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The Libertarian Billionaire Agenda Propelling the Tea Party Monster That Has Shut Down Congress

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: congress, abuse, corruption, elections, ethics, government, lies, propaganda, politics, republicans, usa )

- 1114 days ago -
Don't Call It the 'Tea Party' -- Its Real Name Is 'Libertarian Billionaire Agenda'

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Beverly Fjobhunting (86)
Friday October 4, 2013, 7:16 pm
The Tea Party's astroturf roots should have been obvious to anyone paying attention to their rallies.
October 3, 2013 | Like this article?Join our email list:Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, there is no such thing as the Tea Party. There is only a collection of individual billionaires.

Back in 2009 and 2010, during the debate about Obamacare and during the mid-term elections that swept Republicans into power in the House of Representatives, Americans first caught a glimpse of a monster. That monster has now taken over the halls of Congress and shut down the government that George Washington had three horses shot out from under from him to create.

That monster was, of course, the Tea Party. At the time, many in the establishment media treated the Tea Party like what its proponents in the right-wing echo chamber said it was: a genuinely grassroots movement, like the one that created this country way back in the 1770s.

They pointed to the big crowds outside of the Capitol Building and on the Mall in Washington, D.C. and said, "the people are upset about President Obama's policies and now they're taking to the streets!"

With Fox So-Called News pumping out pro-Tea Party propaganda, and other news outlets either too cowed or too busy laughing to look closely at who was really behind it all, it seemed, for a while at least, that the Tea Party was, indeed, a grassroots popular uprising.

But as the smoke cleared, it became clear that the Tea Party was far from a democratic grassroots movement and even far from reflecting traditional American values. In fact, it was the very opposite of grassroots and democratic. It was the creation of billionaires intent on destroying our government, preventing Americans from getting access to healthcare, and sabotaging any attempt to regulate Wall Street or the oil industry.

The small handful of oil and Wall Street groups behind the Tea Party, groups like FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, were all front organizations for the billionaire oil tycoons and banksters who wrecked the economy.

And if you need any more proof of whose interests the Tea Party actually represents, consider this: Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks actually began as parts of the group Citizens for a Sound Economy, which was created in 1984 to defend the interests of big tobacco companies. They even started something they called a "tea party" in the 1980s so that smokers could have a "smokers' rights" group.

The billionaires behind these groups weren't trying to save democracy, they were trying to hijack it, and they were rich and powerful enough to be able to essentially buy their own politicians and dupe a few thousand "American" activists to do their bidding.

The Tea Party's astroturf roots should have been obvious to anyone paying attention to their rallies. Back in 2009, for example, Americans for Prosperity, the pet-project of the oil-rich Koch Brothers, actually bussed Tea Party "activists" around the country to protest President Obama's proposed healthcare law.

Margaret Thatcher, the UK's conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990 once said that "There is no such thing as society, there is only a collection of individuals."A similar thing can be said about the Tea Party: there is no such thing as the Tea Party, only a collection of individual billionaires and their front groups.

And in January of 2010, five right-wing justices on the Supreme Court handed that collection of individual billionaires a big gift with their decision in the Citizens United case. Their decision declared money as speech and stripped the government of many of its powers to restrict corporate electioneering. The Supreme Court essentially gave the billionaires behind the Tea Party the power to hire their own army of politicians to wreak havoc in Congress, politicians who said they fought for "liberty," but were really working in the interests of the corporate billionaire class.

That's why the number of actual Tea Party "activists" has declined so quickly from the heady days of 2010. Now that the Kochs and their allies and can buy their own lawmakers, they don't really need any more of those spunky "activists" dressed in tri-corner hats or people to harass liberal politicians like they did back in 2009 and 2010. They can now count on people like Pete Sessions and Ted Cruz to do their bidding on Capitol Hill. Both received ample campaign donations from groups like the Club for Growth and Koch Industries.

And right now, those bought politicians are towing the "Billionaire Party" line to a tee. They've shut down the government in what seems to be an attempt to sabotage Obamacare and prevent the media from informing Americans about how to use its insurance exchanges.

Make no mistake about it, this has always been the end goal of the Tea Party monster. It wants to destroy government's ability to protect middle-class working people, pad the wallets of its billionaire sponsors, and erase the legacy of the New Deal.

But thankfully, just like all monsters, the Tea Party has an antidote.

And that antidote is rolling back the Supreme Court's Citizens United doctrine that corporations are people and money is speech.

If we want to take back our hijacked democracy from the billionaires and their lackeys in Congress, then we need to take away their lifeblood: the uncontrolled flow of corporate money into our elections.


Past Member (0)
Friday October 4, 2013, 7:38 pm

Roseann d. (178)
Saturday October 5, 2013, 7:14 am
Yup, a lot of Koch with that Tea.

