This is getting entertaining. The Tea Parties planned for Wednesday, April 15th are starting to get some publicity and thousands of people are likely to turn out for what will be a comical event of what boils down to 'sore loser' syndrome. The ones pulling the strings behind this are right wing groups protecting the entrenched beltway establishment that has a stranglehold on our system of government, and they are determined to stop our president from reforming the broken system.
Fox News has been giving a lot of traction to the Tea Party protests coming up on the 15th, just like they've been giving airtime to ultra-conservative talking points for over a decade in the true spirit of the propaganda network they are. Pravda would be envious. What's behind the Tea Parties? Is this really a spontaneous mass revolt against Barack Obama, or is there something else behind it?
The timing of it all is a huge clue as to it's origins. Where were all these protests when (King) George Bush was in charge and why are they suddenly springing up all around the country? It can't be about the ARRA (a.k.a. the economic stimulus) because Bush and the Republicans spent trillions of dollars on foreign ventures of destruction and nation building, while Obama is spending money at home to improve infrastructure and create jobs for working Americans. Further, duringthe last 30 years of Republican rule, debt has skyrocketed under the mantra of "Starving the beast", in essence creating huge deficits (and consequently national debt) via tax cuts for the rich to force the government to cut programs.
Since 1981, fiscal conservatism has meant 'borrow and spend', so why the sudden outrage? Now we're supposed to believe that despite the Republicans doubling the national debt during the Bush years, leaving the Obama administration a $1.3 Trillion deficit, and worse yet, giving the country the Great Recession, we are supposed to believe that 'conservative' economic policy is the answer? No sir. Nobody is buying what they are selling anymore, those days are over.
Although the first tea party appears to be Ron Paul's "money bomb" on December 16, 2007- the brain child of campaign staffer Trevor Lyman in which $4.7 million was raised online in 24 hours- this term did not stick. The Tea Party 'movement' as we now know it started with the infamous "Santelli rant". CNBC's Rick Santelli's call for a "tea party" in Chicago next summer was quickly picked up by a website called ChicagoTeaParty.com and spread from there to the Drudge Report and around the net. However, the ChicagoTeaParty.com domain is not new. It was registered last summer by the producer of a right-wing radio show in Chicago (Milt Rosenberg), leading to the conclusion that anti-stimulus protests are corporate front. Not too many people truly believe that a conservative web domain would just happen to be the first to report on this obviously scripted rant. That's too much of a coincidence for even the 22%ers (those still loyal to the Bush/Cheney regime) to believe.
According to Mark Ames & Yasha Levine, "What we discovered is that Santelli's "rant" was not spontaneous as his alleged fans claim, but rather it was a carefully-planned trigger for the anti-Obama campaign. In PR terms, his February 19th call for a "Chicago Tea Party" was the launch event of a carefully organized and sophisticated PR campaign."
From that point on, a coordinated effort has been underway to plan protests across the nation, the first 'big tea party' to be held on April 15th because it is just before the tax deadline. It comes to light that there are 2 groups central to organizing this whole endeavor: Freedomworks and Progress for America. Stormfront, the white supremacist website has got in on the action too, though their contribution seems to be minor at this point.
The former, Freedomworks is a conservative Washington D.C. organization that specializes in astroturfing From Wikipedia: "Astroturfing is...political, advertising, or public relations campaigns seeking to create the impression of being spontaneous "grassroots" behavior, hence the reference to the artificial grass, AstroTurf. The goal of such a campaign is to disguise the efforts of a political or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some event (something the Soviet Union specialized in). Astroturfing is a form of propaganda whose techniques usually consist of a few people attempting to give the impression that mass numbers of enthusiasts advocate some specific cause.
Freedomworks was originally founded in Citizens for a Sound Economy in 1984, a "conservative political group operating in the United States, whose self-described mission was "to fight for less government, lower taxes, and less regulation." Note, LESS REGULATION. They would "anonymously leverage corporate contributions into debates on public policy" and had close ties to Koch Industries (a Wichita, Kansas corporation that bankrolls right wing causes, such as the Cato Institute think tank and formerly helped form the John Birch Society, who advocates the US withdrawal from the UN).
The other group behind the Tea Party organizing is Progress for America. Again from Wikipedia, "PFA was established in 2001 to support George W. Bush's "agenda for America." The PFA Voter Fund, which was set up in 2004, raised $38 million in support of Bush's 2004 election bid Progress for America, [is] a "friends of the party" organization "operated by Tony Feather, the former political director of the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign and a close friend of White House political adviser Karl Rove. In 2005, the PFA pushed privatizing social security and abolishing the filibuster in the US Senate as a means of ramming through conservative ideologues into high courts.
So why are so many people going to demonstrate on the 15th? The central themes of the protests are under the guise of economic responsibility, the national debt, and taxation. They can best be summarized by the talking points promoted on such websites as butsasforme, the Heritage Foundation, usnews, indianapolisteaparty.com, and teapartyslogans.com.
Financially responsibility is good theme, something that everyone can get behind. If someone lives a lifestyle outside of their means, like eating at 5-star restaurants on the credit card, that is insanity, and much more indicative of typical fiscal policy for every president since Reagan (except Clinton, who not only balanced the budget, but left a surplus). Are we going deeper into debt at the moment? Hell yes, but the difference is that under Obama, we are making investments that will save us money in the long term, much more akin to using that same credit card to buy a new suit for a better job.
This all stems from the classic Republican transference tactic, whereby they are trying to lay the blame of the Great Recession squarely onto the shoulders of Obama, harnessing popular discontent, and putting the people with the same economic philosophies into power in 2010 that will hamstring any reforms that would put this country back onto the right track. The same thing happened in the run-up to the 1994 mid-terms that saw conservative Republicans sweep both the house and senate, effectively stopping Bill Clinton from doing everything that needed to be done to change the direction of the runaway train of conservative policy.
The same groups that supported the neocons fiscal policy are now behind the Tea Parties, mainly Freedomworks who advocated lower taxes for the rich and less regulation, and Progress for America who pushed for putting Social Security into the stock market. Both of these groups clearly advocate the failed economic policies of the past, and are now behind the Tea Parties. Coincidence? Obviously not. They are using libertarians and disenfranchised citizens as tools and pawns in their scheme to derail the movement for change in a quest to get back in power.
How does one respond to this? The answer is simple, expose what is going on, fight back, go out and counter-protest. Anyone can go to one of their central organizing websites Tax Day Tea Party and find the planned rallies closest to them. Despite the fact that these people will try to make a stink of things, then obediantly then go pay their taxes, it is important for everyone who wanted to change the country to remain vigilant and active. The corporate lobbyists are not going to go away and their masters will fight to the bitter end to keep the system in place that has made them rich at the expense of most Americans, so we need to make sure our voices are heard as well. More importantly, we need to ensure that this deception and manipulation does not go unnoticed.
It needs to be emphasized that the central theme of counter protests is not to spoil their Tea Parties. They have a right to tea protest, and to speak their minds. As freedom loving citizns of this country, we must afford them the exact same rights that we would like to have as guaranteed by the constitution. For those who choose to show up at counter protests, the objective should be to inform them that they are being used and manipulated by the same right wing organizations that helped double our national debt in the first place.