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The Tea Party Movement Is a National Embarrassment

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Posted on Feb 13, 2010
don't tread on me
Flickr / Susan E Adams

By Stuart Whatley

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on The Huffington Post.

Last summer, when mass protests broke out in Iran following what was seen as a rigged election, Americans cried out in support of the uprising through all possible channels.  Some commentators here went so far as to claim credit for the “revolution,” as if it never could have happened without American political movements having already set the example. But despite the arrogance of that claim, the Iranian Green Movement is indeed an exertion of democratic will that resonates closely with many Americans—and for good reason.

America’s rich history of successful social and political movements, from its genesis onward, lends profound familiarity to the Iranian uprising, most of which has remained nonviolent. The enduring American symbolic identity—as a bastion of freedom and opportunity—is mostly justified when one considers the relative success of the Civil Rights or Feminist movements of the 20th Century, or of the ongoing LGBT rights movement, which continues to make incremental gains today. American democracy, fueled by an active populace—despite its numerous imperfections—remains the gold standard around the world.

It is against this venerable historical backdrop that one must concede that the most well known, highly publicized American social/political movement today—the tea party movement—is a national embarrassment.

At its core, the tea party movement is rife with contradiction, incoherence and a willful contempt for facts or reason. It is but a parody of the legitimate movements for which American democracy has historically been held in such high regard. It is, in fact, the latest installment in quite another American tradition: the exploitation of frustrated, desperate, and susceptible people by monied interests and profiteers.

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The impetus for the Civil Rights movement was centuries of racially based oppression at all levels of American government and society. The logic behind its call for equality was overwhelming. Now consider the tea party movement, whose foremost demand of a president who in his first month passed one of the biggest tax cuts ever... is for tax cuts. The movement’s incoherence is only illuminated further when this demand is uttered in the same sentence as its call for deficit reduction.

Though the movement claims to have no defined leadership, there are public figures and entities who nevertheless carry that mantle, which has led to perhaps its greatest irony: A portion of the American populace who carries a populist banner against the coddling of greedy bankers is led by some of the country’s most cynical and base profiteers. 

When the movement was christened last April for a large tax day protest, it was derived wholesale from the efforts of a registered corporate lobbyist and a right-leaning cable news network, whose president recently pointed out that it’s all about ratings. At the tea party’s national convention last weekend, its keynote speaker was a former governor who quit midterm in order to peddle a book that she didn’t write, but for which she collects most of the royalties. If this were Iran’s Green Movement, these would be the people slinging marked-up green headbands on the street corner.

Of course, the tea party is not without its whistleblowers. The $500 per plate entry fee to last week’s convention almost led to it being canceled altogether. But the exodus of reasonable elements will only homogenize the movement further towards a particularly polarizing worldview that opens itself to continued profit-driven exploitation.

In Authoritarianism & Polarization in American Politics, a revealing work of political science published last year that unfortunately went somewhat unnoticed, Marc J. Hetherington and Jonathan D. Weiler describe a specific worldview—authoritarianism—which they argue lies at the heart of political polarization in modern American politics. (It should be noted: their use of the term is not related to the more quotidian and overly negative connotation associated with despotic regimes; rather, it describes a particular lens through which certain people view the world, based on a wide range of scholarly work spanning the fields of psychology, sociology, political science, and other cognitive sciences.)

According to Hetherington and Weiler, authoritarians tend to rely more on emotion and instinct in decision-making, view politics in black and white, resent confusion or ambiguity in the social order, and are suspicious of specific groups who they believe could alter that order (typically gays and immigrants). The difference between authoritarians and nonauthoritarians, according to the authors, becomes far more pronounced during tumultuous economic or social periods when there are more perceived “threats.”  During such times, authoritarians in particular lose accuracy motivation and, “become much less interested than nonauthoritarians in seeking information that [is] balanced in its approach, and much more interested in pursuing one-sided information that reinforc[es] existing beliefs.” Or in other words, they are highly susceptible to misinformation campaigns, the likes of which pervaded the health care reform debate last summer.

Most every characteristic of an authoritarian worldview lends itself well to the impassioned rhetoric of the tea party movement and the shrewd players operating behind the scenes and atop the soap box. The movement’s overly simplified, often-confused solutions to complex problems align with authoritarians’ Manichean worldview. That Tom Tancredo’s anti-immigrant-laced speech at last weekend’s [Feb. 4-6] convention was well received comes as no surprise. And that this is the group who so often embraces proven falsehoods and spin-narratives to defend its anti-administration agenda should speak for itself with regards to accuracy motivation.

Despite the criticism it receives, the tea party continues to be praised as a political force. It is loud, passionate, and generally unconcerned with pesky things like facts or reasoned, practical solutions to the country’s problems. This bodes ill for 2010’s political environment, and it is a shameful representation of what constitutes an American political or social movement. While the tea party may alienate some who see it for the profit-machine that it is, others who share the fearful, intolerant authoritarian worldview that it is increasingly coalescing around will be lured in and pitted against the very people in power who could actually help them. That this movement has grown political legs is too bad, and by Hetherington and Weiler’s account, it means even more polarization is yet to come.

Stuart Whatley is an associate blog editor in the Washington, D.C., bureau of The Huffington Post. Click here to read this article on its original page.


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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 19, 2010 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

Do I hear an echo GRYM?  See my post 7:14pm, “greed….is a problem that
would have to be genetically engineered out…” Interesting we have a similar
view.  Enforcing the law most certainly seems to be the problem.  Regulation is
one sure way to allow the law to operate and have easier enforcement.  With
regulation there are consequences of non-compliance.  I tend to agree with
free trade but in its present form it receives a lot of criticism particularly from
the left.  There is a reason for the criticism, their criticisms are dismissed out of
hand by the right and right-thinking sympathizers.  But MarthaA’s ideas are too
radical and therefore plainly criticized by the right, not that the right is correct,
but abrupt changes never go over very well.  There has to be some rational
compromise.  Mainly because the right has the pursestrings but no popular
support, and the left has popular support but no pursestrings.  A stalemate as
far as I can see.  Having heard him uncountable times I don’t put much stock in
anything partisan Stossel has to say, I’m not convinced by his opinions.  His
thesis of crony capitalism doesn’t hold water. 

But not too sure your description of crony capitalism is 20/20 MarthaA, either. 
Why do you say it is socialism for the Capitalists?  I don’t see that there is
anything egalitarian about the way they move money around.  Nor is it a closed
system.  If one accumulates any wealth one can become an initiate in the
capitalist world.  And the tendency is to become more conservative when new
wealth is gained. One wants to hang on to what one has.  GRYM has presented
some fair arguments for capitalism.  You have not refuted any of them,
although NML has made some counterarguments but not really quashed the
arguments for capitalism.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 19, 2010 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

Crony Capitalism is Socialism for the Capitalists.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 19, 2010 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

Let’s Take the “Crony” Out of “Crony Capitalism”

http://www.creators.com/opinion/john-stossel/let-s-take-the-crony-out-of-crony-capitalism.html

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 19, 2010 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

Capitalism is not the cause of the worlds ills.  Crony capitalism often is.

Greed will never be eliminated from the human condition.  That is a simple fact that will never change.  Bernie Maddoff’s scam grew from a lack of the SEC (government) not doing it’s job of enforcing a butt load of very good laws (crony capitalism).  The SEC willingly ignored the situation and allowed Maddoff his Ponzi scheme.

The free market is not the cause of the worlds ills.  The free market has lifted more people out of abject poverty all over the globe than any trade system in all of human history.  Free trade is the single strongest engine for freeing human beings from the shackles of tyrants.

Unleash all markets to authentic free and open trade to all and enforce the law.

-

There are demonstrable reasons why the very young United States is, today, one of the strongest and most prosperous nations in history.  Free trade coupled with a representative form of government and an independent judiciary with the rights of privacy and PRIVATE property untouchable by the government.

Allow the government to confiscate ANY private property, in some idealistic notion of “fairness to all”, and you kill the engines that have placed the U.S. in such a strong position to lift BILLIONS of people out of horrible poverty and subjugation.

