Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Tea Party and the Mafia

By Richard K. Barry

Upon considering what has been going on in Washington with the so-called civil war between Tea Party radicals and more mainstream Republicans, a thought has occurred to me. It's more of an analogy really. 

Consider this as reported by Bloomberg:
“We are going to get engaged,” said Scott Reed, senior political strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The need is now more than ever to elect people who understand the free market and not silliness.” The chamber spent $35.7 million on federal elections in 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based group that tracks campaign spending.

The point I would make is that the relationship of big-business conservatism to the Tea Party is a little like the relationship of the Mafia to elements within it that draw too much attention. The "free market system" as it runs, runs best for those who already have most of the money. Shutting the government down and the debt ceiling fight only disrupts the relatively smooth functioning that allows those who have to get more. Similarly, the Mafia never likes actions that drew attention to it and disrupt the business-as-usual grind that make its success possible. 

When the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says that the goal should be to elect people who "understand the free market and not silliness," by silliness they mean anything that disrupts the rules of a game already rigged to ensure that the rich get richer and the poor get screwed. 

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  • That is an excellent analogy. There is some history to it as well. The business community found throughout the middle of the 20th century that the more they spoke publicly about "free markets" the less people liked them. They would rather have useful fools like the Tea Party folk make their arguments. But the problem with useful fools is that they are fools.

    On a substantial level, the problem is that the "silliness" doesn't lack any more reality than all the "free market" talk. The last thing that the business community wants is a free market.

    By Blogger Frank Moraes, at 7:35 PM  

  • The conservatives, the neocons & the far right, are not so out of touch to realize the points made in this. There are two things happening which make this alleged "Tea Party" a part of the overall scheme work for the free market fundamentalists.
    #1. The Tea Party members truly are most often easily manipulated to be the foam & white noise as each newpolitical & economic wave crashes.
    #2. They are the ultimate consumers. Their bond with the free market dogma is so powerful that they will throw every last cent they have into a captured system & then blame those they are told to blame.
    By the time these people realize they've been swindled they will already be living on a fixed income with all their money gone into managed retirement funds their handlers profit from at their expense.
    it may not be a free market but it is survival of the fittest. The neocons & the radical right will use them as cannon fodder as they profit from these gullible "believers".

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:00 PM  

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