Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Tea parties" turn ugly

I've been looking on the internet for 'tea party' coverage today, and the organized protest that appears to have been put together by the GOP doesn't seem to have nearly as much pop as, for example, the antiwar protests of a couple of years ago.

It started with FOX News blaring about 'hundreds of people in Boston.'

Yeah. A few hundred in one of the countries' major metropolitan areas. That was with great weather, free finger food and a chance get their face on TV. I think more people than that show up every night and pay to watch a double-A baseball game just about anyplace in the country. Remember that over two million people came to the Obama inauguration, on a very cold day when they had to stand in line for hours and not only was no food provided but there was a shortage of porta-potties.

However this has shown a lot of what the right wing and their following is really about.

On CNN (courtesy of blog for Arizona), reporter Susan Roesgen interviews a couple of people who appear to actually know as much as the typical 'idiot-on-the-street' that Jay Leno likes to interview when he goes walking. One guy keeps saying Obama is a fascist and apparently has no idea what that means. He just keeps repeating that Obama is a fascist.

Ignoring the fact that the crowd shots they've shown (if you could call it a 'crowd') are pretty much all white, two incidents really highlight what this is about.

1. They had one in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House. Someone threw a box over the fence. Security had to clear Pennsylvania Avenue and call in the bomb squad who sent a robot to examine the box. Luckily it turned out only to be a box of tea but the threat was unequivocable.

2. Joe Wurzelbacher (also known as 'Joe the Plumber') in stretching his fifteen minutes of fame into what is getting to be really annoying hours and days and weeks, was hosting a rally and on Pajamas Media TV a protester asked him if he'd like to waterboard President Obama.

So in other words, it's not about taxes at all (especially since not only are the Bush tax cuts still in force but this year in the stimulus package the Obama administration gave them another tax cut that is already showing up in paychecks.) It's not even about spending and government programs (though that is the ultimate goal of many of the GOP operatives who have been organizing this-- they don't want national health care or any other new programs.) These two incidents make it very clear that the one thing that is tying many of these people together is raw hatred of the President.


Donna said...

I stopped by the one at the State Capitol for a few minutes. I feel all dirty but I just couldn't stop myself. It was a mostly well-behaved crowd but some of the signs they were carrying were just horrible. It reminded me of that Alexandra Pelosi movie Right America Feeling Wronged. These people are really pissed off, and it's this inchoate unformulated rage that is ripe to be channeled by Glen Beck and his corporate masters.

Eli Blake said...

The funny thing is that their taxes were higher last year under Bush and they weren't unhappy about taxes then.