Kill or hamper the free and open market, which is inextricably coupled to the free trade of ideas, and you effectively put MORE power, not less, into the hands of a very few at the top.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, February 19, 2010 at 7:39 am Link to this comment

Also, I have noticed a change in Martha A posts, which are appreciated by me, though I hesitate to say so, for being called a right wing absolutist which makes me sob in me beer. 

She, grass roots community group of people defeated Monsanto, Monsanto’s paid puppets and the Farm Bureau in Mendocino County with the anti GMO initiative.  From what I understand the corporations lick their wounds and lobby harder at the state level.

What seems so strange corporations can lobby against the people with equal status as people and run their companies like Politicians, bottom line to make money, with little or no accountability to the people. 

The concept of a grass roots movement seems like a viable idea for a noble cause.  Though for me a joiner is a tool used in wood working.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 18, 2010 at 10:48 pm Link to this comment

If no one else will I will thank you MarthaA, for those links to the RealNews
interviews.  Jeff Cohen surprised me as he said much more thoroughly to be
sure, but said what I’ve been writing now for a couple of years.  Change has to
start at the grass roots with local elections.  He was very articulate. 

But I would add that while the revision of American politics must germinate at
the local level, it must be writ large in the media, on the Internet, using money
to create dazzling meetings that will capture the media’s interest and thereby
garner free publicity for the cause!  And they must show up in throngs at every
teabagger and Republican spouting event to protest the lies that are
perpetrated.  As Cohen said, the Democrats need to find the beast in their
belly, equal to the one that is driving the Republican machine.

There seems to be no understanding about the Common Population’s psyche
that has a hidden passion for glamor.  It tweaks their imagination, they live
through the excitement because…because they have no excitement in their
lives that is so big.  Cohen predicts if work gets started now, it will take about
12 years to get the kind of politician into office that the people need who will
champion their existence as Americans.  I say if a movement gets started now,
it will not take even until next November to be effective.  It will stem the
current Republican fever that is fast infesting the country. 

It did not go without notice how the Republicans baldface lie as seen at their
CPAC meeting today about Democrats and Obama and what has been achieved
so far, they are trying to pin the label of Party of No onto the Democrats!
Democrats cannot let that happen.  Where Dick Cheney got the biggest
welcoming applause over everyone else as if he were a ruling Paternasty (my
neologism).  Well he is!  His defensive strikes at those who are desperately
attempting to fix the disastrous and myriad of problems he and his puppet
president left has to be neutralized.  Nothing less will do. 

What is terribly important is to what degree will Democrats let him and the rest
of the Republicans get away with it.  Much as my intentional little escapade into
fantasy with Coffee Cupper retaliation to the teabaggers this morning was a
parody, it represents the kind of blatant overemotional response that is
absolutely needed to nullify and obliterate the insanity that comes from the
Republican body politic.  Their cleverness must be counteracted by true
populist practitioners and the Democrats in office who do not do this must be
replaced, but as Cohen says, it must start at the local level.  Just plain rhetoric
will not do.  And they must find a passionate leader or a few.

Mark my words, if a wildfire does not get going and going soon, the
Republicans will take over the nation in November and will return to the White
House in 2012 with a choking grip on every aspect of American life.  Stumbling
stuttering mumbling weenie mealy mouth Democrats are not acceptable and
everyone who is conscious needs to say so and loudly and repeatedly. Or the
progressives will go home with their tail between their legs.

I admit I felt the thrill of vindication in what Cohen keenly said about third
party politics, that they could work at the local level but the two party system
must work at the national level because third parties only siphon off votes
from the people’s party and never win themselves.  We have seen this happen. 
And look at the kind of Supreme Court was delivered.

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By ofersince72, February 18, 2010 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

eroded of late?  late when?

just last night is suppose

I don’t know of a time that all four of the mentioned
pillars stood at one time.

at times, one or two were in place

It usually only takes two congressional sessions
to remove any one of the pillars.

Why this debate is not really a debate
just a lame attempt to justify our silly economic
system for the chosen few.

i have no idea why i am even commenting..gotta go

P.S.  It would take a constitutional ammendment
to keep progressive taxes for more than one session
of Capitol Hill,  not likly,  Even I detest that
thought.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 18, 2010 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

The Free Market is a slick word for corporatism merged to squeeze out the little person.  Here is an explanation in the interviews with Jeff Cohen by Real News:

Progressives and the Democratic Party - Part 1:

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=4775

Progressives and the Democratic Party - Part 2:
http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=4783

Progressives and the Democratic Party - Part 3:
http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=4786

Progressives and the Democratic Party - Part 4:
http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=4787

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no mans land's avatar

By no mans land, February 18, 2010 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

Corporations are a form of socialized subsystems of capital and reward. We can argue the merits of that reward, but its there. There is nothing wrong with people being free to puruse goals and obtain just rewards for their efforts—the operative being JUST.

The problem isn’t that “The Market” is inherently evil, anymore than a hungry wolf is “evil.” Maybe it better to frame it differntly by saying we don’t regulate markets, we regulate people. The Market simply needs to be harnessed so that is works for us rather than agaisnt us. There are four main pillars, all of which have been greatly eroded of late.

Progressive taxation / social services
Laws, Regulation and Enforcement
Collective bargaining
Positive and Negative consumer reinforcement (boycotts or endorsements)

What’s lacking is an effective government and an engaged public because of chicken/egg scenario: corrupt government and disengaged public. We staerting to see the public reengage, but primarily on the side that wants to tear down three of the four pillars the rest of the way.

What can help is to remind people of the definition of wealth.

wealth = land + labor

or

Wealth = resources owned + the labor need to produce a good or service

We need to remind people and companies alike that their labor is their wealth. When they realize that, they will realize that their labor has more value to the cumulative wealth of a company than most people get credit for and also that higher quality labor has more value.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, February 18, 2010 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

Socialism seems similar to coop’s and the same problem with coops which I have had experience in is what She mentions.  My connection was with farmers coop which set a price and in our case the farmers with poor quality products received the same price, it does not have to work that way, but this is what in our coops’
case.

For me it seems their their should be a line between profit and greed, where that line should be would be the sticking point for all parties concerned.

I Believe in Japan they used to make and operate their corporations with the idea the CEO of a company could not make more than 7 times as much as the lowest paid worker in the plant.  If this is true, it sounds equitable to me only because in both good and bad times everyone in the group as a whole is in the same boat. This seems to be a very nice way to curtail greed. 

Though I believe they no longer practice this in Japan?

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 18, 2010 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

Hello MarthaA.  Yes, greed is a problem, but it is a problem that would have to be
genetically engineered out of every human genome.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 18, 2010 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

Greed is a problem.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 18, 2010 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

There is merit to what has been said about the privatization of capital.  The
problem of “prosperity for all,” or establishing the common good from the
unequal labor of the population, however, seems to be problematic.  Where is
the fairness for those who work their butts off and have to put the fruits of
their work in a common barrel to be distributed to those who skid by?  Fairness
for all is not so easy a program as might be envisioned. 

Then to maintain cultural aspiration, creativity, the sense of personal freedom
that without a doubt is an imperative for the human mind and spirit to flourish,
it seems some quality form of personal drive and entrepreneurship has to be
salvaged.

The idea of socializing capital, that is, making capital a part of the common
good sounds good on the face of it and can be seen as a conductor of social
progress if crafted with keen perception of keeping the value of the individual
as well as the society.  However, if conflict and what might be called atomism
or the theory that social institutions, values, and processes arise solely from
the acts and interests of individuals are to be subdued in a large not so
homogenous society as the US, then an almost impossible action of trust has to
be established between the interaction of corporatism and a governed society. 
A compromise has to be worked out.  Do any of you see that as viable?  If so,
in what way?

It is true that legislation is the only way a change in the economic structure
can be made, but this is a very slow process.  There will not be any revolution
or rebellion in any dramatic or immediate way.  It would have to be a top down
imposed system, and that is what is implied, because socialized capital does
not exist; rather it is a bottom up determination that would have to take place
if permanent conversion is to happen.  Dramatic change will only be carved out
over decades of transforming the politicians who are liable and susceptible to
evolving political philosophies.  Selection of local politicians, and those who
would represent the local citizenry at the federal level is not a snap your
fingers wish fulfilled endeavor.  Lines of partisan politics are already drawn in
the sand.  Deeply entrenched, as it were.

