Saturday, August 28, 2010

What Do Teabaggers Want?

Steve Benen, one of my favorite bloggers, has a must read piece on today's rally at the Lincoln Memorial.  Here's a sample.
For a year and a half, we've seen rallies and town-hall shouting and attack ads and Fox News special reports. But I still haven't the foggiest idea what these folks actually want, other than to see like-minded Republicans winning elections. To be sure, I admire their passion, and I applaud their willingness to get involved in public affairs. If more Americans chose to take a more active role in the political process, the country would be better off and our democracy would be more vibrant.

But that doesn't actually tell us what these throngs of Americans are fighting for, exactly. I'm not oblivious to their cries; I'm at a loss to appreciate those cries on anything more than a superficial level.

This is about giving Americans who work hard and play by the rules more opportunities.

I'm all for that, too. But would these opportunities include the chance for hard-working Americans to bring their kids to the doctor if they get sick, even if the family can't afford insurance? No, we're told, not those kinds of opportunities.

This is about the values of the Founding Fathers.

I'm a big fan of the framers' generation, who created an extraordinary nation. But if we're honoring their values, would this include their steadfast commitment to the separation of church and state? No, we're told, not those values.

This is about patriotic Americans willing to make sacrifices for the good of their country.

That sounds reasonable; sacrifices can be honorable. But if we're talking about patriots willing to sacrifice, does that mean millionaires and billionaires can go back to paying '90s-era tax rates (you know, when the economy was strong)? No, we're told, not those kinds of sacrifice.
Movements -- real movements that make a difference and stand the test of
time -- are about more than buzz words, television personalities, and
self-aggrandizement. Change -- transformational change that sets nations
on new courses -- is more than vague, shallow promises about "freedom."
The folks who gathered in D.C. today were awfully excited about
something. The fact that it's not altogether obvious what that might be
probably isn't a good sign.

As they say, go read the whole thing.