spends 4-5 times more per-ca-pita per-tax-dollar than super liberal San Francisco.

De-facto tea-party leader - Sarah Palin, went to public schools, public universities, public doctors (in Canada), worked for government, was/is in government and, generally, lived off government her whole life.

Makes sense? Not really.

That being said... sure, the power of public unions has to be curbed, just as power of any other special interest with an easy access to public cash.
It is a great failure not to note the similarities between the Tea Party and the growth of the movements which led to the various revolutions: the American, the French, the Russian, the German, the Italian, the Spanish.
They were revolts against the ever-growing bureaucracies, independent of government.
The governments themselves became corrupt. There is little to choose between the influence peddling of special interests in Britain, France, Italy, Germany. The lack of response to the complaints of the demos led the demos finally to sweep away the governments.
I wrote this a long time ago, before the Tea Parties were born. As I indicated the consequences of national debt may mean national peonage and an economy permanently hobbled:
Mr. Obama is going to be a victim of circumstances, that is for sure. A victimization complex at the core of his personality may be the reason for his nonchalance in these most perilous of times.

I think a valid third party effort is needed to break the deadlock of the duopoly which invites domination by oligarchs and suffocates political dissent. I am concerned since by mid-century the consequences for our country of this latest binge of deficit spending will become clear. The debt service is going to be paid to sovereign wealth funds, not to “us” as it is usually described. A revolutionary situation will develop because all solutions proposed by the then-establishment will clearly be counterproductive. The government's best efforts to seem to be acting "on our side", as it were, will be seen through. A sense of a menacing farce will develop.
When we pay our taxes in the future, much of the wealth we consign over to the federal government will be shipped to overseas accounts of countries such as China who likely will be in fierce economic competition with us for remaining global markets and resources.

So the reason people will pay taxes then is …to hasten our demise? I don’t think so; and to prepare for that eventuality a powerful third party must be started now so there will be a legitimate channel for the ultimate dissent: secession. Our backs will absolutely be against the wall by then.

Reasons? Well,the federal government will have to resort to an army of Treasury Police to enforce acceptance and usage of the dollar in economic transactions, all of which will be subject to onerous value-added taxes. Additionally, in order to regularize the economy further there will be extensive wage and price controls once the inflation generated by this “stimulus” takes hold. This will of course result in a huge black market, in turn a further reason for policing of the economy in a soviet-style manner. Dissent will become linked to economic crime and will be outlawed.

But as I have said above the revolutionary situation may develop because the USA is a debtor nation; essentially a financial colony of the sovereign wealth funds of China and other holders of our Treasury Bills. Taxation, already onerous, will become unbearable in light of the fact that the collection of taxes itself will hasten our economic demise. The “original 13 colony” mentality will reassert itself. Prosperity will frankly be seen never to be realizable unless a re-ordering of the borders takes place to enable the productive to separate themselves and rid themselves of dollar debt.

Ergo, secession.
The democratic party has been controlled by the communist ideaology since FDR, possibly further back from there.

This ideaology is rampant in our political class, media, educational system and even our entertainment industry.

These so called academics believe they are smarter than the average man and hence should think for them.

It is clear that the growth of the tea party organizations are possibly Americas last hope at expelling or reducing the influence of this evil entity.

Let us hope and support this movement

Check out the video series “Tea Time” at The "Tea Time Girl" uses tea as an analogy to address the insidious ways in which Big Government attempts to stifle our freedoms.
Rose: Taibbi is, as he would be the first to fervently remind us, a non-stupid person. However, he and many others feign to misunderstand the quite transparent central complaints of tea partiers.

Tea partiers are tired of subsidizing an unproductive, parasitical underclass that pays nothing into the system while achieving a standard of living that at least equals and in many way exceeds the standard of living they achieve only through sacrifice and hard work. Is that clear enough for you?

People with jobs pay tremendous amounts towards Medicare and Social Security throughout their working lives, even if they don't pay federal taxes. Thus they don't oppose those particular programs because they have been forced to participate in them, and it is their money. Does that make sense? The dismissal of tea party protest on the grounds that tea partiers feel protective towards Social Security and Medicare is one of the more intentionally dishonest misapprehensions spewed by the MSM.

