Another Tea Party Is Brewing: This One Will Be Stormier
Scratch that. It ain’t brewing. Another Tea Party’s already here. In case you missed it, here is a highlight reel of current goings on in the center-right of the country.
74 million people voted for Donald Trump. That’s a big way to lose. Those people aren’t going to disappear, and neither are their interests, values, beliefs, and passions. In fact, they’re only going to become more vocal now that they feel embattled, surrounded, and cornered by people who see things drastically different than they do. Remember how the left couldn’t stop yacking for the last four years? It’s going to be that from the right now. Thanks for playing.
Remember no sooner had Donald Trump won in 2016 than did anti-Trump Democrats mobilize at warp speed to register their opposition. Cue the 2017 Women’s March, which happened on Jan 21, 2017, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. It drew nearly half a million attendees in Washington DC and over 5 million more nationwide. Meanwhile, the heavily Democrat-aligned corporate news media delved into endless Russia conspiracy theories, and breathless coverage of Trump’s administration in a thick blanket cover of doom, gloom, and despair.
They kept pressing the gas harder in this direction for four years straight.
What To Expect From Tea Party 2.0
From the Tea Party 2.0 you can expect the same rush for solace that all parties out of power indulge-- into all kinds of bizarre conspiracy theories. You can expect more eschatological, the sky is falling, the end is near, we’ll all be judged, we’re all doomed-- kind of talk.
But I’m not bagging on the right. To some degree I confess I perversely cherish this kind of theatrical big tent revival circus show that grips so much of US politics. You guys are all nuts on both sides. Hello, climate change alarmists: This you?
Yeah, we’re talking about another serious Boston Tea Party this time around, like the one in ‘73. This won’t be just some sign waving and tri-cornered hats, then massive electoral action unseating many senior incumbent lawmakers at many levels of government across the country, like last time around. That was in ‘09 right after Barack Obama’s inauguration. It might be that too, but it’s going to be far more raucous along the way. These people are mad.
“Just because I’m mad doesn’t mean I’m not right.”
―Christina Henry, Alice
I’ve been watching and listening to the right and their kids very closely on most of the big social media platforms, and these people are not happy about what's going on in the country. And after the precedent in tone and deed set by the anti-police protestors this year in their disregard for many laws and orders, we will be lucky if Tea Party 2.0 keeps it clean like the one in 2009, but if you get a good look at most of these people, you can see they aren’t looking to make trouble.
Still, there are very ominous portents this time around in US politics. Though I have covered the toxicity of partisan politics, especially that of the partisan duopoly in the United States, for a decade now, it is still shocking to see just how far the tension has ratcheted up. Social media platforms providing integrated instant worldwide publishing for free to anyone with a device reaching a scale of mass adoption with emergent global transformative effects we are just beginning to understand may have played a role in the hyper-polarization of US politics.
A reporter for BuzzFeed News has found what I’ve observed going to and fro throughout the center-right ecosystem online, that a lot of them are talking about secession and civil war. Hopefully they’re joking. But what if they themselves don’t realize they are?
In 2009, there were no stabbings at Tea Party protests. Today protesters will have to brave a new left with a forward guard of street thugs eager to do violence. And they will have an odd group of young men (e.g. The Proud Boys) standing by with equal relish at the opportunity to throw fists over politics. There are likely going to be more bloody messes at some of these things. When I was a young man, and the protests were not so dangerous, I went to many of them in 2009 and 2010. But this time around, I have no interest in going to political events in person. There are too many weird people that want to do dangerous things out there now. This is unfortunate.
As Pro-Trump “Stop The Steal” Rallies peppered cities across the country on Dec 12, from places like Mobile, Alabama, all the way to the nation’s capitol, far-left extremists counter-protestors planned to confront the Trump supporters on the streets. At the Washington DC Stop the Steal Rally, four people were stabbed and 33 arrests were made. Several people were injured including several police officers. If free speech and open political discourse are important to the corporate media, they should have been more riled up about this. Instead they wrote entirely unselfconscious missives patting themselves on the shoulders for surviving 2020. Nary a word from these laurel wreathed heroes either begging the president to pardon Assange or Snowden.
