Social Question

ETpro's avatar

What's the Tea Party rage really all about?

Asked by ETpro (34202 points ) July 6th, 2011

The Tea Party phenomenon has been one of angry signs, chants of “We want our country back!” and carefully orchestrated bellowing rage during the debate over healthcare reform.

“We want our country back!” Oh? Who stole it from the white male protestants that are still the ruling class and the bulk of the Tea Party? Is it taxes? The top marginal tax rate today is lower than it has been since the dawn of the Great Depression. Federal government revenue as a percent of GDP is the lowest it has been in 60 years. US income taxes are among the lowest of all the industrialized nations on Earth. How low do our top tax rates need to go? Must we dismantle public education, leave the hungry to starve and the poor to die without any access to medical care just so we can coddle the most fortunate, wealthy among us? Is it massive, intrusive government? In 1950, 3% of the US population worked for federal, state and local governments. Now, with the advent of a nationwide superhighway system; air transportation system; nuclear power; environmental concerns such as acid rain, oil spills, rivers catching on fire and the threat of global climate change; space exploration; the war on terrorism; and troops deployed in every corner of the world the government has mushroomed to the point it employs 6% of the US population. Oh my Gosh, the socialism reeks! In contrast, 20.4% of the British population works for the public sector. Not such a vast surge in government size, given the growth in complexity that government needed to manage in 1950 versus today. Where’s the beef? What’s got these people so angry they froth at the mouth?

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100 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

It is visceral fear because a black man came in and had to take extreme measures to clean up the mess of the previous administration. The President is not doing anything that wasn’t done before, but the people who were in line to not get their way did a lot of active fear mongering that struck a receptive chord with people that did not understand what was happening to the economy.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I have a friend who has gotten deeply involved with the tea party.

I suspect, not saying this to troll, he really doesn’t like himself very much. I think he likes being part of a movement and having people to be angry at. Absolutely nothing wrong with his life. He just has always made comments that people were out to get him.

Just after a few drinks I notice he has always been resentful of things that have absolutely no negative impact on his life. Like he self loathes and the tea party validates him somehow.

Mamradpivo's avatar

Racism. Plain and simple racism.

TheIntern55's avatar

It is really all just Sarah Palin’s followers…..
My uncle is one of them. He likes being the condradicting point in arguments and thinks protests are an amazing gift from God.
I know the Tea Party was around before, but ever since the 2008 elections, they have been a powerhouse, making me suspect they are really just rascist and hate the fact that we have a black president. This will really make the 2012 elections interesting. It will intensify, however, if Obama gets re-elected and can’t run again in 2016.

cletrans2col's avatar

Typical liberal arrogance reeks from this thread. Conservative=racist or conservative=dumb yadda yadda yadda. Just by the title of this thread and who posted it I could tell you the direction it would go.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@cletrans2col I did not say my friend was a racist or dumb. I said he always has felt vague others are out to get him.

And when I try to discuss these things with him he responds that I am an arrogant liberal out to get him in a really weird angry way.

jaytkay's avatar

The delusional far-right has been the core of the Republican base since the 1980s. The ideas, the funding, the behind-the-scenes players are not new.

cletrans2col's avatar

@jaytkay And the far-left has had its hand out for just as long for the Democrat Party.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@cletrans2col, then please answer the question with a rational response that we can discuss, instead of name-calling. Or do you not think you can back up your arguments?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I have no clue since, I imagine, there are various reasons because, frankly, there is not one single unifying point that can be tied through all the Tea Party protesters. People love rage, they get off on it, many of the posters I’ve seen are quite pathetic, many of the interviews I’ve heard are even worse, so non-sensical. To me, this isn’t about liberal v. conservative, these are just random people bitching, that’s all.

syz's avatar

I find it interesting to consider the probable reaction if large numbers of primarily black Americans gathered, flaunting weapons and shouting anti-government slurs. Somehow I don’t think it would be so positively covered by Fox (ahem) News.

As a pretty liberal Democrat, I actually mildly agree with most of the basic tenants of the Tea Party movement (fiscal responsibility, for example), but find the hysteria, the rhetoric, and the blatant racism highly offensive.

Jaxk's avatar

Total government spending has increased from about 25% in 1950 to over 40% today.

I find it interesting that liberals love to berate Republicans with their graphs showing Republicans spend too much money and rack up too much debt. They love to brag about Clinton as the savior reducing the debt. But when a group comes along and actually agrees with you. Actually complains that Republicans have lost their way and spend too much, rack up too much debt, advocates real fiscal conservatism, you go batshit crazy. You call them ignorant, racists, and bigots.

