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Sarah Palin is a twit: There’s little doubt about that. A rich twit, yes, and a pantyhose populist to the uneducated, uninformed and ignorant masses that make up so much of the rabid right in this county.
Mostly, however, she is a symbol of how little substance is left in politics and a monument to the stupidity of those who foolishly believe that Palin — and the phony “grassroots” Tea Party that embraces her — is real or worth the time and attention that is wasted on both.
Yes, I know, Palin was elected governor of Alaska but the 49th state has a long and shameful tradition of putting flakes in office.
The sad fact that Palin is a phenom is a sad testament to a shallow, celebrity-driven culture. Polls show more Americans interested in the fate of contestants on American Idol than issues that affect the future of this nation.
In many ways, Palin’s emergence as the face of the Tea Party “movement” is perfect: A phony organization like the Tea Party needs a phony as its superstar. The Tea Party is not the “grassroots” campaign that it claims but a front for right-wing millionaires who want to push their agenda. The Tea Party grew out of Citizens for a Sound Economy, a fake grassroots operation set up in 1984 by David and Charles Koch, right-wing petroleum and energy magnates. It began life in a consulting firm in Washington, not from “grassroots” activists.
Now, as Politico reports, the Tea Party is run not by activists but by a slick, California-based Republican consulting firm who admitted in a memo that the party was a way to get rich.
Just days after the first widespread tea party demonstrators hit the streets a year ago Thursday, Joe Wierzbicki, a Republican political consultant with the Sacramento firm Russo Marsh + Rogers, made a proposal to his colleagues that he said could “give a boost to our PAC and position us as a growing force/leading force as the 2010 elections come into focus.”
The proposal, obtained by POLITICO, was for a nationwide tea party bus tour, to be called the Tea Party Express, which over the past seven months has become among the most identifiable brands of the tea party movement. Buses emblazoned with the Tea Party Express logo have brought speakers and entertainers to rallies in dozens of small towns and big cities, including one in Boston on Wednesday that will feature former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Aided by campaign-style advance work and event planning, slick ads cut by Russo Marsh, impressive crowds and a savvy media operation, the political action committee run by Wierzbicki, Russo Marsh founder Sal Russo and a handful of other Republican operatives has also emerged as among the prolific fundraising vehicles under the tea party banner. Known as Our Country Deserves Better when it was founded during the 2008 election as a vehicle to oppose Barack Obama’s campaign for president, the PAC saw its fundraising more than quadruple after it took the Tea Party Express public in July, raising nearly $2.7 million in roughly the following six months, compared with less than $600,000 in the preceding six months, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
This kind of activity is “business as usual” for political consultants and fake grassroots operations like the Tea Party. During my foray into the dark side of politics inWashington, I worked for a while for The Eddie Mahe Company, a top GOP consulting firm. The firm helped business and industry groups create a number of fake grassroots groups, including Citizens for a Sound Economy — which later spawned the Tea Party.
Some say Tea Party is a “real movement.”
It’s not. The only real movement I’ve seen in modern-day America is the one that empties your bowels.