I don’t subscribe to any of the movie channels, but I have to admit that I’m sorely tempted just so I can watch the HBO series The Newsroom. In part because I’m a huge Jeff Daniels fan, but also because of scenes like this one:
For being fiction, there’s a lot of truth in that segment. I’ll bet the Tea Party isn’t very happy with that show right about now.
A public union employee, a tea party activist and a CEO are sitting at a table with a plate of a dozen cookies in the middle of it. The CEO takes 11 of the cookies, turns to the tea partier and says, “Watch out for that union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie.”
Really good humor contains an element of truth. The above is so true it almost hurts to laugh.
Here’s what passes for satire with the Tea Bagger Party crowd as written by failed Republican candidate for Washington’s third district, David Hendrick:
They're coming to ruin your Christmas! Aiiiieeeeee!
The Liberal Clause takes place in the small town of Camas, WA where, for as long as anyone can remember, the children have been given the special responsibility of electing the Great Elf Council that serves at the North Pole. This year, however, the ballots go missing. Suspiciously, nasty ol’ Elf Peloosi discovers a box she claims are the missing ballots under a shelf in the back of a union warehouse. The elves are so glad the ballots have been recovered that they don’t bother to question the fact that there are more ballots returned than were cast! This is all reported in local newspaper, The Christmas Times, above a picture of Hendrick himself with the subtitle “Camas man’s rant goes viral”.
The elves’ relief dissipates quickly as it becomes clear something fishy is going on. After the Liberal Party of Elves takes over the Great Council Santa Claus suddenly goes missing and the elf people are told he is being replaced.
That’s right, it’s a Christmas story about President Obama as the evil Liberal Clause and his cabal of Socialist elves and their scheme to ruin Christmas by forcing all manner of stupid Liberal policies on everyone. Just as you’d expect, it hits on all of the Tea Partier’s favorite talking points such as Obama’s birth certificate, his use of teleprompters, being forced into evil labor unions, the bailouts, Al Gore and global climate change, Obama’s former preacher Reverend Wright, the changing of “Christmas” to “Holidays”, the campaign against obesity, and so on.
The book is filled with really bad illustrations — I especially liked the one with Obama standing next to Josef Stalin just in case anyone reading it isn’t bright enough to pick up on the Evil Commie theme he’s pushing — and the text is about as puerile as you can get. Here’s a small sample:
Shortly after these words left Sneed’s mouth, a man dressed in Santa’s suit stepped onto the stage and strutted to the mike. In front of him, a group of elves ran out holding up a TV screen with words on it. This was the first time the elves had seen a teleprompter at the North Pole. Santa Claus had always spoken from the heart.
The skinny imposter began to read.
“My fellow citizens of the North Pole,” he stated with a hint of arrogance in his voice, “I am here to pull Christmas back from the brink of destruction. My name is Barry, but you can call me Liberal Claus.”
“Are you even from the North Pole?” an elf questioned from the crowd.
Liberal Claus scowled at this elf with pure evil in his eyes. For a moment all of the elves stood in disbelief waiting for a response, but the response would never come.
In the end it comes down to one brave girl who, after finding out the truth about Liberal Clause’s evil plans from “Ox News”, rallies the other children to form a Tea Party. They defeat the the evil Liberals by unplugging Liberal Clause’s teleprompter — without which he is apparently powerless — and then dumping all the free candy they got into the local lake.
I suppose in a way it is pretty funny in a stuffed-shirt inflated sense of self-importance way, but it’s also disheartening to think that for many Tea Partiers the falsehoods presented in this story are Gospel truths. It’s also a creepy kind of child indoctrination following in the grand Christian tradition of “gettin’ ’em while they’re young.”
Though Hendrick is hardly the first TPer to put out propaganda for kids. He was beaten to the punch by the Tea Party Coloring Book:
Calling it a “wonderful book of The Tea Party for Kids,” a St. Louis-based publisher has sold “many thousands” of its Tea Party Coloring Book for Kids! The book, complete with “puzzles, mazes and connect the dots,” promises to teach kids about “Liberty, Faith, Freedom and so much more!” “We’re not really making a political statement,” publisher Wayne Bell told CBS News, though the book contains a good deal of far-right rhetoric. For example, it warns that government-run healthcare “cannot be the only choice,” and that “[w]hen taxes are too high, the high tax takes away jobs and freedom.” “In 1773 we had a Tea Party and this led to freedom from high taxes,” the book explains to kids. “Today we are having another Tea Party and this will lead to freedom from high taxes again!” (Nevermind that tax rates in 2009 were actually the lowest since 1950).
I suppose I should at least be happy that Hendricks story doesn’t end with the kids taking up arms and killing all the Liberals and then mounting their (the Liberals) stuffed heads on the wall. Actually, I’m a little surprised that’s not how it ended.
Over on Google Reader on one of the news items I shared about the Tea Party victories and how it’s made Democrats more optimistic I helpfully suggested a potential new slogan for the DNC. Picture, if you will, the latest DNC election ad showcasing all the crazy Tea Party candidates that ends with the following:
SURE WE’RE INCOMPETENT PUSSIES, BUT DO YOU REALLY WANT TO VOTE FOR THE CRAZIES???
If nothing else, it would be one of the most honest bits of political advertising we’ve ever seen.