Wag the Dog: 'tea party' as grassroots as GMO
The ‘tea party’ is simply “very conservative Republican” by another name. No more, no less than a creation of Republican operatives to tap into anger over losing the 2008 election and cling to their last shred of power.
In case the headline confuses you, GMO is the acronym used for genetically-modified crops, aka Frankencorn or Soykenstein: A useful analogy for the so-called tea party, because the “movement” that has big media fluttering and Twittering is not a naturally occurring phenomenon but an engineered ploy to raise political cash for Republican groups and re-brand conservative politics.
This media-created monster is stitched together from the remnants of the political coalition that installed George W. in power for eight years. When the lights went down on that presidency, Republican operatives grasped at the only straw left: the very anger raised by their own policies.
Tea party protesters are mad about budget deficits but were silent for eight years as their man in the White House and their leadership in Congress ran up huge bills to pay for tax cuts and ill-advised wars. Obama and the Democrats had little to do with the current fiscal mess; however, with a long way to go, they’ve had a lot to do with beginning the clean-up.
The protesters are mad about health care reform that mimics what their own presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, signed into law in Massachusetts. Romney has since backpedaled away from his own policy so quickly that you’d think he had woken up in a frat house after a keg party lying naked next to an amorous farm animal. I swear guys I didn’t touch it!
They are mad about intrusive government and excessive powers of state after sitting by for eight years and allowing the creation of a massive security apparatus, forgetting that the America Bill Clinton left us not only balanced its budget but, it can be argued, struck a fair balance between individual rights and government power. The reason why they’re so vocal now is because their man Bush is no longer in the White House and they’re afraid of the monster he created. They’re mad about a lot of things, so what do you do if you’re the part of the operation responsible for most of it? Scream the loudest in protest to harness the anger and reap the political benefits.
A classic bait-and-switch, used effectively by the real ‘tea party’: the likes of Republican operative Dick Armey, Republican political firm Russo Marsh, and Fox News. Each is an example of the ‘friends with benefits’ relationship between protesters and their organizers.
For Armey, a savvy Texan who networks the country as a conservative organizer and message master, the ‘tea party’ is a horse to ride back to power. Armey, like Gingrich and other former Republican politicians working the political landscape, has his eye on influencing the next election. Russo Marsh is collecting millions in political contributions from tea party donors and siphoning most of it off for “expenses.” Fox News gains an organized source of anger that butters its bread: attracts loyal, angry viewers who in turn attract advertisers, which is the network’s business model. In fact, Fox News can take most of the credit for the tea party because of their saturation coverage of all things tea-bagger. They are to news what flies are to shit.
However, the so-called liberal media can take some credit, because while the tea party protesters give them something to poke fun at, news coverage also promotes the movement as real and not contrived. Very real people with very real concerns are part of the movement, but in the end they are tools for a larger agenda of obscuring what went on for eight years as America focused on wars abroad and terror at home. John Stewart gets lots of laughs when he points out the absurdities, but also gives invaluable exposure to the very people and organizations he skewers. Few people outside of Fox’s viewer circle would even know about what is essentially a fringe group that has become a big tent for anti-tax protesters, gun enthusiasts, racists, conspiracy theorists, politically active conservatives and Sarah Palin’s entourage.
What began as a groundswell of anger when the wool was pulled from the eyes of conservative, white America is a surging tidal wave that Republicans are desperately trying to ride. Otherwise they will find themselves at the bottom of a big crash when the angry masses turn on their masters.