Gus Garcia-Roberts profile of Tea Party Princess Victoria Jackson is this week’s cover story.
Gawker’s Brian Moylan chooses some of the story’s most “insane” quotes. Like:
- “Some people thought I was a genius. Some people thought I was retarded.”
- “[Weed] made me very creative, horny, and paranoid.”
- “I kind of had a crush on Weird Al Yankovic. We kind of went on a date, but I don’t know if he loved me or not.”
- “If you get killed because you’re gay, the murderer gets extra time. It’s hilarious! Alcoholism is a sin too, but you don’t see an alcoholic pride parade. Alcoholics hide in little rooms in basements and they go, ‘Hi, I’m Fred.’”
Also a fan of this one:
“The Ten Commandments have been kicked out of schools. We’re killing 37 hundred-something-thousand babies a day… I don’t know, 37 hundred a day or something like that. A million a day, I don’t know. I’m not good with numbers. We’re killing lots of babies every day. It’s infanticide. Its genocide. We are… How can God bless our country, seriously?”
Seriously, read the rest. Where else you gonna learn aborted fetuses would vote for Obama if they were alive?
from PoliticusUSA: During a March 1, 2009 appearance on ABC’s This Week, Rep. Cantor said that the government can’t create jobs, “And what we see in this budget, frankly, is an attempt, again, to try and stimulate the economy through government expenditure. And, you know, at best what that can do is redistribute wealth. It can’t create jobs; it can’t create wealth. We’ve got to get back to focusing on job creation and creating prosperity.”
Newsweek has uncovered letters that show Rep. Cantor requesting hundreds of millions of stimulus dollars for his district at the same time; he was publicly claiming that government can’t create jobs.
Just a month after going on ABC and claiming that the government can’t create jobs, Cantor sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to request almost $75 million in federal stimulus funds for the I-95 high speed rail project. Cantor along with Rep. Bobby Scott wrote that, “High speed rail provides a sensible and viable solution to our region’s transportation challenges. It is estimated that creating a high speed railway through Virginia will generate as many as 185,500 jobs, as much as $21.2 billion in economic development, and put nearly 6.5 million cars off the road annually.”
It was not all that long ago when the health care bill was up for debate and some group calling themselves the Tea Party gathered in Washington. I remember it well and the photos above are some of what had to be endured in the name of passing that piece of legislation. So fast forward to today…
Congressman Eric Cantor:
“I am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and other cities across our country,” the Virginia congressman said in Washington this morning. The majority leader than chastised Democrats for supporting the protestors. “Believe it or not, some in this town have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans,” Cantor said. “But you sent us here to fight for you and for all Americans. You sent us here to bring about real change in Washington, real change to your federal government. And we’re committed to do that.”
Not a word was spoken by Congressman Cantor and most of his colleagues when their fellow congressmen were being spat at and heckled with the most vile and hateful language in 2009.
Of course I am not surprised, but I just thought you should know Congressman Cantor, as you redefine mob, that some of us have long memories.
Mark Meckler (Tea Party Patriots co-founder): They’re not law-abiding citizens. They’re camping in a park where camping isn’t allowed. They’re breaking the laws on the Brooklyn Bridge. That’s not Tea Party behavior.
Jon Stewart: Everything you described there I believe is a misdemeanor. The actual Tea Party was a fucking felony. Do you know who the Tea Party actually was? Do you know how much trouble you’d get in if you broke into a ship, stole the cargo from the ship’s owners and just threw it overboard? Not to mention the EPA fines and the damage it would do to your Indian costume? The Tea Party namesake - you’re named after the most celebrated act of theft and vandalism of private property in our nation’s history! And you can’t stomach a little park camping?
In a rare moment of honesty, Rick Santorum calls Latino voters “illegal voters.”
In related news, unemployment dropped by 50% when the Democratic Party hired 5 million oppo researchers to sift through all these juicy GOP debate soundbites.
MJ’s full roundup of debate inanity is here; check it out:
To be fair, Paul also dropped a few truth bombs that were met with boos.
The CNN/Tea Party Express debate has its own “234 executions moment” as crowd members respond approvingly to the notion of letting an uninsured America in need of long-term intensive care die rather than be allowed to receive government aid.
A few lawmakers have suggested in recent months that despite a $174,000 annual salary, generous health care and pensions, and perks for things like travel and mail, being one of the elite 435 ain’t always what it’s cracked up to be. And when you calculate the hours they put in, the pay isn’t stellar either, they say.
[…] Are times really so tough that even members of Congress are struggling to get by? The numbers suggest otherwise. A recent analysis of congressional pay found that members of Congress earn about 3.4 times the salary of the average American worker. Using that standard, members of Congress are among the highest paid legislators in the developed world.
Hilariously, the Congressman complaining the loudest is Tea Party Freshman Steve Southerland (R-FL).
He said his $174,000 salary is not so much, considering the hours a member of the House puts in, and that he had to sever ties with his family business in Panama City. Southerland also said there are no instant pensions or free health insurance, as some of his constituents often ask him about in Congress.
“And by the way, did I mention? They’re shooting at us. There is law-enforcement security in this room right now, and why is that?”
It’s a very sad tale. Maybe some celebrities will get together and do a telethon for Congress.
UPDATE: Don’t take Decoder’s word for it - read the paper for yourselves here.
What makes a tea partyer tick? A recently-published research paper from the University of North Carolina and Vanderbilt University gives that question a go, arguing that tea party members are characterized by four key drivers:
- Authoritarianism: “Respondents believe that obedience by children is more important than creativity, and that deference to authority is an important value.”
- Libertarianism: “Respondents believe there should not be regulations or limitations on expressions such as clothing, television shows, and musical lyrics.”
- Fear of change/ontological insecurity: “Respondents sense that things are changing too fast or too much.”
- Nativism: “Respondents hold negative attitudes toward immigrants and immigration.”
Decoder will be speaking with Dr. Perrin later this afternoon to flesh out some of these points. But until then, two other nuggets:
- While 41 percent of tea party supporters said former President Bill Clinton was “not at all” like them, 81 percent felt the same way about President Obama.
- More than 60 percent of conservatives who support the tea party believe President Obama is not a Christian, the study calculates, compared to 46 percent of non-tea party conservatives.
The study, carried out by sociology professors Andrew Perrin at UNC and Steven Tepper at Vanderbilt, was conducted by liberal-leaning polling group Public Policy Polling and surveyed roughly 4,500 people in North Carolina and Tennessee in the early summer and fall of 2010. In addition, the survey draws on interviews conducted at a tea party rally in Washington, D.C.
- Read the paper in full here.
- Want to see elected representatives backed by the tea party up-close-and-personal before Congress gets back in session? Find their town halls and other events with this tool from tea party group FreedomWorks.
- Want a list of all the town hall meetings going on this August? See this list from the Daily Kos.
In other words, imagine that even one-third of the anger and vitriol currently being hurled at President Obama, by folks who are almost exclusively white, were being aimed, instead, at a white president, by people of color. How many whites viewing the anger, the hatred, the contempt for that white president would then wax eloquent about free speech, and the glories of democracy? And how many would be calling for further crackdowns on thuggish behavior, and investigations into the radical agendas of those same people of color?
Generally, the irrationality shown in supporting actions that oppose one’s own self-interest stems from two very destructive emotions: fear and resentment. In assessing their economic status, many Americans continue to be influenced by the dream that, with just a break here and there, they too can join the ranks of those made rich – and in some cases even famous — by their success in the competitive enterprise system. Of course, for most Americans, this “dream” is, in fact, a pipe dream. Those who hold to it seldom look to the findings of economic analysis for reasons that might explain their continued inability to make it real. Instead, many seek answers in the metaphysical realm, where there are “principalities and powers” both capable and desirous of destroying dreams.
For Tea Partiers and others who feel left out of the system, the most obvious candidate for inflicting such insidious despotism is the federal government, with its seemingly limitless powers and broadening involvement in matters of what are conceived to be private values and behavior. In the eyes of the alienated, the current “liberal” Washington establishment is not a protector of the personal freedoms they value, but an intrusive miscreant that seeks to expand its own power and dominance by massive spending that enriches the privileged and seduces the electoral loyalty of the poor. In prosecuting these ends through high taxes that lead to a weakened economy, it steals from the people opportunities to earn a decent living or to exercise their own economic initiative in the pursuit of their dreams. Those who hold these views understandably fear losing the freedom to shape their own future, and resent what they see as their exclusion from the good life by a consolidation of power and wealth in fewer and fewer hands.
For millions of disaffected Americans who have already suffered the loss of a job and the personal dignity that goes with it, the emotions of fear and resentment are compounded by a profound sense of injustice and powerlessness. Why, they ask themselves, does the federal government do nothing to generate new employment opportunities that could give me a chance to escape the joblessness for which I’m personally blameless? Why did it instead, despite historically massive debt, spend hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out Wall Street and the automotive companies — which, unlike me, are largely responsible for their own failures?
It is hardly surprising that people suffering the pains of economic insecurity and a loss of personal dignity viewed these government actions not — as they arguably were — a needed strategy to maintain a functioning economy, but as an overreaching misuse of their tax dollars, with themselves the powerless victims. They also saw the bailouts as unjust, since they appeared discriminatory against their own interests as ordinary people and blatantly in the interest of fellow members of America’s ruling elite. That perception was made especially keen by the many reports of top executives at rescued financial firms making off with huge bonuses and, as the figure has it, “laughing all the way to the bank.”
Conditioned by these perceptions, disaffected Americans came also to regard the government’s follow-up economic stimulus program, with its manifest benefits limited largely to saving the jobs of state employees, as a further example of a misuse of government power and a waste of tax dollars. The same is true of the health care reform program, whose promised cost savings for the population at large were both deferred and unguaranteed. In all the extraordinarily costly government investments, most Americans saw little that benefited them. Instead, what they perceived was a federal government that had blatantly misused its powers and their own tax dollars to side with the corporate elite and against themselves. It is to this image that I think disaffected Americans really refer when they talk about their determination to “take their country back.”
Of course, this sense of alienation has been amplified by the banding together of disaffected citizens in groups like those associated with the Tea Party movement. In such gatherings, where positions are hardened by resentment- and fear-driven “group- think,” there is little room for a moderating influence by voices that may question and seek to modify preponderant assumptions. Few within the group would challenge the alleged lack of good faith and venal motives behind government actions, the ineffectualness of programs it puts in place, or the notion of self-correcting dynamics in free markets. Instead, a smothering closed-mindedness leads inevitably to the kind of demonizing of the Other – whether the government or supporters of its policies – that is often seen at Tea Party protests. One can only hope that the enmity falls short of violent confrontation.