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It’s News to Me: I’m Just a Rich Right-Wing White Male Nut-Job

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When April 15th rolled around, I really wanted to attend one of those tea parties, but alas, it was a payroll day and 65 people were relying on me to get their checks on time. A huge gathering was held on the state capitol steps in Lansing, and of course, there are always the rabble-rousing usual suspects in front of the Royal Oak Post Office, as well as in Troy, Plymouth and elsewhere.

Even though I couldn’t make it to any of the gatherings, I was there in spirit. Why? Well, if you must know, there were several reasons.

It’s not because I’m rich and don’t want to pay taxes. The operative word is “rich” which we are definitely not, especially in the contracting economy that is present-day Michigan. Okay, I’ll admit it: I don’t really want to pay taxes. If truth be told, nobody really wants to pay taxes; do you? My employees don’t want to pay taxes, and many of them don’t. I imagine that even the very patriotic Joe Biden doesn’t really want to pay taxes. What do you want to bet he has the most competent CPA around to make sure he takes advantage of any loophole he can find?

Taxes are inevitable. I don’t mind paying taxes if we can see a return on investment. If we pay a heavy gas tax, I do not want to travel on roads that are so pocked with potholes it makes four-wheeling over the Rockies look like a Sunday drive. I don’t want to see our non-elected or elected bureaucrats unreachable by phone every Friday because they have decided to take the weekly afternoon off.

I don’t want to see my tax dollars going toward the corrupt activities of our elected officials, to fund their family members or friends. I certainly do not want my tax dollars to go to pork projects that are in essence make-work for some and rewards for a few. Wastefulness? I’m against it. Fiscal responsibility and common sense? I’m for it.

The original Boston Tea Party was about taxation without representation, and in a way, so were the 2009 tea parties. I feel less than represented by my state senator Debbie Stabenow when I write to her expressing my concerns in reasonable language and her response is always the same boilerplate form letter. “Thanks anyway for your interest, but I’m doing what I want to do.” As much as she wants to think so, she does not represent ME.

Dissent is a good thing. I protested the Vietnam War even as my father was fighting it. When people are concerned about an issue, they absolutely should gather together and protest. It’s the rain that gets the grassroots to grow. Peaceful protest is what this country is all about, starting from the Boston Tea Party and traveling through the causes of the Abolitionists, women’s suffrage and the Civil Rights movement.

Imagine my dismay when I learn from the media that anyone who participated in or supported the 2009 tea parties are just rich, right-wing, white male nut jobs. Add to that laundry list a passel of negative adjectives: anti-government, viewer of Fox News, Republican, militia minded, beer-drinking, racist, Obama-hating yahoos. The protesters were accused of being the zombies of such national figures like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Such stereotypes were popular among the mainstream media, who did everything humanly possible to diss the events of the day.

Here’s one person who wishes to dispute the charges of any liberals who might think I am in actuality a rich, right-wing, white male nut job hiding behind the guise of a middle-aged woman. Rich? No. Right wing? No. White, male, beer-drinking, redneck? No, no, no and no.

Governor Jennifer Granholm missed the point of the protests entirely when she commented that the majority of the activists who attended Wednesday's gatherings were "being useful idiots of the far right." It turns out she wasn't alone in her opinion.

The "news" reporting was interwoven with plenty of opinion. Not since the announcement of Sarah Palin as VP pick have I seen so many so-called reporters so apoplectic.

Enter the sorry coverage from CNN's Susan Roesgen, who was openly antagonistic to what seemed to me to be reasonable peaceful protesters. Perhaps she wanted to make a name for herself, or maybe she was angry for not getting a Fox News gig. Or maybe she wants a cabinet position?

But her inflammatory exchange was just the tip of the iceberg. NBC 4 in Washington DC posted a fake Tea Party protest which was quickly outed. ABC's Charles Gibson played down the events, devoting an entire two minutes worth saccharine reporting to Tea Party events. In his report, President Obama ignored the masses and brushed off the demonstrations as normal tax day frustrations, promising a simplification of the tax code for next year. CBS was by far the "fairest" in covering but is still proclaiming the events were engineered by Republicans.