It is more than important then to keep educating the public regarding the
virtues of combining the means to make capital work in the interests of the
common good without destroying means of production and market integrity. 
That education will have to be slow and sure. The very model for the kind of
dispute that will be faced is illustrated right here on this forum between the
two gents who are arguing.  This is not to say that either is right or wrong as it
seems to me both have excellent points and are amazingly civil.  How to
reconcile them, though, would be the ideological trick.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 18, 2010 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

Capitalism is good, it only needs to be socialized, where the populace can’t be taken advantage of by private corporations and the elite getting all the capital.

Privatization of capital can be removed by legislation from capitalism, then capitalism would also work remarkably well for the populace.  Capital isn’t concerned about whether it is social or private.

The populace always ends up paying for private capitalism, just never get any benefit, if the capital of capitalism is socialized, the populace would enjoy much more of the benefit.

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no mans land's avatar

By no mans land, February 18, 2010 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

Go Right

“Can you simply point to a better generator of wealth and Authentic Human Dignity than capitalism and an representative form of government?”

Yes. It’s the difference between 1865, 1965, and 2005 America. In the Postbellum era, there was little to no government intereference in the market. The country had just ended the practice of slavery, which was the government’s first serious intrusion into the market place (ending slavery was bad for southern business…). Unions did not exist.  The country saw two deep depressions within 20 years, no middle class, deep and widespread political corruption, violence and vigilantism, and thousands killed in mines and on railroads—not to mention the Native Americans.

Compared to 1965, with strong regulatory framework and democratic integrity (comparitively speaking). 35% of the population was unionized, we had a strong middle class, and much less extreme giration of the economy. History shows us, again and again, that when there is balance between amid the ever-present business-labor tension in a society, there is more stability and prosperity.

Today, only 9% of the population is unionized. Out intitutions have been weakened revolving door politics and special interest influence. They have been defunded and hence, defanged. We’ve seen only an erosion of those institutions begining largely in 1980 and accelerating with Clinton and the Republican revolution in the 1990’s and their Free Market fervor. Sure there was a temporary, albeit predictable, boost to GDP following deregulation, but it has caught up to us. Free trade means that our jobs have left our shores for cheaper and unethical labor. And like the 1870’s and 1890’s, the the middle class is disappearing as we continue to deregulate an already larelgy unrestrained capitalism. The nature of unrestrained capitalism is not prosperity for all, but prosperity for the few.

Never forget that capitalism and democracy are not synonymous. By nature, capitlism will embrace democracy only to achieve its ends and will subvert when it stands in its way. Unrestarined capitalism is anti-democracy.

I have to get back to work but I’d like to leave you with a quote from one of our most profound thinkers and Generals of WWII.

“The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience.  Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.  We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing that we know about living.”  ~Omar Bradley

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 18, 2010 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, February 18 at 12:17 pm


What is it you expect to gain by holding such fear of, and hatred toward, others?

How are you of help to anyone?

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 18, 2010 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

No_Man,

Can you simply point to a better generator of wealth and Authentic Human Dignity than capitalism and an representative form of government?

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 18, 2010 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

What ho! What a great morning to get started, again.  C-shirts and coffee
beanies are terrific, Leefeller.  I should have known you would bring some
sobriety to this effort.  I made my C-shirt last night.  The coffee stains are
perfect.  It says Coffee Cuppers of America Unite!  We could make all
kinds of coffee bean jewelry that will raise funds for coffee clatching.  We could
wear coffee bean earrrings too!  It’s all good.  We could call our townhall
meetings the Coffee Crashers! And have neighborhood coffee clatches.  Oh,
oh, our slogan could be Illegitimus Non-Carborundum!  Don’t Let the
Bastards Grind Us Down!  Yayyyyy!!!!!
  Let’s take our country back from the
wing-nuts and teaswillers!  To hell with Joe Scarborough, the disgruntled
“former” congressman and motormouthy editorializing TV conservative…and
Starbits, and impotent Congressmen and women.  There are better coffee
companies!  Baltimore Coffee for one!  And Seattle’s Best is another one.  And
how about Peet’s?  I mean hay, these other coffee companies would jump in
the grinder for a chance to give Starbucks some competition.  Once we get the
movement going, I’ll contact them.  Now if we only had an agenda and a few
busses.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, February 18, 2010 at 8:17 am Link to this comment

If I was a fanatical teabagger and had tea bags hanging from my ears, just knowing Palin was the Keabag speaker would provide cause for me to join the Foreign Legion, though the teabag tattoos hanging from my ears could be a problem.

Coffee Clash(ers) sounds much better to me than teabaggers.  Seems Morning Joe already has his thing going with Starbutts, not sure if his politics agree with mine anyway.

I know, how about the Coffee beanies with a propeller on top?

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no mans land's avatar

By no mans land, February 18, 2010 at 5:22 am Link to this comment

Go right

I guess where we disagree is that I belive the only way to have a truly free
market is through strong regulation. The very nature and structure of
business is totalitarian and dictatorial. The natural end state of all
unregulated markets is monopoly and servitude, which is what makes the
tea party calls for freedom so ironic. I suppose its a lesson in market and
economic violence we are bound to relearn.

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By ofersince72, February 18, 2010 at 4:15 am Link to this comment

Then, while splitting the seasoned white oak, it
was as if the mall finally hit pay dirt.  It offered
a scarcastic grin as it cracked through those
beautiful grains, “why OFER, did you display your
nievity once again?” then jumped back on my shoulder
again.
“OK mall, a point well made” and laughed at myself
while honing my own dull edge.
“Did you really believe” asked the mall, “that the
drones that flaunt concerns about INTELLUCTUAL
PROPERY as a mother tries to connect her babies leg
back to its proper place while she wonders who would
really care what kind of TOTALITARIANISM severed her
babies leg,  had changed their mainstream colors?”

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By ofersince72, February 18, 2010 at 3:06 am Link to this comment

<><>*** O S U R 1 2***<><>

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By ofersince72, February 18, 2010 at 2:53 am Link to this comment

But didn’t lack transparency or brevity

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By ofersince72, February 18, 2010 at 2:35 am Link to this comment

and I read some dialogue….nothing was said.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 17, 2010 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

No_Man’s_Land, February 18 at 12:38 am

You’ve changed the subject from the violence of capitalism within the system to the violence of capitalism around the globe…LOL

I’ll leave it by saying we disagree and I think I can make some solid arguments as to why.

-

When you’re able to explain why roughly 15 million eligible Americans do not participate in Medicaid I will agree we have larger problems than our contemporaries in regards to health-care.

In the mean time every poll I have seen illustrates that roughly 80% of the public enjoy the level of health-care they receive.  That is not illustrative of a bad system.

Free Market Capitalism is in no way a “conservative” belief system.  Not when only 25% describe themselves as conservative and 92% of all Americans support the free market.
Most do not see the United States as you do.

-

Are you aware that Germany, France and Britain are all trying to inject more market forces into their health-care in an effort to bring down costs?  Each of the above are going broke faster than the U.S. is.  And I write this knowing that Medicare in the U.S. faces $68 Trillion in unfunded liabilities in the next 18 years.

Progressives never like to speak about these real world details.  Only the abstract is spoken of.  It sound nice but…...Show Us A Working Model!  Please?

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no mans land's avatar

By no mans land, February 17, 2010 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

I’ll grant that that I made some generalizations. I do that in the interest of brevity.

And no offense taken.

I would argue however that most of the countries you mentioned have much heavier levels of socilization than we do. They are far from the pure forms of capitalism that American conservatism argues for. For instance, everyone of those countries, save the US, provide regular health care services for all of their people.

As far as 90% of the world’s lower class smacking me, that may be. All due respect, though, those are the same poor bastards we’re fighting in Asia and Africa right now. They may envy our poor, but they certainly do not envy our militarism or the debt that our banks impose around the world. One of the reasons there is such poverty in world, such as Haiti, has been the back-breaking debts of the IMF, a lending cartel that our banks play no small part in.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 17, 2010 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment

No_Man

I neglected to make my final point before posting my last reply.

