The face of teabagging, and the prospect of health care reform

There’s a lot I want to blog about tonight, but it’s late, and I’m just getting home. My friend Maria, a newly published author, had a book signing in Ann Arbor tonight, and then there was a going away party for my friends Tim and Andrea, who will be moving away to Seattle tomorrow afternoon. I want to write about the Congressional Budget Office’s favorable assessment of the health care bill, and how it’s causing a number of conservative Democrats to get onboard, but I don’t know that I can stay awake. (Essentially, the CBO has said that the proposed bill, if enacted, would save $130 billion over the next ten years, and cut the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion over the course of the following ten year period.) As I can’t write about all of that, though, I’ll just leave you with this little piece of video from the Columbus Dispatch, showing the compassionate conservativism of the teabaggers.

It’s like having a little window into early Nazi Germany, isn’t it?

[Thanks to Randall for letting me know about this video.]

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55 Comments

  1. Lacy
    Posted March 18, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    I know what I think about the teabagger’s politics, but I’m not sure how to evaluate all this ugly, disturbing footage. The TBs interviewed on, and calling in to, NPR shows sound much more sane (although I still wildly disagree with them). It makes me think of the video the right shows its base of the most “out-there” scenes from gay pride parades and such.

    I still have this feeling that the TBers are being used by the Republicans to win midterms and will quickly be marginalized and forgotten soon after. I don’t think they’ll rule, I think they’re a tool. (Like that?) More than anything, it makes me introspective about how both parties use the more “passionate” (to put it kindly) elements in their base to serve their own ends. Am I being too cynical or too naive?

  2. TeacherPatti
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Is that the “Swoops” who are moving to Seattle? Tell them that I said goodbye and keep in touch!!!!! :) Where am I going to get my new vermiworms from though? :(

  3. Edward
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    In desperate times, people start to look for scapegoats. It was true in Nazi Germany and it’s true here today.

  4. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I agree with Lacy. On the other hand, there sure were a lot more tea partiers NOT being dicks to the Parkinson’s guy.

  5. Robert
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Brackinald Achery, shouldn’t they be doing more than just “NOT being dicks to the Parkinson’s guy?”

  6. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Like what? There’s only two choices in life: to be a dick or not to be a dick.

  7. Asprin
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    “No free rides here, old man.”

    Lovely.

    No doubt they all consider themselves Christians too.

  8. Karl L
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Forbes studies the teapartiers and finds that they really don’t understand very much:

    http://www.forbes.com/2010/03/18/tea-party-ignorant-taxes-opinions-columnists-bruce-bartlett.html

  9. Lacy
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Mark, BTW, what no plug for your friend’s book? Should we look for it somewhere?

    (Brackie, Thanks. And I think the third option is to intervene when you see someone else being a dick rather than just quietly watching an old lady get mugged, for example. I think not intervening kind of makes the onlookers, well, dicks.)

  10. Curt Waugh
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Brackinald Achery Niemoller

  11. kjc
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Karl L, thanks for that link. So not surprising.

  12. M Torrence
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    As he’s got a tag on this post for “Maria Cotera”, my guess is the book in question is “Native Speakers: Ella Deloria, Zora Neale Hurston, Jovita Gonzalez, and the Poetics of Culture” by University of Michigan professor Maria Cotera. It’s got a 2010 release date.

    http://www.amazon.com/Native-Speakers-Deloria-Hurston-Gonzalez/dp/0292721617/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269028413&sr=8-1

  13. M Torrence
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Bingo. She had a reading last night in Ann Arbor at 7:00.

    http://www.lsa.umich.edu/women/about/events.asp#March

  14. Edward
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I bet those angry white men weren’t even teabggers. I bet they were liberal plants. They may have event been “ethnics” in white-face makeup!

