Friday, April 17, 2009

A Sampling of Signs from the "Tea Bag" Parties That You Didn't See on the News

According to most of the media coverage that I saw and heard about Wednesday’s tax protests (the so-called “tea parties”), the issue was supposed to be "runaway government spending" or "tax increases" or the bailout. Supposedly these tea parties were non-partisan events or anti-Obama events. Media coverage included plenty of pictures of signs decrying the bailouts and tax increases (um, just a silly question, but which tax increases would those be?). But I thought that I'd take a few minutes and showcase a few of the pictures that you probably didn't see in the mainstream media (and certainly not on the coverage from Fox News which was, in demonstrable reality, one of the prime sponsors of the protests; what happened by the way to "fair and balanced" let alone the notion that the job of a journalist was to report news, not make it?).
Anyway, here are a few pictures that I came across. If you have any other good ones, I'd love to see them. These are (mostly) in no particular order.
Let’s start, then, with a sign that clearly reminds us that these protests are not about President Obama and have nothing to do with racism.
And we have this charming sign for a person who must not have gotten around to reading the Constitution, the Treaty of Tripoli, or the proclamations on the subject by several presidents (including this guy named George Washington):
Then there is this guy who manages to combine racism with the “not born in America” conspiracy that has so many right-wing nutjubs in a lather.
Leaving President Obama aside for a moment, we have this sign from someone who apparently didn’t get the “non-violence” memo. Ah, yes, the joys of American democracy where we simply torture those elected leaders with whom we disagree.
I’m still having a hard time keeping straight whether President Obama is a socialist, communist, or fascist. And I’m not quite sure if this guy’s worry is that President Obama is a fascist or if he simply doesn’t like good orators with a firm grasp of the English language.
President Obama “stole” her money? Did she report it to the police? I don’t know, according to his income tax return, he did pretty well so I’m not sure why he would go rob her.


Yes, let’s be sure to impeach President Oba … oops, I mean “The Kenyan”. It would say a lot about our country if we impeached Presidents for blowjobs or trying to respect the will of the electorate and solve national crises while ignoring little things like shredding the Constitution, torture, illegally imprisoning Americans without trial, and starting wars on false pretenses. Yeah, only the really important stuff justifies impeachment!
3445607186_ff193e952cThis guy isn’t content to call President Obama a socialist; no he has to get really nasty and call him a “pig”. Oooh, harsh. Then again, if President Obama is really the secret Muslim the right-wing wackos claim, then calling him a pig really would be an insult. This guy must be really, really smart. I’m sure he’s willing to forego his Social Security check…

3447320547_13e5044b04 This one bugs me. Did the kid come up with the racist slogan all by himself or are his mommy and daddy teaching  him to be a good little racist?


Back to the whole Hitler theme. I really am getting confused. Is President Obama Hitler or Stalin? And maybe I’ve misread my history, but I don’t recall “socialism” having much to do with Hitler’s rise to power. Fear of communists, anger at the western allies, and of course good old-fashioned anti-Semitism, all played roles, but I don’t recall the socialists electing Hitler or being the principal reason that people voted for him.


I love this one from “Team Sarah”. Funny that it has a picture of Texas given that Gov. Perry of Texas has suggested that secession might be a good way for Texas to address its financial independence. But I guess that would work for Team Sarah (don’t forget her ties to the Alaska Independence Party). And, if the Constitution really is the “rules” for right wing radicals, don’t you think that they’d, oh, I don’t know, maybe think about … um … reading it?


A little more non-violence aimed at elected officials. This sign really reminds me that there are quite a few people who don’t quite get the concept of elections and the consequences thereof.


Here we go, echoing Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s calls for revolution. Yep, that’s the way our system is designed to work: When you don’t like the decisions of democratically elected officials, you stage a revolution! And you thought that was only how thinks worked in Banana Republics.


I fell like I’m supposed to know the guy standing in front of the “Second American Revolution” sign. Anyway, I thought this picture was a pretty cool trifecta: Illegal aliens, revolution, and socialism. Wow!


I’ll admit that I’ve never read Ayn Rand. But I just love (dripping sarcasm for anyone who gets sent here by a random Google search) the notion that altruism is responsible for the financial crisis. Yep, derivative swaps and $165 million bonus payments are the poster child for altruism. IMG_0013-4

“Selfishness IS a Virtue. Say NO to Sacrifice.” What do you bet the person holding that sign also thinks that America is a Christian nation and that we should be teaching the Bible in schools. IMG_0113

Have you wondered why: (a) gun sales are up and (b) the Department of Homeland Security has expressed some concern about right-wing extremists?