I say this with a sense if light-heartedness and humor.  The poorest amongst us fall into the top 10% of the globe.  I believe 90% of the globe would walk up to you and smack you upside the head if they heard you complaining about the social and market driven system of the United States.

smile

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By Go Right Young Man, February 17, 2010 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment

No_Man, - “We all agree that the nation has become filled with self-absorbed Jerry Springer twits.”

But we do not all agree.  That has been my point.  Most, when pressed, would not say that they or their neighbors are what you describe.  It’s simply not real, No_Man.  It’s an exaggerated characterization.  Usually made by those who happen to be more pessimistic in their outlook.  Context, if you will.

Aside from that American PHD’s and skilled labor is on the rise.  Normally the U.S. enjoys 94-95% employment with very few actually tuning into “Springer”.

-

I believe I understand your underlying argument.  I simply disagree.  Can you point to a contemporary or historic model that works as you have described?

You see I can point to several examples of places where human dignity and rights of privacy and property cause more wealth and prosperity than their contemporaries about the globe.  The United States, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Australia, Poland, Britain, Austria and roughly 90 more nations.  These are largely representative forms of government with an independent judiciary and capitalist systems.

I am in no way trying to describe Utopia.  I’m saying that Norway didn’t work to begin the United Nations and the Human Rights Counsel.  Norway didn’t spend great riches and spill large amounts of blood preventing Nazism, Japanese militarism and the Soviet Union from influencing more than half the globe.  I’m saying that no nation, in all of human history, has completely decimated it’s enemies only to build them back up again and leave them to their own autonomy.  Never in all of human history has the world witnessed such behavior before the United States. 

-

The “violence” you described in your previous post.  Does it exist in Norway?

You want “truth”?  You seek context?  The United States is one of the few places on earth where the poorest amongst us are literally obese.  A place where almost every home has two televisions and cable or satellite connections.  A place where the very poorest have shoes and clothes.  Clean drinking water at the effort of walking to the next room. Clean underpants every day of the week.  The cost of food has fallen every decade over the last half century.

On a comparison bases the very poorest amongst us are “wealthy”.  The poorest in the United States still fall within the top 10 percentile of the globe. 

Can you simply point to a better generator of wealth and Authentic Human Dignity than capitalism and an representative form of government?

That’s context for us.

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By no mans land, February 17, 2010 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment

Go Right:

I am not arguing that utopia is achieveable. I’m not even saying that the WSJ story is final truth. The story seems to believe that peacefulness (and by default aggression) are based on the levels of corruption and GDP. That’s one finding. 

All I am saying is that our system drives us to behavior and a culture that we all, left and right, seem to abhor. Our culture is to kill culture. Why? Is it women’s rights and liberalism or is it that we now have to pack up and move around the country every few years chasing jobs making every neighborhood in America fluid and filled with strangers? We all agree that the nation has become filled with self-absorbed Jerry Springer twits. Why?

Its about mitigating the bad and maximizing the good. Not utopia. Not monarchy. We currently have a system that socializes risk, but individualizes gain. The result is a society that aborbs the risks of such things as war and bailouts while the Gen McCafferies and Goldman Sachs of the world reap financial gain. It doesn’t have to be that way.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 17, 2010 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

No_Man,

Thank you for that.  I am already familiar with that one report.  Did you happen to read the many “subjective qualifiers” in that one report of hundreds?

So your model for the United States is a Monarchy?  There is no greed in Norway?  No hunger?  No rich class?  No poverty?  No captains of industry?  No middle class?

Is Norway currently keeping the Strait of Hormuz open so that the entire globe may benefit from a free and open oil market?

-

I don’t believe a Monarchy is the system that 90% of Americans will agree to.  Do you see why I wrote that most do not see things as you do?

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By no mans land, February 17, 2010 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

Martha:

I understand. The article is from 2007. Very interesteing read. The US ranked 96 out of 121 nations for peacefulness—“Sandwiched between Yemen and Iran.”

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By MarthaA, February 17, 2010 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

The Wall Street Journal is now run by Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Rupert Murdoch, so what the Wall Street Journal says is never going to have a speck of neutral, all Right-Wing propaganda and sophism like his FOX Network.

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By no mans land, February 17, 2010 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

One last thing Go Right,

Gen McCaffery’s pay that I just described is what he reported to the SEC—the government. This is precisely what I mean when I say that arguing that government is enemy, rather than the tool of the people, is a self-defeating concept. Without the government, in this case the SEC, what mechanism would we have to determine McCaffery’s ties to big defense? None. The market, as that story proves, will not tell us. The American people cannot make informed decisions that correct either the market or our democracy.

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By no mans land, February 17, 2010 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

Go Right:

“Can you lend us an example of a working model, contemporary or historic, in which the system you desire works as described?  Or have those models largely led to massive starvation and extraordinary human indignities?”

Yes

Norway. The one-time epicenter of Viking agression. But don’t take it from me. Take it from the Wall Street Journal.

http://blogs.wsj.com/numbersguy/ranking-the-worlds-most-peaceful-nations-129/tab/article/

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By Go Right Young Man, February 17, 2010 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

No_man - “It is entirely possible to have a society built on justice, fairness and human rights.”

Yes it is.  Those nations and people who live with a representative form of government, with an independent judiciary and the laws of private property, where anyone can stand at the center of the nations capital and yell at its occupants without fear of injury or death happen to be the most prosperous and free on earth.  Such a system allows anyone to pursue any goal they desire.  Places where privacy laws and human dignity are held in higher regard.

-

History tells us that “social engineering” at the highest reaches of a central unit lead to far greater atrocities and mass deaths than what I describe above.  It is inherently dangerous to it’s people and the globe.

-

Can you lend us an example of a working model, contemporary or historic, in which the system you desire works as described?  Or have those models largely led to massive starvation and extraordinary human indignities?

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By no mans land, February 17, 2010 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

The Nation’s damning indictment of cable news.

Where “analysts” such as Ret General Barry McCaffrey go on places like MSNBC to give their “expert” analysis. What didn’t MSNBC tell you? The public is never told that trusted General McCaffrey received $182,309 from Dyncorps, a large defense contractor, in 2009. And what was his expert opinion? That however unfortunate it may be, we’ll need to stay in Afghanistan for up to 10 more years. 

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20100301/jones

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By no mans land, February 17, 2010 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

Go Right

Here is your hard truth and why my narrative is missing from the national dialogue.

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4016

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By no mans land, February 17, 2010 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

Go Right

Human Nature is to respond or adapt to whichever system we find ourselves in. Not the other way around. It is entirely possible to have a society built on justice, fairness and human rights. We do not need to have a system that pits person against neighbor or the self-absorbed culture it creates. You speak of rights? I think its incredibly sad that an intelligent person such as yourself seems to think that an inusrance comapany’s quest for profit trumps a person’s right to live or that CEO bonuses trump food, water and shelter as a priority right. It proves that capitalism is our true national religion and its deity the Market.
And that is precisely why I can never stand with the Tea Party.

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By MarthaA, February 17, 2010 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

When the government causes harm to come to the populace,  it’s oppression and tyranny.

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By MarthaA, February 17, 2010 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

When the government causes harm to come to the populace,  it’s oppression and tyranny

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By Go Right Young Man, February 17, 2010 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment

No_Man’s_Land, February 17 at 5:25 pm

I’ll be frank and hope it’s appreciated.

Your narrative of violence is missing from the national dialog because very few people see the world as you do.  In fact very few agree with the majority of regulars on this Web site.  It’s unfortunate at times, however, nonetheless true.

You don’t have the right to a home, or a job, or health-care or money.  Most people understand that we each must build these things for our families and ourselves.  It’s root human nature. 

As a human being you are entitled to dignity and the freedom to pursue your own goals for happiness.  You are free to prosper and to fail and to prosper again.

A fact often lost on this Web site and others - and you can look this up- is that most American millionaires are electricians, plumbers, bakery operators, salesmen, doctors and architects who have what they themselves built.  These are people with families.  Productive people who have school to pay for and mortgages.  Most work sixty to eighty hours a week.  Most sought an education.  Most took on large personal debts for that education.  Most, believe it or not, give to others when in need.

