Jon Stewart on the tea party
This is why history is important… IT’S REPEATING ITSELF! The Tea Party and the nutcase right is nothing new. Back when FDR was President, it was known as the American Liberty League, in the case of this pic, it’s the John Birch Society. The father of the Koch brothers was a founding member of JBS….dun dun dun…CONSPIRACY!!! There are always those on the right who smear anyone who opposes them as “communist, socialist, radical, etc”. Lucky for us, progress keeps moving forward (socially at least) and the nutcases lose. Also, as an avowed anti-capitalist/socialist/radical, I take offense to putting centrist statist liberals in my camp. They cave to their corporate masters, we fight back.
If you think FDR, JFK, or Obama is a socialist, I have a tip for you: read a book/get smarter, because you’re probably a moron.
Got this off of facebook:
Rhetoric sound familiar? It’s just Koch reruns from the 1960s.
“This bulletin was distributed by the hateful John Birch Society which is the predecessor of today’s Tea Party … IN FACT … one of the founding members of The John Birch Society was Fred Koch - FATHER of David and Charles Koch. The Koch brothers started and funded the Tea Party. It is all one in the same.”
Quick learn: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Liberty_League
Also, check out the Businessman’s plot. A plan set up by the 1% of the day and the American Liberty League to overthrow FDR and install a fascist state in the USA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_Plot
Luckily Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler blew the cover of the plot by going public with the info. He said that he “wouldn’t be a gangster for capitalism any longer” (he had overthrown several governments in Central America, etc). He wrote a book called “War is a Racket” which he told all about how war benefited corporate interests. Also, he’s a two time medal of honor winner, which should make him a credible person to the far-right crypto fascists.
The author offers one of her periodic assessments of America’s potential to go fascist. And the news is better than it’s been in years.
America has never been without fascist wannabes. Research by Political Research Associates estimates that, at any given time in our history, roughly 10-12 percent of the country’s population has been bred-in-the-bone right-wing authoritarians — the people who are hard-wired to think in terms of fascist control and order. Our latter-day Christian Dominionists, sexual fundamentalists and white nationalists are the descendants — sometimes, the literal blood descendants — of the same people who joined the KKK in the 1920s, followed Father Coughlin in the 1930s, backed Joe McCarthy in the early ’50s, joined the John Birch society in the ’60s, and signed up for the Moral Majority in the 1970s and the Christian Coalition in the 1990s.
Given its rather stunning durability, it’s probably time to acknowledge that this proto-fascist strain is a permanent feature of the American body politic. Like ugly feet or ears that stick out, it’s an unchanging piece of who we are. We are going to have to learn to live with it.
But it’s also true that this faction’s influence on the larger American culture ebbs and flows broadly over time. Our parents and grandparents didn’t have to deal with them much at all, because the far-right fringe was pushed back hard during the peak years of the New Deal. It broke out for just a few short years in the McCarthy era — long enough to see the rise of the Birchers — and then was firmly pushed back down into irrelevance again.
But the country’s overall conservative drift since the Reagan years and the rise of the Internet (which enabled the right’s network of regional and single-issue groups to crystallize into a single, unified, national right-wing culture over the course of the ’90s and ’00s) reenergized the extreme right as a political force. As a result, history may look back on George W. Bush’s eight years as the “Peak Wingnut” era — a high-water mark in radical right-wing influence and power in America.
Now, things are changing again. Every year or so for the past five years, I’ve written about the future prospects for America’s would-be fascists on the far right. And it’s time to take another look, because the political and cultural landscape they’re working in now isn’t at all the same one they were working in even three years ago.
Fascist America: We Were Very Nearly There
The last time I visited this subject in 2010, progressives were reaching a point of maximum despair. In 2008, the GOP had taken its most thorough drubbing since the FDR years. But, just two years on, the far right had not only regrouped; it had taken full control of the Republican Party under the resurgent Tea Party banner — and was getting set to elect some of the country’s most extreme political, social and economic Neanderthals. In the process, it was also about to retake Congress, along with control of over half of the state governorships and legislatures.
And take over it did. In the wake of this victory, the far right’s new electees shifted into overdrive, immediately introducing brutally aggressive legislation to bust unions, disenfranchise Democratic voters and roll back a century of progress on reproductive rights. The speed and power of the onslaught was breathtaking — but it was also driven by desperation. What most pundits missed was the fact that the far right had no time to waste, because both the mood of the country and its basic demographic realities were changing under their feet.
