Tag Archives: Media

The Problem With The Tea Party As I See It

I’d kind of like to side with some anti-government sentiment at times; especially when the government is going about finding new ways to restrict the civil rights of American citizens in the name of security or the drug war. I see these things as the tentacles of fascism winding around American democracy, using any excuse – drugs, terrorists, family values, the gay agenda – to get a further grip on society.

The Tea Party could be the lone group standing against this wave of oppression – it certainly isn’t the Republicans or the Democrats! But while the Tea Party people may prefer to think of themselves as Constitutionalists and freedom-loving citizens, the truth is far sadder and more predictable.

The tea party people have, as I see it, at least two problems.

The first problem is one that they share with the Libertarians: The idea that government is evil and corporations are good. Like Libertarians, most Tea Party people seem to want a government that doesn’t do anything for the people.

Defense and police. That’s it. Which of course leaves a power vacuum into which steps the giant corporations – who will have no problem telling you how to live your life in minute detail. Don’t think so?

Paying attention to news, you regularly see stories about someone being evicted from a mall for wearing the wrong kind of t-shirt or saying the wrong thing. That’s because you have no civil rights when on someone else’s private property. But in the Libertarian/Tea Party ideal world EVERY INCH of ground is someone else’s private property. Ergo, no rights for anyone.

Libertarians (and now by extension Tea Partiers) seem to live in a fantasy world where corporations are so concerned with good public relations that they would never impose anything grievous on the people – only evil government would do that. No corporation would ever cut corners and destroy the environment – or force you, in their relentless pursuit of profits, to take services you didn’t want in order to get something you really need.

Except, have you dealt with a corporation lately? Have you ever called Comcast (now Xfinity) customer service? Giant corporations don’t give a shit what you think of them; they are only interested in profits. And they don’t need your good will for that, they just need an effective monopoly.

The second problem with the Tea Party people is that they have been co-opted by astroturf “grass roots” front groups that are funded by big corporations such as Wellpoint (healthcare) and GE (war profiteers). The local Tea Party rally was organized by outsiders from The Lewin Group, a fake grassroots organization that is actually owned and operated by a giant healthcare company. They’re the ones who brainwash granny into going out there and screaming “Keep government out of my Medicare” (literally).

If there is any reader who doesn’t know this, Medicare is “government run” healthcare (as the insurance companies define it).

Unfortunately the healthcare bill that finally passed was more of a Tea Party bill than anything else: It mandates the purchase of private health insurance whether you can afford it or not. The only “give back” is that the health insurance companies won’t be able to exclude pre-existing conditions anymore and they won’t be able to cut you off in the middle of lifesaving treatment (a very common practice). It’s not a very good deal but you can thank the Tea Partiers for that.

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We should not leave this subject without mentioning their biggest problem: Hypocrisy.

Tea Partiers proudly call themselves “PATRIOTS” who want to “take back their government.” This is a message shouted at every meeting to loud applause. They yell and demand (and sometimes threaten). Really? Take back “our” government from whom? Well, they would be “taking it back” from the majority of American citizens that elected the government we have.
It would be hard to argue that the Tea Party movement represents anything close to a majority in America. Instead, they are the farthest right-wing fringe of the American political landscape. Yet they feel entitled to control the government anyway, democracy be damned.
It is hard to imagine a philosophy less patriotic.. well, for an American. This would be a patriotic ideal in the old Soviet Union, but in this country with its tradition of democracy it is …well, anti-American.

Tea Partiers say government is too big. I mostly agree. The majority of federal spending, however, is on the military – something a Tea Party person would never want to cut. They also want government “hands off” their Medicare, which is another big chunk. If they mean other kinds of social spending (and that’s the “big government” they keep mentioning), that is something like three percent of the federal budget.

Tea Partiers say the national debt is too great. I agree. The vast majority of that debt was run up FIRST by Ronald Reagan and then by George W. Bush. These two men are heroes to the Tea Party movement. So naturally the Tea Party people were silent during the reign of these reckless spenders. Also, once again, almost all of that debt was run up with military spending. Something most Tea Party people are for.

What they really mean by all of this anti-government rhetoric is that they don’t want services that benefit anyone else – but they DO want lots and lots of military spending (because they are afraid of everything) and they want their Medicare because that helps them. Everyone else can go fuck themselves.

I guess this brings me to my final point, which is that the tea party movement is a magnet for low information people who are easily swayed by emotional arguments AND who lack compassion for their fellow human beings. They’ve got theirs and the hell with everyone else. It is a movement based entirely on the twin pillars of fear and selfishness.

With that knowledge in mind, I’m very glad that the Tea Party people are a small minority but sad that they get attention so out of proportion to their numbers – and that politicians listen to them.

YOU’D NEVER SEE THE BUSH WHITE HOUSE SULLY ITSELF LIKE THIS

Oh the horror – the White House let semi-liberal talker Ed Schultz sit in on the Obama press conference. The shame is unbearable. Boy, this guy is SO right!  You’d never see a right wing talk show host at one of George Bush’s White House press conferences.  A male prostitute, sure, but not a right wing talk show host.  I mean, come on!  Decorum, people; does the word mean anything to you?

Oh yeah, um… there was that right-wing uber nut job talk show host Les Kinsolving at every White House press conference, asking questions like, “How can you stand the evil Democrats and their attempts to destroy America?” ..But you know, it wasn’t Rush so it doesn’t count. Nothing the far right does ever counts. EVER. When will we stupid reality-based people learn? – Politico’s Daily Anti-Obama rant.

SHE HEARS THINGS!

Remember some months back when a lady claimed that her daughter’s talking doll said, “Islam is the light”?  Well, now she’s hearing the same message in a Nintendo DS game.  Ok, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that this woman is fucking nuts.

As you read the story linked to below, notice the complete lack of skepticism.  It’s reported as if she is simply factually correct, with not a word to suggest that she HEARS SHIT THAT ISN’T THERE.

Occam’s Razor, people, Occam’s Razor.

Media uncritically repeats possibly schizophrenic claims

Conservative Darling War Correspondent Would Ban Himself

Yes, it’s darling of the right “Joe The Plumber” (whose name is NOT Joe and who is not a plumber) ..now he’s Joe the War Corresponded for an online right wing zine. He wants to ban the media from the war. Well, not himself of course! He just wants to ban anyone who might be objective or something less than a full-throated cheerleader. See for yourself….

‘Joe the Plumber’ says journalists should be ‘abolished’ from war coverage

“I’ll be honest with you: I don’t think journalists should be anywhere allowed war. (sic) I mean, you guys report where our troops are at. You report what’s happening day to day. You make a big deal out of it. I think it’s asinine.”

The TV News Sell-out Continues

This time, we’re talking about health reporting. TV News Directors Association is proud as punch to partner with what amounts to an advertising firm to make fake news appear like magic on your television.

Schwitzer health news blog: TV news directors make another bad deal on health care news

“In celebration of Ivanhoe Broadcast News’ 30th anniversary, Ivanhoe and The Radio and Television News Directors Foundation have joined forces to provide two new training opportunities for journalists.”

What it all really means is that you are going to see more and more commercials disguised as news and more and more TV “journalists” acting as product pitch men. That’s just great. Like they didn’t lie to us enough as it was, now they are going to finish the job.

The only thing we can do is to REFUSE to watch any TV news, ever. Period. You’re reading this online so obviously you have Internet service. You can get real news online…although you have to hunt for it. I’ll suggest a few places some other time. Oh, and readers may feel free to suggest their own sources.