I can’t help myself.

From The Town Talk (bold mine):

Tea Party on the Red will be held Wednesday, April 15, from 5 to 7 p.m at the downtown amphitheatre in Alexandria.


The program starts at 5:30 p.m.

The activities include a presentation of colors by the National Guard, the Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution, patriotic singing and throwing tea in protest into the river.

Guest speaker will be Clyde Holloway.

This is a bipartisan protest against high taxation.

I have absolutely no problem with a group of people assembling to express their disagreement with taxation policies. The freedoms of speech and assembly are fundamental to our representative democracy. But there are several problems here:

1. If it is true that the National Guard was recruited to present the colors, then they need to immediately and publicly back out of this. The Guard has absolutely no place in an overtly political protest.

The simple fact that the organizers of this event would place the Guard in such a position is brazenly disrespectful and irresponsible.

2. Is it really necessary to litter our river with teabags? Really?

3. And finally, no, this isn’t a “bipartisan protest,” Town Talk. It’s part protest against the Obama Administration and part campaign event for Clyde Holloway.

Markos Moulitsas of that evil bastion of liberal propaganda, The Daily Kos, cuts right to the heart of the problem with these “tea parties”:

Still, there’s something a little bit off kilter about this whole craziness, and I think Atrios figured it out:

I was talking with BooMan tonight about how dumb and empty right wing bloggers are these days. I suggested that the equivalent on our side would have been if in 2003 left wing bloggers spent all their time talking about their designs for the giant puppets they were going to bring to the anti-war demonstrations.

Yup, that’s it. Back in our early years, we had better things to do with our time, like organizing for upcoming elections — the things that actually matter in our modern political system. But the wingers have never been much for electoral organizing, what with their dreams of becoming the next Rush-Limbaugh style media sensation. Their single-minded obsession with punditry leaves little room for the hard work of fighting for an electorally viable Republican Party. And given that it’s their ideology specifically that has made them toxic to the voters, they’d have to come up with ideas and whatnot. That wouldn’t exactly play to their strengths, know what I’m saying? I mean, their best idea right now is to wave tea bags.

Again, no one disagrees with you waving your tea bags in defiance. In fact, many of us progressives think it’s downright awesome, because, as Markos implies, it just reinforces that the wingers are more concerned with bloviating, stagecraft, and empty gestures than in actually proposing policies that work.

So for that, thank you, and enjoy your party.

23 thoughts

  1. Instead of throwing tea bags in the Red. These people should just vote the next time an election comes around. With this area’s next to zero voting turnout it’s evident that Clyde is just grandstanding for the few votes he can get if they bother to vote. I have nothing against any of the org.’s you mention. Actually , I have trouble believing they would sponsor something like this.

  2. You know the main thing that has me just totally confused about the motivation behind this stupid movement is that the Republicans when in control of both houses of Congress, and especially in cahoots with Bush are the ones who got us into this mess! They’re basically protesting the effects of their own policies!?!?!?

    Add to that, Obama hasn’t raised taxes. In fact even after the “cuts” fall off taxes will be no more than they were 10 years ago. The only difference is that 10 years ago (under a democrat) we were only 7 years away from erasing the national debt.

    10 years later (under the Republicans) we have more debt than could have even been imagined in previous generations AND we are having to spend exorbitant amounts more just to try and stabilize the mess they left us in.

    And even now, as the Republicans rant about how we should not spend money to aid the economy, they themselves are by far the worst pork project spenders in the stimulus bills!

    What is in this freaking tea!???!!?!?

    1. Drew your lack of knowledge and faith is nothing short of amazing. You may not beleive in God but the sad reality is i promise you will stand before Him.

  3. What I really love about this is imagining the thought process that went into it. There were an awful lot of intricate reasons why tea was used in that age-old protest. If they’re trying to accomplish the same thing here, shouldn’t they be throwing some heavily-taxed import item into the river? Maybe gasoline. Or Canadian beer.

  4. Drew, the most ironic thing about your comment is that if you ask any of them how we got in this mess, they will tell you the Democrats and Obama caused it. Sometimes I get headaches just going thru my inbox.

  5. I thought “teabagging” was something dirty, like a dumb frat party thing to do after drinking lots of beer and having a camera handy. Lamar, am I wrong?

  6. Chronos, yeah, I think that’s definition a. Unfortunate that the brains behind this operation didn’t consult a dictionary before deciding to express their displeasure with taxation through an exercise that reinforces American excess.

    What better way to prove your point than to buy a ton of tea (which, as Kenneth points out, was already taxed) and essentially throw it all away!

  7. I hate to bring up old business, and I certainly don’t want to get into a game of “moral equivalency”. However, I was an 18 year member of the Louisiana Army National Guard. It has consistently been mis-used by political institutions. And I don’t want it misunderstood – I agree with Mr. White on this one – the Guard should be nowhere near this event.

