Tea Partying is to Homeschooling?

18 02 2010

Read this Time Magazine power of story about disaffected tea partiers wanting to bring their own dollars and choices and leaders “home” from big government, struggling to make a movement with rival leaders, exploitation of their intended message by entrenched and often shadowy interests, etc and let’s think about how it’s analogous to our grassroots out-of-school learning party these past 30 years or so.

Naming the Tea Party movement, however, is easier than defining it. Tea Partyism covers a lot of ground and a world of contradictions. It contains Nashville lawyer Judson Phillips, who recently organized the first Tea Party convention at the posh Gaylord Opryland Hotel, charging $549 per ticket and pocketing an undisclosed profit. But the movement also embraces the volunteers who denounced Phillips and his convention as a money-grubbing mistake. . .

“The Tea Party movement is in danger of getting a bad reputation” by courting conspiracists, Erickson wrote.

Does it sound to you like how Thinking and Evolved Homeschoolers get mixed into an indistinguishable mob to the public view, with World Net Daily and HSLDA and Generation Joshua and the baby-whipping Pearl ministry, the Duggars with too many children, the John Galt believers, and garden-variety conspiracy theorists calling their homeschooling the only real patriotism (as they reject American law and treaties regarding school, taxes, separation of church and state, the Geneva Convention, the UN and even the US President himself) all powered by the same established homeschool business interests behind the NHEN-targeting “We Stand for Homeschooling” — the disaffected and anti-intellectual rabble fighting to speak for home education then, just as disaffected and anti-intellectual rabble now demand to speak for the Constitution and “real Americans” as tea partiers?

“This is not about policy. It’s about incitement to violence.”

Or never mind where it comes from, and just ask yourself if it makes SENSE. Do their scripted war-whoops hang together as anything that looks to your thinking parent eye as progress for America and Americans, or would they already be locked up at Gitmo as clearly fundamentalist radical bomber types bent on our destruction, if they weren’t so sanctimoniously wrapping their overthrow-up in countrified red, white and blue?

Certainly it’s no perfect analogy but it’s not empty either . . . and it might be instructive to think about.

Homeschool advocates, please, please educate yourselves first before you “defend” homeschooling freedom in the public square, lest you make our community’s thinking skills seem inadequate and thereby bolster the regulators’ case . . .

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33 responses

18 02 2010
JJ

Didn’t take long to notice a “timely” example (pun intended) of internal contradictions, and it has that state-level connection tea-partiers hold so dear too, at least for Nance and me here in Florida:

The Tea Party’s choice in the Florida Republican primary, Marco Rubio, began his address to a crowd of conservative conventioneers by taking a shot at President Obama for reading from a teleprompter.

He did it while standing in front of two easily visible teleprompters.

18 02 2010
Lynn

I wasn’t even able to make it to the second paragraph after getting stuck here:

“The Tea Party movement is in danger of getting a bad reputation” by courting conspiracists, Erickson wrote.

must. stop. laughing. and. continue. reading.

18 02 2010
Crimson Wife

Where, precisely, in the wording of U.S. statute or treaty is the phrase “separation of church & state”?

I sympathize with many of the tea party folks’ concerns about taxes and the size of the deficit, etc. Especially since we just got whacked with an additional 12% in taxes courtesy of the [expletive deleted] AMT. Every year our AMT bill keeps getting worse and worse. It started out being only a few hundred dollars and now it’s several thousand. Our income has gone up some in recent years, but our tax bill has shot through the roof. We should be paying a larger amount in tax than we used to- just not triple. Our income sure as heck didn’t triple!

18 02 2010
Crimson Wife

Have I been blacklisted, LOL? Where did the comment I just typed go?

18 02 2010
JJ

It went straight to spam for unknown reason, just salvaged it and posted above.

