In sum, Sarah Palin loyally supports virtually every policy that defined the uniquely disastrous Bush/Cheney first term. The ”tea party movement” depicts itself as some sort of novel and independent force in American politics, and the establishment media — which patronizingly equates far right extremists with “real Americans” and is petrified of accusations of “liberal bias” — plays along. But exactly the opposite is true. It’s just an appendage of the Republican Party: more dogmatic and boisterous than party leaders would like, but nonetheless devoted to the purest of partisan goals of restoring the same GOP to power that ran the country into the ground over the last decade. All of the GOP leaders whom this movement seeks to empower are the same ones who subserviently supported almost every Bush/Cheney policy for eight straight years. As is true for Palin, Fox News is this movement’s primary sponsor because Fox, which craves a return of the Bush years, knows that the “tea party movement” will promote that goal by re-imaging the destroyed GOP brand into something fresh, pretty and new.
The organization is planning a third tour for the end of March that will culminate in Washington, DC, on Tax Day, its purpose to target vulnerable Democrats and moderate Republicans in the lead-up to the midterm elections. These trips, which include rallies in cities and towns across the country and speeches by political candidates, have proven reliable fundraising vehicles. FEC filings show that Our Country Deserves Better (OCDB), the PAC that set up the Tea Party Express, raised $1.9 million this year, $600,000 more than it took in during the heated 2008 presidential election.
While Tea Party Express professes to be a driving force in the Tea Party movement, it was actually started by a California-based GOP political consulting firm, Russo Marsh & Rogers, which also set up OCDB. OCDB originally focused on attacking Barack Obama during the 2008 election, running ads assaulting the then-candidate for failing to put his hand over his heart during the pledge of allegiance national anthem, and digging up footage of one of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s heated sermons. Many of OCDB’s principals are also connected to Move America Forward, a conservative group that ran PR campaigns and bus tours in support of the Iraq War during the Bush administration. During this election cycle, OCDB has spent $123,000 on an independent expenditure campaign bashing Senate majority leader Harry Reid, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
FEC filings show that OCDB spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising for the bus tour, including $225,706 for ads that ran on the Fox Business Network. [...] And those buses weren’t cheap. OCDB dropped nearly $50,000 just to adorn them with the Tea Party Express logo.
I think it was clear from the start that the populist and anti-Beltway rage fueling these gatherings was being diverted (absurdly) into standard Republican dogma, by the same party that ran the country with virtually no restraints for the last decade. And a large faction of this movement from the beginning was driven by the same ugly nationalism, Christian fanaticism, and Limbaughian hatreds that have long shaped the American GOP Right. There’s a reason why the Bush-revering Fox News embraced it from the beginning. But whatever else is true — whatever authentic elements once existed here — it is now nothing more than a vehicle for rejuvenating the standard GOP, draped with even more neoconservative extremism and religious fervor than drove it for the last ten years. That’s why Sarah Palin is their most beloved leader.
This is why she and this movement must be repudiated, not because of her perceived intellect, not because of her beauty pageant past, and most certainly not because of crib notes scribbled into her palm.
Democrats, the clue phone is ringing. Are you going to answer it?