Tea Party: A Phony Movement Mantled as Legitimate

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger

9.12_tea_party_in_DCIn August 2011 I wrote a guest blog titled: Tea Party and the Myth of a Grassroots Movement”.  Using various newspaper and internet sources I showed that the meme created about the “Tea Party” that it was a “grassroots uprising” of ordinary citizens to take back their country from the out of control liberals, was simply not true. The “Tea Party” is a movement fabricated by certain plutocratic corporate interests to maintain themselves as relatively tax free and maintain control over the fiscal state of our country. I’m revisiting it today because of the guest blog I’ve just submitted about CNN and the rest of the news media, in light of a post by Al Gore at Huffington Post, publicizing his new book which deals with the back-story of the creation of the “Tea Party” and its negative influence upon our country. Some of Al Gores’ evidence and that forming the basis of my original guest blog overlap, but the important difference is he’s Al Gore, former Vice President and a centrist. I on the other hand am merely an aging ex-hippy, who remains a political radical. The truth of the “Tea Party’s” inception is not hidden from view and the facts are blatantly out there. What is important though is that the cable news media, press and the Washington punditry continue to describe the “Tea Party” in terms of its meme and myth as a grassroots entity and thus are complacent in a deception of the American people.

Daily we see stories about these “Tea Party” legislators elected to office on all levels of our government. They are falsely portrayed as populists, who are “fed up” and ran for office to “change things” and return to our Constitution. Large percentages of “Tea Party people in polls still believe that Barack Obama was born in Africa and is a Muslim intent on destroying Christianity and America. They see him as a communist, socialist and fascist simultaneously intent on dismantling our capitalist way of life and crushing American exceptionalism. I understand that one can be a reasonable person an oppose Barack Obama’s activity as President. I oppose some of his positions strongly and I voted for him. However, if you believe the “birthers” and those who call him radical names, then I must say in my opinion you are delusional. He is a slightly right of center Democrat, hawkish on foreign policy and deferential to the Corporate Plutocracy. He may be a Constitutional Scholar, but he certainly hasn’t done enough to protect our Constitutional Freedoms. Yet we see this ultra right wing faction of the Republican Party thinking Obama as the anti-Christ and believing they are part of a spontaneous revolution performed in the interests of “protecting” America. Here’s why that isn’t true.

“A new study funded by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health reveals that the Tea Party Movement was planned over a decade ago by groups with ties to the tobacco and fossil fuel industries. The movement was not a spontaneous populist uprising, but rather a long-term strategy to promote the anti-science, anti-government agenda of powerful corporate interests.”

So begins Al Gore’s article in Huffington Post yesterday. The article is titled: “False Spontaneity of the Tea Party”. Mr. Gore goes on to explain that the two organizations mentioned in the report:

“….Americans for Prosperity and Freedomworks, used to be a single organization that was founded by the Koch brothers and heavily financed by the tobacco industry. These organizations began planning the Tea Party Movement over ten years ago to promote a common agenda that advocated market fundamentalism over science and opposed any regulation or taxation of fossil fuels and tobacco products.

The disturbing history of links between market fundamentalists, the tobacco industry and the Tea Party movement is part of an even larger trend that I describe in my new book, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change. Following the era of Progressive and New Deal reforms that restrained corporate influence in American politics following the infamous Robber Baron Era, market fundamentalists were once again motivated and radicalized by the social turbulence of the 1960s. In 1971, a prominent lawyer for the tobacco industry, Lewis Powell, wrote a memorandum for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that presented a comprehensive plan aimed at shifting the balance of political power in favor of corporations. President Nixon appointed Powell to the Supreme Court just two months later.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/al-gore/tea-party-koch-brothers-big-tobacco_b_2689380.html

These same two organizations were also dealt with extensively in my guest blog of August 2011, because their establishment and ongoing work directly led to the “Tea Party” movement by the simple fact that they created it.http://jonathanturley.org/2011/08/02/tea-party-and-the-myth-of-a-grassroots-movement/#more-38049 The information missing about these organizations at the time was just how closely they were connected to tobacco and fossil fuel. Gore goes on:

“Guided by the Powell Memo, market fundamentalists have pursued a comprehensive strategy to dramatically increase corporate influence in American politics. Powell himself worked with other pro-corporate justices to interpret laws in ways that were favorable to corporate interests, most importantly expanding the precedent of corporate personhood. As a direct result, corporate lobbying exploded, increasing from $100 million in 1975 to $3.5 billion in 2010. Corporations also used increasingly voluminous campaign contributions to promote the election of pro-corporate politicians at all levels of government. Wealthy donors founded conservative think tanks to influence public opinion in favor of market fundamentalism. The Tea Party is a clear extension of Powell’s strategy to promote corporate profit at the expense of the public good.”

We see that there has been an obvious, ongoing strategy on the part of Corporate interests to expand their power through the funding of “front movements” disguising themselves as protectors of the rights of the American people. Gore concludes:

“Our democracy has been hacked by this expansion of corporate power, preventing meaningful action on several crucial issues. The climate crisis is an instructive example. The strategic goal of the market fundamentalists to “reposition global warming as theory not fact” has created enough false doubt around the issue to hinder progress. The potential consequences of climate change have never been clearer than they are today. Consider what we saw in America just last year. 2012 was the hottest year in American history and 60% of America experienced drought. Extreme weather events, like Superstorm Sandy, caused over $110 billion of damages. Yet Congress remains paralyzed, with many lawmakers even refusing to acknowledge the validity of climate science. The future of our planet demands that we put the sustainability of our planet before corporate profit.”

I must admit that I have been somewhat disappointed by Al Gore since the 2000 election where I thought he didn’t fight hard enough to win the Presidency in light of the Bush team’s shenanigans of cutting off a recount in Florida. His reluctance to take the battle to Congress did great harm to our Constitution. When he came out with his book on climate change and its’ movie, I began to warm to him again. However, since I’m not a fan of the policies of the Clinton Administration, of which Gore was such a prominent role-player, I see him as the kind of Centrist Democrat that has been too easy a “mark” for the forces of Corporate Plutocracy. I must say though that I will look forward to this book he is  publicizing, simply because perhaps even the Centrists are finally beginning to see the threat that this Corporate Plutocracy has upon our Constitution and upon this country’s values.

To get back to where I began this piece the corporate media and its’ pundits have empowered the “Tea Party” by ignoring its roots. While given the fact that so much of the real causes of this country’s current dysfunction comes from the lack of honest journalism, this is not much of a surprise. I can remember a time when I looked to the media to provide an understanding of national and international issues, that time is long past. The only hope that we have as citizens to oppose the complete control of Corporate Plutocracy, known historically as feudalism, is from information derived from the currently independent sources on the internet. If those are blocked, as we’ve seen in places like China, then what hope will we have?

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger

This link will take to to the article used by Al Gore: http://bit.ly/WrwSzA

93 thoughts on “Tea Party: A Phony Movement Mantled as Legitimate”

  1. Mike,

    Thank you for the excellent, reasoned response, it was Far Out! LOL;)

    I’m sarcastically laughing because I can just imagine someone seeing this type of info for the 1st time might confuse us as Far Out Conspiracy Theorist.

    The Russ Baker/A real History of the Last Sixty Years is worthy of re-posting.

    I think you are better informed on Chris Hedges then I. I mentioned his name mainly because of my support for his ongoing lawsuit against the NDAA/Indefinite Detention clause.

    I’ll note there are certain percentage of positions of Alex Jones I take issue with. I know coal fired power plants are filthy & should only be used as backup power if it’s the only reasonable option.

    Alex is also strongly anti-abortion. I’ve not heard him completely address that issue, but as an older male I’m not in favor of getting into some young gal’s decision on whether or not to abort a rape pregnancy or seeing the underground blackmarket abortion clients set up business again, like the one I know of from the early 70’s 40 miles from here, while the wealthy women fly off to somewhere that abortion is legal.