  15. Peter Larson
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    “Tuesday’s Tea Party crowd, however, thought that federal taxes were almost three times as high as they actually are. The average response was 42% of GDP and the median 40%. The highest figure recorded in all of American history was half those figures: 20.9% at the peak of World War II in 1944.”

    They probably don’t know since many of them don’t actually fucking pay. What fucking morons.

  16. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Intervening? Jeez, they weren’t beating him up, they were throwing money at him. Help! Save me from the money! I’ve gotten a lot worse from people on this blog and I don’t recall anybody intervening. He sat down right near them to make his point, I comment here to make my points. Where’s my free money?

  17. Mr.SwettyBallz
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    BA, if a MarkMaynard reader throws money at you, I will be the first to intervene. But if it is only two measley dollars, the person who throws the money is going to really regret it.
    I also haven’t paid income taxes in years. It’s not that I don’t try. They just keep sending it all back to me. So, thank you to whoever is actually paying.

  18. dragon
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Nice Dennis Millerism cw. Well, pre complete freakout, diaper wearing, most frightened man in america D.M.

  19. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    It’s just the never ending drama queenery of the whole thing. Nazis. Nazis actually dragged people out of their homes and killed them. Teapartiers just stand there, yelling back and forth at whatever the counter-protest is, holding signs like whatever the counter protest is, and throw money at people. Get over yourselves with this ridiculously desperate tea-party demonizing buffoonery. You and the tea-partiers deserve each other. They call you communists, but you’re not, really. Communists actually get things done.

  20. Mr.SwettyBallz
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Peter, I think the 42% of GDP would be more like Canada’s numbers.
    We should tax tobacco as much as they do. Also, Coca-Cola, Burger King, Sugar, Fat, Bacon, Coal, Gasoline, all those luxury items that make American kids obese. RV’s, Yachts, tax people by Body Mass Index, movies, reality TV, Youtube, football, baseball, barbie dolls…(not Big Jim though).
    We would cut the budget deficit in half the first year.

  21. dragon
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Many participate in acts of civil disobedience because it gives them an instant community of like-minded brethren who keep them from having to spend their evenings alone, perusing a three-year-old issue of “Guns-n-Ammo” magazine under the flickering half-light of their hand cranked flashlight in their non-hybrid seed nursery, before crawling under their Shroud of Turin sheets for the unsatisfying solace of a “Jesus’ forearm” dildo carved out of a recovered plank of Noah’s ark.

  22. Mr.SwettyBallz
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Dragon, I will never invite you to my hideaway again.
    Did I say tax bacon? Scratch that.
    Tax people with kids. Use the money to pay for schools and jails. The kids will be in one or the other for sure. Unless they are in the pool halls like I was.
    Maybe we all need to watch the Dan Nocera video again. He said it would be all right. He had two white plastic bottles attached to some sort of stand and told us he had saved the world. “I won’t tell you what is in it,” he said. But it will save us all from every problem we will ever have. So just sit back, relax, and watch your non-hybrids grow.
    Relax.
    Tax Nazis. Can we all agree to that?

  23. Mr.SwettyBallz
    Posted March 20, 2010 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Teacher Patti wrote, “Where am I going to get my new vermiworms from though? :(”
    I am dead serious here. So don’t take it as a joke, but don’t the new ones come from the old ones you already have?
    And doesn’t the “foetida” live in the ground from coast to coast?

  24. Posted March 20, 2010 at 4:37 am | Permalink

    To be fair about taxes, most people also pay payroll tax which is more than 7%. If self employed, you pay both the employee and employer halves which together are nearly 15%. I believe this covers Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. When I was working 3/4 time and made at most maybe $8,000 on my own businesss, I paid about 45% of that $8,000 in taxes (15 % payroll, 5% Michigan and 25% Federal). This was an unusual situation because my 3/4 time job pushed my income high enough that the $8,000 was heavily taxed. However, with the business alone, I would still pay nearly 20% assuming I paid NO Federal tax (around 15% payroll and 5% Michigan).
    This is fairly steep when I still have to buy my own healthcare and pay property tax if I own a house.

