Thursday, February 4, 2010

The day the circus came to town

Tea Bag sign Fasten your seatbelts, batten your hatches, and hide the whiskey, Nashville...the Tea Party convention is paying a visit to your city! You lucky devils!

Maybe that's a poor choice of words.

Yes, the first somewhat-organized Tea Party convention is taking place in Nashville today through Saturday. I'm sure most of you have read about the problems they've been having. It seems that there is a lot of infighting among the various groups, there is paranoia about a takeover by the "mainstream" RNC, there are questions about who will profit from this, there is irritation at the price of admission ($549...a little out of reach for your average Joe the Plumber kind of douchebag, and why didn't they just round it up to $550?), and there were enough concerns from the Ethics Committee that Representatives Michelle Bachmann and Marsha Blackburn pulled out. A frustrated Tea Party convention had no comment. I never tire of that joke!

Oddly enough, despite being known for her extreme quittitude, Governor Sarah Palin is sticking with them. Yeah, she screwed Alaska over by quitting a year and a half before her term was up so that she could cash in, but by golly, she's sticking with those fine patriots at the Tea Party convention! What loyalty! What fortitude! What complete and utter bobbleheaded cluelessness!

Ahh, you know, I guess I can't really fault her. She's getting $100,000+ for her speaking fee, although she says she won't profit from it, and instead will funnel it back into other fellow patriots' campaigns...or her PAC, whichever comes first. Hey, people, there are plenty of copies of Going Rouge Rogue left that SarahPAC needs to snatch up. Those things don't come free, you know!

I can't say that I'm surprised at the lack of cohesion that we're seeing with this convention. The whole thing strikes me as angry people who aren't quite sure what they're angry about. (Not all...I've read stuff from some who lay out quite clearly what they're angry about. Some of the information is probably legitimate, but the majority I've seen is simply not true or highly misinterpreted and misrepresented.) Whenever I see these teabaggers interviewed, most can't quite seem to articulate what exactly it is that has them so pissed off. They talk about their Constitutional freedoms being violated (yet they thought the Patriot Act was just fine and dandy), they talk about their guns being taken away (despite the fact that President Obama recently got an F from the Brady Commission when it comes to his efforts at gun control), and they talk about how they "want their country back." I'm not sure from whom...the government? The godless commies? The people who look...different? The people who worship different? The people who don't worship at all and believe that religion has no place whatsoever in our political landscape? The Canadians streaming across our border? (Okay, I just made up that last one. That's not really happening. Maybe we should ask ourselves why.)

Who knows? I just know that I'm looking forward to some fun with this convention. I'm sure there will be plenty of amazing and amusing revelations. I'm sorry that Bachmann won't be there...that's always some great theater there. Theater of the absurd.

Walorski Speaking of absurd, I've recently mentioned Jackie Walorski (the renowned fashion maven—lookin’ good, Jackie!), who is running against my Congressman Joe Donnelly in the 2010 election. I've made no bones about the fact that I find the woman repugnant. (She wanted to shut down all Planned Parenthood clinics in the state of Indiana because of ethics violations at one clinic. The woman is a menace to my state.) Well, my friend Dan (this would be Milwaukee Dan #1, who I met in college) had joined her Facebook page in order to read and comment on her stuff and on the posts from her followers. He found out today that he had been "defriended" from the page, because of his dissenting voice.

Now, I've known Dan (AKA Guido!) for going on 30 years, and I can guarantee you that he was not antagonistic—that’s just not his style. In fact, he wrote, "And for the record, my comments were almost always civil and respectful and usually cast as questions. How harsh could I be while asking a question? I do think some of the regulars at her site considered my comments often to be a buzz kill on their Ra-Ra love fest." I know that he was merely asking legitimate questions, raising concerns, and offering a differing opinion, and I'm sure he backed most of them up with facts. He's a journalist, after all.