I don't know any tea partiers who would begrudge government benefits for elderly people who contributed to society throughout their lives, or people with actual disabilities. However, they are sick of the grotesque exploitation of their largesse by men and women who live, by design, off the generous handouts handed to them by the state.

I worked in several social service positions over two decades, and the systemic abuses I witnessed are actually far worse than most tea partiers realize. The typical household is a woman with children who claims to be receiving no support from the children's father(s) while he and/or other men piggyback onto the living expenses provided by us for the support of the children. Fun for all, and we no longer do anything to monitor this theft of our services.

Charities and churches -- even those with tenets that unambiguously insist on marriage for childrearing -- increasingly run cover for these abuses and in return receive fat government contracts to "administer" benefits to those who exploit government assistance, often, ironically, by lying about their marital status. That's where a lot of so-called charity really comes from -- our tax dollars, laundered through a religious or non-profit organization that then takes full credit for the "work they do with the poor."

Whenever you see a "partnership" between a religious organization and a homeless/immigrant/refugee/family non-profit, take a good look at precisely where the staffing salaries come from. Ditto the staffs of municipal, state and federal elected officials and their pet projects. Ditto much that falls under the title of education but is really just social largesse that encourages more dependency. There is a huge grey marketplace of money transfer from a dwindling productive class to a burgeoning unproductive class.

Tea partiers are daring to question many sacred cows that have previously been, to thoroughly polish off the metaphor, easy grazing for the likes of the NYTimes.

No wonder they scare the pants off lazy journalists who rush around clutching their dogeared Elmer Gantry while secretly envying Glenn Beck's paycheck.

Forty years ago, Harry Wellington of Yale Law School presciently warned that the power of public-sector unions to elect their own bosses at the ballot box posed a serious threat to democracy.....

Which makes one wonder when socialism ill simply be voted in ?

Louis M.
Hi Gunter,

Good questions.

I think tea partiers love the Republicans because they perceive them as against government and spending. And the Republicans play to that. But it is a myth. check out

Republican administrations love to spend money and increase our debt. Look what Bush/congress did to the Clinton debt reduction. They turned it on a dime. Cut taxes, increased spending and got us in to a bogus war in Iraq. What a waste.
Cathy, Who is preventing tea partiers from dissenting. Seems like the news loves the tea partiers and gives them plenty of airtime.

The media loves controversy and putting up left and right extremes and encourages them to dissent against each other all day.

Repressing dissent is not a problem in this country.

B Davis, Agreed the media is a major problem. But the issues you mention are not good examples. Climate change - hottest year on record. I'm not sure what you are reading, but climate is in the news almost every day.

Al Gore on abortion - who cares? People change their minds. That's a good thing. George Bush changed and said we were addicted to oil and need to invest in renewables. Change happens.

On politicians and their getting caught, the medias love of a good gotcha story is a political. Politicians are always abusing power and the media loves to catch em at it.

Manipulation is apolitical - the media manipulates - Fox, CNN... - stop whining! and blaming the left. We are being played by corporate America. They have the left and right yelling at each other and they are laughing all the way to the bank.

Who are the public-sector unions and how are their interests inimical to the interests
of the working and middle class?
And why does the tea party favor the right-wing
political class?
When I studied WWII, I often asked myself how the German people allowed it to happen. Now, I know. That's why even though I'm not a "member" of the Tea Party (I don't join any club or party), I thoroughly support, and will fight to defend their members' right to dissent. What has happened to our once great nation.

My wife and I are members of the local (Morristown, New Jersey) tea party. Who runs it? A couple of the local people. Is it connected to any other organization or some national entity? Nope, no connection to anything else, strictly local. In other words, it is about as purely a grass roots movement as you can get - people of all ages, color, faiths and ethnicity coming together because we don't like the direction in which our gov't is heading. And young people are by far the fastest growing part of it - the movement is perfect for them.

I can't presume to speak for the tea party movement but there is an inherent distrust of the political class, and that especially includes the media, which we see as biased in one leftist pro-Democrat direction FOR YEARS. As for which benefits are cut and which programs are preserved, that is almost beside the point - what is the point is that there is something clearly wrong when government workers make more than the private sector, when the gov't has to borrow a significant part of its budget (from China!), when the real estate taxes on my father's $500,000 Essex County NJ home are $20,000 - (he had to sell, of course), when I am paying more in taxes than I get to keep and on and on and on. There is the feeling that these problems have been caused not by the people but by the gov't.

