On tea parties, taxes and testes

Just when you think that things couldn’t possibly get any worse for the Republicans, they go and launch a movement, not realizing that the name they’ve chosen – teabagging – also happens to be the name of a sex act that involves – and there’s no nice way to say this – the “dunking” of one’s testicles into the mouth of another. Yes, there’s a certain poetic justice to it, but I find it more depressing than funny. Believe it or not, I actually like it when our system has more than one functioning political party, even if that one happens to be mine. When I see the Republicans, bereft of any real ideas, rallying around the likes of Rush Limbaugh, and chanting about teabagging one another, it really depresses me.

As someone points out in this video clip, the real absurdity isn’t so much that these Republicans are talking in code about wanting to gargle each others testes, but that these protests of theirs – which are supposed to be modern versions of the Boston Tea Party – ignore the fact that they, unlike our American ancestors, aren’t in a position where they’re being taxed without representation. Furthermore, all these excessive taxes they’re claiming to protest were passed under the Bush administration, which they supported. And, as if that weren’t enough, the changes to the tax code proposed by Obama, if they were enacted, would cut the taxes of a vast majority of them. But since when did intellectual inconsistencies stop the Republicans from doing anything?

But, back to my point, the whole thing just depresses me. I want to enjoy this teabag movement. I want to giggle alongside Rachel Maddow. I want to find my local tea party and laugh at all the people dangling teabags and ranting about Obama’s birth certificate being a forgery. But I know it’s ultimately not a good thing for the country. For the system to work, we need more than one party bright enough not to reference ball sucking in their platform. We need a vigorous debate of the issues, and, sadly, we’re not getting that.

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  1. Posted April 14, 2009 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    A little tea party context from Ron Paul.

  2. Brackinald Achery
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Don’t look at me; I couldn’t agree more.

  3. Bob
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Since the “teabaggers” seem to want to get the goverment off “their” back, I thought if I had nothing better to do with an hour or two, it might be fun to go to the local “teabag” rally with signs like “Veterans-They Don’t Deserve Anything”, “End Social Security-No Handouts To The Old”, and “End Medicare”. After all, thats what these people want anyway, isn’t it, no government meddling in anything?

  4. Oliva
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Another sign could say: Slay Corporate Piracy: Boycott NewsCorp!

    Too bad that Big Sky diner got in on this stupid stunt, offering free breakfast to anyone who mentions Thayrone (WAAM), free coffee or tea for anyone heading to Lansing for the Tea Party. Thank goodness Mother Nature thinks it’s a sorry stunt and brought rain for the day. Joe/Sam the Fake Plumber is the featured guest in Lansing. Yikes. (Is there a local TP at City Hall at noon? I heard yes, but I hope not.)

  5. Posted April 15, 2009 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    if they are going to provide the teabags then i would be happy to spray them down with boiling water so we could enjoy a real cup.

  6. Oliva
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Quick correction. It should be: Stop the Corporate Pirates: Boycott Newscorp!

  7. Craig NM
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Do you mean the Big Sky Diner on Ecorse?

    Big Sky Diner
    1340 Ecorse Road
    Ypsilanti, MI 48198
    Phone: (734) 481-0525

  8. Sylvie
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Could someone please go out and get photos or videos of the Ypsi tea party if there is one?

    Bonus points if the Redcoat on the Segway is there.

  9. Oliva
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Yep, that same Big Sky Diner, the one that serves food (breakfast all day) on giant plates. (Free breakfast was from 8-10 a.m. today, I think.)

  10. Paw
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    “Off our Backs & In our Mouths”

  11. Robert
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I hope a lot of people who had no intention of going teabagging went to Big Sky and got their free breakfast anyway.

  12. Curt Waugh
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I just stopped by the Ann Arbor “rally” in front of the post office. There are about 100 very well-behaved people standing around. Some have signs. They seem mostly to be chatting with each other and enjoying the day. At one point, they broke into a very lame version of “God Bless America”.

