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"Debt Conscious" Tea Bag Hypocrisy and Lionizing Reagan

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Message Bill Hare

Thanks to some current national polling the faux Tea Party movement has been exposed even more.

Skepticism on the part of many progressives that the movement is nothing more than the same old right wing Gingrich, Norquist, Rove, Armey, DeLay crowd dressed up in a phony label to make it sound refreshingly new and patriotic have been vindicated.

How nauseating it is to listen to those earnest pronouncements that this is a grassroots populist movement historically extending from Boston Tea Party resistance. These are supposedly individuals concerned about the impact debt is generating on American society. They are determined to do something about it, and so this line of argument proceeds.

Recent national polling strips more bark from the fallacious Tea Party tree. There appear to be two active levels of the Tea Party. The first group is comprised of a mentality akin to Storm Troopers that got rough on Berlin's streets when they had superior numbers and passed out literature in the period before Hitler's securing of power. These individuals were manipulated by the likes of Goebbels and other Nazi high command figures.

We have seen this group in action spitting and shouting scurrilous comments at Democratic legislators in racist and homophobic attacks. They are far from fresh arrivals on the political scene. Their numbers stood outside the White House while Clinton was in office as they delivered taunting shouts and conveyed obscene gestures when he passed by in the White House limousine.

The recent national polling information dug up a highly significant fact about Tea Baggers. Just as there was a sharp differentiation point between the loud Storm Trooper mentality and the Nazi leadership directing their activities, such a demarcation line exists in the Tea Party movement.

It has been learned that most Tea Baggers are more affluent and better educated than the average citizen. The key demographics are White and 45 or older. In short, there is an element existing well outside the rally shriekers. They let the shock troops do the active demonstrating.

This demographic figure prompts a conclusion: This is the old Reagan crowd dressed up as something new. The Tea Party is nothing more than a fresh label for a very old concept, as so many of us had concluded well before the revealing recent polling information.

Turn the clock back to the 1984 Republican Convention in Dallas, where Reagan was re-nominated in the year of his landslide victory over Walter Mondale. As the all revealing cameras panned the convention floor what was revealed was a very prosperous, over-privileged, selfish band of Reaganites lobbying for more tax cuts.

Parallel this with recent polling information. While a solid majority of Americans favor citizens making over $250,000 being taxed to pay for medical insurance for those who cannot afford it, a solid majority of Tea Party members oppose this idea.

Another question also smoked out Tea Baggers. On the question of whether providing government benefits to the poor make recipients less inclined to work, Tea Party respondents supported this position in large numbers while mainstream America responded otherwise.

As E.J. Dionne Jr. wrote in the New Republic, if Tea Baggers are populists then theirs is a populism of the privileged.

Yes, and about that idea of Tea Baggers registering acute concern over debt. What were these same people saying when concern was registered by the likes of Senator Robert Byrd and others over Reagan spending money like a drunken sailor on shore leave on Pentagon expenditures while providing generous tax cut bills in 1981 and 1986 earmarked to benefit American's wealthiest taxpayers?

They invoked the words of Jeane Kirkpatrick that Reagan critics loved to "blame America first." In the midst of mounting debt glossy Reagan 1984 campaign commercials extolled "morning in America" when all that had happened was that a temporary gust of prosperity was generated by maxing credit cards.

By the time the smoke had cleared and Reagan had left office the national debt had soared from $1 trillion to $3 trillion. The national debt had been tripled in eight years by the Tea Party movement's hero.

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Began in the journalism field in hometown of Los Angeles. Started as Sports Editor and Movie Writer at Inglewood Daily News chain after working in sportswriting of high school events at the Los Angeles Examiner.

Received a bachelor's in (more...)
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