First of all, you have hundreds of people holding up images of Barack Obama as a leader of a cult of personality, implying that he thinks himself a godhead and that liberals worship him. Meanwhile, they're wearing Sarah Palin t-shirts, other Sarah Palin t-shirts, holding Sarah Palin bumper stickers, holding up Sarah Palin lipstick references, wearing Sarah Palin campaign signs, and waving countless handwritten signs sending her messages like "Run, Sarah, Run!" despite Palin's not being affiliated with the tea parties in any official capacity whatsoever.
And as if that irony weren't enough, there's the fact that her recent resignation from Alaska's governorship so dominated the holiday news cycle that it pushed their largely meaningless demonstration from the News in Brief sections of virtually every mainstream outlet and off their pages entirely. Their hero not only quit on them; she obliterated almost all traces of their relevance to the media. Nevermind the further irony that said heroes' state relies on government pork handouts for its own existence and practices a socialistic redistribution of wealth from energy profits.
Then, just when you think there can't possibly be any more ironies, there's the fact that a group of people who claim to "surround them" (whoever they are) managed to mobilize perhaps a tenth of the 3 million people they commanded on April 15th. Of course, on April 15th, their powerful grassroots movement had been promoted for three consecutive days on FOX news, with over $500,000 of free advertising time on that network, with that network setting up staging areas and on-location shows with live cameras. That, and the whole thing was funded and organized by an astroturf group created by Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey. But once you strip away niggling facts like no longer having millions in organizing and advertising capacity or the inducement of being able to get on live TV with news celebrities, these groups really do speak with the Voice of the People. About 1/1,000th of them, if we're generous.
There is just so much irony to work with, even at a glance. For instance, you have:
• people protesting the federal government's destruction of their liberty on a federal holiday;But this isn't the place for those kinds of observations.
• people protesting socialism and redistribution of wealth from national parks, public parks, public roads and in front of publicly funded statehouses and government buildings;
• people invoking the history of the American republic in such a way as to convince any stranger of their near-total unfamiliarity with it;
• the virtues of hard work and honest labor being advocated as the solution for all of America's problems by people conducting their protests from camping chairs or the Sno-Cone line;
• the morbidly obese decrying government intervention when merely austerity and personal responsibility will see anyone through (presumably anyone other than them);
• those selfsame people waddling blissfully into the future, decrying government-funded healthcare like they're a greek tragedian's metaphor for blindness — condemning the sort of system that would cover them substantially more than the fresh judgmental hell of insurance company representatives and their dripping red-inked rejection stamps;
• photo after photo and location after location of Americans who very plainly do not (and never will) earn enough to have a Barack Obama income-tax hike ever apply to them nonetheless screaming bloody murder about it anyway;
• people who are fans of a man whose 9/12 project is supposed to take us back to "how we all were on the day after 9/11" ignoring that that day saw tremendous solidarity amongst all groups of Americans, and honoring that spirit by engaging in some of the most divisive and prejudicial political activities possible.
I've already gone into the substantial flaws of the entire tea party phenomenon, including a close reading of Glenn Beck's stated reasons for it, and on two other occasions I've gone into more detail about the particular odium of Beck's rhetoric and the meaningless political glossolalia he employs to advance it. Repeating myself here will only bore you, and there's little more I can say about a vacuous and factually laughable political protest whose justification and aims have increased in neither substance nor style.
No, instead what you want to see is pictures. Captions are in bold. Pictures espousing a particularly flawed reasoning and requiring a longer explanation have been offset by the traditional centered line-breaks.
If you ever wanted a single photo that spiritually and philosophically summarized everything you ever needed to know about the tea party phenomenon, this is it.
"Okay, so, do we go now? We can go? OK. W-w-w-w-wait. We'd be crossing against the light. Yes, I know traffic lights are nanny government, but what if an unregulated truck expresses its freedom through the intersection at 70 miles per hour? Look, let's just wait."
The spear to his side gave us fantastically bountiful natural resources and an aboriginal people without concepts of land ownership. The crown of thorns gave us two massive oceans as buffers against foreign conquest. And His hand gave us the invisible beneficence of The Market.