    The payroll tax is what makes all these anti-tax arguments about people receiving refunds who “paid no Federal tax” so crazy. It is absurd that someone making a corporate salary of $1,000,000 pays payroll tax on only about the first $100,000 ($7500) while someone self employed and making $8,000 pays 15% on all of it ($1200).

    Of course, this is too complicated to explain to teabaggers who only care that, “taxes are too high”.

    Too early – sorry in advance for any for any math errors.

    Kirk

  25. Mark
    Posted March 20, 2010 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Good detective work, M Torrence. I was indeed at a book signing for Maria’s newly published, Native Speakers: Ella Deloria, Zora Neale Hurston, Jovita Gonzalez, and the Poetics of Culture, and I’m sorry for not including a link.

    And, yes, Teacher Patti, it is the worm-having Tim and Andrea that are moving to Seattle. They say they’ll likely be back some day, though.

    And, BA, you know I love you, but you need to read your history. The Nazis didn’t just start out, “dragging people out of their homes and killing them.” It started with crazed demagoguery, and anti-Jewish, nationalistic rhetoric. Hitler didn’t just pop up on the scene one day, completely out of context, and start dragging Jews away to death camps. It started much like this.

  26. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 20, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Really? Nazism started out as a peaceful protest against national health care, with people holding signs and dropping dollar bills on a pro-national health care protester who came up and sat right in front of them to get in their faces?

    I can’t tell if you’re yanking my chain at this point. There is no way you’re serious.

  27. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 20, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    I mean, if they were advocating that people with Parkinson’s disease were detriments to the national socialist race-state, you’d have a point.

    But as it is, you’re way off.

  28. Lacy
    Posted March 20, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    God! Mark, Brackie. Seriously? Climb out of the trenches!

    Mark, EVERY social or political movement starts like this, prohibition, suffrage, American Revolution, Nazis, Commies, civil rights…Damn those crazy 60s black folks marching and demanding unpopular things!

    Brackie, are you really pretending this kind of manufactured anger can have no consequence? Because history does show that as often as it fizzles out it flames. And BTW, I wasn’t addressing this incident in specific, but was responding to your truth claim that “there’s only two choices in life: to be a dick or not to be a dick.” You said “in life.” I think if the teabaggers go Nazi, anyone who stands by silently will be a pathetic little dick. And yes, if I were in the above footage, you’d see my hand on the guy’s arm as I said, “Dude, stop being such a dick.”

    Aspirin. No doubt. I’ll just add that Glenn Beck is a Mormon. I’m sure he’s waiting with open arms to receive the Christians he’s got running scared from the social justice Jesus.

  29. Mr.SwettyBallz
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Kirk, you are right. That is complicated.
    So did you quit your 3/4 time job?
    I know that when I lived in Canada, I had to quit smoking. Just too expensive. They social engineered me right out of a bad habit. Unfortunately, I never got sick in Canada, so I didn’t get the chance to really stick it to their health care system for fun.
    So I just moved out like everybody else I knew. They said the taxes killed them. Just anectdotal, but whatever. I have learned not to work too much anyway. I intentionally just make barely enough for what I need. Maybe if they taxed gin at about twenty dollars a bottle, I would quit drinking.
    Maybe they should tax spouse batterers and thieves and stuff. Instead of giving them free room and board in jail. I have heard that they are charging for things such as aspirin in some small jails now. I bet the inmates there have fewer headaches.
    I was under the impression that Nazism just took a hell of a lot of people by surprise in Germany. I guess it depends on perspective, but for example, I was just minding my own business one day, and all of a sudden, George W. Bush was President. Where the hell did that guy come from? I guess I could say the same about Obama. I had never heard of him until a little while before the election. I guess for you newshounds, it is different, but shit just happens sometimes, and you learn to live with it.

