Jim Explains Tea Bagging

visceral hatred“May God help you if we ever meet.” This was the message in an email I received this month, from a Law Enforcement officer, named Jim, who lives in Wisconsin. In his next email to me, Jim explained what he meant by “God help you”: “[I] have a permit to carry and am never without my 9mm oh and did I mention I am a licensed peace officer.”

One of the common complaints about the Tea Baggers is that they speak freely about what they hate, what they don’t want, and what they want to do away with, but they don’t articulate much about what they want to do if they ever get into office – other than tearing things down. But Jim has started to give some details about what the Tea Bag political platform really means.

Jim is one of those people dedicated to “restoring the Constitution.” As we can tell from his threat that I will need God’s help if Jim ever tracks me down, for Jim, “restoring the Constitution” means ending First Amendment rights for people who don’t agree with him. He is talking about implementing Sharon Angle’s “2nd Amendment solution” to the ‘problem’ of free speech. For Jim, “peace officer” is apparently the same as “political assassin.”

There are more dimensions to Jim’s work to “restore the Constitution.” He explained to me that as a “white redneck with a mulletI do not nor will I ever tolerate what you call homosexual nor will I ever tolerate those who say they have been oppressed such as blacks and Indians.” This is an interesting concept on a couple of levels. First, he tries to explain his Tea Bagger fears as if they were something characteristic of all white rednecks. Perhaps he seeks the comfort of hiding in a crowd. But he is not being honest about white rednecks, generally.

More importantly, he explains that for the Tea Baggers, there should be no tolerance of disfavored groups. It isn’t that he opposes homosexuals having equal rights. Rather, he won’t tolerate their mere existence. Notice that he says “what you call homosexual.” In other emails, he makes clear that they are not “gay” or “homosexual”. They are “faggots” and “queers.”

But it isn’t only homosexuals that his Tea Bag society won’t tolerate. In a Tea Bag world, toleration will be denied to “people who say they have been oppressed.” His examples are blacks and Indians. Tea Baggers know that those groups haven’t been oppressed! Any lies about oppression of such people are so reprehensible that people who speak them can’t be tolerated – they must succumb to the 9mm solution.

Jim’s explication of these parts of the Tea Bag platform, make crystal clear why the Beck/Palin campaign had its kick-off event at the Lincoln Memorial, on the anniversary date of Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech. The Beck/Palin – Tea Bag Express campaign will make clear that there is no tolerance in the U.S. for those who look at the facts of U.S. history.

Beck/Palin, with peace officer Jim’s loyal, and 9mm help, will restore the U.S. by denying its history.

My email exchange with Jim started when he sent out an email blast to people he thought might share his racism and kinky sex ideas. His email called the Washington Times “one of the most liberal newspapers in the country.” Jim is no dummy. He is proud of gathering and disseminating a relatively constant stream of racist, pro-corporate, anti-christian bile to his email list. He searches for hate to spread, and in the process he reads and learns things.

The Washington Times is the political rag founded and propped-up by Korea’s industrial billionaire Sun Myung Moon. The Washington Times denies science, denies the Bible, and denies most logic. It regularly complains that Reagan and both Bushes were too liberal. When I commented on this reality to a small part of Jim’s email list, he cravenly pretended not to know anything about the paper that he had called “one of the most liberal in the country.” But, Jim is in lock-step with the Moonie political plan that gays and their conduct must be exterminated.

Jim’s denial that he knew the Washington Times history reflects the single most telling feature of Tea Baggers – their intellectual cowardice. Tea Bag candidate won’t tell us actual bills they plan to introduce. Tea Bag candidate won’t meet with even the conservative press to answer questions. And Tea Baggers like Jim deny what they’ve said, when people ask them about it.

So, I suppose that Jim may deny writing “God help you if we ever meet.” And he may deny writing that he is a peace officer. But reality, and computer records, exist.

Tea Baggers complain about “double dipping.” They hate the idea that someone could work in government until retirement, then work a second career while collecting a pension from their first career. The logic here is a little odd. A pension is earned by working a job. So when retirement comes around, the pension is something one gets as a right – not a gift. If the pensioner then takes another job (perhaps because most pension income won’t pay the costs of living, let alone things like health care), there should be no issue about the pension that was earned earlier. But Tea Baggers hate such a process almost as much as they hate Social Security.

Most people who leave government on pensions and then take second jobs are retired military men. Men who served their nation for decades, and then got a pension too small to keep their families fed, go back to work in the Post Office, or as park rangers, or local cops. Jim and his Tea Bag pals think these retired Coast Guard or Secret Service types are malingering deadbeats who shouldn’t accept both the pensions they earned and the pay they are earning now.

What gratitude for decades of service. What great policies to look forward to when the Tea Baggers take over.

But Jim works as a peace officer as a second career. He used to be a truck driver, until he was disabled and retired on a pension that he earned while driving. Now, as a disabled man, he soaks up tax dollars as a peace officer. Perhaps he can’t actually chase down robbers or drive the SWAT tank for his department. But he does use his tax-paid salary to fund his campaign to crowd the internet with racist, intentionally dishonest emails.

Christine O’Donnell is a lot like Jim. She wants to campaign as a political newcomer. Her Tea Bag handlers call her an ‘outsider.’ They don’t mention that she has run for U.S. Senate twice before her current race. They don’t mention that she has held a variety of offices in Republican Party organizations. Will she give up her Republican Party pension, if she gets elected to the Senate? Or, like Jim, will she keep drawing the pension, while she’s got her nose stuck into the new trough?

Jim is a real person, an outspoken man who wants to end “tolerance” of lives and opinions that he does not share. He is typical of millions of scared underachievers who would rather tear down the U.S. than share it with “them” – them being whatever group the Jims are told to hate at any given moment. They can be Catholic, Asian, Irish, Italian, Black, Indian, Latin, commies, Nazis, socialists, Moslems, Jews or even the surrender-monkey French.

They don’t care to actually know anything about the targets of their hate. They pride themselves on denigrating reporters and scientific researchers who rely on facts. They want to be told that their hate is OK. And right now, the corporate money sources are telling them that hate is better than OK, it is necessary. Hate is good. Hate is a “value” for voters in November.

tom_hall_2.jpgAnd what of progressives? As Laura Schlessinger and Sarah Palin preach that it is once again OK for whites to use the “N-word”, and Glenn Beck derides Dr. King as “anti-christian,” I hear that progressives are discouraged and disillusioned that our champion has not yet, single-handedly disrupted the corporate drive to rebuild a white-power Republican Party.

This is still something of a democracy. If discouraged, disillusioned progressives stay home in November, we yield our governance to the cowardly, hate-filled, ignorance-embracing Jims, who will crawl out of their trailers and divert their pick-ups from night riding to drive to the polls. It is still our country, proud, free and diverse, unless we cede it to them.

Tom Hall

Published by the LA Progressive on September 22, 2010
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About Tom Hall

Tom Hall is a family lawyer in West Los Angeles. He is from Boston, and was raised in Friends Meeting at Cambridge (Quakers) to think that religion was a progressive force. During the Vietnam War, he organized draft counseling centers and worked with groups training people in techniques for disciplined nonviolent demonstrating. After the war, he became just another yuppie working to make a comfortable life. The Bush administration shocked him back into social concerns. Now he’s working to see that the Obama administration lives up to its progressive promises. Tom can be reached at ProgBlog@aol.com