T.H.R.O. poster is an ancestor, and warning, for tea party

“I’M MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!”

That angry message in bold typeface; the glaring face of a retiree named Jack Gargan; his Jeffersonian list of grievances against Congress — it was all so familiar as I unrolled the poster, a relic from my childhood and the tea party’s ancestry.

Twenty years ago, Gargan used a series of newspaper ads to start a grassroots movement: T.H.R.O., or Throw the Hypocritical Rascals Out. I remember the bumper sticker on my dad’s Buick LeSabre, the related parody from Fox 97’s Shower Stall Singers: “(Those Congress Checks Are Bouncing Like a) Red Rubber Ball.”

I came across a poster print of the ad while helping my parents move houses recently. Reading the list of indictments Gargan made against Washington, I could only reflect that the tea party came into being because so little has changed:

I’M APPALLED,” he wrote, “that Congress continues to hock the future of our children and grandchildren. Our national debt is now over 3 TRILLION dollars, and going higher by the minute. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!”

The debt has grown by $10 trillion since then; it rises by about $2 million a minute according to USDebtClock.org.

I’M ANGRY that, after being told by the American public that their existing salary was already an overpayment on their abilities, [Congress] turned right around and arrogantly voted themselves the biggest raise in history!”

Since 1990, the salary of representatives has risen by 80 percent, and senators by 77 percent, to $174,000 a year.

I’M LIVID when I recall how, in typically gutless congressional style, they let an ‘outside commission’ stick the younger American workers with a raise in Social Security taxes … knowing full well there will not be enough money to fund that same ‘baby-boom’ generation who will be footing most of the bill.”

The baby boomers are beginning to retire with Social Security afloat. But there is a change: Now Congress leaves it to the president to appoint a National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

I’M ENRAGED when I see money pouring in to incumbents from PACs, special interest groups who use their money to stifle public interest, to congressmen who will sell their soul for another term in office.”

Political action committees, or PACs, are still around. But the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law pushed much of their “soft money” into 527 groups that campaign with still more opacity.

I’M DISGUSTED at the number of shady dealings by members of Congress …. Something’s mighty wrong with the system when 98% of incumbents are re-elected. The other 2% don’t lose. They either go out feet first, or in total disgrace for conduct too embarrassing even for congressional standards!”

In 2008, about 94 percent of incumbents who sought re-election won. Gargan’s list goes on, but you get the idea.

Since 1990, control of Congress has gone from the Democrats to the GOP and back again. But the lesson of Gargan and T.H.R.O. isn’t partisan.

After backing Ross Perot in 1992, Gargan’s movement slowly fizzled out. The disengagement from those who thought like Gargan was costly. By the time they woke up in 2009, we were close to the brink.

Whatever happens this November, constant Gargan-esque vigilance will be needed afterward. Two more decades of neglect, and we’re Greece.

142 comments Add your comment

Don't forget

July 30th, 2010
7:16 pm

First? Wow Kyle 3 articles in one day?

Don't forget

July 30th, 2010
7:32 pm

Enter your comments here

CJ

July 30th, 2010
7:37 pm

Throw the Hypocritical Rascals Out

Blame the voters (and the non-voters), not the politicians.

With only about 1 out of 5 registered voters (and a smaller portion of eligible voters) turning out for Georgia’s primaries a couple of weeks ago—many of whom didn’t know who was running until they had the ballot in front of them—the level of apathy and ignorance is astounding.

A functioning democracy (right-winger: “We don’t live in a democracy. We live in a Republic!”) relies on us to be informed while, incidentally, the political right banks on our ignorance.

saywhat?

July 30th, 2010
8:12 pm

The teaparty did not come into being “because so little changed”. They came into being because something DID change- the Republicans were kicked out of power after failing miserably at governing.

Right wing P.R. firms started and financed this fake grass roots movement, with free publicity disguised as news coverage provided by Fox News.The ranks of the unfortunately self-named “tea b@ggers” (so called because they mailed tea bags to Democratic members of Congress) were quickly swelled by sheeple responding to empty and usually inflammatory rhetoric devoid of any basis in reality (SOCIALISM!!!! FASCISM!!!! DESTROYING AMERICA!!! BIRTH CERTIFICATE!!!! SECRET MUSLIM!!!!!). After finding themselves as a movement without a clue, they finally hung their pointy white hats on the themes you have identified.