There is nothing wrong with a balanced budget. Nor a smaller unobtrusive government. If you pine for a welfare state, there are many of them out there. That’s not what we created, at least not in the beginning. The constitution is an incredible document. Giving at least lip service to it’s principles is not a bad thing.

It’s not the Tea Parties that you hate, it’s any deviation from your liberal makeover of the country. And unfortunately you have few cogent arguments so you call them names. What’s really sad is the mob mentality you appeal to.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Jaxk It’s beyond me how you do not see the irony in your statements. What’s more about mob mentality and names that the Tea Partiers? I mean, really.

syz's avatar

@Jaxk You’re painting with a pretty broad brush there, buddy. I too believe that a balanced budget is necessary, that government can become too large and too intrusive. Seems pretty reasonable to me. But what I see, what I read, and what I hear associated with the Tea Party is not reasonable, thoughtful discourse. It’s hateful, exclusive, and extreme.

cletrans2col's avatar

@dappled_leaves Name-calling? Have you read the other posts in this thread?

cletrans2col's avatar

@syz You hear that from a leftist media that has an interest in keeping Barry in power.

syz's avatar

@cletrans2col Really? You know what I read, what I watch, and what I listen to? I’m comfortable in the knowledge that I seek out varied information sources and am capable of making informed decisions on my own, rather that regurgitate what is spoon fed to me. I’m well aware that bias can be found on both sides. But if you start quoting Fox or talking about “lamestream media”, then I have no interest in talking to you, for you are what you preach against.

FutureMemory's avatar

@cletrans2col You’re more interesting when you ask questions about maintaining stronger erections. Just saying.

zenvelo's avatar

@cletrans2col @Jaxk One of the reasons many of us ascribe to this as a racist reaction is that it started almost immediately after Obama was sworn in and was in full swing by fall of 2009. That was so quick one cannot argue it was against the longstanding trends and sins of the current administration, it was a reaction to events that were happening all around, including the election of a black man to office.

Where was the tea party outrage over the previous 6 years when the deficit skyrocketed?

jaytkay's avatar

I wouldn’t say it’s primarily racism. While it’s undeniable that the Tea Party and the GOP have a solid racist core, back in the 90s Bill Clinton enraged them as much as Obama today.

Jaxk's avatar

@syz

“It’s hateful, exclusive, and extreme.” Really? More so than:

“Racism. Plain and simple racism.”

“Like he self loathes and the tea party validates him somehow.”

“blatant racism ”

liberals have the name calling down pat. Substance is a bit short.

josie's avatar

Not much question. Whole lot of sermon. I do it all the time.

syz's avatar

@Jaxk You’re cherry picking comments from individuals participating in an admittedly liberal leaning website. I’m referring to the general movement. We can toss examples bath and forth all day, but I’d be willing to bet a rather large sum of money (not that I have a large sum of money) that if you and I attended two diametrically opposed political rallies, one of them would be a hell of lot more civil than the other.

cletrans2col's avatar

@FutureMemory I dunno what you are saying other than a lame attempt at a joke
@zenvelo As I said, liberals accuse conservatives of racism yet never have proof of it. there were always people decrying the spending, but until Barry and the Democrat party added another expensive entitlement, that was when people got angrier. But because conservatives accuse a black liberal president of spending too much, it’s racist. Jokes, all of you liberals.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Yes, it’s all true. We work for the Bilderburgers and the Illuminati, along with the world banking cabal. We all hang out naked at Bohemian Grove, and steal 14-year-old virgins to defile ( when we can find them ). We hate N******, and are horrified that one of them is the President. We own automatic weapons by the truck-load, which we are going to use on the “eaters” when the time is right. BEWARE! Mwahahahahaha!

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@Jaxk – My comments are about the guy I know. My ruminations about why he is so angry and why he feels comfortable in a party that seems very angry to most Americans.

If there are other reasons why other individuals in the Tea Party might be angry that I am unaware of, please let me know, as I am curious about human motivations.

CaptainHarley's avatar

We don’t like Obama because he’s an idiot, not because he’s black, brown, white, or purple with pink polka-dots: “Since Obama was elected President on November 4th, 2008, the U.S. dollar has lost 48% of its purchasing power. Americans today spend 48% more for gasoline than they did the day of the last election. Americans today also spend 105% more for sugar, 78% more for coffee, 58% more for corn, with similar gains for many other agricultural commodities. The U.S. government and Federal Reserve created all of this inflation in an attempt to reinflate the Real Estate bubble, yet the median U.S. home price declined by 2.4% during this time period. Meanwhile, the real unemployment rate has increased from 16.8% to 22.3%.”

zenvelo's avatar

@cletrans2col I take it you are referring to the Health care Reform Act as an added expensive entitlement? Even though the Congressional Budget Office projects billions in over all savings when it is in place because of a shift from more expensive health care provisions?

