My original list for this installment of the Price Vincent Hall of Shame was six people. As I started fleshing out my reasons for gaining this very prestigious honor, my reasons for the Tea Party (and two people in particular in the movement) made the column far too long. Instead, I'll talk about the other entries later and focus this one on the Tea Partiers, Rand Paul and Mark Williams in particular.
Since I first started using this blog last August and September and updated it periodically over the last two months, I've somehow managed to remain curiously silent on the Tea Party movement. I didn't specifically mention them in my August 21, 2009 entry on health care obstructionists, but that was really the beginning of the Tea Party movement. For some reason that escapes me, I also somehow managed to ignore writing about them in the beginning of the year when they were sending death threats to people who voted in favor of health care reform, a move that calls to mind the memories and reform of the kristallnacht period. In my first installment of the Hall of Shame, I referred to Sean Hannity and the state of Arizona, two bastions of Tea Party support. I even managed to stay silent when my uncle joined a Tea Party group in our hometown and brought his ten year old son with him and had him carry a sign that read "In God We Trust, Not Obama." This week, however, I decided that I couldn't really stay quiet about them any longer.
The Tea Party movement managed to corrall enough angry, Jesus lovin', racist, white people to gain some primary victories and set the national agenda for the Republican Party. This agenda is simple: not having to pay taxes, calling Obama a socialist, not helping the less fortunate, ending government spending on medicare and social security, and advancing a message of states' rights/social Darwinism/hating people who aren't middle class (at least) and white/blaming the "other" for every problem in America. The irony of not wanting government programs escapes them since forty percent of them are over 55 and 22 percent are under age 35, so they will be eligible for Social Security payments, which I would be willing to bet they aren't going to return to the government in protest. Also, 70 percent of them want the federal government to foster job creation and to limit the abuses of Wall Street. They are either hypocritical, stupid, or both. Before anyone says I'm generalizing the movement, 79 percent of them are white, and 44 percent of them are born again Christian.
Now some of you might still be saying, "Shahen, the Tea Party movement doesn't condone racism and ignorance. Just because they are white, Christian, and include an inordinate amount of Birthers doesn't make them racist. It's about the size of government, not that the President is black. Besides, the leadership of the movement can't control the masses who protest, as that would be anathema to the purpose of the movement and free speech. It's a grassroots movement and doesn't express any cohesive ideology besides lower taxes and less government." After wondering how you were able to tell me this with a straight face, I would then tell you that you're a fucking moron, question how we even know each other, tell you that not only does it condone racism, ignorance, and hatred, but it endorses it and is an explicit part of their platform. Let's have a look at two shining examples of leaders within the Tea Party movement and how fucked up they are: Tea Party Express chairman Mark Williams and Kentucky US Senate nominee Rand Paul.
Mark Williams: Mark Williams is evidently a radio host and blogger, as well as the leader of the Tea Party Express, which I guess is some kind of deal where Williams and some other asshats are going countrywide in a bus to spread their message. Kind of like the Partridge Family but the Tea Partiers are even bigger douchebags. They enlist noted intellectuals like Sarah Palin to give policy speech and provoke meaningful dialogue and understanding. Just kidding, they make up a bunch of stories about "death panels" and taking back democracy for the (white) people. Don't believe me? Well, Mr. Williams makes it clear exactly where he stands and where his followers should stand. For starters, Mr. Williams is a birther and has referred to Obama as an "Indonesian thug turned welfare fraud," a "half-white racist," a "half black racist," and a "Nazi." I'll point it out, although it isn't necessary, but the Dixie Chicks were mauled in the media for saying they were embarrassed to be from the same state as Presidfent Bush. This idiot says the above things and he is considered a viable voice for political change. He shouldn't even be asked to be on television. The birther movement is bullshit and his refusal to recognize Obama as even a human being is appalling and disgusting. Not as disgusting as the shit he pulled this week. In a blog on his website this week he wrote about a planned 15 story community center being built by a Muslim group that will feature a mosque, performing arts center, a gym and a swimming pool that will be put up near Ground Zero in NYC as a monument to celebrate terrorism. His exact words were, "The monument would consist of a mosque for the worship of the terrorists' monkey-god." The blog also featured an illustration called "Nazi Muhmmad" that featured