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It's Not Palin's Party, Take Her Tea And Shove It!

Pitchfork responds to Denninger.


First off, a big hat tip to Karl Denninger for bringing this issue out in the open.  In a number of recent television appearances, as well as on his blog, the Market Ticker, Denninger has argued in no uncertain terms that the Tea Party movement has been hijacked by the GOP establishment.  He has called some of the would-be leaders of the movement, like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, "a joke," and has referred to some of their Tea-Party followers as "douchebag groups."  (Ouch.)  On one level, he's exactly right -- many of the would-be leaders of the movement are a joke.  Palin and Gingrich, for example, provide no credible or substantive alternative to the GOP establishment that spent 8 years ruining the country -- the same GOP establishment that stabbed conservative voters in the back after the '94 Republican "Revolution."  (Some of us still have the scars to prove it.)

As far as that goes, Denninger is right on the money, but he makes a big mistake in writing off the Tea Party altogether.  Here's why.  First, as a number of Ticker Forum regulars have pointed out, there is no such thing as one, unitary "Tea Party."  Local, grass-roots Tea Party groups are still concerned about the bailouts, the spending and the increasing size and scope of government.  They may not all know what a collateralized debt obligation is, or a credit default swap, but they do not like the bailouts and they are opposed to almost any kind of special favor being granted by the government to one group of citizens, while another group of citizens gets the bill.  Bailouts or handouts -- they're foresquare against them.  That's all to the good.  And besides, many Tea Party folks are just as concerned as Denninger about the GOP taking over their movement.  He seems to "misunderstimate" the intelligence of individual Tea Partiers.

The problem, though, as Denninger points out, is that the Tea Party movement, as such, has been almost totally silent about the ongoing fraud and predation being perpetrated by parts of the financial system.  Moreover, the movement has been mostly silent about the government's role in subsidizing and condoning the looting.  Because of this, Denninger feels compelled to tell the Tea Party to "Go Screw" and writes them off entirely until further notice.  He's right about the facts of the situation, but he's wrong in placing so much of the blame on ordinary Tea Partiers, and he's wrong in writing off the movement.

In addition to there being many different local Tea Party groups, as well as Tea Party umbrella groups, each with its own particular concerns and issues, there is also a big distinction that must be made between the leadership (so called, such as it is) and the movement's rank and file.  People like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck wield an inordinately disproportionate amount of power over which Tea-Party issues come to the fore and which issues get coverage in the mainstream media.  Sarah Palin can post a brief comment on Facebook or Twitter about "death panels" or Van Jones, and it's a raging national issue for the next six months.  To some degree, the media's focus on people like Palin distorts the perception of the actual Tea Party movement, but it also inevitably shapes the movement itself by helping to determine which issues capture the attention of rank and file members.

With good reason, Denninger asks why we haven't seen the Tea Party (on any large scale) protesting the massive fraud in the financial system.  Similarly, Cenk Uygur asked the other day how come the Tea Partiers haven't camped out in front of the Fed or protested at the US Treasury.  Indeed, why isn't Tim Geithner as well known and reviled as Nancy Pelosi?  The movement has been strong in protesting against "socialism" and Obamacare, but the banks (and their errand boys at the Fed and Treasury) have gotten off easy.

It's impossible to know for certain whether or not this is by design.  Maybe there are good reasons why certain issues, like health care, have taken the limelight away from the white-collar criminals who every year extract billions and billions of dollars from the economy at the expense of ordinary Americans.  Again, I don't know whether that gets overlooked because of the undue influence of the establishment GOP and the media, or if there are other, more subtle reasons.   But I do know this:  people like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck have NOT highlighted financial fraud, the ongoing bailouts and backdoor bailouts, government subsidies (legal and financial) for the largest corporations, or the overall corruption and lack of accountability in our system at almost every level.  They could be highlighting these issues, but they don't.  And they haven't.  THAT is the problem, not the Tea Party itself.

Looking at this from a slightly different angle, IF -- by some miracle -- Sarah Palin were to tweet something about Lloyd Blankfein's bonus or credit default swaps at AIG, it would be a national political issue almost instantaneously.  If Glenn Beck ranted and raved (or cried) about the "banksters" and how they've screwed us all, "you betcha" the banksters would be issue # 1 at the next 9-12 rally. We could forget the damn birth certificate for a while and audit the Fed.  Stephen Friedman could be the next Van Jones.  AIG FP could be shut down faster than Acorn.

