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The MadHatter’s Tea Party
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Thousands of people are destined to make fool’s of themselves today, on tax day, under the guise of some misguided belief that their protest is somehow patriotic.

Somehow, usually sane, mostly intelligent people have been convinced that a modern reenactment of the Boston Tea Party was necessary to protest the wrongs in this country. But, this is not taxation without representation. If, as they say, government spending is the reason for these tea parties then they are about six years too late.

What began with a rant by Rick Santelli on the floor of the Chicago Merc. about promoting “bad behavior” has now blossomed into a more arcane protest. No one knows for sure what the protest is about. If this is really about promoting bad behavior then Rick’s rant is also about six years too late.

So, who is the MadHatter? No matter what the tea time gatherings are about some very opportunistic groups took advantage of this feigned outrage. Freedom Works, a conservative think farm founded by Dick Armey, conservative operative Newt Gingrich’s Human Events, and Fox News found an opportunity to manipulate naive, desperate people into believing that their cause had merit.

Where were these ‘Patriots’ when George Bush and a Republican Congress lowered the tax rate on the top one percent of the wealthiest Americans which helped plunge us into massive debt? When Bush doubled the national debt from $5,000,000,000,000 to $10,000,000,000,000? And where were they when the cost of the Iraq war soared to over $600 billion and thousands of our young people were being killed and permanently disabled?

Those are some causes worth our protestations.

Nor did I see anyone getting angry or dumping tea when a lack of regulation, during the Bush reign of incompetence, allowed big banks and greedy CEO’s, like those at Enron and WorldCom, to destroy our economy.

Though I don’t agree with everything the Obama administration and economic team is trying to do to turn this negative economy around, many of the things they are having to try are a result of the failures of the previous administration.

The previous administration allowed AIG to divert $64 billion of the first $85 billion in TARP bailout to counterparties: Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, and UBS, to cover their bets on AIG’s Credit Default Swaps. Where was your outrage and tea parties when this occurred?

The first bailouts were initiated, in Chicken Little fashion, during the Bush administration. Now that was egregious. Especially after years of putting band-aids on an ailing economy. You should have gotten angry about that. But not a peep.

But what they should be most angered by is the fact that they’re being used by tired, desperate men from an anguished, divisive political party, and the Faux News channel. They have no interest in your plight, but only in their own. These are people who do not clearly understand what a grass-roots movement is. Grass-roots movements do not start from the top, but from the bottom.

And Faux News, touting this as the beginning of a revolution, trying desperately to redirect attention from their part, over the last eight years, in creating this financial collapse. Though they claim to be covering this spontaneous grass-roots event anyone with above average intelligence can see that they are promoting it. The Hannity’s, Beck’s, O’Reilly’s and clowns at Faux Network are some of the most irresponsible, sorriest examples of journalists in the history of this country.

Besides the waste of time and energy, what angers a disabled veteran, patriotic citizen like myself most is the fact that the promoters hijacked a historic symbol of our fight for freedom for such a meaningless cause for outrage.

If only these pseudo patriots would focus on what is ‘really’ wrong with this country instead of chasing windmills, the healing could begin and we could, together, avoid sinking into a 2nd Great Depression.


Feigned outrage over the massive amount of government spending needed to stave off a 2nd Great Depression brought thousands into streets in cities all over the country. But, was their cause justified? Submitted to the Los Angeles Times on April 15, 2009.

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