18 02 2010
JJ

About income and taxes, CW — your syllogism about how they should triple in sync or it’s unfair, doesn’t make sense to me. Well, unless we had some sort of flat tax instead of progressive income taxes, but we don’t. I could be for a flat tax but many other things would have to change along with it and right now, I think the mood of the people is be glad you have a job and a high enough income to complain about the taxes on it. I saw somewhere yesterday that the job crisis doesn’t exist for people making more than $150,000; their unemployment rate is a minuscule 3% while the lowest wage category has unemployment ten times that, at 31%.

Not fair either. Why isn’t it proportional??

And not logical to scream for politicians’ heads over both as rebellion issues at the same time, for the same platform. The tea party crowd can be mad about not having jobs thus having no health insurance either OR begrudge the taxes to pay for their fabulous incomes with great health insurance, but not both at the same time — unless they are as unmoored from reality as I suspect.

19 02 2010
Audrey

These Tea Party folks certainly are an image problem re: Americans (not that Americans don’t already have a bevy of image problems). If, from the outside looking in, Tea Partyists start to look like the face of America, instead of just thinking they are face of America, then I think other Americans need to stand up squash the insurrection, so to speak.

Being one on the outside looking in, though, I don’t think you really have anything to worry about. Tea Partyists are barely a blip on our radar, except when they start talking about all their teabagging, and then we have a good chuckle.

As someone who has long been assumed to be an evangelical fundy just because I homeschool, I understand the correlation and the corresponding sickened feeling that Americans who are not amused by teabaggers probably feel. It usually doesn’t take people long to figure out that I’m not a fundy, though. The pentacle usually gives it away, and if that doesn’t, then the distinct smell of sulphur and my companion hell-hound certainly will.

19 02 2010
Crimson Wife

The job crisis doesn’t affect folks making more than $150k? The financial services industry has been one of the hardest hit. Many of the folks we know who got laid off took forever to find a new job (if they’ve landed one yet). I couldn’t find any recent nationwide data, but Reuters just reported that in New York State, the financial services industry posted the largest single decline (-12.5%) of any industry during this recession and over 75% of those laid off had at least a bachelor’s degree.

In terms of my family’s tax bill, I do believe that income taxes should be progressive. I don’t really have a problem with paying a somewhat higher percentage of our income than we used to as our income has gone up some. Moving from the 25% bracket to the 28% bracket is reasonable. But this AMT thing is way unfair. It was designed to prevent about 150 extremely wealthy individuals from escaping taxes completely. However, it’s now whacking middle class folks like us simply because we have 3 kids and live in a state with high income taxes. The Washington Post had a statistic a year or so ago that nearly half of all AMT paid now comes from families making <$200k/year.

19 02 2010
Nance Confer

I have really been looking for a tea party person who isn’t completely insane. Trying to think that within this movement there must be one representative or member who isn’t, after you get past the first two minutes of conversation, completely bat shit crazy. Really. Haven’t found one yet. Even the ones who look more rational on the surface end up being for things like getting rid of Social Security or somesuch nonsense.

If you look for more than a few minutes, you can find non-crazy homeschoolers. Really. 🙂

Nance

19 02 2010
Nance Confer

Yes, the AMT is a problem, as I understand it. Why hasn’t Congress fixed it? Oh, that’s right. Rs obstructing and Ds folding — bipartisanship — accomplishing next to nothing.

Nance

19 02 2010
Nance Confer

Are these flag-draped “here, take my money, here’s my purse” people Muslims? On a prayer rug? I thought the Tea Party was Jesus territory.

Confused again. . .

Nance

19 02 2010
JJ

Nance and CW: yes, I understand it’s one particularly middle-class-hitting problem government needs to address; we’ve never had to actually pay it but for the last few years we’ve had to calculate it both ways and show it doesn’t apply. And yes, Nance, any Congress with any mix of parties could have fixed the AMT before this instead of say, enacting Bush tax cuts for the rich or deregulating banks too big to fail. The current Congress thus has so many worse problems — the AMT isn’t more egregiously unfair than families suffering and dying without health insurance, losing homes to foreclosure on bogus mortgages, not to mention Congress after Congress flushing away the nation’s and the world’s billions if not trillions on endless culture/ oil/ drug civil wars in the middle east. Not family-friendly for any income level or class.