    One guy in a suit had a 3×5 American flag with a big motorcycle on it. After staring at it for a while, I had to break down and ask him what it meant. He told me (I’m paraphrasing here): “I believe that global warming isn’t real and is just a way to send jobs to 3rd-world countries. I’m for burning more fossil fuels.” He wasn’t crazy-sounding or weird-seeming. He gave his position in two terse sentences and didn’t seem the least bit bothered that I asked. I thanked him and walked off.

  13. Meta
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    From Think Progress:

    While Americans across the country prepare to pay their taxes today, many right-wing activists plan to spend the day dressed in colonial tri-corner hats as they wave tea bags in the air. Conservatives are calling for these “tea party” protests, allegedly modeled on the Boston Tea Party, to oppose President Obama and to denounce taxes. Though the “tea” in tea party supposedly stands for “Taxed Enough Already,” no American household or business will face higher taxes this tax day. In fact, the economic stimulus package signed into law by Obama enacted one of the largest tax cuts ever for middle-class families, making good on Obama’s campaign promise to cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans. The first benefits from these cuts arrived in paychecks earlier this month. What’s more, a recent Gallup poll found that Americans’ views of income taxes are among the most positive since 1956. In his budget proposal, Obama has recommended raising the top income tax brackets back to rates under the Clinton administration and closing corporate loopholes, two issues he campaigned on, in order to strengthen America’s economy by funding health care, clean energy, and education reform. Well-heeled corporate lobbyists are helping engineer today’s “tea party” protests as an act of opposition to the Obama agenda.

    SPONTANEOUS UPRISING?: Although spokesmen of the tea parties have made significant efforts to portray the protests as organic uprisings of like-minded citizens, corporate lobbyists have engineered much of the planning and execution of the events. The corporate front group FreedomWorks, run by lobbyist and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX), had its staff organize the very first tea party on Feb. 27 in Tampa, FL, following CNBC’s Rick Santelli’s call for a Boston Tea Party-like upheaval to protest Obama’s housing plan. Soon after, FreedomWorks began planning nationwide tea party protests and had their operatives help coordinate logistics, call conservative activists, and provide activists with everything from organizing tips to sign ideas. Americans for Prosperity, a front group run by corporate lobbyist Tim Phillips (a former partner to Ralph Reed), assisted with the effort, drawing upon its extensive field staff to plan events, write press releases, and distribute talking points for people on the ground. Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions for Winning the Future — which is funded by polluters and helped orchestrated the “Drill Here, Drill Now” campaign last summer — has also signed on to support the protests.

    FOX NEWS MEGAPHONE: Both Fox News and Fox Business have run back-to-back promotions explicitly encouraging viewers to attend the tea parties. The Fox broadcasts are in turn being used by the tea party organizers to promote their protests. Promising “fair and balanced” coverage, Fox News hosts such as Glenn Beck, Neil Cavuto, and Sean Hannity are all planning to broadcast live from the events. The segments for the tea parties are replete with enthusiastic endorsements, like the recent announcement of one Fox pundit that it’s “time to party like it’s 1773!” In their drive to promote the protests, Fox is fueling paranoia by making unsubstantiated, conspiratorial claims that the Obama administration may send “spies” to the tea parties. Another claim Fox asserts to justify its nonstop promotional coverage is that the network provided similar coverage for the Million Man March in 1995. However, Fox News didn’t launch until 1996.

    A POLITICAL STRATEGY: Congressional Republicans have fully embraced the tea parties as a channel for opposing Obama. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) is speaking at a tea party in Bakersfield; Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) will be speaking at an Americans for Prosperity tea party in Madison. Over 35 other Republican lawmakers have been invited to speak at other tea party rallies. Republican governors who opposed the economic stimulus package — such as Rick Perry of Texas and Mark Sanford of South Carolina — plan to address tea party protests in their own states. Even after being rebuked by organizers of the tea parties, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has moved the RNC to officially support the protests. If the GOP’s effort to brand and own the protests weren’t already apparent, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) introduced legislation formally honoring April 15th as “National Tea Party Day.” “It’s going to be more directed at Obama,” observed Daily Beast reporter Ana Marie Cox on the Republican Party’s obsession with the tea parties. “This is very much, I think, part of the midterm strategy.”