Polls over the past decade show that America is, at its core, a progressive nation in every way that matters, and that this trend is solidifying and expanding with time. As Nancy L. Cohen put it in Delirium: How The Sexual Counterrevolution Is Polarizing America:
Cultural progressivism is the new American way….A majority of all Americans now supports same-sex marriage. Americans strongly upholding Roe v. Wade, and strongly oppose the position of the Republican Party. Fully 62 percent think that abortion should be legal in the first three months of pregnancy, in which 89 percent of abortions occur; only 15 percent favor outlawing abortion in all circumstances. Americans have become less religious and less culturally conservative over the past 40 years. Polling on birth control and sexual morality show that Americans unequivocally reject the sexual fundamentalists’ attempt to take us back to a time when sex was stigmatized and only legitimate when confined within the traditional heterosexual marriage. The majority of Americans believe in the basic values underpinning a culturally progressive approach to matters of sex, gender, family, and culture: privacy, personal freedom, equality, and pluralism.
(Click the title link to read the rest)
I bet you will never guess where the video originated from.
A top official of the Communist Party USA on Wednesday ripped Rep. Allen West’s “sad ploy” for claiming that as many as 80 Democratic members of the House are communists.
“I just think it’s an absurd way to cast a shadow over his colleagues. It’s kind of a sad ploy,” Libero Della Piana, a vice-chairman of the national Communist Party, said of the Florida Republican’s charge that about 80 House Democrats were members of the radical party.
“It’s just guilt by association taken to an extreme,” he told POLITICO. He also said there are no members of Congress who are members of the Communist Party – not even avowed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
“I think it’s just absurd,” Della Piana said.
In a video clip of the event posted Wednesday, West was responding a question from a constituent asking “What percentage of the American legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists?”
“That’s a fair question. I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party,” West says in the video. He went on to say, “It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus,” according to a West spokesman, Tim Edson.
Della Piana also said that using the term “communist” as slander ran counter to democratic principles.
“We are supposed to live in a political democracy,” he said. “I didn’t know that being a Communist in Congress was off-limits or out of bounds. There aren’t any now and if there were in the future does that mean that the voters don’t have a say? Can’t choose a Communist to be in Congress?”
In fact, charges from the tea party that President Barack Obama and other Democrats were enacting “socialist” policies has led to increased interest in socialism, Della Piana said.
“I think a lot of Americans were opened up the idea of socialism because of the tea party’s attack on it,” he said. “I think they put it back on the agenda. By attacking every policy initiative of the president as socialism, they put it back in the public debate… it wasn’t exactly something the average American was talking about before that.”
“The federal government’s largess is no reason to build the transit center when the national debt stands at $15 trillion, Mayor Daniels said.
Yet if the money does not go to Troy, it will not be used to pay down the national debt; it will be redirected to other projects around the country.”
I’m laughing so hard right now. The Tea baggers once again show how they’re the dumbest sumbtiches. The TP mayor is actually in opposition to the local Chamber of Commerce. This is too great. All of these nutcases are showing their true colors and will probably be ousted in next election cycle. They harp on and on about creating jobs, yet reject money that can not only create jobs, but also help build exist companies like Magna. Also nice to see that not only is the mayor a nut economically, but also a homophobic bigot. Classy lady.
Water flows uphill.
A city turns down $8.5 million in federal grant money.
In what could be a new high water mark of anti-Washington sentiment, the city of Troy, Mich., is rejecting a long-planned transportation center whose construction would have been fully financed with federal stimulus money.
The terminal, which would help Troy become a transportation node on an upgraded Detroit-to-Chicago Amtrak line, was hailed by supporters as a way to create jobs and to spur economic development. But federal money is federal money, so with the urging of the new mayor, who helped found the local Tea Party chapter, the City Council cast a 4-to-3 vote this week against granting a crucial contract, sending the project into limbo.
“There’s nothing free about government money,” Mayor Janice Daniels said in an interview. “It’s never free, and it’s crippling our way of life.”
Other Republican officeholders have said “Thanks, but no thanks” to federal money for high-speed rail: Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin rejected an $810 million federal grant to extend passenger rail from Milwaukee to Madison; Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey killed a project to dig a new commuter rail tunnel under the Hudson River. But those actions have generally involved criticism of the underlying logic of the projects, or projections of enormous costs to be borne down the line by state and local governments.
The Troy transit center’s construction, by comparison, required no local contribution, and its predicted annual maintenance cost of $31,000 was, in the context of the city’s $50 million budget, “de minimis,” said Mark Miller, the assistant city manager.
The federal government’s largess is no reason to build the transit center when the national debt stands at $15 trillion, Mayor Daniels said.
