Democrats & Liberals Archives

Tehran Tea Parties

Likening the recent protests in Iran to the “tea parties” in America is just more dangerous rhetoric by desperate Republicans. The protests in Iran are the manifestations of a fed-up, highly democratic people coming face to face with the abortion of their democratic process. Deep-seeded political tensions between progressives and conservatives in Iran have no political parallel to anything going on in America.

David Thomas, a Republican senator from South Carolina, suggested the knee-jerk reaction of an eviscerated Republican party and its base is even in the same universe as the Iranian protests. This is irresponsible. The tea parties that sprouted up after President Obama took office were a combination of corporate/Republican anger, and a way to refurbish the bigotry and suspicion directed at Obama to give it a more benign, patriotic luster.

Sure both instances represent an upwelling of political frustrations but the difference between the two is drastic. In the case of Iran a spontaneous, almost organic reaction spread across the country as it became clear that their voices were to be ignored. With new light being shed over the fraud likely perpetrated in the Iranian elections, there is little doubt that the grassroots outcry from the Iranian people is a necessary, long over due reaction to years of political suppression.

However, the supposed grassroots movement in America, cleverly called “tea parties” by those trying to conjure up images of revolution, is the exact opposite. Leaving aside the involvement of the corporations that funded these little soirées, they are nothing more than the vocalized frustrations of a people who cannot accept the end result of their democracy working with perfect efficiency. The will of the majority prevailed and Barrack Obama won in a landslide victory. Aside from the widespread doubt of America having the intestinal and moral fortitude to elect a black president, there wasn’t much credence to the idea that John McCain and Sarah Palin actually had a chance. Their campaign died a slow, miserable death. It’s understandable that Republicans and their voters would be upset.

But instead of being a platform for political expression the tea parties quickly became the fashionable thing to do for racists, conspiracy theorists, and citizens fed up with the way Republicans left this country after eight years but refused to acknowledge that very fact. They became a sounding board for bigotry, hypocrisy, and paranoia; almost a continuation of the frightening sentiments expressed by some Republican voters waiting on line to cast their votes only a few months earlier. The problem with linking both protests is that one was born out of true patriotism and the other congealed from the tears of a party that had power for so long they couldn't imagine a life without their hands on the reins.

The tea parties were a perfectly legal expression of free speech yet they were nothing more than a temper tantrum by people who were incapable of accepting defeat through the democratic process. Their candidate lost, fare and square. That can hardly be said of the Iranian protesters being slaughtered by their newly re-elected incumbent.

Republicans are scattering like roaches after a nuclear blast, unsure if they can survive despite all the myths to the contrary. Any given day there is a new voice for the party and a new direction being outlined. Some demand a shift further to the right and others want to abandon the social concerns holding their party back from keeping in touch with modern Americans. Within the party small opposition groups are taking sides for what looks like an impending civil war. I guess in that regard frustrated Republicans and the Iranian protesters have something in common.

Posted by Michael Falino at June 22, 2009 12:12 AM
Comments
Comment #283392

“The will of the majority prevailed and Barrack Obama won in a landslide victory.”

sorry no landslide. for a landslide see reagan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._presidential_election,_1984


thats what a landslide looks like. now compare that to 2008

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Presidential_Election

hardly a landslide, but hey keep throwing it out there.

Posted by: dbs at June 22, 2009 7:47 AM
Comment #283393

here’s another one. the site wouldn’t let me post three links in one post. so much for an obama landslide huh.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._presidential_election,_1980

Posted by: dbs at June 22, 2009 7:50 AM
Comment #283394

MF
The only qualm I have with your piece is that it gives attention to those idiots. Them trying to compare themselves with the brave Persian men and women being killed in the streets of Teheran is shameful.
I only wish that Americans had had that kind of courage after the 2000 right wing putsch. The world would be a much better place.

Posted by: bills at June 22, 2009 7:58 AM
Comment #283397

” the tears of a party that had power for so long they couldn’t imagine a life without their hands on the reins.”

reminds me of a certain party in 1994-2004. keep thinking it’ll never happen to you again, and you’ll be very disappointed. things tend to go in cycles, and from the looks of it yours may be short lived.

Posted by: dbs at June 22, 2009 10:44 AM
Comment #283399

Just as long as it don’t get like this again. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1968 Republicans need Moderation not George WALLACEISM

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 22, 2009 11:01 AM
Comment #283400

So protesting over-taxation, excessive govt spending and too much govt control is no longer “political expression?”

