Last night on the Daily Show Jon Stewart covered the recall election coverage in Wisconsin. Big Eddie was one of the featured cablers in the montage Stewart’s crew put together.
It’s funny stuff, but the segment leaves viewers with the impression that the tea party populist uprising that put Scott Walker in office and the populist uprising to recall Republican state senators are equivalent. The problem is that they’re not.
In Wisconsin the governor and the legislature were using a budget deficit as an excuse to strip workers rights and to try and cripple the lone political voice that could stand up to Republicans and big business. Government workers, including all public school teachers, now have to give back chunks of their paychecks so the state could solve a budget crisis that really didn’t exist. Middle class Americans in the state were forced to make great sacrifices as the richest among them weren’t asked to put up a dime.
There was never any threat to the livelihoods of any tea partiers when the President came into office. These people were rallying against a tyranny that didn’t exist. These people were spurred on by corporate interests that made them believe that they were under attack when in fact they were protesting against thier own economic self interest.
The tea party may have started as a grassroots organization, but it was quickly co-opted by big money in the Republican party and became an astroturfing organization that rallied and advocated for policies that help those at the top of the economic scale and hurt those who were in the streets arguing that the black, Kenyan, socialist was taking away their rights and taxing them too much, when nothing could be further from the truth.
It’s important that people understand the difference between the tea party and the movement taking place in Madison.