Twenty years of conflict has cost the Middle East $12 trillion, a study showed on Friday. . .

Where I see the direct connection between political signs and signs of the apocalypse, though, isn’t in our budget or tax policy or homeland security. It’s in academic and intellectual freedom, universal education opportunities and our ability to sustain real journalism as a tenacious check against government excess.

(The separation of church and state is case law shorthand derived from the First Amendment establishment clause but “Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of the press” is even more explicit!)

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

And hey — that reminds me. If the tea party “armed and dangerous” attitude keeps up, there’s another contradiction to the rhetoric about strict construction and returning to Founding Principles. It specifies the right of the people PEACEABLY to assemble, and to petition. Not to incite violence and insurrection, not to issue death threats against individuals from the podium, not to shut out the free press and collude with big business on selling out the rest of us . . .

19 02 2010
Crimson Wife

I have similar feelings towards the “tea party” rally participants as I did towards anti-Iraq war protesters: “Don’t these yahoos have anything better to do with their lives?” And I consider them equally non-threats. I don’t get all the hysteria among liberals about the ultra-right wing nutjobs when they never said boo about the left-wing nutjobs protesting against the last administration. It distracts attention from *REAL* threats to our security right here in own communities like crime. I’m much more worried about being harmed by a thug during a robbery gone bad than I am about some nutcase going Kamikaze over a beef with the IRS (even if the cable news channels devote way more attention to isolated incidents like the latter).

19 02 2010
Nance Confer

Hell, they seem to have nothing more important to do than cover Tiger Woods today. Who cares.

But I think the Tea people may force their party farther right. Which is fine by me. As long as they lose.

Which, even with complete nutjobs running for office, is not a guarantee when Ds are involved.

If my party can manage to get real healthcare reform passed through reconciliation, I will be encouraged. If not, what’s the point? It’s just the lobbyists running things.

Nance

19 02 2010
Lynn

This week, CNN cited a poll showing support for Tea Party ideas at 25%. Yikes. Does that sound right? On the bright side, Tea Partiers are talking about starting their own party and running their own candidates, which gives democrats an advantage, of course. IOW: Go Teabagging!

19 02 2010
Audrey

I agree with Lynn. Probably the best thing that could happen to the US would be for the Repiglicans to fracture. Where can we send donations for the Teabaggers to get their own party up and running by 2012?

19 02 2010
Crimson Wife

How did the CNN poll define “support for Tea Party ideas”? I’m sympathetic towards many of their concerns but roll my eyes at the whole “movement”.

40% of Americans consider themselves to be conservatives plus however many of the 36% of self-described “moderates” who lean conservative (I’d guess probably about half). So the 25% support for “tea party” statistic really doesn’t surprise me.

I don’t think there will be a significant 3rd party movement. Folks saw what happened with Ross Perot back in ’92 (I was a huge fan of his back when I was in jr. high, LOL!) and Ralph Nader in 2000.

19 02 2010
JJ

ABout the right of the people PEACEABLY to assemble —

GOP governor and would-be prez candidate at CPAC:

Pawlenty also offered this advice to his fellow Republicans: “I think we should take a page out of her playbook and take a nine iron and smash a window out of big government in this country” . . .

19 02 2010
JJ

It doesn’t matter! All the percentages and party strategies to get power for themselves and their paymasters, I mean. Does anyone think that whoever “wins” in 2010 or 2012 or whenever, that this is good for us?? Or that anyone will be able to do anything good for us as a united nation? Our last, best chance is almost gone.

p.s. just heard that the torture memo lawyers have been deemed not even unethical, much less criminal. (haven’t read report myself.) So Clinton impeachment prosecuter for the GOP Congress, Bob Barr, for example, is too soft and socialist while the Obama justice department is not? It’s a world gone mad. Maybe we deserve to fail as a people, because we are stark raving insane.