A handful of people want to take more of their money in some misplaced sense of “fairness”.  Some people make these doctors and salesmen into evil demons who have it out for the poor. Most people simply don’t see the world in that way. 

Want to create jobs?  It works every time it’s applied.  CUT their taxes.  100% guaranteed to create jobs.

-

Safety nets for those who find themselves down?  Of course.  A hand up to all who are in need?  Absolutely.  The right to take another’s money to keep you in a home?  This is where most of the 6 billion people on the globe find fault with your notion of “fairness”.  And you will not change human nature.

Anyone in the United States, anyone, can work hard and build on that work.  There is no grand conspiracy of a one world order and no one is keeping others down or committing the acts of violence in the manner you describe.

Very few in the world are “super wealthy” and born into that wealth.  None of them control our daily lives.

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By no mans land, February 17, 2010 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment

We really need to understand, as a society, that when profiteering results real harm to people, it is an act of violence—no different than a hit-man’s financeer. When insurance companies deny healthcare, it is an act of violence. When people are made homeless and starving by Wall Street, it is an act of violence. When our water or heat are turned off because we can’t pay the bills, they are acts of violence. Intergenerational poverty and the crimes its produces is itself, violence.

This is what’s missing from the discourse. This is why there is no such thing as mainstream liberal media. Even liberal sites like this one do not equate making people homeless with violence. Slowly edging someone off the road until they go over a cliff is the same as ramming them.

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By jay1953, February 17, 2010 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

On one side you have a guy like Old Ed insisting that health insurance companies have a right to make a profit.

Is it moral and ethical to profit the “fear” off human misery?

I say fear because once you do go into misery those wonderful insurance companies drop you.

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By ofersince72, February 17, 2010 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

Most of them are near retirment or retired
Its about the money.
They lost 401ks ect.
Obama threw money to the robbers
Knee jerk reaction,
Try the other party.

My spllin wrse den any1s

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By Leefeller, February 17, 2010 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

Guess I will have to hang up my tea bags!

Is it possible the tea baggers are promoted only as a diversion to move focus away from real issues? ie: War, budget, bale out and of course corporations? Fox being a tea bag sponsor this sort of makes sense.

After all division and diversion have been most effective tools used throughout history to control the minds of the masses. Why does burning witches at the stake come to mind?

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By no mans land, February 17, 2010 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

(Apologies for all the misspellings. These tiny text boxes are the bane of my online existence.)

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By ofersince72, February 17, 2010 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

You answered my question quite well…
THANK YOU,,,GOT IT..

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By no mans land, February 17, 2010 at 8:17 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man

Oh I see it. I don’t doubt that what they’re doing is democracy in action. Its just a self-defeating form of it.

I don’t to agree with what they’re calling for, or the scapegoating of entire categories of innocent people. I’ve listened the speeches, I’ve seen the interviews, and I still can’t make out what they’re for/against other than grand nebulous terms like “tyranny” and “freedom,” none of which they have bothered to define. Definitions, if they exist at all, are on a person by person basis at best and are oten misapplied or used interchangeably with other issues.

What they’re against is pretty clear though: hispanic and uneducated/illiterate voting rights, law degrees, and the big banks that they want to punish with calls for deregulation (and less government to enforce what regulations remain). Hence their self-defeating nature.

Other than that, even you admitted that there is no “leader,” so what your group advocates probably doesn’t jive with what others are calling for. In the mean time, all the rest of us have to go on are the examples the movement sets in public: Death Panels, Tom Tancredo, Sarah Palin, and other such grassroots slogans as “Teabag the Libs.” With the very narrow exception of deficits, which I don’t consider the most pressing of our problems to begin with, there is no distanced, objective analysis of American democracy, as evidenced by the group’s unwillingness to practice anything close to a proportionate amount criticism of the Bush administration.

In many ways, it’s a movement that is best defined as anti-populist. The article below does an ecellent job of comparing the differences between the populism of then and now. Interestingly, many of the very concerns that were raised back than are being raised today by the Tea Partiers. The only difference is that the populists of today are calling for the exact opposite of what they called for.

It’s written by political-science/journalism professor from city university of New York and is historically very accurate (late 19th/early 20th century American history and literature is the period I studied).

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-02-08/the-tea-partiers-phony-populism/

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By Go Right Young Man, February 17, 2010 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

Ooops.  I meant to write how the protests began in ‘08’ (pre-Obama).

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By Go Right Young Man, February 17, 2010 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

ofersince72, - “What do you mean GO RIGHT …conservative….or all the way to ANARCHY”

-

I’m sorry but I don’t understand the question.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 17, 2010 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

ofersince72,

Yes.  Every protest is legitimate. 

This particular protest movement hold very clear recurring themes that is impossible to miss if honorably listening.

I mean no disrespect when I say that anyone who does not see these themes has not desired to see them.  They have, to date, turned their attention toward other, likely competing, narratives.

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By ofersince72, February 17, 2010 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

What do you mean GO RIGHT…

conservative….or all the way to ANARCHY

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By ofersince72, February 17, 2010 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

you and No_Man have very similar styles in writing

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By ofersince72, February 17, 2010 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

Right Man


We are in agreement on that

These people have legitament gripes.
Tough on the Democrats if they don’t have
the(help me with the word)....... to win these
peoples ears and vote… As you pointed out
Many of them…in this red area….voted Obama…

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By Go Right Young Man, February 17, 2010 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

No_Man - “Take a lesson from Howard Zinn (RIP). Voting is not enough. Voting is not even “democracy.” True democracy is going out there to agitate until the machinations must address your concerns.”

You see what you just described, yes?  The Tea Party movement.

I think reason and common sense demands us to listen.

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By no mans land, February 17, 2010 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

ofersince72:

“Pelosi and Reid did nothing but show the electorate
their middle finger to that mandate….”

That’s exactly my point. Who was out there in the streets agitiating? Who kept their feet to the fire? Hell, the wars weren’t even front burner issues by the time the 2008 election rolled around. And who is out there making them do anything today? Juxtapose that with the peace movement of the 60’s who didn’t just elect Johnson and then go back home to watch their handiwork magically unfold. Quite the opposite. When he expanded the war, the left countered with huge moevements. The best we have going today is Ariana Huffington’s call to move our money to smaller banks…

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By Go Right Young Man, February 17, 2010 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

I have never attended a Tea Party and do not consider myself a Tea Partier.  I have simply paid attention.

I believe those who have no idea what the movement’s baseline has been about have either not paid attention or have not truly listened (unwilling or unable). 

Large numbers of people who simply “dislike” this movement have been literally unable to truly, sincerely, and respectfully listen.  Most on this Web site, for example, simply tuned out to the movement and dismissed HUGE numbers of seemingly disconnected people as loons.  Unworthy of any respect.  This is a mistake.

Every rally that’s been held to date has been clear.  Smaller government, less federal mandates and no more taxes before Washington cleans up it’s own act.  These three items have been present at every rally and protest since the summer of ‘09’ (pre-Obama).  It’s next to impossible to miss this narrative if one has honorably paid attention.

The fact that there is no single leader or voice makes this phenomena even more significant.  Not less. The fact that so many unaffiliated voters have been involved is, in itself, hugely significant.  The fact that this movement has been critical of both parties is very telling.  The fact that so many seniors are involved, normally not the crowd that attend protests, has clearly made all of Washington take notice.  The fact that this movement began under a Republican Administration and continues under a Democratic administration tells us a great deal if we are listening.

Look at the number with an eye AWAY from our typical party stereotyping.

49% Independents, 34% Republicans and 17% Democrats in Iowa.

Dismissing this phenomena is a mistake.  Placing it’s participants in a box for loons is, well, both arrogant and myopic.

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By Leefeller, February 17, 2010 at 7:31 am Link to this comment

Tea baggers or democrats what is their message or what do they really stand for?  Is it possible pin the teabag on the donkey?