I find this very telling. I believe that there is no reasonable discourse to be had with teabaggers. They don't want to listen. They're just pissed off. They believe they're Taxed Enough Already (And cleverly incorporated that acronym into their name...get it? TEA party. Oh, that is good!), and don't want one red cent of their money going towards anyone else's health care, or programs for underprivileged kids, or for food stamps that will help put food on the table for people who have lost their jobs. They see taxation as "spreading the wealth around," which they then equate with socialism. Open your eyes, people. The roads you drive on, the library from which you borrow your books, your Social Security, your Medicare, your military, the aid you get from Washington when your town is hit by a devastating tornado, the funds you get when you've lost your job and can't find another one...these are all government programs that keep our country running. We all pay taxes as part of the greater good. Are there problems and abuses? Of course. There will always be those who find a way to scam the system. That doesn't mean that we should discontinue them. We can look for inefficiencies and try to limit them, but as citizens, we pay taxes in order to keep our country operating.

But I find it interesting that the teabaggers will gladly accept all of these government programs and more, only to draw the line at "others" getting a piece of the action. When the teabaggers get it, they've earned it; when we try to help others who are less fortunate, they see it as "entitlement." They will be the first to complain about all the money that we're spending on social programs or foreign aid. I highly recommend you take a look at this fascinating graphic from the New York Times concerning the proposed budget, which shows what we spend our money on. It might surprise you.

I have more to say (imagine that!), but it's getting late and this is long enough. I get very discouraged at times, I really do. This seems like a good time to repost this video.

20 comments:

  1. as a sidebar did you hear that the alaskans have their own version of groundhog day called marmot day? apparently groundhogs are not native to the area.

    snark on!

    xxalainaxx

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  2. ps bet you a dollar you'll never guess who signed that little gem into law. . . . .

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  3. This is an incredibly accurate post, Beth. I only have two criticisms: 1) It's not nice to get me all riled up so early in the morning, and 2) you made a reference to "the library from which (they) borrow (their) books". Do you really think Tea Baggers READ?

    Bravo for this post!

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  4. Ah, Beth.
    Loved it.
    And it is quite telling how sick'n'twisted this "movement" is when Michelle Bachmann decides to pull out.
    And The Quitter? Saying she won't "profit." Yeah, she won't profit "directly".
    I hope you'll be our oficial Tea Party correspondent, because I love how you melt it all down to the simple truth: these are people angry at....what? These are people who offer no solution to any problem?
    They are angry for anger's sake.

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  5. Marsha Blackburn Voted FOR:
    Omnibus Appropriations, Special Education, Global AIDS Initiative, Job Training, Unemployment Benefits, Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, Agriculture Appropriations, U.S.-Singapore Trade, U.S.-Chile Trade, Supplemental Spending for Iraq & Afghanistan, Prescription Drug Benefit, Child Nutrition Programs, Surface Transportation, Job Training and Worker Services, Agriculture Appropriations, Foreign Aid, Vocational/Technical Training, Supplemental Appropriations, UN “Reforms.” Patriot Act Reauthorization, CAFTA, Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations, Head Start Funding, Line-item Rescission, Oman Trade Agreement, Military Tribunals, Electronic Surveillance, Head Start Funding, COPS Funding, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Peru Free Trade Agreement, Economic Stimulus, Farm Bill (Veto Override), Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening.

    Marsha Blackburn Voted AGAINST:
    Ban on UN Contributions, eliminate Millennium Challenge Account, WTO Withdrawal, UN Dues Decrease, Defunding the NAIS, Iran Military Operations defunding Iraq Troop Withdrawal, congress authorization of Iran Military Operations.


    Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
    See her unconstitutional votes at :
    http://tinyurl.com/qhayna
    Mickey

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  6. me thinks Jackie is wearing a wig or a hair piece.....she sure is fugly.

    TEA bags my ass. Palin will take that $100K and add it to her bank account and lie her ass off about where it went. She is so stupid and someday i bet more info comes out about just how rotten she really is. Great post, Beth. XO

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  7. The paranoia of these teabagging imps is astounding and palpable and terrifying. I'll be surprised if no one gets shot at this silly little affair of theirs. They have become splintered into noisy little shards of self-contradicting insanity, and it is just one of the funniest things to watch. It's The People's Front of Judea squaring off against The Judean People's Front in a sandbox of ignorance, bigotry and oppressive fascism.

    To watch Palin throw herself, doe-eyed and oblivious, into this tempest in a tea-bag is kind of fun. But, she can rile a crowd and incite the most irrational, primal hatreds and fears out of that crowd, and that's something that America should fear more than anything. These aren't people who care about peace or the well-being of America. These are people who have learned their "debate and policy" tactics from watching professional wrestling for fuck's sake.

