Small article in this morning’s WASHPO about how two Virginia Republicans in Congress have thrown in the towel.  Virginia Representatives Scott Rigell (R-VA) and Robert Hurt (R-VA) were both elected in 2010 when a whole bunch of other Tea Party adherents were also, which gave rise to the far right wing Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives.  Rigell signed a Tea Party pledge during his campaign to support Tea Party positions and Hurt, although a Tea Party conservative, was attacked during his campaign because he voted to raise taxes while serving in Virginia’s State Legislature.  Both are simply tired of the right wing Tea Bagger attacks they’ve had to endure while serving in Congress.   Both have had the audacity to vote once or twice against Tea Party dogma, and therefore, have become “persona non gratas” to the Red Blooded Crew.  Virginia is often cited as a “swing state” but it goes Democratic in Presidential elections only because of the Northern Virginia (DC) suburbs which are far more liberal than the rest of the state. Rigell comes from reliably conservative downstate district – Virginia Beach and the Eastern Shore, Hurt from a blood red Central Virginia district.  And yet, these two men are simply not right wing enough for the Tea Bagger crowd.

This, plus the dethroning of John Boehner (R-OH) from the House Speakership and the current struggles new Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is currently having with the Freedom Caucus members and the right wing rhetoric all the Republican Candidates are spouting that dovetails nicely with Tea Party dicta, and you might think that vast majority of Americans are Tea Party members or Tea Bagger supporters. 

In reality, however, despite the Tea Party’s (and the Koch Brother’s) stranglehold over Congress and despite the acceptance of Tea Party dogma not only at the national level but in State and local governments as well, among regular Americans they and their policies really aren’t all that popular. 

Here’s a recent Gallup Poll result:

So as of now only 17% of the American public supports the Tea Party.  In 2010 it was 26% and has declined steadily since then. 

Every Republican Presidential candidate is against any new gun control measures and constantly cites the Second Amendment as allowing everyone and anyone to own as many guns as they want to.  But here’s the real story:

In this Gallup poll, more than half of the American public, 55%, support stricter gun controls although this is down from 78% back in the killer 1990’s and before the NRA made gun ownership and total lack of regulation a matter of FREEDOM.  In fact, back then the NRA actually supported gun control measures. 

Or take taxes.  Not a single Republican candidate nor any Republican House or Senate member will willingly raise taxes to fund infrastructure improvements, reduce the national debt, or for pretty much any other purpose.  But here’s what Americans really think about the tax issue:

Once again, a majority of sensible Americans, 52%, agree that taxes should be raised on the wealthy.  But if you listen to the Tea Party and the Republicans, one would think that raising taxes on anyone at any time is simply a revolutionary act that Americans hate. 

Do Americans support the defunding of Planned Parenthood as Congressional Republicans have proposed and threatened to shut down the Federal Government (again) recently?   Actually, no, we don’t. 

Yet the House Reform and Government Oversight Committee chaired by Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) grilled Planned Parenthood CEP Cecille Richards for hours over the bogus charge that the organization sells body parts for profit without calling a single witness from the folks who created the videos that led to this hearing in the first place.

Immigration.  Listening to Donald Trump and the rest of the Republican field one would think that Americans want all illegal aliens lined up at our Southern Border and summarily shot.  But once again, the Tea Party line doesn’t come anywhere close to what actual, real Americans think about immigration.  See this:

So the Republican/Tea Bagger nonsense that passes for policy on the treatment of immigrants, bears no resemblance to what Americans actually want:  by 65%, a pathway to citizenship. 

So then when Donal Trump or Ted Cruz invoke the "will of the people"  they are in fact only invoking the will and the sentiments of a pretty small minority of the U.S. population.  Would we accept a similar situation if it was the the Oath Keepers or the National Socialist White People's Party who were deciding public policy? 

How, one might ask, are we deluged every day with exhortations to defund Planned Parenthood, shred gun controls, cut taxes, ban Mexicans, build an immigration wall,  when in fact the majority of Americans disagree with all these policies?  The answer is money; the ability to buy time and candidates; the ability to secretly sway public opinion; the ability to fund conservative think tanks that churn out bogus information every day.

Couple of days ago I posted a piece about a web site I stumbled across purportedly exposing the out-of-control actions and activities of a rogue Federal agency: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. [ROGUE AGENCY EXPOSED]   This is the agency that Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) created out of the 2008 worldwide economic collapse to protect us consumers from the predatory and illegal actions of our corporate overlords.  I mean that sounds like a very positive step to me and I was quite troubled by what seemed to be all of the horrible things that the agency has been engaged in since its creation in 2010. (Here's the real CFPB site:  CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU)

But with most such not-for-profit “public service issue information” web sites, the first thing I do is to determine who’s behind it.  Sometimes there’s a “Paid For By the Coalition for the Betterment of Society” or there will be the name of a Director, or CEO and occasionally there will be a list of Board Members. But on the “Protecting American Consumers” web site there was nothing.  No way to research or contact anyone.  I found this strange so I Goggled “Who is Behind The Protect America’s Consumers Organization” and the top hit was an article on Politico.  They too had researched the nature of this organization and discovered that the same attorney,  Steve Gates, who registers other Koch web sites ("Americans for Responsible Leadership" and "American Future Fund") for the Koch Brothers, registered this one too.  (Here's the link: POLITICO)

Since I did visit the web site for the piece I posted, this damned thing has since come up on my Facebook page dozens of times which pretty much tells you the insidious reach of the Koch Brothers in spreading mis-information and lies.   Each time I take the opportunity to comment along these lines “This is a Koch Brothers Funded Site and Everything It Says Is Unadulterated Bullshit” and then post it to my time line so that my friends know the truth.  And by the way, if you Google the acronym for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – CFPB – the first hit is not the Bureau’s home page, it is the Koch Brother’s funded web site.  (Here's the link:  PROTECT AMERICA'S CONSUMERS)

But you see, by the same means, (and the more direct means of dumping billions of dollars into our political system) the Koch Brothers and the Tea Party have so influenced both the pubic discussion of America’s important issues and has been so able to warp governance from local City Councils, to State Legislatures to Congress and has been equally successful in actually misrepresenting, indeed, masking, what Americans really think about these same issues so much that we don’t even know that the majority of Americans support Planned Parenthood, support raising taxes, support tighter gun controls, etc. in the face of this onslaught of conservative propaganda. 

So when I posit that a small minority group here in America, the Tea Party, is actually ruling the country, if from a distance and indirectly, this is what I mean. 

Have A Good Day!

PS: The far DC suburbs got a couple of inches of snow last night so schools in Fredrick County, MD. and some other places are closed today.  We just got a long, cold rain here in the city.   Yuck!


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