Datacide 12 – News Pt.2 – American Radical Right and the Tea Party Movement

Update on the American Radical Right and the Tea Party Movement
Attempting to ride the wave of radical right and evangelical supporters central to the Tea Party protests, both Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul ran for the republican nomination for presidency in 2012.  Bachmann’s campaign lasted only seven months. Ron Paul announced that he would not seek reelection to his US House of Representatives seat in Texas’ 14th district in order to focus on his 3rd presidential campaign. The presidential campaigns of Paul and Bachmann demonstrated once again that the TPM is not separate from or in opposition to the Republican Party, but rather a mechanism to channel public support towards republican causes, ideology, and the party hierarchy. With Ron Paul out of Congress in late 2012, it remains unclear how the Libertarian Party and numerous Ron Paul organizations, PACs, etc will continue to function and who will take over the so-called Ron Paul Revolution. A prime contender is clearly the so-called Tea Party Senator of Kentucky, Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul.
The Arizona 1070 bill, heavily supported by the TPM, republicans, and libertarians, established in April 2010 some of the harshest “illegal” immigration restrictions. [Read more →]

From Conspiracy Theories to Attempted Assassinations: The American Radical Right and the Rise of the Tea Party Movement

Introduction

Contemporary American politics initially appears to have achieved unprecedented diversity in its representation of the present demographics of society: Barack Obama is the first African American U.S. president, while in the 111th Congress (Jan. 3, 2009-Jan. 3, 2011) Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Barney Frank (D-MA) was the first openly gay chair of the House Financial Services Committee. However, Obama’s ascension to the presidency in January 2009 was a moment of extreme contradictions. On the one hand, liberals and the progressives, the so-called “left”, embraced the mainstream, centrist agenda of the Obama administration. Conversely, this was also period when far right hate groups and the armed “patriot” movement dramatically increased. With the rise of the Tea Party “Movement” (TPM) to national prominence, Obama and Pelosi have been made into caricatures representative of a variety of “evil” and conspiratorial elements in society by the right’s mainstream and radical media. However, the radical right’s fear of the loss of the white demographic majority in America that is fueling the TPM is not an actual reality in the 111th Congress, which is made up of 100 Senators and 435 House representatives. There were only 17 women, 1 African American, zero Hispanic Americans, and 3 Asian Americans in the Senate, while the House was made up of 73 women, 42 African Americans, 27 Hispanic Americans and 6 Asian Americans, despite the fact that US population is (approximately) more than 50% female, 15.8% Hispanic American, 12.4% African American, and 4.4% Asian American. The issue of representation is further called into question when addressing the economic disparities between Congress and the average US population. 261 members or half of Congress are millionaires, and 55 members are worth more than $10 million. In 2009, the median wealth of a House member was $765,010, while the median wealth for a senator was nearly $2.38 million.i [Read more →]