Teabaggers. A sympathetic view

Hank Williams Jr. Red White and Pink-Slip Blues

DJ, who lives in rural Utah, says he knows teabaggers and most of them, if they have politics at all, are Democrats not Republicans, and that they aren’t racist.

I’ve helped organize many antiwar protests. Those who wish to bash us will find the most extreme protesters, those with hate-filled or incoherent signs, then plaster them all over their blogs and sites as representative of the whole. Liberal sites did the same with the teabagger protests today.

Yes, there were racist undercurrents and yes, their message was mostly incoherent. Movements often are jumbled when they start, especially when jackals like Fox news immediately try to jack it. But the roots are real, and they aren’t going away.

Our tax system, one of the main gripes, is quite insane. As most of you know, Sue is about to graduate with a Masters in Taxation and has spent the last 9 months reading IRS tax codes. She says, unless you actually read them yourself and understand what they said (not often easy!) there’s no way you can take advantage of all the deductions.

The Hank Williams Jr. song here is wrapped around a promotional contest, but the song itself is quite real. A guy in a factory town sees the factory go to Mexico and suddenly he’s losing his truck, house, and can’t buy shoes for his kids.

The left often talks about organizing the working class. The teabaggers are about as working class as it gets. And they feel left behind and are groping for answers. Yeah, I mocked them a bit. But maybe a better idea is to listen to what they’re saying.


  1. Good point. This must explain why the baggers are protesting the insane complexity that the Obama administration has added to the tax code. Or wait, no, it explains why the baggers were protesting the tax code last year. Or wait, no, …

  2. The participants I know are protesting not just the tax code (which has become more and more insane over the years) but rampant government spending in support of the Wall Street elite. They muttered under Bush, but expected change under Obama. Now they’re seeing more of the same. Everyone (with half a foot in reality) knows that taxes will have to rise to pay for the bailouts. So the Bush-Obama economic policy is a guaranteed tax increase waiting to happen.

    Most people I know up here, GOP and Dem, say let the damned banks fail. (That’s the position our representative, a Blue Dog Democrat, took in Congress.) Small businesses provide half the employment in this country. Why are big banks getting all the money? Besides, we’ve got several good community banks here that are as yet not swallowed up by the big guys. And that’s another pet peeve: the banks went on a buying binge, now they’re failing. Let’em.

    That may be shortsighted, though after Goldman’s various announcements this past week, I wonder.

    • Lehman failed, and took down Iceland with it. Saying let the banks fail seems a bit simple-minded given the hugely interdependent global financial markets. Those little banks deal with big banks who loan them money, act as clearing houses, etc.

      • But here’s the question: Who let those banks get so big? Mergers must be approved. Someone was asleep at the switch.

        WaMu swallowed up my local bank in California in 2006, and 28 other banks since 1990. Then they crashed. Bank of America swallowed up dozens of banks, including NationsBank, Fleet, Security Pacific, and MBNA– then required a $52.5 billion in bailout to survive. Wells Fargo, too, acquired a dozen banks including Crocker, Barclays, and Wachovia, then needed $25 billion of our money.

        As a former IMF economist said this week, too big to fail is too big to exist. To be blunt, that’s a national security risk. IF we’re bailing banks out, why not break them up at the same time so they’re NOT too big to fail?

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