If you drink the mainstream media cool-aid then you would perceive the Tea party to be focused on economic reform and are a welcome break from the previous incarnation of conservative thinking that was clearly very religious. Ah but who funds them? Some of the deepest pockets behind Tea Party groups such as Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks and Citizens for a Sound Economy belong to the Koch brothers. They are radical libertarians who don’t seem to care much one way or another about traditional social conservatism, but in fact, they have given quietly more than a hundred million dollars to right-wing causes.
What makes them tick, why would they dish out funds like this to the Tea Party? The answer is that they are libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation. These views dovetail with the brothers’ corporate interests – ah yes, no surprise there. When your corporate revenues are estimated to be a hundred billion dollars, lower tax would indeed be on your agenda. Its also no surprise to learn that Koch Industries is one of the top ten air polluters in the United States and has also been identified as a “kingpin of climate science denial.”
So what we have is a Tea Party movement that is claimed to be a popular grassroots uprising. They even pitch their rallies like this ..
“Today, the voices of average Americans are being drowned out by lobbyists and special interests, but you can do something about it.”
Yet its a complete sham, this “grassroots” movements is actually being bankrolled by a bunch of oil billionaires.
OK, so where are we now? Take an honest look, see what this new Republican-dominated House of Representatives, which rode in on a sea of Tea Party energy and funding has actually done so far.
Economic reform? Hell no, they are putting all their focus and energy into controlling the uteruses of America, through a series of bills that would defund Planned Parenthood, end all private insurance funding for abortion, and even allow doctors to refuse to save the lives of pregnant women if doing so would require performing an abortion.
Where’s the “small government” and “fiscal conservatism” in that? This has the distinct fingerprints of religious right-wing kooks stamped all over it
The utter insanity here is that defunding Planned Parenthood will likely cost the government four times as much than it would do to keep funding Planned Parenthood.
So really then, who are these Tea Party nutters? The Blogger Amanda Marcotte nails it when she writes in todays Guardian …
If, as the mainstream media narrative would have you believe, they were less concerned with social issues than the Republican party previously had been, you would expect Tea Partiers to rate as more socially liberal than Republicans generally, and hew closer to the public at large on social issues like abortion and gay rights. But, as recent research by the Pew Forum demonstrates, Tea Party voters are far more socially conservative than the general public, and more socially conservative than the overall Republican party. Sixty-nine percent of voters who identified with the religious right also identified with the Tea Party. Unsurprisingly, 64% and 59% of Tea Partiers opposed, respectively, same-sex marriage and legal abortion, compared to 49% and 42% of the public at large.
The idea is that God has set gender roles for men and women, where women stay at home dependent on men. Feminists, the thinking goes, use social spending and reproductive rights to keep women from becoming dependent on men, which upsets God’s plan for women. So, in order to return to the natural order of male dominance – which they currently call “complementary roles” – the government should not only deny women reproductive rights, but also cut off social spending in order to force women become dependent on men. No healthcare, no welfare, no spending on education that gets kids out of the home and allows women to work outside of it. And now, of course, no spending on contraception that allows women to delay marriage and limit family size, preserving their independence.
In other words, cutting spending on these programs has nothing to do with reducing the budget, it is instead being driven by a purely religious agenda that is bankrolled by corporate billionaires.
So if faced with the claim that the tea party is a grassroots movement out for fiscal reform – be skeptical. The facts of their behaviour after two years in the House of Representatives as a majority reveal that claim to be a complete sham.