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By ofersince72, February 17, 2010 at 7:23 am Link to this comment

No_Man

There is only one way I see

“Go ahead make me do it”  times have changed since
FDR…(who really did nothing more than help destroy
    the labor movement)
The 2006 suprise takeover was a mandate vote to get
out of Iraq.
Pelosi and Reid did nothing but show the electorate
their middle finger to that mandate….
the 110th Congress phones , faxes, and emails
were busy 24/7 trying to get Capitol Hill to listen
to their concerns…

So the only way i see to get the Democrat leaders
attention is to quit voting for them..everything..
House, Senate, and Pres.
A few election cycles,,  they will listen better
In the meantime,  what difference will it make to
put repubs back in majority…its the same
I am in now way advocating voting republican , but
indepenent….Greens, ect. until the Dems listen.

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By no mans land, February 17, 2010 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

Liberals as a whole have become a lot less militant these days, preferring instead to express their desires through fear-based voting: voting for poor democratic candidates for fear of a Republican victory.

Take a lesson from Howard Zinn (RIP). Voting is not enough. Voting is not even “democracy.” True democracy is going out there to agitate until the machinations must address your concerns. As FDR famously said on the campaign trail about Social Security prior to its passage, “You have to make me do it.”

As we have clearly seen, politicians are prone to comfort zones. They only way to get them to move beyond their narrow little box is to push them out of it. It’s not enough to simply list publicly those eating at the corporate trough. A political threat for eating there must be posed.

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By Shenonymous, February 17, 2010 at 6:20 am Link to this comment

A quickie since gotta go, but maybe a C-shirt with coffee stains. Matter of fact I’m
going to make one this weekend.  It will be my uniform til the cows come home. 
I’m a lifetime Democrat because I believe less in big business and the wealthy and
more in the “little” people, but I am not impressed with the Party’s handling of
anything really.  Mannnn they gotta get with the program!  You are right, 5 yups to
you, ofersince72, the Dems are inept, no creativity.  I keep looking for the savior! 
I mean isn’t that the mindless MO?  hahaha I won’t hold my breath.  It will all
work out….someday… maybe. Here is a Seven Beauties, oh yeah.

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By ofersince72, February 17, 2010 at 5:50 am Link to this comment

Republicans have ALWAYS been a lot smarter organizing
their base….Organizing isn’t the right word…

They know how and when to make a movement.

The Democrats have ALWAYS been very lame at this.
Plus they always shoot themselves in the foot
(I really believe it on purpose)

One of the many reasons…there are so many different
types of Dems…conservative Dems, Blue Doggers
Progessive Doggers, Black Doggers, White Doggers
Many Doggers…..you just can’t organize all that..

The Democrats have no real idenity.
the Repubs sure do.!!!!
What do the Democrats as a Party stand for????
No one can or is able to answer that question.
Try it…go ahead…What do the Democrats stand for?
What is their real identity?
in essense,  it has always been the same as a repub.

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By ofersince72, February 17, 2010 at 5:39 am Link to this comment

I will get my T shirt made.  (isit Teashirt?)

I am a coffee cupper

(trouble is I don’t like Democrats either)

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By Shenonymous, February 17, 2010 at 5:24 am Link to this comment

If the Democrats were smart, which they aren’t, they would start Coffee Cup
Clatches and fight fire with fire.  They would be the Coffee Cuppers.  Paint busses
and plunder the country with T-shirts.  It could be a wildfire.  Problem is they
throw water on each other!  I don’t like the Teabaggers but they get the red
corpuscles going among the rabid rabble, they have the right rhetoric.  People
love to be dazzled.

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By MarthaA, February 16, 2010 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment

The PDA has the politics of the Tea Partiers down in the following 4 Real News interviews with Jeff Cohen:

http://pdamerica.org/articles/news/2010-02-06-15-42-45-news.php

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By Leefeller, February 16, 2010 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

After reading Whatley’s article over again, I realized my problem is with the title, “The Tea Party Movement Is a National Embarrassment” not the article. 

Embarrassment, means what? One should be embarrassed for other peoples self deluded promotions or worse what they incoherently seem to be promoting? This is the suggestion of the title.

Expecting tea baggers to be embarrassed for their moronic display of stupidity seems similar to asking a rock shaped like George Bush to be embarrassed or even George Bush being embarrassed of being George Bush. 

The title seems to suggest that everyone should be embarrassed not the perpetrators in their babbling ignorance, infact their deluded ignorance is why they could never be embarrassed. Tea Baggers remind me of a drunk singing sailor shanties on a busy street corner while pissing on the curb. 

One could say our Nation could be embarrassed of many things and ignorance may be a good starting point,  but embarrassed to whom?

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By Go Right Young Man, February 16, 2010 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

ofersince72,

I’m not a Republican.  I don’t have an answer to your question.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 16, 2010 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

I see convincing Tea Party haters as about as fruitful as trying to train a rabid dog to roll over.  You are doomed to failure and will only get bitten and need painful rabies shots.

Example: We can see that it was a bunch of SEIU thugs, clearly identified by their purple shirts emblazoned with “SEIU,” who attended a Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-Mo., Town Hall Meeting and beat up Kenneth Gladney, a black man passing out flags that read “Don’t Tread On Me.” - Would this be an example of the prevailing bigotry and racism from the rabid Left?

Are these examples of the hatred being sown by ITW toward people unlike himself?  I don’t have the answer to some of these questions, however, we can clearly see what the world looks like when we turn the tables and use His brand of “enlightened thinking”.

-

Not a single incident of violence or arrests during all of the Tea Party protests, with the exception of violence from the Left against protesters, but ITW feels threatened by democratic forms of protest?  <—Worth thinking about.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 16, 2010 at 4:58 am Link to this comment

ofersince72, February 15 at 5:01 pm #

Great Plan ITW….To get Baggers to see your point
        of view and get their vote

*********************************************

Yeah, not much chance of that.  I see convincing tea-baggers as about as fruitful as trying to train a rabid dog to roll over.  You are doomed to failure and will only get bitten and need painful rabies shots.

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By ofersince72, February 15, 2010 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

you are a well read person..

I was very curious what you saw in the Republican
Party that I seemed to have missed

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By ofersince72, February 15, 2010 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

I will stay off and let others post
That is what you did to Moore, with no reason why.
and the debate you and No Man are having, both of
you have beat the degnigration of bush and obama
to death..
I stated a case about the AARP and the IDC

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By Go Right Young Man, February 15, 2010 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

No_Man’s_Land, February 15 at 11:07 pm #

“Ok I’ll give you that. For my part, I was pushed to the left by his choices.
Though he may not have had fair shake after the election it doesn’t erase
the he did in and to that office or to us.”

-

And that is an entirely different subject.  But let us stop pretending the “others” are the bad, stupid, mislead, manipulated, racist, unfair in their rhetoric people unworthy of the respect that comes from listening.

As you yourself have stated.  It’s wrong.  I will go a step further.  I believe the author of this article takes every current domestic event out of all context.  The author would do well to listen more to people and less the media and Washington.

One of those worlds is real.  The other clearly not.

-

How delusional was it for so many to believe that Hope and Change would come from anywhere but these pages?  Was it prescient to think it would come from Washington?

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By NABNYC, February 15, 2010 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment

Is it possible to put a limit on the number of posts somebody can make?  I like to read the other comments, but when I see someone like Go Right Young Man monopolize the whole board, and make tedious post after tedious post full of lies and baseless attacks, it ruins the entire thread.  How about 5 posts max?  Maybe go Right Young Man could go do something else for awhile—like send love-notes to Karl Rove.