20 02 2010
Lynn

CW,

Here’s that info. I heard the TV report in passing, but was able to find it online for you. And, I haven’t looked closely at the actual study, but have included the link at the bottom of this comment.

CNN Poll: Who are the Tea Party activists

According to the survey, roughly 11 percent of all Americans say they have actively supported the Tea Party movement, either by donating money, attending a rally, or taking some other active step to support the movement. Of this core group of Tea Party activists, 6 of 10 are male and half live in rural areas.

Nearly three quarters of Tea Party activists attended college, compared to 54 percent of all Americans, and more than three in four call themselves conservatives.

“Keep in mind that this is a pretty small sample of Tea Party activists,” notes Holland. “But even taking that into account, the demographic gaps that the poll finds between those activists and the general public on gender, education, income, ideology, and voting behavior appear to be significant differences.”

The poll indicates that about 24 percent of the public generally favors the Tea Party movement but has not taken any actions such as donating money or attending a rally. Adding in the 11 percent who say they are active, a total of 35 percent could be described as Tea Party supporters. That larger group is also predominantly male, higher-income, and conservative.

Some 45 percent of all Americans say they don’t know enough about the Tea Party to have a view of the movement; one in five say they oppose the Tea Party.

According to the survey, most Tea Party activists describe themselves as Independents.

“But that’s slightly misleading, because 87 percent say they would vote for the GOP candidate in their congressional district if there were no third-party candidate endorsed by the Tea Party,” says Holland.

The actual poll results

20 02 2010
Lynn

JJ,

Did you see Rachel Maddow tonight (Friday) about the “mainstreaming” of violent rhetoric by politicians? Did you and Rachel also coordinate outfits today, too?

20 02 2010
JJ

40% of Americans consider themselves to be conservatives plus however many of the 36% of self-described “moderates” who lean conservative (I’d guess probably about half). So the 25% support for “tea party” statistic really doesn’t surprise me.

Sounds like a normal bell curve distribution then? Agree that’s no surprise . . . 😉

20 02 2010
JJ

Lol Lynn, I have Rachel in the cache but haven’t seen it yet (hooked on Olympics as we’ve been.) She’s my idea of intelligent design.

Violent rhetoric is right, literally — mainstreamed now and mainly on the Right. I have a conservative family member who began a phone conversation yesterday frustrated over her looming income tax deadline, by saying she understands why the Texas suicide bomber flew his plane into the IRS building. Dead serious in more ways than one.

This is a perfectly ordinary, law-abiding white woman of middle age, wife and parent, employee in big business (the insurance industry in fact) and attractively blonde even, like Liz Cheney and the foxy friends. Yet she’s thinking, talking and apparently voting like a violent and dangerous criminal conspiracist now . . .

Start a blitzkrieg of your own!

I guess all there is to say to that, is to refer Thinking Parents back to this:
How Language Tricks Our Feelings, Shrouds Our Thoughts

See also
What’s Up With Fightin’ Mad White Women?

Is Tokyo Rush Cartoonishly Incredible on Purpose?

War war war revisited

Political power of story in smacking, hitting, punching

20 02 2010
JJ

Repeating a comment from one of those linked discussions, because it connects to this question of whether there’s “tea party homeschooling” going on and if so, how we could escape it:

************

You know what else is funny (peculiar, not ha-ha) about how language shapes our thoughts?

When homeschoolers talk about “school” no one feels the need to jump in and defend “education” as a positive thing to be embraced and supported, so critics should shut up. We all can talk about “school” as an imperfect and even overbearing institution from which families should break free and guard against with skepticism, not confusing it with the cherished human value of education and learning and ideas and knowledge.