This spotty and substandard reporting by the mainstream media when, on the other hand, Fox News devoted its entire April 15 programming to various tax day protests was the reason the "conservative" news network demolished their cable news opponents in the ratings that day.

Several liberal web sites have dismissed the en masse showing of close to a million people as overestimated in numbers, anti-Obama, and denigrated the participants as either stupid and redneck or rich and Republican. The comment sections of such web sites as MSNBC, the Huffington Post and the Daily Kos are troubling to say the least.

It left me to wonder what our colleges are teaching in journalism classes these days. Instead of presenting the events as they occurred, some reporters chose to be the focus of the event. Others sought out the most wacko of the dissenters in order the paint the entire gathering with the same brush. Opinions are fine to have, I have many myself. Just be honest and label them as such.

Here is what I saw: for the most part, these protests were made up of normal men, women and children, the kind of people who might be my neighbors. Their reasons for attending might have differed, some choosing to go to protest the tax situation, or the ridiculous runaway government spending, while others were there to express their dismay at the direction our country is taking. I’m sure that all of them would be equally miffed to find out they are all “rich, right-wing white male nut jobs.” In actuality, it was a mixed bag. Some were Democrats, some were Republicans; some, like me, had alliances to neither party.

America is (or used to be) more than that. Dissent is an intrinsic part of our heritage. Just think where we would be without it. What about the abolitionists? Were they wrong to question the institution of slavery? What of the suffragettes? Were they all just bitchy women loosened from their 'place' as the chattel of man? Or those in the Civil Rights movement? Were they just uppity colored folk? I think not.

In addition, the First Amendment right of peaceful assembly and freedom of speech needs to be protected, no matter what side you are on. So you don't believe it? Don't listen. This is America, where you're entitled to your beliefs. Unlike the situation in other countries, if you are pissed off and feel disenfranchised, this country allows for steam to be let off.

Maybe I'm naive, but I don't get the hysteria over differing points of view. It's only by examining all sides of an issue that we have the knowledge to proceed with dignity and intelligence.

The events of the day deserve fair reportage, whether it is for or against one idea or the other. Even a journalism major dropout like me could see that there were as many differing reasons for the Tea Parties as there were different kinds of people. The media does itself a grave disservice when it lumps everyone who questions the judgment of our government and puts all of us in the same basket.

I’m off to break the bad news to my husband. He doesn't know it, but he’s married to a rich, right-wing, white male nut job.

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About Joanne Huspek

I write. I read. I garden. I cook. I eat. And I love to talk about all of the above.
  • Baronius

    Yes! Joanne, you’ve articulated what’s been bothering me. I’ve never seen so much snide commentary in news reports. It’s just as bad as the coverage of Palin.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Joanne,

    Just a suggestion as to the negative press coverage. Thus far, it is rather difficult to see the movement on analogy with say anti-Vietnam, suffrage, or Civil Rights.

    Also, where were these people when year after year we kept on pumping money into the Iraqi experiment?

    So in light of all that, the compilation of “causes” which are presumed to mobilize these parties doesn’t yet add up.

    This isn’t to justify press coverage, only to explain (somehow) as to why the whole idea is being minimized.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I’m off to break the bad news to my husband. He doesn’t know it, but he’s married to a rich, right-wing, white male nut job.

    Joanne, your husband has my sympathy.

    Seriously, you did a great job on the article. Unfortunately, it appears that there are those who are manipulating this movement, just as they have done other movements in your country. This kind of manipulation occurs here as well, Joanne.

    These comments do not address the core of what you addressed in your article, the apparent attitudes of those media in your country who are still in love with the “Blessed of Hussein”, which is why I’m not criticizing it. I did not see the media coverage (or lack of coverage) of the Tea Parties in the States and cannot comment one way or another based on my own knowledge. But I trust your judgment on these things far more than trust others here. Your outlook seems similar to mine in many respects.

    Great job.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    By the way, Joanne, Uncle Jay had a few comments that relate to this article rather well.

    Enjoy!

  • Baronius

    Roger, is it fair for the media to express their preference for specific policies? You imply that the tea parties don’t have the moral value of the women’s suffrage movement. Well, it’s not the job of the press to slant their coverage of events based on the moral value they perceive. If a million people rally for vegetarianism, or a million rally against vegetarianism, it’s a news story.

