Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: PJ Media, Politics, Tea Parties — Rick Moran @ 7:46 am

With the tea party protests now a part of history, I thought it might be helpful to try a little FAQ about them. Consider this a handy reference for what transpired and what might happen in the future.

1. How many tea parties were held across the country?

No one knows for sure. PJTV had 850 reports from citizen reporters across the country but some of those reports are duplicate efforts from the same venue. Tax Day Tea Party pegged the number at a 1,000. I think a safe estimate would be between 750-800 with many dozen more that weren’t reported because they were too small or more spontaneous than others.

2. How many people participated? (Updated below)

Got me. PJTV has reports from the field totalling more than 221,000 protestors. While recognizing that some of those numbers may be inflated because estimating crowds - even for experts - is more seance than science, I don’t think it would be unreasonable to say that more than 200,000 people turned out to protest…what?

3. What were the protests about?

I was surprised that there appeared to be such a uniformity of purpose to the protests. By all reports I’ve read, there was the occassional anti-aborton or anti-immigration protestor in some of the groups. And small groups of Ron Paul supporters showed up at many venues demanding the dismantlement of the Fed and a return to the gold standard. But by and large, the overriding theme of the protests was as organizers hoped; a broad critique of Obama’s economic policies with an emphasis on the maintenance of economic freedom. This included protestors who were anti-high tax, anti-bail out, anti-goverment control of business, and anti-ruinous spending. The signs at many protests pointed to the idea of “generational theft” as another dominant theme.

Were the protests anti-government? Given the diversity of opinions present, that theme cannot be dismissed. There is no doubt that what anger there was at the demonstrations came from those who see government as the enemy. And given that the Democrats are currently in power, there was certainly a partisan bent to the events. But as Jennifer Rubin reported from the Washington, D.C. protest, there was plenty to say against spendthrift Republicans also and there seemed to be at least some bi-partisan finger pointing at other venues as well. It was probably more pronounced at some locations than at others but it would be wrong to say that this was completely an anti-Obama or anti-Democratic party slugfest.

4. Did the media cover the protests?

Much local media coverage both before and during the protests was reported. As far as the national media, they got into heavy coverage the day before and day of the events - with predictable results.

5. What will be the dominant impression of the tea parties of Americans who watch the news?

Again, local coverage seemed to be a little more sympathetic and balanced than what came from the national media so it is difficult to say. Since studies show that most Americans give more weight to their local news than national broadcasts, it may be a wash in the end. The bias of all three cable networks probably won’t change any minds on either side, although the shocking bias of CNN has already exposed them to ridicule in some quarters. The disimissive tone of MSNBC was entirely predictable as was the rah-rah cheerleading by Fox. If one theme is able to penetrate the hype and bias - that this was a nationwide event and hundreds of thousands participated - that’s probably the best organizers can hope for.

6. What about the coverage by PJTV? (Disclaimer: I am employed by PJ Media, a subsidiary of PJTV)

There’s nine hours of coverage you can view for free here.. I am including this in my FAQ because there has been much written on the internet about the uselessness of PJTV, how it doesn’t have a mission, how it duplicates the MSM, and how it doesn’t have a ghost of a chance of succeeding.

I have been critical of PJTV in the past for some of their business decisions and have agreed with some of the serious critques of the network. But when they do something right, it’s only fair to mention that as well.

I would guess that most of the 850 citizen journalists who contributed reports to the tea party disagree with some of that critique. After all, would you rather visit 850 sites to see what the protests were all about or one? This is an extraordinary achievement that I do not believe any MSM outlet or internet network has ever even attempted on this scale. The network basically defined itself with the way they promoted and covered these protests. They have firmly established themselves as an important voice in the conservative alternative media universe with what they accomplished. While the network still has a ways to go, I would consider this something of a breakthrough moment for them. We will have to wait and see if they can keep the momentum going and add programming both topical and entertaining to their already rather eclectic mix.

6. What were some of the largest crowds?

Most of these are not police estimates but according to this website, 25,000 turned out in Sacramento, 20,000 in Atlanta, 15,000 in Houston, 12,000 in New York City, and many reports of 10,000 in cities across the country. The biggest rallies were not necessarily in the biggest cities. It appears that many of the demonstrations held in state capitols were extremely well attended.

But what is most impressive are the unfamiliar place names of small towns and villages where 100-200 people showed up. There are many hundreds of these venues and this speaks to the widepsread nature of the uneasiness many are feeling about the president and his policies.