But Palin, Beck, and Gingrich won't willingly do any of that, and Denninger is right to call them out on it, but that's precisely why we can't write off the Tea Party movement -- not yet.  If these clowns can get the Tea Party activists worked up about Acorn or Van Jones(?), then there is massive potential still there, waiting to be tapped.   And again, many Tea Partiers are well aware of the dangers of being co-opted by the likes of John Boehner and Karl Rove.  What we have to focus on is how people like Sarah Palin have so far FAILED -- utterly, completely failed --  to say a single word about who should be investigated or indicted for what has gone on in the financial system, or why we should be outraged about Jamie Dimon's $17M pay-day on the taxpayer dime.  Those are just a couple of examples, but Americans would get that -- there was fraud, it was a crime, and someone has to pay the price.  And by all means, no one should be making millions of dollars while being propped up by taxpayers.  (Some of them get it, already.)  But if Palin brought it up, the entire movement would demand that someone pay the price, and that failed banksters be held accountable.  If she's leading them by the nose on wedge issues, however, or some vague bull shit about "socialism," they probably won't.

That's why you can't give up on the Tea Party.  Given the right leadership, the Tea Party will come down on the right side of the issues.  Left in the hands of Glenn Beck, they won't.  But now could be the moment to turn things in the right direction.   Right now, people are talking about Denninger's comments all over the place, from HuffPo to local Tea Party groups.  Some people are pissed.  Some are saying, Right on!  Others were asking, Who the f*** is Karl Denninger?  But really for the first time, Denninger has people talking out loud about where the Tea Party is going and what kind of role people like Sarah Palin are going to play.  More importantly, Denninger has renewed the conversation about how to avoid getting stabbed in the back -- again -- by the GOP establishment.  Karl Rove doesn't want us to have that conversation.  But have it we will.  We cannot let the Tea Party movement, which grew spontaneously from the Rant Heard 'Round the World, be co-opted by anyone.  All of us -- including Karl Denninger -- have to make sure that doesn't happen.  We can stop the looting and start prosecuting, but not by giving up on the Tea Party.  Not yet.




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Reader Comments (15)

That was a funny and fun story, thanks, I needed the laugh.
Oct 23, 2010 at 3:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterZ
pitch...I thought it was well done..the tea party started with ron paul..but you already know that ...i think you were saying in the final paragraph that it became mainstream after santelli's rant...and i would agree with that...
Oct 23, 2010 at 4:04 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
I agree, well written.
Oct 23, 2010 at 4:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Pitch...Ratigan liked it...he retweeted it this morning along with the story i did on wendy gramm and the cftc...

Oct 23, 2010 at 3:08 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Pitchfork is right on target. As one who also still bears Republican stab wounds from my 1994 Congressional campaign, and as one who is now active in the Tea Party, I know that the strength of the TP movement can only be sustained as long as it is independent. The correct course for it is not endorse specific republican candidates, for as soon as it does that, it is just an appendage of the Republican party. It must resist a take-over by anyone. If the Republicans want to talk, let them make an appointment.
Oct 23, 2010 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterpitchfork
Tea Party table for one...Tea Party table for one...Ron Paul...Ron Paul...going once going twice going three times...gone...table ready for Palin party...we are going to move all those tables together. Do you want to eat under the big tent? Sounds good.
Oct 23, 2010 at 6:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterZ
Not if they're serving dog food (and telling us it's filet mignon).
Oct 23, 2010 at 6:24 PM | Registered CommenterDr. Pitchfork
The movement has been strong in protesting against "socialism" and Obamacare, but the banks (and their errand boys at the Fed and Treasury) have gotten off easy.

The Tea Party is made up of normal people, Moms, Dads, Grandpas, Grandmas. They only know were taxed enought already. We need a strong military, smaller goverment, and honest banks.

Most if not all have a clue as to what all of you know about the inside workings. Its like this. You stumble across a "Snake Pit" with 1,000 snakes in a ball. They know if you get smaller goverment, the snakes will go away. Thats all they care about, is getting of the snakes.

What you guys know about the inside is way above their heads, "Way Above"..... Its guys like you that need to help expose the truth about the working going on.

Them 3 Jig-Heads you talk about are a plane by GS him self, and well fianced too. They are being told a bunch of bull shit to keep them hurdding down the path to nowhAre.

Your right. The Tea Party needs someone to put the spot light on the corupt banking. Expose the truth about the snake pit. That would pit the Tea Party vs. the Dems-Reps, and then how would we vote Nov. 2nd. Both sides are in on the scam.