    Back to the issue I originally wrote you about: Obama is a Fascist.

    I find the word Fascist as the fastest, efficient & most descriptive word to define leaders like GW & Obama.

    I feel your comments in “A Real History of the Last Sixty Years” back up my position.

    Matt Taibbi, William K Black & others have at least used descriptions as criminal & mafia types.

    As I’m sure you recall from Rick Santelli’s “Rant of the Year” calling for a Tea Party. The most important piece of info I feel is missed by most people from his rant is where he say’s that part about “Throwing the Wallst Derivatives Contracts into Lake Michigan”.

    So regardless of how some are redefining the meanings of some words now days , I continue to believe one of the key elements that need to be present to have a Fascist/Fascism is to have big business interest merged with the interest of the Government. That Merger is in place today.

    Obama has failed to stop the use of those criminal Wallst/ London derivative products, end the Federal Reserve System & continues supporting the products use by the Banks/Insurance companies/etc..

    To date no major players have went to prison over that corruption & no institutions using those products have been shut down.

    He supports the fraudulent derivative products for Wallst/London & they give him the funding to manage the govt’s corrupt foreign policy, while at the same time imploding the domestic economy.

    The estimated Wallst/London’s 1.5 quadrillion dollars worth of fraudulent derivatives has destroyed almost all Property Rights & almost all Contract Law.

    Obama has had plenty of time to put to an end to the past fascist practices in this government and he hasn’t.

    This key evidence alone, presented by Taibbi, WK Black, Sinclair & many others, damns Obama to where the tag of being a Fascist.

    Pulling from the 4/5000 years of the War Banking has been making against the peoples of the world the 1st act recorded about Jesus was of him taking a Bull Whip & Driving the Bankers from the Temple. Makes for a nice story true or not.

    When it comes to the issue of Obama’s body count compared to other know fascist leaders, the counting isn’t over yet.

    It reminds me of a piece from Greg Palast talking of some deaths in South America & Chevron representative’s response to him, “Ya, those people died of cancer from the oil spills, but you can’t prove it’s Chevron’s oil that killed them.”

    How many people died as a direct result of Obama’s response to the BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill?

    How many people will die now & later because of Obama’s releasing of bio/chem weapons into the environment? Like the Vaccine programs for one. Nuremberg comes to mind again.

    Oil & N Gas Fracking?

    The Deaths Obama caused from Operation Fast & Furious will be small potatoes by comparison.

    The Drone attacks, no fake tears for those kids.

    If this type madness isn’t stopped I suspect a body count of 80-100 million isn’t at all out of question for Obama.

    Regardless the body count is only a side effect of this modern lip stick on an old pig fascism & not it’s primary goal.

    I hope my labored explanation is satisfactory as I believe we are on the same page in most areas of concern. ( I couldn’t stand Romney either) lol;)

    A major concern of mine & others is all the time wasted having to respond to all this political stuff.

    The written word & the intent of the constitution & it’s Bill of Rights should be pretty much a settled issue 200+ years later, but no, tomorrow there are 223 rally’s across the country in which people will public demand protection of their Rights from the Polcats.

    Michael Moore can get rid of his armed guards & get a musket & dog & he can stick his outrageous gov’t mandated healthcare crude, but most of the people are sticking with Jefferson, Madison & the boys.

    Remember if we did away with govt welfare tomorrow Wal Mart, Monsanto JP Morgan & most of the remaining evil would be bankrupt the next day.

    Last but not least is how individual people can consolidate this internet stuff & manage it as a group to keep informed & in control of all these different local, state, Federal polcats/bureaucracies.

    I know for sure I’m not organizing anything like that on the spy site of Facebook.

    Best wishes for you Mike.

    Here’s a piece I found a bit of humor in the week. 🙂

    (AP:SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) Be it down on a baseball field or up in the broadcast booth, whether he was pinch-hitting for Johnny Carson or looking at pooches, Joe Garagiola could always tell a story.


