Why are the 1% behind the 99% movement?
For the same reason they're behind the Tea Party -- to hijack
(Why the Republican-hijacked "Tea Party" movement has become a pathetic joke!)
“On the Republican side, you can see the Republican strategy. They started with an array of themes last August [‘09]. There were moments in this [health care] debate where Republicans, including McCain, forced votes in the Senate on the 500 billion dollars of Medicare cuts. There was a general awareness coming from people like Dick Morris (an unsavory figure, but nevertheless a successful manipulator in the tradition of Lee Atwater, Karl Rove and others)….Dick Morris pointed out that the way to defeat the Obama bill was to turn the senior citizens against it (the over 65s), to convince them -- to show them -- that the $500 billion in Medicare cuts was a threat to their lives and their future well-being. That is to say, an effective Republican strategy would have concentrated on saying: ‘Don’t let Obama take your Medicare away!’ That’s effective.
“Instead you saw -- as the debate went on, you heard less and less about that, and more and more of the wild, reactionary yahoo charges, ‘Oh, it’s communism! Oh, it’s socialism!’ and above all, ‘Government takeover! Government takeover! Government takeover!’ Well, I’m sorry, it’s not a government takeover of healthcare; it’s a takeover of government by the insurance companies -- and by Big Pharma, don’t forget them. Big Pharma is now shielded from any future attempt to import drugs from Europe, Canada, Japan, where they’re just as good as they are here, or better.…This [was] bargained away by Obama before anything else started. So it [ObamaCare] is essentially the federal government turned into a tool of Big Pharma to keep out foreign competitors -- a cartel in that sense -- and then the insurance cartel that we talked about just a minute ago. So, the Republican slogan -- this constant litany: ‘Government takeover! Government takeover!’ -- this is not effective. Nobody cares. People want access to health care, and whether it’s a government bureaucracy or a private sector bureaucracy means very little to the average person. So the Republicans essentially deliberately narrowed their own base.
“It’s similar to what the Republican operatives did, now, with their manipulation and duping of the Tea Party. They made the Tea Party as narrow as they could. That is to say, there were no Ron Paul people at the Tea Party, there were no PUMA Democrats, there was no anti-war in any way. You had to be a warmonger to get into the Tea Party. This makes no sense.
“Now, let’s just look at the interesting example here [in] Washington last Saturday [3/20/10]….We had two demonstrations going on: we had the tea baggers at the Capitol, and then we had the peaceniks at the White House. Now, let’s look at the tea baggers first. I had the opportunity to visit both of these. The thing that you see with the tea baggers is, of course, this is a lily-white group. This is a rather comfortable, rather well-heeled, middle class group. The main thing you see with the Tea Party is that these are retired military, retired military, retired military. I had a chance to talk to quite a few of them, and, lo and behold, in the course of most conversations it would turn out that this was retired military. They would come with their hats, the ship that they were on, their Army or Marines t-shirt at all ages, and so forth. They’re retired military. So what does that mean? It means that they have got their piece of the federal budget. They’re all on U.S. government military pensions. They’re all available to get TRICARE, or Veterans Administration medical care. There’s an element of hypocrisy in this -- and I’m sorry -- which is: ‘I’ve got my piece of the federal budget, I’ve got my pension, I’ve got my health care for life, and you can be damned!’ The thirty or forty million [without health insurance] they don’t care about. So there’s essentially an element of bad faith at the heart of this.
“And, of course, the people running this are all Republican operatives. They’re all Republican think-tankers. We’ve gone through it before: Richard Mellon Scaife, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Heartland Institute, Dick Armey (Republican leader) -- they're all a bunch of Republicans.”
“In terms of sociology, here’s our premise: there is
no Tea Party. The media talk about nothing else. The media are interested in keeping alive the fantasy, the myth by now, that there’s such thing as the Tea Party as an actual sociological movement. There is no such thing.
“The Washington post did a series of attempted phone calls…to contact these people. They went to Tea Party Express, Tea Party Patriots, Freedom Works and the rest of these astroturfing
organizations. These are essentially Republican PACs that re-baptized themselves ‘Tea Party.’ In 2004 they were ‘reelect Bush.’ In 2006 they were ‘support Denny Hastert and Tom DeLay.’ And then in 2010 they become: ‘we’re the Tea Party, we’re the insurgents.’ This should fool nobody. This is the Sal Russo corner of the world. And, again, these are Republican operatives, professionals who have now succeeded in completely absorbing whatever Tea Party there was into the Republican Party.