So while you are (partly) correct in stating that these problems are unchanged, they most definitely were not the impetus for today’s tea party movement. It was instead started only to instigate loud opposition from the fringes of the right wing to a duly elected President. It was and will always be an example of political cynicism at its worst.

Don't forget

July 30th, 2010
8:25 pm

I’m not buying all that about the tea party either. Why didn’t they get out in the streets about this little socialistic program?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A9328-2005Feb8.html

The tea party is just the branch of the Republican party that goes nuts whenever a Democratic president is elected. They didn’t get out in the streets after Clinton was elected but they formed all their little militia’s and ran around in the woods with their guns talking about how there were “secret” black helicoptors flying around and a takeover of the US was imminent. Same fringe, different time.

@@

July 30th, 2010
8:38 pm

Deja vu on steroids.

Your last sentence would make a great bumper sticker, Kyle.

TWO MORE DECADES OF NEGLECT, AND WE’RE GREECE!

I would say change the spelling of Greece to Grease but that would leave people scratching their heads. Heck! with the electorate’s lack of attention to current events, they’d probably still scratch theirs heads with Greece.

Don't forget

July 30th, 2010
8:55 pm

As I recall, Perot’s big issue was NAFTA and that “loud sucking sound” of American jobs going overseas. Granted he also talked about deficits and lame politicians but I haven’t heard the tea party say anything about the loss of American jobs overseas.

Claude

July 30th, 2010
8:59 pm

We may reach Greece in less than two decades. I have been voting for almost 30 years. I’ve seen a lot of Presidents and Congressional leaders of both parties claim that there is some special circumstance that requires high deficits now, but that circumstance would soon pass and then it’s back to normal – normal being a balanced budget or close to it. I’ve seen a lot of special circumstance and not much normal.

Also, outright financial ruin is not the only reason to avoid running up the debt. We lose our flexibility to meet the financial costs of emergencies, like an earthquake or other natural disaster. Being dependent on other countries crimps our ability to articulate our national values. The Chinese have figured out that financing our deficits greatly reduces human rights complaints.

Legend of Len Barker

July 30th, 2010
9:45 pm

The more I research, the more I’ve come to believe that Dixiecrats are the direct ancestors of the Tea Party.

A lot of the same rhetoric about the quality of government and states’ rights were being tossed about in the 1960s. For example, a 1969 speech delivered by a state representative to the Citizens League for Better Government in Coffee County was called, “Mental Illness in the Health, Education, and Welfare Department.”

killerj

July 30th, 2010
9:59 pm

Ha,ha,ha,kick a Pub,slap a Dem,time to get rid of the mange,time for some borax and peroxide to get rid of the mites for a cleaner, healthy America,gunning for you crooked Z,s. Go tea party!

Wingnuts r hypocrites

July 30th, 2010
10:56 pm

I’m sure you wingnuts out there went bonkers over Hannity roasting a Weiner for refusing to commit to reading bills before he votes on them. And it’s a good point. But if it is such a good point, why didn’t he ask for a commitment from Congressman Peter King who was on the show with him? Is it ok for Republicans to not read bills, but not Democrats?

Not defending Weiner, who acted like a flustered idiot by not turning the tables back on Hannity and calling him on his hypocrisy, but will the Hannity sycophants who read this blog, many who are salivating over Hannity’s performance today justify the hypocrisy of not asking of King what he asked of Weiner?

This is Mrs.Norman Maine

July 30th, 2010
11:19 pm

“By the time they woke up in 2009, we were close to the brink.”

The brink of what?

TruthBe

July 31st, 2010
12:06 am

Wingnuts r hypocrites, like the entire democratic party. First of all it is the current group of liberal progressive perverted democrats that are in power causing all of the stupid bills. The democrats have these bils written and don’t take the time to read them before they FORCE them into law. Liberals like you Wingnuts r hypocrites, are the ones that are supporting criminal policies from this jackass of a president we have. Obama and his gang of criminals got to go. And you libs can go with him.