  2. “The fact Obama/GW are far worst then the Fascist of the 20′s/30′s/40′s has been well documented by writers/investigators such as Matt Taibbi, Chris Hedges, Alex Jones Infowars site, Zerohedge, Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog & many others.”


    The Fascists of the 20’s/30’s/40’s murdered more than 10 million people and the Russian Communists of the same era murdered at least that many. GW is a piker compared to that amount, though still a war criminal who murdered perhaps 500,000 in Iraq and elsewhere. I’m no great fan of Obama, but I believe to put him in the same category is not only hyperbole, but misses the key truth of the situation. The President, any President, doesn’t dare run afoul of the Military/Corporate Plutocracy. In that respect with the droes and with the targetted killings Obama has been restrained compared to GW. That’s not to say I support his infringements, but I do try to see clearly what is happening.

    As for Mike Taibbi, who is the best investigative journalist around today, save for Russ Baker, I’d like to see the quote where he said that these two Presidents were worse than Hitler and/or Stalin. I think Alex Jones and Greg Palast are also people to respect for some of their insights. When it comes to Chris Hedges I think he is an ass and have commented on a few of his articles on Nation of Change” telling him just that. Hedges, a scion of the upper classes, is an elitist leftist who thinks when he defecates it does’t smell. I know many people think he’s perceptive, but I see him as a sour ideologue who enjoys tearing down people he sees as not being as ideologically pure as him.

    As far as the 911 Conspiracy Theory goes I see it as Occam’s Razor would in that the risk/reward simply wasn’t worth it. This is not to say I don’t see conspiracy at hand, since I wote this last year: http://jonathanturley.org/2012/03/17/a-real-history-of-the-last-sixty-two-years/. I am not an ideologue in the sense that I don’t believe that any particular political/economic system will make things better. Yet I do have an ideology of sorts which is this:

    I believe that the following should be adequately available to every human being:

    Air, water, food, shelter, clothing, education, freedom of speech, freedom of action and the freedom to maximize their own potential to the extent of their abilities. A corollary to this is that whatever societal setup works to bring this about should not be skewed to the benefit of those with wealth and power.

    That’s my “political” philosophy in a nutshell. Like organized religion, political ideologies are what’s used to keep humans enslaved and distracted from the general theft being perpetrated by the Plutocracy. The truth is that throughout the history of humanity, sociopaths have been our rulers. A corollary to that is that most of us never know who the “real” leaders of our societies are because they have always done such a good job of distracting us and confusing us with figureheads.

    The only saving grace for us and hope for the future comes from the fact that the Plutocrats, like good sociopaths, war amongst themselves and our opportunities come from their battles.

    “Here’s where I’d normally tell the joke, but as crazy as the times are the past decade I’m fresh out of punch lines.”

    Don, I’m i the same relative neighborhood. Intellectually I am skeptical that change can come. Emotionally though, it all comes down to my experiences growing up where I had to deal with any number of bullies. Because I was always physically tall, well spoken and handsome, I could have made my peace with them, but that would mean I’d have to be like them
    and pick on people I perceived weaker for sadistic gain. I chose then and choose now not to identify with my oppressors. but to oppose them in whatever limited way I can. Part of that opposition is maintaining hope. Aother reason I don’t like Hedges is that the end result of following his lead, is hopeless frustration. I choose not to be frustrated, however Quixotic that may be.



  3. Mike,

    Relax on the response, we can’t learn everything overnight.

    I’m a Scotsman that lives in Oklahoma among the remnants of Indian tribes that used to be Camping all the time, Hunting/Fishing/Arts/Crafts all day & Stomp Dance around Bonfires at night.

    (Not so much for toilet paper though..) 😉 Hum???

    The Red Coats & our own govt genocided most of them.

    As the recently departed Sioux Peace Chief, Russel Means said, paraphrasing: Welcome to our Reservation Guys!

    In other words, the Sociopaths behind the Wallst/London Bank/Insurance/Energy Co. running the real show have made us all, of any race, Game to be robbed/tortured/killed.

