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Who's Pouring That Tea

Updated on July 4, 2011

Right Anger--Wrong Direction

Anger and rage can be a double-edged sword.  It can rouse a person to stand and fight, or consume a person whole  It can also be misused and misdirected.  

This is what I see going on within the "Tea Party" wing of the Republican Party.  A situation where anger, perhaps justified, is being directed out instead of up.  Let me explain what I mean. 

To me the "Tea Party" for all of its claims to be independent is a corporate creation.  The roots of it, to me, came from opposition to the bailouts and to the health insurance reform package.  In the case of the bailouts, the fact that those corps would be subject to more oversight and regulation, especially in CEO and executive compensation.  With the Health Insurance reform, which the; insurance, prescription drug, and perhaps low-wage service sector, managed to severely water down, it was a case of profits being threatened.

So, these corporations see a threat, but lack the numbers in and of themselves to achieve their aims.  Simple solution, turn to an echo chamber.  Rely on AM-Radio and it's cable news affiliate FOX.  You now seem to have factual backing for the opinions of folks like Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh.  Throw in the "down-home" charm of folks like Sarah Palin and you can keep a lot of people in the dark.  

Rand Paul's recent gaffes on the Civil Rights Act hits at another potential component of the "Tea Party"  movement.  The fact that not only is a Democrat in the White House, but a Democrat who's a member of a Republican/conservative outgroup. 

The idea of an "outgroup", an "other", has throughout history been a key component of right-wing thinking.  How else will you get folks to override their economic interest and support corporate power.

All of this brings up a simple question, how do we get the Tea Partiers to see that they're being manipulated.  That is what this hub is hopefully going to answer.


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    • Harlan Colt profile image

      Harlan Colt 

      6 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

      As a Tea Party activist and Board Member of a national Tea Party group, I can tell you all we seek in our organization is a return to the Constitutional limitations of governmental oversight. Stu's comments hit the nail right on the head, so I won't rehash.

      Corporate creation? Well if that's true, I wish they would cough up some money because so far, its cost me personally over $20k just since June and I haven't seen a dime come my direction, not one thin dime, and neither has any other board member.

      I am not aware of any big corp, using the Tea Party for anything, however, I have seen them try. I know of one business man who offered one Tea Party $100k for 15 minutes access to Sarah Palin at a rally and they told him, "NO WAY," and they really needed the money to pay for the event.

      Yea... those are the kind of people who are your enemy. Those are the kind of people you should distrust and have political disdain for.

      Just last week, Christine O'Donnell went to Iowa to rally the Tea Party behind Mitt Romney and 16 local groups issued a joint press release publicly declining the invitation.

      So what does that tell you?

      All you've managed to say to me between the lines is that you aren't paying enough attention to see whats going on here and you are being lead around by the nose by someone else's agenda.

      There are at least 2 or three Tea Party groups in every state and some have several. There are 3-4 national and regional groups as well. I've met a lot of them.

      If anyone's anger is being misused and misdirected, I think it may well be you. But rather than tell you you're mistaken, I would invite you to go to the next rally in your area and truly listen to what the people are saying and not the carefully edited clips on the news.

      And while I do disagree with you, your article was well written and presented. Kudo's on that. I will vote this article up in that regard.

      Best Wishes,

      - Harlan

    • TeaPartyCrasher profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Camp Hill, PA


      It's just a matter of getting them to see that.

      I'll look at some of your hubs-Later;)

    • PoliticsNOW profile image


      6 years ago from New York

      Tea party members are bein used by Big Corp such as the Koch brothers s we now know from Walker in WI. They campaign on fear and hate for Obama, no matter what he does.

    • profile image

      Stu From VT 

      7 years ago

      Hi TPC,

      Will read "We The People" and report back there.

      Would appreciate your comments on my reply to this thread.

      I think the Founders would have approved of the CU decision. Corporations are owned by people, who give management the right to represent them. A corporation is nothing more than the collective interest of individual human shareholders. Hence, any other decision in the CU case would have violated the First Amendment.


    • TeaPartyCrasher profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Camp Hill, PA


      I refer you to "We The People", another one of my 'Hubs'.

