Thursday, April 16, 2009

WHAT IF THEY GAVE A TEA BAG PARTY AND NO ONE CAME (PUN INTENDED)

Not much time to post this morning. Interestingly (or not), on this two year anniversary of my starting date at my "new" firm, I have a presentation to conduct this morning, and I have to get my ass into work earlier than usual. Cool stuff actually, but no time to crank out a full-blown post.

That said, the Cunning Realist has a post this morning that perfectly encapsulates how I feel about the whole tea bagging phenomenon.

{Snicker & giggle break. You got it all out of your systems? Ok, me too. Now back to it}

I have more than a little sympathy -- in theory -- for protests against taxes & wasteful spending, let alone the unconscionable bailouts. I also like to see someone, anyone, holding His Holiness' feet to the fire a bit. That's democracy in action, and I dig it.

But as the Cunning Realist so accurately points out, where the fuck were these people the last 8 years?!?! And why the hell should we listen to a word they're saying now? When even the least cynical among us knows its just a rotten, GOP political stunt, all about electioneering, with nothing to do with any forward-looking policy.

I guess I hope the tea baggers keep doing what they're doing, but deep down I wish a real protest movement started to form. And as long as these Soldiers-of-Newt keep dominating the headlines with their latest grandstanding version of "America, Fuck Yeah," won't that just block the light of the sun from shining on what's really going on? On who's really running the show? What needs to be done to fix a rotten-to-the-core systemic problem?

I assume the crowd here will be pretty heavily anti-tea bagging (and I will stop snickering about that in . . . ohhhh, let's say 3 years), but I'd love to hear folks' thoughts beyond the usual Olbermann-Maddow out-of-hand dismissiveness.

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15 Comments:

Blogger Smitty said...

There was a teabagging here at the Capitol in Michigan. The Michigan State Police estimated 4,000 participants, which is a really good sized crowd. As I went back and forth between meetings in the capitol and surrounding offices yesterday, I'd say the State Cops estimation was pretty close.

It was a crowd of 4,000 people, many of whom were there for different reasons.

Some were anti-Obama protesters, just angry that he is who he is, elected over their choice. Touch shit. This is a democracy. Wait 4 or 8 years.

Many were self-described "blue-collar" workers protesting a tax increase, which is the exact opposite of what they got. Hilarious. Stop watching FOX, please.

A good number were pissed about the bailouts and the heaps and gobs of money being thrown without question at our masters. Good for them, and had I a hastily-made posterboard sign and a stick, I'd have joined them. But I am an elitist lobbyist with no heart, so oh well. ;)

Lots were simply...how do you say it...mad about something, they just didn't have the vocabulary to describe exactly what it is they were mad at. And that's actually OK too. Mad at the government, feeling disaffected...so yeah, go ahead and join the protest because that is a legit voice. There were plenty of people there to give them something to be pissed at.

Lots of elementary school kids were plucked out of school to hold signs saying they would now not be able to go to college.

A small contingent of camo-clad militia types were protesting the government taking their guns, which I don't know if they've noticed, hasn't happened. Yet. Also, they carried a nice dose of racist hate on a few of their signs. Classy.

A decent-sized group was pissed about Governor Granholm's mismanagement of the state, our faltering economy, and acceptance of stimulus funds. I don't blame her for taking the funds. I'm good with it. But that was largely a political stage to hang her as an albatross over the neck of any Dem crazy enough to run for Guv in 2 years.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Weaseldog said...

I can sympathize with the tea baggers, but I believe their efforts are futile.

I believe that we've gone so far, that Washington will not listen to us, until they've crushed the American people to the point that they have a minor civil war on their hands.

So long as the electricity works and American Idol is viewable in every household, Washington can do as it please. Once the TVs stop working, there will be an insurrection.

10:52 AM  
Blogger George said...

Smitty hits on the thing that drives me nuts:
Lots were simply...how do you say it...mad about something, they just didn't have the vocabulary to describe exactly what it is they were mad at.How come so often those people are the ones who misdirect that anger into hating immigrants or gays or fill-in your all-purpose, generally powerless scapegoat?

Why can't we get them to be angry at the right people? Goddam Fox News.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Rickey Henderson said...

I'd love to hear folks' thoughts beyond the usual Olbermann-Maddow out-of-hand dismissivenessSorry if Rickey doesn't feel like lending credence to mindless protesting. These people don't even understand who they're mad at! It's the Joe the Plumber/Glen Beck contingent, what else is there to say?

3:53 PM  
Blogger steves said...

There have been some websites that have articulated an intelligent platfrom in reagrds to the "tea party", but like any big protest with a somewhat vague theme, you get all sorts of participants.

