How many responses does the Republican Party need?
The State of the Union address is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. It is not a time for campaigning, or counter-campaigning. It is a time for the President to address Congress with the current state of affairs and “recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Congress does not have to agree with him. There is no rebuttal called for in the Constitution because it is not a debate, merely a report.
The problem is encouraged by the 24 hour news cycle on American cable television. This age of information has turned everything into a debate. The really odd thing happening now is that the Republicans want two rebuttals, the first being the standard Republican response and a second Tea Party response for those with a weaker grasp on math, history, and the concept of idividualism.
The Tea Party is a “leaderless movement” which tries to push forward traditional American values such as individual freedom, homophobia, racism and cutting taxes for the rich. The hypocrisies of this group are not limited to their message, they begin with their name. To explain this we need to delve into history.
The Boston Tea Party is an historical event well known in the United States as a catalyst which led to the American Revolution. What most people don’t know is what it was really about. The modern day Tea Party only knows the simplified children’s version of the story, the rebels were protesting taxes. That is true, but not nearly in the way that modern conservatives think.
The Boston Tea Party was not merely protesting taxes. What they were protesting was the tax favors the crown gave to the East India Trading Company. There were definitely exorbitantly high tariffs on this tea that the colonists were required to pay, but it is dishonest to claim they were simply protesting taxes. What they were protesting was taking tax obligations away from corporations and placing the burden on the colonists instead.
In short, the Occupy Wall Street movement has more in common with this famous moment from America history than the rag-tag group of uneducated, science denying bigots that make up the modern day Tea Party.