Why Tea Won't Work This Time

Not only was this populist tea fest diffuse, it was also as much a same-old “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” game. Everyone was attacking Obama either explicitly or implicitly, when the whole boondoggle — and the thing you’re paying $42k for — and seeing 25 cent returns on the dollar for — started way before he ever took that oath to the Constitution. We’ve really got to grow up, get smart, and dig ourselves out of the manure heaped on us. Seeing Network last weekend made me wonder, did we ever even begin to get away from the Carter-era slump? Or did we just get buried under a pageant of free-market falsity, global asset bubbles, and great showmanship? (We went on to elect an actor in 1980, after all.)

Is it just a simple matter of “voting all the bums out” — as a few signs advocated?

I don’t believe in man qua corporation as having a soul — and that’s a sticky snaggle for libertarian conversions in my book. We’ve got these corporations on our hands. Lots of them. And we’re saving them right now. Of course, we don’t wanna, because in the world according to Darwin, they don’t deserve it. And that’s what a couple of signs said.

Yet other than taxes, what pitchfork have we with which to attack this capital gains-loving Marie Antoinette of Manhattan? If one were to write Revelations today, one could send the Whore of Babylon with Roman corruption and kings at her breast into early retirement. The Whore of Manhattan, we’d make, with Blankfein and Vikram, sucking away.

Examine this pseudo-biblical snatch from Network and its corporate demon, Arthur Jensen:

“Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale? You get up on your little 21-inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state, Karl Marx?…We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that…perfect world…in which there’s no war or famine, oppression, or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock. All necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused.”

You see, tea baggers, We the People are not the Geneva-loving Rousseau’s Corsica or Poland, starting with a new constitution afresh. We have no democracy. We have only the media, chattel of the corporations that are hoping to eek one last ounce of profit from the old dead horses called newspaper and broadcast TV. Why do you think we see so much of Obama on our late night and Geithner on our sacred Sunday mornings?

How do I know that Mr. Jensen’s speech is not what pure libertarianism would look like if thrust atop this ugly, brutish state? Would I be happy there? Would I be tranquilized?

I’m thinking the best you and I can do, dear reader, is defect…make nice paper-dollar profits on the IBMs and Dows and their tiny brethren…and depart after turning it into gold. Go somewhere with cheap land…and buy cattle, sheep, goats.

After all, who among us really has the nads, the arms, or sufficient belief in mankind to rewrite the social contract of these United States?

(Hush, Texans like Rick Perry, we hear your clamor…but do we believe it?)

How the Rest of the World Sees Tea Baggers

Always ask: What do our fellow nation-states make of all this? After all, what is diplomacy but a massive PR campaign? And how will we know which country will harbor us gold-bearing exiles the best?

Here’s a headline courtesy of Agence France-Presse: “Anti-Barack Obama ‘Tea Party’ Protests Mark U.S. Tax Day.” The article juxtaposed the words “modest crowds” with “several thousands.” It admitted the protest had a “catchy theme,” but questioned the strength of the “mostly Republican forces” whose party has “been in disarray since Sen. John McCain lost the White House” — a party whose senior figures “appear lukewarm” to the tea parties.

Maybe that’s just because they have issues with verbal jokes that mix them up with “tea bagging” — the sex act — which we all laughed about the morning after. Strategically, there’s no reason for the Republicans to ignore the voice of the Ron Paul fringe, which is getting louder…they’re still doing worse than Obama in Gallup polls, and they’re up for re-election first.

We all know it’s good to ride the faux-populist express…Just look at who ran it straight up to the door of the White House last year.

I know die-hard Dems who voted Reagan into office his first year…for fiscal conservatism, and fiscal conservatism alone. Look how well that turned out! Running from one platform and party to the other is as dizzying as a dog chasing its own tail.

Americans need to stop being twits first and foremost. Posthaste, Patriot…keep your brain for yourself!

Samantha Buker

April 21, 2009

The Daily Reckoning