  30. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I think if the teabaggers go Nazi, anyone who stands by silently will be a pathetic little dick.

    I agree, which is why I am armed.

  31. John on Forest
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Did BA just admit to having a small dick?

  32. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    No, I admitted that during a previous argument.

  33. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Oh I’m sorry — Lacy, did you want to put your hand on John’s arm and tell him to stop being a dick?

  34. dragon
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Or put your hand on his dick and tell him to stop being a john.

  35. Robert
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Sorry, Brackinald. Your free ride is over! Communist!

  36. Posted March 21, 2010 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    For what it’s worth, I’ve always thought of BA more as a giant dick.

  37. John on Forest
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Just jabbing at you, BA. (NOT with my dick!)

    Dragon, I don’t know Lacy well enough, but thanks for the suggestion.

  38. Mark H.
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Today’s Donesbury comic strip is terrifically on point about the Tea Baggers’ great distortion of history (the Boston tea party) for ideology’s sake.

  39. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    No doubt Robert’s comment will inspire some violent acts against me by random crazy people who don’t even follow this blog. How can you all stand there, doing nothing? First he came for the Brackinalds, and you did nothing because you weren’t a Brackinald.

  40. Ol' E Cross
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Whomever this Brackinald Achery character is must be eliminated.

  41. Ol' E Cross
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Whoever this Brackinald Achery is must be eliminated

  42. olecross
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    whoever this Brackinald Achery is must be eliminated for his … well, he just must be eliminated

  43. Peter Larson
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    I guess all that talk of nice, non-violent fleabaggers got kind of thrown out the window with a brick through a window.

  44. notoneofthecoolkids
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Lacy,
    You are full of crap.

  45. Paul A
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    THESE ARE REASONED, NON-VIOLENT PROTESTERS? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/20/tea-party-protests-nier-f_n_507116.html

    @Lacy: “Damn those crazy 60s black folks marching and demanding unpopular things!”
    Many of whom were on the RECEIVING END of the water cannons and police dogs and numerous other assaults.

  46. Posted March 21, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and that man with Parkinsons that the Tea Baggers were taunting a few days ago is a former nuclear engineer.

  47. dragon
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Who taught at the University of Michigan.

  48. Posted March 21, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Do you mean my friend, Maria, who I mention in the post?

  49. dragon
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    I mean the man w/parkinsons.

  50. Posted March 21, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    BA’s death panel is convening as I write this, OEC.

  51. Posted March 21, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I got you… I read it as a question. And I couldn’t figure out what you were getting at.

    And I didn’t know that he taught at U-M. Thanks for pointing that out.

  52. Lacy
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Read my entire comment. I’m trying for some balanced discussion, rather than equating folks with Nazis or acting like the ugly, angry rhetoric is benign. It is easy, at any gathering of more than two people, to find someone acting and speaking stupidly. I like the Huffington Post, but I trust NPR and NY Times far more for balanced reality. They offer a more complex picture of tea partiers than youtube clips. We’re supposed to be afraid of the tea party because they’re conspiracy nuts who use inflammatory language to describe their opponents, so we counter by suggesting they’re much like Nazis?

    Here’s a NY Times article on the more radical elements. Once the “party” has to make a decision greater than a non-specific call for small government, it’ll fracture.

  53. Aristotle
    Posted March 22, 2010 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Pete, I didn’t understand your brick reference, so I looked it up.

    Here’s the result, in case anyone else was confused.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/22/bricks-shatter-windows-at_n_508117.html

  54. Lacy
    Posted March 22, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    I highly recommend Gail Chaddock’s interview that just aired on NPR’s Hear and Now on the tea partiers protest of the health care vote.

    To listen, go to hereandnow.org and click on the story titled, “More Challenges Ahead On Health Care Reform.” Minutes 1:30 to 3:30 of the story.

  55. Posted March 22, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the tip, Lacy. I’ll check it out.

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