    Joanne, I’d start by telling your husband that you’re rich. It should take the edge off the “I’m a guy” part.

  • Tony

    I live in Michigan also and these tea parties made me want to vomit. George Bush sends 18 year olds to die, no one waves a sign. George Bush spends — as John McCain said — like a drunken sailor, and no one raises a sign. But now, all of a sudden, the populous has found their vigor for a protest. Kill our children, ruin our economy, but don’t raise our taxes…like the first Bush did when he balanced out Reagan’s supply side policies.

    Living in Michigan you should know better than anyone that we need a major overhaul of our total economic philosophy. You named a few really nice places, how about Flint (the city GM left to die), Pontiac, or Detroit?

    What will happen to all the local businesses when the Big 3 collapse and all of those workers are forced into the service industry and take massive paycuts. I guarantee you’ll have a lot less work on your hands for payroll day, because your company most likely won’t be able to afford a staff.

    I own a small business in Michigan and am not at all thrilled with Debbie or especially Jenny, but seriously, these people will protest higher taxes but not billions spent on an assine war and anyone is supposed to think of them as anything less than stooges?

    I also love the bit about not being represented. Now maybe Bush supporters are getting a taste of what, Democrats, Gays, pacifists, minorities, and people who grasp the concept of reason, have felt for 8 years.

    To compare an increase in taxes by a popularly elected government to the taxation without representation by a Monarchy shows the massive ignorance towards the values this country was founded upon.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That’s my point, Tony. These protests don’t quite measure up (as yet) to the other things mentioned, or to what they ought to have protesting all along – against this stupid war, for example. So that’s one reason why they’re being minimized.

  • Baronius

    Tony, I’ll agree with you on this: the House, Senate, and President were legally elected, and any constitutional actions they take are legitimate.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And to add to the above, the people have the right to protest.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    It may be revealing (although there will doubtless be disagreement about what it reveals) that according to a recent Rasmussen poll,

    Fifty-one percent (51%) of Americans have a favorable view of the “tea parties” held nationwide last week, including 32% who say their view of the events is Very favorable.

    Thirty-three percent (33%) hold an unfavorable opinion of the tea parties . . . Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure. . . .While half the nation has a favorable opinion of last Wednesday’s events, the nation’s Political Class has a much dimmer view—just 13% of the political elite offered even a somewhat favorable assessment while 81% said the opposite. Among the Political Class, not a single survey respondent said they had a Very Favorable opinion of the events while 60% shared a Very Unfavorable assessment.

    Conceivably, the split here reflects the superior wisdom and sensitivity to current events possessed by the Political Class; or, perhaps it merely reflects their superior opinion of their own wisdom and sensitivity, the fruits of which may have catalyzed the problems against which the protests were directed. It may also have something to do with popular rejection, and Political Class acceptance, of what I understand to have been the generally supercilious “news” coverage of the event.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Baronius

    Dan, I believe it was C.S. Lewis who pointed out that the upper class believes everything they read in the newspaper; the lower class believes none of it. I guess that’s even more likely when the headlines reads, “Gullible Rabble Rallies Pointlessly”.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’d give the upper class more credit than that.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Baronius,

    Quite probably so. However, something which supports one’s preconceptions seems more likely to be accepted than something inconsistent with them. It would not surprise me if members of the “Political Class” and members of the “Great Unwashed Class” read the same accounts, saw the same television commentaries and came to quite different conclusions.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s in the eye of the beholder, to say it short and sweet. Or to say it in other words, we all see what we want to see.

    Which is why logic and rational argument are useless when it comes to perception. I’d say something else is needed.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Problem is, the “Political Class” (and those toiling on its behalf) are supposed to reflect to some extent the views of the “Great Unwashed Class” which elected them. My take is that there is an almost palpable disconnect, and that the “Political Class” might well reconsider its position. When it consistently declines to do so, changes in the composition of the “Political Class” become more likely; that may well be a good thing.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Baronius

    Dan,

    “However, something which supports one’s preconceptions seems more likely to be accepted than something inconsistent with them.”

