The Hateful Tea Party, Its True Origins, and President Obama’s Accomplishments

I was chal­lenged in com­ments on a friend’s Face­book wall yes­ter­day “pro­vide us with a spe­cif­ic exam­ple of Tea Par­ty hate ful (sic) speach and some thing good that Pres­i­dent Oba­ma has done for our coun­try.” The com­menters there also claimed that “THE TEA PARTY HAS NO REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS” and seemed to be under the impres­sion that it is a grass roots move­ment, which is a claim friends of mine have also made. Rather than post this infor­ma­tion in more than one place, I decid­ed to make one post in my blog and refer to it in the future.

First, Pres­i­dent Oba­ma has accom­plished plen­ty of things dur­ing his term. I start­ed to make my own list, then decid­ed that it’s fool­ish to rein­vent the wheel. The most com­pre­hen­sive list I’ve found is here: Accom­plish­ments of Pres­i­dent Oba­ma. While some peo­ple may not think some of those things are accom­plish­ments, I doubt there’s any­one who can argue with all of them. I’d add to the list the fact that Osama bin Laden is dead. That hap­pened dur­ing Obama’s pres­i­den­cy. His peo­ple were able to keep a lid on the infor­ma­tion about bin Laden’s where­abouts and the oper­a­tion long enough to get that bas­tard. The fact that the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell pol­i­cy in the mil­i­tary is over is pret­ty damned impor­tant, too.

Those accom­plish­ments look much bet­ter, too, when you real­ize two things:

  1. The IMF informed Pres­i­dent Bush that they intend­ed to audit the U.S. back in June 2008. Bush just put them off until the end of his term.
  2. While Oba­ma is often blamed for the mas­sive deficit, that’s inac­cu­rate. The 2009 fis­cal year began before Oba­ma even took office, and the bud­get for that year was almost entire­ly deter­mined by the Bush admin­is­tra­tion. There was an 88% increase in spend­ing dur­ing the years of the Bush admin­is­tra­tion, com­pared to only a 7.4% increase dur­ing the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion. That’s why Bush inher­it­ed a $128 bil­lion sur­plus from Clinton’s last bud­get, and bequeathed a $1.4 tril­lion deficit to Oba­ma.

I know per­fect­ly well that the tea par­ty (no caps) was orig­i­nal­ly billed as a grass roots move­ment about fis­cal issues and against big gov­ern­ment. Yes, gath­er­ings to sup­port Ron Paul’s 2008 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign were called “tea par­ties,” and those issues were cen­tral to his cam­paign.

How­ev­er, there was appar­ent­ly no talk of a Tea Par­ty (note the caps) dur­ing those gath­er­ings, and after Oba­ma was elect­ed, the name was co-opt­ed for anti-Oba­ma ral­lies by Repub­li­can oper­a­tives, led by Dick Armey and mouth­piece Rick San­tel­li. Of course, if they’d said, “We’re orga­nized by lob­by­ists for big busi­ness, because guys like Steve Forbes and the Koch broth­ers don’t want mid­dle class peo­ple to have help pay­ing their mort­gages!” then mid­dle class peo­ple wouldn’t have been as like­ly to get involved. So the fic­tion of a “grass­roots move­ment” was care­ful­ly main­tained.

Even for those who might not believe that Free­dom­Works, the Koch broth­ers, etc. have always behind the Tea Par­ty, it must be dif­fi­cult to deny that “grass­roots” cer­tain­ly isn’t what the Tea Par­ty is about now. Any­one who wants to argue about it has only to look at Michelle Bach­mann, Rick Per­ry, and and their Chris­t­ian Domin­ion­ist views to know that. Of course, Per­ry also claimed in his book that Social Secu­ri­ty is uncon­sti­tu­tion­al, despite the fact that the Supreme Court ruled oth­er­wise in 1936, and Bach­mann signed a pledge that claims that blacks were bet­ter off when they were slaves, so their cred­i­bil­i­ty rat­ings are suf­fer­ing, as far as I’m con­cerned. By the way — that pledge thing is pret­ty darned racist, to me, and the rest of Bachmann’s well-known his­to­ry gaffes aren’t mak­ing things any bet­ter.

