Well unless you’ve been under a rock for the last week or so, you probably know the Tea Party Convention was in Nashville Tennessee this weekend. Sarah Palins face was on CNN, MSNBC and of course Fox News all weekend long even though she only spoke for a few minutes and actually read notes written off of her hand:
Now as I understand the tickets to hear Ms. Palin speak at this thing were in the $600 range; obviously this would have been quite a sacrifice for your typical working American ( who the Party’s publicity machine tries so hard to convince us it represents) This is only a guess on my part but could they possibly have been trying to filter out certain elements that were embarrassing to the Party? An economic purging/ image re-tooling? Could they have been trying to price this out of the range of say this person?
or maybe they didn’t want this image photographed again:
Or possibly they wanted this couple to stay home?
What I really find puzzling is it appears to me they are trying to create the impression this is some massive thing while there are only 600 actual attendees. The San Diego Comic Con draws 30,000 people a day every year and doesn’t get the saturation-level of coverage this Tea Party Convention has gotten in the news.
I’ve gone to the Tea Party websites; they are a colorful smorgasbord of pretty red, white and blue colors, pictures of Ronald Reagan and the one I visited also had mega-asshole Glenn Becks name and face all over it. This particular sites URL is plastered on signs outside every doctors and dentist’s office in town; I also noticed signs for it outside of several insurance companies offices. I’m no detective but I see a pretty short money trail here…
Now a couple of weeks ago the Supreme Court screwed us all with their recent decision that corporations are people too and they had a First Amendment right to express their opinions about candidates in well…just any way they saw fit. And I see nothing now to stop the Fox News/Tea Party machine from taking full advantage of this decision. Watch out here comes Tea Party Incorporated!
Fox News shows every sign of becoming exactly as much of a reliable news source as the newspaper empire of William Randolph Hearst, reporting stories with a political agenda behind the scenes.
Hearst’s newspapers printed inflammatory stories with manipulated photos that among other things managed to sway public opinion on such things as the Spanish-American war in 1898. When marijuana threatened to give his textile industries some serious competition his newspapers were filled with stories about black jazz musicians raping white women while high which led to making pot illegal in 1937. Hearst’s newspapers sold well, were respected and no one ever questioned what they were reporting. Kind of like Fox News.
The Tea Party websites have a lot of double-speak in them about defending the Constitution They speak a lot of smaller government and these are candy-coated catch-phrases Ronald Reagan and both Bushes were fond of using in their campaign speeches. A lot of obvious fear fuels these sites too; fear of a black president, fear the government is going to start collecting guns from the citizens. They have driven the price of ammunition of all calibers up 500% over the course of the last year; companies such as Remington can’t keep up with the current demand, hiring more workers and running four shifts 24/7. Not since the Cold War has demand been this high.
Another thing that the Tea Party talks through its ass about is Smaller Government. (“Elect more lying assholes into office for smaller government!”… say what?)
Smaller government; now that sounds nice, don’t it? I am old enough to remember when we actually had it. The year I was born LSD was legal, you could buy any type of firearm you could afford mail-order and the only waiting period was the time it took that Socialist postman to bring it to your door. You could smoke a cigarette, cigar or fire up a pipe after a good meal in a restaurant. When driving you could get in your automobile, toss that safety belt out of the way, crack open a can of beer, drive 70mph down the highway and if you weren’t weaving and all of your lights and turn signals worked there wasn’t Reason One for a policeman to pull you over. In 1958 none of these things were criminal offenses.
But you might say: “ I don’t want to breathe your second-hand smoke at the restaurants. And you shouldn’t take LSD and drive 70mph down my street drinking a beer without your safety belt on, you might kill my kids.” Or: “ Terrorists might buy guns mail-order; that’s why you can’t buy them in the mail.”
Well guess what? You’re not going to stop me (or anyone else) from doing these things ( don’t worry by the way; I’m NOT committing any of these offenses anytime soon) without passing more laws, hiring more law enforcement officers, building more courts, erecting more prisons etc. And every time we do that The Beast gets a new tentacle. But since I don’t think we’ll be reverting back to 1958 in the forseeable future, I think it’s safe to say smaller government is by the very nature of our society impossible. It’s a great campaign promise but it’s bullshit, pure and simple.
Now as far as defending the Constitution goes, I would like to know where all of these good patriots were back in 2001 when Bush ran the Patriot Act through Congress with unprecedented record speed. Why weren’t they picking the Patriot Act apart line by line they way they did last August and September with the Healthcare bill? Because if they had they would have discovered that both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights had been reduced to as in the words of Der W: “just a goddam piece of paper”
It did away with due process of law essentially: legal representation, juries, the need for warrants etc. I remember an attorney friend of mine shaking his head in disbelief and getting very drunk the night they passed it; he was in obvious shock and visibly disturbed.
And also as far as defending the Constitution what I might ask the Tea Party is what are you going to defend it WITH? Your fists? A knife? A 9mm Glock? An AK-47? Are you going to buy a 50-caliber machine gun and install it in your living room? I know of someone down in Waco who tried that once.
After a 50-day standoff the Government ran over his bitchin’ Camaro with a tank, then set fire to his place and cooked him and his family alive on TV for the nation’s entertainment. “Okay who’s next?”
At this point I’m torn between my will to defend the Constitution and keeping my head low and running the other way from the conflict. Personally I just can’t see myself taking on a bunch of dope and gun-running bully boys who are more well-financed and well-armed than the Mob could have ever dreamed of. At fifty my eyes aren’t very good and I’m too old to run very fast; YOU take ’em on if you’re tired of living. I’m not.
But it would be nice to have the Constitution and the Bill Of Rights back….