Teabaggers: Angry, ignorant, and proud of it

AfterDowningStreet.org and other sites have repeatedly pointed out how misplaced the teabaggers' beliefs are.

As the teabaggers hit the streets again on April 15 to shout their denunciations of taxes and government, a new poll in the New York Times confirms what most of us knew: these people are angrier, more conservative, and less informed than the average American – a deadly combination.

The Grey Lady didn’t say it that way exactly, but that’s what the results show. They overwhelmingly hate Obama and think that he’s been pushing policies that disproportionately help the poor and African-Americans and that he has already increased taxes on most Americans, none of which is true, as untrue as the supposed “government takeover” of the health care system that ushered in the Tea Party in the first place.

The teabaggers are older and wealthier than most Americans, and they also describe themselves as far more angry than the average American or even most Republicans. And considering their affections for guns and Revolutionary War metaphors, that’s kinda scary.

Frankly, I was hoping that these people would eventually realize that Obama was as far from being a socialist and I am from being, well, a teabagger. But this strange circle jerk of proud ignorance seems to have some staying power. In San Francisco, there are not one but two Tax Day Tea Parties: an event from 4-7 pm at Union Square and another from 1-4 pm at Civic Center with the telling title, “Tell Pelosi to Shove It!”


The article from the Times doesn't really hold up Steves thesis and the other two links are to his own rantings here at the Guardian.

A personality cult of one.

I find the tea party concern over spending after the rah rah over the war in Iraq as comical as the next guy and all, but Steve's ad homonym was just as ridiculous.

Posted by glen matlock on Apr. 14, 2010 @ 4:37 pm
Posted by Matt Stewart on Apr. 14, 2010 @ 6:45 pm

along with Chomsky, you think the the tea party is leading America into fascism? This would be right after the democrat's did their huge state capitalism give away to the insurance companies?

I got to say I wish Hofstadter was alive today to see how things are turning out.

Posted by glen matlock on Apr. 14, 2010 @ 9:54 pm

So the bamks gave the less well off a loan for a house, they are assholes.

10 years ago... the banks will not give the less well off loans for houses, they are assholes.

Do you see the trend?

Posted by Get a clue on Apr. 14, 2010 @ 7:13 pm


As a rule of honor, I do not get into intellectual debates with drooling lobotomy experiments. It's inhumane.

Posted by Matt Stewart on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 9:06 am

All you need to do is just say that, I understand.

Posted by glen matlock on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

Jeff and Chomsky are correct that this rising anger at what's inaccurately being labeled socialism is scary, and it does smack of fascism. It's the same trend that Richard Hofstadter wrote about in the '60s (and no, Glen, he never raised those same concerns about progressivism, despite your ridiculous attempts to equate them). As for the trend, GAC, it is that banks act in the interests of capital, not the people. That isn't my paranoia, but a basic tenet of economics. Capitalists act in their self interest unless the people, through their government, can force them to act otherwise. But when the people turn on their government, as right-wing propagandists have convinced the teabaggers to do, then capitalists are free to run amuck and we're all in big trouble.


Posted by steven on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 9:19 am

Richard Hofstadter in the 1960's didn't mention progressives because they were then called something else.

This from wikipedia seems about right...

The Conservative

Consequent to the radical politics of the 1960s, and especially because of the student occupation and temporary closing of Columbia University in 1968, Hofstadter became more conservative; friend David Herbert Donald said: “He was appalled by the growing radical, even revolutionary, sentiment that he sensed among his colleagues and his students. He could never share their simplistic, moralistic approach”.[16] Moreover, he was “extremely critical of student tactics, believing that they were based on irrational romantic ideas, rather than sensible plans for achievable change, that they undermined the unique status of the university, as an institutional bastion of free thought, and that they were bound to provoke a political reaction from the right”.[17] Despite strongly disagreeing with their radical political methods, he invited his students to discuss goals and strategies with him. In the event, he employed one, Mike Wallace, to collaborate with him on American Violence: A Documentary History (1970); about the book, Hofstadter student Eric Foner said that it “utterly contradicted the consensus vision of a nation placidly evolving without serious disagreements”.

I don't think that he was a conservative really, just an anti extremist. In the case of many progressives they are just as conspiracy driven as the goofy right, as in Steve's 9/11 conspiracy views. So yes he did write about the conspiracy mind, 9/11 kooks being no different from anti-UN kooks, and he did not like the ridiculous antics of the fringe left, many of the progressives of today. So in the real world, yes Hofstadter did write about "the progressives".

Chomsky has devolved into the world of the conspiracy so far that whatever value he ever had is lost, the same way that Antony Sutton went off the deep end. Chomsky's book Manufacturing Consent was good and some of his foreign policy stuff was good too. Chomsky's complaining about a temporary mass movement like in that link is a hoot. Like all mass movements in America it will burn out to be co-opted by either party.

The Steve's, Jeff's and Chomsky's will forget about the tea party in a few years when the tea party types lose interest it themselves. Like all of these movements in the past that have lost interest.

The tea Party isn't even remotely as deranged as the Christian Coalition types of the 80's early 90's. The obsession of the goofy left in this case is more interesting than the tea party who are a pretty pedestrian bunch really. The true believers on the left and right just hate the true believers on the other side is what this comes down to.

