As noted in previous posts, who would have believed a month ago that the cretins of Tea Party and liberal civil libertarians would be agreeing on anything. Yet as the reactions and blow back from the revelations of the extent of U.S. government spying on American citizens continues to unfold, no one seems more elated than the Tea Party crowd. To them, what has been learned underscores their hatred of government, although they still can't comprehend that highways, education, and major infrastructure projects do require a governmental role. They don't just materialize by themselves or for free. The Tea Party crowd likewise doesn't get it that it was George W. Bush and the GOP controlled Congress who set the current police state style of surveillance of Americans in place. A piece in The Daily Beast looks at the Tea Party euphoria at the NSA leak revelations. Here are excerpts:
As if Tea Partiers needed any more evidence that Big Government is out to get them, along come Edward Snowden and operation PRISM.
It was bad enough that the tax man had been yanking their chain: Everyone knows the IRS is a bunch of jerks. But the NSA combing through people’s phone calls and emails? That’s a whole different level of sinister.
“I read threads all day long by Tea Party people nationwide. I talk to dozens and dozens of people on a daily basis,” says Ken Crow, the Iowa-based editor of the Tea Party Tribune and cofounder of the activist hub teapartycommunity.com. “They’re all afraid.”But almost as outrageous to many Tea Partiers as the NSA snooping itself has been the lack of outrage by Republican leaders. Even as a sprinkling of folks like Rand Paul and Glenn Beck decry the government’s assault on the Constitution and declare Snowden a “hero,” most party players have been more in tune with Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain, who have been quick to remind people of the hard realities of fighting terrorism, and Speaker John Boehner, who called Snowden “a traitor.”
The mood among Tea Party Patriots is equally tense, reports the group’s cofounder Jenny Beth Martin. “A lot of people are saying, ‘Wait a minute, we seem to trending much more toward a police state than we ever imagined.’”
For a political movement largely driven by the specter of government run amok, the NSA snooping news is, to borrow a Bidenism, a big fucking deal, a smoking gun akin to Donald Trump unearthing Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate.
Indeed, Tea Partiers’ reaction to the news of late may be best summed up in four words: We told you so! “They say that those of us in the Tea Party wear tin foil hats and we’re out there and all that,” says Crow. “But take a look around!”
“We’ve given up on McCain and Graham,” says Crow. “It’s obvious to us that they are not going to carry the banner of freedom and liberty.” As for the speaker? “A marshmallow,” says Crow. “With a lot of these scandals, there is overwhelming evidence of perjury by senior officials in the administration—overwhelming evidence that criminal activity transpired. Nothing is being done, and we want to know why!”
Not that Tea Partiers expected much more from a GOP elite that many members have long held in disdain. “The political establishment voted to allow these things to happen and for government to get this large and out of control,” says Martin, adding sadly, “At this point, very little surprises me.”
This does not mean, however, that the Tea Party intends to take this insult lying down. Far from it. Various groups are rallying members to express their displeasure through calls and email petitions to Congress . . . . The NSA mess is simply “the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Obviously, things will be interesting for the GOP Congressional leadership crowd - they are going to be bludgeoned from both the left and the right, with the Tea Partiers determined to make their lives difficult. It should make for fun watching.