If you could see the thumb and forefingers of my left hand right now, they would be rubbing together in a slow circular motion. Know what that is? That’s me, playing the world’s smallest violin as I weep for Tea Party groups that may have been audited, or were simply looked askance at by the IRS. That’s right, I said askance, because I like that word and rarely get to use it in conversation.
So here’s the deal, over the weekend the story broke that the IRS had targeted rightwing groups and Tea Party groups before the election. While I’m not prepared to let Obama off the hook for anything, let’s take a look at this with a bit less of a conspiratorial eye. And don’t give me “where there is smoke, there is fire,” blather. If that was true, then we can say that the IRS maybe didn’t look close enough at some of these so-called grassroots Tea Party groups, you know the ones who liked to call Citizens United free speech. Well, it still remains to be seen whether all that these groups got from parents, Dick Armey and Karl Rove, were rightwing talking points.
Please don’t dwell on the imagery of Dick and Karl actually conceiving the Tea Party. I did by accident, and now I can’t get it out of my head. Oh God, make it stop!
The cries of “foul” by the right fall hollow pretty quickly. Particularly thin is their offense at being profiled by the IRS, especially since the Right has defended the use of profiling with regards to Muslim men, Blacks and Hispanics (and let’s not forget the left as a whole). By that same standard, all of the sudden “patriot” this and “heartland” that, all the slack-jawed spawn of FreedomWorks, American Crossroads or even MoveOn.org, the Heritage foundation and other rightwing pseudo-corporations should surely have thrown up potential red flags to tax auditors. Going into an election, with the scam-artist money changing scheme that in reality is Citizens United, how could anyone not be at least suspicious of shenanigans?
After Citizens United, these sham 501c3 TAX EXEMPT groups covered the national political lanscape thicker than fat flies on manure, like stink on a monkey or pimples on a gamer’s butt cheeks. We started a 501c3 on Chicago’s south side called HelpHouseChicagoHomelessPeople that actually helped people, rather than serve as a payday loan alternative to millionaire politicians pandering to your affinity for Nascar. These front groups for the exchange of political fortunes hide behind veneers of “freedom” or “liberty,” or some other crap. The socially, ethically, and politically lazy reactionaries adorn themselves with flags and lapel pins (and the forever-redundant race-baiting picket-signs) and do nothing positive to improve the nation, its dialogue, or its future.
And you have likely heard the leftwing and so-called Progressives chattering about many of these points. They don’t get off that easy. They were also playing this political spit-swap game, but not nearly to the extent of the Tea Party groups–perhaps because they just aren’t as good at it. There is, however, one glaring difference between the Tea Party and Occupy with regard to all this. You’ll only find it here, and it is this: so the Tea Party was audited, perhaps profiled, more frequently than left-leaning groups. Now you have an idea of what it is like to be Black in America. I guess you could say that some TEA Party organizations got an audit for supporting austerity, and going so far as to condemn the very existence of “Government.” You could also throw-in spewing rhetorical myths of our favorite “free-market” ideologues–which provides some astroturf cover for the banks and institutions that are robbing us blind. Occupy was beaten, censored, subjected to false arrests and trumped up charges and had their civil rights trampled for accusing the banks, challenging government/corporate incest and for defending the poor. I weep for your butt-hurt, reactionaries. Must be tough, huh?
But this point makes it abundantly obvious that the Tea Party, the Right and Republicans…and I’ll throw some Lefties in there as well…are not really about up-holding the Constitution for all without it being tipped in their favor. They are not about defending civil rights, only their individual rights and privilege. They aren’t really for Americans, but for themselves. The irony is, the people who were fighting for those things got hammered by the Democrats, the media, and the right. They were mocked and ridiculed and harassed, but no one made a sound about that. They still haven’t, because for too many in this nation it is still about selfish interests and not about their neighbors.
Suck this one up TEA Partiers. The dis-proportionality of “persecution” here is pretty obvious. You got played. Now, time to figure out who you should actually be pissed at. Maybe you’ll actually start looking at candidates on both sides of the isle and beyond for who they really are, and not for the slogans they shout, or the feel good barf they feed you. Time to realize that getting involved in your government goes beyond blindly waving a flag at a WWF match, smashing a Keystone Beer can against your forehead while waving a gun and snarling in some tribal grunt, “Don’t mess wit America!”