Saturday, April 24, 2010

NYT Clown: Hey, How About a Green Tea Party?

I imagine Tom Friedman thinks he's being cute here, but really, is he so out of touch he doesn't realize that most tea partiers would like to be independent of foreign oil? Has he ever heard the words drill, baby, drill outside of a Chinese whorehouse? Is he this week's version of Frank Rich with his lamentation of anger from tea partiers and the requisite cheap shot at Fox News?

Uh, Tom: We're all for energy independence. Just one problem: The Democrats are preventing it.
I’ve been trying to understand the Tea Party Movement. Sounds like a lot of angry people who want to get the government out of their lives and cut both taxes and the deficit. Nothing wrong with that — although one does wonder where they were in the Bush years. Never mind. I’m sure like all such protest movements the Tea Partiers will get their 10 to 20 percent of the vote. But should the Tea Partiers actually aspire to break out of that range, attract lots of young people and become something more than just entertainment for Fox News, I have a suggestion:

Become the Green Tea Party.
Clearly Friedman has been out of the country too long to realize that one of the reasons the GOP lost the Congress, Senate and White House was because these same folks he now sneers at stayed home in 2006 and 2008 or stopped voting for Republicans because they, um, did not like running up deficits and expanding government. Or does he think it was the seductive charm of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi that won the public over?
I’d be happy to design the T-shirt logo and write the manifesto. The logo is easy. It would show young Americans throwing barrels of oil imported from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia into Boston Harbor.
Now I'm no pollster, but I'm willing to go out on a limb and predict if you went to any tea party rally anywhere in the country and asked the folks if they'd like to be free of oil from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela the response rate would be damn close to 100% in favor. If at the same time you asked those angry Fox News viewers if they would like to drill on our coastal waters from Maine to Florida and California to Washington state the response rate would also be overwhelmingly affirmative.

But no, Friedman would just as well have us sucking on the teat of the Saudi oil ticks and the thug from Venezuela because he would -- poof -- install a Green Tax! Yeah, that'll do it! An enormous swath of the country fed up with taxes can miraculously become Green by willingly piling more taxes on top of the massive burden they're already paying.

Why the fuck haven't we thought of this already? And to make it all feel better, we'll call it--wait for it-- a Patriot Fee!
If we put a Patriot Fee on all of those imported barrels, we would use less, cease enriching bad regimes, strengthen our own dollar, make the air cleaner and the climate more stable, foster the exploitation of domestic and renewable energy sources, promote electric vehicles, help bring down the global price of oil (which hurts Iran and helps poor Africa), and we could use the revenue to shrink the deficit. It’s win, win, win, win, win, win ...

Indeed, the Green Tea Party could say, “We’ve got our own health care plan — a plan to make America healthy by simultaneously promoting energy security, deficit security and environmental security.”
The genius, naturally, refuses to entertain the idea of using our own resources to achieve this nirvana. Instead he's all for further taxing us into oblivion.

Sounds like the Green Tea Party will be as popular as the Coffee Party. In other words, a party of one. So where lies Friedman's solution? Why with those mighty "centrists":
So if there is going to be a Green Tea Party, it will have to emerge from a different place — the radical center, a center committed to a radical departure from business as usual. Acting on that impulse, Senators John Kerry, Lindsey Graham and Joseph Lieberman are expected to unveil a bipartisan climate/energy/jobs bill on Monday that deserves an energetic centrist Green Tea Party to support it.

This bill is far from perfect. It is a shame the fossil fuel industries still have such a stranglehold on Congress. But it’s the best we’re going to get, and we have got to get started. But without a centrist Green Tea Party Movement — one that brings the same passion to cutting emissions that the Tea Party brings to cutting deficits — even this effort will never pass.
Uh, Tom, who currently controls Congress? Oh, yeah, the Democrats. So who is it the fossil fuel industries still allegedly have such a stranglehold on?

It's more the other way around. The Democrats have their boot on the neck of industry. If the GOP was wise (a huge if) they'd stress energy independence to the tune of drill, baby, drill until they're blue in the face. Then indeed we could become the Green Tea Party. And the green would represent the money we're all saving.

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