…as the recent polling has shown, it is far, far too late for the Tea Party Movement to save itself or the hateful doctrine it embraces. It was always a movement founded on lies, disinformation and fear, and such a movement cannot, and will not survive in the greatest country on earth.
Here at old DTOM, we have long held the view that the Tea Party is a faux grass-roots movement that was really a creation by the core of the Republican Party, otherwise known as rich and very powerful corporate interests intent on stripping our democracy, and our democratic institutions of any power to effectively govern. The reason being, of course, that in that environment, the Republicans would be able to regain their hold on power that was squandered by the disastrous Bush Presidency, and the wealthiest Americans that make up the core of the GOP could continue to get richer at the expense of everyone else.
We also held the belief that the Tea Party movement was inherently dishonest, and certainly dangerous. One need only look at their signs and their rhetoric at their so called rallies. Or the town hall meetings where they set the standard for thuggish behavior and mob mentality intended to intimidate and threaten. Or how they attack those they disagree with, like the man with Parkinsons at a healthcare reform rally or the woman that three men from the Tea Party beat up at a Rand Paul political rally.
Given the movement’s evil and hateful foundation, we also thought the movement would implode on itself at some point and for any number of reasons. Perhaps the abject greed that is its foundation would cause it to feed on the very people who supported it. Or maybe the core of hatred that sustains it would result in internacine warfare. Or with so many Republican ‘Tea Party’ candidates having taken advantage of the limited attention span of the American voter and getting elected, America would finally see the despicable character of the individuals who expediently rode the anger and vitriol of the movement for their own personal, and the GOP’s gain, like dead-beat dad Joe Walsh of Illinois, and realize they had been duped into supporting people that represented a movement that could care less about effective governance, or the well being of the United States of America as a whole.
Well, it took a little longer than we expected, but all the things we expected would contribute to the Tea Party’s demise, and more, have come to fruition to one degree or another, and the result is the movement is now in its death throes as the 2012 election approaches, which does not bode well for the Grand Old Party. And as far as DTOM is concerned, we couldn’t be happier.
As proof, look at the results of a recent New York Times poll about how people regard the Tea Party. The unfavorable rating for the Tea Party now stands at 40%, a 120% increase over the unfavorable rating the movement received in April 2010! And why should Tea Party’s unfavorable rating be a concern to Republicans? Because, as revealed in research by David E. Campbell, an associate professor of political science at Notre Dame, and Robert D. Putnam, a professor of public policy at Harvard, which was first done before the Tea Party ever existed and then updated this past month, the single biggest predictor of who did and did not join the Tea Party was whether or not they were a Republican.
What is even more telling is in this same research, completed as part of a book titled “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us,” it turns out that across a cross section of twenty-four high-profile groups and individuals on the American scene, the Tea Party doesn’t just score poorly, IT COMES IN DEAD LAST! Yep, behind Muslims, Atheists and Gays.
Of course, this does not mean that the Tea Party is gone, or that it won’t still pose a threat to fair minded and patriotic Americans. In the months ahead, we can expect to see the movement become more angry, more volatile, and even more dangerous as it desperately seeks to remain relevant. However, as the recent polling has shown, it is far, far too late for the Tea Party Movement to save itself or the hateful doctrine it embraces. It was always a movement founded on lies, disinformation and fear, and such a movement cannot, and will not survive in the greatest country on earth.
Although the Tea Party member of the documentaries – ranging from demented birthers to calm pawns – view themselves as being a spontaneous uprising, “The Billionaires’ Tea Party” makes a persuasive case that this movement – saturated in corporate media coverage – was orchestrated strategically by right-wing organizations, most notably Americans for Prosperity, the chief front operation for the Kochs.
With access to Americans for Prosperity meetings and “straightforward” interviews with key figures in Americans for Prosperity, Oldham builds the case that the Tea Party was anything but a spontaneous uprising.
For those who still doubt – or need to be reminded – how a well-financed right-wing infrastructure is manipulating democracy through the use of emotional hot buttons to advance a plutocratic agenda, this is a must-see documentary.
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One need only look at Tea Party hypocrites like Joe Walsh, the deadbeat dad who has the gall to lecture the POTUS on fiscal discipline and responsibility, to see the duplicity and dishonesty of the Tea Party Movement as they embarrass themselves and their idiot constituents over the next 16 months.