A large group of iranians believe their govt did not listen to them, they protest and you admire them.
A large group of Americans know for a fact that their govt is not listening to them, they protest and you dispise and condemn them.

Interesting. Falls right in line with believing we should understand, respect and work with muslim terrorists, but the Republicans and Conservatives of the United States can go to hell.

Posted by: kctim at June 22, 2009 11:01 AM
Comment #283401

“The tea parties were a perfectly legal expression of free speech yet they were nothing more than a temper tantrum by people who were incapable of accepting defeat through the democratic process. Their candidate lost, fare and square.”

this is another gem.

so what you are saying is they should just shut up, and go away? since they lost they have no right to air thier grievences. funny thing is, i don’t remember the left acting in the fashion you expect the right to when they lost quite a few elections. kind of a double standard i’de say. do as i say not as i do eh?

lets not leave out the fact that there could never possibly be any legitimate critisizm of king barack and his democratic minions. any critisizm of the messiah is obviously just the work of the evil corporations. LOL!!!!!

Posted by: dbs at June 22, 2009 11:33 AM
Comment #283405

kctim & dbs,

I’m not suggesting these things at all. What I am suggesting is that the two outcries are very different in nature. one having to do with a direct assault on a people’s fundamental rights as a democrcatic society, the other simply a revolt against the fact that their party lost fair and square. The timing of the tea parties was too conspicioiusly aligned with tax season and the election to be anything other than a temper tantrum. I’m not saying the truly valid political gripes expressed in the tea parties was all nonsense, but they did give a voice to the undercurrent of racism that has sprouted new horns since Obama took office.

And I have no idea why so many non-democrats think obama is above criticism and untouchable by all non-republicans. I’ve never expressed such sentiments personally. I can criticize him on a number of points such as the bailouts, or marriage equality. I belong to no party and have nothing good to say about either of them. I lean towards liberal in my thinking but that doesn’t mean I put Obama on an undeserved pedistal. Some unfortunetly do. I, however, do not.

Posted by: Michael Falino at June 22, 2009 12:34 PM
Comment #283407

The people at the tea parties were protesting being over-taxed and uncontrolled govt spending. To suggest it was about nothing other than them being sore losers, bigots and conspiracy nuts is nothing but a partisan attempt to silence them.

And why do so many non-democrats think the obama is above criticism and untouchable? Because they are called racist bigots or conspiracy nuts for daring to question him or daring to say they do not like him.

Posted by: kctim at June 22, 2009 1:06 PM
Comment #283414

kctim,

Those who attack others for questioning any president are idiots. Obama is not above criticism as far as I’m concerned. I criticize him all the time. In the future, please do not assume I play by those silly rules.

As for the tea parties, I didn’t say they were only about temper tantrums, but they definitely had the feel of a group of people who didn’t like the president already for any number of non-policy reasons being used by their party’s politicians to further political agendas. Let’s not forget, there are legions of Republican voters all across the country who vote that way more because of social issues than anything else, and it just ends up hurting them economically in the end every time. This was at least a partial example of what Thomas Frank talks about in What’s The Matter With Kansas? These protests were an attempt to rally the troops and regain a hold on the Republican party’s fracturing base. Like I said, many of their gripes were warranted but it was not in the same league as the Iranian protests, which was the original premise of my post.

Notice I didn’t say they shouldn’t have had the “tea parties” just that likening them to the protests in Iran is rhetorical nonsense.

Posted by: Michael Falino at June 22, 2009 5:17 PM
Comment #283417

So which ‘tea party’ did you attend which gave you that feeling, Michael? Just curious, as the ones I attended were made up primarily of people who were honestly po’d at the govts excessive spending and the huge tax hikes that are coming in order to pay for it.

“Let’s not forget, there are legions of Republican voters all across the country who vote that way more because of social issues than anything else, and it just ends up hurting them economically in the end every time”

That is because money is not the end all be all for a lot of people, rights are. The people who do not know that are the ones who believe something is wrong with Kansas and that the tea parties mean nothing. They honor the Iranians for wanting to be heard, but believe their fellow countrymen should be dismissed.
Sad.

Posted by: kctim at June 22, 2009 5:58 PM
Comment #283426

kctim said “That is because money is not the end all be all for a lot of people, rights are”

What rights are those? The right to tell other people how to live thier lives?

