NOTE: Due to travel and other issues, YAD will be updating more irregularly than usual during the first two weeks of September. Follow YAD on Twitter if you need YAD methadone during this time.
You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
Memo to Tea Partiers: YOU ARE DUMB ALL WEEK LONG.
Yes, April 15 is the official start of the Wingnut Revolution, as America's anti-everything right attempts to weaken Barack Obama's "Superman" image with a little dose of Liptonite. But if they can have a tea party and call it macho, we can have a party of our own:
Yes, all week long, we will be pitying the fools and their bags of tea, peppered with quotes from the gold-wearing, jibba-jabba-opposing, man himself: Mr. T. Let's begin.
"I ain't gettin' on no plane, Hannibal!" - B.A. Baracus, The A-Team
If you want to sum up the modern Tea Party movement, you can do no better than this. I mean, clearly, it's in the best interests of the entire A-Team that B.A. gets on the plane. If the A-Team were forced to drive across the country in their kick-ass van, by the time they reached their destination, the organized crime family would have destroyed the small business owned by the kindly old man and his hot blonde daughter. But B.A., having, as we all know, a Bad Idea, rejects that collectivist nonsense, requiring the remaining members of the team to force him, through drugged milk, to abandon his principles. And so it is with Republicans and taxes. They'd rather let market forces drive the old man and his hot daughter out of business than do their part by paying taxes.
Here, as a point of reference, are the official grievance bullet points of the Taxed Enough Already (get it?!) protests, which I have conveniently regrouped for the purposes of commentary but have otherwise left unchanged:
Want to take your wealth and redistribute it to others / Punish those who practice responsible financial behavior and reward those who do not / Want to reduce your tax deductibility for charitable gifts? / Take money from your family budget to pay for their federal budget?
These are the only items that deal directly with taxes, which is funny for a Taxed Enough Already protest. Taking my wealth and redistributing it to others is an argument against the very existence of taxes. So is taking money from the family budget to pay for the federal budget. As for "practicing responsible financial behavior", that's just old-school "poor people are lazy" conservatism, made more hilarious than usual by the months and months of evidence that the top tax brackets are now made up almost entirely of people who got there by practicing IRRESPONSIBLE financial behavior.
The charitable deductions thing, like most of Obama's tax increases, only applies to people a hell of a lot richer than most of the dumbasses who'll be in your towns on Wednesday waving their Tetleys. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm already paying less in taxes than I was under Dubya, thanks to the stimulus package's payroll tax cuts. So what we're gonna have is a bunch of people who got tax cuts out on the streets, angrily demanding that people a lot richer than they are not get their taxes raised to 90s levels. Truly pitiable fools.Vote for a $500 billion tax bill without even reading it / Are spending trillions of borrowed dollars, leaving a debt our great-grandchildren will be paying / Consistently give special interest groups billions of dollars in earmarks to help get themselves re-elected / Run up trillions of dollars of debt and then sell that debt to countries such as China?
Ah, the government spending and deficit hawkery section, a combination of shit that's been happening for years without anyone caring and delusional jingoism. For fuck's sake, borrowing billions/trillions from China in order to cut taxes on the rich bears the name of the patron saint of conservatism - Reaganomics. For eight years, we spent trillions of borrowed dollars, sold it to China, and all we got out of it were dead and mangled soldiers, the scorn of the world, and cooked books with fake numbers so we could pretend it wasn't costing us money.
Now we've got reasonably honest accounting, trillions in deficits, and what we're gonna get out of it are bridges, solar panels, and unemployment benefits, and it's simply too much for the pigfuckers to take? Why, it almost seems like manufactured populist outrage on behalf of manipulative corporate powers to maintain a status quo that allows them to profit hugely at the expense of society as a whole. The participants of the actual Boston Tea Party would be so proud.
Admit to using the financial hurt of millions as an opportunity to push their political agenda
When that financial hurt of millions was caused by a diametrically opposed political agenda, FUCK YES push it. I realize ignoring cause and effect is the only way these people sleep at night, but don't expect us to do the same.
Want government controlled health care / Want to take away the right to vote with a secret ballot in union elections / Refuse to stop the flow of millions of illegal immigrants into our country / Appoint a defender of child pornography to the Number 2 position in the Justice Department / Want to force doctors and other medical workers to perform abortions against their will / Want to impose a carbon tax on your electricity, gas and home heating fuels?
Whoops! You got a little social conservatism in your anti-tax faux populism, there. Health care, union-bashing, Dobbsian racism, reactionary bluenose bullshit, embryo-fetishism, and anti-environmentalism? What does any of that have to do with how much you pay in taxes? Jack and shit, and Jack ain't here.
So, to sum up - we have a bunch of people paying less in taxes protesting that they're paying more in taxes, while at the same time promoting, in some cases possibly unwillingly, the same conservative social agenda the country widely rejected last November. And they're doing it by throwing teabags around. Operation: Foolpity is in full swing, suckas.