America now stands on the brink of an economic calamity of potentially catastrophic proportions, the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives is in tatters due to a core of Tea Party maniacs who are in a position to fundamentally impact millions of American’s lives in tragic and even potentially deadly ways, and it appears that our government is hopelessly paralyzed for the foreseeable future.
Of course for some, it is not a surprise that we now find ourselves in this mess. Most reasonably intelligent Americans saw this coming a long time ago. But sadly, too many people either didn’t listen, or they didn’t believe it was possible that the sort of dangerous extremism the Tea Party represented could really happen in our country. Well, guess what, it can and it has, and now millions will pay with their money, their livelihoods and in some cases, their lives.
For those with short memories, perhaps it would be useful to remind you of what we were looking at with less than a week to go before voters headed to the polls in November 2010, when so many of the Tea Party candidates were swept into office. To any objective observer, it looked like the nation had spiraled into madness, as epitomized by the candidates that were running under the banner of the Tea Party Movement. If you had any sense of history about our nation, it was difficult to understand how this had been allowed to happen, and how we ended up facing a future unprecedented in our country’s history, and one that actually turned out to be even worse then we thought!
Just look at what we already knew about many of the high-profile Tea Party candidates that actually won election, or were thought to have a real chance of winning in their respective races…
The list of the bizarre and extreme beliefs and behaviors, all of which would have summarily disqualified a political candidate from running for office in the past, grew by the day as the election approached and the intensity of the campaigns built. It was as if we had descended into an alternate universe in which what would have once been regarded as bizarre was now the accepted.
But the main stream media failed to ask tough questions and the 24/7 noise of cable news and talk radio obfuscated reality. And then of course there is the American voter, who is so lazy they never question the nonsense the politicians or the empty suits and talking heads in the media are feeding them, choosing to pay more attention to voting for American Idol than they do in voting to send representatives to Washington DC, resulting in a government that is populated by wholly unqualified individuals who have no other objective than to either enrich themselves or impose their religious and moral views on others.
It may be too late, but apparently Americans are starting to come arouond and realize just how dangerous the Tea Party is. As posted in the TMPC article “Tea Party Movement Getting Americans Steamed” the view of the Tea Party is going in the proverbial toilet, and with the freshmen class of Tea Party representatives having the opportunity to screw things up for another year and a half, it will only get worse. One need only look at Tea Party hypocrites like Joe Walsh, the deadbeat dad who has the gall to lecture the POTUS on fiscal discipline and responsibility, to see the duplicity and dishonesty of the Tea Party Movement as they embarrass themselves and their idiot constituents over the next 16 months.
But come November 2012, the people of America who are paying attention can do something about it. And we had better lest we lose our freedoms, our nation and our Democracy forever.
The Tea Party movement takes its name from the Boston Tea Party of 1773, when American patriots dumped British tea into Boston Harbor to protest British imperial power. But while New England was the center of resistance to the British empire, there are few New Englanders to be found in today’s Tea Party movement. It should be called the Fort Sumter movement, after the Southern attack on the federal garrison in Fort Sumter in South Carolina on April 12-13, 1861, that began the Civil War. Today’s Tea Party movement is merely the latest of a series of attacks on American democracy by the white Southern minority, which for more than two centuries has not hesitated to paralyze, sabotage or, in the case of the Civil War, destroy American democracy in order to get their way
The mainstream media have completely missed the story, by portraying the Tea Party movement in ideological rather than regional terms. Whether by accident or design, the public faces of the Tea Party in the House are Midwesterners — Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann and Joe Walsh of Illinois. But while there may be Tea Party sympathizers throughout the country, in the House of Representatives the Tea Party faction that has used the debt ceiling issue to plunge the nation into crisis is overwhelmingly Southern in its origins:
The four states with the most Tea Party representatives in Congress are all former members of the Confederate States of America. The states with the greatest number of members of the House Tea Party caucus are Texas (12), Florida (7), Louisiana (5) and Georgia (5). While California is in fifth place with four House Tea Party members, the sixth, seventh and eighth places on the list are taken by two former Southern slave states, South Carolina and Tennessee, and a border state, Missouri, each with three members of the congressional Tea Party caucus.
