Monday, October 26, 2020
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PPP: “Tea-Party Candidacy” Could Guarantee Perriello Reelection

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Let's hope that Public Policy Polling is right about this.
Politico reports that in Virginia's 5th Congressional District Tea Party activist Jeffrey Clark will run as an independent if moderate Republican Robert Hurt wins his party's nomination to take on Tom Perriello.

How serious would a Clark candidacy be? When we polled the district in early February we found that a generic Tea Party candidate would pull 19%. Perriello received 44% and Hurt 27% in such a scenario.

[...]

...even if 48% is the best [Perriello] can get to in an off year election that would still put him over the top if Clark got just 5% from Hurt's disaffected supporters...

In other words, go Jeffrey Clark! :)

Does Charity Breed Poverty?

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Charity breeds poverty, according to most libertarians, if I am reading correctly what many authors of investment news letters say, and what Tea Party-Republican candidates like Rand Paul indicated (before the Republican Establishment muzzled him). Hear what Doug Casey, wealthy investor, said about Gates' amd Buffets' well-publicized charities in an interview by Louis James in "Whiskey and Gunpowder" for 15 May 2010: (sorry, no link available)
"Charities are largely unproductive. Their main beneficiaries are not the intended recipients, but the giver. They get some tax benefits, but mainly get the holy high of do-goodism.  Frankly, the idea of charity itself is corrupting to both parties in the transaction..... they {Bill Gates and Warren Buffet}.... should continue.... accumulating wealth---- as opposed to dissipating it by giving it away.  Giving money away breaks up a capital pool that could have been used productively by those who built it for making new wealth (which increases the amount of wealth that exists in the world).

Worse, giving money away usually delivers it into the hands of people who don't deserve it. That sends the wrong moral message.... You deserve things because you earn them..... Endowing groups, or individuals, because they happen to have had some bad luck, or are perpetual losers, is actually immoral."

"The wrong moral message?" This puts one in mind of the popular Republican stereotype of the Welfare Queen, and of the implicit corollary to the Republican conflation of God with earthly benefits: the righteous are due wealth ("God wants you to be rich"); it confuses affluence with righteousness. In other words, if you are poor or down and out---- well, you deserve to be. This is the Republican form of entitlements.

America is Center Left

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The Conventional Wisdom, repeated ad nauseum is that America is a center right nation, the corollary being that, if those lefty Democrats want to win elections they have to "move to the right," and if Obama ("the most extreme radical leftist President ever") is to have a prayer of passing any kind of legislation he'd better drop this socialist garbage and start acting like a Republican.  You know, that Republic Party representing the majority of Americans, ahem. This CW is displayed front and center day after day on the mass  media, repeated so often that most national Establishment Democrats believe it themselves, and it looks as though even President Obama swallowed the CW hook, line, and sinker, as he strove to re-create a bipartisanship in Congress which in reality had frayed apart long ago, and which most certainly became a total dead letter upon his election.

How, then, is it that Barack Obama, that "radical leftist" ever got elected in the first place? How, in heaven's name, did he carry so many so-called Red States, including Virginia---- which promptly turned around two years later and elected a hard right conservative (masquerading as a moderate) as Governor, and an Attorney General openly so far over the cliff on the right he is almost certifiable? Why is it there is such a powerful, reactionary movement like the Tea Party dominating the public square and, it seems, the Republican Party?  Why do I have the gall imagine that America is not center right, but center left?

Political Luddites

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The Tea Party movement, working within the Republican Party, has momentum after rubbing out Senator Bennett's career in Utah and forcing Charlie Crist in Florida to call himself an Independent. Whether the Tea Party participants realize it or not, their mission has mutated from an amorphous anger against the modern world of diversity and what they refer to as "big government and too many taxes," into a flat-out commitment to the catechism of corporate feudalism, which masquerades right now as a movement to restore the capitalist free market of a (mythical) 18th century political past, as they believe it was created by our Founding Fathers in an infallible document venerated as The Constitution.  

The entire scenario admits of no questions and no deviation---- it is like a secular religion, despite being a confusing mishmash of various wish lists from groups on the extreme right. The one over-riding message buried in that mishmash is the intent to dismantle the government, while pretending to save it----- rather like the military commander who lamented, "In order to save the village, it was necessary to destroy it."

The Tea Party's primary aims are actually a distillation of long-cherished Republican fetishes, like distaste for government, that date back even to pre-Reagan days, including a bed-rock conviction regarding all taxes as an immoral taking from the prudent and hard-working by the lazy and improvident through the power of what they see as a fundamentally illegal government (which can do nothing right anyway: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you. Hahaha"). The Tea Party, therefore, is Republicanism on steroids. They are political luddites, one and all.

Video: “Tax Day Tea Party 2010”

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For your viewing pleasure (well, maybe not "pleasure" exactly - lol), here's the latest "Tea Party" video from New Left Media.
On Thursday, April 15, Tea Partiers from around the country gathered in the nation's capital to protest what they percieved to be egregious increases in taxation under the Obama administration, despite taxes having actually been lowered for 98% of working Americans.