Anyway these acts of violence are not likely to dam the flood of counter-reactionary political movement from a second Tea Party. If anything, these inflammatory provocations will stir more brave and outspoken people to join protests and political electioneering movements for insurgent Tea Party candidates. What will the Second 21st Century Tea Party look like? Let’s take a look back at the first one so we have something appropriately similar to map it on to.
The 2009 Anti-Bush-Obama-Bailouts Tea Party
The Tea Party was not the spawn of Fox News’ Richard Murdoch and the Koch Brothers Enterprises’ network of institutional policy and legal analyst muscle. It started, of all places, on CNBC, with Rick Santelli, a loud-mouthed New Yorker, a big finance guy, who had made it to a career pinnacle in financial journalism. He was standing on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and stirring up the traders into wild cheers as he trashed Obama’s mortgage bailout plan.
To cheers and whistles from the crowd, he said:
“We’re thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July. All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I’m going to start organizing.”
A panelist chimed in and asked:
“What are you dumping in this time?”
“We’re dumping in derivative securities. What do you think about that?”
These people, and soon hordes of grassroots independent political activists, with the founding principles of American government in mind, were just steamed that the taxpayer was going around bailing out businesses instead of letting the free market operate. Instead of the taxpayer buying an entire industry full of severely downgraded mortgage backed securities, they wanted to let the market line up to buy the big banks’ junk assets. That would be capitalism.
Instead Democrats and Republicans in Washington quickly got to work joining hands to pass unprecedented emergency fiscal appropriations bills to bail out massive swaths of the finance industry and provide what politicians and journalists styled stimulus relief ground out to corporate American bank accounts through the greasy channels of the politicians’ and lobbyists’ lucrative favor factory.
President George W. Bush, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson were at no odds deploying all that taxpayer money. Neither were the two party presidential candidates in 2008, Sens. Barack Obama and the late John McCain. They both voted yes for the 2008 $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program bailout of big finance companies with taxpayer money. As much as they fight tooth and nail over every other stupid thing they can think of to fight over, when the two parties act swiftly together, the result is often something terrible for most voters.
The resulting political backlash began as a sprinkling of protests around the United States at the end of February 2009, days after Rick Santelli’s first call for a Chicago Tea Party in July. It grew quickly to an enormous number of cities with massive crowd turnouts for an April 15 Tax Day Tea Party. Then on July 4th the number and size of the Tea Party protests had become a tidal wave of grassroots political mobilization.
Here’s how the Tea Party looked in Houston on Feb 27, 2009:
Here’s the NYC Tea Party on Feb 28, 2009 in tragically low quality audio / video:
Here’s Them in Cincinnati in March 2009:
Here’s the 9/12 2009 Tea Party March on Washington DC:
Here’s Houston by the Tax Day Tea Parties in 2009:
Guitar playing, spitting some red pills about the partisan duopoly.
Today history is happening all over again, just that soon too. And this time it’s got a lot more zeroes on it. You can’t possibly spell out “NO CONFIDENCE!” more clearly with this electoral map.
The voters ousted the president, while giving his party a handful or so more seats in the house. They left his party in the majority in the senate. The fever among voters to ditch incumbents of both parties has already started in 2020. Expect it to crank up a few degrees through the next midterms. They are not happy with the government they’re getting lately.
And as with the financial crisis governance last time around, it’s both parties that have offended the most irate segment of the electorate, including the now lame duck Republican president.
Donald Trump Promised to Drain The Swamp, Instead He Flooded It With Untold Largesse
Donald Trump, who promised to drain the swamp, joined hands with Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell to pass the absolute fiscal monster called the CARES Act, which projects $2 trillion in new federal spending. If appropriations under this bill overshoot outlays, as they did with the 2009 Obama / Democrats stimulus package, add another $100 billion by the time it’s all said and done.
What does this spending include?
Before offering a list of highlights, watch President Donald Trump read this litany of horrors from the most recent emergency stimulus relief appropriation...