Or are you looking at what really started the Tea Party which was Rick Santelli getting angry over the TARP not allowing the big banks to fail in January ‘09?

syz's avatar

@CaptainHarley Oh, shit, you didn’t!! Obama an idiot? This after a president that couldn’t string together more than three words without sounding like a moron?? A president that alienated practically the rest of the world?

Actually, some of your earlier comments are exactly why I have trouble separating the political ideals of the Tea Party from so many of those who align themselves with it. So many of the associated beliefs are antithetical to my own, i.e. pro abortion rights, pro gay rights, pro gun regulations (note that I did not say gun control – I think you should be able to arm yourself, but that you should have to prove yourself competent first, just like driving a car). Does that mean I’m rejecting the party because of it’s constituency? Maybe. But that’s what I see of the party.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’ll chirp in and join with the camp calling it racism.

zenvelo's avatar

@CaptainHarley Again, as on the other thread, pleas back up your numbers. And bear in mind Obama did not go into office until January of ‘09.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@syz Pretty words do not a leader make.

Just for the record, I don’t care for GW Bush, either.

FutureMemory's avatar

@cletrans2col I was referencing the question you asked circa dec 2010 about how to maintain stronger erections. It only stayed up for about 10 minutes as it (shockingly!) devolved into a joke-fest. That’s what I was talking about. Check the bottom of my profile for a log of the best portion of that thread.

I fully admit my comments here have nothing to do with the discussion at hand..it’s just what I thought when I read your tired “leftist media” crap.

jaytkay's avatar

cletrans2col liberals accuse conservatives of racism yet never have proof of it

If you aren’t aware of the Southern Strategy, you really aren’t qualified to comment on racism in the US.

Democrats gave blacks in the south the vote. The people who were (and still are) angered joined the GOP.

Republicans publicly acknowledged it at the time. As Republican strategist Kevin Philips put it in 1970, “The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are.”

cletrans2col's avatar

@zenvelo You mean the same CBO that acknowledges that those savings come from fuzzy math, and that most of any savings come in the six years that the service will not be in use? Oy.

SpatzieLover's avatar

In my area it’s about a bunch of old farts screaming, ranting and raving about their tax dollars and having “no control” over “Washington”...many of these people I know do not understand that they do have control over State Reps.

In my case, I don’t give a damn if you’re a Dem or a Rep…if you’re in my district and you’re doing something I don’t approve of, you’re getting an email/letter or a phone call or all three. I do the same if I want them to support something.

cletrans2col's avatar

@jaytkay I am familiar with it. I will correct you in saying that the Civil Rights bill was supported by the GOP and key to its passage. Most of the opposition were from Democrats.

@FutureMemory I lulzed.

ucme's avatar

Here in England Town a tea party rage would be over scones, crumpets & cucumber sandwiches.
“Oh I say, frightfully bad form old chap.”

cletrans2col's avatar

@jaytkay and of course all you can refer to is some shit that happened 30+ plus years ago. However, when fmr. GOP Chair Ken Mehlman apologized for it, no one talks about it or believes its sincerity, like conservatives are automatically lying when talking about supporting diversity and liberals are always sincere. Such bullshit.

jaytkay's avatar

@cletrans2col

Yes, Democrats opposed the civil rights acts. Conservative Democrats like Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms. They soon became Republicans, because the Democrats no longer welcomed and encouraged racists.

jaytkay's avatar

and of course all you can refer to is some shit that happened 30+ plus years ago.

You needed a primer, I started you with the basics. I could take you up to last week with a list of conservative Republican racism, but I don’t have all day.

I’m not going to spend my day trying to overcome willful ignorance.

cletrans2col's avatar

@jaytkay copout. you just expect to say “racism” and win the argument. You make the accusation, you prove it.

missafantastico's avatar

So far from the above threads there is no content from either side of this argument. If you want this to be a fruitful conversation:
1. Don’t generalize large groups of people. There are always exeptions.
2. Present facts and use references. That’s whay hyperlinks are for.
3. Be civil in your discourse and just ignore useless inflamatory statements.

I would be interested in following this post because I don’t know very much about the Tea Party movement, but the overall tone here is diplorable.

cletrans2col's avatar

@jaytkay Without the GOP votes, the CRA of 64 does not pass. So this racist party is the reason why the Act passed. Get over it.

missafantastico's avatar

in short. Ya’ll need to cool your jets.

anartist's avatar

I never really got the racism thing. Although there were those who were surprised, even shocked, that a black man won the nomination [and would have been if a woman had won it] it quickly became politics as usual and a heated race and Obama won. Some don’t like him. But is that what the Tea Party is about?