And why the hell should we listen to a word they're saying now? I am not arguing that we should or shouldn't listen, but if 100% consistency is your expectation, I doubt you will find it. There is an annoying/hypocritical tendency of many on both sides of the spectrum to shout the loudest when the opposition does what they ignore when their own party does. I don't believe this really applies to anyone here, but you can't deny it in the rest of the masses.

I assume the crowd here will be pretty heavily anti-tea bagging (and I will stop snickering about that in . . . ohhhh, let's say 3 years), but I'd love to hear folks' thoughts beyond the usual Olbermann-Maddow out-of-hand dismissiveness.I would too, but I think that protests of any kind tend to go hand in hand with ridicule and name calling.

A small contingent of camo-clad militia types were protesting the government taking their guns,I know that protest folk tend not to always be the smartest, most normal people, but nowhere is this more obvious with gun rights people. Research shows that the vast majority of collectors and gun nuts are college educated people with decent jobs. Somehow, they never show up at rallies and it is always the wannabes, mall ninjas and other assorted 40 year olds that live in their parent's basements. They don't really help.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

"Research shows that the vast majority of collectors and gun nuts are college educated people with decent jobs."These aren't gun nuts. They are just gun owners. They are you, my dad and a huge amount of the public. They also probably never have an accident with their guns either, because they are responsible gun owners. You don't hear about them. You only hear about the fools.

"Somehow, they never show up at rallies and it is always the wannabes, mall ninjas and other assorted 40 year olds that live in their parent's basements. They don't really help."Yup. They also drive huge trucks with confederate flags on them.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Applesaucer said...

As you know, I've never been part of any protest "event."

And these are highly suspect, considering their most visible promoters.

I think that if we want these protests to have any effect -- that is, convince Obama to replace Geithner, Summers and Bernanke with unconlficted, competent "caretakers" -- they need to come from within the Democratic base.

Obama has to understand that in return for Wall St. money, he and his allies will be put out of office in the 2010 and 2012 primaries and general elections.

I'm thinking mostly of the primaries because, as it stands, I hardly see the Republican Party as a credible opposition to Bailout Nation.

So I'll say what I always do: stop voting for the two parties. If you can't find a third-party candidate for a particular office that reflects your core values, then don't vote for that office.

These rallies should be about (1) opposing certain policies; and (2) rallying people around potential candidates that CREDIBLY share your belief.

And, I'd add a third thing: insist that Geithner, Summers and bernanke be fired. It's more about "people" than it is about "plans" at this point. As we've seen, the current team will describe a plan one way, act all indignant about Wall St. predations, then go about helping Wall St. get whatever it wants, in stealth.

JMHO

Applesaucer

11:26 PM  
Blogger DED said...

That said, the Cunning Realist has a post this morning that perfectly encapsulates how I feel about the whole tea bagging phenomenon.Yep, me too.

11:47 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

A good number were pissed about the bailouts and the heaps and gobs of money being thrown without question at our masters.And that's the group that I'm curious about

I can sympathize with the tea baggers, but I believe their efforts are futile.But that's what I worry about.

Why can't we get them to be angry at the right people? Goddam Fox News.They should be angry at Fox News??? Fox News orchestrated the bailouts???

Sorry if Rickey doesn't feel like lending credence to mindless protesting.So instead he'll engage in the mindless dismissal of people's anger? That makes sense?

stop voting for the two parties. If you can't find a third-party candidate for a particular office that reflects your core values, then don't vote for that office.That's part of it. But people will engage in protests of one kind or another, and I'm curious to see what will, and won't, be effective.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Does anyone know HTML well enough to figure out how to fix this recent problem on Blogger? Where the answers to italicized comments appear on the same line?

6:45 AM  
Blogger George said...

As to your HTML question....

It's too hard to know how to fix the problem since you don't get to see all the code to know what's not happening. The WYSIWYG editor should put in a p inside <> and then a /p inside <> at the end to make paragraphs for you and leave the proper line spaces. Not sure what would happen if you forced the issue and put them in yourself.

As for my Fox News comment, I was just using them as the most conspicuous example of the right wing echo chamber that isn't really focusing on the bailouts as the problem, now, is it. And it seems that's what motivates many of the teabaggers, and why they get into calling Obama everything from a socialist to a fascist but don't understand the real problem. I mean, most of the protesters seemed to think their taxes were going up.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Not sure what would happen if you forced the issue and put them in yourself.I tried. Didn't work.

7:34 PM  
Blogger DED said...

Does anyone know HTML well enough to figure out how to fix this recent problem on Blogger? Where the answers to italicized comments appear on the same line?

I was wondering about that myself. Stupid Blogger. I'm thinking of switching to WordPress.

Ok, I just tried a couple line breaks, let's see if that works.


Line break = <br>

8:36 PM  
Blogger DED said...

Yep, that did the trick. :)

8:36 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Well done, DED. I'll have to try that.

8:58 PM  

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