David Corn, Professional Journalist, Intuits the News
12:45 PM, Apr 16, 2009 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
But it was a crowd of people who find it useful to remind the government that the tax money it's spending is earned by the people it governs, just as our government derives its power from the consent of the governed. Surely Corn doesn't think that simply because the American people have once "consented to be governed" or taxed that they should evermore be silent about the ways in which they are governed and taxed, lest they be considered "too dumb to know to come in from out of the rain."
They actually were protesting particular policies of Obama, which Corn might have known had he attended even one event. Some of the fair criticism of the tea parties is that the crowd's grievances are somewhat unfocused. That's true, but the movement does quibble with specific, though disparate, policies, all on the grounds that a massive expansion of government power and spending is detrimental to us and future generations. They cite the stimulus, the bank bailouts, proposed cap-and-trade, hikes on tobacco taxes, and caps on charitable tax deductions.
I'm sure there were at least a couple people at a couple of these events who believe there should be no taxes at all, but it's hard to make clear enough how uncharacteristic they would have been in the crowd I saw, if they existed at all. But no matter. Corn just assumes away, granting himself the sapient silage he so desperately wishes to fell. Can he finish strong with a stereotype as insulting and hackneyed as his teabagging joke? Yes, he can:
Ooof! West Virginia! Good one. Haven't all overdone West Virginia jokes in the East Coast elite handbook been updated to overdone jokes about Wasilla yet? I wasn't at the Washington tea party, but the folks I saw in Edenton, N.C. were anything but marginal.
What's most disappointing about this blog post is that David Corn knows from marginal, kooky protesters with anti-government goals. Commendably, he wrote about them, in great detail, back when avowed Communists were organizing and governing the message of anti-war protests in Washington.