Muhammad with swastika and cockroach beard with women who are bleeding from the crotch and is armed. When asked about the Nazi comparison, he stated that he couldn't find an image of Muhammad as Satan and had to settle for Hitler. In another blog, he stated Islam is a "7th Century Death Cult coughed up by a psychotic pedophile." First, Islam and Christianity have the same God. Second, all religion is essentially a cult. Jesus was a charismatic carpenter of dubious birth origins who had a devoted legion of followers. Second, Islam is the most popular religion in the world and only a small percentage of Muslims could be considered terrorists. And is it a monkey-god because brown skinned people are predominantly Muslims? Third, how come he hasn't ever spoken about fringe Christian terrorists like Tim McVeigh or Eric Robert Rudolph? I'm gonna say because they were far right, religious white men and they were just fighting against the liberals and big government socialism and people who perform abortions and fighting the good fight (in his eyes). The fact that this lunatic is the leader of a group that gets mainstream media coverage and isn't treated like a bunch of fringe wackos anywhere except MSNBC troubles me. This guy is breeding hate in the same way that Republicans always state that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton (both black, what a shocker) do. It is more troubling because he is race baiting to incite middle class and lower class white people to attack and go after a large segment of the population. If the Tea Party was really inclusive and not a bunch of idiot white people, they would disavow Mark Williams immediately. They won't though, because he's their kind of guy.
Rand Paul: Rand is the son of everyone's favorite libertarian, Ron Paul. He has entered the political fray now as the Republican nominee for US Senate in the state of Kentucky. Rand is also a Tea Partier and super conservative. How conservative, you ask? Let's take a gander at his political views. He wants to remove US military bases from overseas. Every single base. He also wants a constitutional amendment banning abortion. That's ironic, a self-proclaimed libertarian wants government to pass a law restricting people's rights. It is even more ironic when you consider that he doesn't like the Civil Rights Act. On Rachel Maddow's show, he stated that he would have opposed parts of the 1964 legislation, specifically the parts that forced businesses to serve white and black people and do so equally and without exclusion. He stated that it is the free speech right of a business or person to choose to be segregated and not the role of the government to interfere. He also said the same thing about the Americans with Disabilities Act. Companies shouldn't have to be handicap accessible. It restricts the free speech of a company to have to comply these things if it doesn't want to. Don't believe me? Watch it for yourself. I'll even include his rebuttal that blames Rachel Maddow and not himself for being a racist dick. Even if he feels that the states should make these rules or leave it up to businesses to do right for themselves, the fact is that they wouldn't and haven't throughout history without the federal government forcing it upon them. Also, an amendment banning abortion? What happened to let the people and the states decide? It is 2010 and abortion is not an issue, get over it. No one is pro-abortion. No one walks around saying, "Goddamn I love abortions. They are so awesome." Abortion is a women's health issue and the right wing needs to stop trying to force their morality on women. I got off track there, but Rand is a total hypocrite. No to federal involvement in civil rights enforcement but yes to it when it involves stopping abortions? Also, Rand believes in abolishing the Departments of Education, Energy and Commerce, as well as aboloshing the income tax. No cohesive national education standards and funding, no ensuring that we have clean and healthy energy source, no stopping monopolies and illegal trade, but the government should abolish abortion constitutionally? Fuck you Rand. I could go on about how he doesn't support amnesty and wants to limit the amount of Visas eligible to foreigners and thinks money should go to parents to home school their kids instead of having them go to school (since that breeds normal, well-adjusted kids), but I think I made it clear before that he is a racist and a dick.
These people in the Tea Party make me so disappointed in being an American. They are lunatics who preach hate and pull a Chicken Little routine over everything the Democrats do. Meanwhile they said nothing about how Bush launched two failed wars that cost trillions, restricted civil liberties via the Patriot Act, supervised the destruction of New Orleans, and started the recession with his laissez-faire attitude but they don't. Instead the recession is blamed on handouts to the poor and health care. Instead it was handouts to Bush's rich buddies through tax breaks while increasing spending at the same time. You can't increase spending and cut taxes at the same time. It just doesn't work. If it was about what's right and what's wrong, these people would have called Bush out for his fuckups. But its not about whats wrong and whats right, its about who is black and who is white.