Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, October 01, 2010

Five Traits Shared by Every Teabagger

This is taken from Matt Taibbi’s article, “Tea and Crackers: How Corporate Interests and Republican Insiders Built the Tea Party Monster” in the current Rolling Stone.

It’s an excellent article. (The same issue of RS also has an interview with Obama.) If you’ve been following the news closely, the teabagger article probably won’t tell you anything you didn’t already know. Hopefully this article will reach the jillions of Rolling Stone readers who don’t surf leftwing websites.

Taibbi says:

“So how does a group of billionaire businessmen and corporations get a bunch of broke Middle American white people to lobby for lower taxes for the rich and deregulation of Wall Street?” And:

“A loose definition of the Tea Party might be millions of pissed-off white people sent chasing after Mexicans on Medicaid by the handful of banks and investment firms who advertise on Fox and CNBC.”

My favorite part is the author’s personal observations about teabaggers, based on conversations and interviews during the past year. Most of them share these five traits:

I. You probably think most teabaggers were happily oblivious during the GW Bush years, and they suddenly developed a pulse when that Kenyan Muslim hijacked the White House. Nope. You’re Wrong! Each and every teabagger has been out there for the past ten years, protesting against Big Government and High Taxes. Funny how we didn’t start seeing them until a year and a half ago, but by golly, they’ve been out there all along, yessireebob!

II. They all know the Constitution inside and out, and each one of them thinks they’re the only person in America with this unique qualification.

III. They all play the “Race Card” card. They insist that poor homeowners (mostly minorities) caused the trillion-dollar meltdown (enabled by that socialist Community Reinvestment Act of the late ‘70s); they’re obsessed with “news” stories about ACORN and the New Black Panthers; and they claim Obama is a Muslim who was born in Africa. And then they’re just shocked — shocked! — that people accuse them of being racists.

IV. Some of their best friends are black.

V. They think anyone who disagrees with them is an America-hating leftist. This attitude is nurtured by their mentor, Dick Armey, who regularly tells his inbreds that their opponents are “people who do not cherish America the way we do.”

If you’ve done much arguing with teabaggers — in person or online — you’re probably familiar with these Big Five talking points; especially the first one.

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Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Taibbi captures the tea baggers perfectly.

I'll add that if you were to monitor their reading of an actual newspaper or news magazine, assuming at least some of them make the effort now and then, you can bet you'd see an exercise in headline jumping and skimming down a few stories to, oh, maybe the third paragraph. But ask them to discuss the day's news, and hey, they know all about it.

Rather than trying to beat them in elections, maybe we should sell these geniuses on the idea Texas is on the verge of seceding, and if they would just move there they wouldn't have to "take their country back." They would have their kind of country, made to order.

October 1, 2010 at 10:55 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

I'm sick of you hippies hating on those who love Earl Grey.

Warp five, number one!

October 2, 2010 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

That was a great article. I especially liked the quotes from the Teabaggers he interviewed.

October 2, 2010 at 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The More I close my eyes and Listen. The more I realize things have finally come around.

These people sound exactly like the Southern and Midwestern Conservatives that Nixon and Reagan started rallying in the 60's with the pretense of taking our country back but with lots of anti-civil rights and "welfare slurs" thrown in. Now (as I suspected) they are well funded and (as I predicted in an earlier post) they will become a wing of the Republican Party.

But aren't the Republicans worried they will split some elections and give some seats to Democrats? And do they really want to be related to this fringe?


"You can't take this country back, because it was never yours to begin with"

From of all places - Mad Magazine

October 2, 2010 at 4:30 PM  
Anonymous Thomas said...

The scary thing about most of the Teajobs is that they actually believe their own talking points.

October 2, 2010 at 5:11 PM  
Blogger Dave Dubya said...

We've all heard the big lie about the big tent of the Tea Cult. Let's not overlook the primary trait shared by these folks. They are right wing authoritarian personalities. John Dean wrote an outstanding book about them called "Conservatives without Conscience". They are blind followers of their authoritarian cult leaders.

I thank MAD magazine for nurturing my sense of humor and triggering my questioning of authoritity as a youth. Love the quote.

October 3, 2010 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Demeur said...

Hit them with the facts and they'll shut up or at least walk away. But you need to corner them seperately like the rats they are.

Erik they're desperate. They'd sell their grandmother to get back in power. They are now against many of the policies that they once promoted.

October 3, 2010 at 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes Dave I read the book too and was just blown away of how correct he has proven to be, and this is before the Teaparty, Tom Delay, and Scooter Libby was just getting prosecuted.

Folks, that line is in the latest issue of Mad. Run don't Walk and get it, look for a feature called "Wizard of O" A parody where Dorothy lands in the Lands of Pundits. She, the Scarecrow (O'Reilly), the Tin Man (Colbert) and the Lion (whom I can't identify) find the Wizard of O(bama), Guess who the Wicked Witch is?

Here's a preview, scroll down to "Mad Sneak Peak"



October 3, 2010 at 2:31 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: Yup, that's what they do. They cherry pick a few news items, read the part they like, and then say they're well informed.

Whichever state is the reddest, they ought to all move there and we could let that state secede.

Randal: Earl Gray is for pussies. Lipton!

J: That's true, they're their own worst enemy when they try to put things in their own words.

Erik: I've been thinking and hoping for months (years) that the teabaggers would divide the Republican Party. But it keeps not happening; polls keep showing an increasing Republican lead over Democrats.

Thomas: Of course they believe them. They recite what their mentors tell them to say, and they wouldn't dare question anything.

Dave: Damn right they're authoritarian. Even when they're yelling "We The People!" and "Freedom!" -- what they're really saying is "You Vill Do Vat Vee Tell You!"

Demeur: You're right, they used to be in favor of a lot of things Obama is pushing. When Republicans take over, they'll propose some of the same ideas that were "socialism!" when Obama proposed them, and they'll rescue America from this Obama depression with their "new" laws.

Erik: Thanks for the link. I haven't thought of Mad in ages, but I'll have to check out that issue.

October 3, 2010 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger Beekeepers Apprentice said...

Oh, you should have seen the homage given to the local teabaggers in my local right-wing-may-as-well-watch-fox-news newspaper yesterday. The entire first section was taken up with "oh, looky what fine patriots they teabaggers are!"

I nearly threw up on my powdered sugar donuts.

October 4, 2010 at 3:57 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Bee: I guess if they put on the right costumes and spout off a few out-of-context quotes from the Constitution, some people will think they're "Patriots."

October 4, 2010 at 6:29 PM  

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