SHUSTER: For most Americans, Wednesday, April 15th will be Tax Day. But in our fourth story tonight: It's going to be teabagging day for the right-wing and they're going nuts for it. Thousands of them whipped out the festivities early this past weekend, and while the parties are officially toothless, the teabaggers are full-throated about their goals.They want to give President Obama a strong tongue-lashing and lick government spending - spending they did not oppose when they were under presidents Bush and Reagan. They oppose Mr. Obama's tax rates - which will be lower for most of them - and they oppose the tax increases Mr. Obama is imposing on the rich, whose taxes will skyrocket to a rate about 10 percent less than it was under Reagan.
That's teabagging in a nut shell. Taking its inspiration from the Boston Tea Party when colonists tossed British tea into the sea because the tax on it had not been voted on by their own duly-elected representatives - that's exactly the opposite, of course, of today's taxes, known in some quarters as "taxation with representation". But as New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman, points out today, this time, the tea bagging is not a spontaneous uprising. The people who came up with it are a familiar circle of Republicans, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, both of whom have firm support from right-wing financiers and lobbyists. As well as Washington prostitute patron, Senator David Vitter, who has issued statements in support of teabagging but is publicly tight-lipped. Then there was the media, specifically the FOX News Channel, including Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity. Both are looking forward to an up close and personal taste of teabagging themselves at events this Wednesday.
But most amusing of all is Neil Cavuto, a member of the network's executive committee. Neil's online bio says he joined the network in July of 1996, three months before the FOX News Channel went on the air. Cavuto, defending his network's promotion of teabagging said, quote, "We are going to be right in middle of these teabaggers, because at FOX, we do not pick and choose these rallies and protests. We were there for the Million Man March." Can we roll that footage, the FOX News coverage of the Million Man March backing in October of '95? [video static] Of course, the Million Man March occurred, as NewsHounds.org points out, almost a year before FOX News was on the air. We can only speculate why widespread teabagging made Cavuto think of the Million Man March, unless he got them confused with Dick Armey. And in Cavuto's defense, if you are planning simultaneous teabagging all around the country, you're going to need a Dick Armey.
These people need a new metaphor. Since the protests seem to have more to do with pork barrel spending than taxation per se, why not a new slogan like "Pound the Pork"? I look forward to Glenn Beck and Neil Cavuto touting Pork-Pounding Parties. In fact, that could be just what they need...