Yet if the money does not go to Troy, it will not be used to pay down the national debt; it will be redirected to other projects around the country.
Taking Tea Party reasoning to the local level has outraged supporters of the transit center, which has been in the works for a decade. Michele Hodges, the president of the Troy Chamber of Commerce, which supports the transit project, said that her organization “will be a pit bull for what’s best for this community.”
David A. Kotwicki, a local lawyer, noted that members of Congress might talk tough on spending, but that they still bring projects home to their districts. The vote against the transit center, he said, looks like “cutting off your nose to spite your face.”
Besides, he asked, “What if there’s a grant to provide 10 new police officers?”
Michigan’s governor, Rick Snyder, a Republican, said through a spokeswoman that he was “disappointed” in the city’s decision and would be “reviewing our options for utilizing the grant, including the potential transfer of the grant to another applicant.” Mr. Snyder had sent a letter to Mayor Daniels before the vote saying that the project would have “significant, positive economic development on your community and the state.”
The transit fight is not Mayor Daniels’s first brush with controversy. Earlier this month, it was revealed that she posted a message to her Facebook page last June, after New York State approved same-sex marriage, stating, “I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there.” In an interview, she said she regretted the online comment.
The vote on Monday, she said, is about setting an example concerning the national debt. “I want to leave a legacy for our children of managing our responsibilities — not crushing them with debt money.”
On Tuesday, an official of Magna International, a global automotive supplier based in Canada whose American headquarters are in Troy, expressed frustration with the City Council vote in a private e-mail to Ms. Hodges and others that was posted to a blog that favors the transit center.
“I am drafting a memo to all Magna group presidents and our Magna corporate executives strongly recommending that Magna International no longer consider the City of Troy for future site considerations, expansions or new job creation,” wrote Frank W. Ervin III, the company’s manager of government affairs. “I have also recommended that where ever and when ever possible we reduce our footprint and employment level in Troy” in favor of communities that act in the best interests of residents and business and that do “not simply use their public position to advance their own private agenda.”
Mr. Ervin did not respond to requests for comment, but told The Detroit News on Tuesday that the letter reflected his personal opinion and recommendation for the company, but that he had no control over the company’s decision.
Ed Myles, the president of a local manufacturing company, J.E. Myles & Co., said that the area, like the rest of the country, had been hurt by the recession and that it could use the economic boost that the transit center could provide. He said he worried about what companies like Magna would do. The council’s vote “put the kibosh on any other companies moving here.”
“It’s all politics,” he said. “In the meantime, people are suffering.”
From: The American Prospect
Yet with the Iowa caucus just six weeks away, it appears that there will be no grand battle between the establishment and the insurgents, the old guard and the new. There is no Tea Party candidate. Or more properly, there has been one Tea Party candidate after another; the party base’s fickle affections have left Romney trudging merrily along, tortoise-style, as one far-right hare after another sprints a few yards, then falls exhausted to the ground. Besides Romney, this race has been led at one time or another by Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and now Newt Gingrich. Each of those other candidates has become the Tea Party flavor of the moment, only to flame out spectacularly when they were revealed to be alarmingly radical, grossly incompetent, shockingly ignorant, or all three. In other words, the Tea Party has not exactly been picking winners. Which could well mean their influence over the GOP is beginning to wind down.
Nevertheless, we must grant them this: However pernicious you find their goals, there is little doubt that the Tea Party has been a smashing success, in political if not substantive terms. Unlike other political movements that spend years trying to slowly build support, the Tea Party exploded in early 2009, quickly establishing itself as a national force that could capture attention, harangue Democrats, and purge Republican office-holders it found insufficiently devoted to conservative orthodoxy.
This happened in large part because the Tea Party’s grassroots appeal to conservative Republicans was met with an opportunistic boost from elite Republicans who saw in the nascent movement a perfect vehicle through which to battle the Obama administration. As soon as the Tea Party appeared, groups like Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks—staffed by experienced Republican operatives and funded by the usual corporate coffers—swept in to offer training and organizational support. And as Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson write in their excellent new book The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism, “the Tea Party cannot be understood without recognizing the mobilization provided by conservative media hosts who openly espouse and encourage the cause. From Fox News to right-wing radio jocks and bloggers, media impresarios have done a lot to create a sense of shared identity that lets otherwise scattered Tea Parties get together and feel part of something big and powerful. Media hosts also put out a steady diet of information and misinformation—including highly emotional claims—that keep Tea Party people in a constant state of anger and fear about the direction of the country and the doings of government officials.”