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Hullabaloo


Thursday, March 31, 2011

 
Trading on the Tea Party

by digby


This just makes me laugh:

The Tea Party does not have a presence in Indonesia, where the term evokes cups of orange pekoe and sweet cakes rather than angry citizens in “Don’t Tread on Me” T-shirts.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

But a Tea Party group in the United States, the Institute for Liberty, has vigorously defended the freedom of a giant Indonesian paper company to sell its wares to Americans without paying tariffs. The institute set up Web sites, published reports and organized a petition drive attacking American businesses, unions and environmentalists critical of the company, Asia Pulp & Paper.

Last fall, the institute’s president, Andrew Langer, had himself videotaped on Long Wharf in Boston holding a copy of the Declaration of Independence as he compared Washington’s proposed tariff on paper from Indonesia and China to Britain’s colonial trade policies in 1776.

Tariff-free Asian paper may seem an unlikely cause for a nonprofit Tea Party group. But it is in keeping with a succession of pro-business campaigns — promoting commercial space flight, palm oil imports and genetically modified alfalfa — that have occupied the Institute for Liberty’s recent agenda.


Yes, well, the astro-turfed nature of the Tea Party is well known and nobody should be surprised by this. In fact, this next is just CW nonsense:

The Tea Party movement is as deeply skeptical of big business as it is of big government. Yet an examination of the Institute for Liberty shows how Washington’s influence industry has adapted itself to the Tea Party era. In a quietly arranged marriage of seemingly disparate interests, the institute and kindred groups are increasingly the bearers of corporate messages wrapped in populhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifist Tea Party themes.


There is no evidence that the Tea Party is anti-business. Reporters confuse the fact that they are against bailouts with skepticism about business. That's backwards. It's the government end of the bailouts they are skeptical of.

Pam Stout, one of the grassroots poster girls for the national Tea Party movement, said it on David Letterman when he asks her to explain why she thinks things are getting worse in this country:

I think [it’s] the fact that we demonize business ... we have one of the highest tax structures” in the world.


Right wing populist isn't particularly "anti-business" in the first place, but this Tea Party movement isn't even close. They are far right Republicans who have been brainwashed to believe that wealthy people and businesses must be revered because they are the "innovators" who make this country great. They are, in other words, willing serfs.

It is not in the least bit surprising to me that their astro-turf groups are making tons of money trading on the name. But they'd better be careful. The Tea Party may worship big business and hate taxes like any other far right conservative --- but they are very mistrustful of foreigners. A good many of them are undoubtedly particularly mistrustful of Muslim foreigners,which includes a whole lot of Indonesians. It's a fine line.


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