What Do Teabaggers Stand For?

tinfoil hatStates are having their primaries and the candidate line-ups for fall elections are taking shape. We may know who represents which party on the ballot. But for at least half of the ballot, we don’t have much information about what the candidates actually stand for.

Even as the extreme right wing of the Republican Party has gained control, it’s hard to know exactly what they want from the system. They call themselves fiscal conservatives and libertarians, who want less government spending and no government favoritism. But they were horrified by Bill Clinton’s balanced budget and budget surplus and they clamor to get back to the no-bid contracts of the Cheney/Bush era. They claim to favor anything military. But they applaud the Cheney/Bush efforts to cut veterans’ benefits and health care.

With Dick Armey’s organization of the Tea Party movement, encouraging a lot of freelance (well-funded but less well-controlled) activities, we’ve begun to get more people talking about what the real goals of the Republican/Teabag movement really are. By looking at recent statements by current Republican spokespeople, we can get a picture of what the Teabag platform really is. Amazingly, it turns out that they reject almost all previous Republican positions.

There are still a few sentient people in the Republican Party who may remember the brouhaha over National ID Cards. In those olden days of the Clinton era, “conservatives” claimed that the idea of a National ID Card was a liberal plot to take away our freedoms. But now that the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations can buy government officials, Teabag Republicans are saying that a National ID Card would be a perfect way to control illegal immigration and international terrorism. It’s just a total coincidence that the National ID Card might carry tons of consumer data, useful to the corporations who want to sell us stuff we don’t need or ask for.

How such a card full of consumer data would help stop people from jumping border fences, or using fake passports to fly here, remains a mystery. And anyone who raises that question is derided as a traitor.

One of the main themes of the Teabag movement is their claim that they want to “restore” the Constitution. But what do they actually mean by this phrase? A recent Republican press release said that the “original” Constitution was perfect, and that the Amendments damaged that perfect document. But less than five years ago, in November 2005, George Bush complained that the Constitution was “just a goddamned piece of paper!” When he said that, none of the people now claiming to want to “restore” it made any complaint at all about Cheney/Bush policies that tore the Constitution down.

The Republicans want to focus their ire at the 13th amendment, which outlawed slavery, and the 8th Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishments. After all, during the Dubya administration, we all learned about a huge variety of unusual punishments, which sounded kinda cool! Why should any stupid amendment mess up the perfect Constitution and also do away with kinky, exciting tortures?

But while focusing attention on the 13th amendment, the Republicans were actually going after all of the amendments. Like that pesky 1st amendment that lets even godless liberals and Socialist, Marxist, Nazi Commies express their views without punishment. That one’s gotta go! If the founding fathers had wanted it in there, they would have said so in the original document – you betcha!

Now think back to the National ID Card. Republicans used to pretend to oppose such a thing. But when it got to be advantageous for them, they flipped and now they back it. And think of slavery. Republicans, like Lincoln, used to oppose it, but now Michael Steele is calling the 13th Amendment a terrible mistake and a perversion of the “original goddamned piece of paper.”

Republicans used to believe in free market capitalism and competition for the best products. But now they favor no-bid contracts, awarded to political allies and contributors, with no concern for quality control. So what else should we wonder about? The 2nd Amendment, which Republicans claim to love as much as free markets and competition, may be the next thing to go. The 2nd Amendment is, after all, just an amendment – an alteration to a perfect document. It, like the 13th Amendment, may be in the gunsights of “restorationists.”

Over the weekend, Michael Steele said that Teabag hero Rand Paul was “in lockstep” with the Republican Party’s program. Rand Paul follows his father’s deep devotion to the superiority of the white race. He thinks that businesses should be able to exclude the inferior races, even if government can’t. This is “in lockstep” with Michael Steele’s claim that the 13th Amendment perverts the “original goddamned piece of paper.”

The Republican Teabag movement also claims to be deeply religious. They want to impose their piety on all the people who have not yet been born again. That’s one reason for wanting to eliminate that 1st Amendment perversion of the “original goddamned piece of paper.” But again, it’s not entirely clear what their religiosity means.

That Jesus guy said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” But Teabag Republicans say that Jesus was just flat wrong. They want a theocratic government, which forces everyone to accept their version of religious morality. This gets really confusing. Just a few years ago, Republican business leaders were raking in tens of millions of dollars around campaigns to force the Ten Commandments into every school and court room. But they are “in lockstep” in agreeing that those Ten Commandments contain some big mistakes.

One of the worst mistakes in the Ten Commandments, according to Teabag Republicans, is the one that says “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” Republicans claim that lying is often necessary, particularly when it leads to higher profits. So it was OK to lie about the reasons for sending thousands of U.S. troops to die in Iraq. It was OK to lie about subverting environmental and health protection laws, when big contributors wanted to avoid restrictions. And Teabaggers now say that it is OK to lie about the Obama administration, if the lies get votes for Republican candidates. In the fall election campaigns, they’re going to claim that Obama caused the BP oil leak.

