monitoring spineless idiots and praising everyday people
from AlterNet:Why are the hoppin'-mad Teabaggers so oddly quiet these days, ever since the BP oil disaster? That's what Thomas Frank, author of What's The Matter With Kansas? asked last week in his column, "Laissez-faire Meets The Oil Spill." Ideologically, it's painfully obvious why the Teabaggers are now the Teagaggers: their free-market gospel got mugged by oil-drenched reality -- a reality so horrific that even pollster Frank Luntz couldn't spin the BP disaster as the government's fault. Best to just shut up when you're that wrong. But there's another, more concrete reason why the Tea Party revolutionaries melted back into their suburbs as soon as the enormity of the Gulf spill disaster hit: The Tea Party evolved out of the pro-offshore drilling astroturf movement in 2008. They even share some of the same organizers and front groups, from PR operative like Eric Odom, to advocacy groups like FreedomWorks, whose combined efforts on the "Drill Here! Drill now!" astroturf campaign succeeded in opening up all of America's coastlines and waters to offshore drilling, overturning a 27-year ban thanks to threats of "a Boston-style Tea Party," as one Republican put it in the summer of 2008. The Tea Party movement supported by oil industry money, especially Koch Industries, but it was organized by the same people who Tea Partied Congress into opening up America's coastline to unlimited oil drilling. The Tea Party did that -- they manipulated and frightened Washington into giving them all the pristine American coastline that a billionaire could ever dream of poisoning, and then some. On top of that, the free-market advocacy groups at the center of the Tea Party movement are responsible for the systematic destruction of government regulation, which made a disaster like the Gulf spill inevitable. So remember that when you look at the poisoned Gulf of Mexico, and the ruined beaches of Florida: That's the Tea Party Vision turned into our reality. The gang running the Tea Party movement has some direct responsibility for the catastrophe unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico, maybe more so than BP itself. No wonder the Tea Party crowd is staying out of sight and hoping everyone's forgotten. They've been talking about dumping tea, but all along they've been dumping oil, and now we're finding out just how "maverick" and "anti-establishment" their movement really is. Keep this in mind the next time the mainstream media sucks up to the Teabaggers as some sort of "authentic America" anti-establishment movement: it was born in offshore oil drilling, and America is now dying from offshore drilling.
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