Wednesday, 14 September 2011 16:02

Tea Party Shows True Baggage During CNN Republican Debate

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i saw the cnn teabagathon and the old cliché rang truer than ever: politics is indeed show business for ugly people. and some of these people were among the ugliest ever heard or seen at a televised debate.

the crowning moment of the evening, i think we’ll all agree, was, when asked if someone without healthcare should be allowed to die when gravely ill, the shouts of “yeah! yeah! yeah!” followed by laughter and murmurs rang through the beauty-pageant décor of the auditorium.


if you missed it, wolf blitzer, cast as alex trebek, asked a pretty weird question about a young man in a bad medical way and without insurance. when blitzer asks ron paul if we should let the young man die, members of the crowd yell “yeah! yeah! yeah!”

and in that brief one-and-only unscripted moment of the night, the dirty little secret gushes out.  when asked if the uninsured should die in catastrophic circumstances, a lot of tea partiers think “wouldn’t it be nice if they did.”

not a single soul rebuked them. not a single word of dismay or disgust from the candidates on the dais or from their fellow audience members. they all just kept rolling along.

and that…is why i won’t let up on the tea party. too many within their ranks are just this selfish, meanspirited, and unchristian in their perverse view of what america should be. and like most bullies, they hide in the crowd, in the dark, spew their bile and call it patriotism. at that debate we caught a glimpse of the dark heart of far too many in their ranks.

 the few people i know who consider themselves tea partiers and also still consider me a friend have continually offered this defense of the movement when it comes to the bigots and the greedy and the homophobes within their ranks: “sid, your problem is you just focus on the “fringe elements” who don’t represent what the mainstream of the tea party is really about.”

i reject that weak defense outright. i find it lame and feeble that people excuse the behavior of others within their group by describing their most unctuous partners a “fringe element”. history says we should beware of such relationships. the plo, the kkk, the nazi party: all “fringe elements” whose very existence was enabled by the silence and de facto acceptance of their politics and behavior by the “mainstream”.

i accuse the “mainstream” of the tea party of silence in the first degree. until we hear tea party members clearly condemn homophobia and fearmongering…..until we hear them sharing their revulsion at their fellow members cheering for the sick die because they don’t have health insurance….until we see more african americans in the audience than on the stage at presidential debates…. until they stop trying to kill off the epa….until they end their idiotic war on science… the amorphous mass that calls itself a tea party will continue to be viewed as one sick puppy with out of control nutcases fighting for control of the wheel. and shame on the candidates willing to go along for the ride.

and after you’ve had enough of this sad, sad scene, you’re left with what’s left.

-sid arroyo

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Sidney Arroyo

Sidney Arroyo is a progressive political activist and consultant who has worked on numerous campaigns in the New Orleans area.

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