The Tea Party’s Support of the Most Corrupt Bastards Club
Say you’re a Tea Partier pushing for the right to impeach your congressional official or, rather, being convinced this is what you want to do by your Republican Fox Party overlords, and being further convinced that your target should be a Democrat with an Hispanic name.
And say you’ve learned your talking points just so; you chant “takin’ back our country!” “kick out the corruption!” “repeal the pork!” “send congress to the moon!” “stop the socialism!” “WAP the Kenyan Socialist!” (er, no, you better NOT chant that one this time), etc and you carry your misspelled sign calling Obama a “Blackbeard Pirate Socilist” and things are just dandy in your world.
It never occurs to you that the only people you ever go after are Democrats. In fact, you repeat on camera the mantra that this is “not a Republican thing”. It never occurs to you that you are a corporate tool. It never occurs to you that it is, actually, a Republican thing, funded by the corporate masters who benefit mightily from the Republican Party’s platform. It never occurs to you that your signs which call out “Hang ’em High!” and then list the “traitors” in congress, which just so happen to be all Democrats might be partisan.
It never occurs to you that you are being used and lied to. It never occurs to you as you run around blaming the guy who just got into office for a deficit created by his predecessor lowering taxes for the rich and not paying for said tax cuts (along with a war that was never put on the budget) that you might just be playing the Blame Game you keep accusing Democrats of playing when they try to remind you of history.
The sixth tenet of the Tea Party is to end corruption. I know, you might not have noticed this given the signs they carry and the message they have. But the Tea Party wants everyone to know that they do indeed have standards. The Newsvine Tea Party section defines them thusly:
“These are the Core Principles that applicants are should (sic) support (not in any particular order though):
1 ) Lower Taxes
2 ) Smaller Government
3 ) Fiscal Responsibility
4 ) Transparent Government
5 ) Ethics Reform
6 ) An end to Corruption
7 ) Stricter adherence to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights
8 ) An end to deficit spending
9 ) A balanced budget
10 ) Less intrusive Federal Government”
Oh, and in case you Tea Partiers were thinking of leaving a racist comment, you are warned right under the list that racist comments will not be tolerated. Which is great. It’s sort of closing the barn door after the horses are out, and sort of sad, because if you’re on a date with someone whom you have to warn that you will not tolerate being raped, well, you shouldn’t be on that date, if you know what I mean.
And so…yeah. These are their values and yet Sarah Palin, who took the most pork per capita of any Governor and hired a DC lobbying firm as mayor of tiny Wasilla to bring home the pork, leads them. As Governor, she not only brought home the pork, kept the money for the Bridge to Nowhere but never built it, but also hired another big DC PR firm to get her national publicity at the taxpayers’ expense. Hello, Vogue of February 2008.
Palin has more than her share of corruption as well, from tax evasion to multiple ethics charges, many of which, contrary to her spin, she was not exonerated. Many of them were “settled” after she repaid the state. But in Troopergate she was found to have violated the state’s ethics laws.
Corruption spreads on both sides of the aisle. Of late, it’s made a happy home in the Republican Party simply because like mold, corruption takes root in the right environment. The modern day Republican Party is loath to hold its leaders accountable for violating ethics laws (they ran two candidates with ethics violations for President and Vice President in 2008 and they got away with it because they knew their base would not care). The list of busted criminals and cheats currently in office is astounding.
The only tainted politician to have left office of late was Palin, but she left to pursue more money after being told she could not have a personal fund (as opposed to the PAC which she also has) to collect (bilk) money from the American people while governor. And she wanted that money. She tried just keeping it, but the wholly Palin cowed Personnel Board had to put their foot down. Even they couldn’t find a way to make that OK. So she quit.
But Ensign, Sanford and Vitter are still in office. And that should be food for fodder for your Tea Partier, but of course, it’s not. To this end, their latest target is Rangel. Rangel used his stationary to solicit donations for a vanity project at his Alma Mater (and let’s be honest, the official stationary means something). Bad on him.
Palin did a lot worse. She used her office supplies and staff to campaign for office. But that was OK with the Party. They felt like she would be a great Vice President. Clearly, those kind of ethical problems aren’t a problem when it’s on their side of the aisle.
Rangel should be investigated.
But while they’re at it, they should hit up Mitch McConnell, whom CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) has named right along with Rangel as “Most Corrupt” in Washington.
“But thanks to the newspaper’s diligent reporting, names of several of the bigger donors have emerged over the past several years. Toyota, which gave $833,000 to the McConnell Center and considers the Kentucky senator among its main Washington assets during its current crisis; RJ Reynolds and Phillip Morris, which gave $150,000 and $450,000, respectively, and which know they can count on him as a staunch backer of tobacco interests; and Yum Inc., the huge KFC/Pizza Hut/Taco Bell franchiser and a $250,000 donor, whose management was surely pleased when McConnell sponsored a special-interest bill protecting the fast-food industry against lawsuits alleging that their products cause obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
Yet of all the dubious donors to the McConnell Center, the worst smell emanates from BAE Systems (for whom McConnell grabbed three earmarks worth $25 million) for the British-based defense firm that just settled a years-long, transatlantic bribery investigation last month by paying a record $450 million fine negotiated by prosecutors in London and Washington. BAE subsidiary United Defense Industries gave $500,000 to the McConnell Center because, as a spokesman proudly explained to the Courier-Journal, “We have a very good relationship with Senator McConnell. We appreciate all he’s done for our company and our employees in Louisville.””
Running against pork? Tea Bagging against corruption? Marching to impeach?
Until the Republican Party applies these standards to their own party even occasionally, they stand for nothing. The Tea Party says they stand for an end to corruption, and yet the only people they aim their vitriol at are Democrats, most of whom, oddly, are not accused of corruption. The sixth tenet of the Tea Party is to end corruption and yet they’ve aligned themselves with the most corrupt party.
Any citizen worth their salt wants the Most Corrupt Bastards thrown out of Washington no matter what side of the aisle they’re on. These folks are paid well to represent the people, not to grift pork for their egos. I know, that’s naive; they are all egomaniacs or they wouldn’t be in this business. But they need to draw the line at corruption. If they won’t, we need to.
The Senate Ethics Committee needs to add McConnell to its investigation list, sooner rather than later. And the Fox News Teapublicans need to hold themselves to even a remote semblance of the values they claim to stand for, otherwise they stand for nothing.
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.