7. Where does the Tea Party Movement go from here?

That’s the real question and I imagine there are many answers to it. There is talk already of holding the next round of protests on July 4th. But what is needed now is a clearinghouse of sorts, a place where organizers and participants can go to exchange ideas and connect. The best place for this is online and there is already at least one website where this is possible

Aftertheteaparty.com, a creation of American Majority, a non-profit political training institute, is already up and running. And I imagine PJTV will become an important player in the growth (or failure) of the tea party movement. This must be a long term investment in time and effort if anything is to change in America. We will see if anything comes of these protests or whether people lose interest and wander off.


Nate Silver has done an exhausting study based on media reports of “official” crowd sizes and come up with 250,000 as a nice round number for a little more than 300 protest venues.

It appears that he listed all the largest ones so I will only say that several hundred more were probably too small to warrant coverage but that the total particpation if you add them in would mean a grand total of more than 300,000 attendees.

I think he has too much faith in “official” estimates - especially where photos contradict them. But who am I to argue with a liberal?


  1. Rick, if you are going to remove my entries, at least be man enough to tell me that you don’t like me coming here and disagreeing with you so you are banning me to the netherlands of the internet.

    And do it publically, so all that come here can read it.

    I have never been profane, never called you a name, and for you to remove someone’s post simply because they disagree with you belies your “big tent” mantra.

    Never called me a name? yeah, right. You have been hyper criticial - unreasonably and illogically so. Besides, caught some of your comments elsewhere on the net about me that were so full of hate one wonders why you even bother to come here.

    And you obviously didn’t read my response on another thread (for all to see) where I said that was the last comment you will leave here.

    I banned your IP because I am tired of you. Read whatever you like but any comment you leave from now on will be deleted.


    Comment by retire05 — 4/16/2009 @ 8:47 am

  2. We will see if anything comes of these protests or whether people lose interest and wander off.

    Well, the best we can hope for is for Republicans to finally control all branches of government again.

    That’s really our only real chance of getting past the national nightmare of Republicans controlling all branches of government.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 4/16/2009 @ 8:48 am

  3. What I saw yesterday was 200,000 whining sore losers.

    And face it. It was nothing but an anti Obama rally. And after he cut taxes and taxes are lower now than under Reagan.

    Get over it. Your guy lost. And mostly because of your previous guy, Bush, destroyed the economy.

    And no one. No one likes the deficit spending. But we are out of options. Just today another 650,000 jobs announced gone. And that’s been the case for the past 6 months.

    Comment by jharp — 4/16/2009 @ 9:27 am

  4. “Well, the best we can hope for is for Republicans to finally control all branches of government again.”

    “That’s really our only real chance of getting past the national nightmare of Republicans controlling all branches of government.”

    Really good. And 100% dead on.

    I truly wonder what these people are thinking.

    Comment by jharp — 4/16/2009 @ 9:36 am

  5. As a fellow conservative, I am embarrased by the tea parties.

    We had 6 years to ‘protest’ but we waited until this year on Apr15th to do it? Really? Why not have these protests last October/Nov when the first TARP went out? Because we were fighting for election, that’s why.

    To do it now looks foolish. It weakens the message. We should have done this years ago, and since we did not, then we should not have attempted this until NEXT year, since the new Admin barely has thier feet wet. It’s not going to make a difference with the new Congress, and we should have let them hang themselves before we asked for the noose. It smacks of poor sportmanship, IMHO.

    BTW, I love how Beck suddenly loves Ron Paul and calls himself a Libertarian. Really? The same guy that wouldn’t give him ‘fair’ airtime last fall? I remember him rolling his eyes and calloing Dr Paul a nutjob: now, he’s his new best friend. Ugghhh.

    Comment by Evan Lee — 4/16/2009 @ 10:04 am

  6. Hi Rick,
    I attended the San Antono Tea party at the Alamo yesterday. It was amazing! I’m wondering this morning if anyone is truly interested in the ‘real’ numbers? As a member of the crowd you know when there are alot of people, and there were alot of people there. I’m glad they had helicopters flying so I knew they’d get a good estimate of our number from downtown - lastest I’ve read is 16,000.
    Is there someone willing to research this further and get a good count for each city? Maybe using factual pictures, from above, not estimates. They estimated ours at 8,000 at first.
    Thanks for all the hard work. Don’t worry about the critics, that’s why they call them that.. they are critical and probably have a very sad real life.

    I feel embarrassed taking credit for something I didn’t do. I never lifted a finger to promote the tea parties. And see below for my update where Nate Silver has gone to the trouble of compiling official crowd estimates.


