Thursday, April 15, 2010

Like Taking Candy From Children

I feel a little guilty about posting these interviews with the teabaggers. But not guilty enough not to post them, because whether they are representative or not, they tell us something about the inner contradictions in the movement:

From the New York Times:

Some defended being on Social Security while fighting big government by saying that since they had paid into the system, they deserved the benefits.

Others could not explain the contradiction.

"That's a conundrum, isn't it?" asked Jodine White, 62, of Rocklin, Calif. "I don't know what to say. Maybe I don't want smaller government. I guess I want smaller government and my Social Security." She added, "I didn't look at it from the perspective of losing things I need. I think I've changed my mind."

From the Washington Post:

Johnson continued: "Normally I'm not a protester. I've got other things to do in life. I'd rather be doing all kinds of other things. But I just can't stand by and watch this country go down the tubes."

He said he "worked my way up from nothing" and was not about to allow "somebody else to reach in my pocket and just take it away and give to somebody laying on their ass."

Johnson expressed opposition to President Obama. "It's not just because he's black," he said. "I wish I could tell you that I loved this guy, that he was a great president, that I had faith in him. But I have none. Zero."

From the

Early yesterday morning, Valerie and Rob Shirk corralled their 10 home-schooled children into their van for the 2 1/2-hour drive from their home in Connecticut to Boston, arriving just in time to hear Sarah Palin denounce government-run health care at the tea party movement rally on Boston Common.

They thought it would be a learning opportunity for their children, who range in age from 9 months to 15 years old and who held up signs criticizing the government for defying the "will of the people.''

"The problem in this country is that too many people are looking for handouts,'' said Valerie Shirk, 43, of Prospect, Conn. "I agree with the signs that say, 'Share my father's work ethic — not his paycheck.' We have to do something about the whole welfare mentality in this country.''


For the Shirks, it was a day for their children to seek inspiration from Palin and the other speakers, who questioned Obama's patriotism and at least one of whom referred to him repeatedly as Barack Hussein.

The couple, who rely on Medicaid for their health care, were also upset about the nation's new health reforms.

When asked why her family used state-subsidized health care when she criticized people who take handouts, Valerie Shirk said she did not want to stop having children, and that her husband's income was not enough to cover the family with private insurance.

"I know there's a dichotomy because of what we get from the state,'' she said. "But I just look at each of my children as a blessing.''