      Also, I don't think the Founding Fathers would approve of corps being granted "free speech" rights.

    • profile image

      Stu From VT 

      7 years ago


      Your thesis is wrong on multiple counts. For full disclosure, I am a TPM member (state and national).

      The origins of the TPM are subject to debate. Some think it was originally a libertarian movement, some a mainstream conservative movement, some a shill for special interests (the astroturf theory).

      But the origins of the TPM are irrelevant. All that matters is what it stands for today. The TPM has three very simple planks:

      (1) Legal constructionism (always interpreting law per framer intent, not personal ideology).

      (2) Free markets (elimination of wasteful and harmful business and labor regulation, subsidies, tax loopholes, discriminatory tariffs, etc.).

      (3) Fiscal prudence (sufficient fiscal austerity to both generate federal surpluses to pay off the official national debt, and sufficient entitlement reform to permit enough of the off balance sheet debt to be abrogated to prevent a financial meltdown).

      I admit there is anger here, but it's not directed at any segment of civilian society. It's directed at policymakers who are hellbent on destroying the Constitution and taking us over the cliff to financial ruin. There are no "in groups" or "out groups." There is only we the people.

      The TPM is essentially a mainstream conservative revolution. It is a peaceful version of the very spirit of the Founders. Our Founders fought and died to bequeath unto us a system of ordered liberty. It was based on the rule of law, the freedom to pursue happiness, inalienable human rights per the DOI, fiscal responsibility, and the absence of both tyranny and anarchy.

      Through atrocious activism (failure to obey framer intent of the Consitution and federal law) on the part of all three branches of federal government, and profligate spending and borrowing, we have trashed our legacy of soundly managed constitutional democracy, and replaced it with "socialism lite" fueled by insane levels of spending and borrowing.

      The TPM wants to restore the colonial compromise between Jefferson and Hamilton that led to our Constitution, and actually live by that Constitution on a day by day basis. In addition to radical fiscal austerity to pay off the national debt, we also want every federal agency, regulation, law, and executive order that violates the Constitution, or parallel or higher federal code, to be vacated.

      A further critical point is that we do not want the federal government to be the locus of power, as it is now. The states created the federal government, not the other way around. The Tenth Amendment legally demands that the federal government may not exercise ANY power that is not enumerated on its behalf within the Constitution. The TPM in turn demands that the federal government LITERALLY OBEY the Tenth Amendment. It was intended that the VAST RESIDUE OF POWERS would inure to the states, except to the extent denied within the Constitution, and the states would share power with the people based on each state's unique culture (i.e., some states would be relatively more libertarian, some relatively more statist). The Founders intended that the federal government was to be TINY, a provider of a MINISCULE number of services the states and the people could not provide for themselves (national defense, major infrastructure, etc.). The states were intended to be SOVEREIGN, almost like countries, but bound to the union (i.e., no power to secede). It was NOT intended that the states were to be "administrative regions" of the federal government, as they are now. The federal government was to SERVE the states and the people, not RULE them. Due to rampant violation of the Tenth Amendment for over 100 years, we now have a federal government that functions almost like a monarchical overlord, the very tyranny our Founders DIED to free us from. Further, federal operating spending now accounts for an astronomical 25% of GNP (it was 2% in the Founders' days). Finally, counting both official investor owned debt, and debt owned by federal agencies (the off balance sheet debt), the taxpayers owe a monstrous 700% of GNP, which can never be repaid without ruinous monetization.

      A final word about the astroturf theory. While it may or may not be true that special interests gave rise to the TPM, the present day nature of the TPM is purely grassroots. You seem to believe that it is a stealth mouthpiece for corporate America. Absolutely nothing could be further from the truth. TPM politicians eschew earmarks and pork, and spurn large contributions from special interests. This is so they can represent the people. Not the corporations, not the unions, but the people. The corporations, unions, and Chambers of Commerce HATE the TPM, because TPM incumbents can't be bought. The TPM's only "special interest" is the Constitution.


    • justmesuzanne profile image


      7 years ago from Texas

      Faux News has shown that Mad Tea Partiers respond to catch phrases, buzz-words, and jingoism. That's what we need to come up with to communicate with them!