I thought it was let’s get back to the “rugged individualism” of our forefathers. Comparing themselves to those who took the bold [and illegal action] of dumping the British tea. Also a resurgence in the popularity of Ayn Rand [never thought I’d see that happen] seems part of this.

[And perhaps as “individualists” they never thought they had to have a shared platform.]

The suffering due to the recent economy may have been the crucible. And blaming “big government” is an easy rallying point. Not that democratic government is that much bigger than republican government.

syz's avatar

@cletrans2col Prove what? As I said, we can throw examples at each other all day.

Here
Here
Here
Here
Here
Here
Here
Here

It’s hard for me to expect a reasonable debate when these are some of the people doing the debating yelling.

anartist's avatar

Well @syz those are pretty sad-assed and ugly. Maybe I just didn’t want to see that. I was aware of that stupid birth certificate stuff. Is that supposed to be Tea Party led?

SpatzieLover's avatar

@anartist Yes, they were the pushers of the birther conspiracy.

CaptainHarley's avatar

There is now no refuting that President Obama’s “stimulus” act was a failure.

On July 1, the president’s Council of Economic Advisers released The Economic Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Seventh Quarterly Report. The report made clear that the only real growth and impact of the president’s stimulus package was on the national debt, and did very little, if anything at all, to create jobs.

The Weekly Standard summarized the report stating, “the ‘stimulus’ has added or saved just under 2.4 million jobs — whether private or public — at a cost (to date) of $666 billion. That’s a cost to taxpayers of $278,000 per job.”

In other words, the Weekly Standard went on to report, “the government could simply have cut a $100,000 check to everyone whose employment was allegedly made possible by the ‘stimulus,’ and taxpayers would have come out $427 billion ahead.”

A reverse stimulus was not part of the plan, but goes to show that government meddling in the economy in no way aids a recovery

cletrans2col's avatar

@syz – unless you have a whole rally full of those signs, it does not prove that the WHOLE Tea Party is full of racists. There are kooks in every movement.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@SpatzieLover

Which just happens to be an open question at this time.

anartist's avatar

Getting out of the horrendous economic mess Dubyah left us in was an enormous undertaking. And there is no clear path to getting out of a mess with so many balanced factors. It did not collapse further. There has been stabilization. Nothing as drastic as what FDR did in the 30s was necessary. I think Obama could have done a lot worse.

jaytkay's avatar

@cletrans2col

You are unwilling to admit the GOP’s deliberate moves to court the racist vote, as explained by Republicans involved at that time. Willful ignorance or plain dishonesty?

WestRiverrat's avatar

@SpatzieLover most of the Tea Partiers I know don’t support the birthers. Claiming it does is the same as saying every democrat is Anti War because Code Pink draws most of its members primarily from the democratic party.

I think the claims of racism within the Tea Party are exaggerated.

All I know for sure is my cousin that works for the DC parks dept says he preferred the Tea Party rally to one lead by Al Sharpton. The Tea Party left the mall cleaner, and were more polite.

The Tea Party made him and his wife feel welcome at the event, my cousin is married to a black women by the way. Not so for Sharpton’s rally.

cletrans2col's avatar

@jaytkay I don’t know how much more clear I can be. I acknowledge it as the unfortunate part of U,S. history that it is. I also appreciate Chairman Mehlman’s apology and his work bringing more Blacks to the GOP.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Here @WestRiverrat in Wisconsin especially where I live there are a LOT of racist Germans. They will tell you exactly what they think of Obama. I happen to be a Democrat…many people tell me precisely what they think of my “N-prez”

anartist's avatar

@WestRiverrat don’t forget who Al Sharpton is, no matter how much he’s improved his appearance from the greasy pimp preacher he looked like when he was trying to pull off the Tawana Brawley scam. Al Sharpton is no gentleman.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Barack Obama has now been president for more than 29 months, yet in none of those months has a majority of Americans believed the nation’s economy is getting better rather than worse, according to the Gallup poll.

In fact, in no month of Obama’s presidency has belief that the economy is getting better exceeded 41 percent among American adults, a peak it reached in April 2010 and again in January 2011.

SpatzieLover's avatar

If we all went through a Great Depression before the stimulus went through would we then think differently of Obama? I think it’s a matter of perspective.

