If only these misdirected Oklahoma tea baggers would show up for Tuesday’s health insurance reform rally at the state Capitol, then they would be protesting in the spirit of the Boston Tea Party, which was an action to hold a corporation and its government enablers accountable.
Health insurance reform advocates will rally at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 21 on the South Plaza or on the stairs near the Lieutenant Governor’s office. These protestors, in the spirit of true patriots, want to make sure people have affordable health care. They want to stop big corporations from ripping off people with the help of the government just like the original Boston Tea Party protesters.
According to Okwatchdog, one of the groups sponsoring the health insurance reform event, “Our message is that we need to protect Oklahomans from abuses and take back the Legislature from the insurance lobby.”
Meanwhile, the Fox News-sponsored and conservative tea bag parties on tax day, April 15, left a lot of commentators and pundits baffled at just what the tea baggers were protesting, though the mainstream media—on the left or right—seemed to argue we need to take it all very seriously. Was it taxes? Well, taxes were actually higher under former President Ronald Reagan, the Republican political deity, than they are now. President Barack Obama’s budget plans would actually decrease taxes on the vast majority of American citizens. Was it increased federal spending? Well, the blame there belongs to former President George Bush, another once-lauded Republican who dragged the country into two botched military occupations, ran the economy into the ground and then started an unpopular bank bailout program.
So could it be the tea baggers were, in fact, protesting the failures of their own Republican party? Seriously, it appears to be so.
The Republican tea party at the state Capitol drew an estimated 5,000 people, according to news reports, which is a sizable number, but it was again difficult to discern the main message. Here’s what The Oklahoman said about it all on its April 17 editorial page:
Judging by news reports, the events — perhaps as many as 350 across the country — were boisterous and sometimes overwrought (a few tea partiers in Texas demanded secession from the Union), yet policy-makers in the nation’s capital ridicule or ignore them at great risk.
It’s all quite vague, but no ridicule or ignoring here the “great risk.” I just want the tea baggers to show up for other anti-corporate-better-government rallies because what we do know is this: The initial 1773 Boston Tea Party, which eventually led to the Revolutionary War, was a protest against a company.
According to Thom Hartmann, a New York Times best-selling author and talk show host:
The real Boston Tea Party was a protest against huge corporate tax cuts for the British East India Company, the largest trans-national corporation then in existence. This corporate tax cut threatened to decimate small Colonial businesses by helping the BEIC pull a Wal-Mart against small entrepreneurial tea shops, and individuals began a revolt that kicked-off a series of events that ended in the creation of The United States of America.
They covered their faces, massed in the streets, and destroyed the property of a giant global corporation. Declaring an end to global trade run by the East India Company that was destroying local economies, this small, masked minority started a revolution with an act of rebellion later called the Boston Tea Party.
It’s understandable people—and this includes the tea baggers—are angry with the federal government right now, though the problems it faces have far more to do with Bush’s incompetence than it does with Obama. No one can deny Obama was handed a real mess from Bush. Many on the left, myself included, oppose the bank bailouts under Bush and Obama, for example. We think key Obama economic advisers are too vested in Wall Street, and that could stop real banking industry reform. We’re angry, too.
But the question for the tea baggers is this: Can the Republican Party, which is in serious decline nationally, do more than just pull political stunts or engage in a politics of fictional hysteria? The neoconservative agenda has failed miserably; old-school, small-government conservatives are often vilified by the party’s cultural and social extremists, who want to tell other Americans how to live their lives. Where are the new ideas, tea baggers?