All of these interesting factoids were bandied about by people who really knew what they were talking about. They got their information from the most trusted news and information sources -- Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and other Pundits. Not one of the people I talked with had any need to read what was in the health care bill -- Their favorite pundits simply knew what was in it, and they didn't read it, themelves, either. It seems that all of the amazing facts about Obama and the Health care reform bill did not get sourced at all from the text of the bill, or from anything that the democrats said. After all, going right to the source text of the bill itself would be a futile effort, you see, because everyone knows that the democrats wouldn't let us read what the bill is really about. So the actual text of the bill is "hidden", and what we get to see is a phoney bill that looks all nice and non-theatening, when we go to the Government's website.
My encounter with these geniuses from the Tea Party started when I started hearing news on TV and radio about the Tea Party's reaction to the bill's passing. Many people were accusing the Tea Party of being racists. African American senators, like John Lewis (D, Georgia), were called niggers and spat upon by angry protestors. This was witnessed by Capital Hill police officers, who arrested some of the protestors for assault. I went to You Tube, and searched for videos and found this.
I also found a series of videos and slide shows that showed images of signs carried at Tea Party Rallies. but the above video sort of encapsulates it all very well. I made a couple of comments, and went away to do work.
Then the email started pouring in. Apparently, I angered a few Tea party people, and we soon started discussing things. From my years of dealing with right wing luantics and religious nut-jobs, as evidenced in my blog, I've learned a few things about how these people think and where they get their facts, and I basically presented them with a few messages to confirm that they were the same kinds of retards that I usually deal with on the far right. I actually have a couple of friends who are tea party members. We don't talk much about politics, but I occasionally hear a few things that suggest that they have far-right views which would make them less friendly if we had any honest discussion on actual issues, and I pointed out actual facts to them, which clash with their insane political beliefs. I also have a similar problem with most of my family -- a white Irish Catholic family who all moved into the boondocks and became avid fans of Fox News. One thing I know about both family and tea party friends is that underneath their hatred and anger is a deep seated racism. My dad and brothers have been using the "N" word (you know, "Nigger") since I was a kid.
Whenever far right wingers discuss "how America is being ruined", they almost instantly and automatically invoke Illegal Immigrants and Black people, with occasional references to Jews. The Sub-prime Mortgage Crisis that started a couple of years ago, for example, was blamed by many right wing pundits, on illegal immigrants. There's a good reasn that Illegal Immigrants can't be the cause of the mortgage crisis, though. No lending institution would risk lending to someone who is not documented. It is virtually impossible for anyone that entered the country illegally to get a loan from a bank, because the first thing they get asked is if they are US citizens, and for a social security number. There were a lot of hispanics involved in the sub-prime crisis, but not illegal ones. See, in the bizarro world of the far right, hispanic = illegal alien. When I mention my hispanic co-workers in conversation with my right wing parents, for example, the first question out of their mouths is "Are they illegal immigrants?"
The discussion inevitably turns to comparisons to Nazis, Communists, socialists, and monsters of all types. One of the dumbest statements that I keep hearing from far right wingers, religious nuts, and Tea Party People is that Democrats are just like Nazis. This is an interesting thing, because Nazis were right wingers, historically, and democrats are left wingers. In the bizarro world of neoconservatives, though, words are redefined and turned topsy-turvey. You will always hear these Teabaggers say "Nazi is a concatenation of National Socialism" (Sorry, they would never use a big word like "concatenation", much less spell it correctly), therefore, the Nazis were socialists, therefore they were liberals.
Even if you try to explain it to them, they will pooh-pooh all the actual facts you give them and write you a strange revisionist history. For Example:
- "actually the Nazi's were Socialists, the word Nazi stood for National Socialist Party or Nat'i Nazi' for short. Obama, an admitted Communist and currently acting Socialist embraces Socialist ideals. He has seized the banks, industry, and spent tax payer dollars faster than all the Presidents combined in the last CENTURY. He and his party have destroyed this country inside of two years."
- "You are wrong! If you studied Nazism you would find that a leader comes in promises the moon takes of the country and turns it into Nazism Germany."
I love hearing this crap from the far right, because there is no source, except for possibly Conservapedia, that will back up their version of the facts. Let's do a short comparison of Nazis, Republicans, and Democrats, to see who is closer.
- Conservative ideology
- Supported by the far right (Military, business, Church)
- Promotes Christianity
- Liberal Ideology
- Generally not favorable toward militarism, big business, or religion
- Supports homosexuals
- Pluralistic (Not pro or anti any particular religion)
- Conservative Ideology
- Supported by the far right (Military, business, Church)
- Promoted Christianity
I'm talking about facts that virtually all history books, in any country will agree on. It's only these far right people saying that nazis were liberals. No actual historical experts will make that claim. When you do not properly source your information, and just uncritically take the words of a pundit that you like, for granted, you make yourself intellectually lazy. It's just dumb to never bother to check facts.
What's even more annoying is their claim that republicans and conservatives in general, as well as the tea party, are not racist. Really? Perhaps the reason that there are so few African American people and Jews in the republican party is that there's just too many white people crowding them out. Yeah, yeah, that must be it. There must be a good explanation why African American Republicans have dwindled from nearly 20% in the 1950s to just under 10% today.
Perhaps the problem is that the Republican party has not really tried to reach out African Americans, and often treats African American members as second-class party members. Perhaps most conservative white people in the USA are still resentful of the civil rights act of 1964, and fearful of black skinned people because most cop shows portray them as gangsters.
Or perhaps most conservative white people really are just racists deep down inside. After all, you can still hear the occaisional rant against Jews being uttered by Christian Fundamentalists. I've documented that here, here, here, here, and here.
Conservatives have a real problem with their way of expressing themselves, because a lot of what they have to say concerning race, religion, science, history, and other topics show a fundamental lack of actual knowledge of the subjects, but also are explained by them rather sloppily and insensitively. I mean, take a look at this article by Pat Buchanan written on the eve of President Obama's victory. I mean the guy literally says that slavery was the best thing that ever happened to African Americans! He may have meant well, but it came out like a stream of steaming liquid-crap; They have a way of complimenting and cherishing African Americans that comes off more like fear and loathing dressed up in an evening gown.
Now to the subject of whether or not the Tea party is Racist. They are not, by definition. Their Party's description of it's values clearly make it just a conservative anti-tax group. However, the rhetoric of their speakers and some of their supporters is most definitely racist. This is due to poor policing by the group's leadership. Instead of telling the people who attend their rallies with guns and confederate flags or racist slogans to please go away, they have embraced them, because they care more about the bottom-line -- membership numbers and donations. It's their own undoing. The leadership of the party has done nothing to discourage the racists in their membership, and it comes off to us as a sort of passive approval of racists. Perhaps the best way to illustrate the membership's attitude towards racists is to show you these two video clips. This first clip clearly shows idiots with racist signs and comments being allowed to be part of the rally, and there is no criticism of them from the rest of the group. This video clearly shows a man doing nothing but holding a sign up that says "Public Option Now", and he is chased, has objects thrown at him, and required 6 cops to keep the angry crowd from beating him up. in short, they behave like a mob of Brown-Shirts.
That the Tea Party would not even question the racists, but chase the guy with the pro-healthcare reform slogan away, is very telling of the makeup of the group. More telling than their official position as stated on their website. The membership does have a large degree of racists in it. The party's platform, as stated, is not racist -- The leadership and the members are simply morons, as you can clearly see in the clips. The ideas promoted by the party are simplistic and idiotic. It's no wonder that they're being shown for what they are.