Monday, September 13, 2010

Yet More Tea Party Signs: Racism, Violent Rhetoric, and Idiocy

And here we go yet again. On Saturday, September 12, 2010, tea partiers gathered in Washington once again to protest … um … er … something or other. And once again, photographs show that the tea partiers aren’t violent or racist or stupid. (Note: Many of these photos are taken from a slideshow available at Talking Points Memo.)

1You could probably stop after looking at just this photo; it should be enough to chill to the bone any American who values our political process. Recall the photos from prior tea party rallies claiming that protestors “came unarmed this time” (see the 19th photo in this prior post, for example). Well, apparently, we’re expected to understand that if the tea party wingnuts don’t get their way at the ballot box, we can expect that they’ll be resorting to bullets. One question: What does this idiot mean by restoration? What does he want to restore?

gallery-smalltea5 Again, remember that the tea party isn’t about race. That’s why they keep repeating President Obama’s middle name; that’s why they show him in a turban or keffiyeh; and that’s why they call him an “Imam”. Nope, no racism or Islamophobia from this fan of the Washington Senators. And I’d love to hear this guy make the case that President Obama has committed treason (for which the Constitution provides a penalty of death).

gallery-smalltea7I liked this picture in a sort of “two-for-one” way. First we have the reference (remember, no racism or birtherism here…) to President Obama as a Kenyan. And then we have the quaint suggestion that “Obama-ism is Socialism”. Um, can somebody explain what Obama-ism is? Would that have something to do with trying to help people get back to work? Might it have anything to do with trying to make health care affordable? Or perhaps it has something to do with trying to regulate banks so that they don’t cause another global financial meltdown. And for the record, if President Obama really was a socialist, don’t you think that he would have simply proposed a massive government jobs program similar to the Works Progress Administration that directly employed millions of unemployed Americans during the Great Depression rather than promote programs that sought to have private businesses employ Americans? If President Obama really was a socialist, wouldn’t he have pushed much more forcefully for a single payer system rather than keeping insurance companies in place? Ah, but those “-isms” are sound scary.

gallery-smalltea8 I’m not sure if this is a racist image or not. Something about the horns suggests to me that she isn’t simply objecting to President Obama’s policies. Oh, and I like the bonus “Infidel” shirt the guy is wearing.

gallery-smalltea13 Well, I guess if Sarah Palin says that “refudiate” is a word, then it must be true! One Alaskan idiot makes shit up (remember death panels?) and the wingnut right believes her. Now that’s scary.

gallery-smalltea17 For those who aren’t Christians, I guess that no hope remains? Seriously, though, this poster should help Jews, Muslims, atheists, and other non-Christians understand that the tea party is not an inclusive movement. And did you notice the bonus bit in this photo? Look at the T-shirt of the guy in the foreground. FreedomWorks is the organization run by former Congressman Dick Armey that has been driving much of the tea party movement. When people refer to the tea party as “astroturf” instead of grass roots, it’s because of groups like FreedomWorks that organize the people into the supposed groundswell of “grass roots” support. Here we have a guy who is a “Volunteer Leader” for the astroturf organizer that is paid for by big business.

gallery-smalltea21So many things to say, so little time. Let’s see: President Obama is a terrorist? Well, I suppose people who have been on the receiving end of drone missile strikes might agree with that, but I don’t really think that’s what this guy is referring to. So what terrorist acts has President Obama committed that got this guy’s panties in a knot? Next, he seems to be suggesting that President Obama is both a communist and a Muslim. Again, no racism in the Muslim part of the allegation, right? But do you think that this guy even has a clue what communism really is? I guess we should take him seriously, though, because he is wearing a camouflage cap! Finally, if President Obama is a communist, how can he also be a king (I presume that’s what the crown is for). Aren’t communism and royalty mutually exclusive? Oh? What’s that? Damn, you’re right. My bad. I mistakenly resorted to logic again. I’ll try to refrain from that in the future.

gallery-smalltea22

What do you suppose Ronald Reagan would have to say about the tea party, the birthers, the rampant racism and Islamophobia, the threats of violence (not to mention actual use of violence), and the Republicans’ “just say no” approach to governance? I suspect that Ronnie would be appalled.

gallery-smalltea24More of the threats of violence. During the 2008 campaign, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) told Chris Matthews on Hardball that there were people in Congress with “anti-American” views. And recall that Sharon Angle, the Republican candidate for Senate in Nevada, suggested the use of “Second Amendment remedies” and that Sen. Harry Reid should be “taken out”. More recently, she has on several occasions declined to retract a previous assertion that there are “domestic enemies” in Congress. It seems that those on the nutcase right have concluded that an elected representative who favors a policy to which the right objects is, by definition, an enemy of America, because, obviously, only an enemy of America would dare adopt or support a policy with which those on the right disagree. Disagreements about which policy is better are no longer in vogue; instead, a representative (who was, most likely, elected by a majority in that representative’s district) who supports a non-tea party approved position is an enemy who should be “taken out” with “Second Amendment remedies”. Does that call to political violence or even civil war trouble anyone else?