    Agreed. But there’s some truth in the idea that the sophisticates are too stupid to question journalism, and the disadvantaged are too cynical to believe journalism.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Baronius, agreed for the most part. But let me to suggest the following modifications: there’s some truth in the idea that the sophisticates are too entrenched stupid to question journalism, and the disadvantaged are too cynical to believe what passes as journalism.

    Dan(Miller)

    Damn! There I go sounding like a Populist!

  • Baronius

    Dan, I see the difference now. You’re talking about the liberal elite types, and Lewis (and indirectly, I) was talking about the upper class. There’s a difference, especially in the time and place that C.S. Lewis was writing.

    But there’s no doubt that the press and others are much quicker to say “you lost, get over it” to anti-tax activists than, for example, gay marriage activists. Their reasoning is ultimately like Roger’s and Tony’s, that the morally right side deserves more respect.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Baronius, I suppose. However, I adhere to the perhaps old fashioned notion that members of the press should report the news without twisting their reports of facts to conform to their own views of good and evil. Editorial comment is, obviously, quite a different thing, and should be labeled as such.

    It is, of course, quite possible that I have an inaccurate perception of reporting, mainly television reporting, having seen very little U.S. television for the past twelve years.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Clavos

    But there’s no doubt that the press and others are much quicker to say “you lost, get over it” to anti-tax activists than, for example, gay marriage activists. Their reasoning is ultimately like Roger’s and Tony’s, that the morally right side deserves more respect.

    Which begs the question:

    “Who determines which is the ‘morally right side’?”

    And with what (or whose) authority?

  • Tony

    You guys can debate the perceptions of the tea parties forever. It is disturbing to me that no one sees, a problem or a commentary on the general public, in the fact that these Americans will protest taxes but not discrimination, war, or disgusting obscene government spending by a Republican.

    The tea parties stem from one of two ideas. Either people care about taxes more than civil rights, war, or how our government spends (as long as it is deficet spending and not the spending of tax dollars) or people do care about those things but only protest now because a democrat is in office. There is no argument otherwise.

    I have no problem with people exercising their right to protest. It just blows me away that it was taxes – not the war, not the discrimination against gays, not billion dollar deficits that have forced tax increases — that brings these people to protest. I think that says a whole lot about what is important to the American people and what their values are, much more clearly than what church they go to.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Tony,

    Here is something I find ironic. I was reading about people in Alaska holding up signs that say ‘enough taxes’ or ‘no freeloaders’ or ‘your mortgage is not my problem’ when Alaska gets 187% back of what they pay in taxes.

    ???

  • Baronius

    Dan and Clavos, I wasn’t endorsing the fact that this happens. Journalists have to keep an eye on their own biases, even in a perfect world in which everyone agrees that journalism should be objective. These days, plenty of people don’t even make the distinction between reporting and advocacy, so the temptation for journalists has got to be that much stronger. But they ought to do better than they are.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Tony, # 21: My understanding is that the protests involved things beyond taxes. Be that as it may, I suggest that it is time for our masters to awaken to the possibility that the “Great Unwashed Masses” are becoming fed up with some of their antics — such as voting for unread and ineptly written legislation and then casting blame for their incompetence on everyone but themselves, for example. There are many other examples.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Baronius

    Tony, many Americans have protested the war, and marched for gay marriage. Plenty of conservatives complained about Bush’s spending, too. But Obama’s spending is unprecedented. He’s spending money at double the rate of Bush. Obama plans on doubling the national debt in four years, and that’s assuming a good economic rebound and no international crises.

    The only reason you’d be surprised at the protests is if you believed the nation changed this past November. It didn’t. We’re still evenly divided.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Baronius, I agree that they should but doubt that they will; their failure to do so may be a good thing if it torments enough of their readers and viewers to discount them and hardens their resolve to support what they consider right instead if what they are told to support.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Tony

    Actually I was surprised at the protests because I believe that the majority of Americans have become apathetic slugs who simply parrot the talking points of whatever side their herd mentality forces them to side with. People on this site excluded as while I disagree with many at times, I respect all of your opinions (the regular writers especially) immensely. But the majority of people are not nearly as informed as the writers and frequent commentators on this site.

    Sure people protested the war, but they were different people than those who protested this Obama tax plan.

