In an interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show former President Bill Clinton explained and broke down the true purpose of the Tea Party. Clinton said that Tea Partiers are pawns in a game and, “The people that are funding this Tea Party are trying to weaken the government… so that they can have unaccountable private power.”
Here is the video via The Daily Show:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Exclusive – Bill Clinton Extended Interview Pt. 2|
Former President Clinton was talking about voter anger and the political climate this year, when he discussed the Tea Party and called their followers pawns in a larger game. Clinton said, “If this election is about voter anger, which I’ve already said is legitimate. Like even a lot of those Tea Party people, I mean the folks that are following. I don’t mean the leaders. They think. They’re mad at everybody. Their mad at the big corporations, they’re mad at the big banks, they’re mad at big government, they think the little guy gets the shaft, and that’s largely been true, but they are pawns in a larger game, because what the Boston Tea Party was about, it was a protest against abuse of government power. What this Tea Party, the people that are funding this Tea Party are trying to weaken the government, at a moment when people are queasy about the government, because there was nobody else to step in when the economy was flat, so that they can have unaccountable private power.”
While explaining why healthcare reform is important to the economy, Clinton explained why being against healthcare reform actually leads to more socialized medicine, because it allows health insurance companies to continue dumping the uninsurable on the government. Clinton said, “Last year, 2009, in the depth of this recession, health insurance premiums went up again a lot, and they said well, everybody’s sicker we gotta do it. Yeah, everybody’s sicker, and they keep dumping people and the government has to keep up more. The more they rail about the government taking over healthcare. The more they throw people on to Medicaid or the children’s health program.”
What Clinton described is exactly what the Republican Party and its corporate benefactors have a history of doing to the Right’s activist base. Tea Partiers are being used. They are pawns in a game which is designed to weaken the federal government’s regulatory authority, because fewer regulations mean the ability to cut corners and reduce costs, which leads to increased profits. The Tea Partiers don’t get it. They have been ginned up not to do battle over the size of the government, but to empower the special interests.
The top Tea Party funders are corporate interests or wealthy individuals. Americans for Prosperity is funded by Koch Family Foundation, which is funded by the Koch brothers. The Kochs and Richard Mellon Scaife are the big money behind Freedom Works, but each of this big corporate right wing funders can deny directly funding these operations, because conveniently enough, they use family foundations to keep the cash flowing. The Koch brothers use the Koch Family Foundation and the Claude R. Lamb Foundation to put distance between themselves and the money, and Richard Mellon Scaife uses the Sarah Mellon Scaife Foundation for his efforts. Interestingly both Freedom Works and Americans for Prosperity are run by corporate lobbyists, not average Americans.
The Tea Partiers are not fighting for freedom. They are fighting for to corporations the ability to pollute as much as they want. They are fighting for companies to produce unsafe products and not be held accountable. They are fighting for the health insurance industry to be able to arbitrarily deny the Tea Partiers themselves treatment and coverage. They are fighting to help create an America that is less safe for them at work and at home. Their emotions and anger are being redirected and exploited, and even though Bill Clinton was right in everything that he said, the Tea Partiers will pay no attention to him because they have been conditioned by Fox News to only believe Fox News.
By it’s design the Tea Party is not about freedom. Their movement is nothing more than the latest struggle in the epic tug of war between freedom and capitalism. The Right has done a great job in convincing many Americans that freedom equals capitalism, but unfettered capitalism by its nature infringes on our to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
If the people behind the Tea Party are successful government won’t get smaller, because as Bill Clinton pointed out, the real Tea Party goal is not to shrink government but to weaken it, which means that the Tea Partiers are unwittingly battling against liberty, patriotism, freedom. Who could have guessed even five years ago, that the biggest threats to American freedom are not Islamic extremists, but a bunch of our fellow Americans running around with tea bags on their heads?
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association