11. February 2010 · Comments Off on Tea Party and Tea Parties · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, Local, Politics, Rant, Tea Time

You know, the funniest thing about being active in a local Tea Party – aside from some of the soap opera antics resulting when people involved have different ideas about where we should go and what we should do – comes from going back and reading, over and over, in comment threads, editorials/commentary and news stories, those unsupported and wildly asserted claims about what we are and what we want. Strict Constitutionalists, limited federal government, free markets . . . nothing more radical than that, actually. No, seriously, nothing more than that. Really, cross my heart, et cetera – it’s nothing more than that, as a handful of the media anointed who have come down from their lofty heights and actually did their jobs have discovered. Much to their own mild surprise, I might add. However, sometimes it seems that the larger portion – or at least the noisier portion of academia, the media, the political elite and dumbasses commenting on blog and news threads are still convinced otherwise. According to this particular assortment of gits, such beliefs in the strict interpretation of the Constitution, and a small federal government with limited powers are horrifically radical and dangerously un-American notions. This would suggest that in general, public education has reached astonishing new lows in total incompetence, when it comes to education in basic civics and history – Especially, it would seem, among those in the leadership cadre among certain unions.

No kidding, looking around at all that is said of us in various fora – it’s an absolute hoot. I am following one comment thread now where it’s being asserted, over and over again that the Tea Partiers are the tools of big corporations. No actual proof of the assertion are posted, mind you – such as details about which corporations, and how they are supposed to be commanding us Tea Party sheeple. If anything, and to go by my personal knowledge of Tea Partiers – more of them are owners of small, and even micro-small businesses. There’s a fair number of retirees, lots of military veterans, heaps of fairly observant churchgoers; all of this makes one particular assertion fairly risible – that we were all stupid dope-smokers in high school who couldn’t into college or get real jobs and don’t pay taxes. Have to admit, I was shaking my head over that one. If anything, most of us were probably totally earnest, clean-cut parent-respecting nerds, back in the day – and were roundly laughed at by the dope-smoking crowd.

Seems to me also, that the level of disparagement aimed at the Tea Partiers is rising, of late – and so is the ugly slant taken by some popular culture outlets. At least those responsible for the latest kerfuffle, which has a plotline of Captain America meeting what appears to be a Tea Party protest, have had the grace – or at least the economic good sense to back down and render an apology. Even if it does seem more along the lines of “I’m sorry you were offended/I’m sorry we got caught” sort of weasel-apologies.

Oh, and for the umpteenth time – Sarah Palin is not our leader. Glenn Beck isn’t either, and Rush Limbaugh certainly isn’t. And most of us are at least as angry at the Republicans as any else, so please spare me the insistence that the Grand Old Party is our puppetmaster. If fact, most of us wouldn’t bother pissing on the traditional Republican leadership cadre if they were on fire.We have no leader. The whole thing is a distributed insurgency – and for what it is worth, some of the loosely-associated groups are going and doing their own thing. With greater or lesser degrees of success. Personally, I think those groups who are depending on a handful of funding sources with deep pockets and paying for services rendered, rather than the dedication of volunteers and many small donations are on the wrong track. That runs the danger of becoming what made us angry in the first place. But as I said before: a herd of cats, all moving more or less in the same direction.

Ah well –interesting times. And on the anniversary of the start of the whole Tea Party movement (February 21, which strangely enough is also my birthday) they may get even more interesting yet.

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