The ol Tea Party People know the Dems NEED To Go First. Then the Reps. The Tea Party People are being played for suckkers by them 3 crooks. But its all they have.

Who do you think is putting the bill for GB $$$$$ TV Set, or SP book tour and rally cry at the Tea Party Stops, leadding the good people of the "TP" down a dead end road..............?

Has the "TP" been hijacked by the Rep. YES, Its the only way to try and save their own hides come Nov. 2nd. It started out good. It can be again if someone will step up to the plate and lead them in the right direction........
Oct 23, 2010 at 6:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterTexas Dar

I read some guys the other day talking about how the TP would put in the republicans this year, and then get rid of most of them next time around. Some people are already thinking long-term. And Karl Rove ain't in their long-term plans. So, that has to be our hope -- that the Tea Party has a weency bit more tenacity than your average Obama zombie. Then again, a lot of people are already annoyed that Palin has jumped in front of THEIR parade. I think it's really a mixed bag -- as we all knew -- and all this talk of THE Tea Party being hijacked and compromised is a little premature. I'm just glad that Denninger said what he did in his colorful way and now people are talking and arguing about it. That's a hell of a lot better than Palin just swooping in and getting crowned prom queen with nary a word said contrariwise.

Power to the Mob!
Oct 23, 2010 at 7:09 PM | Registered CommenterDr. Pitchfork
Thanks DB for depressing me on a regular basis with our reality and the reality my children will have to be burdened with! As for the Tea Party, here in my area, I couldn't take the Tea Party seriously because I am not a right wing, Christian fundamentalist. It's all about being anti-abortion and anti-gay here! Which if the original intent is less government, I find incredibly ironic. Thanks for clarifying the original intent!
Oct 23, 2010 at 7:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterSissy
Why is Ron Paul a Republican? If he doesn't belong, he should leave it.
Oct 23, 2010 at 7:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterZ
Obama is for infanticide, Hippocratic Oath be damned.
Oct 23, 2010 at 7:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterZ
These 2 pieces from Bruce @ http://www.kickthemallout.com/ ......... are the most important things I could share with the American People, thanks to Bruce, and hid for thought. Please,Please, share with everyone ya'll know in yr address book.

This Is Our Last Chance, Folks, and then thAre is no Garenttee...............?
Oct 23, 2010 at 8:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterTexas Dar
TedDar...Who is Whitebuck?

That was a huge copy and paste exercise...the author should get some credit or discredit in this case - lame.
Oct 23, 2010 at 9:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterZ
"Z" Please dont F With me tonight, Please. Now, you want to know who is .....TedDar...Who is Whitebuck?

im gona need to go back and read threw it. You "Smoakin-Something" tonight, thAre Gobias..............? Please take time to read it, Neaver Mind............

That was a huge copy and paste exercise...the author should get some credit or discredit in this case - lame.

How Dare You...........I gave Bruce pleanty of credit, for "His Words", trying to save us from the Goverment-From-Hell...................

You need to a shit-load better than that lame 5th grader responce, tonight. Im on my 6th, and ready for a fight........! You bring out the best in me after my 6th drink..................thats 18-20 shots of Vodcia, in 6 hrs.

You, im sure could neaver understand that much info. The rest can, and will. Crawll up on Gomp's lap, and he will E-Splain it to Ya. You F***ckin Right, thats a lot of "BIG Words" Z, Thats what smart people use everyday.

Just when I thik you could be one of us, then you Blow-It, with yr "No-Drink"......TedDar...Who is Whitebuck?

http://www.kickthemallout.com/ Here "Goopie"...........this is my good friends web-site again, if you miss'ed it. He evan has a piece in it, its above in my "LONG-POST", you dident understand...........he talks about Gobiest, and how he has no clue as to what is realy going on, becouse he is trying to keep up to the rest of us" Smart People ".............

Im going to the Loft "Z".............Thanks, now I got the "Hot Pork Rines" out from last night...........I'll be in the Loft, before you could ever catch up to me. Drink Gone, Pork Rines Gone, DB's world laughting at you for this.........................TedDar...Who is Whitebuck?
Please tell me what you ment by that...............im not gona look it over for the 3rd time................& I wonder why Steve dosent responed to my post's, after getting into it with ya...............we may have something in common, people dont like us "Z"..........?
Oct 24, 2010 at 12:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterTexas Dar

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