"By engaging in such puerile antics, the tea partiers only perpetuate the perception of their intellectual bankruptcy," write the Harvard Crimson editors in a fact-challenged regurgitation of mainstream media talking points about last Wednesday's Tax Day Tea Parties:
… However, the greater existential question for these spontaneous tea parties than the legitimacy of their spontaneity is the legitimacy of their claim to the title “tea party,” for it is not entirely clear what the protesters were protesting.
As we snorted in high dudgeon in the comments:
For many of us tea partiers it wasn't about taxes per se. Instead, it's the Rahm Emanuel thing about "taking advantage of a serious crisis" by ramming through big-government initiatives that citizens would never approve were they not distracted.
Sticking to the party line, the Crimsoneers echo Senior White House adviser David Axelrod's shock, shock at the ingratitude of us unwashed:
"The thing that bewilders me is that this president just cut taxes for 95 percent of the American people," Axelrod argued. "I think the tea bags should be directed elsewhere because he certainly understands the burden that people face."
He said the TEA Party events, which were organized by the conservative group FreedomWorks, comes from a dissatisfaction with the economy that "can mutate into something that's unhealthy."
A classic case of misdirection, as Fred Barnes recently characterized Obama's signature tactic, "pretending to head one way while going another." We little people are supposed to be satisfied with government handouts and not bother our pretty little heads about the power grab that's going on behind the curtain. It may not be "entirely clear" to the Crimson editorial board "what the protesters were protesting," but the self-organizing "smart crowds" of tea partiers ourselves — soldiers of Glenn Reynolds's Army of Davids — know exactly what's got our dander up. Mark Steyn explains:
That’s why these are Tea Parties — because the heart of the matter is the same question posed two-and-a-third centuries ago: Are Americans subjects or citizens? If the latter, then a benign sovereign should not be determining “your interests” and then announcing that he’s giving you a “tax credit” as your pocket money.
As we wrote a couple of years back in another context, "It's naive to believe [citizens] should be content to have physical comforts handed to them on a welfare platter. No man — no creature worth its salt — can bear the shame. Come to think of it, that's exactly what's wrong with the liberal project." Talk about intellectual bankruptcy.
Update: Maggie's links.