    However, in a hotly contested gubernatorial race, not so many years ago for me to have forgotten, The Adjutant General of Louisiana, then Major General Ansel M. “Buddy” Stroud, Jr., filmed a political commercial, in full uniform, advocating against voting for a particular candidate (that candidate being the notorious David Duke). This was done, partially, through one of General Stroud’s good friends, the late Harry Lee (a prominent member of the Edwin Edwards political machine).

    So, while I lament this further political employment of the Louisiana National Guard, it seems mild compared to what I just described.

  8. Wow, I’m amazed that when some Americans have a quibble about the politics of spending they start a tax revolt. Our GLBT families AND children are SUB-American in Federal Law; we suffer NEEDLESSLY in times of crisis, disease, and death due to our legal exclusion from FAMILY LAW.

    I’m afraid YOU will have to pay OUR taxes from now on, until WE are equal. [National Equality Tax Revolt 2009]

  9. I think that if they are going to throw anything in the Red, they should be throwing cigarettes. After all, under the new S-CHIP bill, Congress increased the Federal excise tax to $1.01, and Vitter voted against it. Additionally, Jindal said he opposes Representative Karen Carter Peterson’s proposed increase of the state excise tax, which at 36 cents per pack ranks as the 6th lowest state excise tax in the nation (http://www.ncsl.org/programs/health/cigarette.htm).

    However, I don’t think that in this day of age any honestly civic minded individual or individuals can conscientiously litter our rivers, teabags or cigarettes. I would wonder if there is not some municipal fine against littering in or by the river, and whether anyone would be willing to write citations on Wednesday.

  10. In the real world throwing foreign matter into a river is just as bad as tossing a cig but into the street. But we do not live in the real world. We live in a make up the rules world. Each instance is different, depending on who the person or group is. Sooo.

  11. I saw a news segment on one of these “non-partisan” events. This particular one showed a woman standing in front of a red white and blue layer cake with a giant Ronald Reagan on top. She proudly spoke about how they were taking a stand against TARP (which I would imagine she has no idea is a holdover of the Bush administration), public healthcare, affirmative action, and gay marriage, in addition to the sudden massive increases in taxes.

    Sure not partisan at all…

  12. Oh I forgot to mention…

    1. The cake did look tasty (and I generally don’t discriminate against conservative cakes). and

    2. She had hand-sewn a ginormous tea bag and filled it with mulch which at least shows she’s putting some effort into it.

  13. I am a bigot, a litter bug, a wasteful tax payer, and everything that is seen as bad in your eyes. Let me tell you what i really am. I am a hard working, law abiding, tax paying, gun owning, God fearing, American. This is still (pretty much)a free country, and if myself and others want to have a peaceful protest by gosh we will have one. Everyone on this blog has had something negative to say concerning the Guard being there, well guess what the Guard was not there, and we still had a peaceful show of protest against UNFAIR taxes. You can sit on your p.c and say what you want, you see thats is what America is all about. Freedom will, and has come, with a price, and i assure each one of you here i am willig to pay the highest price to remain free !!!

    1. Yes, freedom does come with a price! Taxes. :-/ You can volunteer to fight in as many wars as you want, but without taxes to make the income for a war machine, you’re not even going to get that boat out of the harbor to go to the battleground.

      1. Ken, are you employed, thats my first question. Second being a christian i render unto Caeser and unto God, right now Caesar requires @ 23% while God requires only 10%. I will trust God before i trust government.

        1. What does it matter if he’s employed or not? And one thing…god doesn’t ask for 10%, preachers ask for 10%. They just use god as the excuse for conning you out of your hard earned money…

  14. It’s okay. Though it isn’t relevant, I don’t mind answering his question. I am, as it happens, employed, and have been my entire adult life. I also do freelance work on the side, and believe me, I feel taxation as much as anyone, having just sent Uncle Sam a hefty check. You see, I’m as much of a greedy capitalist as anyone else, the difference being that I recognize that one can’t have his cake and eat it too. Religion shouldn’t enter into this conversation, anyway. Last time I checked, the Church wasn’t waging military campaigns, negotiating world trade, or leading the free world. Besides, if you want to give more than 10% to the Church you’re more than welcome, I’m sure.

    1. The comment was to compare and contrast the huge difference in the %’s. I have a great idea since you like paying taxes so much pay mine !

  15. Drew, i am not conned out of my money. Give and it shall be given. The church i attended helps many families in the cenla area, and the large percentage of these people have never attended even one church service. My friend that is true charity. If people such as yourselves would attended church and tithe poverty would litterally be wiped uot in this country. That is a statement of fact if you care to crunch the numbers. To whom are what do you swear allegiance, i promise you worship something or someone !!

  16. I will say in Michael’s defense, as I did above, that religion shouldn’t be a part of this conversation. The argument can’t be made that the Church cons folks out of money any more than that the government does. Yes, there are cases in both institutions where advantage is taken of people and things are abused. But, Drew should realize that the Church is a powerful institution that does achieve a lot of good and provides a sound moral base that encourages the human race to better itself by helping those around us, which also requires money to operate.

    Neither here nor there, but I wanted to encourage everyone to hold a degree of objectiveness.

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