    Have you seen the videos coming out of Europe where the people are so desperate they are dumping gasoline over themselves and burning themselves alive? Sorry, but we as a country/society are right in that same spot now.

    If I call myself an honorary Peace Chief, as I do, It means just as it did with many Native American Tribes that I argue for peace as strong as I can & the War Chiefs argue for War constantly.

    If the Peace Chiefs fail in the debate the War Chiefs win & there is misery among all the people on both sides.

    After the fighting is over, any Peace Chiefs left alive begin again, arguing the exact same points for Peace as they argued for before the Great Misery.

    If there are Peace Chiefs reading this I “Strongly Suggest” that now is the time to make your voices heard.

    Of course only after you’ve finished your research.

    On youtube, the Alex Jones Channel, his group of people has $115,000 prize money up for the best Paul Revere video sent to them by 4/30/2013/

    If I had a great idea for the PR promoting Freedom/Liberty PR video of our US Constitution I’d enter, little over 60 days & ticking for a loud voice around the world.

    I’m not selling anything other then peace, but another respectable voice/site is Jim Sinclair’s JSmineset.com

    Mike relax if you wish on a response, I’ll catch up with you on another article if you wish.

    Just us showing up for Peace is Half the Battle.

  4. Mike Spindell,

    I read Prof Turley’s blog because I agree with most of his legal opinions & have for some time.

    Of the many different Tea Party groups many of their supporters have been fooled/High Jacked.

    I don;t believe most Ron Paul supporters, like myself, I support about 70/75% of his positions, & many of the Occupy movement are not blind to the destruction of our “Rights”/& of the country by the likes of the Koch Brothers, GW Bush, Obama.

    IE: Key Phrases: We The People, The Written Word & it’s Intent, Inalienable Rights, Preamble of the Bill Of Rights/ To Prevent Abuse of Govt Authority. And not a .mention of Corporations in the founding docs.

    I may be delusional as I’m still getting over the multiple fevers from a really bad flu bug, but that doesn’t change the facts that Obama, GW Bush are completely Mentally Ill Sociopaths & Fascist as the evidence clearly points out.

    The fact Obama/GW are far worst then the Fascist of the 20’s/30’s/40’s has been well documented by writers/investigators such as Matt Taibbi, Chris Hedges, Alex Jones Infowars site, Zerohedge, Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog & many others.

    Greg Palast has another small piece up on current evil plans of Koch Brothers.

    In this day of the internet/info age it is becoming impossible for people/groups like the Catholic Church, Penn State, Mormon Church to hide their ugly activities behind PR/Propaganda.

    If you come to think Taibbi, Hedges, Alex Jones are Drunken idiots I can respect your opinion, but people’s opinions don’t change the facts even if we hear them from a drunk.

    (Note, I don’t know any of those guys drink a drop.)

    The point I’m attempting to make is that the sooner people who think they support either side of the Left/Right Paradigm can come to an agreement to what we believe are the facts the faster we can correct real problems.

    On a side note: The Officially Govt 911 Commission Report called for further investigation into the events as they note evidence was withheld from them. Now years later we see all these states/gov’t putting up drones into our air space.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham is quoted in a recent interview govt drones have killed something like 4700 so far. Were there any Criminal Charges Filed, a Judge, a Jury, a Conviction of any of those killed?

    But the larger question is: What was the state of drone tech Sept 10, 2001 & what were companies like BAE Systems working on?

    With Drones in the air what will a business leader or a US Fed/State/Local Politician act like if he’s forced to take a position hated by a GW or Obama?

    Can we really wait another 10 years for people to get up to speed on the facts? We’ll see.

    Here’s where I’d normally tell the joke, but as crazy as the times are the past decade I’m fresh out of punch lines. 😉

    Warms Regards Mike.

    1. Don,

      I agree with some of what you wrote and disagree with some points too. I don’t see many Paul supporters as Tea Partiers. Where we do agree is that it’s as much an ideological divide as people imagine. I’m not an ideologue on all issues. I’m not able to write now, but I’ll respond more in depth later because your well thought out comments deserve it.

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