Thomas

July 31st, 2010
12:34 am

When Tea Party leaders accused the other party of a plan to kill our grandmothers and their followers actually believed it, I knew the first train to LooneyVille had left the station. This is more a Fox News creation, as they didn’t utter a peep while Bush was running the country, the military and the budget into the ground.

wingnuts r hypocrites

July 31st, 2010
2:10 am

TruthBe, I see you avoided the issue altogether. Did you see one word of defense in my post about Democrats? No, you did not. Did the post say it wasn’t a good idea to hold the Weiner’s feet to the fire. No, you did not. All that was asked was why didn’t Hannity ask both congressmen to make the same pledge.

No you just engaged in a typical knee jerk reaction that is so typical of both sides of the political spectrum. Chris Wallace gets all tingly when Obama’s name is mention, Hannity gets all tingly when Palin’s name is mentioned. It’s the exact same game played by both sides of the spectrum. This is the best we can do?

arnold

July 31st, 2010
6:02 am

Legend of Len Barker….. “The more I research, the more I’ve come to believe that Dixiecrats are the direct ancestors of the Tea Party.” They were also the precursor of the Republican Party in the south. The thinking is the same, only the name has changed from Democrat to Republican.

Lil' Barry Bailout

July 31st, 2010
8:15 am

More federal control and spending on schools, poorer school performance.

More welfare spending, more kids without families.

More government grants and loans for higher education, continuing increases in higher education costs.

More government spending and involvement in health care, more out of control medical cost increases.

I’m sure it’s all just a big coincidence.

ByeBye

July 31st, 2010
8:16 am

Hey “Don’t Forget” & “Saywhat” the largest identifiable group in the Tea Party, at over 30%, typically vote Democrat, followed by Independents then Republican. You may have sounded cute a year ago disparaging the Tea Party, but doing it now really shows your ignorance.

Lil' Barry Bailout

July 31st, 2010
8:17 am

Forgot one:

More government regulation of the financial industry, more frequent financial disasters.

Just another coincidence.

Don't forget

July 31st, 2010
8:32 am

ByeBye

July 31st, 2010
8:16 am
Hey “Don’t Forget” & “Saywhat” the largest identifiable group in the Tea Party, at over 30%, typically vote Democrat, followed by Independents then Republican. You may have sounded cute a year ago disparaging the Tea Party, but doing it now really shows your ignorance.

You clearly don’t have even the most basic of math skills.

Don't forget

July 31st, 2010
8:39 am

Lil’ Barry Bailout

July 31st, 2010
8:17 am
Forgot one:

More government regulation of the financial industry, more frequent financial disasters.

Just another coincidence.

I don’t have a problem with people who disagree or have different viewpoints but LBB, you simply make stuff up.

Ayn Rant

July 31st, 2010
9:15 am

Rotten government is only one aspect of the decline in America prosperity.

Our industry can’t produce the products that Americans and foreigners want to buy, so we incur trade deficits nearly as big as, and more serious than, the federal budget deficit. Our unregulated private enterprises spill and pollute with abandon while enjoying huge tax breaks for depleting the natural resources of the nation.

Our financial sector is self-obsessed, and oblivious to the needs of our capitalist economy which depends on investment and innovation. They gamble our capital base on exotic, deceptive financial instruments.

We spend trillions to support 50 million non-working retired/disabled folks on Social Security and Medicare. We spend hundreds of billions to house and feed more than 2 million non-working felons every year. But we’re not willing to provide the nation’s children with world-class nutrition, day-care, education, and health care.

Our military forces are scattered willy-nilly around the world with no definable mission or expected outcome. We continue to squander billions on advanced weapons systems to counter imaginary sophisticated enemies even though our real enemies are proved to be fanatical young men in T-shirts and sneakers armed with box-cutters.

American voters year after year slavishly re-elect the politicians who have created an untrustworthy government and failed to point the country toward a secure and prosperous future. They even re-elect the politicians who complain about the government they are put in charge of.

Now, some jerks begin to recognize a few problems with the nation and start a political movement to blame the government!

What I want to hear is solutions. Does anybody know where to start?

JP

July 31st, 2010
9:21 am

Good column Kyle, and I rarely agree with you on anything. I think the ultimate responsiblity lies with the voters. We keep putting these folks in office.