Another error in the Commandments is the one about “Thou shalt have no Gods before me.” Any Teabag Republican can tell you that it is more important to worship power and money than God. This points to another mistake Jesus made, according to Republicans. He said that heaven was for the poor and the meek, and that “it will be harder for a rich man to enter heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.” Republicans say that this is totally wrong – in fact, only the rich will get to heaven. Being rich is a sign of good religion.

The result of these contradictions is that we can see that Teabag Republicans are:

  • Against the evil of Democratic balanced budgets;
  • Against the evil of business competition;
  • Against the perversion of the Constitution found in the amendment to end slavery;
  • Against Jesus’ mistaken understanding of religion’s role in government;
  • In favor of exalting personal greed and profit above the Commandments and the teachings of Jesus.

tom_hall_2.jpgWith so many things that they claim to be for, but actually act against, what can we believe about the Teabag movement? One thing for sure – Michael Steele was right when he bragged that Rand Paul was a perfect Teabagger because he is “in lockstep” with the Republican Party’s plans.

This tells us what Teabag Republicans are against – they remain loyal to the “Party of No!” label. But it doesn’t tell us what they are for. That may be because they are too smart to admit details of what they want to do. Or maybe they are too scared of losing votes if they admit what their real plans are.

Tom Hall

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Comments

  1. Hippy Hater says

    Well Tom judging by your Federalist Hair Style you must have been quite puke back in the 60′s.

    I love how you goofy, crossed eyed liberals, always are the first ones to quote and hide under the protective veil of the Constitution, whenever you are regurgitating your vitriolic ideology. Yet, you have managed to create a group of words such as-I feel ridiculous that people have been forced by the heavy boot of political correctness from using certain words or phrases in public- the dreaded nnnn word and illegal immigrant, for-instance. Meanwhile you are free to call George Bush and Sarah Palin anything you desire.

    You think tea baggers are a formal political organized unity, which you can attack, disparage and shame into submission but you are missing the big picture. They are not an entity but instead represent a new social awareness, which is spreading through out the land, like the insatiable Denver Wild Fires spread on the winds, in the minds of the awakened electorate, who will register their votes against the dogma, which you and your smarmy Liberal cohorts profess on November 2. Tommy boy, your progressive dreams of turning America into another utopian Brook Farm will soon meet the same fate as the first experiment!

  2. says

    I believe we should all quit using the phrases T-bagger and T-bagging. I looked the terms up on Wikipedia and I don’t believe they accurately describe the actions of serious and loyal T-partiers in their relations with conservative Republicans and celebrities such as S. Palin, Limbaugh, and others of that ilk, it is offensive. I used the terms before but now I will refrain from using them in respect to others to whom it may be offensive.

  3. MyLeftMind says

    It’s entertaining to make fun of the tea baggers, but the fact is, the dissatisfaction and disaffection across the country is real, and it’s based on economics, not racism. From talking to many tea baggers, and many others who are basically fed up with ObushCo, I’m convinced that only a small percentage of tea baggers are racists. The rest are people who have worked hard their whole lives only to see Bush and now Obama drain their resources for programs and policies that help the rich and the poor, but that destroy the middle class. If moderates are getting sucked into the tea bagger movement, they’ll pick the parts that work for them (fiscal conservatism) and ignore the rest that they don’t agree with (racism, maybe social conservatism). But their votes will result in the election of Repubs who represent the whole package, albeit with perhaps a little more corporatism than our Democrats have shown us.

    President Obama is a corporatist who is driving our country bankrupt with two endless wars, bankster bailouts and now a faux healthcare act that will force wealth redistribution from the middle class to the rich insurance companies. Shouldn’t that alarm the left enough that we fight his policies and direction? Thank god the oil spill happened right after Obama did his big professorial declaration about how safe offshore drilling is and with his plan to expand drilling so his oil buddies can get richer. Well, OK, he didn’t admit to that part of it, but at least now most of the college students lapping up his lectures might just question his intentions when he announces the basis for his future Bush-lite policies. Aren’t we just voting against our own interests when our Democrats screw us financially? Oh wait, that’s the claim we make against right wing voters…

    We can call the tea baggers are a bunch of uneducated racists, but wouldn’t it be better to actually acknowledge the truths their movement is pointing out? Wouldn’t it be better to admit that Obama’s policies will destroy the middle class as well as the environment if we don’t stop him?

    Wouldn’t it be better to find some common ground between moderates and the left and create solutions that both sides would support? Because if we don’t talk to the tea baggers and their much larger following, we’ll be outvoted in 2010 and 2012, and none of us will get what we want.

    Let’s stop making fun of them and start siphoning off the ones that actually have reasonable criticism of our President. We do that by acknowledging their fears, admitting the reality of Obama’s failures, and identifying how to MAKE Obama and our Dems act in our interests for a change.

  4. says

    The Tea Party should be renamed the TV Party , they’re getting so much coverage.The dominated the news with 2000 people when they were slandering and spitting on legislators while 200,000 people marching for immigrant rights got little or no coverage. Their web site is interesting, not like they have local contact information. It seems a little unusual.Their tone is military more than political

  5. Nate says

    So then ;

    Since it’s not ‘ PC ‘ to hate muslims , is it O.K. if I hate teabaggers ? .

