A Shutdown or A Coup?
How It Was Engineered?
By Danny Schechter
New York, New York: What is the Tea Party and where did it come from? Was it, as many media outlets portray it, as a spontaneous grass roots movement nurtured in the bowels of deep dissatisfaction in the American electorate with "big government" and its feared turn towards Socialism which it saw as oppressive?
Hate to disappoint folks who buy the populist revolt theory. Anyone remember the mad rant of Rick Santelli in 2009? He's a fixture on the pro-business channel CNBC who actually was first to call for a Tea Party by millionaires in Chicago to protest against any relief for homeowners who were on the verge of being foreclosed upon.
The idea resonated with the armies of the resentful who always feel l that the government should not help those in need--characterizing them as people living in bigger houses than they can afford and unfairly demanding a bailout from tax payers.\
Rick and the traders cheering for him apparently never heard about or cared about predatory lending and bank practices that have since led to massive fines and paybacks for years of mortgage scams.
No, to righteous "rebels" like Rick and Co, it was the people who were to blame and who deserve the tongue-lashing and class hatred that flowed out of his mouth against "the losers" backed by the media mouths of his minions.
They call themselves traders, but traitors might be used as well.
When Santelli got some attention from his fellow ideologues, the Republican right seized the idea.
Suddenly this ostensibly bottom-up people's movement was repackaged as a top-down political army by bringing together the Christian Right, professional pols, and Right--wing political consultants who followed a strategy of intimidation and demagoguery, aided and abetted by media outlets like Fox and their fellow travelers of the Beck and Limbaugh variety.
They sought out a unifying issues based on systematic distortions of the facts while appealing to fears they had themselves fanned and reinforced. The fact that the President is black added fuel to their bombast even if they realized early on, they had to conceal their racial hostility and tone down their Hatred.
Opposing what they labeled Obamacare became their organizing principle larding on to it, fear of "death panels," and an assault on basic freedom. Never mind the millions without health care. Who cares about them?
The Democrats were bullied early on to reject using the successful Social Security-like workable Medicare model or single payer system and adopt instead a corporate based approach that would further enrich the insurance companies and is, in fact, riddled with contradictions
What the Republicans hid was that it was based on Republican ideas, as Mark Karlin at Buzzflash/Truthout explains: "As hard as it is to believe given the psychotic babble coming out of the mouths of House Republicans, the Affordable Care Act was the creation of a think tank revered by conservatives, the Heritage Institute, and promoted by Republicans in the early '90s as an alternative to "Hillarycare."
He also points out that it was Obama's presidential opponent Mitt Romney who created a similar program in Massachussets before opportunistically turning on what he had touted as his main achievement.