I've been looking at some conservative sites and teabagger sites. (Don't you dare
ask me to stop using that term.) One fact has become crystalline clear: These clowns inhabit an alternate Earth. For example, here's the Illinois Conservative Beacon
, beamed to our world directly from Earth 2:
We can start by looking at his [Obama's] worldview. We know from his biography and life experiences that his worldview is socialistic. Throughout his life, his mentors and close associates have always been adherents of radical socialism.
Throughout his lifetime, he was trained and groomed to someday lead the socialist movement in America. With the help of that movement, he became the President of the United States.
Oooh! Conspiracy! Socialist
Apparently, the Socialist Party of the United States is incredibly
powerful. Gosh. I did not know that.
Believe it or not, this teabagger goes on to make precisely that argument. The Socialist Party USA
-- which non-insane observers consider a fringe group composed of about 2000 aging hippies who who enjoy sparking up doobies while trading blue-sky conjectures on how to bell the economic cat -- is, in the teabagger worldview, the Power Control Group which cajoled Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms into funding the Obama campaign. Thus, the Socialist Party platform may be seen as the revelation of Obama's ultimate goal.
(Old-timers like me may remember when Birchers insisted that the CPUSA was the single most powerful entity within American politics.)
The current tactics of the Democratic Party to demonize corporations and their high-paid executives and the attempt to cap executive pay and bonuses for segments of the economy receiving money from the government, in particularly the automotive and financial industries, may act as a model for future attempts to widen the effort to other parts of the economy.
That bit also comes from the Illinois Conservative Beacon, although the sentiment seems representative of much teabagger propaganda. Tip-toe through the fields of Google, and you'll see what I mean.
The tea partiers are infuriated
by the idea of executive pay caps at the "too big too fail" banks. Just because those execs came begging (to W, as you'll recall) for massive bailouts -- just because they said they needed the cash NOW NOW NOW, lest the world's economic system implode and we all go back to living in caves -- doesn't mean that the gummint has a right to impose financial discipline on the crooks who lied and cheated and robbed us blind.
No no no. Any such discipline would be socialism.
Which brings us back to the great irony of our time: The tea partiers, who came to prominence protesting the bailouts (bailouts which they pretended were set up by Obama, not by Bush), are now the loudest voices calling for the continuation of Bush's policy of siphoning all of America's wealth into the offshore bank accounts of the Wall Street vampires. (See chart.)
According to our afore-quoted 'bagger, Obama wants "an annual minimum income of $31,200 for everyone and a maximum of $312,000 for CEOs and other high-earners." Hmm. Seems like a good idea to me. If Obama really
wanted that, I'd have been working my ass off for him throughout 2008 instead of attacking him every day.
But is pay equalization Comrade O-bolshie's true goal? For the answer, let's visit Earth 1, by way of Paul Krugman
. He quotes this Bloomberg
President Barack Obama said he doesn’t “begrudge” the $17 million bonus awarded to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon or the $9 million issued to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein, noting that some athletes take home more pay.
The president, speaking in an interview, said in response to a question that while $17 million is “an extraordinary amount of money” for Main Street, “there are some baseball players who are making more than that and don’t get to the World Series either, so I’m shocked by that as well.”
“I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen,” Obama said in the interview yesterday in the Oval Office with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. “I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free- market system.”
To which Krugman responds:
Oh. My. God.
First of all, to my knowledge, irresponsible behavior by baseball players hasn’t brought the world economy to the brink of collapse and cost millions of innocent Americans their jobs and/or houses.
And more specifically, not only has the financial industry has been bailed out with taxpayer commitments; it continues to rely on a taxpayer backstop for its stability...
The point is that these bank executives are not free agents who are earning big bucks in fair competition; they run companies that are essentially wards of the state.
I agree with Krugman, of course.
When I compare the words of Earth 1 inhabitant Paul Krugman with the mad ramblings being transmitted by the media overlords of Earth 2, I'm left with eyes wide open, jaw agape, and three questions buzzing through my cranium:
1. How can we make any
progress when our planet has been bifurcated in twain? Earth 1 can receive transmissions from Earth 2, but those Earth 2 folks can't get any broadcasts from Earth 1.
2. Is Barack Obama -- the businessman's friend, the Goldman Sachs golden boy -- really
the only thing standing between us and an invasion from the brownshirted denizens of Earth 2?
3. How the hell do the tea partiers manage to maintain a hammerlock on the "populist" label? If those guys aren't elitists, who is