Somehow the phrase “Communist King” seems like a bit of an oxymoron. Or maybe it’s just that the guy holding the sign is a moron (hold the oxy-). I wonder how long it took him to come up with that acronym.

3447464824_763dfbe15e “Terrorist to America”? And if he really trusts in God, why isn’t he in church instead of out protesting?


Remember, again, that these protests were supposed to be about taxes and were supposed to be non-partisan. After looking at this next sign, ask yourself what precisely President Obama has done in less than three months in office to engender this kind of hate?

3446661127_6e823b201aThis next sign (the one on the left) is simply too funny to pass up and it does seem to express so many of the viewpoints that were expressed at the tea parties. Could you please identify for me a single “unconstitutional anti-Christ socialism federal deficit-spending program”? How about just a simple anti-Christ program?


And finally the sign that puts the entire day of tea parties into proper context: 3448134194_e9c4021cf0 So now that you’ve seen the rest of the sentiments being expressed at these protests, aren’t you feeling good about the quality of civic debate here in America. And, if you’re not a right-wing extremist, are you feeling just a little bit worried? I am.

Update: For additional signs and posters from the tea parties, see here, here, and  here.


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At Friday, April 17, 2009 6:39:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are not very smart. You don't see the connection with Hitler and socialism....hmmmmm....let's start with his party, the one we call "Nazi". Now, what do you think is the origin of that little word. OK History Professor, I'll let you in on a secret....NAZI is the short version of Nationalsozialismus...or....wait for it.....National SOCIALISM. Wow, amazing, huh? Just because Hitler hated another form of socialism, communism, doesn't mean his country didn't practice the same. It is simple...socialism is a form of government in which the state CONTROLS THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION. 1940s Germany would certainly fall under that banner, as Hitler marshalled all companies to support the regime's goals. Communism...well, enough said there, huh? And Obamanomics...let's see, federal takeover of private companies like GM, takeover of private banks, and attempts to bring ALL forms of bunsiness interaction between private parties under the auspices of the federal government...there is much much more to come in this regard.

If you don't get it, you never will.

Thomas Paine

At Tuesday, May 12, 2009 12:34:00 PM , Blogger David Beecher said...

This stuff is just scary....I'm surrounded by it. Great Blog.

At Tuesday, May 12, 2009 12:36:00 PM , Blogger David Beecher said...

Great Blog.

I'm surrounded by this ignorance in "small town values" Michigan.

This tea party stuff is so scary to me.

At Tuesday, May 12, 2009 1:32:00 PM , Blogger MSWallack said...


Thanks for the kind comments. As to scary stuff and small town values, I know precisely what you mean. Unfortunately, we have people like Anonymous (or is that Thomas Paine?) who think they have a clue as to what they're talking about and who apparently believe in the idiotic things that were said at the tea parties and continued to be said by those on the far right (and on FOX News).

One of the constant themes running through many of my posts since I started this blog has been my concern with the use of language in our political discourse that serves no purpose other than to demonize a political opponent (or, all to often the "enemy") without regard for the damage that such actions will have upon the nation as a whole, especially when the use of such language is devoid of constructive thought or ideas. That we're now hearing elected politicians even mentioning notions like secession is yet another aspect to this radicalization of political dialoge.

At Friday, September 18, 2009 12:38:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where exactly were you for the past 8 years worrying when you saw protesters saying equally hateful things about Bush. No, that was okay I guess because that was just playing into the storyline that you wanted to communicate. Yes, a lot of these people are simply making asses out of themselves, but as an obama supporter myself, I think we can win on substance and not simply by trying to paint all opposition as racist.

At Friday, September 18, 2009 4:09:00 PM , Blogger MSWallack said...


I'm not sure that I understand the recent meme that suggests that "failure" to speak out and object to bad conduct during the Bush administration somehow means that that conduct was acceptable or prohibits speaking out against current bad conduct. I didn't support offensive criticism of President Bush (or President Clinton, for that matter) either; I just wasn't writing a blog at the time.

Absolutely, we can win on policy and I'm not trying to paint all of the opposition as racist. However, I think that pointing out that some (if not much) of the debate has been hijacked by lies and racism at the expense of logic and reason is important. Moreover, I want to be sure that people understand precisely what some of the opposition really does say and believe. One of the most critical components to prevailing in a debate is to known and understand your opponent.


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