Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Who's really behind the tea Party?

Koch Industries—Executing The Inside Game
On the day in October 2009, David Koch announced he had planned the Tea Party movement Koch gave Senator Jim DeMint the Washington Award.[1] Koch Industries is the fifth largest campaign contributor to DeMint, having provided $40,000 over the 2005-2010 campaign cycle, according to reporting.[2]
An interesting article in NewsMax on the origins of the Tea Party movement suggested that it could have been inspired by Santelli’s “anti-bailout rant” or “ideas that came out of last year’s [2008] CPAC meeting.”[3]
I have a great idea to keep us rich and bankrupt the government! and be a good Christian at the same time!
One of the main speakers at CPAC in February 2008 was Senator DeMint. DeMint told the crowd of young Republican activists that the Party “had forsaken the principles on which it was founded.” These forsaken principles had resulted in “[s]kyrocketing federal spending, unprecedented growth in the size of government, a failure to address the looming entitlement crisis and the shameless proliferation of congressional earmarks [that] were all hallmarks of Republican rule in Washington.” For DeMint, two of the three pillars of the Republican Party had to be strengthened: fiscal conservatism and social conservatism, especially “end[ing] the legalized killing of the unborn” and “defend[ing] the sanctity of marriage.”
According to DeMint, those in the party who had warned of fiscal irresponsibility “have still not convinced a majority of our colleagues to see things our way.” He then stated that the Republican Party had “stopped listening” to conservatives. DeMint then linked the power of the conservative blogosphere and the anti-immigration movement to use this as a model of “potentially overwhelming power…to influence the behavior of members of Congress. My hope is that this kind of activism can become a tool to hold our Party accountable on many issues of importance to conservatives.”[4]
It is not unreasonable to suggest that DeMint’s CPAC speech was a hope that a mass movement to make the Republican Party more fiscally and socially conservative would come. And, if it came, there is no doubt that DeMint would welcome it. Devin Burghart noted that Reverend Rick Scarborough told a workshop at the recently concluded Tea Party convention in Nashville that the “the gap ‘between fiscal and social conservatives has got to cease.’” The message outlined by DeMint is being carried by other Christian nationalists into the Tea Party movement. Burghart observed that there is an “overt attempt to fuse Tea Party desires with the broader agenda of the Christian Right into a more potent form of Christian nationalism.”[5]
In addition to being Koch’s probable political field general, DeMint is also “unquestionably the number one congressional mouthpiece for the radical Religious Right,” according to People for the American Way.[6]
Whenever DeMint is reported in the mainstream press or the blogosphere, his actual record and connections are almost never reported. It is highly likely that he is a Christian nationalist.
DeMint is rated a “zero” by Americans United indicating that he opposes the separation of church and state—a clear indicator of Christian nationalism.[7]
DeMint is a member of The Family, a heretofore secret Christian nationalist group of political elites “that embraces elitism, disdains democracy, and pursues power for its members…to ‘advance the Kingdom’….Family leaders consider their political network to be Christ’s avant garde, an elite that transcends not just conventional morality but also earthly laws regulating lobbying,” according to Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family—The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power.[8]
In December 2009, DeMint was one of four Republican lawmakers to join Lou Engle in a “prayer service against the health care reform bill now before Congress.” Among other things, Engle has called for Christian martyrs to stop abortions, believes abortion could lead to a second American civil war, and was heavily involved in the anti-same-sex marriage Proposition 8 battle in California. TheCall is part of a much larger religious tendency called the New Apostolic Reformation or Third Wave (among other names).[9]
Sarah Posner identified Engle as “a key political organizer of young Pentecostals and Charismatics for the religious right” who is determined to stop the appointment of judges who would support “‘Antichrist legislation,’” that is, abortion and same-sex rights.[10] And, DeMint is not the only politician aligning himself with Lou Engle’s TheCall. Both Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee were blessed by Engle in mid-2009.[11] Researchers at Talk to Action have linked Sarah Palin to this New Apostolic Reformation—via church membership, being blessed by a witch hunter, and political appointments as governor.[12]
Looking at DeMint’s political actions, particularly encouraging the Tea Party movement’s development and bringing his Republican colleagues onboard, it is not incorrect to suggest that DeMint has acted as, or as if he were, David Koch’s political field general in Congress.
Five days after Santelli’s tirade (24 February) and just days before any Tea Party protests would take place DeMint was exhorting and throwing his support behind the nascent Tea Party movement. An article at WorldNetDaily quoted DeMint saying, “I would think it’s time to start thinking about peaceful demonstrations…It’s just whether or not the American people are going to stand up and say enough is enough… People are going to have to show that they’re not going to take it anymore.”[13]
