Take a number!

“Take our country back!” This was an oft announced goal at the TP rallies last week. Does anyone have a coherent definition of this statement? I have heard many definitions, from vote out the bums, to something close to anarchy. Most of the definitions are a bit fuzzy. I can only think that the people who shout this are really referring to the previous administration’s gutting of the Bill of Rights, and borrowing and spending to fund a war we should never have engaged in. Maybe these folks have finally woken up to the disastrous policies of the Bush administration. Since the Bushies are no longer in power, I guess they think it’s fair game to level the anger toward the present administration. Make sense? Not really. It is similar to when you miss your train and get angry and when the next one comes, all the anger of missing the first train is leveled at the employees of the second train. Late, very late.

The recent CBS/New York Times poll of who exactly makes up the Tea Party was enlightening, but not at all surprising. They are mostly white, educated, older and pine for a mythical time when taxes were lower. They also probably want the damn kids off their lawns. There was a chunk of them believing the tax they paid this year was “fair.” However, sixty-four percent believe that the president has increased taxes for most Americans, despite the fact that the vast majority of Americans got a tax cut under the Obama administration. Thirty-four percent of the general public says the president has raised taxes on most Americans. So the Taxed Enough Already just doesn’t hold water nor does it make any sense except as a political sound bite rather than practical plane. They hate “big government” whatever that is. The Government that provides medicare and social security and unemployment insurance is this the “big” government they talk about? And talk about taxes? How about Exxon, not paying a dime to Uncle Sam. The trick is to have 20 wholly owned subsidiaries off shore like in the Bahamas and Azerbaijan and other places which (legally) shelter the cash flow. Their tax bill last year was $15 billion. It went back overseas. Don’t you wish you could do that? The GAO found that 2 out of every three United States corporations paid no federal income taxes from 1998-2005. That’s what the TP should be protesting.

While many in the movement have legitimate concerns and fears, to blame the Obama administration for all their perceived ills is ludicrous. What is insightful in this poll is the information machine from which the Tea Partiers get their “news.” I know what you are thinking and you are right. They get their information by the unbiased folks at Fox. Quoting the survey: “Sixty-three percent say they get the majority of their political and current events news on television from the Fox News Channel, compared to 23 percent of Americans overall. Forty-seven percent say television is their main source of Tea Party information, the top source; another 24 percent say they get Tea Party information from the internet. ”

Of course there is no conflict of interest here at all. Why even Rupert Murdoch himself said last week, he did not think Fox News “should be supporting the Tea Party.” Maybe that’s why Fox pulled Hannity out of a TP Rally in Cincinnati at the end of last week. Seems like the network is trying to draw a line between themselves and the TP movement. Then there’s their regular commentator, Sarah Palin…’nuf said. (By the way after hearing of her earnings last year $12,000,000 we can now see why she dumped the voters in Alaska for the lights and the bank account in the lower 48.)

So, what are we to make of this disorganized band of protesters who actually think that what they hear on Fox is at the gods-honest-fair-and-balanced truth? I would suggest, debate them with the “facts” and see how it goes. I don’t know if it will change any minds, but it might be fun.

And so it goes…