We defended the Tea Baggers against charges of racism on the grounds that their protest was not racist. Simple self-defense is the best way to look at the Tea Baggers phenomenon. Though overwhelmingly white, they are best understood in terms of class & status. They are middle-class. And the middle-class is being squeezed from two ends: from the top and the bottom. In fact, the middle-class is in danger of being squeezed out of existence as America continues its slide to Third World status.
At the same time, the Tea Baggers are their own worst enemies. Some played the fool for insurance company sharks during the Town Hall protests. But mostly they allowed the so-called “movement conservatives” to hi-jack the big 9/12 demo.
Who are “movement conservatives”? Well, that’s a cover name for the shot-gun marriage of Plutocrats & Preachers which forms the core of the GOP coalition. Constituting 1% of the population, the Plutocrats obviously need warm bodies, lots of them; preferably “ditto heads” as Limbaugh condescendingly refers to his own listeners. For their part, the Preachers have an insatiable thirst for money. Voila! There you have it.
But the mis-named ‘Religious Right’, while over half of the GOP coalition, is still only 16% of the population and shrinking. Added to the Plutocrats’ 1% that’s still far under 20% of the USA population. So what to do? Generously employ the politics of nostalgia, even if you’re faking it like Reagan did. Bathe yourself in the glows of a Norman Rockwell painting. Get the Preachers to exhort their congregations to pray for the millions of illegal immigrants. And so it goes
But under the layers of paint is the same old Wall Street Journal/Chamber of Commerce crowd profiting from the mass immigration. And behind them, the whole Finance-Capital/Bilderberger crew.
The tipoff came when the 9/12 demos didn’t lack for money. Yet now, Americans for Legal Immigration are literally begging 5 bucks at a time to try and mount their own Tea Bag protests against illegal immigration.
Of course, the powers behind the 9/12 demo are also the folks who bring you the annual National Conservative Political Action Conference. Just the other year, they gave Dubya a standing ovation. What the hell for? Paul Mulshine said Bush’s special work permit visas would place American workers in competition with everybody on the planet. Phyllis Schlafly said Bush was a one-world internationalist. Pat Buchanan said Bush could be impeached for not guarding the border; more than 4 million illegals after 9/11.
And need I add that “movement conservatives” are ideologically committed to free trade which has done more to turn the USA into a Third World country than anything. Coupled with massive immigration–legal & illegal–it’s the one-two knockout punch. Yet the Tea Baggers are following those committed to both.
The Society of the Spectacle continues.