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Monday, January 25, 2010


by digby

Katie Couric sits down with a couple of teabaggers to find out what they really believe. And it turns out that they believe in individual liberty, fiscal responsibility, free markets, limited government, low taxes, a strong national defense and protecting our borders against the immigrant invasion. They think the government has usurped the constitution and see themselves as uber-patriots fulfilling the founders' intent. They believe fervently in American exceptionalism and that the nation is under mortal threat from foreign enemies without and traitors within. They are divided on social issues but insist that they are irrelevant to their movement --- they repeat Republican talking points verbatim but insist they are not Republicans. In other words they are standard issue conservative movement wingnuts without the cross.

If you don't want to bother listening to them, you can just listen to Glenn Beck and you'll get the picture. These guys aren't as entertaining but he's obviously their leader.

Or you can read this insightful article about the ties that bind the teabaggers to the old right wing nuts. Same as it ever was:

Beck and the Tea Party movement of which he is a central figure are often portrayed as a new and exotic political phenomenon. Pollsters treat the Tea Party movement like a third political party, and indeed, it is especially popular at the moment among unaffiliated voters new to politics.


For all its apparent freshness, however, the Tea Party movement is neither new nor novel, historians and political scientists say.

It is firmly rooted, in its ideology, rhetoric and — there’s no polite word for it — its paranoia, in the post-World War II American right.

Every few years, usually though not always during a Democratic administration, the movement reappears, with a similar set of grievances: The expansion of government is moving us toward socialism; there’s been a dangerous weakening of the national security apparatus but also, paradoxically, the threat of police state provisions at home; an alien subversive of nefarious intentions, composed of cosmopolitan elites and corrupt “one worlders” has infected the government.

In the 1950s, conservatives were angered when their champion, Ohio Sen. Robert Taft, was shoved aside by Republican elites in favor of the moderate Dwight Eisenhower.

Kathy Olmsted, a University of California, Davis historian of the period, notes that they accused the one-time Supreme Allied Commander of being a communist agent, an allegation made repeatedly by candy tycoon Robert Welch.

Consider the far-right rallying cry during the presidency of Bill Clinton: Jackbooted government thugs were on the loose; American soldiers were fighting under the U.N. flag; the 1993 tax increase — and yet another failed attempt at health care reform — the marks of a closet socialist.

The most fitting parallel, however, may be the early 1960s, when right-wing activists believed the civil rights movement was the work of the Soviets and, as Ronald Reagan alleged, Medicare a push for socialized medicine.

“The tropes, the rhetoric, the cultural profile — there are profound similarities,” says Rick Perlstein, who has completed two books of a trilogy on the history of the conservative movement and is widely viewed by conservatives and liberals alike as its key chronicler.

read on ...

This is the right wing I grew up with --- before the God Squad was recruited and turned the movement into the panty sniffing morals police. I know them very well. They are racists and conspiracy mongers and they have absolutely no business being anywhere near real power. The Big Money boyz know they have nothing to fear from them --- indeed, they sponsor them. They are good Republicans even if they don't know it.