Sunday, April 19, 2009

a few super-late thoughts on the tea bagging of america

No, not this tea bagging of America, but the little parties that made the news rounds last week. You know, the gatherings of people who are protesting...something...maybe taxes?...because guys like Limbaugh have been screaming that the sky is falling.

Because I sometimes spend a few minutes listening to right wing talk radio (as I've said many times, it's important to know what they're saying no matter how crazy/asinine/evil it happens to be), I know that Hannity thinks that no one except the people at these little parties understands what they were about. He offered no explanation, just that the mainstream media missed the point. So what was the point?

- People are out protesting "tax hikes." I put "tax hikes" in quotes because, as you no doubt know if you've been keeping up with the pesky little facts out there, most people will end up paying less in taxes. These "tax hikes" they're protesting are largely the rolling back of Bush's massive tax cuts. Even if that weren't true, none of these people are being taxed into the poor house...or even the middle class house...or even out of their summer house on the beach...so I have a hard time seeing the problem.

- Some are upset because their perception of taxes is President Obama taking their money from them and giving it to deadbeats who are too lazy to pay their mortgages. Maybe none of them noticed the economy tanking, but there are people out there losing their homes right not largely because of the whole "suddenly not having a job" thing. There is absolutely nothing that infuriates me than the assertion the poor are only poor because they want to be/are too lazy to get rich. And it's being perpetuated when Limbaugh goes on the air and actually says that people who can are going to look around and stop paying their mortgages and just assume that the government will take it over for them. This is stupid. Of course people want to achieve on their own. Of course it stings when they have to have help, especially when it comes right after having their job and life pulled out from under them. The idea that this is suddenly going to create a "welfare state" (Hannity again) full of lazy people just waiting for President Obama to come and help them out is one that's being put out there to frighten people who don't know to think about things for a second. Guess who showed up at the tea parties...

- Some aren't protesting taxes so much as the notion that Obama is deficit spending. For the record, these are largely the same people who were okay with Bush the W borrowing tons of money for an ill-advised war that was sold to the American people based on the repetition of a lie...but they're mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore when President Obama is spending money to, you know, help people live their lives and take care of that basic "pursuit of happiness" thing.

- But hey, maybe, just maybe there are people out there who opposed both the spending on the Iraq fiasco AND the spending on fighting off a depression. If someone truly believes that people need to be thrown to the wolves to fend for themselves in a sort of economic darwinism where only the people lucky enough to work for companies that aren't having to make massive cuts survive...I have nothing for you. We believe different things and your beliefs actually make me sad.

- What, in the end, I think most of these people were protesting - if they really knew what they were protesting at all - was a Democratic president.

1 comment:

Scott Jennings said...

This is a charitable analysis, because I think it's mostly racism. The people at these events are rednecks who are pissed off about having a black president. The end.