    I happen to feel that we need a total paradigm shift in our economic philosophy. One only needs to come to Michigan to see the how capitalism is eating itself alive. Companies must turn a profit, to turn a profit they cut labor (as its one of the few variable costs left standing). By cutting labor they eliminate consumers and are left with no one to buy their product. So they don’t turn a profit. Its a catch-22 and neither side has a solution.

    The protests annoy my because they are populated by another group of idiots without an original idea of their own. Everyone knows what they don’t like but no one can break out of their political, ideological box to come up with a real, original solution. Presidents for the last 30 years have destroyed this economy but every time anyone has any idea besides our own dysfunctional form of capitalism they are either a socialist or a commie.

    Trust me, I have as much disdain for the left as I have for the right. Neither one is capable of formulating a pragmatic solution that hasn’t been tried before. They are both bogged down in labels. And both have joined together in their division to ruin this country. The Republicans just look a little worse right now because we’re coming off 8 years of dumb shit

    The point to my previous comments was that the group of people who protested these tax plans did not protest the war and defended bush’s spending as “keeping this country safe from the evil-doers.”

    Obviously those people care more about taxes than they do human life and in my own sardonic way I found it funny.

    I know Obama is spending a lot and I know a lot of people are against public works projects (like those in the New Deal). But what did you people seriously think was going to happen after Bush thrashed the economy? 8 years of whatever Republican economics has become and this is where we are. IN DIDNT WORK. It’s wasn’t Obama in their for 8 years, spending away. It was George Bush and the Republican congress, and not a single Republican said a word in protest. Now because Obama isn’t fixing the Republican mess the way the Republicans want him to, people protest. That I also found humorous.

    Maybe Obama’s plan wont work but its basically the “other” option that’s been tried and is accepted as applicable by either side. I know there are revisionist who can’t understand that the New Deal and spending government money on tanks for World War II wasn’t different (both or either dragged us out of the Depression), but government funded jobs (whatever they are), at certain times, have been proven to stimulate the economy (whether they are building fighter jets or building roads). Obviously this shouldn’t be permanent nor all-encompassing but if we’re going to box ourselves into a national intelligence with only two truths, I guess we had better try the other side, because 8 years of the right obviously hasn’t worked.

    Eventually someone in power in this country is going to have to take a broader scope on this whole thing and realize that economic evolution hasn’t just stopped. It is still possible to come up with new economic theories. All thought did not end with the big three (capitalism, communism, and socialism). Like “the once popular” Mercantilism, there are other ideas out there and still more that could be conceived if everyone would drop their stupid ass political biases and turn their brains back on. You know the ones GOD gave you (you creationalist out there).

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Joanne,

    I was going to post a comment to you. But it turned into an article–again!

    (Well, at least whoever edited your article has either learned since the other day or knows how to spell ‘outed’.)

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Oh! I meant to say. I love that book you picked. :-)

    (I mean…you know…I didn’t read it or anything.)

  • Baronius

    Tony, you say that companies must turn a profit, and to do so they must cut labor. I disagree. Dying companies must cut labor to turn a profit. No bailout, no change in Michigan’s governor or GM’s president is going to change that. We don’t need a new economic model, and anyway Obama isn’t trying anything new.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I’m afraid that Tony has bought into a couple of misrepresentations coming out of the left blogosphere and the media.

    The first is that these people didn’t protest Bush. They did. The majority of those who did the grunt work of organizing the Tea Parties are independents, libertarians and pro-liberty Republicans who mostly opposed the Iraq War and certainly opposed Bush’s excessive spending. They got very little publicity during the Bush administration, but believe me, they were there. Now they are more numerous and more outspoken.

    The second is the idea that this was a tax protest. The first Boston Tea Party wasn’t a tax protest. It was a protest against the British government giving a massive bailout to the British East India Company at the expense of colonial consumers. The tax issue was largely secondary. It’s the same situation today. The main concern isn’t the taxes, it’s the spending and the bailout and the longterm non-tax cost of using government to cover the losses of business.

    The media has deliberately trivialized the protests by focusing on the tax issue and ignoring the larger issue.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    The media has deliberately trivialized the protests by focusing on the tax issue and ignoring the larger issue.

