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TeaBag T-shirts, the Summer Job Connection

Tom Hall: Republican activist Dick Armey claims that he built the Teabag movement to energize Republican right wing activists. Is there an army of Teabaggers eager to wear T-shirts proclaiming “I’m a soldier in Dick Armey’s army of dicks!”
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Summer is almost here and with it the traditional season of students seeking jobs. It’s a rite of passage and a rite of capitalism. The first job - trying to convince a boss to take a chance on you. Trying to best your buddies for the coolest job. Learning about business. Learning how to work with customers and with suppliers and with paperwork and business machines.

tea party

Buying your own movie tickets, sodas and gas. Having your own money to spend and learning what (and who) to spend it on. How to save for Friday night, and for college and for a car. Experimenting with economic independence. Learning the cost of offending customers or your boss.

Except that this year, students vying for summer jobs are finding that there are unemployed adults already in the hiring line. Mothers fighting for a chance to feed their children. Fathers clinging to scraps of dignity in a world which too often values the job more than the person. Even as the Democratic economic recovery measures take hold, we still hover over 10% real unemployment in every state of the Union. Students looking for first jobs will find themselves about as popular with employers as black young men and single teen girls with children.

This doesn’t mean that the summer has to be a total loss for students who want to work and who care about politics. Even during the Depression, entrepreneurs sprang from the mass of unemployed workers. As 2010 is an election year, the summer is likely to be full of political meetings and activities. These events, particularly Tea Party events, may provide fertile soil for budding entrepreneurs.

Energetic students, with computer access and a willingness to spend some hours doing prep work, might find it lucrative to spend time vending special commemorative products to the Tea Party crowds. One such product might be a line of specific-appeal tea bags labeled to appeal to Tea Party supporters.

Bulk tea bags should be available at restaurant supply houses in every big city. The hard part of selling them is coming up with relabeling that will appeal to the Tea Bag sensibilities of Tea Party demonstrators. Once the sales pitch is determined, any computer printer can print new tea bag and box labels and fliers and signs. Or, given a big enough order, a local tea packager might handle all the labeling and packaging. I have a few suggestions for possible tea bags to sell at Tea Party demonstrations and meetings.

  • Chicken-Hawk Soup in a Tea Bag: These teabags don’t make tea, but delicious chicken-hawk soup. Guaranteed to contain genuine synthetic spotted owl and bald eagle bits, enhanced with MSG. Certified non-nutritious and high sodium content. No dark meat from any bird used.
  • Jim’s Earl Ray White Tea: Made with white chamomile tea leaves with a bit of blood red rose hips and just a hint of burnt gunpowder bouquet. Guaranteed not to have even a single leaf of black tea in a whole box. (This will probably be the biggest seller at public Tea Party demonstrations.)
  • Paul’s Randy Tea for Discriminating Buyers: Teabaggers know that the government can’t, and shouldn’t try to, legislate equality, just as it can’t legislate good taste. This tea is for those whose palates can discriminate between real quality and government mandated equality. Made with green tea leaves, to remind us of the envy of inferior groups who will never be equal, even with government mandated affirmative action and welfare. And green to remind us that government subsidies for wealthy eye doctors are good, but subsidies for farmers and school children are bad. Paul’s Special Blend includes a mavericky hint of a beef aftertaste to honor those who understand that a move to recreate the 18th century is the real maverick thing to do.
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Of course, tea is often taken sitting down, nibbling on biscuits. So there might also be a market for such biscuits along with teabags. How about Phil Gramm Crackers, with that authentic southern crunch when you bite into them. Made with pure, bleached, white flour and none of that healthy graham flour crap.

And T-shirts are always popular souvenir sales items. T-shirts proclaiming what kind of Teabagger you are might be hot sellers. Teabaggers are always screaming (why do they only scream?) about wanting to reduce budgets and to restore the “original” Constitution. But all the Teabag leaders have been too scared, or too smart, to discuss details of what should be cut or what they mean by “original”. T-shirt designers should step in and fill the void, with shirt designs that proclaim what the Teabag platform really is.

How might a T-shirt be designed to appear like a teabag? Will “white pride” Teabaggers jump at the chance to wear a T-shirt advertising Jim’s Earl Ray White Tea? Will the Paulist Teabaggers buy only T-shirts made in dollar-bill green?

Republican activist Dick Armey claims that he built the Teabag movement to energize Republican right wing activists. Is there an army of Teabaggers eager to wear T-shirts proclaiming “I’m a soldier in Dick Armey’s army of dicks!”

I expect that one of the biggest T-shirt sellers at Teabag events this summer will be for T-shirts proclaiming support for Arizona’s new racial profiling law. There should be all sorts of opportunity to craft messages honoring those politicians brave enough to join Sarah Palin in supporting the effort to whiten Arizona.

Here in California, we should be especially eager to remind voters that every Republican candidate for governor and for Senate, supports Arizona’s efforts to put uppity Latinos ‘back in their place.’ T-shirts with messages of support for racial profiling should be made in Spanish as well as English, so the Spanish language speaking population can see exactly what our Republican candidates want to do to them.

On Thursday, Kentucky Teabagger Rand Paul celebrated his Republican Party primary victory in the Senate race with a strident condemnation of anyone who dares criticize the noble oil explorers at BP. Then on Friday, he followed up with a stirring defense of Massey Coal’s right to “accidentally” kill workers instead of complying with basic mine safety rules. There should be T-shirts to honor the Teabag platform of defending corporations and their treatment of the environment.

America was built by entrepreneurs. Young (white) men who took chances and built businesses. Now that it’s time for the citizens to take back their country from those traitorous liberals who want to interfere with corporate rule, entrepreneurs in the traditional American spirit should be out in force, making money at political rallies and meetings by selling popular political message souvenirs.

Tom Hall

Because of ill-considered left-wing laws, we’ll have to let women and non-whites also try their hand at such entrepreneurship. But if Rand Paul is right, the quality of white young men will show through and they will succeed with such businesses where the women and non-whites won’t. And then Rand can ask George Rekers to bless the efforts and the success of all those fit, handsome, business-bag carrying young men.

Tom Hall