I was going to sit this one out but there has been so much misinformation on the Tea Parties that I feel compelled to make some commentary. Let’s discuss these things:
- I love protests even if I disagree with you
- Do you really know what the hell teabagging is?
- Bob Krumm is wrong.
- The Boston Tea Party was not about eliminating or reducing taxes.
I love protests!
First off, I love a good fight. I love a good cause. And I’ll step up for my beliefs. I am an activist and happy to live in America where I have that right. I respect your right to fight for your beliefs even when I disagree with you and if I choose to protest your protest I am not saying you don’t have the right to express your views, I am just offering an opposing view (which also happens to be a freedom of speech).
Do you remember all the protests under George W Bush? Probably not because when they happened, the protesters were cordoned off away from the main activity and the press was limited in their ability to report.
Free speech zones were used in Boston at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. The free speech zones organized by the authorities in Boston were boxed in by concrete walls, invisible to the Fleet Center where the convention was held and criticized harshly as a “protest pen” … Reporters are often barred by local officials from displaying these protesters on camera or speaking to them within the zone.[Source, Wikipedia, Free speech zone]
Granted, free speech zones are not a new development. They have existed since the 1960s but were most heavily used by George W Bush’s administration.
For the record, I will not be participating in today’s Tea Parties nor will I be counter protesting. Quite frankly, I find it rather amusing that so many people are eagerly running around declaring they’ll be participating in a mass orgy of strangers plopping their nuts on each other’s faces. And that brings me to my next question.
Do you really know the definition of teabagging?
Last week I beat around the bush about the meaning of teabagging. I am betting that many of the protesters have missed the double entrendé. I think it is time to be direct.
Teabagging is a slang term for the act of a man placing his scrotum in the mouth or on or around the face (including the top of the head) of another person, often in a repeated in-and-out motion as in irrumatio. The practice vaguely resembles dipping a tea bag into a cup of tea. [Source, Wikipedia, Teabagging]
This is a vile, demeaning image and not a term that should be thrown around in mixed company and splattered all over the news in such a way that children are compelled to learn and teach their peers its meaning.
I was very vocal about my disagreement with George W Bush and my belief that his administration was causing long term damage to this country. My words and thoughts are immortalized in this online publishing. Although I was harsh on GW, I do not think I did anything to disparage the office of the presidency. And I will strike that out the moment someone reminds me with a link to something I wrote. We are a democracy and even though our favorite candidate does not always get into office, that person IS still the president of our country and deserves certain respects. I do not think it speaks highly of someone to say you want to put your balls on the face of the president. I do not think that speaks highly of your country!
Bob Krumm is wrong.
Bob Krumm wrote "There is no high-profile Farrakhan-type organizer or a well-funded Brady Campaign organization behind today’s protests" but Lee Fang has documented that corporate lobbyists are the driving force behind the Tea Parties as a Anti-Obama mechanism specifically Freedom Works (the GOP version of MoveOn) and Americans for Prosperity.
Despite these attempts to make the "movement" appear organic, the principle organizers of the local events are actually the lobbyist-run think tanks Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works. The two groups are heavily staffed and well funded, and are providing all the logistical and public relations work necessary for planning coast-to-coast protests. [Source, Think Progress, Spontaneous Uprising? Corporate Lobbyists Helping To Orchestrate Radical Anti-Obama Tea Party Protests]
Jane Hamsher at The Huffington Post has more explanation and commentary about the lobbyists. Momocrats has this video (note the testicular image behind the reporter) which flat out says "Not a spontaneous uprising. The people who came up with it are a familiar circle of Republicans including Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey."
They oppose Mr. Obama’s tax rates which will be lower for most of them and they oppose Mr. Obama’s tax increases for the rich whose taxes will skyrocket to about 10% less than it was under Reagan. [Source, Youtube, David Shuster GOP Going Nuts For Teabagging, But They Need A Dick Armey]
The Boston Tea Party was not about eliminating or reducing taxes.
I’m hearing people, even relatives, spout of various reasons for the Tea Parties. No one seems to be on the same base. Momocrats is also trying to figure it out. Mostly I have heard people say they do not want their taxes increased and have tried to draw a parallel to The Boston Tea Party. As the video above pointed out, The Boston Tea Party was about representation and rights.
The protest movement that culminated with the Boston Tea Party was not a dispute about high taxes. The price of legally imported tea was actually reduced by the Tea Act of 1773. Protestors were instead concerned with a variety of other issues. The familiar "no taxation without representation" argument, along with the question of the extent of Parliament’s authority in the colonies, remained prominent. Some regarded the purpose of the tax program—to make leading officials independent of colonial influence—as a dangerous infringement of colonial rights. This was especially true in Massachusetts, the only colony where the Townshend program had been fully implemented. [Source, Wikipedia, Boston Tea Party]
I also hear mutterings about Obama in his short time in office being responsible for today’s tax rates. As the video points out, this just isn’t the case.
The taxation rates that they will all be protesting are the George W Bush Republican taxation rates. [Source, Youtube, David Shuster GOP Going Nuts For Teabagging, But They Need A Dick Armey]
I think it is important to remember that TARP was a 2008 program that "allows the United States Department of the Treasury to purchase or insure up to $700 billion of "troubled" assets." That’s the mortgage bailout. The economic situation the United States faces did not start on January 20, 2009.
As you talk about the successes of your Tea Parties, please be aware that the goal of the Tea Parties is not to reduce or change taxes but to try to find a chink in the Obama armor as a means of getting the GOP back into control of the presidency in 2012.
Update: See also: Interesting discussion at Reddit- Where were the anti-tax tea parties when George Bush was wasting Billions in Iraq, on the Prescription Drug Bill, and providing handouts to Oil Companies? and Don’t Drink the Tea; Taxes Benefit Everyone.