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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/29/11

Teabaggers; Children of the Sixties?

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Before I get into the real purpose of writing this article, I'd like to express my admiration for Bill Maher.   Maher is constantly corrected by conservatives when he refers to members of the Frankensteinien movement called The Tea Party Movement as teabaggers.   Teabagging, as some of you may know, refers to an activity, usually done as a prank among college age males.   It's rude, crude and mocks certain parts of the anatomy.   Those in the Teaparty Movement long ago pointed to the fact that calling them teabaggers was politically incorrect and an insult.  

In 2010, President Obama signed The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ( PPACA ) into law.   Besides very wrongly referring to this bill as promoting socialism, those who oppose it have called it "Obamacare" since its inception and refuse to refer to it by its official title.   They use this so called colloquialism because the sound of it could cause the president's name to sound seedy.  

Maher says that he will continue to call members of the Tea Party Movement "teabaggers" until people stop referring to The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as Obamacare.   I think it's a fairly even trade.   In fact I'd like to add that, even though some may not agree with the ideology of one of the two parts of our corporate party, they should stop referring to it as "The Democrat Party".   It is and has always been "The Democratic Party".  

Although many teabaggers belong to the generation who showed the courage and will to protest against inequity in the 1960s and early '70s , they revile that courage and will by appearing as though they're using the same methodology to support that which people protested against 30 or 40 years ago.   And this pisses me off.  

In the 1960s and early '70s, people gathered in large crowds in protest to what the US government was doing.   Most of those people were called Hippies, a word that was very often preceded by the pejorative "dirty".  

What people have been protesting recently, subsidized by some of the wealthiest people in the world and promoted by the likes of Michelle Bachman and former Texas governor Rick Perry, is the fact that the president is taking our rights away.   They never really elucidate any specific rights that have been taken away from the average American.   They have warned that, if given the opportunity to cut their medical bills by up to 30%, the America we used to know and love would turn into the 1960s Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.  

In the 1960s and early '70s, people came out in droves as well.   They protested the use of Jim Crowe laws which kept people of color from exercising their right as Americans to vote in American elections.   African American people, who were the main target, were not welcomed to sit in restaurants of their choice to eat a meal.   People used the argument that states could make laws denying rights to certain people.    The people who marched in the '60s wanted to stop this injustice, already in progress, to use television jargon.  

Recent protesters, although every bit as angry as those in the 60s, don't really have a chant, at least not one that I'd heard.   I guess I've heard, "Kill the bill."   This, of course, refers to the government's intention to intercede on behalf of American citizens to give them a chance to save 30% or more on their medical bills.   Although The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed and signed into law, any meaningful health care bill was, indeed, killed.  

Teabaggers are still free to hand health insurance companies millions of dollars of which 70% goes towards covering some, but not all, medical expenses.   It seems to follow that members of the teabaggers will "pay any price, bear any burden", to quote John F. Kennedy, for health care insurance as long as it isn't provided by the American government.   They obviously take Ronald Reagan's famous 1986 quote, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are I'm from the government and I'm here to help" very seriously.   Lest we forget, Reagan was the leader of one of the three branches of government when he made that statement.

There was a war in progress in the 60s.   It was based upon the lie that small North Vietnamese boats presented an untenable danger to two American destroyers.   Many people didn't want to send our young soldiers to Southeast Asia to fight an enemy which was born and raised in the jungles of Vietnam.   Most of these people were young people.   Military conscription was still in place and many young men who had plans for their futures began to fear that those plans would never come to fruition.   The lie about the Gulf of Tonkin attacks gave the military/industrial complex a reason to convince the American government that Communism, a misnomer for the so called governance of any nation state, past or present, was a threat to the American way of life.   Americans were told that the Communist government of North Vietnam had to be stopped in its quest to make Vietnam whole, as that wholeness would be under the power of a Communist government.   Just like The Regime which ruled The FUSA (The Formerly United States of America) from 2001 until 2009 frightened Americans into initially supporting the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003, in 1968, President Johnson said, "If we allow Vietnam to fall, tomorrow we'll be fighting in Hawaii, and next week in San Francisco."

While they were marching, many of the protestors chanted their displeasure of what was going on at that very moment with slogans such as, "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?"   They were frightened because there was a war in progress and there also was a draft in place and they didn't want to be drafted to go to Vietnam to fight in a war that was basically unwinnable.   They didn't want the government to hurt them.

As stated a few paragraphs up, however, they did want the government to step in and provide justice for those who were oppressed in the land in which they lived.

Granted, there are two wars in progress today -- well, one's called an occupation.   Both are illegal if one is to take what The Constitution of the United States says about The FUSA seriously.   Neither the war turned occupation in Iraq nor the war in Afghanistan were ever declared as such by Congress, which has the sole power to do so.

Many remind us that, just as Congress gave LBJ The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964, Congress gave Front Man George W. Bush The Authorization to use Military Force Against Iraq in 2001.   In neither document does Congress declare war against anyone; nation state or street gang.   Basically, both documents say to the president, "Looks bad, man.   Do what you have to do to make it go away."

We still call the action in Vietnam The Vietnam War and we called the invasion of Iraq in 2003 The War In Iraq.   Wars can only be declared by Congress and in neither case did that happen.

The illegal, undeclared wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are something very specific. They were happening when the Tea Party Movement was "launched" and are still in progress in spite of the lie recently told to us by President Barack Obama.   They have ruined lives and families, not only of American soldiers, but of Iraqis and Afghanis.  

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Michael Bonanno is an associate editor for OpEdNews.

He is also a published poet, essayist and musician who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Bonanno is a political progressive, not a Democratic Party apologist. He believes it's (more...)

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