“Now, the Washington Post found -- the allegation was that there was 2,400 Tea Party organizations, that’s what these astroturf groups claim -- [the] Washington Post tried to contact them….They were able to make contact with 600 of these, and the overwhelming finding was that they did nothing: that they had no relation to elections; that they didn’t support candidates, they didn’t have their own candidates, they didn’t have their own program, they didn’t do anything much. They were essentially social clubs. They would meet for coffee or bowling or a skit, or some other kind of friendly neighborhood activity. It means that the rank-and-file -- the grassroots structure of what was the Tea Party -- is now completely gone.
“Nevertheless, what you can [see when you] look at Tea Party -- you can certainly see, when Beck calls for a demonstration, he gets 100,000 or whatever he gets. You can have these Tea Party rallies over issues. This is now the same method as we’ve described in Obama: The Postmodern Coup
“Remember, take a look in Obama: The Postmodern Coup
at the entire chapter that’s devoted to ‘swarming adolescents’ [and] ‘rebellious hysteria’ -- the distinguished article by Jonathan Mowat -- about how the color revolutions are now organized. This is based on CIA practice in the Philippines against Marcos in the 1980s; what went on in Iran in the late 70s against the Shah, in bringing in the other regime that we see now; and the thing that was then prolonged into the Belgrade overthrow of Milosevic in 2000/2001; and the Kiev Orange Revolution that put Yushchenko and that gang into power; the NATO agents and IMF agents, the Roses Revolution in Tblisi, Georgia that put in the madman Saakashvili, the warmonger; the attempted Cedars Revolution in Lebanon, and so on and so forth around the world, using demagogic leaders, slogans, branding; Tea Party [is] obviously one of them, all these costumes, the 18th-century costumes, ‘don’t tread on me,’ -- these are all essentially the applications of the same method….It’s also the case of Obama. The Obama campaign of ‘07/’08 was exactly the same thing; it was an astroturfing method that took the existing militants and the existing activists of the anti-Bush/anti-Cheney impeachment movement, which was reaching down deep into the middle class, the anti-war movement and other popular movements, and recycled them into dupes and useful idiots for Obama -- and then threw them away.
“And that’s where we stand now: these movements have essentially been swept away and destroyed.
“At the beginning with the Tea Party, you did have a certain spontaneous aspect -- this cannot be denied -- in the first half of 2009. I would point in particular to the sociology. Having talked with Tea Party people, gone to some demonstrations, and attempted to profile these groups sociologically, what do you find? You find a lot of stock brokers, you find a lot of real estate brokers. What does that mean? These are people who are appendages of Wall Street, appendages of the great speculative machine -- the retail broker, the local financial adviser. The real estate broker -- we can see the character of the hero’s mother in the latest Oliver Stone movie: she’s caught up in the flipping houses routine on Long Island. They are people who imagine themselves to be in some kind of a symbiosis with Wall Street -- they think that their personal interests are bound up with Wall Street -- and therefore their instinctive view, as we’ve seen, the Tea Party view tends to mimic and ape the finance capital view.
“For example: the fact that the Tea Party program of gut and cut is exactly the same as the George Shultz program announced in the pages of the Wall Street Journal, where we find that the things that you’ve got to do according to George Shultz are tax cuts for the rich, savage cuts in domestic discretionary spending, savage cuts in the entitlement spending; no new regulations -- gut those -- and have (he said) a rule-bound or predictable international financial policy. Well, to the extent that the Tea Party people have anything to say about this, that’s what it was from the very beginning.
“But, again, you also had a lot of retired military, who had been ideologized in that obvious way of hyper-patriotism, and so forth, but also people who knew that their nests had been fully lined with Pentagon TRICARE and military pensions that are much better than Medicare or Social Security, and who felt that they didn’t need anybody else climbing onto that bandwagon -- they wanted to pull the ladder up now that they had gone up it. And they have all kinds of reasons why they want this to be so.
“But in the mean time, that, I think, has completely atrophied, and what you’ve got now is the dominion of astroturfing groups funded by the Koch brothers; funded by Richard Mellon Scaife, the Olin Foundation, the Smith-Richardson Foundation, and so forth, getting into the act, and supporting the Heartland Institute and the network of reactionary think tanks that you have all over the place. And this has now become a phantom. It’s an ideological phantom which these commentators cite constantly as if it really exists. Well, it doesn’t exist.”