So why can’t we do the same with “Church” then? Why is it we can’t discuss “Church” exactly as we do “School” — as separate from and increasingly even counter to, the human value of faith/morality/healthy philosophy it supposedly is instituted to perpetuate?

Government and public institutions aren’t the whole problem then; it’s us, and how we don’t think right about the whole problem. Maybe what we need is an amendment to protect private individuals from all institutions, period!

20 02 2010
JJ

Nance noticed purse and prayer rug featured in the language of this conservative rebellion news photo. (I got the prominence of the first but had missed the second.)

It made me think of BAG photojournalism as language –guess what their featured CPAC photo is? Which in turn links to this.

20 02 2010
Nance Confer

OK, so what’s the young black man thinking here? How does he imagine these old white Republicans are on his side?

Nance

20 02 2010
Lynn

JJ,

Maybe *WE* should have coordinated outfits, because it looks like we’ve both been checking out Oathkeepers.

And did you know that there’s an upcoming Second Amendment March in D.C. “to remind the U.S. Government that it is our right to keep and bear arms, and that right shall not be infringed”? It’s scheduled for April 19th, in remembrance of Waco/Branch Dividians and the Oklahoma City Bombing? And, Lexington and Concord perhaps?

“One of the great lessons of the Oklahoma City bombing is that the domestic radical right poses extremely serious threats. It taught us that not all terrorists speak different languages, wear turbans or speak to different Gods.”
~ Mark Potok, Director of Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups.

21 02 2010
JJ

We ought to collect some rantings about fundamentalist terrorists from this group and reflect upon how they apply here at home, including to the ranters themselves —

21 02 2010
JJ

Lynn, it’s almost as if the gun crowd is hell-bent on justifying gun impunity by acting as a government-overthrowing “militia” but certainly not a “well-regulated” militia as the constitution specifies right there in the second amendment. More (selective picking and choosing) language to trick our feelings and shroud our thoughts.

Like bible verse, the constitution is historically, culturally, morally and linguistically complex, a seemingly simple yet difficult whole requiring real education and sincere study to translate, understand, articulate and defend properly.

22 02 2010
Lynn

Don’t you get the feeling that some of these people are just itchin’ to “take up arms” against our oppressive, socialist government, and call it Patriotism? They could play Minutemen in the back country, just like our Founding Fathers; womenfolk could tend to the li’l ones, prepare meals, and spit-shine muskets. They’d throw off the yolk of tyranny and, once again, America would bless God ~ and, in return, God would bless America.
[wiping away tear, reaching for tissue]

22 02 2010
NanceConfer

Yep. Modern life is too complicated. A black guy is President! To the barricades!

Nance

22 02 2010
JJ

“The violent imagery was fascinating,” she said. “Even [Minnesota Gov.] Tim Pawlenty, who is supposed to be a moderate, said we need to take a page out of the playbook of Tiger Woods’ wife and take a nine iron and smash a window out of big government. That was the day after the pilot had flown a plane into a federal government building. So that kind of rhetoric is disturbing.

And of course what must be troubling for the conservatives is that the big hit, the guy that got the rock star welcome, was Dick Cheney. Dick Cheney left office with a 13 percent approval rating! There were shouts of ‘Run, Dick, Run,’ which I’m sure the White House is fully endorsing.”

22 02 2010
JJ

Steve King To Conservatives: ‘Implode’ IRS Offices
Zachary Roth | February 22, 2010

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told a crowd at CPAC on Saturday that he could “empathize” with the suicide bomber who last week attacked an IRS office in Austin, and encouraged his listeners to “implode” other IRS offices . . .

During [Q&A], the Media Matters staffer asked King to clarify his comment, reminding him of his sworn duty to protect the American people from all sworn enemies, foreign and domestic. In response, said the staffer, King gave a long and convoluted answer about having been personally audited by the IRS, and ended by saying he intended to hold a fundraiser to help people “implode” their local IRS office.

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