If states with significant white Southern diasporas were included, the Southern proportion of the House Tea Party caucus would be even bigger. Many of the other states with Tea Party representatives are border states with significant Southern populations and Southern ties. One is Maryland, a state with Confederate sympathies during the Civil War, which, because the Census Bureau defines it as “Northeastern,” is responsible for the only Northeastern member of the Tea Party caucus, Roscoe Bartlett. The four Californian representatives come from the Orange County area or inland California, both regions whose political culture was shaped by Southern political culture, in the form of the “Okie” diaspora that settled there during the Depression.
In the entire House Tea Party Caucus, there is not a single representative from New England.
The fact that Tea Party conservatism speaks with a pronounced Southern drawl may have escaped the attention of the mainstream media, but it is obvious to members of Congress who have to try to work with these disproportionately-Southern fanatics. One is Rep. Loretta Sanchez of California. As a guest on a radio show, she mocked the Southern accent of the typical congressional Tea Party caucus member:
The congresswoman, who represents Anaheim and other parts of Orange County, laughed and said she knows how to get along with people. Then she used a mock Southern accent to describe how conversations with them play out.
“Hey what’s your name? ‘My name is M-o-e,’” Sanchez said, feigning a Southern drawl that drew howls of laughter from Miller and her co-host. “Ok Moe. Moe-ster, how you doing baby? What are we going to do today? What’s your interest? What can we work on together?”
“‘Well, it’s unconstitutional,” she said, using her faux Southern accent.
Contradicting the mainstream media narrative that the Tea Party is a new populist movement that formed spontaneously in reaction to government bailouts or the Obama administration, the facts show that the Tea Party in Congress is merely the familiar old neo-Confederate Southern right under a new label. The threat of Southern Tea Party representatives and their sidekicks from the Midwest and elsewhere to destroy America’s credit rating unless the federal government agrees to enact Dixie’s economic agenda of preserving defense spending while slashing entitlements is simply the latest act of aggression by the Solid South.
Here is how the League of the South, a neo-Confederate organization that favors Southern secession from what it describes alternately as “the yankee empire” and “the South-busting American regime,” describes the South’s pattern of voting in Congress in recent years (note the author’s British spelling of “favour” — Noah Webster, who tried to Americanize spelling, was a Yankee):
Another stark Southern – US split occurred when the Senate voted on President Clinton’s impeachment verdict. The whole Senate voted to acquit Clinton on both impeachment charges while Southern Senators voted two-thirds in favour [sic] of convicting Clinton of obstruction of justice (18 to 8). If the South had been in charge, President Bill “the Lecher” Clinton would have been the first president in U.S. history to have been removed from office by impeachment.
If the South had had its way, however, Clinton would not even have been elected in the first place. In both 1992 and 1996 the South voted for the Republican nominee for President, i.e., the candidate generally perceived to be more conservative (regardless of the reality).
On tax policy, the South almost always votes for lower taxes, and is sometimes overridden by the US congress. In 1998 the thirteen State South voted by the required two-thirds margin for a constitutional amendment to require a two-thirds vote of both houses of congress to raise taxes. Southerners voted in favour [sic] of this constitutional amendment 90 to 41. In the full House the amendment failed by 238 to 186 opposed, far short of the constitutionally required two-thirds margin.
Also in 1998, Southern Representatives voted by the requisite two-thirds “super majority” to submit to the States the Religious Freedom Constitutional Amendment. It would have guaranteed an individual’s right to pray and recognize his religious beliefs on public property, including schools. The house of representatives [sic] as a whole rejected this amendment by a vote of 224 in favour to 203 opposed, falling miserably short of the necessary two-thirds margin.
In 1997 Senator Hutchinson of Arkansas offered an amendment to abolish the National Endowment for the Arts and transfer its fiscal 1998 funding directly to the States. The South voted for this State Rights proposal by the ample margin of 17 to 9, whereas the full Senate rejected this affirmation of the rights and duties of the States by the almost equally strong margin of 63 against to only 36 for.
In light of this recent history, it is clear that the origins of the debt ceiling crisis are to be sought, not in generic American conservatism, but in idiosyncratic Southern conservatism. The goal, the methods and the passion of the Tea Party in the House are all characteristic of the radical Southern right.