CaptainHarley's avatar

When I state something I believe to be a fact, you tell me to back it up. When I back it up you either deny it is a fact, or you say it comes from some source you don’t like. I submit that it’s simply that you are in denial about anything with which you don’t agree.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@anartist isn’t he the current front man for the Democratic party on Civil Rights?

CaptainHarley's avatar

Oh for pity’s sake! I’m fighting a midset here that simply will not listen to anything which questions the infallibility of Pope Obama. You’re sending our Country to hell in an attempt to justify your early support of Obama, even though now it’s obvious to even an idiot that he’s nothing but a balloon filled with hot air and no substance.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] I would like to remind everyone to remain civil, please.

nikipedia's avatar

I guess that makes me dumber than an idiot, since I’ve been fooled into believing he’s been a pretty good president so far.

Facade's avatar

Definitely racism. 10% Government stuff, 90% I don’t want a black guy running my country

ETpro's avatar

@zenvelo, @Mamradpivo, @TheIntern55 There certainly does seem to be a common thread of racism running through the movement. Not to say all are brought in by that, but it is one of the driving forces that launched modern conservatism under William F. Buckley, Jr. and then the Barry Goldwater revolution.

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought Something to belong to. A group that helps express private rage. Maybe. Thanks.

@cletrans2co I might respond that the OP listed a number of specifics regarding low tax burden, etc. If you feel these are in error, you could refute them. Instead, you resorted to the accusation that the OP was a typical liberal screed and used insults and personal attacks as your proof. I could say that this is typical of today’s far right, and I could show you links to literally hundreds of such diatribes proving that.

As to racism being a part of the motivation behind modern conservatism, I believe it is, and I believe I can make a solid case of how it became so. From the time of the first Republican, Abraham Lincoln up through the 1950s, the Republican party was the champion of civil rights. Most blacks voted consistently Republican. Both Eisenhower and Nixon drew a large percentage of the black vote. The solid South was all Democratic and a special brand of Democrat dubbed Dixiecrats. They were staunchly pro State’s rights, pro Jim Crow, against any move to actually allow blacks to vote or participate in genteel society in any way.

The first chink in that system appeared when a handful of conservative Republicans including Barry Goldwater voted against the 1964 Voting Rights Act, and then the Republican party made Senator GOldwater their nominee, beginning the gradual takeover of the party by the far right. William F. Buckley, Jr. as the editor of the National Review wrote articles extolling the virtues of State’s rights and “civilized standards”; code words of the segregationist movement. In 1957, Buckley had penned an article titled “Why the South Must Prevail”.

After the Goldwater revolution and the Kennedy/Johnson Administration’s moves to break Massive Resistance in the South, The GOP decided to snatch away the solid South from Democrats by making a deal with the racist devil. And so the South today is the most reliable voting block the GOP has, and racial dog whistle politics works beautifully from the infamous Willie Horton ad of 1988 to this day and the coded messages that resonate with the Tea Party.

That is not to say that all conservatives are recists, but to deny any are—to claim racism has nothing to do with the movement, requires ignoring an overwhelming bank of facts.

anartist's avatar

@WestRiverrat he’s a joke and a hustler, trying to whitewash his past. The democratic party is not particularly endorsing him.
@nikipedia Barack Obama is doing the best he can with a horrible mess.
His strengths are brains, a good poker face, and well-chosen advisors. His weaknesses are not being as shrewd a horse-trader as LBJ and being a little too stiff when he ought to schmooze.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I see things haven’t gotten any better…all these people saying stuff about Obama makes me so angry, makes me fume, it makes…!!! me want to put stuff on a poster and join the Tea Partiers, I know they won’t be able to tell the difference.

syz's avatar

Well, frankly, we’ll never know for sure, but I suspect that we missed a depression by the skin of our teeth. And I also think that no matter who might have gotten elected the last cycle, they would’ve inherited a shit sandwich of problems. And based on that, I think Obama’s done a pretty impressive job. Do I agree with all of his decisions? No. Do I wish he could accomplish more? Yes. Do I realize that his job is made more difficult by fucked up partisan politics, power mongering, and big money? Absofuckinglutely.

No matter the philosophy of the Tea Party, I have yet to see them put forth a candidate that doesn’t scare the shit out of me. Bachmann? Palin? I shudder.