DeMint was the earliest of the Republicans to commit to speaking at a Tea Party protest in April 2009. Fox News reported that only DeMint and Representative John Culberson were scheduled to appear. Only later did Fox News report that 38 other Republicans were going to appear at protests.[14]
When Senator Arlen Specter switched to the Democratic Party in late April 2009, it was DeMint who “was an outspoken proponent of ejecting Specter from the Republican Party.”[15]
DeMint was the Republican who sounded the call to battle in July—before the congressional August recess—that defeating Obama’s health care reform “will be his Waterloo. It will break him.”[16]
It was DeMint, in August 2009, who echoed the Tea Party signs about the Obama administration’s policies bringing about socialism and totalitarianism. According to DeMint, “Probably the most heart-wrenching experiences I‘ve had over the last several days is when naturalized American citizens who have immigrated here from Germany, Iran and other countries they come up to me and they say, ‘Why are we doing what so many have fled from?’… And I‘ve realized that these people who have lived under socialist type economies and totalitarianism, they know where we‘re headed if we don‘t turn things around.”[17]
But DeMint was not just reacting to the Tea Party movement’s signs. Rachel Tabachnick, in an article on “Biblical Capitalism,” reported that the “cover of Senator Jim DeMint’s book, Saving Freedom: We Can Stop America’s Slide into Socialism, features an American flag behind rows of barbed wire, playing on the fears induced by conspiracy theories and popular revisionist history. DeMint attacks ‘labor union power,’ separation of church and state, FDR’s New Deal, and ‘taking prayer out of schools’ as putting America where ‘Germany was before World War II.’”[18]
DeMint has also aligned himself with the “‘tenthers,’” (for Tenth Amendment or states’ rights) a nation-wide group of activists pushing to nullify any health care legislation that President Obama would sign into law.[19] Adele Stan reported that secessionists and states’ rights advocates are “tied in” with the Tea Party movement, the Patriot movement, and Glenn Beck’s 9/12 organization.[20]
In mid-December 2009, it was DeMint who was the first, if not one of the first, to suggest that the Tea Party movement and the Republican Party should be considered the same thing. Said DeMint, “We need to stop looking at the tea parties as separate from the Republican party [sic].”[21] At the same time, he accused the Republican leadership of having “‘gone to the left.’”[22]
In mid-February 2010, on the eve of the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference, 80 Christian Right leaders, including members of the Conservative Action Project, issued their “Mount Vernon Statement” representing “all major elements of the conservative movement—economic, social and national security.” The document was supposed to signify the “resurgence of Constitutional Conservative leadership” based on “firm adherence to the first principles of the American Founding.” It contained a reference to its theocratic intent with its call to “establish true religious liberty.” This phrase is another way of re-stating the demand to end the separation of church and state. Among the first principles were limited government, rule of law, economic opportunity, true religious liberty, and republican self-government.”[23]
DeMint immediately called for all Republicans to sign the statement or be replaced. According to DeMint, “‘If our leaders cannot agree to the Mount Vernon Statement, they are part of the problem and should be replaced.’”[24]
At the CPAC meeting, DeMint alluded to the Tea Party movement and the need for the Republican Party to become more conservative. He told the attendees, “Despite the clarion call for freedom from the American people, there is still a struggle within the Republican Party about who we are and what we stand for. It’s a fight between those who take their constitutional oath seriously and those who don’t.”[25]
DeMint’s sharp attacks on the leadership of the Republican Party and all elected members of the party comes amidst press reports that local and state Republican Party organizations are trying to find ways to develop different types of relationships with Tea Party organizations and coalitions. While a merger of party and movement is not a real option, joint cooperation is being discussed in some areas, as well as Tea Party groups moving into local precinct positions as a sort of hostile takeover. Short of the Tea Party groups operating as a third party, all the various discussions are aimed at making the Republican Party’s candidates more responsive to Tea Party demands for fiscal conservatism.[26]
It is not yet clear how the Christian Right’s demand for more social conservatism will be accommodated.
However, a number of observers such as Adele Stan, Sarah Posner, David Weigel, Rob Boston, Peter at Right Wing Watch, Laurie Lebo, Michelle Goldberg, Devin Burghart, and James Scaminaci have noted that the Tea Party’s original aim to make the Republican Party more fiscally conservative is now being coaxed into adopting “culture war” or Christian nationalist’s socially conservative agenda. This is especially the case since the Christian nationalists enthusiastically endorsed the Tea Party movement in September 2009 and various elements of the Christian nationalist agenda were prevalent at the Tea Party Nation’s national convention in Nashville.[27]

and guess what, Like the Bush family, he made his riches from OIL!


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