Don't forget

July 31st, 2010
9:41 am

“A sucker is born every day”

J D Hayworth is one of these tea party candidates. He was also a republican representative from 1997 to 2007. Here he is on an infomercial helping to explain how people can get government money. Sheer hypocrisy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WmeaywMcCE

Charles

July 31st, 2010
9:51 am

Now I know why Liberals want to be called Progressives now – they are ‘progressing’ us over the edge of the abyss at a record pace!

Will

July 31st, 2010
10:06 am

Great story Kyle.

Really does show that there is not a dime’s worth of difference between republicans and democrats when it comes to spending our money and raising money for their re-elections.

Of course, one could argue there are usually three reasons why incumbents almost always are re-elected: quality of opponent, voters have given up on the notion that change will make a difference and/or voters are satisfied with their incumbent.

It is sort of like annual polls about public education. Annually, public education receives low marks in polling UNTIL participants are asked about their child’s public school and then participants award high marks. Voters seem to overwhelming believe that Congress is a train wreck with the notable exception of their congressman.

Lil' Barry Bailout

July 31st, 2010
10:15 am

What I want to hear is solutions. Does anybody know where to start?
———————-

President Ronald Reagan did, when he said the government is not the solution, government is the problem.

Without government, financial institutions that are stupid will fail and the capital they were using inefficiently is redeployed.

Without government, schools that suck will see their students move to schools that don’t suck.

Without government, insurance companies can design policies that meet the needs of their customers without expensive, wasteful mandates, and costs will go down. Insurance companies that charge too much lose customers.

Lil' Barry Bailout

July 31st, 2010
10:20 am

Will: public education receives low marks in polling UNTIL participants are asked about their child’s public school and then participants award high marks.
————————-

A large percentage (more than half) of the teachers at our local elementary school send their own kids to private schools. Some vote of confidence.

Algonquin j. Calhoun

July 31st, 2010
10:50 am

Barry, shut up Stupid!

Algonquin j. Calhoun

July 31st, 2010
10:52 am

TruthBe

Go to hell moron!

nelsonhoward

July 31st, 2010
10:53 am

Jack Gargan went on to say “vote every incumbent Senator and Represenative out of office. How could we end up worse than we are now?” That is a fine question. We could not have a Congress that spends any more money than the one we have now.They are spending it much faster than it can be borrowed or printed. It would be impossible for a new Congress to lavish any more of the royal trappings of wealth on themselves. Think about it, Bill and Hillary are lavishing 10 or 12 million dollars on Chelsas wedding, even a royal potentate would have trouble scrimping that kind of change.
Could the environment be worse with the disaster in the Gulf and global warming. In my humble opinion, it could be no worse, every incumbent should be given the highway, “its my way or the highway” as a politician would say.

Algonquin j. Calhoun

July 31st, 2010
10:57 am

See this video and you’ll see the way Christian Republinazis view humanity. http://collateralmurder.com/

Grand Forks

July 31st, 2010
11:38 am

“See this video and you’ll see the way Christian Republinazis”

What a lovely little left wing retard.

Grand Forks

July 31st, 2010
11:39 am

“Barry, shut up Stupid!”

and then

“Go to hell moron!”

Kyle, I don’t know about you, but to me that seems like a couple of personal attacks.

tick…tick….tick….

Grand Forks

July 31st, 2010
11:40 am

“Chris Wallace gets all tingly when Obama’s name is mention”

Chris Matthews gets all tingly when Obama’s name is mention

FYT

Hillbilly Deluxe

July 31st, 2010
12:10 pm

As I recall, Perot’s big issue was NAFTA and that “loud sucking sound” of American jobs going overseas.

Perot may have been nuttier than a fruitcake in a lot of ways, but he looked like a modern day Nostradamus on that one.

The Phantom

July 31st, 2010
12:54 pm

Anger is not a blueprint for governance. It is, however, a very convenient stepladder for crooks, phonies, crackpots and tyrants to gain office.

Lil' Barry Bailout

July 31st, 2010
1:47 pm

Agreed. Which brings up the question…why does Obama hate America?

Don't forget

July 31st, 2010
1:54 pm

Hillbilly Deluxe

July 31st, 2010
12:10 pm
As I recall, Perot’s big issue was NAFTA and that “loud sucking sound” of American jobs going overseas.

