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« Reason

Texas-sized hypocrisy

By Tyler S. Clark (Contact)

Published April 21, 2009

An old college friend of mine asked me last week if I had attended a Tea Party. The first I heard about these was on Tax Day itself, which clearly means I don't watch enough cable news

The movement — if that’s what it is — was spawned by a rant on Feb. 19 from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange during a live report by the CNBC reporter — if that’s what he is — Rick Santelli, suggesting that it was time to organize a “tea party” to protest government spending on failed mortgages.
The cable news networks took it from there. Fox News, after running more than 100 promos about its coverage of the event, which did a pretty effective job of marketing them at the same time, had wall-to-wall coverage on the anointed day and dispatched four of its leading hosts around the country to perform a kind of hybrid task, covering events that they also seemed to be leading.

My friend gushed about his experience, "I felt like part of history. Almost like you could roll the clock back 225 years and see the colonists assembling." Back then, the media were fiercely partisan, framing the day's news in terms of ideological leaning, so the comparison may be very appropriate indeed.

I have become exhausted by the talking heads, and I have watched very little news since the inauguration. It's just hard to get pumped up about the news when it's all about the miserable economy; and when it's not, it's this faux populism of the likes of Glenn Beck and Rick Santelli. Populism in pursuit of ratings, not politics.

If the goal were pure political progress, then the Republicans would have been crying foul for the last eight years while more money than has been dreamed of in President Obama's stimulus was poured down the drain of war in the Middle East.

And in Texas, Governor Rick Perry praised the assembled throng in Austin, whose cries of "Secede!" found no rebuke.

Afterward, he told reporters that Texas had come into the union with a unique right “to leave if we decided to do that.” This is a beloved piece of state folklore despite its unfortunate drawback of being totally untrue. 

Haven't we been hearing for the last eight years how we need to support the troops by supporting America and the President? I guess that was just if he was a Texan, and GOP, and named Bush.

So, spare me the rhetoric about bureaucratic spending. I'd rather spend a trillion dollars at home than abroad. Sure, it would be nice if we didn't have to spend anything, but when no one is spending, that's when the government has to fill the gap.

Just ask Alexander Hamilton; he would've understood. 


1ochi56(30 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Tyler; you are 110% right about this staged TEA PARTY; for Fox Cable it's all about the ratings. I do agree we are over due for a second revolution. We need to abolish the "Income Tax". 'We the People' are paying income tax on a VOLUNTARY basis. THERE IS NO LAW THAT STATES WE MUST PAY. THE IRS IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!!!
Google 'American Fascism' by the late Aaron Russo.
Remember; 'It takes a Revolution to create a Solution.'
Isn't that one of the reasons why Jim Traficant was "Politically Linched" !!!!!!!!

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2cityguy(109 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

I agree with the point about media, but I'm more bothered by the "objective" outlets than the clearly partisan ones. CNN for example follows the tired format of having two ideologically opposed talking heads argue over an issue; both spout half truths and party lines and the "journalists" make no attempt to differentiate which is telling the truth--"debate" has become the substitute for actual fact-finding and in the long run democracy suffers.

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3apollo(1227 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

A common falsehood of the right wing is that 40% of people do not pay income tax. He even claimed that he piad taxes when he was making little money.

The fact is the people not paying "INCOME TAX" are paying nearly 15% in medicare and social security taxes which are in effect the same as income taxes since they go to pay the largest expenditures in the budget.

Of course Clark paid "INCOME TAXES" back when he worked for little money but his medicare and social security taxes were much smaller too.

The fact is anyone with a job that has any of the taxes taken out pays INCOME TAX and at rates sometimes much higher than the wealthy who derive much of their incomes from capital gains.

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4Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

President Bush 43 was irresponsible to have promoted and signed passage of an unaffordable prescription drug program, tax "rebates" and TARP bailouts. But clearly, comparing his shortcomings to Obama's financial radicalism is like comparing a parking violation to homicide.

Last fiscal year, the deficit was $459 billion. For this fiscal year, it was $569 billion when Mr. Obama took office. Under his proposals, another $1.276 trillion will be added to the deficit this year, for a total of $1.845 trillion.

The CBO says deficits will fall for three years to $658 billion, still nearly 50% larger than any past deficit. After that, deficits go back up every year, reaching the trillion-dollar a year mark again in nine years. By 2019, the debt would reach 82.4% of GDP, a level not seen since 1947.

Federal spending will under Mr. Obama top $4 trillion this year. This translates into 28.5% of GDP -- a level exceeded only at the height of World War II.

Alexander Hamilton endorsed some aspects of a strong central government. He was not a socialist. He did not advocate punishing productivty and rewarding sloth. He did not support vote-buying indirectly (entitlements) or directly (ACORN). His positions regarding protectionism are now accepted as detrimental.

Regarding seceding from the union, would you oppose it? Maybe you'd no longer have to deal with the conservatives and their outdated ideas about the American Dream, virtues and personal responsibility.

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5valleyred(1097 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

O gimme a break. Here you damn liberals go again with the belief that Fox staged these things. WRONG. Jim Shaw planned the one in Youngstown, NOT Fox News. Justin Higgins of Brookfield, OH helped plan the one in Columbus, NOT Fox News.

And o by the way, it is Rick Santelli of the far left NBC Family of Networks that is the inspiration behind these.

I criticized Bush for spending too much and I am going to criticize Obama for spending even more than Bush did.

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6apollo(1227 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Rick Santelli of the far left CNBC??? LOL. CNBC is a mouthpiece of the right ValleyRed. Maybe if you watched it, you know.

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7Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago


I believe you're letting your contempt of President Bush cloud your reasoning. Of course President Bush spent way too much money that our children will have to sort out, if they can. But do you dispute that the amount being spent by President Obama and Congress dwarfs what was spent under Bush 43? Read the facts in my entry above and tell me which of those facts are erroneous.

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8valleyred(1097 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

As a finance major at Youngstown State, I watch CNBC every single day to get my market news and information. With that being said, CNBC is part of the far left NBC Network.

Any business student studying capitalism in their courses right now cannot be a liberal, at least on economic issues. Hence the reason they appear to be so conservative. I am sure on social issues, they may be pretty damn liberal however.

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9apollo(1227 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

ValleyRed, CNBC is about as far right as any cable station can be. Reporters like Larry Kudlow, who was part of Republican economic teams and others on CNBC are a mouthpiece for Republican policies. To even claim that they are left wing shows your complete lack of logic.

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