    • jtcarr1164 profile image


      7 years ago from Tueplo, Mississippi

      Just because YOU are against corporations, does not mean the Tea Party is opposed to them. The Tea Party is not opposed to corporations. We realize who creates jobs and wealth. The Tea Party opposes government interference with corporations, small business and individual freedoms. You completely missed the mark. There is no standing for an unholy alliance between government and corporations.

      You can not wage a war against Wall Street and expect Main Street to be affected. What is good for Wall Street is good for Main Street and is good for the economy. The government wants to tax corporations, citing them as evil. This is preposterous. The money earned by corporations belongs to them, not the government. The same applies to individuals. Raising taxes is robbery. What part are you progressives not understanding.

      Yes the bailouts gave money to corporations, but at what cost? The cost was government control. This president is the first to ever fire a CEO of a corporation. Granted, he probably should have gone, but it is not the President's place to say so or make it happen. The government should stay out of the market place, that is one of the things the Tea Party stands for. So naturally the Tea Party is in favor of corporations or anyone else that provides jobs.

      You should reevaluate who is the enemy.

    • profile image


      7 years ago from Clearwater, Florida

      Well I agree with your point only to a degree. TPC, my wife works for an insurance company (which I'll not name). This company was heavily involved in the 'healthcare reform' early on in an advisory capacity. This company sent emails to employees that clearly reflected the bias of the corp. towards the new healthcare package. The heads of this corp. hope to 'cash in' on the new healthcare regulations.

      Now to the pharmacies. Notice that they were willing to grant their drugs to government healthcare for reduced prices knowing that as more Ameicans were signed up for government health policies that they would more than make up for the lower prices by the volume of product sold.

      While I agree that ANY movement can be hijacked by outside forces(it happens regularly) I don't know that the Tea Party has been entirely co-opted, and I certainly don't agree that the movement was organized or spurred on by corporate interests. Some corporations really did believe they'd make MORE money with some of Obama's change-and that's not necessarily proving to be the case. These corps. may well be aligning themselves with and yes, even financing Tea Party events/functions.

      What these corporations will find in the long run, I believe, is that the core of the Tea Party's beliefs run straight up AGAINST what they stand for-an unholy alliance between corporations and government.

      Mark it down. As the corporations seek more influence in the Tea Party, they'll be found out and outed.

    • Satori profile image


      8 years ago from California

      Astroturf movements are often hugely effective in preventing widespread societal renovation. If you can get people to wear a flag pin rather than gain an understanding of their rights, you can divert social trends in a hurry. It worked in subverting the gay rights movement into the tackier, baser gay pride scene.

      I've found a good approach to out-thwarting that kind of thwarting is to promote the genuine article; rather than direct the majority of my effort decrying the faded, mimeographed copy. For instance, while the Tea Party may easily be a diverting shill for Neo-Conservatives who rightly fear the end of their Versailles, what people are really looking for when they get pulled into the Tea Party's orbit is probably a sovereign citizens' movement. If you're not familiar with sovereignty, you may want to check out how citizenship and the government eroded over the last two hundred-odd years, and how people are crowdsourcing research and collaborating on activism to get back to the country as it was originally founded:

      There's a ton of research into just what happened and how online, and it sits on the internet because until recently the mainstream weren't fed up enough to want to read law. Now they're starting to check into it more. I've started getting into the law research and making an easier read of it for the average person in some of my Hubs. You may want to do the same. Promoting the solutions always seems to beat bemoaning the problems. At least until action can be taken to dispell them entirely, perhaps.

      Be well,

      - Satori

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Amazingly accurate summarization of the whole "tea-party" political model. It really does all boil down to convincing a segment of society to vote against their own self-interests.

    • profile image

      Radical Geek 

      8 years ago

      I see that but will the Tea Party be able to see the future or will it break into factions and turn on each other with all these personalities?

    • opettye profile image


      8 years ago

      You hit the nail on the head!! If these people could only see that their only the pawn in these corporations game. It never ceases to amaze me how easily people can be manupilated with angry rhetoric. The sad thing is most of these people will end up voting against their interest. I look forward to reading more of your post please take a look at some of mine.


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