Aethelflaed's avatar

I’m going to go ahead and join in the racism view. Yes, many of them didn’t like Bush. However, most of them didn’t like Bush in a grumble around the dinner table kinda way, while accusing those who were more vocal in their dislike of being unpatriotic. Many of them also discount Bush’s large part in getting us into this mess in the first place. Yes, perhaps Obama hasn’t done all he could do to get us out of it. But to go in less than 3 months from just quietly and occasionally bitching with those who are closest to you (and often in agreement with you) to screaming hyperbole in open public with signs does make it seem like it’s not just Obama’s policies they disagree with (and especially not his actions, since he hadn’t been in office long enough to have any actions).
I think some of it is also older people being pissed that they aren’t handed things on a silver platter now that they’re old. I think many of them thought that if they just worked hard enough, their golden years would be, well, golden. I think a lot of it is an inability to accept that life is suffering, and there’s just no way around it.

Tuesdays_Child's avatar

I have been to protests by both sides of the political aisle and I have to say that as far as anger and violence go, the liberals far out do the tea party…that being said, I know that this wont be a popular opinion here but that’s o.k…..everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

ETpro's avatar

@jaytkay Quite true. There is a group o billionaire families that have been funding the network of far-0right think tanks for 40 years now, hiring bright PhD’s to crank out demonization of other bright PhD’s as liberal elitists, and so forth. The objective is the conversion of the USA into a banana republic where they own the remaining 60% of the wealth not already in the hands of the wealthiest 1%.

@dappled_leaves It seemed like a reasonable request, but it looks as if it may be beyond @@cletrans2co’s reach.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir No question there are diverse issues on the signs. But there is a unifying thread in the politics. The leaders of the movement, such as there are, may claim they are people from all parties and all walks of life. But in surveys of them, consistently around 90% always vote Republican.

@syz Agreed.

@Jaxk If you take another look at your chart, you will see that while we had a low year in 1950, most of the last 60 years has seen US Government spending running around or slightly above 30% og GDP. Even with the construction of a nationwide superhighway system and a huge proliferation of international airports, the space program, and so much more, we aren’t spending all that much more than we did in the 1950s. What happened in 2007 is Republican fiscal policies once again crashed the economy, and the GDP fell dramatically. That made the same spending a greater percentage of GDP. And the GOP is now asking to drive again, this time planning to double down on all the wrong-headed policies that wrecked the economy in 2007.

There is truly nothing wrong with a balanced budget. But if we balance it in a recession by slashing $1.6 trillion in federal spending, that will produce a depression greater than what we had in 1929, and that’s what the Tea Party Republican Freshmen seemn determined to do. We are not only among the lowest taxed of dveloped nations right now, we are also among the bottom in government spending as a percent of GDP. We are now #26 in infrastructure, and sinking. Schools out west are cutting Friday sessions to save money. We can’t afford to educate our kids. A Texas town had to shut down its entire police department. And the GOP is telling us that the average Joe, who earns about $2,4 million in a working lifetime has to tighten his belt and make do with less so the top hedge fund manager, who makes $2.4 million an hour, can get more tax cuts. Give me a break. What statistical chart makes sense of that?

ETpro's avatar

@zenvelo Excellent point. Not a peep from them while George Bush was doubling the national debt. Not a concern about raising the national debt ceiling 8 separate times.

ETpro's avatar

@cletrans2col Re the “expensive entitlement” Barry added, the CBO says it will reduce the national debt by $1 trill in the next 10 years. Your answer is to add that back into the debt and make sure kids can be excluded crom insurance due to pre-existing conditions. That’s the pro-life stance. Apparently life begins with conception and ends with bitrh unless you’re fortunate enough to be born into generational wealth.

And if you insist on deliberately misusing the Democratic Party name as “Democrat [sic] Party” as a childish talking point, then it seems fair enough those of us opposing you start calling your party the “ReuugnaCons” jus causen we doan no no betta.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

“The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.”
– Karl Marx

(Yes, his cure tends to be worse than the disease, but he diagnoses the disease pretty well, it seems…)

A lot of this anger comes from voting year in and year out for those “representatives of the oppressing class” that they’ve been conned into thinking are actually looking out for their best interests. But they know they are losing economic ground all the time as jobs disappear and wages fail to keep up with inflation (let alone costs of health care and higher education). Rather than step back and re-examine basic assumptions, they are drawn to those who are most skilled at marshaling anger for political purposes. The sure-fire trick for doing this is the old Dolchstoßlegende… pick out members of the opposing party, pick out intellectuals and above all pick out minorities and the disadvantaged and blame all society’s ills on them.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ETpro Oh sure they may vote Republican but that hardly means they have a unifying issue in common, get it?

cletrans2col's avatar

@ETpro Maybe you should re-read your OP. Saying things like “We want our country back!” Oh? Who stole it from the white male protestants that are still the ruling class and the bulk of the Tea Party? or Must we dismantle public education, leave the hungry to starve and the poor to die without any access to medical care just so we can coddle the most fortunate, wealthy among us? Is it massive, intrusive government? does not lead me to think that you were looking for a discussion but to throw your already formed opinion on the Tea Party. So get off your high horse.

