Tea Parties protest taxation to push forward political and social agenda that they don't agree with. What, though, are the billions being lobbed at their narrow agenda by the Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch, and other agents within corporate America?
We all pay a tax, every time we buy Brawny paper towels or turn on Fox News, or fill up at the pump, that forwards the very narrow interests of the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch, and a handful of secretive billionaires who create "think tanks" and organizations like the Tea Party to dupe average citizens into doing their bidding.
Billions are being poured into the pockets of media corporations that will do nothing to bring back jobs, keep families safe should the corporations set them adrift financially to their own gain, or keep Americans well educated and productive.
The back-door billions collected by corporations from your pockets every day are the ultimate in taxation without representation.
At least the government, by way of the IRS and local taxing authorities, comes to you directly to ask for their money. The money that drives the agenda of the corporatocracy, which created the Tea Party and controls the Republican Party, is taken without your consent, with the intent of electing officials who represent interests with which you do not agree.
This is not true of labor unions, however, because, even though many people who are members may not agree with their political direction, the minority in a labor union still has a democratic voice in the process of electing those who control the union, and, if they can persuade others in the organization, the minority can become the majority and affect change on the policies that direct the union's political giving.
The corporatocracy has always used fear to move us. Appealing to fear has been a winning formula in politics as long as their have been humans and societies. Politicians used religious fear to keep people in check, and when that began to fail, we have been channeled into non-sectarian sanctioning of the military industrial complex through fear of the Russians, or fear of not being patriotic and anti-Muslim enough after 9-11.
We have reacted like frightened sheep to the onslaught of ads and bombast from the likes of Sarah Palin, who catered to our racism in the face of a potential black president, and to our fears of making grandma "shovel ready" during the health care reform debates.
We are used to being good, complacent consumers, who do largely as we are told. If my box of cereal costs 25 cents more than it might to fund the political agenda of the corporatocracy, who cares? I want my Sugar Crackles, damn it.
When we get mad enough to want more accountability out of the corporatocracy, or we want their boundless greed hemmed in a bit, the response from these special interests is to deploy PACs and think-tanks and the Palins of the world to make sure that you stay good and scared.
The government gets your consent to govern both by your vote, and by your input to your elected officials through direct contact or, usually, polling, to gauge the popularity of particular legislation.
Corporate America simply buys that influence. They can spend billions to make health care reform seem to be against your personal interest, and they can turn any politician into Satan by saturating the airwaves with the right ads.
Everyone says that they hate the television and radio commercials, but they work. If they did not buy elections, then politicians and their backers would not be spending so much on them.
Not only do negative ads work, they do not really have to be truthful, either. A University of Ohio paper on negative campaign ads notes that:
First, the Communication Act of 1934 made an important distinction between candidate ads and product or service ads. It stated that broadcasters could refuse all deceptive advertising except for political commercials. Second, the 1976 amendment to the Federal Election Campaign Act allowed private individuals and political action committees, or PACs, to spend unlimited amounts on behalf of candidates.
That trend has only mushroomed in the wake of Citizens United, which has opened the floodgates for corporations and trade unions to spend at will in 2010, in what will be one of the most expensive elections in U.S. history.
This is why Nancy Pelosi, who has been under the five-ton weight of the attack ads herself, told Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's Countdown With Keith Olbermann this week:
"This election is also about our democracy," Pelosi said. "If they win, which I fully intend to stop them from doing, but if they win, it would mean we are now a plutocracy and oligarchy."
"Whatever these few wealthy, secret, unlimited sources of money are can control our entire agenda," she said.
Throwing a monkey wrench into government seems to be the agenda of the corporatocracy.
Under the George W. Bush Administration, corporate special interests were able to unwind all kinds of legislation and policy designed to keep the public interest and the environment safe. It was that degradation of regulation that led to the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
All estimations are that, whatever the result of the election on November 2, 2010, the end result will still be more of the same gridlock that largely keeps the corporatocracy's post-Bush regulatory system in place.
They fear more regulation of corporations and banks, the Wall Street reforms for which Americans were crying out during the depths of the banking bust of 2008.
The Tea Party is the embodiment of that corporate agenda, which is the irony. Here are people shouting to the rafters to let Wall Street hang, who are themselves the agents of a well funded and well orchestrated Wall Street political agenda.
The Democrats have been terrible at articulating that agenda. Speaker Pelosi's first stab at that on Countdown is appreciated, but weeks too late.
If the right wins in the kind of blood bath that is predicted for the House in November, welcome to the United States of the Koch Brothers.
The Age of the Corporatocracy is about to officially kick off. I bet they'll even have souvenirs for you to buy, which, sadly, many of you will.
My shiny two.