Apr 172009

Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois has a lot to learn about democratic values. I heard some background buzz about tea parties the past few days but didn’t pay a lot of attention until I read this:

The “tea parties” being held today by groups of right-wing activists, and fueled by FOX News Channel, are an effort to mislead the public about the Obama economic plan that cuts taxes for 95 percent of Americans and creates 3.5 million jobs.”

It’s despicable that right-wing Republicans would attempt to cheapen a significant, honorable moment of American history with a shameful political stunt. Not a single American household or business will be taxed at a higher rate this year. Made to look like a grassroots uprising, this is an Obama bashing party promoted by corporate interests, as well as Republican lobbyists and politicians.”

Now I wish I had found a tea party to take part in myself.

Even if she doesn’t agree with the protestors, she should praise them for getting involved in the political process and for engaging in a national dialog. What’s despicable is for a national legislator to speak against the values enshrined in the First Amendment, which speaks of the right of citizens peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for redress of grievances.

And her statement that “not a single American household or business will be taxed at a higher rate this year” is hardly a rebutal to anything. I presume the protestors’ concern is over existing tax rates being an unsustainable way to support our government, and the fact that much of the stimulus package is intended to force state governments to continue higher rates of spending (and taxing) in exchange for receiving stimulus dollars. I would hope that the tax protesters are more forward-looking than Rep. Schakowsky with her one-year horizon.

As to the source of the protest, if she is going to make wild accusations about the source of the movement, maybe she should provide some evidence to back them up. Frankly, I don’t think she’s telling the truth.