    So, Dave, do you think the people at our local Tea Party event, who were mostly holding up signs objecting to higher taxes*, and who by the look of them certainly weren’t making over 250 grand a year, were being led by the nose by the media? And if so, which sections of the media?

    * There were a few obvious Paulites with more general liberty messages, but they were heavily outnumbered.

  • Clavos

    I find it interesting that the government stooge CEO of GM announced today that bankruptcy is in its future.

    One wonders what the advantage to the nation was in giving them all that money, in Bam interfering in the marketplace by appointing his own execs, and in telling GM what kinds of cars it must build.

    I remember suggesting on these threads several months ago (before the bailouts) that the car companies should be allowed to go into bankruptcy and reorganize. For that suggestion, I was hooted down by all the BC bleeding hearts and accused of being cruel.

    Now, we’ve blown all that taxpayer money, the government, which can’t even deliver the mail without losing billions, is in the car business, and — wait for it — they’re going into bankruptcy.

    Welcome to Obamanomics. You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

  • Tony

    It’s been fun but this is my parting shot.

    – Never said no one protested Bush. I said the people who attended tea parties predominately never protested Bush. Two sides protesting base on their own interests. Pathetic on both accounts although again, at the least the left was protesting death, which seems slightly more noble than protesting money. Probably should protest both but again, citing irony only.

    – Never said Obama was trying something new. If you read what I wrote, I said he just represented the other side of a two side argument that goes no where.

    – If you don’t believe that companies must cut labor to increase profit margins then you need to tivo a little CNBC during the day. Every single time a company announces cuts or closures their stock price goes up.

    – When you disagreed with my assertion that companies are left with only labor to cut when trying to reduce costs, I noticed you didn’t give me an example of another area to cut. Whether firing people our outsourcing their jobs, there is no other way a company doing business in this country can compete nor do they have the consumers to compete. And that’s just in relation to the large companies.

    Consider a small business, like the restaurant I own. Let’s use the supply side model. I open my business and hire people. By hiring people I give them money which they can then go spend at other businesses. If I don’t sell food, I can’t pay my workers. If I can’t pay my workers they can’t spend money at….the movies for instance, or the local 7-11. Any “real” republican understands this over-simplified example of trickle down economics.

    If I cut labor I hurt the economy. So what do I cut? I try to manage waste and keep my food costs to a minimum but the price of all base products (dairy, grains, meat) has gone up. My utility prices don’t change, they only go up. Insurance costs, maintenance costs, all are fixed. So when i’m not selling food, I go right for the schedule and I start picking up shifts myself. And belonging to many business organizations in my area, I know small business owners in every facet of business do the same thing. They don’t have a choice. Enough small business do this — especially as the economy shifts to a service variety (as manufacturing is obviously not profitable here anymore) — and their literally will be no jobs left. But how are you going to consistently put enough money in the pockets of my customers to allow me to employ the maximum amount of employees/consumers as possible. With tax cuts? That’s a joke. Eliminate sales tax and then maybe we’ll talk. Anything else is a band-aid. But if we start cutting taxes, you Republicans are going to have to give up all of your wars. Deficit spending is not better just because you’re not paying for it now. I think that’s been lost some how.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    I find the outrage against the media in this regard a convenient case of amnesia of both fairly recent and earlier history – as if this is the first time such things have been met with media bias.

    Go back and read news coverage of abolitionist rallies. Check out the reportage of the suffragettes. Look at much of the (especially early) media response to civil rights demonstrations and anti-Vietnam war rallies.

    In all of the above cases the majority of media coverage centered upon characterizing the leaders or “instigators” of the various movements as rabble rousers or “nut jobs.” And it was that characterization that then carried through the entire movements.

    And even now, those of you in a dither about the media characterizations of the “tea baggers” (giggle,) are the same people who repeatedly characterize any and all Obama supporters as looney slackers, dreamers and idolaters.

    Suddenly you find the shoe on the other foot and you are incensed and protesting that it doesn’t fit.

    Well, I have no doubt that among the tea bagging (tee,hee) minions there were likely any number of right wingers, christian fundies, rich white males and maybe even a racist or two. I’d venture a guess that a goodly number of them didn’t really know what the hell they were doing there.