From the earliest years of the American republic, white Southern conservatives when they have lost elections and found themselves in the political minority have sought to extort concession from national majorities by paralyzing or threatening to destroy the United States.
The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 and 1799 asserted the alleged right of states to “nullify” any federal law that state lawmakers consider unconstitutional. This obstructionist mentality led to the Nullification Crisis of 1832, when South Carolina refused to enforce federal tariffs. Civil War was averted only when President Andrew Jackson, a Southerner himself, forced the nullifiers to back down.
In 1820 and 1850 the South used the threat of secession to force the rest of the United States to appease it on the slavery issue. In 1861, the South tried to destroy the United States, rather than accept a legitimately elected president, Abraham Lincoln, whom it did not control.
Following defeat in the Civil War, the former Confederate states regrouped as “the Solid South,” a one-party region, first Democratic and now Republican, that has tended to vote as a bloc in national affairs. The South sought to block the federal civil rights revolution by a policy of “massive resistance” to court orders ordering racial integration. Some Southern states went so far as to try to abolish their public school systems rather than integrate them. It is hard to avoid seeing a link between this racist rationale for privatization and modern conservative plans to scale back Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, relied on disproportionately by black and brown Americans and low-income whites, while increasing taxpayer subsidies to private retirement and healthcare accounts enjoyed mostly by affluent whites.
As white Southerners, upset with the Democratic Party’s racial and social liberalism, migrated into the post-Goldwater GOP, they brought their Dixiecrat attitudes into the party of Lincoln. The Kemp-Roth tax bill of 1981, which inaugurated the policy of creating permanent deficits by slashing taxes without cutting spending, had its strongest support among Southern and Western members of Congress and the least support in the fiscally conservative Northeast.
The Republican Party’s attempted government shutdown of 1995 marked the new domination of the Republican Party by Southerners like Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey and Tom DeLay. The impeachment of their fellow Southerner Bill Clinton was an attempted coup d’état by the Southern white minority in the United States, which, as in 1860, was frustrated because its candidate lost the presidential election.
The debt ceiling crisis is the latest case in which the radical right in the South has held America hostage until its demands are met. Presidents Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln refused to appease the Southern fanatics. Unfortunately, President Obama and the Democrats in Congress chose not to follow their example and instead gave in. In doing so, they have encouraged the neo-Confederate minority in Congress to find yet another opportunity in the near future to extort concessions from America’s majority by sabotaging America’s government.
Michael Lind is Policy Director of the Economic Growth Program at the New America Foundation and is the author of “The Next American Nation: The New Nationalism and the Fourth American Revolution.” More: Michael Lind.
For quite sometime, this blog has taken the position that the Tea Party, while not terrorists in the strictest sense of the word, are beginning to supplant groups like Al Qaeda as the greatest threat facing the U.S. And as the Tea Party infected GOP drives the nation’s economy towards disaster, there are others who are coming around to that view.
On example is John Thorpe of Benzinga, who recently wrote:
Emulating the terrorists’ actions, the House Republicans have decided to hold the President — and 300 million Americans — hostage as they demand tax cuts for the wealthy and spending cuts for everyone else, in exchange for agreeing to raise the debt ceiling by just enough to avoid the United States government from defaulting on its debt. That’s right: Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner and his Tea Party caucus are driving a jumbo-jet 747 into the world’s tallest economy, and no one on the right-wing seems to give a damn.
And the much respected William Kristof, in an OP/ED peice in the NY Times titled ‘Republicans, Zealots and Our Security’ suggested as much when he wrote this:
We tend to think of national security narrowly as the risk of a military or terrorist attack. But national security is about protecting our people and our national strength — and the blunt truth is that the biggest threat to America’s national security this summer doesn’t come from China, Iran or any other foreign power. It comes from budget machinations, and budget maniacs, at home.