Ben Oscarsito (258)
Saturday October 5, 2013, 8:02 am
Stinking rich bastards in power - A nightmare!

Jonathan Harper (0)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 12:38 am

Birgitta S. (202)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 1:20 am

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 1:34 am
What the Congressional Shutdown Teaches Us About the Afghanistan War:
News Item to Note:


Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 1:45 am
"For veterans and service members, the government shut down means the closing down of many essential services. The Veterans Benefits Administration will be unable to process education and rehabilitation benefits, which are critical to so many vets being able to pay their bills. The Board of Veterans' Appeals will be unable to hold hearings, extending our already outrageous wait period even longer.

If the shutdown continues, the 3.6 million veterans who receive disability and compensation payments for wounds in service—many of whom completely rely on these paychecks to eat—will not be paid. “Thank you for your service?”

The Republicans, on their quest to attack all social programs, civil rights and social rights, are mad that 50 million people will have access to healthcare who didn’t before. This is their opportunity to rally their base against “big government,” pad their pockets from lobbyist friends and boost their anti-worker election strategy.

The Democratic Party is cool with the shutdown. Instead of fighting the right-wing assault that will affect millions, they’re excited to use this towards their election strategy, too, with new ammunition to paint the Republicans as causing hardship for the “middle class”—so they’re happy to wait it out. No rush for them.

So these Congressmen, who are mostly millionaires and work only around 135 days out of the year, are playing a political chess game and in their rich-guy spat consider our lives fair game to throw on the table. Our lives and the lives of our families are expendable, to enrich the lives and careers of these rich politicians.

These same politicians gush endlessly over loving the troops and veterans, especially when it comes to justifying multi-billion-dollar contracts to defense corporations—like the recent $1.2 billion (yes, billion) deal to buy 48 missiles for the United Arab Emirates. Seems like our tax money well spent, if you’re a Lockheed Martin CEO or a prince in the UAE. (NPR, Sept. 23, 2013)

At home and abroad, their careers more important than our lives."

What the Congressional Shutdown Teaches Us About the Afghanistan War

[Congressional Millionaires {mere flunkeys!} with the BILLIONAIRES behind them...]

Athena F. (131)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 1:59 am
I am beyond words. :(

Danuta Watola (1264)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 2:49 am

Jaime Alves (51)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 4:44 am

Gloria picchetti (310)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 5:35 am
Remember the fun protest group called Billionaires for Bush. Things have gotten worse and no longer are fun. 1% owns everything.

Karen Martinez (17)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 5:47 am
And the rest of the world wonders why the US is turning into a bunch of psychos. We have a bunch of nutcases running us, and we can't do a darn thing about it! The electoral process turns a rational sounding person into a selfish moron who is no longer able or willing to stand up for what is right and decent. What has happened to our country?

Phil Wood (210)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 8:04 am
It's important to remember that we are fighting for the rights of the individual in society. Huge income inequality is one of the things that society is to guard us against, lest we go back to the conditions that Marx reacted to (and we thought were safely behind us).

James Travers (1)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 8:10 am
"But thankfully, just like all monsters, the Tea Party has an antidote. And that antidote is rolling back the Supreme Court's Citizens United doctrine that corporations are people and money is speech."

This is absolutely true, however it's like saying there is an antidote for cancer on Saturn. Barring a Liberal Justice replacing one of the five Conservatives I see no path to that happening. And good luck getting a Liberal Justice through the "No it all" Republicans in a comformation vote now.
A repeal is definitely not going to happen via the amendment route. Getting 37 states to agree on something is only slightly less difficult than going to Saturn. Besides, if the movement ever gained momemtum the billionaires would sink so much money into propaganda that the amendment would surely go the way of GMO labeling in California.

ewoud k. (71)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 8:38 am

What do they think they'll leave to their children?

Interested only in their own, personnel wellbeing, at all cost.

Susanne R. (237)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 8:43 am
EXCELLENT article! It explains the ulterior motives of the brain trust "behind" the tea party so well!

I just wonder how the every-day citizens who rally on behalf of the tea party -- based on the lies they were fed by well-organized groups funded by billionaires -- are going to feel once they realize that they were nothing more than flunkies for the 1%? That they were misled, used and abused, and made fools of? That they actually hurt themselves, their loved ones, their neighbors and the vast majority of American citizens? Do they really believe that billionaires are "squandering" the money they love above all else on the likes of the average citizen? They created and finance the "tea party"--and even managed to drum up lackeys to hide behind-- to protect themselves, their interests and their ability to control our government.

Thank you for posting this, Beverly!

Barry AWAY T. (938)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 9:07 am
noted & shared

Theodore Shayne (56)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 9:15 am
It's what austerity economics is really about: destroy the middle class thereby creating a wage slave class that works for peanuts while the !% earn maximum profit.

