Stupid Meme Repeat (ad-nauseum) The Racist Tea Party…. And More.

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A liberal professor has written a particularly lame article. It’s yet another attempt to cast a racists pawl over the Tea Party movement.

He starts off by saying:

Tea partiers proudly proclaim themselves conservatives. And rightly so.

Why rightly so? Because conservatives have always been, and will always be, of course, radical and racists.

Tea party protesters repeat the conservative catchwords of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, who built their careers fighting the “creeping socialism” of civil rights legislation, Social Security and Medicare.

OK, and that’s a bad thing?

Tea Partiers also have echoes of a well-known grass-roots movement of the 1950s and ’60s — the John Birch Society. The JBS organized in upper-middle-class neighborhoods and among business groups for anti-Communist and conservative causes.

Oh, another bad thing!

In tone and substance, tea partiers even sound like the JBS did. When they claim that a moderate American president [insert Obama here] is a “Communist,” it recalls the old JBS attacks on “Communist” President Dwight Eisenhower.

First, lets get the term straight. Though it’s sometimes there, “Communist” is not the common slur used against Obama. That would be “Socialist”. Has this guy ever even been to a Tea Party? Doubt it. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t subscribe to the “Obama is a Socialist” rant. It’s not true, and throwing around ad-homs is no way to win an argument. But still, you would have more credibility if you used the right slur. That said, if you go to any populist rally, you see all sorts of “interesting” characters and ideas floating around. However, when the anti-Israel protesters were present at various anti-Bush or immigration protests, why is it that that didn’t somehow define who those protesters were?

As today’s tea partiers shout their slogans to end the Federal Reserve, abolish the Internal Revenue Service and restore the gold standard, they seem to be lifting a page from the old JBS playbook.

Oh No – abolish the Fed and the IRS!!!! How horrible! Where is the harm in advocating either. Wouldn’t our lives be easier if there was a flat tax, or an alternative to filling out gobs of tax forms every year? I don’t agree with the “Evil Federal Reserve” POV (see the panic of 1907) but since when was it somehow wrong or evil for wanting to abolish it?

For its part, the JBS followed in the tradition of the Liberty League, a right-wing citizens’ group organized by the DuPont family in the 1930s to overturn President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Oh No. Oh No – Overturn the New Deal, the great expansion of executive power!!!! How horrible! I for one don’t knock parts of the New Deal. Some of the projects, those that invested in the expansion of the electrical grid for instance, did create needed jobs and paved the way for the economic boom of post WW II. Some of the New Deal helped some survive conditions that make the worst of our current situation seem like a cake walk. But it’s not as if the New Deal jump-started the economy on a grand scale, and everything was wine and roses in the 30’s after it was past. Government spending just doesn’t produce that kind of economic boom. Ask Greece and England and Spain about how much government spending can produce jobs, and economic growth.

Yet commentators resist linking tea parties to this radical right.

Perhaps this is because of the Liberty League’s association with shadowy corporate conspiracies.

Perhaps it’s because hardly anyone even knows there was ever such a group/ movement called “The Liberty League”, and that was 80 years ago. Perhaps it’s because people don’t want to look like conspiracy nuts by mentioning “shadowy corporate conspiracies”.

Or it could be because of the John Birch Society’s reputation for secrecy and extremism. But the lineage of today’s tea parties doesn’t change just because they parade in the glare of a major TV network.

If they are so secret, then how come we all know about it?

Instead, commentators prefer to call the tea partiers “populists.” Exactly what links tea parties and historic populism usually goes unexplained.

Wiki defines populism as thus: It is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as “political ideas and activities that are intended to represent ordinary people’s needs and wishes”. It goes on to give a few examples of “populists movements”. Here is the “Greenback Party” which was concerned with monetary policy, and favored the establishment of a Federal Reserve type system. The populist “Progressive Party” which vowed to “to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics”. Look at the crooked political deals that were done in order to pass the health care legislation. Just because the bribery took place in plain view, does not make it any less corrupt.

And BTW, who gave you carte blanche the sole authority to determine who is and who isn’t “populist”?

Like the conservative “gold bug” enemies of populism past, the tea partiers are more concerned about possible inflation in the future than with the current ordeal of the unemployed.

Hey, look at the average age if the tea party members. It’s mostly people between the ages of 40 and 60. These are people who remember quite well what run-away inflation was like in the 70’s. They also remember that the unemployment rate was a little less than it is now. Care to guess what will happen to the unemployment rate if inflation rates start to rise? If the author didn’t have fingers in his ears, he would actually hear what the Tea Party members are saying. Part of the reason I teach history is to show how you can learn the lessons of the past. It seems professor Postel has no concept of that teaching philosophy.

The one issue that unites the diverse coalition, according to a New York Times/CBS poll, is hostility to federal spending to create jobs.

Uh, because federal spending is not effective at creating enough jobs to jump start the private sector.

Most tea party supporters also tell pollsters that too much has been made of problems facing blacks. This is striking, given how both the Bush and Obama administrations have tiptoed around the economic catastrophe that has hit black America during the financial crisis.

In much of the country, the jobless rate in black communities is at Great Depression levels — 27 percent in Michigan and nearly 19 percent in the District of Columbia.

And which party has been in control of Michigan and Washington D. C. since, well, forever? Which political faction has tried over and over again to create jobs in those regions through endless government funding. Which party has promised to give those communities unlimited hand-out, while at the same time killing jobs through some of the highest taxes in the country. I’ll give you a hint. It isn’t the conservatives.

Again, the contrast with Coxey’s Army is telling. Most white Populists embraced the racist dogmas of the late 19th century. But in the 1894 depression, the Populists did something new. Instead of making scapegoats of the Chinese or other ethnic groups for taking jobs, they looked for ways to create more jobs.

… And here we go with the racist accusations.

The tea partiers came to protest federal action. Today, local and state governments are hemorrhaging jobs and slashing essential services. The tea partiers are boiling mad because of the stimulus bill meant to stop the bleeding.

What a bunch of crap! The Tea Party is about reversing the trend of irresponsible reckless fiscal policy by both state and federal government, which is the reason why they are “hemorrhaging jobs and slashing essential services”. Note that the writer actually hit on an unmentionable truth; that the stimulus was always about propping up government jobs, not those in the private sector! Note too that the private sector is starting to recover, yet the public sector, even with the cash give-a-way they called a stimulus package, is still marred in financial crisis.

The writer concludes with this:

When the tea partiers say they are true conservatives, there is no reason to doubt them. They stand in the conservative tradition of the radical right — a movement of the haves and the well-protected who, since the time of FDR, have feared that their freedom will be lost if the government extends a hand to the have-nots and the unprotected.

No, you’re one of the many who is willfully not hearing the message, who lets partisan blindness get in the way of your ability to comprehend an aspect of reality. What they fear is that government is overstepping the bound of what they perceive as it’s proper duties, and that in doing so, it’s headed down the path currently occupied by California, Spain, and especially Greece. If that happens, we will lose much more than our freedoms, we lose the government that is supposed to protect and insure our freedoms.

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