Chock Full of Nuts

If you haven’t seen the New Left Media video of the recent Tax Day Tea Party in Washington, you might be alone.

It has collected around 10,700 comments on Huffington Post. My favorite is “chock full of nuts.”

The video shows Tea Baggers answering questions about why they are protesting. Almost all of their replies are the usual right-wing rants against President Obama’s “tyranny,” “socialist agenda” and “onerous taxes.”

Even so, one Tea Bagger’s response was original, at least to me. She said she was vexed partly because “President Obama is considering banning fishing in America .” I hadn’t heard that one.

But I wasn’t surprised by the man and woman who defended rich folks. The Tea Baggers claim they are anti-elitist, but they’ve been taking the side of wealthy people all along. That’s why millionaires like Dick Armey are happy to help bankroll the Tea Party movement – more on him in a minute.

“When you hose the rich you hurt America because I’ve never worked for a poor person,” the man said. “The gentleman I work for now is a wealthy individual. He wasn’t always wealthy. But he built his business up and now he’s a millionaire. God bless America .”

The woman said she doesn’t think the rich should have to pay higher taxes. “They have the right to earn that money,” she added. “Nobody has the right to take it away from them.”

She’s said she’s for a flat tax. A flat tax puts a heavier tax burden on the poor than on the rich. Nonetheless, the woman admitted she struggles “to make my house payment every month.”

The man, the woman and the other Tea Baggers on the video look like working stiffs. So they made me think of Alexander Hamilton, the famous Founding Father. Okay, I teach history.

Hamilton , whose face is on ten dollar bills, said ordinary people were too stupid to run the country. Only wealthy aristocrats like him were up to the job, he added.

Really, Hamilton was afraid working stiffs might complete the American Revolution and vote his well-heeled pals out of office.

The Tea Baggers would have been Hamilton ’s sweetest dream: a right-wing, largely working class movement that is pro-rich people. He might have chipped in a few bucks to FreedomWorks, Armey’s Republican front group that’s a big Tea Party sponsor.

Probably few Tea Baggers are as rich as Armey. But the Tea Party movement has bought into the Social Darwinist idea of the old millionaire Robber Barons: rich people are rich because they’re strong and smart, and poor people are poor because of their own shortcomings.

Anyway, latter-day Robber Barons and their apologists like Armey seem to be to be getting a good return on their Tea Party investments. Heck, they don’t even have to pay professional actors to appear in TV commercials plugging rich people. Tea Baggers do it for free.

Berry Craig


  1. says

    They are not working stiffs, just stiffs. I did a lot of labor organizing and there are always people out there who do all they can to undermine their fellow workers, often because they are jealous of anyone around them who seems to be striving to do better while the best the jealous person seems to be able to do is bellyache. In work by some social psychologists in this is referred to as a form of re-sentiment, not resentment. The person suffering this feels a loss of live definition, alienation from those around them and inadequacy in living their lives so they project on others. They can not stand someone else on their ‘level’ succeeding while they do not. On the other hand they idealize the rich or bosses who exploit them even if they understand they are being exploited because if they romanticize the intelligence of those who rule them then they can excuse their own inadequacy compared to the great person. Persons like this are easy soil for planting sexism, racism, and other forms of prejudice — all aimed at tearing down others. Pity them.

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