Look Mildred, it's Annuit Coeptis - Novus Ordo Seclorum. - E Pluribus Unum. All bow to the "kings of the earth".

Beverly Fjobhunting (86)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 9:17 am
VOTE PEOPLE! Vote for your best interests not theirs! We need to get these people out of Congress!

Past Member (0)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 12:37 pm
And, even worse, most of these billionaires got rich, not by their 'good deeds', but through criminal activity! Both Ford and Rockefeller hired mobsters to crush unions. The Bush family helped bankroll Hitler even after we entered the war. The Clark family, who stole their fortune from Singer, also aided Hitler. They are all a pack of criminal vermin!

Sherry D. (47)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 1:08 pm
Cruel and Unusual Politics:

The words most frequently used to describe House Republicans these days are CRAZY and STUPID. And it’s not just the Liberal columnists and Democratic politicians who are questioning the GOP’s basic sanity and I.Q. No less than the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal characterized the latest scheme to defund ObamaCare by threatening an imminent government shut down as inept and a Kamikaze mission. Karl Rove called it ill-conceived and North Carolina’s Richard Burr castigated it as the dumbest idea he had ever heard of, which says quite a lot coming from a senator who introduced a ridiculous bill to abolish the EPA.

The name calling makes for good t.v., and the GOP crack up no doubt thrills many a progressive. All the Senate Democrats and several Republicans are opposed to this latest Tea Party hostage taking plot, so the chances it will succeed in gutting ObamaCare are nonexistent. Now that the government is shut down the rest of the GOP will realize the futility of this gambit and the damage it will do to their electoral odds. But all of this attention to congressional procedures and electoral point scoring misses something quite profound about what the GOP has proposed in the past few months: a chilly cruel vision of a society in which tens of millions struggle to survive in abject misery while the richest of the rich get richer. Call it Elysium in the real world,2013.

Indeed, the day before the House voted to defund the Affordable Care Act, it passed a farm bill that would cut $40 million from the Federal food stamp program which helps to feed 48 million Americans, 3 million of whom would immediately lose their benefits if the GOP get it’s way. Conservatives like Paul Ryan berated the program for lulling able bodied Americans into a culture of independency. The program, however, provides on the average just $4.45 a day, and most of it’s beneficiaries are children, the elderly and the disabled. The GOP demanded that food stamp recipients find jobs or participate in job-training programs. But it’s the same House republicans who have failed to pass a single jobs bill, while also voting to cut job training programs. The message, then, to the 17 million Americans who struggle to find enough food to eat is quite simple-time to starve.

Likewise,if the Affordable Care Act were to be scrapped, the GOP has no solution for Americans who lack affordable coverage or have pre-existing conditions. Once again, the implicit message is that people should simply submit to the vicissitudes of the free market-the society should just let our uninsured die. And the recent campaign to persuade young Americans not to enroll in ObamaCare, while deriding for it’s clownish execution , has a dark intent: actively encouraging young people not to seek health care.

Republicans may very well, not succeed in enacting these miserable policies, but they are winning the larger debate: The Democratic counter offer to the GOP food stamp proposal was a modest $4.5 billion reduction. There has been zero discussion of the serious need to expand benefits. Similarly, Democrats have failed to mount a credible challenge to the crippling sequester cuts. In short, the debate in Washington still accepts the false framework that government is spending too much, with Democrats relegated to doing damage control. With the GOP threatening a debt ceiling breach, it’s time for more Democrats to join the progressive Caucus, supporting it’s powerful case for an active government that fights for ordinary Americans.

The Nation Magazine- October 2013

David Menard (43)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 1:36 pm
I hope we can throw out the tbaggs in 2014 unfortunately they have so gerrymanderd their districts they will be harder to remove than deer ticks and like those ticks they spread disease that and the citizens united BS allowing the Koch bros and other banksters CEO's big oil etc pouring money into their campaign coffers I don't know if thats even possible anymore.

Birgit W. (159)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 1:44 pm
Excellent article, thank you.

Roger Garin-michaud (154)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 6:26 pm
noted, thanks

James E. (16)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 7:11 pm
While the "right-wing" tries to focus everyone on "government socialism" they push through "corporate socialism" at all levels, including your local community. The right seems happy to push corporate/business rights over individual rights.

Winn Adams (203)
Monday October 7, 2013, 7:38 am
Great article, thanks.

Beverly Fjobhunting (86)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 12:25 am
It's all about their own power and greed at the expense of those who sent them to Congress. Unfortunately David is right ~ all the gerrymandering of districts makes it almost impossible to get rid of them. Until the people in those districts realize they are voting against themselves by voting for these idiots the circus will go on.
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