Of course, he didn't add that it also reduces our debt burdens, and since most Americans have far more debt than savings it'd be a net positive if we had a minimum wage tied to inflation. He also didn't mention that in order to erase the deficit without raising taxes we'd need to demolish Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, which I guarantee you would not have appealed to the mostly 50+ audience that was assembled there. I didn't say that he wasn't a shithead. I'm just saying that he had one interesting idea.
Of course, there were still a fair amount of complete fucking idiots assembled at Boston's biggest taxpayer-maintained public park, secured by our socialist police department to protest the government. One of them had a sign proclaiming Obama to be the anti-Christ. He told me that
(1) Obama would convince Israel to internationalize Jarusalem in return for assistance in rebuilding on the East Temple Mount
(3) The End Times
I came away from it with mixed feelings. At least-- I thought-- this wasn't an astroturf event. It was sponsored by a local radio station, and was devoid of any Fox personalities or Dick Armey front groups.
That was then, this is now.
On Wednesday, the Tea Party Express rolled into town. Even before the rally hit its peak attendance, Fox News was claiming 10,000 people showed up. Final crowd estimates wound up at around 5,000.
To put that in perspective, the 2009 Boston Freedom Rally, also known as Hempfest, drew a crowd of 30,000 at the Common, and didn't have anyone bussed in to inflate the crowd numbers. About 2000 showed up at the park for the 2009 Boston Dyke March, which is a lot comparatively when you consider the fact that 28% of Americans are tea party supporters as opposed to 4% who are lesbians. (For the record, 40% of the population wants to legalize marijuana and 12% smoke it. I'm not sure which number is more relevant there)
Also, a good number of them were there for the comedy. About a third of the people I encountered (admittedly I showed up after Sarah Palin had left) laughed, gave me a thumbs up, or took my picture when they saw me carrying my sign.
One old woman wearing a flag neckerchief came up to me and said, “you know, soon even Somalia won't be safe for you.”
Another teabagger shouted "You wouldn't last a day in Somalia!"
I shouted back, "I know! Because they don't have a stable government!"
"That's... That's a lie!"
An African reporter saw my sign and came over to talk to me. He smiled, and told me he hoped I wasn't serious.
Funny thing about Somalia. The most unified the country has ever been was in 1991, when the people overwhelmingly united against the dictator who had previously been running it. Siad Barre had seized power in 1969, backed heavily by the Soviet Union as a buffer against American-backed Emperor Selassie of Ethiopia, who Barre made war with in order to distract his people from his failure to address their hardship. When Selassie fell to a Marxist coup, Barre was disavowed by the Soviets and made it known that he could use another geopolitical sugar daddy. The United States, having just lost their puppet in Iran to the Revolution, answered the call, and in exchange Barre agreed to set up an American-style government.
And to his credit, that was just what he did, but his credos as a democratic reformer disappeared as he proceeded to murder his opposition, people he suspected to be secretly in opposition, and children who may yet oppose him in the future. He waged war on the nomads, poisoning their wells and killing their herds. He spent a fortune developing what he called "world class" torture facilities, where his men used rape as an interrogation technique.
What do you call such a man?
Doug Coe, the head of the Family-- a secretive fundamentalist cult that has had major influence on American foreign policy since the end of World War 2, whose exploits have been painstakingly documented by Jeff Sharlet in his book of the same name, which I paraphrased in the above paragraphs-- called him "brother." And when Barre scorched the earth in 1991 after being forced out by his people, the Family deemed it the just punishment meted out to a people who had resisted their god-appointed autocrat. It was with Doug Coe's help that Siad Barre made the connections in Washington to win monetary support for his regime.
One of the Family's organizational tactics involves organizing business interests to do their bidding without the Family's fingerprints left at the scene, which is something it shares with Tea Party underwriter David Koch
The Tea Party Express is run by Americans for Prosperity. David Koch, whose Koch Industries is the largest privately owned firm in the United States, chairs Americans for Prosperity.
Koch Industries is a massive behemoth whose activities (outside of its oil business) range from climate change denial, attacking the concept of "open source" software, and shoveling money at politicians associated with The Family, most notably Sam Brownback and Jim DeMint. John Ensign, whose sex scandal brought the Family's C Street house out into the open, is also a beneficiary.
Now, I can't say for sure that David Koch is an associate of the Family. If he were, neither party would want that knowledge to be public. What I can say is that he's just the sort of person The Family would recruit-- a powerful man who seeks to use his power in secret to perpetuate a system where power is concentrated in the hands of the few. The Family calls these people "key men," appointed by God to bring about the Kingdom of God on Earth. In practice, they all seem to be big businessmen, American politicians, and fascist dictators.
All of which is to say, we have already seen these people (or people of their sort) remake other nations in their own image. That their efforts in this country have any popular support at all is tragic at best.