Category Archives: Tea Party Ignorance

Noam Chomsky: The Tea Party is the ‘petite bourgeoisie’ face of corporate oligarchs

 

Noam Chomsky on Tea Party

The Rachel Maddow Show was one of the first to report the connections between the Tea Party and corporate interests back in 2010.  Rolling Stone Magazine  and Common Dreams also published early reports of the Tea Party’s connections during that same time period.

Now,  Noam Chomsky adds to the information largely ignored by those who should know…the people who attach themselves to Tea Party politics even while doing so against their own economic interests.

The Raw Story

The Tea Party is just the popular face of corporate power in the United States, says political philosopher Noam Chomsky.

“I wouldn’t call them revolutionary,” Chomsky said, dismissing a suggestion that the conservative political faction had anarchist characteristics.

He told Radio VR during an interview posted online last week that he agreed with the conservative political analyst Norman Ornstein’s characterization of the Tea Party.

“He just described them as a radical insurgency opposed to rationality, to political compromise, to participation to a parliamentary system — in fact, with no positive goals themselves,” Chomsky said.

He said traditional anarchists opposed the inherent inequality in the relationship between a government and its people or business owners and their workers, while Tea Party conservatives promote this imbalance.

“They’re in favor of having the population subordinated to concentrated private power, which should have no limits,” Chomsky said. “When they call themselves anti-government, that means they don’t want government to limit the capacity of concentrated private power to dominate the society. That’s very far from any anarchism.”

Tea Party conservatives present themselves as strict constitutionalist proponents of a limited government, a claim that Chomsky rejected.

“They do oppose too much state power, but that’s a bit of a joke; they also support state power,” he said. “They support the powerful systems that sustain private power, concentration of power, as opposed to traditional anarchists.”

Chomsky agreed that the Tea Party was a genuine popular political movement who members were almost entirely white, “petite bourgeoisie” business owners who tend to be highly nationalistic and had racist elements.

The group’s power and significance comes not from its numbers, he said, but by the heavy funding it gets from corporate backers and the favorable coverage it receives from some media outlets.

The Tea Party’s popularity is essentially a symptom of the rigged political system, Chomsky argued.

“They have popular support and plenty of financial support, and a lot of their power comes from the radical gerrymandering, redesigning of electoral districts,” Chomsky said. “So for example, they’re powerful in the House of Representatives, where in fact, Republicans have the majority of the representatives but with a minority of the vote.”

He said that Democrats actually won significantly more of the popular vote in the last congressional election but were unable to gain a House majority.

“By virtue of rearranging of electoral districts and vast amounts of money, the right wing was able to take over the representation,” Chomsky said.

He cited a study by the political scientist Thomas Ferguson on campaign funding and its effect on electoral results.

“(He) showed there’s an almost linear relationship between the amount of money put into a campaign and electoral victory,” Chomsky said. “These are basically bought.”

Watch the video  here…

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Tea Party Threatens Revenge Against Pennsylvania Justices For Not Upholding Voter ID Law

 

Someone please explain this to me:  How in the hell did the Tea Party turn into an intimidation , extortion and revenge organization?

They’re talking about “exacting revenge” on a group of State Supreme Court Justices who didn’t think that voter intimidation was just and decided to send the case back to the lower court and commented that the law should be suspended immediately.

Who are these people and what do they really want from us, in addition to getting the “black guy” out of office?

Think Progress

Earlier this week, every single sitting Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice rejecteda lower court decision allowing that state’s voter ID law to take effect. Four justices joined a majority opinion requiring the lower court judge to look at the case again due to concerns that voters were unable to obtain the IDs they were supposed to have easy access to as a matter of law, and two more justices joined a dissent arguing that the law should simply be suspended right away. Three of the justices in the majority were Republicans.

Nevertheless, a Tea Party group is now threatening to exact revenge upon the state supreme court for refusing to uphold a law that prevents many low-income, student and minority voters from casting a ballot:

A Philadelphia-area tea party group says it will work to defeat two state Supreme Court justices next year if the state’s new voter identification law isn’t in effect for the Nov. 6 election.

The Independence Hall Tea Party on Thursday also criticized the court’s decision to send a legal challenge to the law back for a lower court review.

It called the decision “a cowardly move” to “punt the ball.”

Chief Justice Ronald Castille, a Republican, and Justice Max Baer, a Democrat, are each finishing a 10-year term in January 2014.

These kinds of campaigns of vengeance against justices who place the law ahead of conservative’s policy preferences are increasingly common. Two years ago, a Florida Tea Party group launched a similar revenge campaign after the Florida Supreme Court kept an unconstitutional ballot initiative attempting to nullify the Affordable Care Act off the state ballot. Similarly, anti-gay groups poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into a successful effort to remove three Iowa supreme court justices because they had the audacity to recognize that the state’s constitution does not permit discrimination against gay couples.

