It’s not that big of a secret that the real movers and shakers in the Republican Party are not Joe Miller, Christine O’Donnell, and Sharron Angle, or even Jim DeMint or Sarah Palin.
Well, I think it is to the Tea Partiers.
Listen to this comment by Trent Lott, Svengali of the Republican Establishment, now a lobbyist just raking in the dough, as was always his purpose as a Republican politician (if you receive the money afterwards, is it still a bribe?): “As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them”.
“They” are the tea party. It won’t be difficult– “they” are Republicans. They actually believe that in America, the goal of government is to provide a level playing field so that companies can battle it out among each other to provide consumers with the best products at the best price. They are in for a shock. The first thing they will learn, from Trent Lott, Karl Rove, and the others, is that the purpose of Republican government is to pin down the young, the poor, the middle class, and entrepreneurs so that the corporations can ransack their pockets with impunity. The rich, powerful corporations actually control the legislative process through lobbyists who lob millions of dollars at every politician in the firm belief that their votes can be influenced.
What Lott is afraid of– and it’s an amusing scenario– is that some of these tea party candidates are what I call “true believers”. What if they reject the money and vote their conscience? Oh my! The horror! At what point will Sharron Angle realize that she is not voting to “level the playing field” on most legislation– she will be voting to confer fabulous favors and benefits upon powerful interests who will gladly, in return, pay for the expensive negative ads she needs to run in her next election campaign when, undoubtedly, she will be running “against” Washington.
Jon Stewart hilariously showed us John McCain, in a recent campaign ad, declaring that Washington was “broken” and needed to be fixed. Then he showed us McCain using the same line over and over and over again going back to his first election campaign 30 years ago.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…. three times… eight times… ten times… uh… doh!
For all the media hype, how much influence has the Tea Party had on this election? Well, name a single Tea Party candidate who won a seat that the Republicans would have lost without him or her?
That’s right– not one.
Why? That’s pretty straight forward: a “movement” unconnected with a particular idea is always going to fizzle. The Tea Party doesn’t really have a single coherent idea that isn’t
- already held, in emasculated form, by the Republican Party,
too whacko to ever be implemented,
- too generalized and idealistic to have any real application.
- In August, CNN revealed that the percentage of Americans who actually call themselves members of the Tea Party? 2.
That said, what a shame that we won’t have a real tea party victory. A victory by the Tea party– by the true believers– would be as devastating to corporate interests and old guard Republicans as it would be to the Democrats. If Tea Party Candidates came in and cleared out the lobbyists, the backroom deals, the earmarks, and so on, we might all be better off than we would be under a victory by so-called moderate Republicans. That is, if they do what they say they will do.
It’s a little puzzling that so much mainstream media– allegedly “liberal”, of course– have given so much coverage to the Tea Party, which, as the Washington Post discovered, is actually quite small and really insignificant.
Why why why? I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, so it must be because conflict and anger and spectacle make good news.
“Look at Lott’s lobbying clients: Citigroup, General Electric, Raytheon, Entergy and other Beltway bandits, subsidy sucklers and regulatory robber barons. These guys live off of bailouts, massive government spending, and earmarks. These are exactly the policies Republicans are supposed to oppose, but don’t. They’re also the very things Tea Partiers and Jim DeMint rail against most.”
Read more at the Washington Examiner. [dead link: sorry.]
The picture, at the top, is of my feet, 1976, Calgary, Alberta, sitting in a basement apartment we rented for the summer while working for the United Grain Growers.