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By gerard, February 15, 2010 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment

When you start to think about the causes behind Tea Party activites, you have to criticize decisions made in Washington for decades that have worked systematically to encourage the ignorance and anxiety behind the screaming. 
  1.  Public education—we have allowed it to be underfunded, maligned, and suspected of treason in order to keep it powerless.  Teachers’ unions have been vilified; individual teachers have been forced into conforming with a narrow America-centered curriculum and mediocrity has been encuraged at every level.  The result—inadequacy and anger.
  2.  School buildings in inner cities have been allowed to fall into decay, arts programs have been defunded in favor of “the three Rs”, and unstated racism has been allowed to thrive in the interests of “white American” notions of superiority. Charter schools are proving to be a divisive part of this decay.
  3.  Affirmative action has been turned on its head and made to appear as a program which disadvantages whites.
  4.  “Local control” has gradually led to perpetuating wide differences in localities, allowing differences in property values to dictate inadequate funding for economically poor districts. This difference perpetuates gaps in the educational levels, rich versus poor, “native-born” populations versus immigrant populations.
  5. Exporting tens of thousands of jobs abroad which were reasonably expected to remain domestic possibilities.  Result:  Economic insecurity, anger, lack of understanding.
  6. Rabble rousing and misinsformation in all commercial media.
  Tea Party politics could reasonably be expected as a result of such widespread and benighted political decisions allowed to persist for decades.

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By no mans land, February 15, 2010 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

Ok I’ll give you that. For my part, I was pushed to the left by his choices.
Though he may not have had fair shake after the election it doesn’t erase
the he did in and to that office or to us.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 15, 2010 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

ofersince72

O.K.  You have my attention.  What exactly do you wish of me? 

It’s been my impression the subject was about Stuart Whatley and his desire to denigrate 49% Independents, 34% Republicans and 17% Democrats in Iowa.

I’m not interested in Michael Moore.

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By ofersince72, February 15, 2010 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment

Not to worry No Man and Right Man,,

I am off of Truth Dig…....Got better things

and know a good guy bad guy routine everytime

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By ofersince72, February 15, 2010 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

That was indeed disgusting stuff done to Bush as
it was to Obama…

But why are two intelligent men discussing that??

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By Go Right Young Man, February 15, 2010 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

No_Man’s_Land, - “The anti obama stuff started before he even took office.’  ‘It was nothing but residual hatred…...”

-

And Bush was labeled the cheat who stole the 2000 election and therefor what?  Not “legitimately” the President of the United States.  Sound familiar? 

Bush was de-legitimatized during the entire 2000 campaign on what grounds?  He was simply the imbecilic - coke-head - alcoholic - draft dodging - rich daddy’s boy from the Bush global crime family.

I see. It’s really a matter of what “side you come down on” when determining what is or not acceptable rhetoric by the opposition.

The Left threw eggs at Bush’s motorcade before being sworn in on Inauguration Day based on what?  Hatred and the belief by some that he was bad for America.  Was it an “unprecedented” kindness displayed toward Bush before he took office when, for the first time in American history, the President-Elect was unable to walk to the capital to be sworn in?  How many cheered that on do you suppose?  I highly doubt the egg throwers were America’s Independent’s or the elderly.

I still struggle to fully understand.  You sincerely see it but you then move on to denigrating HUGE numbers of people for the actions and words of a few.

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By ofersince72, February 15, 2010 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

There wasn’t much policy discussed in that
debate was there?

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By ofersince72, February 15, 2010 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

Still don’t see the dispute with Moore,  please
tell since you brougt the name up…

He has been fighting to keep jobs here in America
for twenty years…..You aren’t for that Right man??

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By no mans land, February 15, 2010 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

Go right

That’s a disingenuous comparison. The anti obama stuff started before he
even took office. The birthers had already decided that he was not
american, muslim, a socialist, a communist, a fascist a terrorist, racist etc. It
was nothing but residual hatred from the most disgusting campaign I’ve
ever seen run. None of it ever proved true of course but those beliefs
remained and became even more enflamed with the death panel rhetoric.

Compare that to bush who had 90% approval after 9\11 but decided to
wage an illegal war and whose number one political Advisor absolutely
demonized people who merely questioned the war. he took that unity and
threw it away.

I fail to see any comparison other than to say obama has coninued virtually
evry bush policy. And for that he’s lost his base.

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By ofersince72, February 15, 2010 at 6:15 pm Link to this comment

Or do you prefer to keep it about

the Philosophy of Dispute….

rather than policy….......as most repubs do

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By ofersince72, February 15, 2010 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment

Could you be more specific about MOORE….

I understand the Pelosi thing…....

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By ofersince72, February 15, 2010 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

GO RIGHT Y O U N G MAN

it will have to be young men..you recruit
that don’t know history…that get taught nothing
about Civics anymore, Don’t even know who their
gov is, or rep, or senator….

All us old farts are on to republican tricks of the
trade…

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By Go Right Young Man, February 15, 2010 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

No_Man’s_Land, February 15 at 9:18 pm #

When I stop seeing people cheer the Michael Moore’s and Nancy Pelosi’s of the world, and when I start hearing solutions put forth that I agree with, I promise I will be more than happy to give this movment a fair shake. 

When we begin seeing one protest from the Left wherein Bush does not have a bullet-hole in his forehead I will only then attempt to listen to one word you say.  - See how this goes on and on?

All protests should be treated as what they are.  Not treated like we all witnessed with the Dixie Chicks.  As you write.  That’s simply wrong.

This stuff never changes but we should continue.(?)

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By ofersince72, February 15, 2010 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

As a matter of my opinion, 99% of their policies
sound idiotic,  and they get their votes all off of
scare tactics even much worse than the Dems.

Why would you support a party that year after year
talk about Prayer in School, gun control, abortion
as a means to get undereducated vote.???????

I will concede that at times Paul talks some good
sense,,  However his only vote that makes any sense
for the vast majority of middle and lower America
is his anti-war vote…..
How did he vote on expanding military budgets?
If he is so against Social Security….why does
he allow it to be stolen from? and is he willing
to stop the Socialism for the rich,,in this i mean
employers have to pay enough to live ,,any job
so we don’t need food stamps, medicaid, ect. which
in reality is nothing but socialism for the rich by
subsidizing wages.

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By ofersince72, February 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

GO RIGHT YOUNG MAN….(you will never persuade me)

what leadership would you like to see in the
Republican Party? Tancredo, Bond, Chambliss….????

As a SouthPaw,(literlly and figurit) , i see no one
in the Dem Party worth supporting.

It would tell a little more about your Rightness
if we knew what right ideas you profess.
We all know whats wrong in the middle.
I see very few policies of the Right that hold water.
(except…...printing up new money…..however
both parties are real good at that!)

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By no mans land, February 15, 2010 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment

When I stop seeing people cheer the Tancredos and Palins of the world, and when I start hearing solutions put forth that I agree with, I promise I will be more than happy to give this movment a fair shake.

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By no mans land, February 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

Go Right:

I absolutely agree with your take on American militarism. I think if we’re honest though, Iraq represented some altogether different. In Yugoslvia, we stayed out of it until the Europeans begged us to come in. Nor did we go in until there was political solution in place (Dayton Peace Accords).

Iraq, to put it bluntly, was built on a lie. It built on trumped up intelligence and was falsely linked to 9/11. It was a war built entirley on manufactured fear.

Personally, the way I see it is that Iraq is only thed natural progression, or next step, of a militarized society and economy. It was only a matter of time until we stopped caring about a “good reason.”

If these are things we don’t like, then we must address what Eisenhower coined as the military industrial complex. There is far too much financial incentive in taking military action. Big defense is far too engrained in the system.

Would you like to know where I was on the day Obama announced the 30,000 troop increase to Afghanistan? I was at training and simulation conference In Orlando to present a paper on some research we’d done. Military, government, and every defense contractor known. It’s actually the biggest defense related conference in the country. So, as President Obama announced the escalation, I was watching big military brass and get shmoozed with scantily clad dancing girls, drinks, dinners and corporate parties. You would have thought it was big celebration. And now you know how decisions are made and your money is spent. And believe me. I don’t think there were 10 people at the entire conference who wanted these wars to end.

The whole scene simply disgusted me.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 15, 2010 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment

No_Man’s_Land, - “I want safe food. I want fair wages that keep up with inflation. I want my life to revolve less around work and more around living. I want healthcare, not health insurance. I want a neutral police or military. I want small businesses to have a chance to compete with giant companies. I want vibarant, locally owned economies. I want environmental responsitibility. I want good schools for all, not some. And I want a society that seeks solutions not retribution.”

-


Exactly.  Those are some of the underlying goals of roughly 90% of the population.  But you are still demonizing large groups of every-day Americans due to your perceptions of the “Right” in Washington and a handful of media outlets.  That world, if we look closely, is not actually reflective of most who read a newspaper. 