    Comment by Mindy Lou — 4/16/2009 @ 10:15 am

  7. The Tea Party Protests must be looked at as a great success. To get this much participation in so many diverse venues — without a dime of government involvement is remarkable and unprecedented.

    This is all about education. Helping the citizens understand how jobs are created, what freedom is all about, and how the framers cast a vision in the Consititution that has led to the strongest, and most free Nation in all history.

    The follow up is important, we must substitute online, and word of mouth information for the Main Stream media and talking heads.

    Comment by FoxesFan — 4/16/2009 @ 10:35 am

  8. Evan, if you were embarrased by the tea parties, then you were not there. What I love about those who believe in our country’s possibilities, who love their fellow Americans, who want a better life for their children is that they were positive, respectful, friendly and smiling. What is there to be embarrased about? So what if this was the first “protest” that some attended? They CAME. So what if it took them this long to realize that politicians in BOTH parties are spending WAY too much of our money? SO WHAT!

    I am PROUD of the tea parties! I am PROUD to be a Conservative (indpendent voter)! I am PROUD to live in a country where I still have the right to freedom of assembly, free speech and the opportunity to promote change in our government.

    If you had seen what I saw yesterday, met the great people I met, then you would have no need to dwell on what “should” have been done in the past. That really isn’t helpful right now. If you know so much, then get up and DO something instead of talking about what you don’t like about other people.

    In the meantime, I’ll be PROUDLY working on helping to organize the next Tea Party and work towards making positive changes in our government by voting out ALL the spenders/theives in our next election.

    Comment by Stacy Kennedy — 4/16/2009 @ 10:48 am

  9. I’m passing through Mississippi and so dropped in on the Tea Party in the capitol of Jackson. It was the most satisfying such event I’ve ever attended, and I have attended many. The kook quotient, always present at leftwing and rightwing rallies, was nill.

    As you noted Rick, the unity of message was strong; I saw only two anti-abortion guys. No Confederate flags. The remaining signage addressed the dangers for a nation and a people who blithely enter into massive, unheard of debt. Two of the speakers were African-Americans who touted personal responsibility and said future debt would be a new form of slavery (my favorite sign — “Obamanomics — Chains You Can Believe In.”

    If the economy is not moving by this time next year, I predict the Tea Party movement will be a major political force in the 2010 elections.

    Comment by John Howard — 4/16/2009 @ 11:08 am

  10. what dose the tea party stand for the tea what dose it mean

    Comment by kyle johnson — 4/16/2009 @ 11:21 am

  11. I guess the messaging for this was “We Don’t Like Paying Taxes” as if anybody does, followed by “We also don’t like what Liberals spend our taxes On”. I think most Americans kinda new that already. The laughable part is the line that it wasn’t partisan and we don’t like Bush or republicans either. But we just forgot to say so when our guy was in power.

    The only success I see is it gives the right wingers something to rally around the campfire, and hopefully, signals the end of the great Obama birth certificate Snipe Hunt. Though somehow I doubt it.

    Comment by Comrade Stuck — 4/16/2009 @ 11:26 am

  12. Yep, gotta watch out for us right-wing extremists … Haven’t heard of any problems what-so-ever from the Tea Parties, but the left shows yet again their complete and utter intolerance, stupidity and proclivity for violence:


    And I would be willing to bet all the Tea Party peeps did a pretty good job of cleaning up after themselves as opposed to the mountains of trash left behind in Chicago and DC following the Election and Inauguration celebrations.

    Comment by Michael S. — 4/16/2009 @ 11:28 am

  13. FoxesFan said:

    The Tea Party Protests must be looked at as a great success. To get this much participation in so many diverse venues — without a dime of government involvement is remarkable and unprecedented.

    It is neither remarkable nor is it unprecedented. It’s just that you either don’t care, or haven’t been paying attention. Furthermore, please cite protests against government policy where government has ever contributed monetarily to said protest.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 4/16/2009 @ 12:07 pm

  14. “what dose the tea party stand”

    Taxed Enough Already T E A

    And they came up with this after Obama just cut taxes for 95% of Americans in his first 90 days in office.

    Mind boggling.

    Comment by jharp — 4/16/2009 @ 12:19 pm

  15. Stacey, your right, I was not there. Frankly, I wouldn’t be caught dead at my local Tea Party.

    Show me 10 Tea Parties nationwide where no politician was allowed to speak. In Atlanta, where I live, there were 4 speakers that were elected by the people and 7 talk show hosts, including Hannity (whom I remember from when I worked with him @ WGST )..IMHO this is exactly what is wrong with the whole setup.

