As Paul Krugman's column in the Sunday paper points out, Republicans have historically been over the edge, even crazy, and they are particularly good at duping the middle class. What were once called Dittoheads are now known as memes, but they still rant and make up weasel word phrases for those things they stand against – usually taxes. Yesterday’s bad old liberal is today called socialist, and the behavior we are seeing today with these tea parties is just SOS-DD.
So, here come the teabaggers; a supposedly grassroots effort by down home folks, but as Krugman says, there is little organic about this grass. Astroturf would be a better description. Krugman points to FreedomWorks, a decidedly well funded (by corporate America) right-wing outfit, as having more than a little bit of doings about these tea parties. Further, old Fair and Balanced FOX News is heavily promoting the circus, with Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Neil Cavuto, and Greta Van Susteren all slated to broadcast live from various parties, act as celebrity MC’s, and make speeches. FOX analyst Newt Gingrich will be in New York. Glenn Beck hosted a $500 a plate fundraising dinner for this Astroturf effort. Even Joe the Plumber will be at one of the shows.
I’d bet most of the folks participating in these events couldn’t give you a good definition of socialism, and might even be surprised at what they’d find in the dictionary.
Regardless, the people are being led like sheep. The original tea parties were less about taxes and more about protesting against the unfair practices of one of the largest corporate entities at the time, the East India Company; something the corporate sponsors of our modern tea parties fail to tell the participants. These sponsors, and FOX News, seem to rely on ignorance of history. But then forgetting the past and rewriting history is nothing new for those guys. They make a living off of it.
ADENDUM - Just found these stats:
From April 6 to April 13, FOX News featured 20 segments on tea parties and aired 73 in-show and commercial promotions. FOX News repeatedly described the events as "FNC Tax Day Tea Parties." Of the programs, Your World with Neil Cavuto featured the most segments on the protests with at least seven. Including weekend editions, Fox & Friends and America's Newsroom came in second with at least four segments each. Hannity featured the most promos during its hour (12), while Your World and Glenn Beck each showed at least eight promos, five in-show. The study also found that at least nine of the 20 segments and 40 of the 73 promos aired April 11-13.