Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Protesting...What, Exactly?

Naturally, there was a "teabagging" event in the old hometown today. The report on a local station was kind of strange. Consider the lead:

Organizers estimate more than 3,000 people showed up for the Tax Day Tea Party in Sioux Falls. And those who surrounded Covell Lake hope politicians got an earful.

Seems to me that Rule Number One or Two should be, Don't Rely on Organizers' Estimates of Anything. But whatever.

I am still at a loss to quite get what it is these goofballs are protesting. What is it that they want "politicians" to get an "earful" of?

"We wanted to be here today to make our voices heard, to let people know we're not anti-government and we're certainly not anti-American. But we think our tax dollars need to be spent wisely," Heather Benson said.

Okay. What does "wisely" mean? Perhaps on a pointless war launched on manufactured "evidence" of Weapons of Mass Destruction pointed right at us? Is that spending "wisely?"

So then why weren't they throwing tea into the lake back then? Why were they silent?

Where were they when their beloved George W. Bush was--in a matter of weeks--burning through the budget surplus that he inherited from his Democratic predecessor, the hated Bill Clinton?

They seemed unconcerned about spending "wisely" back then.

In fact, they seemed unconcerned about spending "wisely" when the Republican-controlled White House and Republican-controlled Congress were spending the country into the red--when their revered Dick Cheney insisted that "deficits don't matter."

They weren't dressing up as patriots and throwing tea into the lake (talk about wasteful spending!) when their do-nothing president allowed the economy to fall into ruin on the theory that less regulation would free "the market" to magically correct any little problems that might pop up. And they seem to have forgotten, with their customarily convenient memories, that it was in fact that same Republican administration which, belatedly, seeing that the economy was headed over a cliff, began the so-called bailout program which the current administration is now continuing in the hope of undoing the hideous mess that it was handed in January.

They haven't seemed very concerned about spending "wisely" all these years. So what's the deal now.

Hmm, let's see, let's see...

Oh, wait--I know: They lost the 2008 election.

Big time.

As in landslide.

And that is what they're protesting. Losing. Banishment. Impotence.

Having no new ideas, no positive suggestions for undoing the mess their "leadership" made, they resort instead to impotent, frothing stunts. Protests of nothing in particular, except they can't stand the fact that they lost the election, and through their own staggering ineptness.

You think not?

"We're tired of it. We're not taking it anymore and in 2010, when the next election comes around, it's going to change. And it's going to change even bigger in 2012," said [Linda] Melin.

Um, tired of what? They keep saying stuff like that, and they're thrilled to death that so many people showed up for their vague grandstanding, but they never tell us what they're "tired" of, what the "message" is they want to send to whoever they think they're sending it one can only conclude that they're just pissed off because they're out of power and--90 days into the Obama administration--they can't stand it anymore!

So they will continue their pointless (literally, no discernible point to them) protests of not much in particular.

And the people on Pennsylvania Avenue who, unlike the previous tenants, are actually interested in governing instead of just wielding power will continue to do their darnedest to save the country.

And the people who have demonstrated themselves to be fresh out of positive ideas will continue to throw rocks. And teabags.

And the majority of Americans will continue to approve of the efforts Obama and company are making to rescue the United States.

And the teabaggers (unfortunate choice of name, that, but also fitting) will continue to fuss and fume.

For it may well be that they are not anti-Government and "certainly" not anti-American. But they don't seem to be pro anything.

Except power.

Unlike the statements of the "tea party's" organizers, this one by Paul Krugman is crystal clear:

One way to get a good sense of the current state of the G.O.P., and also to see how little has really changed, is to look at the "tea parties" that have been held in a number of places already, and will be held across the country on Wednesday. These parties — antitaxation demonstrations that are supposed to evoke the memory of the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution — have been the subject of considerable mockery, and rightly so.

But everything that critics mock about these parties has long been standard practice within the Republican Party.

Thus, President Obama is being called a "socialist" who seeks to destroy capitalism. Why? Because he wants to raise the tax rate on the highest-income Americans back to, um, about 10 percentage points less than it was for most of the Reagan administration. Bizarre.

Indeed. Bizarre.

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