As a recent Center for American Progress report explains, corporate interest groups have alsospent big money to stack state judiciaries with friendly judges and justices. In one of the most egregious cases, a West Virginia coal baron spent $3 million to buy a seat on the state supreme court for a justice who later went on to strike down a $50 million verdict against his company, although the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ruled that the bought-and-paid-for justice should have recused himself.

 

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Filed under Tea Party Hubris, Tea Party Ignorance, Voter Identification, Voter Intimidation, Voter Suppression

Tea party headed to Wisconsin to defend Republican state senators

These people profess to love their country, yet support policies that are devastating for our country…

Raw Story

Two prominent tea party groups will begin their four-day “Restoring Common Sense” tour in Wisconsin on Friday to support the Republicans facing recall elections.

CNN reported that the Tea Party Nation and Tea Party Express will hold rallies across the state to defend six Republican state senators.

“The tea party stands for fiscal responsibility, and Republican Senators in Wisconsin stood firm for those principles,” Amy Kremer, chair of Tea Party Express, told CNN.

“Now they are under attack for doing the job they were elected to do. It is critical that we support and defend them from these undeserved attacks and in that effort we are proud to be joined by our friends at Tea Party Nation.”

Another group associated with the tea party movement, Americans for Prosperity, has been accused of trying to suppress Democratic votes in the upcoming elections.

Democratic Wisconsin Senate candidates overwhelmingly defeated their fake rivals in the Democratic primary election in July. Republicans entered the fake candidates into the race to force Democratic primary elections and delay the general election.

The six Republican state senators were recalled after supporting Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial “budget repair bill,” which stripped nearly all collective bargaining rights from public employees.

The state Government Accountability Board also approved recall elections for three Democratic state senators. The general election will take place on August 9.

Democrats need to pick up three additional seats to have a majority in the state Senate.

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Tea Party Absurdities In The News

 

TPM:  South Carolina Tea Party leader who says President Obama’s selling the country a phony birth certificate gets busted for selling pirated software.

TPM:  Tea Party Leaders: If Default Hurts The Tea Party, So Be It

U.S. News:  Tea Party Wants Boehner, Obama Fired

NY Daily News:  GOP’s Tea Party wing bungles Ronald Reagan legacy, dashes hopes for end to debt crisis

NBC:   Florida Tea Party hates manatees, declares them ‘dangerous’

NY Times:  John McCain mocked Tea Party-allied Republicans in the House for believing — wrongly, he said — that President Obama and Democrats will get the blame for a default if Republicans refuse to increase the nation’s debt ceiling.

CNBC:   If Tea Party Likes a Debt Deal, It Can’t Pass: Economist

Examiner:   Will the Tea Party’s antics spark a revolt in America?

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Wake Up, Huck: Obama Didn’t Grow Up in Kenya

I’m not sure what Mike Huckabee’s personal motives are, but in general it’s easy to see that the GOP  is listening to their pollsters who say that 51% of voting Republicans believe that Barack Obama was not born in this country.

Essentially one can deduce that the Republican party has now embraced “birtherism”.

The Daily Beast

Mike Huckabee supposedly “misspoke” when he said Barack Obama grew up in Kenya. The potential 2012 candidate and other Obama bashers need to accept that the president was born in the U.S. and is Christian—and try to beat him with ideas, argues Mark McKinnon.

Mike Huckabee has really stepped in it. I only wish I could believe it was entirely accidental. But, boy, there sure is a lot on his shoes. People like Mike Huckabee. I like Mike Huckabee. Or, I did anyway. But just because he can be charming and self-effacing doesn’t mean we should excuse him from appropriate standards of conduct and character assassination.

Huckabee said in an interview this week that President Obama grew up in Kenya. His spokesman tried to mop up by suggesting he misspoke and meant to say he grew up in Indonesia, which in itself is a vast overstatement and misleading. The problem is that Huckabee talked in the same breath about the Mau Mau Revolution, which happened in Kenya.

Here’s what I think. I doubt most Americans have a clue about the Mau Mau Revolution, including me. But, I’m pretty sure for most folks it sounds like something extremely foreign, vaguely socialist, anti-Christian or at the very least un-American. And unfortunately, whether it was overt or not, I think that Huckabee’s intent was to further sow the seeds that Obama is somehow “not really one of us…he’s one of them.” Take your pick and use your imagination about who “them” might be.    Continue reading…

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Teabaggers Strike WI Teachers, Teachers Strike Back

Dependable Renegade

…and the counter-strike!

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Matthews Yells At Tea Party Leader: Why Is ‘Balloon-Head’ Bachmann Speaking For You

I saw this segment on Chris Matthews’ Hardball last night and found Matthews’ heightened frustration with the Tea Party leader Sal Russo, amusing and justifiable.

Mediaite

Chris Matthews was nearly apoplectic in his questioning of Tea Party Express co-founder Sal Russo on the topic of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and her controversial re-imagining of history where the founding fathers found a way to end slavery in their lifetime. Repeatedly calling Bachmann a “balloon head,” Matthews demanded to know why Russo and the Tea Party wanted Bachmann to give a response to the State of the Union address or, more generally, why they ever wanted her to open her mouth in the first place?

Given that Russo was eager to steer the topic away from what Bachmann does or does not know about slavery, the “interview” ended up being just Matthews berating Russo with questions like “do you know how little this woman knows about American history” and “what is she talking about?” Joan Walsh was also a guest for the segment, but there was a little time for her, since it was clearly much more entertaining watching Matthews scream at Russo “are you hypnotized – can you answer a question,” whenever Russo struggled to defend Bachmann.

Watch:

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‘Repeal’

H/t Oh, For Goodness Sake

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The Constitution and its worshippers

Never in the history of the Congress has the Constitution been read on the floor of the HouseNever in the history of our Congress has there been classes held to learn the Constitution.  It appears that with the onslaught of new Tea Partiers who have been elected to the House, comes severeal remedial steps to bring them up to par.

It seems to me that those same people who revere the Constitution so much and speak of it’s priveleges with ardor and determination, don’t have a damned clue about the document.  Like robots, they mention (not quote) the 1st and 2nd amendments in almost every grievance.  Yet it appears from what the House has done so far to bring them up to speed, that those folks have a lot of catching up to do!

The New Yorker

[...]

At some forty-four hundred words, not counting amendments, our Constitution is one of the shortest in the world, but few Americans have read it. A national survey taken this summer reported that seventy-two per cent of about a thousand people polled had never once read all forty-four hundred words.   This proves no obstacle to cherishing it; eighty-six per cent of respondents said that the Constitution has “an impact on their daily lives.” The point of such surveys is that if more of us read the Constitution all of us would be better off, because we would demand that our elected officials abide by it, and we’d be able to tell when they weren’t doing so and punish them accordingly.

“This is what happens when our Constitution starts shaking her fist,” Sarah Palin tweeted in October, about calls for an end to federal funding for National Public Radio, which she charged with violating the First Amendment by firing the commentator Juan Williams. “The American people’s voice was heard at the ballot box,” Boehner said on Election Night, and what the American people want is “a government that honors the Constitution.”

 Rand Paul thanked his parents, in his victory speech, “for teaching me to respect our Constitution.” Michelle Bachmann told ABC News that she plans to offer Constitution classes in the House.

Glenn Beck asked his listeners to urge their representatives to join Bachmann’s constitutional caucus. Sharron Angle said that she took comfort in the knowledge that Harry Reid carries a copy of the Constitution in his breast pocket: “We want our senator to remember our Constitution, to read our Constitution, and to consider every bill that he votes for in light of that Constitution.” The Tea Party’s triumph, she said, amounts to this: “We’ve inspired a nation to take a look at that document and begin to read it.” Last week, when new lawmakers were sworn in, the Constitution was read out loud in the House of Representatives. It is the first time this has ever happened.     More…

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Tea Party Nation President Doesn’t Deny He Thinks Restricting Voting To Property Owners Is A ‘Wise Idea’

Sigh…

Think Progress

On Tuesday, ThinkProgress reported that Tea Party Nation president Judson Phillips said on the official Tea Party Nation radio show two weeks ago that he thinks that “it makes a lot of sense” to restrict voting rights only to property owners.

Yesterday, Phillips sent out an e-mail responding to ThinkProgress’ reporting. While insulting progressives who found his idea offensive — saying the “left went nuts,” the left went “spastic” and “into hysteria,” and accusing us of lying about his comments — Phillips reiterated his belief that limiting voting rights to property owners is a “wise idea”:

A couple of weeks ago, on the Tea Party Nation radio show, I was talking with David DeGerolamo of NC Freedom about the Founding Fathers and the original Constitution. During the course of our discussion, I mentioned that the founding fathers limited voting rights to property owners. I commented this was a wise idea.

Apparently, two weeks after the show, some liberal stumbled across it and today, that comment has turned into liberal headlines such as, “Tea Party Nation President says It Makes A Lot of Sense to Restrict Voting to Property Owners” and “Tea Party Leaders Attack Constitution.” Suddenly, this has morphed from a discussion between two tea partiers into articles claiming that I want to change the Constitution to restrict voting to property owners. [...]

Watching the left go into hysteria over this has been nothing short of amusing. Of course, when the left goes spastic over something like this, they either get it wrong, or nine times out of ten, they lie about what was said.

ThinkProgress did not lie about what Phillips said (you can listen to the audio of his comments here). Clearly, he is not backing down from his comments, and this e-mail only further reiterates his belief that it is a “wise idea” to limit voting only to property owners.

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