Wednesday, April 15, 2009

and a happy teabagging day to you too

Today is tax day! My taxes are done (federal) and done (VA) and for the first time in years, I'm getting some moola back  Woo hoo!

Anyhoo, all over the country, people will be staging tea parties (you know, like the Boston Tea Party of yore) and sending tea bags to the White House and Congress (aka, thanks to Faux News, as Teabagging). Apparently, people are sick of being taxed and paying for things they feel they shouldn't be paying for...like bailing out banks. They are also taking this opportunity to hate on Obama for his economic policies (have I mentioned that the bank bailouts started under Bush? did people forget that?) and using their money to expand *GASP* unemployment benefits and *GASP* medicare.

I'm all for free speech so I'm not going to knock this movement (I will question the people behind it, though). However, I am suspect of any movement promoted by Faux News*. Aren't they all fair and balanced? Why the hell is a 'news network' endorsing and promoting a movement, especially one titled the Teabagging Movement?

Conservatives are in on the joke, right?


What is even more ironic than the name of the movement is the fact that the Teabagging Movement is being promoted and funded by Freedom Works and Americans for Prosperity. Quick google searches reveal that "While working to promote Social Security privatization, Freedom Works was caught planting one of its operatives as a "single mom" to ask questions to President Bush in a town hall on the subject. Last year, the Wall Street Journal exposed Freedom Works for similarly building "amateur-looking" websites to promote the lobbying interests of Dick Armey." Freedom Works is not the only suspect. According to Think Progress, "Americans for Prosperity is run by Tim Phillips, [a] former partner in the lobbying firm Century Strategies. The group is funded by Koch family foundations -- a family whose wealth is derived from the oil industry. Indeed Americans for Prosperity has coordinated pro-drilling 'grassroots' events around the country."

Privatizing Social Security? Promoting unnecessary drilling? Um, no thanks.

The funny thing is that the Teabagging Movement believes that we are Taxed Enough Already (hence, TEA). However, 95% of Americans will receive a tax cut in the next year if the upcoming Obama budget passes. Only Americans with incomes above $250,000 will receive a tax increase. You know, like those fat cat leaders of Freedom Works and Americans for Progress. Of course they don't want to pay higher taxes! Screw the middle and lower class! In fact, why don't they just trick the lower and middle classes into promoting their agenda...

If that's the case, I'd say that Freedom Works and Americans for Prosperity have done their job.

*I will stop bagging on Faux News the day they accept they are not fair and balanced.

10 comments:

Zipcode said...

I owe the wonderful IRS a boatload of money -- give me my teabag lol

michelle said...

i strongly suspect the hard core conservatives have no clue what "teabagging" refers to in another context, and the joke is passing them by :P

media concepts said...

I almost feel bad for Republicans and conservatives right now. You have people protesting against higher taxes when their taxes were reduced; protesting against bailouts when those were started by George Bush and his Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson and are only necessary because of how bad Bush wrecked the country; wealthy, prominent Republicans and their toadies at Faux News using the protesters for their own selfish gain; white supremascist and "Obama wasn't born in America" wingnuts joining the tea party; and no positive agenda being pushed, just "we're the party of no, and we hate Obama but we don't know why."

The GOP is wandering through the wilderness right now, their support never rises above 27%, and they're nowhere near a path that will take them back to popularity and power. Far be it from me to give them advice, but didn't their hero, Ronald Reagan, put forth an optimistic message and a set of ideas and principles? I'm just sayin'.

anOCgirl said...

zipcode: well, don't send it to the white house. i doubt it will make it past security (or whoever watches the mail).

michelle: you know what? i would not be surprised if that's true. after all, this is the party of anti-sex-outside-of-marriage and abstinence only. they're probably virgins who marry other virgins who have also never heard of teabagging.

media concepts: when i read everything you posted, i couldn't help but smile. i'm no where near feeling sorry for the GOP. they got the ball rolling in f*cking up this country and i sure hope people remember that come midterm elections.

instatick said...

Forgive me, but all I can do is snicker about "teabagging."

Bilbo said...

The whole thing says a lot about the attention span and memory of the American public and the attitudes of the Right, does it not?

Juliet said...

"have I mentioned that the bank bailouts started under Bush? did people forget that?"

You seem to assume that there weren't any conservatives who opposed the bank bailouts. But there were plenty (*cough*Rush*cough*), and all it takes to know that is 1. recognizing that conservatism isn't monolithic and not every single conservative is a sycophant for Bush (no surprise, given his abysmal approval ratings) and 2. doing the dirty work to find out what conservatives actually think instead of assuming they think whatever you don't think. It reminds me of the way a lot of conservatives always have, and still do, hate the Clintons, when they're actually very centrist compared to most of their party.