Then remember he signed the following.
In the CARES Act, which Trump signed on Mar 27, there was, according to the Brookings Institution:
“...reports that 27 clients of Trump-connected lobbyists have received up to $10.5 billion of that spending; that beneficiaries have also included multiple entities linked to the family of Jared Kushner and other Trump associates and political allies; that up to $273 million was awarded to more than 100 companies that are owned or operated by major donors to Trump’s election efforts.”
‘-$25 million in the Senate bill went to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. During the past ten years, the center received $68.3 million in federal grants (2010-2019). The Kennedy Center has total assets of $557 million. The Pelosi bill earmarked $35 million.
-$75 million in the Senate bill funded the Corporation For Public Broadcasting. Why do National Public Radio and Big Bird get a coronavirus subsidy? The Pelosi bill allocated $300 million.
-$1.2 billion in the Pelosi bill to require airlines to purchase expensive “renewable” jet fuel. It was $200 million per year in grants (2021-2026) to “develop, transport, and store sustainable aviation fuels that would reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.” The Senate bill eliminated this provision.’
This is just public funding looting during what these politicians say is an existential public health crisis. How can this be permitted by American citizens or their representatives?
And how can rank-and-file Democrats not do a double take at how easily the Trump operation in Washington soaked up so much money from the CARES Act with Nancy Pelosi in control of the US House of Representatives. Can any Democrat explain how they’re happy with that?
She tore up the speech at the State of the Union Address, but hands the bag to him like this when the chips are down? Who are these party leaders really working for?
Well, we might ask that question to CNBC’s Brian Schwartz. On Dec 16, the anniversary of the 1773 Boston Tea Party, he reported for CNBC, in an article headlined, “Biden inaugural committee unveils fundraising packages offering access for big donations,” that:
“Joe Biden’s inaugural committee is sending out fundraising packages to donors, offering access at an event that will likely be largely virtual.
The inaugural committee is offering four packages to donors, depending on how much they give, according to a list of fundraising options provided to CNBC.
An organization can be named a chair of the inaugural if it gives $1 million. An individual will get the same rank with a $500,000 donation.”
Largely virtual. He doesn’t even have to shake their dirty hands or smell their dirty breath. He doesn’t even have to be doing the event. It could be Kamala Harris deep faked as Biden to their screen. This is going to be the cushiest presidency gig ever, as good as being Ellen Degeneres ordering people home backstage at Ellen so she doesn’t have to smell them. The supreme irony being that President-elect Joe Biden is the most famous person in history for having a prolific record of absolutely loving to touch and smell people. This might actually be his own personal hell, a giant oval office shaped cookie to eat, the best cookie in the world, and no milk to wash it down. I mean really, what’s the point of being president if you can’t body surf over a crowd of supporters and give people little shoulder rubs and squeezes and whisper in their ears as you float by?
You’ll hear rank-and-file Democrats bash Citizens United and money in politics, but look at what the guy you voted for is doing. He put together a coalition of corporate supporters / favor-seekers ramming money into politics with a sure hope of return on their investment. How’s that any better than what partisan Democrats say they’re against? Joe Biden’s ascendency sure bears the stamp of Obama’s, a swell of popular partisan pride over a heavily corporate and establishment-backed figurehead, with overt intentions of presiding over a broad mainstream corporate special interest consensus. Is this really better than Donald Trump?
And now that Donald Trump is out of the way, Democrats are going to have to talk about policy at some point. They don’t have him as this overwhelming, relentless distraction and lightning rod for attention. He’s been defeated. He won’t be president anymore. They’re going to have to talk about Joe Biden now, maybe a lot more than they yet understand they have bargained for, and the hangover from this inebriated dalliance with one former vice president and career senator from Delaware is going to be long and uncomfortable for Democrats. Meanwhile, it will be a cozy warm firestorm of political upheaval with a serving of hot tea from the right.
As you heard from the list of appropriation line items President Trump read out in the video linked above, the second emergency stimulus package, which features as its gimmick a pared down personal check of $600, is pork jammed into pork squeezed next to pork on top of pork. He broke down and signed it. These marauders are just raiding the global economy through the US fiscal appropriation and monetary system. And we elected them to represent us. Or so we thought.