The only thing worse than unemployment is helping to reduce it by employing people.
You know who I'm gonna quote here? I'm gonna quote the first president to put American citizens in internment camps.
"Whoops!" (takes hand out of $40 Eddie Bauer shorts, turns around and points car alarm clicker at Honda Accord until it makes a tchwock-tchwock "locked" noise; needlessly adjusts $20 hat on bald head, resumes walking) "So anyway, what I was saying is the real slaves in America are the white middle class who—oh fiddle. That's my Blackberry, can you hold this sign a sec?"
As an armed services veteran given three free meals per day, a free place to sleep, free transportation, free on-the-job training, free medical and dental, free haircuts and free clothing while being told what to do by the executive branch — as one who was paid to accept these abominable violations of my person — I can tell you that our greatest enemies are socialism and federal power.
"This is a distinction between loyalty and treason that I admit I made much less subtly when reporting my neighbors to the FBI for protesting the Iraq war in 2003."
Friendly reminder that Ayn Rand so loved independence that her coterie of admirers was named "The Collective," drove people out of the group with an appallingly cult-like demand for rigid orthodoxy in thought and behavior, paired single members off with each other according to Rand's pronouncements and hounded and attempted to destroy apostate members who left it with the merciless focus of a Stalinist regime. Rand also carried on an affair with a follower, Nathaniel Branden, demanded that his wife tolerate their relationship as objectively rational, then purged Branden from the movement when she discovered that he was having an affair with another woman. In the process, she effectively destroyed the Nathaniel Branden Institude — which was essentially objectivism's college and number-one source of creating new orthodox members — spitefully harming the dissemination of her own ideas and the strength of her cause because someone within it dared to act independent of her own desires.
Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler. Everything I don't like is Hitler. The world is a Hitler. Some Hitler stole my purse, and the man down at the DMHitler wouldn't let me get a new driver's license, and I threatened to Hitler-out on them until the security Hitler came and Hitlered me out onto the street like a common Hitler. Fuck this Hitler earth.
At no point while standing here on my weekend will it occur to me that socialists and progressives built public parks and created the five-day work week.
NOVICE ODO SHAPESHIFTLERUM. EAT PO'BOY URANIUM.
As a resident of Bozeman, Montana (where this picture was taken), it will never occur to me that this state became a U.S. territory via the federal land grab of the Louisiana Purchase and was settled by the federal land grab provisions of the Homestead Act.
"I was going to win the bejesus out of this freedom on my Jazzy, but the goddamn Jap battery in the thing left me sitting on this adult stroller while Michael, Jessica and Tiff chow down on
German American potato salad and begin the process we call Liberty Digestin'."
WE MUST STOP THE JEW CREATURE FROM LEECHING MORE OF THE LIFEBLOOD OF ORDINARY VOLK LIKE US.
Look, as a Fair Tax advocate, of course a progressive 95% highest marginal tax rate appalls me. I wouldn't even be here if Obama hadn't raised the highest marginal rate from a nauseating 36% to a Marxist 39%. But, let's be honest here: Soros is a Jew commie. Sure, he claims to have fled Nazism and to have made billions in the market because he loves market economics, but that's just what the Elders of Zion want you to think. Fucking Jews.
Someone decided that, unlike this protest, GM was too big to fail.
Hey, let's just ignore Hitler's death toll, since we already know Obama is Hitler. But realistically, it's gonna take Harry "Reed" at least 5,040 American soldiers and at least 650,000 Iraqis to even compete with the previous president.
How would be take down the U.S.? Probably by reading the relevant day's list of executive actions from January 20, 2001 through January 20, 2009 and just saying "uh, ditto" every morning.
HITLER --> TESLA --> OBAMA.
HOW MANY WILL BE SLAIN BY DIRECT CURRENT?
It's been cleverly hidden inside a history book.
I know, right? It's always in the last place you'd look.