    1: the timing is terrible. The time to do this protest would be NEXT April 15th, or last November, or LAST April 15th. By next year, the administration will have had enough rope,but to mass a protest 2 months after a historic election only gives the people who would have objectively looked at the issues ammo to ‘marginalize’ and ‘disregard’ the opinion. Plus, I’m gonna go on record right now and say if McCain had won, and he was doing some of the similar things (bailouts,illegal votegrab,global warming, taxes, etc…) I know there would be protests, but it would have looked alot more like the little one’s they had in Feb and March.Let’s try to be honest here.

    2:There should be NO politicians OR talk radio hosts ’speaking’ at the rally.You cannot have an effective populist movement sullied by these creeps. History proves this out. By linking with these guys at this time, it’s no wonder that the only positive press is coming from the usual suspects.

    3: it’s kind of a cop out. “Yay! I made a difference! I really accomplished something! I took my 2 year old to a rally!” .Really? Think of all the resources that went into all the various TP’s: all the security, the sound systems, the parking, everything and imagine that $$$ and effort being used for local political races ( of the 3rd party variety )and now your talking. For all the sound and fury, alot of speeches were made and alot of disenfranchised folks got to have a little get together, but nothing got accomplished of real worth. Those politicians and talk show hosts that spoke will turn right around now and kick us in the teeth: guaranteed. Nobodies getting ‘thrown/voted’ out, the proof is the amount of politicians being able to jump onto this bandwagon. Go look at the AP reports. Every douchbag ‘Joe the Plumber’ or ‘Represenative Schmoe from the Crap District’ cant wait to hitch thier wagons to the new ‘movement’.

    4: we had all 3 branches of Govt and the White House for 6 years after 9-11, and none of us stood up until we lose an election, then were massing in the streets. Sorry, bad timing, poor veting, and I wouldn’t call it a ‘waste’ but lets all stop trying to kid ourselves and think these Tea Parties mean a hill of beans.

    Comment by Evan Lee — 4/16/2009 @ 1:46 pm

  16. Chuck,
    You are correct- Republicans blew it when we had control of all the branches. Bush is not a conservative, and coupled with a war (please don’t argue the legitimacy of the war- we were are war whether it was legit or not), he spent like a drunken sailor on shore leave. All the other factors, but most particularly the pressure on banks to make bad loans, happened on the Dem’s watch (full control of both houses). It’s both parties fault, and we should both admit it and stop trying to blame the other party.

    But the protests are occurring because you and I and everybody else with half a brain know that the bailouts are nothing more than a mortgage on our future- and worse than that, rewarding failure. I can’t imagine getting a bonus or having my company pay my home mortgage because I mismanaged my income so poorly, or worse- lost my paycheck in a poker game. But that is what the bailouts are doing, and they are only postponing the inevitable, because continung a bad business plan perpetuates failure.

    And then, of course, there’s the problem with the government running private corporations… Obama says its not socialism, but I don’t know what else to call it.

    The bottom line is, I don’t care what party runs the country, as long as they do it responsibly. So you’re right, I should have been protesting the irresponsibility of the R’s, but you should be protesting the irresponsibility of the D’s. Unless you think Obama’s plan has merit, you should stop justifying your inaction by pointing to my bad behavior.

    Comment by lionheart — 4/16/2009 @ 2:29 pm

  17. An average of 833 (according to Nate Silver) per ‘party’ and clean (as per Michael S.) to boot!

    I wish I was more impressed.

    No I don’t.

    What was this about anyway?

    Comment by Thomas Michael — 4/16/2009 @ 3:12 pm

  18. “And after he cut taxes and taxes are lower now than under Reagan.”

    Which specific tax rates were cut that now place them lower than they were under Reagan?

    Comment by sota — 4/16/2009 @ 3:26 pm

  19. Fair enough. But I will choose to protest the D’s a little later then 2 months into the new administration. C’mon, we gave W 6 years with no protests, but were 2 months in now and the streets are on fire? Gimme a break. This reminds me of the left going nuts after the 2000 election.

    Pretty sorry all around.

    Comment by Evan Lee — 4/16/2009 @ 3:58 pm

  20. but you should be protesting the irresponsibility of the D’s.

    I am. I am heavily involved with EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation http://eff.org ), as this is where my areas of expertise can be of most use. This is a user/consumer oriented organization primarily concerned with net neutrality/privacy/free speech/copyright on the net.

