Tea Party birthday?

March 2, 2011

George Washington signed the law authorizing the first U.S. census on March 1, 1790. [True]

[Satire, below?]

I presume, then, that the post-Boston, Tea Party dates from the protests of the census beginning on March 2, 1790.  “Nothing but what the founders intended in the Constitution,” was the muddled battle cry of the early Tea Partiers.

Editorials pointed out that Washington himself had presided at the Constitutional Convention, but Tea Partiers would have none of it.  “If the King James Version was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for the ‘new King George,’ they yelled in New York City, outside Washington’s home.  “Patrick Henry didn’t throw tea in Baltimore Harbor so some tyrant could ask us how many are in our family!”

Washington denied that the capital’s move to Philadelphia later that year had anything to do with the protests.


American demographics

March 28, 2010

Why do the heathen rage?  If you think the Tea Baggers and Republicans protest too loudly and too much, you’re not alone.

Frank Rich, writing in the New York Times, reveals the failure, sin and shame of the Republican Party; it would be good were Rich not right.  It’s unlikely, though.

The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play. It’s not happenstance that Frank, Lewis and Cleaver — none of them major Democratic players in the health care push — received a major share of last weekend’s abuse. When you hear demonstrators chant the slogan “Take our country back!,” these are the people they want to take the country back from.

Demographics are avatars of a change bigger than any bill contemplated by Obama or Congress. The week before the health care vote, The Times reported that births to Asian, black and Hispanic women accounted for 48 percent of all births in America in the 12 months ending in July 2008. By 2012, the next presidential election year, non-Hispanic white births will be in the minority. The Tea Party movement is virtually all white. The Republicans haven’t had a single African-American in the Senate or the House since 2003 and have had only three in total since 1935. Their anxieties about a rapidly changing America are well-grounded.

Now you know, too, why so many Republicans and Tea Baggers complain about the U.S. Census and its simple, unintrusive questions.  It’s not really the census taking that bothers them; it’s the census counting what they know to be true, now.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Blue Ollie, and you ought to go over to read his better and longer post on this topic.


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