Tea Baggers suffered a few critical blows to the astro-turfed “movement” yesterday. Early in the day, it became obvious that the Tea Bagging parties were supported by Fox News (the lower third they ran all day yesterday: “FNC Tax Day Tea Parties” kind of gave it away) and corporate astro-turfer FreedomWorks (as in, we don’t want you to be able to vote on joining a union anonymously).
Thusly, they could no longer pull off the whole “organic populist rage” effect quite as well. Then, to make matters worse, they couldn’t even reference the original Boston Tea Party after they were called on the fact a, they have representation (unlike the real Tea Protesters) and b, 95% of Americans just got a HUGE tax cut!
What to do, what to do.
It was also becoming apparent that the Tea Bagging Parties were more of an anti-Obama reunion of the Palin rallies last fall, tinged with the same racial hatred and attended by the same angry, mostly-white LIVs. This was not the message the far right wanted to impart to us.
Tea Baggers needed to reinvent themselves, and fast!
After Rush and Fox whispered “organic” talking points to the Tea Baggers in their “entertaining” and “fair and balanced” way, the hard-working Tea Baggers determined that they had been protesting “big government spending” and “all taxes”. Finally, a purpose! A focus for their anger!!
Sure, some of them missed this helpful guide to staging a faux-protest, as evidenced by the many birthers drooling into various microphones around the country yesterday, as well as the “Obama is Hilter” and “Impeach Obama Bin Lying” signs held defiantly by the unwashed, but enough of them got it to “reframe” the discussion, albeit post Tea Bagging Party.
Indeed, the morning after brought nothing but more rage for Tea Baggers; They are the “silent majority” and America will hear them roar!!! Here’s their beef (aka, what they meant to tell us yesterday): They’re really mad at all taxes! Oh, and also NBC. NBC is now the devil. Not sure what happened there. Anyway, the important thing is that the Tea Baggers are incensed that WE don’t get it. We are the ignorant, crazy ones! “Do you know you have to PAY TAXES?” They holler indignantly as they struggle to redefine their rogue Tea Bagging message. They also want us to understand that this was a “non-partisan affair”. They claim Democrats and Republicans alike shared in Tea Bagging, and Fox has gone out of its way to propagandize this tidbit in a desperate attempt to normalize the startlingly fringy aspects of Tea Baggery.
Upon hearing this, I confess that I grew weary of the cute Tea Baggers and the seemingly endless source of amusement they so kindly provided yesterday. This morning, my head throbs with the ache of the blatant stupidity and slack-jawed thuggery on display yesterday. Truth be told, after 8 years of paying for their ill-conceived vote for the guy they wanted to have a beer with, my temper is often running a bit short with the little buggers. I also realized that my taxes helped support the Tea Baggers Frothing Parade of Paranoia, and this didn’t please me. So it was through the fog of this Post Tea Bagging Party that I heard someone shouting (and I think it was me):
“Oh, the mean old government! They’re almost as bad as your parents! First they want you to take out the trash and now they want you to clean up after yourself! Will the persecution never end???”
To recap, I can’t keep it all in anymore, Tea Baggers. While I had a ball yesterday, I can’t swallow any more of the Tea Baggery nonsense so I’m afraid I’m going to have to dump on you (wink, wink).
Tea Baggers, you really need to grow up, and I mean that with all sincerity. Participation in real life costs money and effort and care. You get what you put into it. As things are right now, Americans get a lot of things for their tax dollars that people in other countries would be willing to die for the opportunity to pay for. It’s petulant and grossly childish to complain about the American tax rate — esp right now, when the majority have just gotten a huge tax break.
As an American who just proudly paid more money than I wanted to in taxes, I’d like to add that I’m getting tired of Tea Baggers’ magical thinking. You want the schools and the roads and the parks that you used for your demonstrations, but you don’t want to pay for them. You want us to forget evolution and believe that dinosaurs walked among us. You want us to believe that the President of the United States is a Fascist, just because (and I quote) “I said so!”.
Tea Baggers, this is America. We have many, many wonderful freedoms. As someone much more clever than I once noted, freedom is NOT free. We take responsibility for our freedoms in many ways; for starters, we pay taxes, we stay informed about the issues and vote our conscience, and we do our best to live moral and ethical lives which don’t trample on anyone else’s rights.
So, Tea Baggers, if you’re going to scream about taxes when 95% of Americans just got a huge tax break and top it off with incoherent accusations about NBC/ the President’s birth certificate/Fascism, the bad news is you don’t get to complain when you’re further marginalized by your own willful ignorance and laziness.
We simply can’t help you anymore.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.