    Some characterized the whole affair as somehow “spontaneous” regardless of the fact that it was obviously planned in advance and touted long and large by the likes of Limbaugh the Fat, er, I mean Great, Hannity and all the gang at FOX for days leading up to the 15th. FOX even urged attendees to provide video and other types of testimonials – I think there was even a contest with prizes of some kind for the best submissions.

    I believe that most of you who are now so chagrined by what you deem to be unfair coverage of the GREAT NATIONAL TEA PARTY have only now chosen to open your eyes and look around you while you conveniently wore blinders before. Wake up and smell the uh, Orange Pekoe.

    B

  • http://www.joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    First of all, the whole premise of this article was not that I sympathized with the protesters and not that I am against higher taxes (although I am) or that I’m crying and boo hoo hoo, no one cried for the Iraq War protesters. My initial alarm was raised because I do not wish to be lumped into a “group” just because of my opinion and I’m sure some of the protesters wouldn’t appreciate it either. It’s not so cut and dried, black and white.

    Only later when I realized the reporting was skewed did the other alarm set in… that differing opinions could be silenced. I didn’t see anyone silence Iraq War protesters or Vietnam War protesters. In some cases, the mere protesting causes a backlash in public opinion.

    Our First Amendment rights should be upheld no matter what your opinion is. I listen respectfully to anything that is brought to the table. However, I also am not an idiot and know when nothing is being brought to the table.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Joanne,

    NBC 4 in Washington DC posted a fake Tea Party protest which was quickly outed.

    I could be wrong. But I think the person who ‘outed’ the video is wrong. Anyway, this is what I get out of this video.

    Looking at the video. It doesn’t look like a fake tea party. It looks like a tea party that was attended by a small group of counter-protesters (who remained off to the side together). They are the ones dressed in top hats and tails (what a cool idea). They begin by chanting “lower the minimum wage” for awhile, and they get the crowd’s attention.

    Okay, next notice as the crowd does move toward them their chant changes. Now they are chanting “tax work, not the rich”.

    Notice one of the tea tax protesters pointing at them and shouting to the others in the real group, “look, feed the rich”. (which sounds he is reading a counter-protesters sign)

    Also notice all the real protesters have walked over as a group to watch the performance.

    Finally, if you slow down the video at the signs that are visible, notice they are adorned with very real tea-partyish slogans (Like:

    Back in the:
    United
    Socialist
    States of
    America

    and ‘Cut Government’)

    The analyst should refrain from being upset that NBC hosted a ‘fake’ video and should blame her fellow protesters. The real protesters were standing around, looking like they were eating popcorn, and enjoying watching the counter-protesters! What the heck? The counter-protesters, meantime, were the only one protesting! ! ! ! Hello? Tea People? You call that a protest? ? ?

    This isn’t the county fair. Those people aren’t free entertainment.

    Also, I feel sorry for the tea-baggers collecting 1 million teabags and then having to pack them up and take them home because they didn’t have a permit to dump them!

    I wonder, did the British gave out permits at Boston Harbor?

  • Tony

    If you didn’t see anyone silencing Iraq War protestors you didn’t follow the wacky exploits of the W-gang very closely. I mean they outed a CIA agent because he disagreed with them.

    And Vietnam, well have you ever heard of COINTELPRO? Or seen the video of cops with dogs and fire hoses. The Chicago 7 (8 actually) ring any bells? What a bizarre comment.

  • Baronius

    Cindy, that video didn’t make much sense to me either. There was apparently also a news report; maybe the channel confused the protest and counter-protest on air. I don’t know.

  • http://www.joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    Ah, back from work.

    Tony, I can truly understand your predicament being in the same one myself. If you’ve read my other pieces, you know that I too run a business in Michigan. We’re not directly related to the auto industry, but everyone who lives here is indirectly related. We haven’t had to cut our workers, but we’ve had to cut our tuition, which means we still make money but not like 15 years ago. When there’s no profit, there’s no improvement to the buildings, no new equipment, no new cars (necessary for the business) meaning money doesn’t get spent here, putting someone else out of work.

    We discussed liquidating it all and leaving, but where is there to go? We are trapped.