To change the subject a bit - if we were to blame anyone for the mess we are in we would blame the media most of all. You sometimes wonder how much more manipulation you can are some examples:

Remember homelessness and how this was such a terrible problem? That was all we heard day and night, homelessness, that something had to be done, and right away. What happened? Has homelessness been solved? Who knows? You hear nothing about it anymore.

Global warming or climate change - a few years back it was all you heard about, in every newscast, newspaper everywhere - now it's disappearing, albeit slowly - in five years it will be forgotten entirely. Was there never a problem to begin with? In 2004 Al Gore said that in ten years we would be feeling the deadly effects of global warming and it would be irreversible - well what happened? Things seem the same as ever - last time I looked the coastlines were in the same place as in 2004. Why did we get that riled up about nothing? And why - WHY- doesn't someone say something about how all the predictions were WRONG.

Speaking of Al Gore most Americans don't know that Gore used to be against abortion - vehemently so - how did he get away with changing his opinion overnight? Did anyone ever ask him why the change of heart?

Now we could care less about what Bill Clinton does in his private life but if the media is going to be silent about politicians on the left then make that an across the board rule - don't just go after politicians on one side. That applies to Bill Clinton who gets away with having a mistress - identified by name and photograph in the National Enquirer (which 'outed" John Edwards). Is it just news when it is a Republican?

What else? War protesters - I had to do some digging but they are still out there trying as hard as ever. But we hear nothing at all about them. Who decided that the war protesters were something that were on the top of the agenda then and shouldn't be on the agenda at all now? Why not?

Another example - every time someone suggests cutting some program the media trots out the poor souls who are dependent on this or that program. Why are these anecdotal stories newsworthy and never balanced against the fact that these programs are ineffective and unaffordable?

And why are certain things left unsaid, even when it is obvious. To give a minor example - when NPR 'journalists' go on talk shows as presenting the left side of an issue against 'columnists' who presents the conservative side. Why doesn't anyone ever mention how wrong it is that government paid journalists are always on the pro-Democrat left side of an issue?

There are MANY other examples - the issues have their moment in the sun and then are forgotten - but all on the left side of the agenda. We never seem to have a too much divorce crisis, or see a series of reports on the burdens of taxation. Why not?

And on and on and on - manipulation, whether by intent or some other means, and it simply gets tiresome - you see it on television - Boston Legal, for example, always positive on the left side of an issue, film - the endless antiwar movies, you get sick of it - the media has just such contempt for the rest of us - you feel it in everything the 'elites' do and say. I mean..enough already - these people have NOTHING in common with the rest of us - they don't know us or want to know us and we want nothing they are offering.

Well, dear Rose, I’m a very attentive watcher of the Tea Party movement and I think that to mix them with our purely Nazi thugs of Barkashov’s NRU party is a bit too much for a mild demagoguery. To judge from many YouTubed events, I’ve seen, Tea Parties are not against some vague “outsiders”, but against ILLEGAL immigration – and my guess all illegal things ought to be absolutely criminal issue in any democratic country, independently from the degree of the democracy’s messiness. Also, I think that Mr. Norman Sayles (my deep bow to his great service during wars with brown and red plague!) is absolutely right in his “simplistic” position: Marxism is fearful indeed, whatever rich panoply of disguises it takes. Rostislav, Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Dear Mr. Siegel,

"Home" in, not "hone" in.

Len Krisak
Rosstislav - When you say Tea Partiers are "We the people" - They are not THE people, they are just people. They are behaving like the Russian National Unity party under Alexander Barkashov - fomenting fear of outsiders and those that are different.

Near the end of Taibbi's article

he says: "The world is changing all around the Tea Party. The country is becoming more black and more Hispanic by the day. The economy is becoming more and more complex, access to capital for ordinary individuals more and more remote, the ability to live simply and own a business without worrying about Chinese labor or the depreciating dollar vanished more or less for good. They want to pick up their ball and go home, but they can't; thus, the difficulties and the rancor with those of us who are resigned to life on this planet."

J.NormanSayles comment below is a good example of Tea Bag mentality - taking the rich panoply of American citizens and lumping them in to simplistic fearful categories like "Marxist" and suggesting a "vast subversive conspiracy" , that requires "arms to save America".