Along those lines: So Fox claims to be fair and balanced, but they aren't. What I care about is not whether anyone claims to be fair and balanced, but whether they actually ARE. From what I saw of CNN's coverage of the tea parties, they had no scruples about descending to Fox's level and getting in a pissing match with them--which is entertaining and probably helps their ratings, but it's not objective journalism. It's very easy for anyone on either side to live in their own echo chamber and just get news and opinions from their own perspective, to the point that they don't even know what the other side thinks (or what people on the other side think, since there is a variety of opinions on both sides). The only way I see that I can get the full story is to get my news from both sides and try to calculate from that what the actual truth is. Not that I am good at this (it's very grating and time-consuming), but what else is there? I am deeply concerned not only that most people don't even try to do this, but also that most people haven't the first clue about objective reporting, what constitutes a reliable source, or what distinguishes fact from opinion. And I see this failure on both sides.

anOCgirl said...

instatick: well you're in good company since rachel maddow couldn't keep a straight face in that video :)

bilbo: it might be more of a selective memory issue...

juliet: re: bush, my intention in mentioning him is that obama seems to be bearing the brunt of these protests for something that happened in a previous administration (see also: war)

i am very aware that not all conservatives think the same. however, it's the far right that seems to make the most noise and attention and they are the subject of this post. however, i know a lot of ignorant (as in not educated on the facts) moderates who are all about these protests.

i think the fact that fox claims to be fair and balanced is a big issue. do you think the average american takes the time to research both sides like you and i do? there's no way. therefore, there are a lot of gullible people out there who think they are getting the truth and nothing but the truth from fox news just because they say so.

as far as CNN goes, they border on TMZ sometimes. i only watch CNN headline news. it's news in brief, which i like because there is no time to insert someone's opinion. if i want an opinion, i'll watch MSNBC or humor myself with Fox. btw, that glenn beck is a riot.

yes, both sides are at fault. i would prefer that both sides work together to fix the problems. however, obama has attempted to 'work across the aisle' a number of times, only to be rejected by all GOP-ers except for two senators.

the right needs to get over being beat in the elections. both sides need to start working for the best interests of their constituents.

Juliet said...

"re: bush, my intention in mentioning him is that obama seems to be bearing the brunt of these protests for something that happened in a previous administration (see also: war)"

Well, agreed at least on one point: it's certainly not entirely Obama's fault. Neither of these stimulus packages would have passed without Congress, whose leadership has remained the same. So really it's their fault, if there is fault to be assigned.

"i am very aware that not all conservatives think the same. however, it's the far right that seems to make the most noise and attention and they are the subject of this post."

Okay, but you still appear to assume that the same people who are protesting now supported the earlier bailouts, which is not at all clear to me. My interpretation of "far right" would be people who are so committed to conservative principles that they oppose any sort of spending and would therefore have opposed the bank bailout too (they certainly exist; there were people on the right who criticized Bush for excessive spending throughout his administration and even opposed the war on that basis) for no other reason than government intervention = bad, always and forever. On that account, as right-wing as people characterize Bush as being, he really wasn't, and he displeased a lot of people who are.

The protests are about two different but related things, and it's very hard for me to tell who is talking about what and what's getting covered and so on: 1. fear of higher taxes (duh, from the tea party theme), which is groundless for most of us, and 2. ambivalence about excess spending, which is not. I won't render my judgment on any of the stimulus packages of either administration, but I am concerned: will this money be spent well? are we saddling ourselves with an unmanageable load of debt? is it possible some kinds of stimulus are necessary, and some are counterproductive (another reason neither of us has mentioned why it might not be inconsistent to support one and oppose the other)? On these questions I think informed people can legitimately have different opinions, and very strong ones, and on the basis of informed opinions they can betake themselves to protests that might have been intended by corporate interests to be manipulative. When so many people in so many different cities show up to something like this, I think it's very incautious to make too many generalizations about their motives, their overall political beliefs, or their level of ignorance or knowledge.

"i think the fact that fox claims to be fair and balanced is a big issue. do you think the average american takes the time to research both sides like you and i do? there's no way. therefore, there are a lot of gullible people out there who think they are getting the truth and nothing but the truth from fox news just because they say so."

We will probably have to agree to disagree on this, but honestly, I doubt many people who watch Fox really think it's fair and balanced--they watch it precisely because it filters the news through their own worldview. Or else, they think it is fair and balanced, but it compensates for the cumulative effect of the smaller but existent liberal biases of the majority of news outlets--a bias that I think is sometimes overblown, but certainly exists, and as Exhibit A may I present the fact that you (I mean liberals in general) constantly pick on Fox? Is it because that's all you've got? It is such a cliche for liberals to attack Fox for not being "fair and balanced" as they claim, that as true as it may be, it conveniently distracts from the fact that other networks have meanwhile shamelessly gone down the same road. And there has always been the implicit assumption about American journalism that it *should* be fair and balanced, even if it's not and never has been, that I bet there are plenty of viewers who assume that they are getting the straight poop from the other networks. I maintain that what you do is more important than what you say you do, and weighed on that scale, every network will be found wanting.

Sorry that was ridiculously long! Oh, one more thing: if you can stand Glenn Beck for any length of time, you have a stronger stomach than I do!

anOCgirl said...

Okay, but you still appear to assume that the same people who are protesting now supported the earlier bailoutsi'm not assuming anything about whether or not these protesters supported the bailouts. i don't know anyone who was gung-ho about the bailouts besides the banking industry.

will this money be spent well? are we saddling ourselves with an unmanageable load of debt?i think a lot of people are asking these very same questions. i'm not saying i'm not worried. but these things take time. i think it's unfair that many in the GOP are hoping Obama fails. don't they realize that if his economic policies fail, that the whole country will suffer? or are the midterm elections much more important?

you (I mean liberals in general) constantly pick on Fox? Is it because that's all you've got?yes, a lot of the media is biased. there are newspapers out there with obvious slants (ex. post vs. times). i don't see MSNBC saying that they're fair and balanced. why? because they aren't. i don't know any liberals who feel that every word out of Olbermann's mouth is gospel. so i'll go ahead and mock any news source that claims to be fair and balanced but isn't. fox news is the most prominent news source to make this claim.

you know what? maybe everyone should just watch BBC news america. i've seen reports on there (re: the war) that i haven't seen on any news network.