Michelle Bach­mann (head of the Con­gres­sion­al Tea Par­ty Cau­cus) worked for the IRS as a tax attor­ney before quit­ting to be a stay-at-home mom. So she’s nev­er had a job that doesn’t come with a gov­ern­ment pay­check, but she’s sup­pos­ed­ly against big gov­ern­ment? How very hyp­o­crit­i­cal. Bachmann’s hus­band runs a clin­ic that takes fed­er­al mon­ey to pro­vide a form of ther­a­py to “cure” homosexuality—therapy that isn’t approved by the Amer­i­can Psy­cho­log­i­cal Asso­ci­a­tion or the Amer­i­can Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion or, actu­al­ly, any accred­it­ing board. If any­body wants to tru­ly cut out gov­ern­ment waste, then pay­ing for that sort of thing should be stopped right away, and psy­chol­o­gists who file for reim­burse­ment for it should lose their licens­es and be arrest­ed for fraud. (Homo­sex­u­al­i­ty was ini­tial­ly sug­gest­ed for removal from the Diag­nos­tic and Sta­tis­ti­cal Man­u­al as a dis­or­der in 1973, and com­plete­ly removed by 1986. Dr. Bach­mann, if he actu­al­ly is a psy­chol­o­gist, should know that.) Michelle’s remarks about homo­sex­u­al­i­ty include such love­ly bits as say­ing that it’s “of Satan.” Yes, that’s big­otry.

Steve King (R-Iowa, mem­ber of the Tea Par­ty Cau­cus) has demon­strat­ed big­otry in his attacks against Barack Oba­ma before his elec­tion because of his mid­dle name (Hus­sein) and the fact that his father was Mus­lim. He has also shown him­self to be a racist by mak­ing claims that Oba­ma favors blacks—with­out pro­vid­ing any sub­stan­ti­a­tion, of course. His misog­y­nist vot­ing record speaks for itself.

Louie Gohmert (R-Texas, mem­ber of the Tea Par­ty Cau­cus), is a birther (crazy enough right there), who equat­ed homo­sex­u­al­i­ty with bes­tial­i­ty, necrophil­ia, and pedophil­ia dur­ing a debate on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (video clip). He also made a stu­pid­ly racist remark when com­plain­ing about one par­tic­u­lar bit of fund­ing — the infa­mous “moo goo cat pan” joke that fell flat. (He’s got so much crazy that we could spend a lot of time talk­ing about him. I imag­ine even the Tea Par­ty would be hap­py to lose him alto­geth­er. Search on “ter­ror babies” and you’ll see what I mean.)

One of King’s bud­dies in the Tea Par­ty cau­cus, Phil Gin­grey (R-Geor­gia), went to the Mex­i­can bor­der with King on a fact-find­ing mis­sion, and put his racist foot in his mouth by claim­ing that his desire to end birthright cit­i­zen­ship isn’t moti­vat­ed by xeno­pho­bia because, “if I had to choose from immi­grants across the globe, my favorite alien would be our His­pan­ic and Lati­no res­i­dents com­ing from across the South­ern bor­der. On June 22, 2011, Dr. Gin­grey, an OB-GYN, said: “Democ­rats like to pic­ture us as push­ing grand­moth­er over the cliff or throw­ing some­one under the bus. In either one of those sce­nar­ios, at least the senior has a chance to sur­vive. But under this IPAB [Inde­pen­dent Pay­ment Advi­so­ry Board] we described that the Democ­rats put in ‘Oba­macare,’ where a bunch of bureau­crats decide whether you get care, such as con­tin­u­ing on dial­y­sis or can­cer chemother­a­py, I guar­an­tee you when you with­draw that the patient is going to die. It’s rationing.” He knew per­fect­ly well that he was lying, but Repub­li­cans want to con­trol the way the mon­ey is spent, rather than to per­mit a non-par­ti­san board to con­trol it and achieve any cost sav­ings. You would think a fis­cal con­ser­v­a­tive would be in favor of cost sav­ings, but it doesn’t work that when polit­i­cal pow­er is at stake.!

At the state lev­el, we have Alaba­ma state sen­a­tor Scott Bea­son refer­ring to blacks as “abo­rig­ines.” After open­ing a speech by say­ing that “ille­gal immi­gra­tion will destroy a com­mu­ni­ty” he closed it by advis­ing his lis­ten­ers to “emp­ty the clip, and do what has to be done”.

David Bar­ton hangs out with sev­er­al Tea Par­ty fig­ures—Rick Per­ry is spend­ing Labor Day week­end with the guy. He claims on his tax records that he is an expert on African-Amer­i­can his­to­ry, but when ques­tioned about the fact that he reg­u­lar­ly address­es white suprema­cist groups (who adore him) he tried at one point to claim that he didn’t under­stand their lean­ings. One of his main claims is that Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. made no sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to the civ­il rights move­ment and that he and Thur­good Mar­shall should be removed from our his­to­ry books. Newt Gingrich’s spokesman, Rick Tyler, said, “I think David Bar­ton is one of the most knowl­edge­able teach­ers on Amer­i­can his­to­ry.” (Inter­est­ing, as Gin­grich is a for­mer his­to­ry pro­fes­sor him­self, and Bar­ton is only an “ama­teur his­to­ri­an.”) He’s pop­u­lar with Bach­mann, Beck, and Mike Huck­abee, too.