    THE UNIFYING MESSAGE — OPPOSE OBAMA: Despite steady, high approval ratings for President Obama, the proponents of the tea parties seem intent on demonizing him as the cause of the country’s problems. The ostensible anti-tax platform of the tea parties in fact has not resonated with all the participants. The events have drawn various elements of the fringe right-wing movement, with gun rights militias, secessionists, radical anti-immigrant organizations, and neo-Nazi groups currently working to contribute to the organizing effort, bringing with them their own pet issues. Past tea parties have featured gatherings of people inspired to protest Obama over conspiracies related to the President’s birth certificate. One of the most prominent Obama birth certificate conspiracy theorists, Alan Keyes, is the keynote speaker of the Washington, D.C. tea party today.

  14. Zach
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    I heard an interview with one of these Tea Party organizers this afternoon on WDET (paraphrased):

    Interviewer: “I thought that the vast majority of Americans were actually getting tax cuts?”
    Tea Party Organizer: “I dispute that . . . gotta go! Come see Joe the Plumber!”

    What a joke.

  15. Posted April 15, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    How does anyone equate not burning fossil fuels to sending jobs overseas? (re:Waugh’s comment.) Where is the correlation? Further, we shouldn’t laugh at the Right wing antics of this tea party but take them seriously and have answers to refute their claims. After all, how, when the Republicans and Bush, increased taxes to the poor and decreased to the rich, and Phil Gramm contributed to a lax in financing/mortgage regulations (from past bills), can they claim that all of the current crisis is Obama’s fault and get people to support that claim? Because the Righters will listen and believe the leaders of the Right who tell them it is so, because they have easily forgotten the history, do not read the real news, and are, for whatever reason, easily swayed. We need to focus and easily sway them back to reason and to facts if that is at all possible.

  16. Brackinald Achery
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    If the neocons are not going to listen to actual liberty-minded small-government conservative republicans, they sure as shit aren’t going to listen to you guys, no disrespect intended.

  17. kjc
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I think people who don’t listen to anyone else are pretty familiar to the people on this site.

  18. Oliva
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    I’d wanted to go to Big Sky in hopes of pulling off the free breakfast, but I couldn’t get there in time; would have loved to take some pics there anyway. Attended the Ypsi event at noon to take pics (MM, I stuck a cd with pics in your mailbox), couldn’t stomach Lansing and Joe-Sam the Not-Plumber, who was, blech, the main attraction.

    The Ypsi Tea Party was straggly, but just when the group was ready to cross Huron and go around downtown a bit, a woman pushing a stroller along with a handful of children with “Indian face paint” appeared across the street, and the fellow with the megaphone, the leader I guess, told her to hold up, that the group was heading her way, so there were suddenly about seven additional people, most of them under five.

    A few semis honked at the group, apparently in solidarity. But solidarity about what? I guess the main message was that government is tyrannical, with a clear anti-Obama subtext.

  19. Bob
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    It really begs the question. How many of these teabag rallies were filled with racists who just just can’t stand the color of the skin on the person in the White House.

  20. Oliva
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    There is a very unsavory undercurrent, not much hidden. Just that makes it sad. But there’s also a frightening creepiness and a disturbing sense that, with enough provocation, it could spiral in ghastly ways. Poking fun is fine if it’s nothing to be scared of or doesn’t really matter. But it matters. How to quell the madness and urge angry people to stop and consider a bigger picture, one filled with true statements and ideas, not to mention human love?

  21. Oliva
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Poking fun is fine if it’s nothing to be scared of or doesn’t really matter.

    Not counting brilliant political satirists such as Jon Stewart.

  22. Posted April 15, 2009 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the photos, Oliva. I’m working with them now. I hope to get something up on the site shortly.

