A Piechart’s Worth a Thousand Words

Alex Knapp illustrates the distribution of wealth in this country with a handy piechart:

Alex notes that, “As you can see, this is why the wealthy in this country pay most of the taxes — they have most of the money, by a staggering amount.”

More charts and numbers here.

Good thing the Tea Partiers have gotten themselves over to Wisconsin to help Breitbart counter protest against those greedy unions.

Read more

The Murder of Brisenia Flores

Will Bunch has a truly heartbreaking, infuriating post up on the murder of nine-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father in Arizona in 2009. Brisenia’s mother survived by playing dead.

The killers were newly minted Tea Partiers and fledgling Minutemen, and I think it’s safe to say they were influenced by at least one Tea Party rally in Arizona before carrying out their murders. Shawna Forde, the mastermind of the operation, had apparently cooked up an idea to murder and rob drug dealers to fund her anti-immigrant activities. She and her accomplice, Jason Bush, broke into the Flores home on May 30, 2009.

[A warning (better late than never) this next bit is graphic and disturbing]

Read more

The Tea Party Illusion

The MSNBC headline reads “Just 32% of Tea Party candidates win”. But I’m not sure I know what that means. Are there candidates registered with the Tea Party? Are there non-Republican conservatives making gains in the House or Senate this year? Or is a Tea Party candidate just any Republican who happens to attend Tea Party rallies or self-identify as such – or who the media designates as such?

The media is treating the Tea Party as if it were a third party that has somehow transcended the stale old two-party system. If the Tea Party were a third party, after all, 32% would be a phenomenal number. But the Tea Party is not a third party. It’s not anything at all but a new way to describe conservative Republicans. Or, as Joe Carter puts it, a new way to brand an old party:

The media, of course, will credit the victory to the Tea Party “movement,” rather than to traditional Republican voters voting for Republican candidates. The Republican establishment and the Tea Party’s self-appointed “leaders” will agree. The result will be their treating the Tea Party as if it were merely another special interest to be pacified, rather than the a new label for the same conservatives who have always caucused with the GOP.

Of course, until a Republican president is actually in the White House, I imagine Republicans/Tea Partiers can still play the role of opposition quite effectively. And the media will be only too happy to perpetuate the myth of a Tea Party independent entirely from the GOP establishment. However much this may be true of some grassroots organizers and however much the Tea Partiers may truly be tired of the Washington establishment, in the end they’re still just Republicans, electing Republicans, sending Republicans to Washington to do what Republicans have always done.