Sunday, April 12, 2009

Why I won't be tea-bagging...

... and only part of the reason arises from my idiosyncratic dislike for symbolic protests.

I'll keep this short and bitter, because this opinion is certain not to make me a lot of friends among libertarians, not to mention those who style themselves as libertarian republicans.

So here are my top ten reasons why I have reached a decision not to support the tea party movement:

#10: Too many of the people who never stepped up and criticized the Bush administration budgets, destruction of Constitutional rights, or interventionist foreign policy have suddenly developed a social conscience.

#9: To condemn the neo-Keynesian approach to beating this recession (which they have disingenuously compared to the Great Depression for purely political purposes) without understanding why that approach is seriously dated by modern economic research into complex non-linear systems pretty much shows the same understanding of the issues at hand as millions of knee-jerks who voted for Change They Could Believe In without the slightest understanding of public policy.

#8: Because the people who set off the original Boston Tea Party had something to lose. This is a nice, safe, domesticated protest.

#7: Because the people collecting tea bags are being spurred on--at least in part--by demagogues quite unlike Samuel Adams, demagogues whose major motives in pushing this movement is not political change, but profit.

#6: Because the original Boston Tea Party was viewed as a conscious overture toward armed rebellion; and we are not there. We don't want to be there.

#5: Because the people involved in this new tea party movement either don't understand what the original was about, or do understand and are consciously distorting history: I hate the creation of a useable past no matter who articulates it for political gain.

#4: Because the rate at which the Obama administration is lining up to out-Bush Bush on issues of civil rights and Constitutional protections is accelerating, and the tea parties are giving it cover to continue consolidating and extending the powers we never should have given the Federal government in the first place.

#3: Because the participants in this tea party movement are, unknowingly, helping to cement the two-party system even more firmly into place.

#2: Because the media and the Obama administration are poised to make the protesters look like buffoons in the MSM (which still has 10,000 viewers/readers for every one in the blogosphere) and set back legitimate criticism of the administration's dangerous policies on the Constitution, foreign policy, and deficit spending.

#1: Because--even if the other nine reasons had no validity [and you can bet that readers will let me know that each and every one of them are wrong], it's too early. I'm not a believer in political honeymoons, but the simple fact of the matter is that tens of millions of Americans still do [they also put their teeth under the pillow for the Tooth-Person-of-differing-sexual-orientation]. I believe that many of President Obama's economic policies are going to fail, and may well fail disastrously. But they haven't yet, and while there is virtue in being able to say, I told you so, right now most people whose minds need to be changed are only going to see sore losers with nothing new to offer. President Obama and his team are every bit as good [if not better] at media manipulation that Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan ever were. They're going to come of this premature, pseudo-populist protest with more effective spin than you would possibly believe. Hell, they've already started.

None of which is to condemn my fellow libertarians, fiscal conservatives, and other patriotic Americans who disagree with me. Many fine people are going to step up and do what they think is right. I may get there some day, but this is not my time.

I will be, as usual, exercising my personal tax protest by paying my accountant's fees to help me structure my income in whatever way the government demands to reduce its ability to take my money to the lowest extent possible, and I will be sharing everything I learn about that process with anybody who will listen.

F**k Joe Biden's faux patriotism of over-paying my taxes to show I'm a real American; I'll take Learned Hand any day.

18 comments:

Miko said...

Because the media and the Obama administration are poised to make the protesters look like buffoons in the MSM

Based on what I've seen so far, the protesters are doing a fantastic job of that without any help from the MSM.

Hube said...

Well-stated all around, Steve.

downwithabsolutes said...

Steve...I wish I had read this earlier in the day when I was defending some of my comments on my blog. Jesus this list is rich.

Thank you!

Delaware Watch said...

Hube,

I can't comment at all on your blog. (Sorry, Steve, for using your site to say this.) I get the spam notice, but I get no mechanism for commenting. Is it because I use Firefox?

Delaware Watch said...

Steve,

Great post. I especially appreciate your point about how these protests weren't occurring when Bush Jr. was setting record deficits.

I do think that it's interesting and not yet fully analyzed how this movement has acted as fertile ground for a host of conspiracy theorists.

Steve Newton said...

Dana,
A) Send messages to Mike here any time--I've had to send some to Hube on occasion through other blogs

B) Conspiracy nuts show up for any organized protest--at least that's what I've come to believe. I think of it this way: we all have our little nutty beliefs, but most of us actually know on some level that they're nutty, and when we're being "responsible" at some other cause we don't feel obligated mention our obsession with AIDs as a lost bio-weapon, UFO abductions, or whatever. But real conspiracy nuts lack that filter, so they genuinely do not realize that outing themselves not only makes them appear foolish, but also kills the credibility of whatever otherwise reasonably sane cause they are supporting.

Waldo said...

I'll still keep putting my teeth under the pillow if only because this is the first administration that's not out to actively screw me.

Brian Shields said...

Because it is really only being perpetuated because of the double meaning. otherwise, without the unintended negative connotation on those being "teabagged" this whole thing is just a rather silly, pointless, exercise.

Shirley Vandever said...

I'll be there with bells on ! Fiscal conservatives for too long have been silent. I guess they are working, or something :))).

While only symbolic, I think it is important to make a statement, even if it is a fleeting one.

Hube said...

Dana: Sent you an e-mail.

rtaylortitle said...

You don't think the protestors already know what the media will do and say? They do. To know something is evil and do NOTHING about it is tantamount to sanctioning that evil, my friend. Kudos to the protestors.

rtaylortitle said...

You don't think that the protestors are way ahead of you and already know what the media will do and say? They do know.
To know something is evil, as they do, and do nothing about is tantamount to sanctioning that evil.

Anonymous said...

Its and orchestrated media event. Organized by Fox News so they can cover the event as it it sprung up from the citizens themselves.

Its a sham and a scam. A place for all the KKKers, White Supremacists, Joe Six Pack pissed off that he has lost his job, losing his home, and losing his dream to be propagandized by the ultra right wing. Its embarassing to say the least.

paulie said...

Libertarian Party: we had the Tea Party idea first

http://tinyurl.com/cycweu

Excerpt:

The Libertarian Party of Illinois got the idea to hold an April 15, 2009 anti-tax “Boston Tea Party” in Chicago way back in December of 2008. On February 10, 2009 they started a Facebook page and began promoting the website throughout the Illinois media.

The idea caught on like wildfire 10 days later, when CNBC personality Rick Santelli, speaking from the floor of the Chicago stock exchange, blasted the Obama administration’s tax and economic policies and urged all Americans to hold their own “tea parties.”

callit said...

Steve,

Great post...just have one question.

How are the tea-party participants unknowingly cementing the two-party system? Not a snarky question, I am just curious about your thoughts.

Cheers,
J.

Anonymous said...

I'll be there along with Shirley.

I am not a PAWN.

I see the universality of the TEA Party as a protest against the whole government.

I am in particular, against the bailouts. Someone is going to have to pay for the trillion dollar give a ways. I am against subsidizing stupidity. Those home mortgages should have been allowed to fail.

Steve Newton said...

J.
My feeling that the tea parties serves to cement the two-party system has to do with (a) the fact that a number of conservative (both social and fiscal) organizations which are working toward a GOP revival are underwriting a lot of the cost; and (b) the Libertarian Party is being placed (at least by the MSM and aforesaid groups) in the position of being "fellow travellers" or "satellites" of the GOP.

There is no effort really going on to separate third-party interests from the GOP here.

callit said...

Thanks....again, great post.

J.