You know what really irritates me about the tea parties? The basic fact that if right now, it were President John McCain and not President Obama, and nothing else had changed, these tea parties wouldn’t exist. You know it, I know it, and even the teabaggers know it. It is just such transparent bullshit that it is offensive. The most these guys ever did during the last lost eight years was put a limp Porkbusters logo on their website, but now that we have President Malcom X George McGovern Shabazz, they are freaking out like there is no tomorrow. So absurd.
That's about right. This had nothing to do with taxes, or spending, or anything of the sort. It had to do with a Democrat in the White House, pure and simple.
A couple of other quotes I liked today. First, Steve Benen:
So, at some point in the future (we don't know when), some politicians (we don't know who) might find it necessary to raise taxes. Whose taxes would be raised? It's too soon to say. How much would taxes go up? No one knows.
But the mere prospect of a possible future tax increase has led untold thousands of activists, an entire cable news network, corporate lobbyists, conservative bloggers, conservative talk-radio hosts, and Republican officials to organize a series of national events. With extraordinary foresight, they've organized thousands of rallies to register their outrage, not at existing tax rates, but at tax policies that haven't been proposed, but might exist at some undermined point.
And Andrew Sullivan:
But the substantive critique must remain the primary one. Protesting government spending is meaningless unless you say what you'd cut.
If you favor no bailouts, then say so. If you want to see the banking system collapse, then say so. If you think the recession demands no fiscal stimulus, then say so. If you favor big cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, social security and defense, then say so. I keep waiting for Reynolds to tell us what these protests are for; and he can only spin what they they are against.
All protests against spending that do not tell us how to reduce it are fatuous pieces of theater, not constructive acts of politics. And until the right is able to make a constructive and specific argument about how they intend to reduce spending and debt and borrowing, they deserve to be dismissed as performance artists in a desperate search for coherence in an age that has left them bewilderingly behind.
And by "specifying cuts", well, cutting earmarks and volcano monitoring just isn't going to work. Kevin Drum has the goods on that.
In short: the Tea Party people just aren't serious. They don't know what they're doing, they don't know what they're talking about, and they're in love with policies that didn't work the first time(s) they were tried. Other than that, though, they're fine patriots, each and every one!
(I had to watch some of this nonsense today while I was at the Y working out; I like to use the stationary bikes and the one I chose was unfortunately directly underneath the teevee that's tuned to FOX News. Now, most of the teevees at The Store are also tuned to FOX News, and every time I walked by one of them today, their footage was breathless Tea Party stuff. FOX isn't even trying to pretend to be "fair and balanced" anymore, are they? They're the Limbaugh-Coulter-Beck News Channel.
Anyway, there on the teevee at the Y was Glenn Beck, who strikes me as being your standard right-wing teevee pundit these days: loud and blitheringly stupid. At one point he had Jeanine Turner on so she could do the "OMG, I'm the only Republican in Hollywood!" schtick that Republicans in Hollywood like to do, and for a few minutes they blathered on about what a wonderful leader Sarah Palin is.
This Sarah Palin.