Second, I have not denied that there are some bigoted people that are conservative; I don’t know why you keep saying that. I know and understand the history of the relationship btwn the GOP and Black folks. Goldwater opposed the Act not because he is a racist, but he believed that government should not get that involved. Do I agree with him? No, but he’s not a racist. If you knew anything about him you would know that he would probably not be welcome in today’s GOP.

Ethnic conservatives have done well in the South. With all this racism with conservatives, I wonder how Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, J.C. Watts, Tim Scott, Allen West, and Michael Williams were able to get elected; many of whom are considered Tea Party.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I think most of the Tea Party members voted out many Republican congressmen in 2006 when they saw Congress was not living up to its commitment to control spending.

They voted out the Dems in 2010 for the same reason. Most of the media and the democrats seem to be mad because the Republicans got the support of the Tea Parties in 2010. Just because they backed Republicans in the last election does not mean they will do so in the next, especially if they don’t do what the Tea Partiers want and control the spending of Congress.

ETpro's avatar

@cletrans2col “You mean the same CBO that acknowledges that those savings come from fuzzy math, and that most of any savings come in the six years that the service will not be in use?” No, we mean the nonpartisan CBO that GOP hypocrites use again and again when the numbers favor their ideology, but claim is a complete sham when the numbers run against their ideology; as they so often do. That CBO.

What’s wrong with what I said. White male protestants make up the vast majority of corporate CEOs today. Whites are the majority demographic of the nation. WASPS are the bulk of the legislatures and governors of the states, the members of congress. They still are the ruling class. I’m a white guy myself, but what is true is true. And nobody has taken the country away from nybody else. Obama won by a margin of 10 million votes. Nobody stole the country and delivered it to him.

cletrans2col's avatar

@ETpro – See, once again you talk about how the right used insults and personal attacks as your proof then you do the same thing. Follow your own advice and address the fact that the CBO only accounts for the savings during the years Obamacare is not in effect. Address the fact that Obamacare is getting its funding by raiding Medicare and shifting the cost to the states.

ETpro's avatar

@cletrans2col You didn’t raise thos facts, so I didn’t rebut them. Here’s the truth of Eric Cantor’s distortions and hapf truths. I see absolutely nothing wrong with paying for things. That seems to be a refrain the right keeps arguing for. Only they’re suddenly against it if a Democrat does it. http://www.politifact.com/virginia/statements/2011/jan/15/eric-cantor/cantor-says-health-care-reform-collects-1o-years-t/

cletrans2col's avatar

@ETpro – still didn’t address the issues, so here’s some help: link

ETpro's avatar

@cletrans2col That’s from the Right-wing think tank, the Heritage Foundation. Here’s a link to the actual CBO report. It’s been duly cherry picked by the Heritage Foundation to determine what they want for their funding partners, which include Health Insurers who want business as usual. The CBO report is nuanced, many pages long, and you can pick little chunks out of it to prove the Affordable Heath Care Act is great, or the bane of mankind.

cletrans2col's avatar

@ETpro – if cherry-picking means they actually read the whole thing (unlike the majority of the Democrats that voted for it) so be it.

ETpro's avatar

@cletrans2col Oh yes, they read the whole thing. They have a team of PhD’s and PR men poised to read any such paper and find how to spoin it to the cause of corporate jet setters and billionaires who fund them. They are good. No question they are good at what they do. I didn’t have to read far to see what they had deliberately left out of their analysis of the report, But most will never see the CBO report any the left will hear one version of it while the right will hear a completely different one.

ETpro's avatar

@jaytkay How true. Maybe this needs to be the subject for a separate question if @cletrans2col and others here are going to continue with the denials.

@missafantastico It is nigh on impossible to discuss politics without any generalization of a large group of people. We might say the Democratic Party tends to support organized labor’s right to exist, and that they helped build the social safety net for those who aren’t independently wealthy. That’s a generalization. We could almost certainly find a Democrat here and there that is against both those party objectives. If we can’t speak of any political objectives unless we’ve taken a survey and established that 100% of all Democrats, Republicans or Tea Party members agree with this or that party platform, there can be no discussion of politics.

I agree that we need to avoid the personal attacks and provide evidence and links to support assertions. But some generalization is required. And that needs to often go beyond party talking points, and look at where a party platform really leads.

