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Is The Tea Party A Real Alternative?

November 1, 2010

The short answer is: no.

Here’s a stab at a longer answer:

The Tea Party is a faction within the Republican Party.  Beneath the colorful distractions and stylistic differences and bizarre personalities, their agenda is, underneath it all, the Bush agenda.

The Republican Party knew they couldn’t go into the 2010 mid-term elections under the slogan “Bring Back the  Bush Bums!” That would never fly with voters.  Memories aren’t that short. They had to claim they were a revamped, totally new-and-improved Republican Party with a bunch of new faces and  new platform that bore no resemblance to the GOP whose eight-year rule ended in such ignominious catastrophe, disgrace,  and decisive rejection by voters.

Yet it was obvious from the start the Tea Party would never support any Democrat and since we have (like it or not) a two–party system,  they were the rough-around-the-edges militant wing of the Republican Party. 

When, in early 2009, shortly after taking office,  Obama announced an income  tax cut for everyone with a taxable income below $250,000, the Tea Party took to the streets “to protest the tax increase!”  and babbled about “socialism.”  That cause-and-effect sequence told me a lot about their real agenda.

The Tea Party has a lot of colorful,  wild-and-crazy entertaining  oddball personalities whose job , I believe, is to distract attention from the unchanged Republican economic agenda behind them. To me, people like multi-millionaire  “working-class heroine” Sarah Palin, shock-jock Glenn Beck and Christine (“I am not a witch”) O’Donnell, Sharron  Angle , and  Colorado’s own Ken Buck, are clowns, professional entertainers, who create smokescreens and diversion to shift attention away from the  real  Republican goal: privatizing all public assets and transferring them into private hands—rich  private hands.  Eliminating all government programs that benefit middle class,  lower-middle-class, working class, and poor people (inlcuding Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, unemployment insurance, disabilty benefits, student  grants & loans). Only spending that protects and enriches the already-rich  is justifiable. That, and  expansion of the War Machine, which now accounts for 44% of the federal budget and is a huge subsidy to Big Business.  (Conservative Pundit David Broder has just called for a declaration of war against Iran to get the US economy moving again! This “responsiible,”  Serious Person openly advocates starting a war to solve America’s economic crisis! Not one Republican, Conservative, or Tea Partier has denounced this demand as crazy and evil. Will any?)

Who, after all, is Sarah Palin? The Tea Party Queen is someone whose corporate sponsors had paid a reported twelve million dollars  ($12,000,00)  in just the first half of 2010 to fly around giving 20-minute speeches written by someone else, filled with smug boasts, cheap shots at critics, buzzwords, cliches about motherhood and the flag,  wisecracks, and meaningless babble about “Mama grizzlies” . Hubby Todd has been on the Big Oil payroll for years now and far from being “just plain folks”, or aw-shucks “grass-roots working class”, the Palins  are multi-millionaires, massively subsidized by giant corporations and conservative think tanks.  How many working-class  peopole with multi-million dollar incomes do you  know?How “grass-roots populist” is  that? Why are the big corporations paying her and underwriting the whole pseudo-grass-roots Tea Party Movement?

Tea Party candidates seem to want to talk about everything under the sun except how they would go about fixing the foreclosure crisis, our massive unemployment, and our soaring health care costs and other disasters that Repulican rule left us with. They’d rather blow smoke about hot-button pseudo-issues to avoid the substantial meat-and-potatos issues.

They prefer to babble on about witchcraft,  masturbation, Mama Grizzlies,  divine mandates (or is that Divine Mandates?), and Our Sacred Constitution(except for all the parts they want to tear up). What are their proposals to resolve the disastrous consequences of the Bush/ Republican policies of  de-regulation,  Crony Capitalism, multiple tax cuts for the rich? Well, their solution is…more of the same! Minimize or eliminate all corporate taxes, eliminate all accountability, all regulation, and give the big corporations even more special legal immunities, special tax exemptions, special subsidies, special entitlements, special incentives, special pampering and special privileges, with no accountability. In short, Back to Bush!  Same old same old,  deja vu all over again, as Yogi Berra supposedly said.

The Tea Party, at heart, underneath the smoke and mirrors,  is committed to Economic Darwinism, ironically just when history has proved the failure of  unregulated,  fundamentalist free-market capitalism. It’s the Corporate Republican/Bush Era agenda all over again.

What’s new about that? 

How is that an a constuctive alternative?











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