Now, further buttressing the growing realization that the corporate led Tea Party is a very dangerous threat to America, we have the Tea Party’s beloved media darling, Glenn Beck and his veiled support for the murderous animal Anders Breivik, who gunned down scores of young people in Norway after setting off a bomb outside a government building in Oslo that killed seven. Yep, it seems that Glenn Beck, Tea Party stalwart and Fox News personality has likened the victims of that heinous attack to ‘Hitler Youth,’ thus suggesting that perhaps there was a righteous element to the murderers motivations:
There was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like, you know, the Hitler youth. I mean, who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics? Disturbing
Now, without old Glenn, even the most ardent anti-Tea Party forces would be hard pressed to establish any sort of link between the Norwegian maniac and the Tea Party movement but incredibly, as a defacto spokesman for the Tea Party, he has married the beliefs of the movement with the tragic events in Norway, and not in a positive way.
Would anyone be surprised if the CIA, as it digs further into the files and computers pulled from Bin Laden’s lair in Pakistan, came across a reference to the Tea Party in America, one that is in support for the what it stands for and what it is doing to our nation?
Last month, I joined with MoveOn.org and launched the Rebuild the Dream campaign to help give a voice to the millions of Americans who aren’t being heard in Washington. This past weekend, we organized nearly 1,600 house meetings across the country — nearly double the number of protests the Tea Party held when they launched in April of 2009. The American Dream Meetings gave more than 27,000 people, from all across the country, an opportunity to come together and discuss what the American Dream means to them and their families. They talked about how the jobless crisis and foreclosure mess is impacting their communities. They put forth creative ideas for the Contract for the American Dream — a bold progressive vision to help fix the broken economy and rebuild our communities. The Contract has already received nearly 26,000 ideas submitted online alone and over 6 million ratings.
Our annual conference of the progressive movement has a new name — and a new focus on strengthening the fast-growing American Dream Movement.
While I’m beyond inspired by the enormous outpour of ideas we’ve received thus far, it doesn’t surprise me that the American people are yearning to come up with practical solutions to our economic crisis. While so many Americans struggle with joblessness and rampant foreclosures, we keep hearing from Washington that we need to reduce the deficit, even if it means slashing Medicare or gutting vital programs families depend on. Washington appears to be operating on an entirely different planet than the rest of America.
There’s an important story that’s not being told in Washington. It’s the story of the mother or father getting the dreaded call into the office where their boss informs them that they’ve been laid off. They were already underwater on their house, and now without a steady paycheck, they start to get behind on their mortgage payments. Then comes the big bad bank. They do everything they can to keep their house but it’s no use. The bank posts that horrifying foreclosure notice on their door, and takes their home. They sell most of their belongings and move their entire family into a one-bedroom apartment. Or if they’re lucky, they move in with grandma. It’s a vicious cycle and it’s happening every single day in America. It’s the new American nightmare.
Our brave men and women in uniform are coming from a war battlefield only to return home to an economic battlefield with little hope of finding a job. Young Americans are graduating off a cliff, and sleeping on their parent’s couches waiting for an opportunity to come along.
In Washington, it’s almost as if these problems don’t exist. It’s fair to say that Washington has become obsessed with deficit politics, even though poll after poll shows that the number one concern of Americans is the economy and jobs. So, how did Washington get so off track with the rest of America? How did the debate change from being focused on job creation during the stimulus debate, to becoming focused mostly on cutting spending and tightening our belt? There was a movement with a message, and it has helped drive this deficit obsession in Washington — the Tea Party.
In April of 2009, Americans who identified themselves as Tea Partiers took to the streets to protest against what they perceived to be a “big government takeover”. With the help and funding of lobbyist-run think tanks such as Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works, 800 Tea Party protests were organized across the country to speak out against “big government”, taxation, and more specifically, President Obama.
The media started to take notice. Who were these people? Why were they so angry? Should they be taken seriously? Like bees to honey, right-wing candidates began to flock to the Tea Party and adopt their platform as their own. The Tea Party organized protests at town halls around health care reform — successfully heckling members of Congress and making sure the TV cameras were there to spread the story. From that point on, anything and everything the Tea Party did, the media paid attention to. And, anyone on the left who didn’t take them seriously had pie in their faces when Tea Party-backed candidates propelled to power in Congress in the 2010 Election.
The Tea Party didn’t just make waves in Washington, DC, they also helped elect extreme right-wingers to State Houses and began occupying Governor’s mansions across the country. These newly elected Tea Party candidates weren’t afraid to take risks, and they weren’t shy about putting their right-wing ideology before the economic well being of their constituents. They immediately began an all out assault on public workers, women’s rights, and began doling out tax breaks for millionaires and corporations. They threw everything at the wall in the hopes it would stick. And to the detriment of working families, some of it did. But it wasn’t without consequence for their movement or the candidates they helped elect.