Then there’s just about every­thing Glenn Beck says — the man is anti-semit­ic, racist, homo­pho­bic, misog­y­nis­tic, you name it. He seems to adore com­par­ing any lit­tle slight against him­self or Fox News to the Holo­caust. If his man­i­curist slips up an caus­es dis­com­fort, she’s prob­a­bly accused of being Men­gele in dis­guise, or at least a descen­dant of his. He has stooped so low as to attack the president’s chil­dren and refer to the First Lady as the president’s “Baby Mama.” Any­one who cares to do so can find plen­ty of videos of him any­where, but I refuse to link to them. I don’t think there are any clips in which he opens his mouth that aren’t offen­sive.

Matthew Vad­um is a colum­nist who is extreme­ly sup­port­ive of the Tea Par­ty. He recent­ly pub­lished an arti­cle claim­ing that “Reg­is­ter­ing the Poor to Vote is Un-Amer­i­can”, equat­ing vot­er reg­is­tra­tion to giv­ing the poor “bur­glary tools.”

By the way, if you haven’t seen all the signs car­ried at Tea Par­ty ral­lies depict­ing the Pres­i­dent as a mon­key, or a witch doc­tor, or Hitler, then you haven’t been pay­ing atten­tion. There are plen­ty of places where I could find more, but I’ve had enough more than enough expo­sure to nas­ti­ness for one day.

Any­one who reads this post can no longer say that they’ve nev­er heard of any­one asso­ci­at­ed with Tea Par­ty say­ing hate­ful things, or that they’re not aware of any­thing that Pres­i­dent Oba­ma has accom­plished dur­ing his pres­i­den­cy.

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Where do first amendment rights go when you enter a courtroom?

I’m not even talk­ing about the rights of defend­ents or plain­tiffs, but those of peo­ple who are oth­er­wise present in a court­room who aren’t being dis­rup­tive. How much con­trol do judges actu­al­ly need in order to main­tain order in the court­room? At what point are they sim­ply being pet­ty tyrants? Read the rest of this entry »

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Oh, he was obviously such a terrorist!

Dr Peter Watts, Cana­di­an sci­ence fic­tion writer, beat­en and arrest­ed at US bor­der
Obvi­ous­ly, sci­ence fic­tion writ­ers are scary peo­ple. And his rea­son for being in Nebras­ka in the first place (help­ing a friend move) was high­ly ques­tion­able, so it makes total sense that the bor­der patrol would search his vehi­cle. Get­ting out of the car to ask a ques­tion was obvi­ous­ly a ter­ror­ist act, so the bor­der batrol beat him, pep­per sprayed him, and threw him in jail. After his wife paid his bail, they tossed him out in his shirt sleeves (obvi­ous­ly, his coat had to be impound­ed along with his car, com­put­er, and oth­er belong­ings as a threat to nation­al secu­ri­ty) in the mid­dle of the night, after charg­ing him with a felony, claim­ing that he struck a fed­er­al offi­cer (both the author and the pas­sen­ger in his car state that nev­er hap­pened). Now the man has to return from his home in Cana­da to face felony charges in Michi­gan.

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Why make an exception for rape and incest?

I always look for­ward to Dr. Mar­ty Klein’s Sex­u­al Intel­li­gence newslet­ters, so I was tick­led to see one in my inbox today. But one of the head­lines took me by sur­prise: End Rape & Incest Excep­tions to Stu­pak Abor­tion Ban. Dr. Klein always has excel­lent analy­ses, and this one is no excep­tion.

If you’re against repro­duc­tive choice for so-called “moral rea­sons” (as if any­one get­ting an abor­tion or sup­port­ing its legal­i­ty isn’t “moral”), be con­sis­tent. If killing a fetus or even a fer­til­ized egg wan­der­ing around a woman’s body is the same as killing a per­son (the posi­tion of every anti-choice activist), why should it mat­ter how the fetus or fer­til­ized egg got there? Why is a fetus’ right to live dimin­ished because its father was a rapist or a sadist? After all, we don’t say the chil­dren of such men have few­er rights than oth­er chil­dren.

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Miscellany

I lost track of who orig­i­nal­ly linked to what, so I can’t cred­it them prop­er­ly. But thank you to who­ev­er they all were, any­way!

Filed under “anoth­er rea­son I’m proud to be a home­school­er”: Cal­i­for­nia court rules that pri­vate school can oust les­bian stu­dents. I do under­stand that it’s a pri­vate reli­gious school, and that their denom­i­na­tion doesn’t approve of homo­sex­u­al­i­ty. On the oth­er hand, the girls’ par­ents chose to send them to that school, not the girls them­selves. And demand­ing that every­body in the school be het­ero­sex­u­al makes every bit as much sense as demand­ing that they all be right-hand­ed! (It also sounds like the school went WAY the hell over­board in inter­pret­ing the “evi­dence.”)