For I so love liberty and this nation that if there's one thing I can do for it, it's to ask you to tune into FOX News at 5 pm Eastern/4 Central every weekday.
O Empire Wide and Glorious, here's a picture for y'all.
You just know as soon as an attendee saw this guy — and determined that he wasn't carrying a brick or a tire iron and seemed to want to be there for purposes other than raping our white women — he turned to a friend and whispered, "I'm glad one of the good ones showed up. Now they can't say we're racists. Hey, hey, careful: you're lettin' the corner of the Stars and Bars touch the ground and get mud on it."
Yes, there are no liberals on Mount Rushmore. On the other hand, there's George Washington, who adamantly refused during the constitutional convention to admit any language enshrining Christianity as the official religion of the United States or establishing that its religious principles informed the creation of this nation. And his first significant act was using federal troops to crush the Whiskey Rebellion, an uprising of hinterland yahoos who refused to pay a tax. That, and he essentially allowed Alexander Hamilton to run his administration, rapidly increasing the size of the Treasury Department and sending federal agents out into the United States as inspectors — much to the alarm of Thomas Jefferson.
Of course, Jefferson greatly increased the power of the federal government via the Louisiana Purchase and, as stated above, suspended the right of habeas corpus for Americans who ignored his federal embargo prohibiting trade with France or England. He was also so distrustful of Christianity that he said of it:
"Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man."
"I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition [Christianity] one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded upon fables and mythologies."
"The Christian priesthood, finding the doctrines of Christ leveled to every understanding and too plain to need explanation, saw, in the mysticisms of Plato, materials with which they might build up an artificial system which might, from its indistinctness, admit everlasting controversy, give employment for their order, and introduce it to profit, power, and pre-eminence. The doctrines which flowed from the lips of Jesus himself are within the comprehension of a child; but thousands of volumes have not yet explained the Platonisms engrafted on them: and for this obvious reason that nonsense can never be explained."
"No man on Earth has less taste or talent for criticism than myself, and the least and last of all should I undertake to criticize works on the Apocalypse (Revelations). It was between fifty and sixty years since I read it and then I considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy, nor capable of explanation than the incoherence of our own nightly dreams."
"The Christian god can be easily pictured as virtually the same as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of the people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites."
Then he wrote a version of the Bible that didn't have any miracles, mysticism or "evidence" of divinity in it.
Then of course we've got Lincoln, who so opposed the principle of states' rights that these people espouse that he prosecuted a four-year war against their beloved south — killing, in the process, about 600,000 Americans, increasing the power of the federal government at the expense of the states and ushering in the creation of the Radical Republicans, a group of progressively-minded GOP congressmen who would be anathema to most of the people at these protests.
And then, finally, we get to Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy Roosevelt who, over a century ago, was calling for a form of nationalized healthcare for all citizens. Teddy who so abhorred the intrusion of religion in the public sphere that he rejected the usage of "In God We Trust" on American currency. Who so loved the environment than he expanded the power of the federal government to create and maintain the National Park Service. Who so doubted the justice of an unfettered free market that today he is celebrated for his trust-busting and his support of rights of the poorest and least empowered to not be exploited by big business.
But, yeah, other than that, the statement "there are no liberals on Mount Rushmore" makes total sense and your claiming the people on there as representative of you makes even more.
It took me only 52 characters to tell anyone literate that I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about. Basically, I just did the real-life equivalent of tweeting that I'm a goddamn moron, with 88 characters leftover. Wait, 88? WHAT LUCK!
54º40' or Fight!
Tippecanoe and Tyler Too!
Remember the Maine!
Remember Fort Sumter!
I LIKE IKE.
Buttfuck Sluts Go Nuts.
YOU'RE IN GOOD HANDS WITH ALLSTATE.
Stephen Baldwin's so shitty at his job that he can't even act interested in politics, even though he is. Also, the only thing that could redeem this moment would be his getting eaten by a shark.
A state's not having any funding for social programs proves that socialism just doesn't work. Just like stabbing a hole in a basketball proves that basketball will never catch on as a game. My garage roof leaks because I park a Prius in there. The DVD player started malfunctioning the moment you walked in here; you must be bewitched with spirits.
