Tea Party: Victims? | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tea Party: Victims?

Posted By on Sat, Aug 28, 2010 at 7:31 AM

TEABAGGER: His emblem held high.
  • The Stranger
  • TEABAGGER: His emblem held high.
Let the teabaggers roar on the Capitol mall today. Nice day for a rally. But their adoption of a persecution/victimization theme is a little ironic, don't you think? To accept Glenn Beck as the new M.L. King is beyond irony.

In the Tea Party’s talk of states’ rights, critics say they hear an echo of slavery, Jim Crow and George Wallace. Tea Party activists call that ridiculous: they do not want to take the country back to the discrimination of the past, they say, they just want the states to be able to block the federal mandate on health insurance.

Still, the government programs that many Tea Party supporters call unconstitutional are the ones that have helped many black people emerge from poverty and discrimination. It is not just that Rand Paul, the Republican nominee for Senate in Kentucky, said that he disagreed on principle with the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that required business owners to serve blacks. It is that many Tea Party activists believe that laws establishing a minimum wage or the federal safety net are an improper expansion of federal power.

Critics rightly note that Dr. King spoke over and over of the need for this country to acknowledge its “debt to the poor,” calling for an “economic bill of rights” that would “guarantee a job to all people who want to work and are able to work.” In Mr. Beck’s taxonomy, this would make him a Marxist.

Meanwhile, a group financed by the Koch billionaires that is also working to encourage the Tea Party events is under fire for its overtly political advertising while enjoying tax-free status.

And speaking of the Kochs, Frank Rich also wrote Sunday about the billionaires feeding the Tea Party movement. Rich suggests a simple question (will the 'baggers ever realize they are being used, ultimately to their disadvantage?):

Tea Partiers may share the Kochs’ detestation of taxes, big government and Obama. But there’s a difference between mainstream conservatism and a fringe agenda that tilts completely toward big business, whether on Wall Street or in the Gulf of Mexico, while dismantling fundamental government safety nets designed to protect the unemployed, public health, workplace safety and the subsistence of the elderly.

Tags: , , , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (63)

Showing 1-50 of 63

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-50 of 63

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • A response to police arrests becomes a tutorial on race, class and policing in Little Rock

    John Walker, the 79-year-old civil rights lawyer, and his associate, Omavi Shukur, 29, a young lawyer devoted to criminal justice reform, talked to press this afternoon about their arrests Monday by Little Rock police for supposedly obstructing governmental operations in observing and attempting to film a routine police traffic stop. It was a tutorial on sharp views of race, class and governance in Little Rock.
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • Antwan Phillips wants to make a difference in reducing Little Rock violence

    KARK/Fox 16's push to do something about Little Rock violence includes a spotlight on people trying to make a difference — in this episode Antwan Phillips, a lawyer at Wright, Lindsey and Jennings.
    • Aug 30, 2017
  • Donald Trump declares war on Hillary Clinton's marriage

    Donald Trump gave a remarkable interview to the New York Times yesterday in which he declared open season on the marriage of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton's past infidelity. Seems like a loser, but I've been wrong before.
    • Oct 1, 2016

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation