Friday, April 16, 2010

Trouble With A Capital TEA

So yesterday was Tax Day and all the TEA Party aficionados and profiteers were out to take full advantage of it. But there are some things that I wonder about.

First of all, what are they exactly protesting against?

The common understanding is that TEA stands for Taxed Enough Already, which would obviously mean they're against taxes. But then you have self-proclaimed TEA heads, like Dad29, claim that it is about government spending. Others claim it's about the stimulus or about the health care reform. It seems that they just want to complain about something, anything, and the government, especially President Obama, is their favorite target.

Their protests against taxes have a certain amount of irony to it. First of all, unless they were making more than $200,000 they probably got a tax cut. Furthering the irony is that Wisconsin's tax rankings are not nearly anywhere as bad as the TEA people would have one believe.

Another issue is if they are protesting government taxes and/or spending, why would they have Tommy Thompson, one of the most egregious governors of doing both, as one of their speakers? Wouldn't that seem rather hypocritical? Apparently, some of the tea partiers felt that way, since there was a lot of talk of various tea groups boycotting yesterday's event.

And regarding the subject of high costs, why is it that when the government raises taxes by one or two percent, it sends these people into fits of foaming-at-the-mouth rage, but they do not say a word about health insurance companies raising their rates by up to 40% so that their CEOs can take home big pay outs or when the energy companies raise rates for the second time in three months? One would have to think that it might have something to do with the fact that these TEA parties are actually being sponsored by big businesses and right wing groups.

But what might be the most ironic part of yesterday's events would be the way they shot themselves in the foot regarding their own members. Leading up to the events, the Internet was abuzz with stories of how those mean old lefty liberals who were going to go and pretend to be one of them so that they could make them look bad.

That would be quite a feat. It means that the liberals would have had to go back into time and take over some of these movements, like the one in Ohio:

Several weeks ago, during a march supporting immigration reform, Tea Party leader Sonny Thomas had tweeted, "Illegals everywhere today! So many spicks makes me feel like a speck. Grr. Where's my gun?" That original tweet appears to have been scrubbed from Thomas's Twitter feed, although a few retweets calling it "disgusting" can still be found.

"So he's referring to Hispanics with the most offensive word that you can use," Sanchez remarked, "and then he implies that he wishes he could shoot them? Nice."

Thomas's "racially insensitive" remarks have already caused an Ohio state senator to drop out of an event organized by his Springboro Tea Party group. Thomas appears to be known for his racist attitudes, and CNN found a photo on his MySpace page of him wearing a "white pride" t-shirt, although that also now appears to have been removed.

In fact, the tea bangers got them so worked up that they were turning on their own (as well as their own paranoid thinking):
Paranoia about infiltrators has led some activists to become wary of fellow protesters who don’t fit the profile of a typical Tea Partier. At the rally, I met two heavily pierced and tattooed young activists, dressed head-to-toe in Goth-style clothes and carrying a black version of the ubiquitous "Don’t Tread on Me" sign. "Due to the way that many in the Tea Party have been wrongfully stereotyped, they don't think that I fit that mold," said Mario Jones, 27, vice president of a Tea Party group in West Virginia's Marion County. His 20-year-old companion agreed. "A lot of people are like, you don't look like you belong here. This is my freedom—this is how I dress every day," said Amanda Chatham, an unemployed mother from Philadelphia. She noted that she'd been spurred to protest by concerns about "getting [monitoring] chips put into our hands" as part of health care reform.
And I think that the gentle reader can make their own conclusions about how FOX News, who has long been pushing these things, pulled Sean Hannity from one of the TEA Events because they were afraid someone else might make money off of it.

I don't know which bothers me more. They fact that some of these people are feeding into some seriously deranged thinking or that there are so many people willing to take advantage of them.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. If I don't want or accept that kind of language from the right, I won't accept it from the left either.