I LOVE THE CONSTITUTION AND AMERICA SO MUCH THAT I DON'T KNOW HOW THE JUDICIAL BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONS.
And you're fat and ugly at the same time as his presidency, too. Coincidence? I think we'd be foolish to overlook all this causal data.
(waves hand at a table stacked with empty document boxes)
AND IF YOU DON'T, OBAMA WE'LL SHIP OUR SCOTS-IRISH WHITE TRASH ASSES BACK TO BLIGHTY ON ONE OF THE TRANSPORT SHIPS WHAT WE CAME OVER HERE ON, WALK RIGHT UP TO THE OLD BAILEY, LOOK THAT MAGISTRATE IN THE EYE AND SAY, "LOOK, M'LUD, YOU SEND US BACK TO NEWGATE PRISON UNTIL WE CAN GET THE TWO GUINEAS NECESSARY TO PAY TO DISCHARGE OUR DEBTS, WE DON'T CARE IF IT'S HAUNTED AND HAS THE DEVIL'S EYE 'PON IT."
Ahahaha. Africa, get it? He works for Africa. Hang on, back in a sec. I've just got to mail these seven dollars back to the head of the Italian intelligence service for espionage operations here in the U.S. I've been doing it every week since my grandfather, who's lived here for 63 years, told me how to do it. Viva Italia!
HER NAME HAS A P, AN O, AN I, AND AN L IN IT TOO,
THE JOKE, THE ANALOGY, THE CRITICISM, THEY ALL
WORK. THIS WHOLE THING IS FLAWLESS.
What the hell do you mean "the term CZAR for an executive position lawfully created at the pleasure of the president was first used during the (Republican) Nixon administration and popularized during the (Republican) Reagan administration"? CZAR's a RUSSIAN word. All them people is comyooniss, which is the same as the fascisms, which is the same as Hitler. And we all know who Hitler is: Obama.
I were not expecting it.
I were not expecting the Marxism that were also Fascism to is Fascimarxism.
Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher appears at a tea party panel of CONSERVATIVE ELECTORAL HEROES.
Willie Horton inside a steel cage, being poked with sticks; a Victrola playing Howard Dean screaming on a loop; a mural of black Floridians never convicted for a crime opening their mailboxes to find a letter explaining they'd been kicked off the voter rolls; a Welfare Queen in a solid gold Mercedes-Benz, driving around enough kids to make a Palin puke; a dapper east coast gentleman whose suit is lined in a terrifying Soviet shade of red; twelve Mexicans cleaning everything up around the stage; and an uncomfortably athletic faggot holding a picture diagramming how buttfucking works.
MY CORP VALUES include:
Pizza. Strong. Week End. Beer. Sword. Intrigue. Transform.
These people will literally use the flimsiest pretext to hold a lynching.
Ahahahaha it's funny because poor black people drink Kool-Aid. Ahaha, "I love Kool-Aid, nigga!" Naaah, don't worry; it's cool. I can say that. I'm just quoting a black guy's stand up routine. Besides, how come they can use the N-word and we can't? That's reverse racism.
SOCIALISM NATIONALLY. RACISM LOCALLY.
WHO DA MAN? MICHAEL STEELE BE DA MAN. BARACK OBAMA BE DA OVERSEER. WHAT TIME IS IT RIGHT NOW? AMEN, IT BE TIME ON DA CROSS. WE SHO BEEZ LUCKY DAT DEM JESUS CHRIST BE LOOKIN OUT FERUSS, WHAT WITH THERE AIN'T BE NO JUSTICE FUH WHITE FOLK.
If you want to atone for injustices, why not apologize to a poor person and your history teacher, in that order?
Enough of what? Can't say. Why? No idea. The reason I'm this upset? Can't put it into words I haven't seen on a TV crawl. Alternatives I can suggest? Not a one.
If you ever needed a second photo that spiritually and philosophically summarized everything you ever needed to know about the tea party phenomenon, this is it.