Posted by: Mike the Cynic at June 22, 2009 7:19 PM
Comment #283440

dbs
King Obama? Its only the right that regards him as some sort of devine messenger and expects him,for example, to say some magic words and effect the election in Iran or rescue the Republican destroyed economy without spending any money.
The rest of us are just happy to have a president that is intelligent and thoughtful.

The electoral college vote was a landslide. The popular vote was closer but still decisive. If you are prepared to dismiss the electoral vote as meaningless, its an admission that Gore should have been president for the last 8 years.
BHO is governing as a centrist, well aware that he did not get 100% of the popular vote. I wish he wasn’t.If it was up to me we would be opening the embassy in Havana, going back to the 70% marginal rate in the higher brackets, enacting a single payer health system , doing away with the filibuster and plenty more you wouldn’t like.

Posted by: bills at June 22, 2009 11:16 PM
Comment #283446

bills

look at the # of states won. sorry no landslide. BTW where did i dismiss the electorial college?
as far as governing as a centrist, i guess that
would depend on what your definition of a
centrist is. he stated that he would like to see tax rates we had under reagan come back, and i doubt he was talking about the 28% top marginal rate. if you recall the top rate when reagan entered office was 70%. that certainly doesn’t fit my idea of a centrist. clinton was far more centrist then obama could ever hope to be.

Posted by: dbs at June 23, 2009 8:39 AM
Comment #283447

bills

“doing away with the filibuster and plenty more you wouldn’t like.”

you wouldn’t like it much either bill. remember at some point the democrats will be in the minority again. i know you don’t want to believe it, but it will happen, and you would curse the day you eliminated that little proceedural gem.

Posted by: dbs at June 23, 2009 8:45 AM
Comment #283456

Mike
I speak out against anything that “tells other people how to live their lives,” it just so happens to be that the leftists agenda is based on doing that, so I speak out against leftists ALOT more often.

Here is a little bit of info for the leftists who believe the right wants to tell them how to live: leave them alone and they will leave you alone.

Posted by: kctim at June 23, 2009 9:52 AM
Comment #283463

kctim, where are your links to blogs where you have spoken out against, parenting, against TV, against schools, against prisons, against health alerts, against traffic signs and lights, against the Bible, against the military, against the police, against the courts and judges, against law and order, against democratic government, against the U.S. government? For surely, all these and more tell other people how to live their lives.

Your comments in the past have appeared to me at times anarchic, and I have commented thus. Thank you for another of the same genre.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 23, 2009 1:05 PM
Comment #283466

Ah yes David, when unable to discredit, lump with the extremes in order to dismiss.

Individual freedom is NOT anarchy and there is no reason why there should be something the matter with Kansas simply because they do not wish to live like those in Cali or NY.

If that is the genre you are speaking of, then I am happy to be a part of it.

Posted by: kctim at June 23, 2009 1:57 PM
Comment #283481

Kctim, the only thing I know of that the left wants to tell people how to live is when it comes to the air we breath, the water we drink, and the ground we live on. If we don’t take care of this planet, then future generations will pay.

As far as your line
“Here is a little bit of info for the leftists who believe the right wants to tell them how to live: leave them alone and they will leave you alone.”

Tell that to a homosexual or an abortion doctor. From what I’ve seen the only right the social conservatives care about is the right to bear arms. Otherwise they think it’s their duty to tell people how to live their lives. Especially when it comes to reproduction

Posted by: Mike the Cynic at June 23, 2009 11:17 PM
Comment #283499

Come on Mike, seriously? Well, since it seems that nobody really cares too much about the iranians here, I think it would be fun to go this way.

Do you really believe the left does not care how I plan my own retirement? You ever heard them when someone dares mention they should not have to pay into social security? How about who a business employs? They freakin go nuts if the employee makeup isn’t what they think it should be. What we eat? Know many right-wing PETA members? Many who sue over trans-fats? Higher taxes on soda? Imagine how much worse such things will be when they are the ones responsible for paying the health bill with govt controlled healthcare. How about telling people where they should live or what they should drive? See alot of people from the right complaining about “sprawl” and “SUVs?” Or wanting laws to dictate and limit them? How I should raise my own children? Where one can honor and support their Christian faith?
I could go on and on.

When I say leave them alone and they will leave you alone, I am refering to stop trying to pass laws to force them to live as you think they should live, such as the things listed above.

States rights, although now basically non-existent, would work beautifully for these things and others such as abortion.

Gay rights transends party lines, its not a right vs left issue.

Posted by: kctim at June 24, 2009 10:08 AM
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