Saturday, April 18, 2009

Profile In Teabagging: A Welfare-Receiving Conservative Who Hates “Socialism” Hits The Streets

Thanks to the Syracuse Post-Standard we have a fascinating glimpse into the mind-set of tea baggers spurred into action last week by Fox News’ increasingly deranged secessionist Glenn Beck and yo-yo’s like CNBC’s Brooks Bros. populist Rick Santelli who flacked tea bagging to the point of embarrassment.

The Syracuse daily spotlighted a local organizer to give its readers a sense of who took to the streets. She turns out to be a 60-year old grandmother, Joanne Wilder, who paid no taxes in 2008 because her income was too low, receives a monthly Social Security cheque plus disability payments as a result of a knee operation, and went through personal bankruptcy in the past year.

And why did Wilder take to the streets?

“I don’t want to see this country turn into a welfare, nanny state, where we stand in line for groceries, and we’re in welfare lines, and in socialized medicine lines,” she told a reporter with a perfectly straight face. I wonder if Wilder can spell “cognitive dissonance.”

What can I say? For some, no explanation is necessary and for others it is impossible.

Add It Up

Joanne Wilder is no Susan Boyle, late of YouTube fame.

She and her motley crew of tea baggers in Syracuse and elsewhere couldn’t seem to find a unifying theme to their protest so it drew nanny state beneficiaries like Wilder decrying a nanny state along with racists still reeling from the thought of a black man as President, anti-immigration militants, folks with jobs opposing the stimulus to reduce the nation’s staggering unemployment and a few people holding placards protesting the use of teleprompters.


For the most part, what happened on April 15 was a turnout of bits of the 23% of Americans who don’t think Pres. Obama is doing a good job – and cling to the idea that Saddam Hussein helped plot 9/11.

(A side note to 9/11 conspiracy theorists: Just because I mentioned the attack, please do not post comments about how 9/11 was really a conspiracy led by Kraft Foods or Scientologists or The Knights of Malta or anyone else. They’ll be deleted. We know how 9/11 happened and you’re not adding anything to the discussion any longer, if you ever did.)

Cue Boehner

Positively licking his chops at the sight of a bunch of men and women tea bagging, House minority leader John “Man Tan” Boehner announced that the disenchanted lunatic fringe is the future of the Republican Party.

He told a news conference in Washington that the protestors are the new face of the GOP, confirming that his party not only is devoid of ideas but lacks any appeal whatsoever to the independent middle. The only thing missing at Boehner’s media opportunity was Eric “Ralph Wiggum” Cantor jumping up and down in the corner shouting over and over, “It’s Obama’s fault!”

In a way, Boehner and Joanne Wilder’s friends up in Syracuse or elsewhere in the country are made for each other.

They represent out-of-date ideas shared by a small minority of the country who cannot face the reality that America has moved upward and leftward, thanks to the past two elections. Boehner may share Wilder’s fears of grocery store lines – which already exist, at least in most markets on weekends – or welfare lines, which Wilder already stands in every month, or hospital lines which only means she’s never been to an emergency room.

In short, these purported protestors would prefer people go hungry over policies where the federal government keeps them from starving, more Bushville’s springing up in parking lots and fields around the country than providing assistance to people whose American dream went up in GOP smoke, or keep nearly 1/6th of the country from access to doctors or hospitals rather than adopting a national health plan like every other industrialised nation has had for decades.

I guess the one thing we all learned on National Tea Bagger Day is that, like village idiots, the deranged we shall always have with us.


Anonymous said...

Joanne had better shut up or we'll cut off her benefits! Obama Forever!

Thomas Hall said...

""I guess the one thing we all learned on National Tea Bagger Day is that the mad, like idiots, we shall always have with us."

..The most distressing and disappointing thing to me about the "progressive" response to Tea Bagging Day, has been the utter contempt heaped upon the poor and the powerless whom the Republican party scares in to this activity.

Is there ANY possibility of helping the Joanne Wilders of the nation (and the world) see the reality of their cognitive dissonance by the device of heaping scorn on them?

Like Limbaugh blaming racism on non-whites, this essay sounds like blaming the victims of the Armey-Boehner-Gingrich tactic for its success.

gabba said...

"I wonder if she [Wilder] can spell “cognitive dissonance.”"

My head imploded when I read her comments. How much more blatantly inconsistent (and idiotic) can you get?

Charley James said...

Tom …

Thanks for reading the article and taking time to write a comment.

I’m not sure that talking sense to the people who turned out on April 15 would make any difference. As the late Harry Reasoner once told me, a quarter of the country will always believe that the Yellow Pages are actually blue.

What hope is there for anyone to explain the folly of their views to people who, when one of their own, Republican Rep. Gresham Barrett of South Carolina, tried talking sense to a teabag protest, gets booed off the stage. There is a video of the incident at YouTube and


Dawn said...

“The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.” — Winston Churchill

Icewicz said...

It has always been ever thus...Remember the right-wing crazies who were doing the "love it or leave it" dance during Vietnam? Nothing changes except the faces...