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  8. Great post, but I still can't figure out WHY they seem to be proud to be called TEA bags...ignorance must be blissful for them I guess.

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  9. Beth makes a great point about tea baggers being close-minded. Often, when I tried to engage them in serous discussion, they could not back up half of what they spewed.
    The subject of corruption is a good example. Some in the Walorski page actually argue that Obama is the most corrupt president ever. It's mind-boggling!

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  10. You have to shake your head at the insanity of it. You can have your say and freedom of speech, you just have to pay $549 dollars to do so. Crazy enough I thought freedom of speech was...oh gee whiz, I don't know - free.

    Of course Palin is sticking with them, it's right up her alley of lunacy. (Hugs)Indigo

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  11. If you could reason with a teabagger, there wouldn't be any teabaggers.

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  12. Yes, we tea baggers can read. And I think I'm rather reasonable. I do hope that my being a supporter of the Tea party (and there are quite a few afrcian americans who are) will have no affect on our friendship.
    Laini

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  13. To Mark and Elayne... I wouldn't think that a friendship would have to suffer because of a philosophical difference, no matter how Mick White tries to defend Michelle Bauchmann.

    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day (Bauchmann). She doesn't, IMO, make informed choices. She speaks the uniformed language of rhetoric. There is nothing in here words that indicate she came to any conclusion by an informed studying of the subjects.

    The Patriot Act doesn't work and harms the security of the country... that MY opinion.

    Hey Beth, there was a great article in SI on Jim Irsay... EXCELLENT reading. Tell Ken.

    The Monty Python clip was on point. What DO we need to pay taxes and Washington for anyway??

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  14. Self-loathing African-Americans are teabaggers. When the slack-jawed yokel tea party leader calls our President "nigger," you really should start to evaluate your priorities if you find yourself wanting to hitch your wagon to those racist assholes.

    I don't think teabaggers are anywhere near reasonable (and I question if any members of that ridiculous mob are even self-aware). It's nothing but a bunch of vapid, knee-jerk bullshit and mock outrage over receiving things that actually help them in the long run. Sadly, their irrational hatreds have been stoked and they've been ginned up into an unthinking, incurious, unquestioning army whose purpose is to protect the wealthy business entities and derail any civil attempts to better this country and its people.

    I recently had the following conversation with one of them:
    Teabagger: "Obama should be impeached!"
    Me: "You should be sent to prison."
    Teabagger: "Why?"
    Me: "My point exactly."

    All anyone need do is ask themselves what America or her people have to gain if the teabagging imbeciles actually got their way. For fuck's sake, they've gutted the Republican party with these comically unreasonable purity tests, and their protests look more like a rally broadcasting the ramblings of LOLcats than any sort of coherent, educated, informed argument.

    They are simply too rock-stupid to have earned a voice in this debate, and America would be better off just ignoring the window-lickers. These are people who actually compare Obama to Hitler and think our legislative branch is made up of "unAmericans."

    How the hell do you expect to ever teach these idiots anything?

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  15. Yes, the clip was just a little slice of perfection for your post. Love it!

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  16. You people are idiots.

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  17. Beth terrific piece. It isn't enough to be irrationally angry, they also need to be informed, and be able to come up with some solutions themselves, to actually be part of the process. So far, all they produce is venom and misrepresentation. Not much of a political foundation. This is one group I am very happy to say I don't understand at all.

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  18. One can only hope that the TB's (is that a disease?) form their own party, and them maybe we could get back to a reasonable two party system, which used to be healthy.

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  19. Do these people know what being tea bagged really means? Maybe they should google it.

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  20. Maybe teabagger have been bitten by a mad dog and are now mortally rabid.

    I'm like milwaukeedan1, try engaging in an intelligent conversation with one of them and you find it's easier to go talk to yourself instead... and before you figure that out, you'll need earplugs too, because all they can do is shout, yell and scream. I've yet to see a calm, rational conversation come from a single one of them.

    I mean, the way they froth at the mouth spouting such stupid platitudes you just have to wonder: 1) what they've been drinking;
    2) what they've been smoking;
    3) what drugs they are on;
    4) what cave they crawled out of;
    5) where they possibly went to school and how many days they missed, and
    6) what planet they are from?

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I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?