  23. James Madison
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    I am confused by my observations of political discourse in your time and place. Why do people oppposed to taxes in your time reference the Boston Tea party? Doesn’t every American know that the issue the stirred that historic protest was not the tax itself, but rather the principle that people deserve direct representation in any government that governs over them? The slogan “No Taxation without Representation” is not ‘no taxation.’ Indeed, the tea tax was implemented in a way that actually REDUCED the total costs that Americans would have had to pay for imported tea — but the price of tea wasn’t the issue. So we boycotted, and fought a revolution. Only an ignoramus would say that taxation itself caused Americans to undertake a revolution. Indeed, in the years after the Revolution, we Americans were being taxed at a far higher rate than we ever had been before, by the new states.

  24. Brackinald Achery
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    I can get behind the anti-bailout, anti-federal reserve sentiment, so long as the Republican leadership shares the blame with the Democrat leadership. Beyond that, the whole thing smacks of hypocritical demagogic political opportunism on both sides… which substitutes anyone actually repenting of anything for everyone’s good in favor of a big shitty fight between stubborn assholes demonizing each other.

  25. EOS
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    Didn’t get a chance to attend Ann Arbor or Ypsi Tea Party. Drove to Lansing and saw three of my neighbors there as well. Weather was beautiful and the crowd was huge. My guess was around 5,000. One whole side of the capitol was packed from the steps to the sidewalk, spilling over on both sides of the lawn even an hour before the start of the rally. The homemade signs were great. A black pastor from Ypsilanti opened and closed the rally with prayer.

    It is so predictable that when Liberals want to disagree with conservative viewpoints they 1) Accuse them of deviant homosexual sex acts or 2) Call them racist. Do you really think most homosexuals don’t notice when you use their lifestyle as a pejorative against your political opponents?

    It was a very family friendly gathering in Lansing. Many parents are really concerned about leaving their children with debts so massive that there will be no hope for any prosperity in the next generation. We already know that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are insolvent and won’t last through the baby boomers without massive Federal funding and increased taxation. Many are fearful and many are angered at the bloodless coup that replaced our democratic, capitalistic republic with a socialistic form of government.

    Taxes include more than the amount deducted from your paycheck each week/month. The tax on a pack of cigarettes is now over 4 dollars. The tax on a one pound bag of tobacco is over $25. The tax on a gallon of gas is over $1.75. Taxes on airline tickets, beer, sporting events, hotels, and even death are all very regressive and the cumulative effect is overwhelming.

    You are very wrong if you think that the rally was pro-Republican. The chants from the crowd and the signs supported firing all the legislators and electing honest persons who possessed common sense.

  26. Glen S.
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    I wonder how many of these people took their kids out of (taxpayer funded) public schools to attend one these events? How many drove to Lansing or wherever on (taxpayer funded) roads to get there? How many of them regularly use (taxpayer funded) libraries or parks? How many have parents who benefit from (taxpayer funded) Social Security or Medicare, or have disabled friends or relatives who depend on (taxpayer funded) disability payments?

    I, too, am concerned about the ballooning federal debt. But, for the life of me, I can’t imagine why these folks are wasting their time “teabagging” in front of state capitals and city halls — instead of marching on the headquarters of the banks, insurance companies, and other multinational corporations whose orgy of greed and malfeasance over the past decade led to the economic meltdown that we are now trying to borrow our way out of .

  27. EOS
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    All these taxpayer funded necessities are in danger of loss of funding when the spending orgy expands to include non-necessities. Too bad you didn’t hear the Democratic Mayor of Lansing talk on the Paul W. Smith show this morning. He explained the Washington/Wall Street alliance of greed that screwed the working class and destroyed manufacturing, industry, and full employment in our state and nation. In case you were misled, there wasn’t a single person “teabagging” in front of state capitols and city halls.

  28. kjc
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    “He explained the Washington/Wall Street alliance of greed that screwed the working class and destroyed manufacturing, industry, and full employment in our state and nation.”

    Ummm pretty sure the screwing happened well before the “bloodless coup that replaced our democratic, capitalistic republic with a socialistic form of government.”

