Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Party aftermath

How stupid was that?
I mean, what exactly were these people protesting yesterday? Taxes that haven’t gone up in 10 years and were actually cut just a few weeks ago? Government spending which is currently keeping the economy from falling into the abyss?
I think what we really saw was a great big pity party for a lot of people still upset because they got their butts whooped in the last election. Seriously, isn’t it a little late (or at best way too early) to be threatening politicians with ouster? The election was just three months ago! They lost and now they CAN’T get over it. So at the behest of the shrill rightwing noise machine they marched around yesterday shaking their fists and denouncing the government. Yawn.
At best there were a lot of people who are just a little confused and misinformed about how the world works (and particularly how the government works). At worst you had some extreme elements angry because a black guy (i.e. a “socialist”) got elected president and now they are ready to secede, revolt, whine or whatever. In some ways the protest reminded me of the anti-government militia groups I used to cover in the mid-90s out in the Texas Hill Country before the Oklahoma City bombing sent them all scurrying back into the woodwork.
There was one event that I covered in Boerne sometime around 1994-95 that was called Patriots for Freedom or something like that. It featured a lot of the far-right fringe groups, offshoots of the John Birch Society, secessionist anti-government groups and the militias - gun-toting nutjobs threatening to revolt over taxes. They had all kinds of booths set up with vendors selling automatic weapons and artillery, books on how to avoid paying taxes, lots of literature about how the federal government is illegitimate and, of course, Impeach Clinton bumper stickers.
I imagine that some of the people who went to that Boerne confab were probably at the Tea Party yesterday. The Express-News estimated the crowd to be about 5,000, which is a lot, but apparently not enough for the Tea Party organizers who inflated that number to 16,000 on their web site.
Some people objected to the group using the Alamo as a backdrop for their protest. That doesn’t bother me. The Alamo belongs to everybody. As long as they weren’t relieving themselves on the wall outside or otherwise trashing the place, I have no problem with them holding a civil protest in the vicinity. But the spectacle of these people wrapping themselves in the flag and gushing over the Pledge of Allegiance and God Bless America while at the same time ranting about how much they hate the government and want to secede from the union would have been an embarrassment to our forefathers if they had been here to see it.
I, of course, did not attend the Tea Party. I hate big crowds and avoid them whenever I can. Plus there were much more important things to do last night, like watch the Spurs play. But I’ll be curious to see what the wingnuts do next as the glow of their big party wears off and they recede back into the political obscurity that the 2008 election results gave them.

I just saw this at Daily Kos and had to add it:

So here’s the basic lesson of the teabagging hissy fit. The new Republican “theory” of democracy:
GOP wins: “Mandate! Elections have consequences!”
GOP loses: “Tyranny! Fascism! Revolution! Secession!

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