Party like it’s 1934

Posted: 29 August 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

The coverage of the mad Tea Party event has been all about the call for a return to religious values and the number and race of the partiers. Only Frank Rich investigates the sources of the funding and the history, and thus the goals, of the Tea Party movement.

The Tea Party is financed by Rupert Murdoch and the brothers David and Charles Koch (who have a combined wealth exceeded only by that of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett among Americans).* But, Rich notes, this is nothing new. It’s the latest in a long tradition of corporate tycoons funding a far-right-wing agenda stretching back at least to the du Pont brothers’ spawning the American Liberty League in 1934 to bring down F.D.R.

You can draw a straight line from the Liberty League’s crusade against the New Deal “socialism” of Social Security, the Securities and Exchange Commission and child labor laws to the John Birch Society-Barry Goldwater assault on J.F.K. and Medicare to the Koch-Murdoch-backed juggernaut against our “socialist” president. Only the fat cats change — not their methods and not their pet bugaboos (taxes, corporate regulation, organized labor, and government “handouts” to the poor, unemployed, ill and elderly). Even the sources of their fortunes remain fairly constant. Koch Industries began with oil in the 1930s and now also spews an array of industrial products, from Dixie cups to Lycra, not unlike DuPont’s portfolio of paint and plastics.

This does not mean, of course, that the Tea Party movement is not a sign of widespread disenchantment and fear in the United States, which have a wide variety of sources (both justified and truly dangerous). But, if we consider the Tea Party’s funding and history, it’s certainly not the historically novel movement of “marginalized outsiders” many members and advocates would have us believe.

* Jane Mayer [ht: lm] did the original reporting on the “billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.”

  1. hoboduke says:

    There is a connection between power and money with government? My goodness, what an interesting discovery. George Soros created a run on the dollar in 2008 that tipped us into mass panic of our bank savings and mutual fund money market. Why? To make a fortune on his foreign currency stockpiles as an alternative to a tanking dollar. It also was a political lever to topple the Republicans in power. So now we have our president appointing czars friendly to major contributors like GE (green technology & NBC friendly access to President propaganda), and playing with the automobile industry by robbing GM bondholders to fund his takeover. Anyway, I prefer the Koch money and Murdoch over Al Gore extorting carbon credit money for saving the world. Gosh, we all will die without a carbon tax! Right.

    • sister_not_enough_room says:

      No, that is not new. Money buys the election campaigns and thus calls the shots when the person gets in. If they’d just not say that they are governing for the country, the nation, the future, the people or some such like. They’re hired guns whoever has ‘bought’ them the job. What is new is that the new economic order displays itself more like an economic disorder because the results with that much unemployment and disenchantment do not look like a success to me. There has always been disenchantment and unemployment, the crucial factor is how big is that segment of the population. 5 people are crackpots, 50 people are a club, but when that segment becomes really big (hungry and cold), it becomes a movement, possibly uncontrollable.

  2. […] and promotes policies that safeguard their wealth (as I have pointed out before, here and here). All it needed was someone to step in to “camouflage a billionaires’ coup as a populist […]

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