    For example, They (we) are the ones investigating warrant less surveillance and illegal information gathering by the US Government against US citizens.

    So it might not be your bag, as I have yet to meet many conservatives who care much about net neutrality and net privacy. But it is pretty important to me.

    At the moment, Obama is public enemy no. 1.

    Unless you think Obama’s plan has merit, you should stop justifying your inaction by pointing to my bad behavior.

    Obama’s plan is based on Keynesian economic theory. Many people think that he’s come up with it off the top of his head because he’s an idiot liberal. This is definitely not the case.

    Though I understand the theory, whether or not it will work, remains to be seen, as it has never been really attempted before. It’s a gamble. Mainly because no country has ever had a problem like this, on this scale. I hope that it works. I really do. If it doesn’t, well, hopefully Republicans will have had enough time to think of their own plan.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 4/16/2009 @ 4:02 pm

  21. [...] UPDATE 04/16, 1:00 p.m. EDT: I have been checking Tax Day Tea Party, Right Wing Nut House and [...]

    Pingback by Party Like It’s 1773! « Bejohngalt’s Blog — 4/16/2009 @ 4:32 pm

  22. So, Democrats inherit an economic meltdown. They do what every credible economist says they should do: spend money for stimulus.

    The Democrats cut taxes on the vast majority of Americans and raise it to George H.W. Bush levels on the wealthy.

    The Right wing freaks out. Old people collecting Medicare and Social Security wave signs denouncing Socialism. Blue collar folks who got a tax cut protest my tax increase. People living paycheck to paycheck are furious that we’re keeping the economy just afloat enough that they won’t be living in cardboard boxes.

    And Rick is actually proud of all this. Amazing.

    Call it what you want, Conservatism or Republicanism, it is at an evolutionary dead-end. Burned out, irrelevant and brain dead.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 4/16/2009 @ 5:26 pm

  23. @lionheart:

    I’ve got no problem with hating the stimulus and TARP spending. Personally, all things being equal, I’d let the companies fail.
    Not being an economist though, I have to rely on the opinions of those that do have some training, and the overwhelming majority of those seem to agree that doing nothing would hurt the economy more, something that I think needs to be avoided (even many of those that disagre with the current plan seem to disagre because they think that the plans should be bigger, not smaller).
    Tell me they’re bad ideas, and I’ll agree. But what should the country do instead? Tell me taxes suck, and I’ll agree — but unless I hear another way to pay the country’s bills, I don’t know what else to do.

    In regards to socialism (central government controlling the means of production), it seems to me the big difference between socialism and America today is that the government didn’t sieze the (or some) means of productions — the companies asked (begged) the government to buy a stake. The companies are free to buy that stake back, as many of them are apparently planning to do (the sooner the better). The government buy-in does give us (as part owners) a legit right to have our voice (through the government) heard in the buisness, in the same way as if a private citizen bought a huge chunk of stock in a company.
    No company is forced under the government yoke, and those that ask for the help are free to go fully private whenever they can pay us back. Its certainly more “socialist” than no government ownership at all, but to call it “socialism” is (respectfully) more than the facts warrant.

    Comment by busboy33 — 4/16/2009 @ 5:40 pm

  24. Listened to Hanitty today, the big draw at the Atlanta Tea Party. He spent 3 hours ripping on Obama, Democrats, and liberals. The gop lost the election so now their sole purpose is to attack Obama. The tea parties were supported by Dick Armey, Fox News and other assorted gop millionaires. Please don’t insult my intelligence about how the tea parties were non-partisan, what a crock. The rightwing sees how popular Obama is,they are in full panic mode to dent his popularity before its a lost cause. Good luck with that. As I have stated before, Obama is further to the left than I am, but as I see the assault on him from the right, I will defend him with everything I’ve got. To me, Rush, Hanitty and co are bullies, plain and simple. They see their perverted ideology being rejected by the American people, which makes them that much more panicked. Rabble rousers which are trying to incite people. Their just plain dangerous.

    Comment by Joe — 4/16/2009 @ 7:18 pm

  25. “And no one. No one likes the deficit spending. But we are out of options. Just today another 650,000 jobs announced gone. And that’s been the case for the past 6 months.”

    Maybe the 200,000 whiners are worried about the cap and trade tax Obama is pushing which will destroy any chance the economy has of recovering. Talk about job loss!

    Comment by Mike Farmer — 4/16/2009 @ 8:00 pm

  26. Its very good news to hear that the Tea Parties went well participation-wise. No matter what the political outcome may eventually be, peaceful and public protests like these harbinger well for American democracy. However, is it too much to hope for that republicans and conservatives will no longer be so dismissive of such demonstrations when they are preformed by the democrats and liberals?