@cletrans2co Once more, the original post documented the fact that up until 1965, the GOP was the party driving for equality. It also identified the point where the parties switched roles, and the GOP made a deal with the Dixiecrats to bring them into the Republican fold. The Republican Party has used dog whistle racist appeals ever since to energize the Southern base and the white supremacists throughout the country. It’s generally subtle, but it’s a recurring theme. So let’s drop 1964 as a defense of present day realities and talk about what’;s occurred since March 20, 1965 when President Johnson (a Democrat) ordered Federal Troops into Selma Alabama to

@anartist I have to agree that the Tea Party motivation is a mixed bag. But there was very clearly a racial component driving some of the members. We saw that play out in signs carried by some members, and in the Capitol Hill protest when a protester spit on black Congressman Emanuel Hill as he was trying to go to work. Here’s a working video of that incident.

Those of you I haven’t answered yet, I will get to as time permits. I was rather overwhelmed by the response to this thread.

everephebe's avatar

Rage is all the rage now.

cletrans2col's avatar

@ETpro and @jaytkay continue to say that I am in denial about the role of race in GOP politics, so let me make this clearer: I HAVE NOT DENIED THE ROLE THAT RACE HAS PLAYED WITHIN THE GOP OVER THE LAST 40+ YEARS. I will also not deny that the GOP has made strides in repairing relations with the black community, although you lefties will not acknowledge it.

FutureMemory's avatar

Although I’m a lefty, I masturbate with my right hand.

josie's avatar

@everephebe As evidenced by the majority opinion on this thread. Funny how it works. Maybe not that funny.

everephebe's avatar

@josie Yes, I think it’s nervous laughter funny.^

ETpro's avatar

@cletrans2col GOP state legislatures and GOP governors in 20 states where they hold enough power are involved in moves to make it harder for blacks, Latinos, the poor, young people and college students to register and to vote. THese are all demographics that tend to vote Democratic. The GOP makes token efforts and uses photo-op strategies to try to win back black and Latino support, but try to disenfranchise people by ethnic group, and no number of photo ops with a black guy in them are going to fool the African American community.

Jaxk's avatar

@ETpro

I can’t believe you caught us. Making someone show an ID before voting? What a horrible idea. I recall an old joke ‘When I die, bury me in Chicago so I can still vote’. We certainly wouldn’t want to disrupt a system like that.

ETpro's avatar

Don’t try your usual dissembling, @Jaxk Student IDs have been fine. Now they are not going to be. The GOP claims all these changes are to prevent voter fraud, which they claim is rampant in Democrat [sic] areas. But every investigation has found that there is virtually no sich thing. A few people try to vote in the wrong district after a move, but are only allowed to cast a provisional ballot. The actual egregious voter fraud has been in the area of voter intimidatin, and other than the instance of the two guys in Black Panther uniforms standing outside a polling place in a district where they probably didn’t scare anyone; all the cases of that have been carried out by Republicans. Karl Rove got in trouble for it early on in his dirty tricks career that earned him the affectinate name of “Turd blossom.”

The system used here is simple and tough to cheat on. Each polling place has a list of all registered voters and their full names and addresses. When you go in, you show any ID that shows you are whom you claim to be, and they mark off that name on the list. Nobody else can then come in using your name, or a fictitious name, and vote. Their fake name isn’t on the list. This isn’t rocket science, and GOP loses aren’t due to voter fraud.

cletrans2col's avatar

@ETpro Of course any efforts by the GOP are token while the Democrats always have the interests of minorities in mind. * rolls eyes *

I see the faux outrage libs have over protecting the sanctity of the vote and just laugh. It’s always something with you libs.

mattbrowne's avatar

Two words: Future Shock

A smart guy named Toffler wrote a book about this 40 years ago.

“Toffler argues that society is undergoing an enormous structural change, a revolution from an industrial society to a “super-industrial society”. This change will overwhelm people, the accelerated rate of technological and social change leaving them disconnected and suffering from “shattering stress and disorientation” – future shocked. Toffler stated that the majority of social problems were symptoms of the future shock. In his discussion of the components of such shock, he also popularized the term “information overload.””

The Tea Party is disoriented. They need our help.

ETpro's avatar

@cletrans2col Off to the straw man wars now, are we? I never said any such thinkg. I don;t believe it, either. You don;t know me, and I wouldn’t expect you to just take my word for it, but I am no an Ideologue. and certainly not in lockstep with current Democratic party thinking on corporate taxes. I’d like to see the top rate dropped to perhaps 25% or so, and most o the tax loopholes eliminated. I own a small business and am very concerned with the disadvantage that high tax rates create forearm; horsewomen. Start-ups generally can’t take advantage of the tax dodges designed for multinationals. We small businesses are the jobs creators, but can’t compete on a global playing field with companies enjoying a far lower rate.

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