Does Hannity accurately describe you?  I think Hannity describes you about as well as Mr. Whatley describes the Tea Party phenomena.  Ideologically blind as a bat. - The same goes for ALL who delude themselves into believing that their bigotry and racism reflects most protesters today.

It’s remains a mistake to claim THIS time, THIS opposition party, TODAY’S opposition tactics against the party in power is somehow more egregious or harder to bide by.  True?  Or untrue?

This stuff never changes.  You sincerely see it but you then move on to denigrating HUGE numbers of people for the actions and words of a few (read Palin or who have you). 

I struggle to fully comprehend it.  Yet I know it when I see it.

-

I honestly do not mean to single you out.  I believe you are well meaning in your intentions.  But let’s not forgive all context please.

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By ofersince72, February 15, 2010 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

Both these men ought to share the next presidency!!

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By no mans land, February 15, 2010 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

Go Right:

Brother, I hear you. I really do. I meant it when I said that they have a right to their anger. But they do not have a right to scapegoat an entire innocent people for the problems. No matter how justified they may be or feel they are, I cannot stand with that.

Nor can I allow an agenda, as represented by the Death Panel manipulation, to continue to push people toward their own demise. The truth is that, while I may share some of their complaints, I part ways on many of their solutions. The reason why is that I believe we have had 30 years of anti-government rhetoric that has enjoyed far more power most people realize. Over the course of those 3 decades, the goverment agencies have been eroded, underfunded, and sobotaged by those who have only wanted to see government fail.

Cheney said it when stated that “Deficits Don’t Matter.” Rove gave us a glimpse when he talked of the “permanent republican majority.” These are people who don’t believe the government has a right to regulate the market. Their goal is clear. And the only way to get a truly free market is to destroy the people’s trust in that government as a solution to their problems.

In short, when we place anti-governmenat ideologues in government for the better part of 30 years, we should not be surprised when the government fails—the very thing we are witness today.

I do not want a purely free market. I want a regulated market. I don’t want private fire department. I don’t want a private military. I don’t want Fed Ex to replace the Post Office. I don’t want my roads and highways to owned and controlled by toll-collecting companies. And I don’t want more wars for profit.

I want safe food. I want fair wages that keep up with inflation. I want my life to revolve less around work and more around living. I want healthcare, not health insurance. I want a neutral police or military. I want small businesses to have a chance to compete with giant companies. I want vibarant, locally owned economies. I want environmental responsitibility. I want good schools for all, not some. And I want a society that seeks solutions not retribution.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 15, 2010 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment

No_Man’s_Land, February 15 at 7:42 pm #

Why on earth would we compare Obama to Hitler?  There are people today, from the Left, making that charge when it comes to President Obama’s policies in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  On the “Right” it’s about Obama the dictator.  Not unlike you claim of President Bush.

Are you willing to claim that it’s O.K. as long as you agree with the characterization?  Was that your point?

-

When President Clinton four times bombed Iraq the “Right” claimed he was trying to distract from his “Lewisnki problem.  The “Left” claimed Clinton and his “corporate world cronies” was attempting to steal Arab Oil.  He was likened to, guess who, Hitler.

What was the most common protest sign witnessed in Europe when the U.S. took action in Yugoslavia?  President Clinton burned in effigy as Hitler.  You can look it up.

This stuff never changes.  You know this yourself.  So why take part in it?

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By Go Right Young Man, February 15, 2010 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

No_Man’s_Land,

Let all protesters have their say.  Listen to them.  Not just the few you happen to support.  Stop trying so hard to find fault in their concerns.  They appear to largely hold the same concerns you hold.  They, quite simply, look and talk differently than you happen to.

Look closely at the crowds, No_Man.  Huge numbers are independent and overwhelmingly made up of the elderly.  The elderly happen to make up the largest voting block with a few of the most powerful “special interest groups” in Washington.

It’s a tremendous mistake, and, well, myopic to denigrate any protest.

-

What would your reply be, to every word I wrote, if I were to say “Nice to see such good Black folk sow hatred and division like they did in the old days?”  What would you see in my attitudes and opinions?

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By no mans land, February 15, 2010 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man:

Why on earth would we compare Bush to Hitler?

Could it be that he invaded an innocent coutnry without cause?

Could it be that the government is listening to and reading all of our communications now?

Could it be the suspension of Habeus Corpus, the foundation of our freedom, even for American Citizens?

Could it be the Dixie Chic rallies that called anyone who disagreed with the policy “traitors” and called, on national televion, for their exile and execution?

Could it be the constant rewriting and denial of clear historical facts?

Why on earth would anyone compare the two men…

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By no mans land, February 15, 2010 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man:

“The issues of the protesters appear to be largely the same as seen on this Web site.  They are simply human beings that sound and look unlike yourself.  They are, however, Americans with concerns.  Not unlike yourself.”

That may be. However their performance this past summer during the healthcare debate is quite revealing. The entire ‘Death Panel’ propaganda offensive reveals just how much this crowd is being coaxed and goaded into an absolute frenzy against solutions that are in their best interest and is a perfect example of the anti-populist gasoline I wrote of earlier. It’s sad and it’s a very dangerous game the right wing is playing. What this crowd doesn’tseem understand is that its all coming from the very corporations and banks they want to hand cart blanche to with their cry to deregulate.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 15, 2010 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

Group.  I know I sound preachy.  I understand that.  But I have been reading news and comments on this site long enough to know what you all know yourselves. 

The delight and overwhelming support for all who wished to protest the previous president, with the thousands of depictions of Bush as Hitler, with all the depictions of Bush with a bullet through his head, with the unprecedented hatred toward the last administration that was displayed here on these very pages, it is foolish, or cruel, or bigoted, or delusional, or completely ignorant to claim that ANY protest to date has been about race. 

Barring, that is, this very Web site.  Where the president’s skin color dominates these pages.  Most Americans assign a great deal less importance on the issue.  It is you who are obsessed with the color of the president’s skin.  It is you who are sowing the hatred.

It is you. It IS you!  It is YOU who are sowing the hatred and division!

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By no mans land, February 15, 2010 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man

Well, I guess I just have an issue with a crowd that so overtly touts its Christianity, even opens its ceremonies with prayer, and then has as its convention opening act, Tom Tancredo stand up there and scapegoat an innocent category of people for the nation’s problems. I wouldn’t even have a problem with that if the people hadn’t cheered and given him a standing O.

As for Sarah Palin, I personally don’t care if she wants to write notes on her hand, or the inside of her glasses for that matter, but if she is going to attack the President for using a teleprompter during speeches, and considering she’s vying for the job herself, she might want to use less noticeable ink next time.

I honestly don’t begrudge the tea baggers their angst. I think we all have it and I think angst is quite justified. I have a problem, though, when a movement is swept onto the national stage scapegoating innocent people for their woes, and is so utterly confused that it uses different or opposiing terms incorrectly or interchangeably.

There is so little substance coming out of this movement, yet so much division and hatred. They regurgitate Fox talking points and fail to address any of the problems that real people are facing. All of this means that they are potentially very dangerous. High emotion and vitriol combined with little substance or demonstration of an ability to comprehend the basic very basic concepts they decry, make for a toxic mix. At best, they are a batch of keystone firemen charging forth to douse the national flames with a tank full of anti-populist gasoline. At worst, their vile anger is driven by the type of racism Tancredo so easily evoked, putting this country on par with 1933 Germany.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 15, 2010 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller,

The Tea Party protests stemmed from the “Bank and Auto Company bailouts” of 09.  That issue was extraordinarily clear in April 2010 and continues today.  Why are you not listening or hearing?

Amongst this crowd “Take Our Country Back” began before President Obama took office.  The issues of the protesters appear to be largely the same as seen on this Web site.  They are simply human beings that sound and look unlike yourself.  They are, however, Americans with concerns.  Not unlike yourself.

Is it not interesting that so many Independents find themselves in support of the protests?  It’s the Independent crowd which decide elections.  There is an election coming up in 2012.  It may be wise to hear them.

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