Fast forward to February of 2011, Madison, Wisconsin. Just after Governor Walker doled out $140 million in tax breaks to corporations, he proposed the Budget Repair Bill, which restricted the collective bargaining rights of workers. Tens of thousands of Wisconsinites filled the Capitol and surrounded the grounds, protesting the attack on workers’ rights. The protests reached a magnitude of 150,000 people in Madison — larger than the rally put on by Glenn Beck and the Tea Party in Washington, DC. The protests in Wisconsin helped ignite and inspire other protests around the country. In an effort to show solidarity with the workers in Wisconsin, “Rallies to Save the American Dream” were held in all 50 states. From Ohio to Montana to New York, protests against right-wing attacks and unfair budget cuts began breaking out across America.
The Tea Party has their message and their movement, and it continues to impact the debate in Washington. But the movement to save the American Dream is bigger. There is a silent majority of Americans who are fighting back, and many of them have been fighting alone. They’ve been fighting to find a job and provide for their families. They’ve been fighting against the banks that are trying to take their homes. They’re fighting against unfair budget cuts that will disproportionately hurt the middle class and poor. They’re fighting for the American Dream. But, as we saw in Wisconsin, and we’re now beginning to see around the country, millions of Americans are starting to fight back together. And, it’s only a matter of time before the American Dream Movement comes to Washington.
(Van Jones is the President of Rebuild the Dream. Van is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, and American Progress Action Fund. )
“And this notion that eliminating tax loopholes and peeling back the overly generous tax breaks for wealthiest 2% will hurt job creation is nothing but a fantasy…In fact, the result of the Bush tax breaks was some of the lowest job creation in our nation’s history, along with an explosion of our national debt”
The Tea Party tainted Republicans in the Congress and Senate, by their abject refusal to consider any form of revenue increases through closing tax loopholes and the elimination of tax breaks for the wealthy, have confirmed our worst fears about the GOP and the Tea Party movement in general. And that is that they do not care about the welfare of our country and of Americans, and that with the demise of Al Qaeda and their leaders, the likes of John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell now represent the greatest threat to our Democracy in a generation.
Their disdain for our country is obvious, and their devotion to the wealthy and the corporations is now made perfectly clear for all to see. They would rather see our country default on its obligations than cede an inch on principles that have no basis in reality, and no precedent in our history. Listen, these are the same guys who, along with colleagues on both sides of the aisle, raised the Debt Ceiling many, many times in the last decade. Not once did they tie it to budget or spending cuts. But suddenly they have these long held fiscal principles that they cannot compromise on? It just doesn’t wash.
And this notion that eliminating tax loopholes and peeling back the overly generous tax breaks for wealthiest 2% will hurt job creation is nothing but a fantasy. There has never been a shred of evidence that links the kind of tax revenue increases being proposed to the creation, or lack thereof, of jobs. In fact, after the Bush tax breaks were enacted the country experienced some of the lowest job creation in our nation’s history, along with an explosion of our national debt that we are still trying to climb out from under. Yet John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Eric Cantor and the rest of the GOP brain trust that so happily endorsed the Bush policies that created such a mess, are now trying to suggest that these same policies will suddenly work wonders in reverse and as a result, they are our only way to salvation and jobs? Really, you can’t make this stuff up!
On top of the outright lies about taxes and job creation, is the harsh reality that the overall GOP approach to the budget and our economy, as outlined by their new golden boy, House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan, represents an incredibly huge windfall for the richest Americans. As an analysis by the Center for Tax Justice reveals, even though Ryan features large aggregate tax cuts, eighty percent of Americans would actually pay 4.6% more of their annual income on higher taxes under his plan, meaning that the bulk of any reduction in taxes will be showered upon the top 20% of earners!
Rest assured that millions of Americans can see through this charade being perpetrated by the GOP and the corporate-controlled Tea Party powers, and there will be retribution at the ballot box. We cannot allow the Tea Party traitors and their minions in the GOP, who would rather see the destruction of our Democracy in the pursuit of the narrow interests of the wealthiest among us, to succeed.