The usual nativist rhetoric and and praise of Fox News personalities ensued.

This NEW LEFT MEDIA film was produced and edited by Chase Whiteside (interviewer) and Erick Stoll (camera operator) with additional camera work from Kasey Hosp.

President Obama Cut Taxes for 98 Percent of Working Americans in 2009, from the non-partisan Citizens for Tax Justice

P.S. In related news, it looks like the Tea Party movement constitutes "a Greater Threat to Republicans Than to Democrats." What a shame.

Symbol of Elitist Snobbery Named New Tea Party Spokesman

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I swear I am not making this up.

On a day when E.J. Dionne called the Tea Party movement "the populism of the privileged," we learn Comcast is partnering with the Tea Party Express as it launches a new cable channel called RightNetwork. Its first spokesman? Kelsey Grammer, who's made a career out of portraying the opera-listening, wine-drinking, Harvard-attending, art-collecting, condo-dwelling, elitist, pompous snob, Dr. Frasier Crane:

Tea Partying with a Birther British Lord

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It's unbelievable, isn't it? A movement named after the Tea Party rebellion against the British aristocracy has joined forces with a British aristocrat.

Lord Christopher Monckton, the 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, spoke at a Freedomworks Tea Party event on Thursday in DC. But as David Weigel reports, he wasn't exactly on message, first making a birther "joke," then confirming he's a birther:

"I have no idea where he was born," said Monckton, who was working the crowd and signing autographs. "What I do find strange is that the public records of his Hawaiian birth have been sealed, and can not be obtained by the public. His lawyers have spent a lot of money trying to seal the records of his public life. All of those records should be open to the public, as they always were for previous presidents."

I pointed out to Monckton that the state of Hawaii released Obama's certification of live birth nearly two years and ago, and that the persistent challenges to his citizenship have inspired some members of the military to refuse to serve under Obama. "The effective classification of all of these documents of his early life is surely contrary to the spirit of freedom and openness in the Democratic west," said Monckton. "It's bound to raise questions in some peoples' minds. However! I have no idea where he's born, but it made a nice joke."

Monckton has made a career out of denying climate science, going so far as to call American youth climate activists "Hitler Youth." At the event, Monckton also reiterated his stance that all people with HIV should be quarantined.

Republicans try to paint birthers as being on the fringe of conservatism. But when a birther/quarantiner/denier is invited to speak at an event organized by Freedomworks, chaired by former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey, the lines between the GOP & the Crazy get increasingly blurry.

The Stalking Horse

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Much has been made recently of the many angers of the Tea Partyers, to wit: the swollen big federal government, taxes, the national deficit (both budget and trade), Second Amendment rights, states' rights,  restoring the Real Constitution, President Obama's socialist/fascist agenda with special fury reserved for the Health Care reform bill, and so on. Now there is another anger-trigger: anyone who implies that the Tea Party members and its many angers are in any way racist, or even slightly prejudiced. No, no, you elitists, the Tea Party's anger is pure! "Give us our country back!" " Restore the Constitution our Forefathers' created!"

Closer examination reveals what is really going on under all the cacophony: almost all of these hot issues are in fact a stalking horse. A stalking horse, you will recall, originally meant a figure behind which a hunter stalked game, and came to mean something used to "mask a purpose," or to hide the true objective. That is, a pretend goal or project which conceals the real objective; the pretend object can even create so much excitement and hysteria that it can convince not just outsiders but the participants it is a serious matter---- yet it still is a mask.
 

Those Darn Polls

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Turns out Americans not only like Barack Obama more than the Tea Party, but that they actually like the IRS more than the Tea Party.   At the height of TAX season no less!

See Think Progress and Daily Kos for more.

Oh heck, just check out the FOX NEWS Poll directly from FOX... http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/040810_Obama_HC_2010_web.pdf

Kyle Blankenship Tweets “TEA Party” 2nd CD Debate

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For a live tweet of the 2nd CD "TEA Party" candidate forum, check out Kyle Blankenship's Twitter feed. Highlights (lowlights?) so far (7:50 pm):

*"[Scott] Rigell talks about accountability, gives out his home phone number."

*"Scott Taylor implies (thinly veiled) the Democrats intend to extend Presidential term limits."

*"[Ben] Loyola: 'Obamacare' adds a 'huge new layer of socialism'"

*"Rigell basically says all federal taxes are unconstitutional. Umm... Wtf?"

*"Scott Taylor proposes billions in education funding cuts."

*"Every Republican, when asked, 'vows' to repeal health care reform."

Stay tuned, this should be craaazy fun!

UPDATE: More craziness, as predicted.

*"Loyola: there's "no excuse" for unemployment to be over "1-2%". Wow."

*"Republicans now talking about raising Medicare age, slashing benefits to seniors, and ending Medicare as soon as possible."

*"Whoa, Loyola calls The Fed's actions "terrorism against America"

Why does anyone take these people the least bit seriously?