Perot may have been nuttier than a fruitcake in a lot of ways, but he looked like a modern day Nostradamus on that one.

Agreed.

wingnuts r hypocrites

July 31st, 2010
3:02 pm

Looks like none of Hannity’s jock sniffers who read this blog can explain how Hannity isn’t a total hypocrite for asking Congressman Weiner to commit to reading every bill, but not asking Congressman King for the same commitment when they were both on the same show.

WikiReeks

July 31st, 2010
3:13 pm

There is nothing in the collateral”murder” video that would or should bring indictment against our military personnel. If journalists choose to fraternize with terrorists they can expect to get lit up with those same terrorists. The Apache pilot who responded sounded genuinely sorry that children were injured. A brother-in-arms tried to alleviate his guilt by telling the pilot the kids were brought into the line of fire by the terrorists.

Much ado about nothing.

If Afghanis or those among our military are killed as a result of the leaked documents, it will be Bradley Manning and Julian Assange who will have blood on their hands.

Real American

July 31st, 2010
3:56 pm

Lil’ Barry Bailout
July 31st, 2010
1:47 pm
Agreed. Which brings up the question…why does Obama hate America?
________________________________________

He doesn’t, he just hates folks like you. So do I. kick rocks.

Road Scholar

July 31st, 2010
4:02 pm

History repeats itself.Do we learn? Oh, first you have to understand and not modify history to what YOU believe, but to what is recorded in books.

Cedric

July 31st, 2010
4:08 pm

One term limits or an overt revolution are the only options left as all else has failed. A staggered “class schedule” for the House (like that of the Senate) would be needed so that everybody doesn’t change at once. The current party system is broken and the taxpayer needs to be back in control of elected officials. Voting for the same old tired perps is a mockery and joke on us: witness 2008 national election and 2010 GA primaries.

Lil' Barry Bailout

July 31st, 2010
4:16 pm

Pretend American: He doesn’t, he just hates folks like you. So do I.
—————-

Straight, white, employed, debt free, not on any welfare programs…no wonder the Idiot Messiah hates me. As for you, envy is not an American value, so it fits you perfectly.

wingnuts r hypocrites

July 31st, 2010
4:25 pm

@Lil’ Barry Bailout

The largest intrusion of the federal government into local education? A Democrat president? No, that was a Republican, George Bush.

Ignoring the advice of military advisers and going into a war with no clearly definable exit strategy? A Democrat president? No that was the Republican George Bush.

Look, we expect nanny state politicians to do what they do. But how do you criticize them only, when wingnuts are so hypocritical in regard to their own supposed philosophies?

Algonquin j. Calhoun

July 31st, 2010
5:55 pm

Grand Forks, yeah it is personal idiot! Go fork off!

Algonquin j. Calhoun

July 31st, 2010
6:38 pm

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) went ballistic on the House floor Thursday over his Republican colleagues’ failure to pass a humanitarian amendment to the Public Health Services Act. The amendment would extend and improve health care benefits for 9/11 first responders who are now victims suffering from lasting health complications.

You’d think that as shamelessly as the Republinazis use the events and images of 911 they’d be willing to extend health benefits to the brave women and men who responded so selflessly to the great needs of those injured in the attack. Not so! As always, the duplicitous cowards talk of patriotism but gutlessly refuse to help the heroes they talk so glowingly about while campaigning for another chance to rob the taxpayers. Go to hell!

Lil' Barry Bailout

July 31st, 2010
7:45 pm

wingnuts r hypocrites: how do you criticize [Democrats] only, when wingnuts are so hypocritical in regard to their own supposed philosophies?
————–

I’m going to channel Kamchak here and challenge you to prove that I never criticized our President Bush for His education policy and spending or his prosecution of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars.

Didn’t think so.

Lil' Barry Bailout

July 31st, 2010
7:48 pm

Algonquin j. Calhoun: Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) went ballistic on the House floor Thursday over his Republican colleagues’ failure to pass a humanitarian amendment to the Public Health Services Act.
—————

Uh, Republicans don’t control either house of Congress, so please put the blame where it belongs, on the Democrats inability to craft legislation that can get even one or two bipartisan votes.

And please spare us the imagery of wieners going ballistic.