Posted by glen matlock on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 11:00 am

Debate him Matt, if you can.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 11:41 am

Well it's not just the "teabaggers" (whom I pay little attention to) who are willfully ignorant and seemingly proud of it. I read a comment from someone last night on another forum and they were complaining about the "teabaggers" and then they concluded their comment with this stuff: "After 8 years of torture, death and killing from Bush, Obama is a refreshing change."

I thought: REALLY? What drugs are you on?

I responded to them by saying: I take it you haven't been paying attention since Bush3's coronation because he is continuing "torture, death and killing." And I pointed out that just the other day BBC News reported 73+ innocent people dead in Pakistan due to US jets from The Chairman of Change. This man has been droning Pakistan since he took office, which is a war crime. Of course he did talk about attacking Pakistan during the campaign but his believers chose not to hear that part nor the part about escalating Afghanistan. They were only interested in The Pope of Hope's simplistic marketing slogans (you know the ones: "hope" and "change we can believe in" manure). And then there's this:

BBC News:
Thursday, 15 April 2010 11:51 UK
Afghans 'abused at secret prison' at Bagram airbase
By Hilary Andersson
BBC News, Bagram

"Afghan prisoners are being abused in a "secret jail" at Bagram airbase, according to nine witnesses whose stories the BBC has documented. The abuses are all said to have taken place since US President Barack Obama was elected, promising to end torture."

Well, a politician will say anything to dupe the gullible sheep. This is more of that "change we can believe in," bunk isn't it? What rational person thought that this man was going to end torture? Duh. Now, granted, the wishful-thinking, delusional Obama believers thought that and many of them still do because they are not paying the least bit of attention to what is going on.

So, either the person I responded to last night hasn't been paying the least bit of attention since their "messiah" Obama took office, OR all of this is okay because Bush3 has a D behind his name. It was only bad when Bush with the R behind his name was in office. I suggested to that person that they look up the definition of hypocrisy when they have a chance.

Posted by Sam on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 2:17 pm

I don't want to get too drawn into feeding your paranoia about progressives, Glen, but let me note that they did indeed exist in the '60s. They've been around since the Progressive Era over 100 years ago. And progressives don't advocate violence, so we just aren't the same people that Hofstadter was worried about. And lest you think you're raising issue or individuals that I'm not familiar with, here's a link to a relevant piece I wrote back in 1999 that discusses the patriot movement (basically the same people who now attend Tea Parties), Hofstadter, and political paranoia: http://archive.newtimesslo.com/archives/cov_stories_1999/cov_112499.html

Posted by steven on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

Ha, that's good.

I wonder if you want to claim the eugenics progressives? On that I would suggest the book "war against the weak"

Hofstadter's 60's campus radicals are today's progressives, I don't know how that is even debatable.

Also citing your own work is like people using the bible for proof of the factuality of the bible.

If you want I can loan you piles of books about extremist movements, there has literally been hundreds of kooky groups right and left over the years to dry up and blow away or be co-opted into both parties. Rockwells American NAZI Party is now a cause for head scratching or laughing but had many people worked up at the time.

Over the years the right and the left's fears of these opposite groups are akin to; the recovered memory syndrome thing of 15 or so years ago, the satanic panic of the 80's, the strange angel fad of ten years ago, etc... The progressive obsession screaming over the middle about their opposite is on a par with Birchers complaining that Ike was a paid soviet agent.

Tea party types are pretty boring in comparison to real radical right fringers and are no where near as big a menace as the Christian Coalition type business of 20 years ago,

When it comes down to it most progressives are the left version of the tea party in their degree of extremism, some venture off into 9/11 non sense and other strange and deranged claims though. They share the same intellectual traits---

far left
"Noam Chomsky says and Howard Zinn agrees that right wingers suck"

far right
"Robert Bork says and David Howowitz agrees left wingers suck"

and again the NYT's articles doesn't reflect your blog post's thesis.

Posted by glen matlock on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 5:13 pm

Excuse me - you are a teabagger, the tea party people are not. PS: ALL presidential assasinations and attempted assinations of US presidents have been done by the "left wing" - they include communists and socialists etc. Never by a conservative. You guys are stupid teabaggers (and I mean that in a gay way)

Posted by Happy Patriot on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

Jesus H Christ, what a load of BOLOX

Posted by John F K on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 8:07 pm

The lies are not going to stop the change that is coming in November, 2010 & 2012.

I will thoroughly enjoy reading your angst when you realize following those elections that the socialism you all yearn for has been swept away and cast aside for 50 years.

Be frustrated. Be mad. Despite that, you are still going to lose. :D

Man is not free unless government is limited. -- Ronald Reagan

Posted by B0b Str8 on Apr. 16, 2010 @ 10:35 am

When November 2010 comes and November 2012 comes, it will be no different than it is now.

As is the case now under Bush3 and the Dem congress: the corporate fascist, pro-war, pro-neocon Project For The New American Century agenda, pro-pharma, pro-military industrial complex, pro-illegal spying, pro-USA "Patriot" Act, (and I could go on...that's a whole shit load of despicable stuff) agenda will continue. Period.

How much longer will you allow yourself to be played by the D and R charade?
Both of these corporate parties work for their corporate owners. When will you realize that?

Posted by Sam on Apr. 16, 2010 @ 3:42 pm