Archive for February 1st, 2010

Tea Partiers, man your battle stations.

Feb 01, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives, Corporate shenanigans, Economy

Wall Street needs your anti-government rhetoric, and Frank Luntz is here to tell you how to apply your newfound populism to protecting big banks and the inscrutable financial apparatuses that got us in this mess:

If there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s that the bad decisions and harmful policies by Washington bureaucrats that in many ways led to the economic crash must never be repeated,” Luntz wrote. “This is your critical advantage. Washington’s incompetence is the common ground on which you can build support.”

Luntz continued: “Ordinarily, calling for a new government program ‘to protect consumers’ would be extraordinary popular. But these are not ordinary times. The American people are not just saying ‘no.’ They are saying ‘hell no’ to more government agencies, more bureaucrats, and more legislation crafted by special interests.”

The thing is, the teabaggers never were populists at all. They’re nothing more than angry Republicans who went apoplectic the day a man named Barack Hussein Obama was sworn into office, and the eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency were utterly rebuked.

A group adrift, ideologically bankrupt, unrepentant, they seized on the emergency measures drafted to fight the economic collapse that nearly a decade of Republican deregulation had merited. In 1999, the Glass-Steagal Act crafted after the Great Depression was revoked, a move championed by Republicans and signed by go-along-to-get-along President Clinton, and in 2008, unleashed financial chaos led to entirely predictable results. Being Republicans, they couldn’t fight that. In reality, they could do nothing more than wait to see what President Obama would do to correct the situation, and then attack every inch of it. While they were at it, they tacked TARP onto Obama as well, since Great Leader Dubya must be excused from responsibility for his eight year tenure.

So the Tea Party activists claimed to develop “principles,” but it was new and unsteady for them. The best they could come up with was that they were against, surprisingly after eight years of massive deficit spending by Dubya, deficit spending. And after Bush’s massive tax cuts which contributed to our massive debt, they concluded that they were “taxed enough already.”

Of course, they have no clear proposals on how to reduce any spending or fix the deficit at all. They’re against ending the tax cuts, they’re against requiring bills to pay for themselves, they’re largely against toning down our overseas adventures, they’re against the cost-cutting reforms of the health care bill.

But Frank Luntz knows who the Republican party is, and he’s geared up the propaganda to make sure Tea Party buffoons are properly educated to understand that they must never truly turn their rage against the real elites who are robbing them blind. Wall Street must remain deregulated. There’s been some loss of message control over TARP, but pinning it on Obama was a fair enough compromise (if you don’t believe me, scan the comments threads on any rightwing blog, including Common Sense Political Thought…there’s a bevy of revisionists there). Sure, it’s likely to result in another collapse in a few years, and Wall St. will proceed as if expecting to be bailed out again, but since the president is a Democrat, Republicans can block whatever he tries doing to fix the problem and then blame him for anything that goes wrong.

All that’s really important is that Republicans get back in office. And if they don’t stop reinstating regulation to keep Wall Street safe, what use will Republicans be to those who regularly fill their campaign coffers?

-jb