    Comment by Surabaya Stew — 4/16/2009 @ 8:28 pm

  27. Despite the cold and the drizzle our TP here in Richmond went off very well. There were over 2,000 in the Plaza, and the program was very well done.

    The people were friendly, and all of them seem to be gratified that others who thought as they do were there and were open and willing to share their thoughts.

    There was a consensus that this was merely the first of a series of TPs, one a month for the rest of ‘09, and more in ‘10. Many of the crowd wanted to learn more about our money situation, and wanted to flesh out the whys and wherefores of their instinctive objections to the spending flood we are seeing, and the inevitable tax crunch that will follow.

    Others wanted to sign up more people for the movement, and for help in setting up the next TPs.

    All in all, a good beginning.

    Comment by mannning — 4/16/2009 @ 9:30 pm

  28. I’m left to wonder just how impressive these attendance numbers really are when, as Geraldo Rivera correctly pointed out to Sean Hannity, 350,000 people turned out for a pro-(illegal)immigration rally in Chicago that was organized in 1 week. Reality check, their numbers contimue to grow while ours shrink. The choir already believes.

    Comment by Hyde Park Libertarian — 4/16/2009 @ 10:33 pm

  29. @Chuck Tuscon:

    Good for you working with the EFF — they’re what inspired me to study law in the first place.

    Comment by busboy33 — 4/17/2009 @ 12:06 am

  30. That #22, what he said.

    Comment by Pecos Pete Meyers — 4/17/2009 @ 6:09 am

  31. Chuck, wasn’t Keynesian economics at the core of the “recovery” from the great depression? Isn’t it founded in the concept of government stimulating the economy with massive spending. And didn’t it fail miserably (most of my reading- and I am an avg. IQ layman) idicates that Keynesian stimulus had NOTHING to do with the recovery from the depression. My only point here is that I am disagreeing with you that it has never been tried before.

    Thanks for the thoughtful response. I like you better when you not responding with sarcasm.

    Comment by lionheart — 4/17/2009 @ 7:28 am

  32. For those of you who say that the past 2+ years of the economy are solely Republicans’s fault, do you know which party took control of BOTH the Senate and the House of Representatives in January 2007?

    Correlation does not necessarily mean causation, but the fact that the economy started going south shortly after means…..

    Comment by WJ — 4/17/2009 @ 7:44 am

  33. lionheart,

    My only point here is that I am disagreeing with you that it has never been tried before.

    Apologies, I meant that it has never been applied correctly (as dictated by the theory). From what I have learned about the great depression, it was applied far too late, and the stimulus money was only a small fraction of what it should have been.

    The money that the current administration was asking for was the on the very low end of the predicted amount necessary to get the job done. Many who subscribe to this branch of economics think the current package is possibly too little, but not too late. Hard to say, I guess. I hope that it works.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 4/17/2009 @ 8:48 am

  34. Hypocrite lefties accusing the righties of hypocrisy aren’t thinking very clearly. For one, the scale of the spending is dramatically different. If $300 billion deficits were an outrage, and they were, how can you support $700 billion deficits? For another, righties did criticize Bush for spending. Even abandoned him on it. How else do you reconcile Bush’s sliding approval ratings even as war news became positive? Bush was polling about 20 points below where McCain ran at.

    Contrast that with what we’ll see during the Obama administration. There is no way Obama every drops below 45% approval ratings. Lefties are all about ‘tribe’, not so much about country.

    Comment by EBJ — 4/17/2009 @ 11:23 am

  35. EBJ

    Lefties are all about ‘tribe’, not so much about country.

    Sorry, but science and genetics totally disagree with you. Do some actual research, you’ll surprise yourself.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 4/17/2009 @ 12:53 pm

  36. Rick
    You made fun of this two months ago, so what do you really think, now?

    you are falling into the trap that Obama is going to save you with his tax “cuts”. Where exactly is the money going to come form to support all the pork that was in the stimulus? Higher taxes. What happens to that family of four when the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire and they end up with any where from a 20-50% increase in their tax bills depending on the income level?

    The top 5% pay 70% of taxes. Does that compute at all? That means that some people who do not pay taxes are getting my money BECAUSE I pay taxes!!!It is essentially a welfare check at my expense.
    The $13.00 we 95% got in Obama’s first 50 days doesn’t mean squat. Try reading about what real tax cuts to the marginal rates might do stimulate the economy. Try understanding that spending the wealth before it is created does nothing but grow the government and does nothing for us as a Country.

    Comment by defendUSA — 4/18/2009 @ 11:53 am

  37. DefendUSA:

    Yes, it does make sense that the top quintile pay most of the taxes: we make most of the money.

    Let’s say I make 600k a year to pull a number out of the air. Let’s say the average person earns 60k a year.

    If I pay 40% to the IRS I still have 360k. And I therefore have a pretty good life. Maybe I order fewer appetizers when I go out to eat. Maybe I buy the 30 dollar bottle of wine and not the 70 dollar bottle. Maybe I get an E class Mercedes and not an S class.

    If the guy making 60k pays 40% he’s only left with 36k. So he can’t afford health insurance. He can’t fix the car he uses to get to work.

    It’s really not hard to understand. If we all pay the same rate I get to drink the Macallan 25 instead of the Macallan 12. And the average guy gets to take his kid to an emergency room whenever he gets an ear infection because he can’t afford a pediatrician.

    It’s not unfair, it’s not unjust, it’s the price I pay for being a citizen and a member of civilization. Crazy as it may seem, I kind of like my fellow Americans and I don’t want their kids to go without medical care or school clothing just so I can buy $450 slacks.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 4/18/2009 @ 2:44 pm

  38. Hi, guys. Let’s say I live on $600 a month from my savings, which will end this year. Oh wait, I do live on $600 a month from my savings… which will end this year. I was a teacher who got downsized during the Bush administration, before the Democrats controlled the legislature. I grossed under $30,000 a year back when I was still working. I paid my taxes. I gave to charity. Oh, and I was the guy with his kid at the emergency room, because I couldn’t afford health insurance or medical care.

    I am a casualty of class warfare, and so are the nice folks who are attending these ridiculous tea parties. I am living proof that we do not, at least not yet, have some kind of Galbraithian mixed paradigm where the poor get socialism and the rich get laissez faire capitalism. I am living proof that fair Michael Reynolds’s hard work is not supporting a welfare class. And so are the tea partiers, though they don’t seem to know it.

    I am ashamed of the tea parties. They are little more than an astroturfed sideshow for some folk’s hate and willful ignorance, which has been whipped to a froth by those who should be giving them leadership and counsel. Populist movement, my butt. There is no constructive purpose in holding up signs depicting the president as Adolf Hitler, loudly proclaiming him a fascist, and having as one’s sole response to questions about one’s assertion: “Well, he’s a fascist because he’s a fascist.”

    Let me remind you good people of what a fascist is.

    A fascist subscribes to an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization. A fascist’s views and practice encompass extreme right-wing, intolerant notions.

    One might forgive CNN’s field reporter for being shocked and dismayed herself at the tea party’s Through-the-Looking-Glass revision of the meaning of the word “fascist”.

    The people attending these tea parties are the ones who would most benefit from lowered taxes, which they’ll get a taste of; even from socialism — which is not what they’ll be getting from our government. They’ll be getting something far less desirable. I leave it as homework to you to discover the correct term.

    The economic disaster we’re faced with didn’t originate with Obama, or the Democrat-controlled legislature, or even Bush Jr. It has been a long time in the making, and thoughtful people have anticipated it for many years. Longer than Roubini. Longer than Greenspan. Anyone could have predicted this mess by 2006 or 2007.

    We’re here because of classical economics and neoliberalism, among other preposterous notions. We’re here because some of us found it convenient, even profitable, to behave as if those notions were true.

    Keynesian economics is not untried, as some suggest. It’s been a matter of policy through most of Europe since the 1960s, and FDR’s economic policy was heavily influenced by Keynesian ideas. The present situation may be unique, but it is not unprecedented. I hope the current Keynesian strategy is effective. If it’s not, well, more neoliberalism and xenophobia will be just what the doctor ordered. One can only hope the good doctor will have taken the Hippocratic oath before his next surgery.

    Meanwhile, I implore the tea partiers: stop wasting all that tea. It’s the closest thing I have to a health plan.

    And Michael: the right doesn’t like civilization, because we’d have to raise taxes to be able to afford both civilization and national defense.

    Comment by Ben — 4/19/2009 @ 4:00 am

  39. Sorry Michael,
    I just don’t buy into that. Even if I made 360k/year, I would never buy 450 dollar slacks. I don’t like that people go without,either. But I absolutely disagree with redistribution of wealth to foot somebody else’s bills. It enables a mindset and a standard I won’t be a party to. The producers then become responsible for those who choose not to be productive. In the old days, people saved money to have babies or buy cars and houses. Why should it be any different now? Poor people in the US have much more than those in other countries considered poor. It is not my job to insure that they get up to snuff with me.

