I’m a little burned out on the over hyped tea baggers myself, but bare with me. Sarah Palin dispatches a Tweet that says Don’t ‘party like it’s 1773’ just yet. A liberal blogger and a reporter Tweeted back a giant shrug implying Palin must be confused. Those a little war on the meaning of the date 1773 ensues. Right-wing bloggers shout charges of liberal elitism. Palin was obviously referring to the Boston Tea Party of 1773. The right-wing bloggers having twisted the history and meaning of the original tea party to the point where it has become a short-hand understood among other members of the tea stained tribe knew what Palin implied. For those citizens who have not drunk of the kool-aid laced tea would not make any cogent connection between what Palin Tweeted and the actual historical event because they are tenuously related at best. By 1773 the colonists of North America had a somewhat special place within the British Empire. They were a colony of England, but in some ways were also autonomous. The colonists had their own town and state governing bodies for example. Though those councils were subject to boundaries of British rule. American colonists had been boycotting tea from the East India Company. The EIC had been given a monopoly on selling tea to the colonies without paying a tax. The colonists had to pay the tax. Even with the tax the tea was cheaper than smuggled tea. The protest known as the Boston Tea Party was not against taxes, it was against being taxed without representation. It should be obvious enough – should they stop whining and crying victim – that the conservative tea baggers have representation. Modern tea baggers simply want conservative representation that is very far right. They claim to be populist yet are advancing the agenda of coporate interests – their opposition to Wall St. reform is a prime example. The tea baggers do have an historical precedent but it is not the mangled grade school version of the appropriated symbolism of the original Tea Party. The tea baggers share a lot with the Know Nothing party of 1854. The Know Nothings based a large part of their political point of view on fear and nativism in particular. The U.S. – not counting the native population – was largely immigrants and descendants of immigrants. After the War of 1812 European immigration to the new Sates increased dramatically. Those immigrants now saw the States as both politically stable enough to take a chance on and we were also seen as the place to start new, out from under the tyranny of monarchs and the Catholic church.decades that followed. In response to these new than new immigrants were growing nativist political organizations. The tea baggers have managed to make illegal immigration one of their rallying cries even though the number of illegal immigrants from around the world is lower then it has been for years. Now as in the 1800s many political issues get a lot of traction not based on actual facts but on fear and perceptions. It is estimated that 2,900,000 immigrants landed in the United States between 1845 to 1854. A peak which surpassed previous total immigration of the years 1776 to 1845. Amazingly most of the immigrants who the Know Nothings feared were from most of the same countries from which either they are their recent ancestors had fled. The Know Nothings were particularly afraid of Irish Catholic immigration. Fearing the Pope would exert undue influence over the new country, pushing the U.S. into the same illiberal combination of church and state which had plagued Europe for centuries – see this piece about opposition to a Catholic catherdal bening built in 1785. The tea baggers have their own set of fears – almost all based on hysteria. Not all Know Nothings( renamed the American Party in 1855) were anti-Catholic or anti-Irish. Though the large contingent of anti-Catholics would continue to haunt their movement. Many tea baggers claim they are not racists. That might well be true, but they contain a large enough racist contingent that it is fair to include it in their history just as the anti-Catholicism was of the Know Nothings. Various tensions over issues ranging from slavery to pro-Unionism ( better understood now as anti-confederacy) and the Know Nothings who were anti-Catholic, along with the Civil War lead to their demise. There are factions within the tea baggers movement. The – what some claim – are the original libertarian faction who is anti-American hegemony, not particularly religious or ambivalent about cultural issues versus basically very right-wing conservatives who support supply side economics, American military policing of the world and support government programs like subsides for business, but think safety net programs like food stamps should be stopped or severely curtailed.
Some of these documents have emerged, and they tell quite a fascinating and appalling tale: These documents, from Clayton Holdings, a due diligence company retained by the banks, reveal that Clayton, after analyzing more than 900,000 mortgages, told the banks that about 30 percent of the loans being packaged into securitized products did not satisfy the banks’ own underwriting standards. This meant that the securitized products were almost bound to blow up.
So what did the banks do? They essentially ignored this information. We all know why: The process of securitization shifted the risk to others, and the banks were making too much money by continuing to push the deals through the pipeline. But the critical aspect to this information is that it puts to rest the banks’ argument that they merely fell into the same econometric mistake that others had made in believing that the housing market was bound to keep rising. It wasn’t just that the banks were wrong about their forecast of the housing market; it is that they intentionally ignored critical information given to them by the very people who were supposed to perform due diligence.
One of the many misguided or malicious urban myths the tea baggers are fond of pushing is poor and working class Americans caused the housing bubble.
As a lead-in to the next part of your question: Today it was announced that there would be no cost of living increase for Social Security recipients because “there’s no inflation.” I’d love to know what makes them think that! Where the hell do they shop? Prices have been rising for over a year. Inflation is a natural happening, I know. But why is it that suddenly food prices don’t go up two or three or five cents, but instead they’re going up 40, 50, 60 cents at a clip? No inflation my ass!
Tucker rattles off a litany of bizarre claims worthy of Glenn Beck. She also serves as a great example of the tea bagger mentality that is angry the government might do something to take away or diminish the government programs(s)she depends on.
The U.S. government’s bailout of financial firms through the Troubled Asset Relief Program provided taxpayers with higher returns than they could have made buying 30-year Treasury bonds — enough money to fund the Securities and Exchange Commission for the next two decades.
The government has earned $25.2 billion on its investment of $309 billion in banks and insurance companies, an 8.2 percent return over two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That beat U.S. Treasuries, high-yield savings accounts, money- market funds and certificates of deposit.
Along with the Obama tax cut something else Democrats will not get credit for.