gallery-smalltea25 Does this guy really believe that socialism means that the government is going to begin killing people for their money? Given what we can see of the guy’s age, you have to wonder whether he takes that socialist Social Security check, accepts socialist Medicare, or visits the socialist VA for healthcare?

gallery-smalltea27 And to this couple, the idea of violence against Democrats and liberals seems to have crossed the Rubicon to include violence against moderate Republicans, too. If you’re not on the far right wing, you should apparently be in fear. Oh, I’m sure that these people would say that they only use the targeting crosshairs metaphorically, but given the reek of violence in the air and the extreme partisanship into which our system has descended, isn’t the metaphor more of an incitement?

gallery-smalltea29 I’ll admit that this sign also made me chuckle a bit. But I guess I am a bit confused. Are these guys angry at the unemployed? Are they implying that only liberals are out of work or that if you’re out of work you must be a liberal? And what makes them believe that liberals don’t have proverbial balls? Come on, it doesn’t take a lot of guts to tell insurance companies and big corporations that they can do whatever they want, does it? It doesn’t take a lot of guts to gather with a bunch of folks who look just like you? It doesn’t take balls to make racist and xenophobic attacks against minority groups. But it does take balls to say, “Gee, I want to do what’s right for everyone, not just for myself”. Anyway, I’m glad these guys want to cling to their Bible (though I have to wonder at the lack of facial hair as required by the bible and I suspect that those shirts and pants are made of more than one type of cloth) but what do the guns have to do with anything? Funny, I don’t recall G-d telling people to use their guns to threaten or kill those who want to help the less fortunate? Maybe that was one of Jesus’ lessons from the New Testament that I missed.

gallery-smalltea33Imagine the following: This guy is walking in a shopping mall and he sees an African-American teenager with this image on a T-shirt referring to “The Man” or maybe to the police. Would he be offended? And is this sign appropriate if there are kids at the rally? Ah, who cares. He gets to say “fuck you” in public! Of course, I am curious to know whether he gets his health care via either Medicare or the VA. After all, what he’s saying is that he should be entitled to his government-sponsored health care but the rest of us should fuck off, too.

gallery-smalltea34So, if pressed, do you think that this woman could offer a cogent argument to explain how the Constitution has been eroded. And, if pressed further, do you think that she would be able to distinguish the erosion of the Constitution under the Obama administration from that of the Bush administration? I don’t quite get why these wingnuts are so fixated on the Constitution now (especially the Tenth Amendment) while they watched silently as the Bush administration gave enormous handouts to corporations, imprisoned people without trial, wiretapped Americans without warrants, lied to the public and Congress to get us into a war, outed covert CIA agents, etc. But when President Obama tries to prevent a second Great Depression, tries to get people back to work, tries to provide affordable health care, and tries to regulate banks, the wingnuts yell and scream about the Constitution. Well, at least those parts that they like. They try to amend or repeal the parts that they find inconvenient, like the 14th Amendment, or add new amendment to stop scary advances in society (ooh, gay marriage…).

ZZ4C8449BBOne last birther bit of nonsense.

And finally, a “bonus” irony photo:

gallery-smalltea36For those who don’t know, that’s Andrew Breitbart. He’s the asshole (I see no reason to mince words when it comes to this piece of shit) who helped push the videos that allegedly showed malfeasance by ACORN. Recall, however, that when the full videos were examined, numerous prosecutors determined that the videos had been badly edited to make ACORN look bad. And he’s the same charlatan who pushed the Shirley Sherrod video (the USDA official who was allegedly a racist, when, in fact, she was actually talking about overcoming racism). Breitbart wouldn’t know the truth if it walked up to him and punched him square in the face. He’s a political assassin who uses badly edited video instead of a gun. And this is the guy telling people not to believe “the liberal media”. Give me a fuckin’ break. Breitbart is example #1 (well, maybe #2 after Faux News) of some of the worst problems that our system of government faces.

And a vote for Republicans in November will just reward this monster and those who believe his lies.

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This post is the continuation of a series of posts showcasing images of the tea party. Here are links to all (I think) of the other posts in my series:

A Sampling of Signs from the "Tea Bag" Parties That You Didn't See on the News
A Sampling of Signs from the "Tea Bag" Parties That You Didn't See on the News (update 1)
Here We Go Again: More “Tax Protest” Signs
Here We Go Again: More “Tax Protest” Signs (Part 2)
Here We Go Again: More “Tax Protest” Signs (Part 3)
Here We Go Again: More “Tax Protest” Signs (Part 4)
Tea Party Idiots Are Back ... and Just as Vile
How Do We Respond?

and just for fun (with a bit of bonus racism):

Teabonics: More Reasons to Fear the Teabaggers.

I know that there are some dead links in some of those posts. I’ll try to fix them soon.

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