    I give money to favored charities and do the Angel Christmas tree stuff. And let me tell you how angry it makes me to see a request for a DS, wii or cell phone for a kid. If the true priority is making sure your children have their basic needs met, you should be teaching them what is important. Game systems are not as important as food. And how do they afford the extra game or cost of a cell phone. That is just ludicrous.
    I am now unemployed and I do not expect you to hand out your hard-earned money so I can continue my current lifestyle. That is just not realistic. Unemployment checks are meant to help, but in no way do they make ends meet. So, now what? Sit back and say “woe is me?” -Michael will give me money to live on or do I work my ass off to find a way to make it work?
    The sad thing is, I have paid my mortgage on time and all my other bills. Yet, I get no relief like those who WERE irresponsible. I just incur more taxes so someone making 60k can live in a 450k house.
    I am sick to death of the claims that everyone should be equal. We are not. We have equal opportunity. We do not have equal smarts. And because of that, we do not all have equal earning power. Why the hell should I be punished because I am smarter and can earn more? I should never have to apologize for that, and nor should I be made to feel responsible for someone else’s lot. You live within your means and should have everything you need. You won’t always have everything you WANT. Key difference. Why do liberals insist that it must be equal? It will never be and as long as we perpetuate those willing to accept hand-outs instead of responsibility, mindset will never change.

    Comment by defendUSA — 4/19/2009 @ 4:22 pm

  40. Ben-
    So you believe FDR’s policies worked? Wow. When has spending ever gotten anyone out of debt? When? Cite an example.

    It has never worked for me. In college I spent more than I had and ended up with a 3k credit card bill and the interest rate was 24%. When I got a job, I drove a 10 year old car that I had to put oil in every 2000 miles. But instead of a car payment, I paid that “loan” off. A hefty price in interest. I have not used my discover card since 1991. It only reminds me that nothing is worth going into debt for.
    The President and and anyone who believes spending more works miracles is kidding themselves.

    Comment by defendUSA — 4/19/2009 @ 4:31 pm

  41. Defend:

    Who said “equal?” Your ranting and raving has nothing to do with reality. Covering medical care for a kid whose parents can’t is basic human decency. And gee, I doubt your “charity” quite covers the bill.

    I want all Americans to have the basics. And I’m willing to pay more to keep those who can’t manage to make it from falling to the bottom.

    By the way, I also buy the occasional $450 slacks. Zanellas — nothing hangs like Zanellas.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 4/19/2009 @ 9:01 pm

  42. “Covering medical care for a kid whose parents can’t is basic human decency.”

    One can hardly disagree with this without seeming to be heartless. The only question I ask is: Where does it stop?

    The kid is saved, so he is healthy again. but his parents cannot afford to put food on the table, nor can they furnish the kid adequate clothing. Turns out that next week the landlord is going to force them out of their apartment for non-payment of rent.

    The Father has a drinking problem and is virtually unhirable. The Mother is into drugs and drinking.

    What do you think would happen if the government handed this family a check every month to cover these expenses? More booze! So, you cannot prop up such families with direct subsidies, because the local liquor store will get the money first.

    You set up a rent-free apartment, paid, of course, by the taxpayer. You give them food stamps. And you do give them some cash. You direct them to charities for clothing, and for more food. Someone gives them heat, light, and even a telephone or prepaid cell phone.

    The Father has been through various free rehab programs, and walks out of each one directly to that liquor store. The Mother stays as snockered as possible.

    We now have a family dependent for life on handouts, be they from government, from charities, or just the contributions of good citizens.

    This is the all too prevalent hard core of poverty, and the way out of the trap is not clear, neither for the family, or for the government, or for the rest of us.

    But, the kid got his treatment.

    Comment by mannning — 4/25/2009 @ 1:15 am

  43. So the kid gets treated.
    His parents are both boozers and cannot hold jobs.
    The rent is months past due, and the landlord finally has the papers to evict.
    Father has been through rehab five or six times, and heads out the door each time for the local liquor store.
    You find this family a fully-subsidized apartment, get them food stamps, and send them over to a charity for clothes. Still, every bit of cash they can obtain goes to booze.
    This is the all too prevalent hard core of poverty, and the government, charities, and we too, cannot solve this problem.
    But the kid got treated.

    Comment by mannning — 4/25/2009 @ 1:24 am

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