We are Americans, because of our rich diversity. Democracy is messy.
Yes, the Tea Party movement is a middle class revolt against the growth of in big government and the accelerating power of the ruling class.

In its acquisition of power, the ruling elite has shamelessly grown the the parasite class in the U.S. because these government dependents are automatic votes for the Democratic Party.

The fly in this big government ointment is that the frog [the middle class] is waking up before it is boiled to death, and this is the Tea Party movement.

I unknowingly became a TP Party supporter when I follwed someone's suggestion to mail a tea bag to the White House. Not understanding the significance of the gesture, I sent a used bag just to make sure nothing could be of benefit to the recipient. Then I learned it was to be a reminder to the Presidsent of the Boston Tea Party in the Revolutionary War. More important than the issue of taxation is the call to arms to save America from the vast subversive conspiracy to steal our Country and to reform it into a Marxist State, or collection of Soviets, if you will.As a veteran of two war patrols in a submarine in WW II, and of service in the USAF in the Korean War, I am appalled to see pictures of our Commander in Chief deliberately not saluting the Stars and Strips when paraded before him in review. The Tea Party is about many issues, but they all boil down to being a citizens' army of resitance to revolutionary changes foreign to our history and to our very souls.
Charie - Why would you want to read it? For the same reason we read City-Journal. It is a healthy thing to seek a wide diversity of viewpoint.

Though you say you are laughing, you seem bitter and cynical. Regarding the questions and contradictions Wallace posed to Rand Paul on Fox this morning, what think you?
We have no "We the People" tea parties here in Russia. Maybe the Rolling Stone would say that it is our blessing, but I am sure that it is our curse. Because when political parties are becoming just money-making machines, there is nothing else for nations to stay alive but to start tea-partying. It's a natural human reaction - in countries, which are still human, naturally. Rostislav, Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Tabbai's "article"? Umm...... why would I even bother to attempt to read a Rolling Stone attempt at irony about the Tea Parties which within one sentence descends into sarcasm.

Fascinating it's not, a put-down slam at Tea Partiers, it is. I'm sure Tabbai Cat lives in New York, why didn't he just find the Tea Partiers there or go to Chicago and find them there. There are even Tea Partiers at the Socialist Republic of Madison.

You people just make me laugh! No wonder your party is going down. Not a new idea in 70 years!
I though Taibbi's article, Tea and Crackers, did a good job at examining some of the contradictions of the Tea Party. They want to cut spending, but aren't ready to cut the government spending that benefits them.

I saw Rand Paul on Fox today, and Chris Wallace challenged Paul to reconcile the fact that extending the Bush tax cuts would add approximately $4 trillion to the national deficit. "If you're so concerned about the national debt, how are you going to pay for a $4-trillion loss of revenue from the tax cuts?"

He said he would balance the budget, but he couldn't say how he would do it. What he would cut.

There is a big disconnect with what is said and what is done.
The guy who wrote the rolling stoned article is trying to disparage rather than explain the Tea Party. I suspect the earlier commenter is also anti-Tea Party.
For a fascinating deep dive in to the Tea Party, check out:
I haven't heard any of the news media or conservative talk radio hosts come up with a reasonable explanation yet.

I'll have to read the Rasmussen/Schoen book to see what conclusions they come up with. It doesn't surprise me that a New York Times reporter fails to get anywhere near a solution because Tea Partiers can't be put into any kind of a box and tied up with a pretty gold ribbon.

Liberals claim this started with the RNC and spread downwward (Nancy Pelosi: Astroturf!)which simply shows that instead of thinking they can only try to find a political handle they can grasp that will give them an advantage.

People join the Tea Parties for various reasons but I believe the main reason is because thinking Americans could see their beloved country being downgraded and slipping away. (Obama disparaging and apologizing for the U.S. and bowing to kings and whoever happens to be in front of him) I think the pride and love of country that most Americans feel is totally out of the grasp of too many Washington politicians.

I find it hard to believe the Obama administration is so far out of touch with ordinary Americans they/he can't understand the anger ("...they should be thanking me."). This remark is spoken by a totally clueless, lost in the woods, child and the one we must rely on in this country is this clueless, Communist-leaning child.
"Rasmussen and Schoen hone in on the tensions between ordinary Americans and the political class..."

Please, they may "home" in--as does a homing pigeon or a homing beacon -- but they do not "sharpen" in on anything...