Can I get an “Amen”?! End­ing Weight Bias: The Eas­i­est Way to Tack­le Obe­si­ty in Amer­i­ca

This is news? Read­ers build vivid men­tal sim­u­la­tions of nar­ra­tive sit­u­a­tions, brain scans sug­gest

Not Good News: Mer­cury found in kids’ foods — and in pret­ty much any­thing else that con­tains HFCS. I’m con­fi­dent of my abil­i­ty to kick the soda habit, but total­ly avoid­ing HFCS pret­ty much means avoid­ing all processed foods. GAH!

This is so cool! Implants Tap the Think­ing Brain

No sur­prise to me, at least: Watch out. The Inter­net will cut you

Real­i­ty check: Sor­ry, you don’t have a 200 IQ

Anoth­er no-brain­er: Video Games May Hin­der Rela­tion­ships

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How do YOU feel about companies “promoting homosexuality” ? Tell the AFA!

Actu­al­ly, the don’t want to know how you feel. They want a very care­ful­ly select­ed group of peo­ple to answer their loaded ques­tions as desired, so they can claim, as usu­al, that they did research that showed that “every­body” hates queers.

They ask:

Should cor­po­ra­tions be pro­mot­ing homo­sex­u­al­i­ty?

Sev­er­al cor­po­ra­tions are now sup­port­ing the homo­sex­u­al agen­da. These com­pa­nies have been con­vinced by homo­sex­u­al activists and the main­stream media that in order to be “fair and tolerant,” com­pa­nies must make spe­cial rules for homo­sex­u­als and pro­vide com­pa­ny mon­ey and resources to help pro­mote their lifestyle. Many com­pa­nies, at the urg­ing of these groups, have also begun to sup­port same-sex mar­riage.

What they’re ask­ing about isn’t “pro­mot­ing homo­sex­u­al­i­ty” at all. Have you ever actu­al­ly encoun­tered any­one pro­mot­ing het­ero­sex­u­al­i­ty or bisex­u­al­i­ty? No? Me nei­ther. Actu­al­ly, the only pro­mot­ing I know about is all that pres­sure to be het­ero­sex­u­al. Methinks the AFA doth protest too much.

What they object to is domes­tic part­ner­ship ben­e­fits. They object to the use of match­ing funds for pro­grams like Planned Par­ent­hood or any oth­er orga­ni­za­tion that doesn’t agree with the rad­i­cal right’s agen­da. That’s what they mean when they say “pro­mot­ing homo­sex­u­al­i­ty.

So let’s reframe this a lit­tle more accu­rate­ly.

Do you believe that com­pa­nies should offer the same ben­e­fits to all employ­ees, with­out regard to their sex­u­al pref­er­ence or ori­en­ta­tion? Would you be more to do busi­ness with a com­pa­ny that treats all of its employ­ees fair­ly? Less like­ly to do busi­ness with them? Would it not mat­ter to you at all?

Now go vote: http://www.afa.net/petitions/businesses/businesses.asp

As Stre­ga point­ed out in a com­ment on my Live­Jour­nal, once again the AFA isn’t con­duct­ing actu­al research, or even a real sur­vey. The num­bers on the page nev­er change, no mat­ter how many peo­ple vote. They’ve set up a nice lit­tle graph­ic show­ing how they’d like the num­bers to come out in their fan­ta­sy world.

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Procreate or else!

Ok — if het­ero­sex­u­al mar­riage is so sacred because it takes a man and a woman to pro­cre­ate, those het cou­ples had best be prov­ing that’s why they’re mar­ried, right?

Or at least, that’s the log­ic behind a bal­lot mea­sure pro­posed in Wash­ing­ton state.

Pro­po­nents of same-sex mar­riage have intro­duced a bal­lot mea­sure that would require het­ero­sex­u­al cou­ples to have a child with­in three years or have their mar­riages annulled.

The Wash­ing­ton Defense of Mar­riage Alliance acknowl­edged on its Web site that the ini­tia­tive was “absurd” but hoped the idea prompts “dis­cus­sion about the many mis­guid­ed assump­tions” under­ly­ing a state Supreme Court rul­ing that upheld a ban on same-sex mar­riage.

The mea­sure would require cou­ples to prove they can have chil­dren to get a mar­riage license. Cou­ples who do not have chil­dren with­in three years could have their mar­riages annulled.

Note: Quotes are from the CNN arti­cle that was at http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/02/05/gay.marriage.ap/index.html, but has gone 404. See Ini­tia­tive ties mar­riage, pro­cre­ation for fur­ther infor­ma­tion on bal­lot ini­tia­tive 957.

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