Tea Party Will Fight COVID Restrictions in Federal Courts as Well as The 2022 Midterm Elections
The second wave Tea Party will have more to do than elect more new limited government, constitutional conservatives with their sights set on reining in Congress’ budgets-- as it did with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) in 2010 and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) in 2012.
In 2021 the Tea Party will also push back with both partisan ferocity and earnest weariness against 2020’s state of perpetual emergency and drastic, rapidly escalating set of unprecedented radical policy interventions culminating in a command-and-control society never before seen in America at a municipal, county, state, and federal / macro level of US government under the auspices of mitigating damage from the most recent outbreak of SARS coronavirus in China.
A decade ago, Rick Santelli jokingly suggested throwing derivative securities into lake Michigan for his Chicago Tea Party. Of course that is impossible, these things are abstract contracts between different parties. But this time around anti-lockdown protests presage a second Tea Party wave starting in 2021 as well as the pro-Trump demonstrations after the election.
And they have something physical to toss overboard: face masks. But instead of throwing substantial amounts of them away, they’re making like a 1960s feminist with a bra-- and symbolically burning them. Expect more antics with masks from the second Tea Party.
If you’re one of those readers who’s inclined to have any bright ideas of your own by this point, please keep it safe. No more fires, please, patriots. As I said earlier, I think you’re crazy just to go to a political demonstration in person in 2020.
In Manhattan, New York City, over a hundred anti-lockdown demonstrators gathered to burn face masks in November. In Delray Beach, Florida, in October before the election, “Reopen South Florida” marched for that purpose, and burned face masks as well. Onlookers may say these smatterings of anti-lockdown and anti-election result protests are small and there aren’t very many of them.
But that’s how the 2009 Tea Party started as well, small with only a hundred people at some of them, and not very many of them. Then it grew very quickly in a matter of weeks into a massive political movement with lasting consequences in US politics. President Donald Trump, who started his Twitter account in 2009, must have been watching the Tea Party closely. He fluently verbalized much of its sense and feeling about the world and the US government.
Trump also remade the US federal judiciary with judges unlike any president in recent history. A public statement made by SCOTUS Justice Samuel Alito (GWB appointee), given on Nov 13, sounds despite his disclaimer that it is not a remark on the legality of these policies, all but an invitation to litigants to sue to overturn many covid restrictions around the country in federal court.
“I think it is an indisputable statement of fact: We have never before seen restrictions as severe, extensive, and prolonged as those experienced for most of 2020. Laws giving an official so much discretion can of course be abused.”
Now the Tea Party of 2021 will have a different set of resources and opportunities than the 2009 Tea Party. There now exists an Internet with mature social media platforms in terms of the market adoption curve operating at mass scale and connecting all of us together. These were quite extraordinarily capable, but still nascent and not fully adopted in 2009. There are now entire new platforms in the full bloom of market adoption maturity that didn’t even exist yet in 2009.
Tea Partiers today have a choice.
They can adopt the partisan mindset of politics as warfare, of political action as warfare by non-violent means, and of their mission as a tribal conflict with existential enemies, to oust them from power. Or they can adopt the Founders’ generation mindset of politics as statecraft, of political action as an act of cultural creation through intense spiritual violence, and of their mission as the providential stewardship and caretaking of a civilization destined to be reborn even better, over and over again, for many generations from now, because of the good we made of our lives and our time in the world? Winning policy and electoral victories along the way might be important, but what’s the endgame and what’s the attitude on the way there? Is this going to be a war to win against other Americans, a fight to defeat other people? Or is this an opportunity for a civilization on the brink of unleashing unparalleled, awesome power in every direction of human endeavor to become morally awake before we really hurt ourselves or others badly with all this power?
“We’re gonna mismanage this planet into armageddon if we don’t get some grown ups into the room.”
-Eric Weinstein, managing director of Thiel Capital, Peter Thiel's investment firm (Joe Rogan Experience #1453)