Video  
comments_image Comments

Tea-Bagging Is All Fun and Games, Until It Pokes Out an Eye

Are today's antitaxation demonstrations insidious or just absurd?
 
 
Share
 

Like many progressives, I’ve been laughing a lot about the GOP’s tea-bagging antitaxation demonstrations planned for today. But childish jokes aside, here’s why these protests are so insidious. They will provide a staged, corporate lobbyist-sponsored moment for Republicans and Fox News personalities to amplify their specious objections to President Obama’s tax increase for the rich, while furthering their own right-wing conspiratorial claims about liberal values. By usurping and bastardizing an iconic event from the American Revolution, they offer an ersatz grassroots movement from the right–complete and utter AstroTurf–in an attempt to reclaim the national spotlight.

As Think Progress’s Faiz Shakir exclaimed on Fox Business when he ripped the network a new one:

These tea parties are a sham. The reason they’re a sham is because they’re directed by lobbyists here in D.C. … And on top of that, you’ve got this network, Fox News, which is advocacy — pushing this, promoting this with all of its heart. And it is not a grassroots movement when you have Jonathan Hoenig, Neil Cavuto, Glenn Beck, Greta Van Susteren promoting this up the wazoo. That is not a grassroots movement.

Faiz, of course, was dead on because corporate lobbyists like Dick Armey’s Freedom Works are orchestrating today’s protests, and Fox has been relentlessly pushing them too.  As for the GOP’s ludicrous cries of Obama turning our country socialist, Paul Krugman notes that while Obama will raise taxes on high-income Americans, that tax rate will still be ten percent lower than it was under Reagan.

When I was a kid in Philly, Veterans Stadium was known as a “career-killer” because the cement-like AstroTurf wrecked the knees and ankles of so many promising baseball and football players.  Let’s hope tomorrow’s AstroTurf movement turns out to be a career-killer for all the lunatic Republicans and hedge fund directors and Fox shock jocks who make the wild accusations that Obama isn’t from our country, or that evolution is a lie.

ZP Heller is the editorial director of Brave New Films. He has written for The American Prospect, AlterNet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Huffington Post, covering everything from politics to pop culture.

 
See more stories tagged with: