Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Teabag Day

...And Tax Day will perhaps be forever changed...

Everybody's talking about teabagging this week (much to Rachel's amusement!). Even Chattanoogans, who are notoriously non-activist, had some tea parties today. Events all over the country have been getting a lot of media coverage, but I wonder if at least part of the reason for that is the fact that protesters' choice of language is providing so much amusement for people (and giving at least one poor old woman asthma attacks!).

But besides their unfortunate use of language -- which is a place they keep going back to (more here), deliciously -- conservatives might also be hurting their reputation in another way: their choice of metaphor just doesn't ring true, and so it leaves them looking clueless and petulant. The "tea party" is, I gather, supposed to refer back to the Boston Tea Party (where they dumped chests, not bags, of tea into the harbor (not on the sidewalk) -- tea which had been siezed, not purchased at the nearest Wal-Mart Asian Import Store). The 1773 Tea Party was part of a protest of the the fact that colonists were being asked to pay levies while not being allowed representation by the taxing authority -- but sadly, the reference is willfully ignorant.

The events across the country were not being put together by people who suffer from a lack of representation by the taxing authority. Today's demonstrators had the opportunity to vote for their representatives in government just last fall. I can only assume that these activists took advantage of that civic opportunity, so at this point, they're really just being sore losers. These people put politicians in power who demonstrated an incredible incompetence at running a government over a number of recent years, and then they suffered terrific losses at the polls as a result. That is what makes today's protests not so much like an iconic event that might change the course of history and more like a toddler's tantrum -- complete with the red face, teary eyes, and bulging diaper -- after just 86 days in the minority. As Joe says:
I'm all for fighting against big government. My only question is: why just now? With a few exceptions, where have you guys been?
And, I might add, where are your suggestions as to an alternative course? (Come on, be serious -- if all you're going to say is "shut down the government," then, really, how is that helping?) Given where we are, how should we proceed?


june said...

I couldn't help but notice that none of them burned their social security or medicare cards!

Brent said...


I attended yesterday's "Tax Day Tea Party" at Ross's Landing. I don't believe it was meant to be a reenactment of the Boston Tea Party. No one wore indian costumes or dumped tea into our already over-polluted river. I wanted to make it clear that not every teabagger (I have to admit, Maddow's bit was funny) was a dogmatic Bushie, nor were they all deflated McCain supporters. (There were plenty of references to Gov. Palin, and boy, did they make me nauseous.) I was there with a group of about ten others with the pac, Campaign for Liberty. We were protesting the actions of the Congress, the Federal Reserve Bank and Ben Bernanke, not President Obama. We have been fairly critical of President Obama, but we also rejected nearly every policy of "Dubya", so we have been and are continuing to be consistent. Feel free to check us out at

I'll continue to stop by during my daily tour of Chattablogs. Thanks.

alice said...

Thanks, Brent, for your comment. I think you probably fall under Joe's "few exceptions," as you're one of the people taking part in a tax day protest who has been consistently protesting all along (is it possible we met on the patio in front of the library years ago for Chattanooga's original Patriot Act protest?). I'll check out the Campaign for Liberty site!

Sandy on Signal said...

Why don't we do another one to protest the Patriot Act passed in 2001? This is similar to the Boston Tea Party in that people were protesting King George and the Intolerance Acts.

All in favor say "aye"..... crickets chirping.

I guess we need the lobbyists to astroturf this event for us.

MrCrumley said...

Of course we conservatives aren't going to burn our SS or Medicare cards. That would harm our precious, fragile climate. :)