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The Best Sweeteners of Tea

Her sign reads, “Sorry Daddy, I don’t have $1 trillion to loan you! =)”

There has been quite a bit of talk lately about a growing political movement by newly-minted Constitutionalists called the “Tea Party movement”. It has been touted as a “grass roots rebellion” all over the conservative airwaves and news media, despite the huge names endorsing the ideas.

In an article by David Barstow, he describes the movement as being a separate mechanism away from the Republicans, and that it has a more “traditionally conservative” background.

“[A] significant undercurrent within the Tea Party movement that has less in common with the Republican Party than with the Patriot movement, a brand of politics historically associated with libertarians, militia groups, anti-immigration advocates and those who argue for the abolition of the Federal Reserve.”

Barstow’s article goes on to describe the aforementioned Constitutionalists as only recently coming to political awareness when they realized that “Washington was a threat”. Further, several of them mention the possible, if not probable, impending need for revolution, “Mrs. Stout said she felt as if she had been handed a road map to rebellion.” This theme of militias actually being called into action is widely apparent throughout Barstow’s article and in Tea Party ideals.

“In Indiana, Richard Behney, a Republican Senate candidate, told Tea Party supporters what he would do if the 2010 elections did not produce results to his liking: “I’m cleaning my guns and getting ready for the big show. And I’m serious about that, and I bet you are, too.”

What has essentially happened, however, is that the Tea Party movement has been touted so fervently by conservative media that it hardly qualifies as a grass roots movement. Last April, Fox News pushed for the Tea Parties so hard that it actually fabricated video footage in order to make a Tea Party seem larger.

Even further, the lead proponent of the Tea Parties at the Fox News Channel is none other than Glenn Beck. While Ron Paul is a favorite presidential candidate, Barstow’s article seems to imply that Sarah Palin is a lead choice for many of these Tea Party members. The connection then is the relationship of the Tea Party’s organizers, proponents, leaders and media supporters all being tied, in some way, to Fox News. That network, for years, has been the media outlet for Republican talking points–you know, the ones touting “anti-big government” rhetoric while simultaneously supporting the Patriot Act. Barstow addresses the assumption of the connection.

“Some Tea Party groups are essentially appendages of the local Republican Party. But most are not.”

While it has to be said that not all, or even most, Tea Party members of average citizenry believe that the Tea Party is a tool for conservatives in power, that is unfortunately the case. As the Tea Parties have finally come to realize that our democracy is bought and sold, manipulated by popular special interests with great hairlines and high cheekbones, they have unfortunately missed the fact that they are being led by such people.

Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, I believe it is fairly obvious, are two filthy politicians and charlatans of the highest order. For Christ’s sake, if the guys who make South Park can figure this out, you would think that grown, 40 or 50-year old adults could. Then again, these are the same people who, “voted twice and failed political science twice.”

Beck, Palin and the rest of the Fox crew are profiteers, gerrymandering a political movement that believes that an armed revolution is the way to stop Pfizer from contributing to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign fund. These are the same reactionary, excitable and scared people that are just too easy for big-time conservatives to prey on.

The bottom line is, a major tenant of this “classical conservatism” these Tea Party people have forgotten is that of gradual change. Talking about “justifying war” and “revolution” and “sometimes there’s no other choice” is talk of actionable violence (which, by the way, let’s not forget how stupid that is. They have tanks, you have a 1911 and a deer rifle). It doesn’t surprise me that these people don’t understand–they only just now joined the foray of political thought, and even then, they’re being dragged through the swamp instead of discovering it for themselves.

But the problem here is that there very well is a problem with our government. Everyone, from all sides, recognizes it. Seats in both houses and the Presidency are bought with campaign war chests provided by “special interests”. There are more lobbyists than members of the house and the senate, combined. Yet acting as a bunch of yokels by rounding up a posse and lighting a torch only makes it easier to identify just who’s going to come out on top.

As always, the path to governmental change is from the inside, out. It’s the same thing I always say to protesters trying to get something changed in Salem with cardboard signs here in Eugene. Pool your resources, canvass, get something signed, and get some money (the dudes who want medical marijuana do it). Go buy your own candidate, one that will pass laws or create some real change (even if it is ridiculous). Tea Party people, even if misguided, have a fundamental flaw in that they do not understand the situation at hand. Armed revolution will not come to this country, and spouting the problems of a populist, elitist government while simultaneously being led by those same people is completely asinine.

Until they understand that, they’re just sheep. Sheared for their wool, slaughtered for their meat.

  1. Maddog says:

    Oh my!

    Some nut say something stupid and you become a raving loony. I vote this silliest post of the decade.

  2. SEC says:

    good article.

    If your conventions are sponsored by FOX then it’s not grass roots. Stupid ignorant sheep.

  3. Rudd says:

    I suspect the militia aspect of the Tea Party movement is overplayed by the media and hyped up by Beck-style paranoia. How many of them do you think would actually want to take part in an armed insurrection? It’s like people on the left who talk about trying Bush for war crimes: it’s an idea they sympathize with in the abstract but they don’t have the balls to go through with it. Rather, I imagine the tea-partiers see themselves as a level-headed anti-government movement, the media coverage of which frustratingly seems to focus on the stupider signs people bring to their events or on the guy who brought a gun. It’s a movement that is torn right now between getting absorbed (or exploited) by the Republican Party and staying an independently grassroots but less influential organization.

    With this view your criticism seems misplaced. After all, there are “tea party candidates” gearing up for running for office as you advise, such as Hayworth for McCain’s senate seat, congressional candidates Joe Petronis in TX and Clayton Thibodeau in CA, and likely more to come.

  4. Allen1776 says:

    You could try reading Behney’s clarification on how his statements are being mischaracterized.

    There seems to be a plethora of hang the messenger going on about his campaign.

  5. Gabrielle says:

    Oh come on! I bet not one of you have actually checked out a real tea party meeting or bothered to even talk to a member. At least locally, the group is made up of citizens concerned with the direction our country is heading. Many of them are also small business owners, who, for the first time, are concerned enough to stand up and be counted. This is a risky thing to do since a boycott of your business would mean the end of it and maybe even the loss of your home. Many others involved are average hourly workers. Some have been to college, others not. There are always fringe members but, locally, they don’t make the majority. Because of this movement people who never would have before are running for office. They may or may not win but we will have more informed voters because of it. Unless, your real goal is to exclude anyone who disagrees with you.

  6. zack says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but if it weren’t so scary, their hypocrisy would be funny. Comparing Obama to Hitler while the Neo-Nazi movement has latched on to them. Relating the “Czars” to Communist Russia…. (I saw a protest sign that said “more Czars than the USSR” which is accurate being that the USSR had exactly Zero Czars as the Czars were overthrown for a communist state).

    Beware of this movement. A lot of these people hoard guns and are not afraid to use them against those they disagree with, Government or no. Then you have Fox news inciting them to riot. The madness needs to stop.

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