    “Do you really think most homosexuals don’t notice when you use their lifestyle as a pejorative against your political opponents?”

    The IRONY of “teabagging” is what’s being pointed to actually. Pejorative would be more like “deviant homosexual acts.”

  29. EOS
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 8:14 am | Permalink


    I’ve heard that Liberals think Obama is a Messiah, but he’s only been in office a few months. The conversion to Socialism started back with FDR and has included both Republican and Democratic administrations and politicians.

  30. Brackinald Achery
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I thought this:


    is a really funny idea. But I don’t know where to put it, so I’m posting it here.

  31. Curt Waugh
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    EOS, this statement is very strange:
    “Many are fearful and many are angered at the bloodless coup that replaced our democratic, capitalistic republic with a socialistic form of government.”

    1) A coup is typically military. This latest thing was voter-initiated. That’s the opposite of a coup. You’re confusing what Bush and his corporate backers did with what the voters did most recently. Folks call this an “election”, not a coup. So, are these people mad about democracy? That’s weird.

    2) We are not “socialist”. We have social programs like most countries and we’ve had them for decades. But I imagine that’s some nice scary shit to say when you’re hangin’ out with your buddies. All the definitions of socialism that I’ve read stress collective ownership of the means of production. We definitely don’t have that. If we do, please enlighten me. Taxes alone are not a definition of socialism. So, please move beyond that.

    3) You are a disgusting homophobe. “Teabagging” can be done by anybody and it’s not deviant. That you associate it with being only a “deviant homosexual sex” just shows where your head is. Phreak.

    4) Surely, president-approved torture and the deaths of thousands of soldiers and tens of thousand of civilians and wiretapping abuse and on and on and on are far worse that some money problems. It’s just money. It means nothing. Give me a million dollars or take away everything I have, I’m still the same person. I still have family and friends and abilities.

    But torture is real. Death is real. Our former elected officials believed themselves to be above the law. Played god and began to fancy themselves royalty. THAT is the greatest single threat to our country. We are not a nation of money; we are a nation of laws. (Read how much of the Constitution refers to money and how much to law if you doubt me.) You can break the money all you want; this country’s been about broke before and here we are. But if you ignore the laws you destroy the country.

  32. EOS
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 11:45 am | Permalink


    1) Perhaps you should consult a dictionary. Number one definition for coup: A brilliantly executed stratagem; a triumph. When did we vote to change to socialism and ignore the constitution?

    2) Collective ownership of the means of production – The president just fired the head of GM. The auto companies (insert : TV manufacturers, clothing industry, electronic industry, engineering, chemical industry, pharmaceutical industry) became non-competitive because of government regulation. The banks that accepted bailout money will now have their salaries set by the federal executive branch. Small businesses have been destroyed by the last 50 years of government regulation. Those in power have the most control when everybody is employed by a limited number of major corporations or in the ranks of government itself.

    Homophobe? No. Do I have a set of moral values that defines all sex outside of marriage to be sinful? Yes. Will I change my opinion if everyone else in the world calls evil good? No. Just a Jesus freak.

    Did I say I supported Bush and all his policies? No. Has Obama changed any of those policies? Minimally. Are we still at war in Iraq, with prisoners in Gitmo, using illegal surveillance on our citizens? Yes.

    Do I place my hope in money or material possessions? No.

    Are we a constitutional republic governed by laws? Not since we stopped adhering to the written constitution. Can you find the place in the constitution that gives the Federal Reserve the power to print money and charge us interest? Can you find the place in the constitution that gives any power to the UN or the IMF or the International Criminal Court? Does the constitution allow our Supreme Court to base its decisions on foreign laws? Does our written constitution allow the Federal Government the right to deny states the ability to protect the unborn? Does our constitution allow the executive branch to declare war?

    “But if you ignore the laws you destroy the country.” Exactly what has been done by our “leadership”.

  33. Robert
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I guess at this point pretending to be against running up huge debt would be too much obvious hypocracy from these people, so they had to act as though their taxes are going up somehow.

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