    It’s a bad economy. People like us are asked to tighten our belts, and we do because we must. But how much more tightening? Til there is really no blood left in the turnip?

    I deal with several state agencies every day of the week, and I can tell you that wasteful government is in the city and state level as well as the feds. I’ve met our local state reps and like all politicians, they’re shifty when asked to act in a fiscally responsible way.

    That’s why I would have gone to Lansing on Tax Day.

  • Tony

    That’s all well and good, and as I said, I can’t stand Granholm, but seriously, wouldn’t these protests have been a little more prudent maybe 6-7 years ago when the administration said things like, “deficits don’t matter,” or the war in Iraq will be paid for “in oil.”

    Now, before Obama has even had a chance to enact his policies to clean up this mess, people take to the streets.

    I don’t agree with either party’s economic platform anymore. Traditionally I’ve been a supply-sider but I don’t think that philosophy even exists anymore in the political sphere.

    These protests were targeted directly at Obama. My problem is not that their were protests, it is their intent. Misguided, irrational, and uneducated in economic policy.

    We have to try something. Free market new-Republic economics got us to this point so I’m at least willing to let the other side have a try since everyone in this country is too close minded to accept that maybe both sides are wrong.

    I, personally have no faith in the economic future of this country. We have dug or own grave with our idiocy and now we’re paying the price. Our herd mentality to stick with a party like its a home town baseball team, and not see the flaws in both sides, has resulted in our ruin. If I didn’t have so much at stake in this economy I would sit back and watch with satisfaction as all the people who supported helping little Iraqi children over helping our own, are kicked out into the streets, jobless and homeless.

    These problems were caused by the economic sector, Republican economic policy, unions, and the stupidity of the public. This country doesn’t deserve to be great anymore if we can’t see past what our t.v. pundits tell us is right for this country. If we are totally devoid of new ideas, we deserve to go extinct.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That may well happen, Tony. But consider: the major airlines are parking their fleets in Arizona and Nevada, I believe.

    Why? They anticipate that when recovery happens, they bring them active and charge higher rates. It may well be we’re going see “business as usual,” though with the illusion of great government control and oversight.

    Either way, it doesn’t look promising.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Who is right? You decide.

    It is still interesting, I’d say, that none of these self-righteous Americans took to the street against government approving and funding the Iraqi war for seven straight years and counting.

    Where was their righteous indignation then? And how come the Wall Street crooks don’t figure in these protests?

  • Clavos

    …self-righteous Americans…

    A tautology, Roger, they’re ALL self-righteous; left and right.

  • Ma rk

    Well, I never…

  • Clavos

    LOL, Ma rk!

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    …self-righteous Americans…

    A tautology, Roger, they’re ALL self-righteous; left and right.

    Is that your Mexican half talking, Clavos? Just curious….

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, I’ve never met a self-righteous American I didn’t like.
    I didn’t realize, though, it was a national trait.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Anglos do have a reputation.

  • Clavos

    But of course, Ruvy.

  • Clavos

    I’m reminded of Mexican President Porfirio Diaz’ famous lament:

    “Poor Mexico! So far from God, and so close to the United States!”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That is worse than being between the rock and the hard place. More likely, in hell.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Eternal damnation.

  • http://www.joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    I’m thinking the Republicans IN POWER had a hand in burying us in debt, too. That’s why I was most annoyed at all of them when this TARP thing came up and McCain quivered. Not many came to the fore to question this hasty “solution,” to examine what the long-term implications would be. It led me to believe that they were up to their eyeballs in it.

    Clav, I’m trying to get my daughter to go to TJ for the day and then sneak back in. Maybe CA will pay for her college if she enters the country illegally.

    (Just a Wednesday morning Secretary’s Day joke, for those of you with no humor.)

  • Clavos

    Let me know how that works out, Joan; I’ve a niece and nephew approaching college age who could benefit.

  • Clavos

    Sorry, Joanne!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I thought it was a joke.

  • Clavos

    Yep, I believe Joanne did say it was a joke^.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I was kidding.

  • Clavos

    Right.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Now, that’s the kind of protest that makes sense to me.

    I don’t think tea-party protesters were in this category.