Fanfare for the Tea Party
“In a country well governed,
poverty is something to be ashamed of.
In a country badly governed,
wealth is something to be ashamed of.”
After the government shutdown, the Tea Party’s favorable rating in one poll was 14 percent. Despair not: I have great news. I’m going to give you, my friends who love liberty, a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the vibrant health our movement exudes.
Never forget: Our fist squeezes Congress at will. We are the fierce force that closed the government. We’ve kept a budget from passing. We are blocking Obama’s appointments for many officials, including judges. Moreover, we rarely allow the Senate’s legislation to even get a vote in the House. Congress is paralyzed. We are in control.
Far from losing our influence, the Tea Party dynamo cannot be stopped. Indeed, “mainstream Republicans” are doing our bidding: They fear billionaires will finance a Tea Party challenger and take away their seats – and they’re right!
In addition, we have long-term plans that will poison liberal legislation for years to come. Downfall is destiny for programs like Medicare, Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and veterans’ benefits.
Moreover, Democrats are being decimated in nearly two-dozen states. First, our power is increasing because we use ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, to propose laws suppressing the votes of women, minorities, college students and the poor. Combine this with our gerrymandered districts and you can perceive the pitiful future awaiting our opposition.
Second, we have poured many millions of dollars into conservative think tanks and endowed professorships promoting our views. They craft wonderfully wily messages for media consumption.
For example, by constantly talking about deficits since President George W. Bush left office, we succeed in drastically shrinking and disrupting government. Do you think the crippling sequester was an accident? Of course not. This was part of our strategy to deceive and defeat the left.
Third, we own much of the media. Fox News is the realization of Nixonian ideas for GOP TV. Fox’s hatred of government and love of corporations is indeed a “fair and balanced” presentation that greatly benefits billionaires, big business execs and up-and-coming winners like you. We are the 1 percent and we’re proud of it!
Of course, the major networks are multinational corporations. Do you expect they will betray their billionaire brethren? No, the nation’s TV news programs use many charming shills. Often, when their bottom line is threatened, corporate overlords yank their leashes.
Our political theater is omnipresent: Coverage of the Tea Party exploded when Michelle Bachmann and a couple dozen vets showed up at the shutdown World War II memorial. Remember that? Meanwhile, liberals protest by the hundreds, yet are rarely seen. My friends, I tell you, the echo chamber for our message is winning the media war.
Finally, we’ve got the barristers and the bucks. With the Supreme Court in our pocket, we won a judgment favoring the wealthy: “Money is free speech.” Have we ever fooled more with such a majestic maxim? Five conservative justices also gave us this windfall: “Corporations are people.” How’s that for tightening the noose on those poor Dems?
Moreover, the Tea Party has a lock on social conservatives. As one example, we’re adept at controlling the foreigners in our country. Their families will never see “immigration reform.” Again, here’s the pattern: Our think tanks and paid-off professors do the scheming, ALEC proposes our laws, our state legislators pass these laws, and our corporate conservatives on the bench rebuff our adversaries.
Our enemies say we are selfish. They’re wrong. We’re just looking out for our own interests. Our enemies say we are bullies. They’re wrong. We’re savvy about getting our way. Our enemies say we are undemocratic and elitist oligarchs. They’re wrong. We’re just smart enough and rich enough to skillfully exercise our power over the masses.
Be of good cheer, my friends. The Tea Party will be ruling for decades to come.
Harry Rix (Quoflections@
gmail.com) is an American Baptist minister, political junkie and aspiring activist who lives with his wife, Silvana, in Providence.