    As a true Conservative who understands what ‘ Conservatisim ‘ means , I find the accepting of a disgusting homosexual game as a political identifier revolting .

    it prolly shows the true feelings of the teabaggers tho’ .

    =8-)

    • says

      But N, the term is not specifically about a homosexual or heterosexual game so your comment could engender some bias. Sexual behavior is not something to be looked down upon between consenting adults — it is their own business.

      By the way my father and Barry Goldwater were friends and visited each other when I was growing up in AZ and I would have to agree with you that many of those who now try to claim the mantle of conservatism are far from the mark. I would suggest that many of the right wing Republicans who claim the title of conservatism should probably be referred to as reactionaries.

  6. says

    Aho! What an awesome article! It says everything I have seen. Especially the spiritual part fits them to a Tea. Thanks for writing it. I’m going to tell the world about it.

  7. says

    Here’s the problem…first of all you speak in generalities. The ‘tea baggers’ aren’t some corporate group of clones. They are Americans of all types, ages, and views. The desire of the left to paint concerned Americans as thugs, idiots and otherwise unsavory characters does nothing for the debate. It’s fine with me if you don’t agree with what someone says or does or what they believe in. You have that right – but then so do the rest of us. A

    Among all your ‘claims” I see very little attribution. Who exactly are the specific tea partiers who are saying and doing these things? Are you aware of the fact that there are literally hundreds of different Tea Partier groups just in California alone? Have you actually talked to someone who is involved in any way shape or form with the Tea Party movement? Or are you just content to spit out left leaning talking points without giving any real attempt at debate or dialogue? You speak as though from some place of altitude or authority…although I’ve never known anyone who was truly informed who would attack the opposition in the way you have. Shamefully and disrespectfully.

    You see my friend, this is the problem. People just want to get on their soapboxes and rail against what they think is going on, rather than going to the trouble to get actual facts. Doing actual research, talking to the actual people involved. That would take some effort. It’s all too easy to skim the articles on Drudge, the Daily Kos and the Huffington Post, so why bother actually forming an opinion of your own, right?

    Based on the tone of your post, my guess is you are ‘above’ talking to someone who might be involved or even supportive of anything conservative much less something as dangerous as the Tea Party activities.

    I also assume that a person like you considers any conservative a radical – a fringe component of society – a danger to your freedom. Too bad – for you. Because you’re missing an opportunity to actually learn something through your experience rather than just toting the party line.

    I must say though, it is amusing to hear those on the left feeling so fearful and insecure about the idea of conservatives actually affecting change. Apparently you guys thought that concept belonged to you. I guess the joke is on you.
    Annie

  8. says

    The Tea baggers/GOP would like to come as a thief in the night and steal all that we have and cherish in our not yet perfect but still pretty good nation. The Constitution and Amendments are progressive living documents that have allowed change with time as human liberty for all has been expanded. It has accomplished this because it is a secular scheme of government that doesn’t allow any religion to claim the state as its own and therefore all have a right to practice, speak, and believe as they will. With out this commitment to no state religion which religion and which sect would be the proper religion for the US: Muslim, Bahia, Christian-ism, Judaism, Shinto, The faith of the four fateful winds and the high sun? And if a sect: Roman Catholic (the conventional catholics hopefully and not those who follow pedophiles), Baptist, Mormon, Sunni Muslim, Shiite, followers of the Reverend Jim Jones or some other religious crackpots? No, let’s keep with our course and continue to seek freedom and self determination for all, believers and non-believers.

  9. Clara says

    Remembering some of the events and news you refer to…I ask myself if this is really the same country that existed when Bill Clinton took the national budget from red to black.
    I fear you are preaching to the choir here, Mr. Hall. Where can you take righteous anger and indignation, other than the ballot box? This country is being manipulated by fear of “the other”, people who don’t look or speak like “us”, etc. How sad, if we look back to the times that gave us the International Red Cross, the Statue of Liberty, to name just two…Our grandfathers and great uncles were proud to cross an ocean to fight for people who spoke other languages. And we were proud of them for doing so. Let’s celebrate this weekend, the sacrifices that were made, for “the others”. It’s what made this young country more mature, defined it on the side of Liberty.

  10. Marshall says

    What a sick puppy you are. You have the right to say what ever, but the amount of facts in your writings in no way amounts to the amount of fiction.

    • Tom says

      Marshall,

      I won’t ask you to give up the name-calling (which is, after all, part of the training material that you get from Dick Armey’s Freedomworks PAC). Call me “a sick puppy”, if it makes you feel potent.

      But how about identifying those facts that offend you? I keep hearing you Teabaggers whining that “liberals” won’t discuss issues, but just try to cram legislation through as if they were Bush era Republicans. I’m not trying to cram anything through – I’ll listen if you want to point out what’s fact and what’s fiction.

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