Astroturfing Populist Anger-How and Why Republicans are Tea-bagging America.

John O’Hara appeared on the Daily Show April 20th, 2010 to promote his new book, “A New American Tea Party: The Counterrevolution Against Bailouts, Handouts, Reckless Spending and More Taxes”.

Things went pretty well for the 25 year old Vice President of External Relations at The Illinois Policy Institute. But never mind that mouth of marbles, John O’Hara will have you know that he is just a garsh darn man of the people.

Here is the link from Huffington Post, Utube video could not be found.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/21/tea-party-proponent-john_n_546020.html

And O’Hara is the guy, along with Matt Kibbe of Freedomworks, who was one of the big promoters/speakers of the Washington Tea Party rally on April 15th, 2009, which is the big spring board from which The New Tea Party movement started. Of course at that time, there was much anger against the trillion dollar Bank Bailout and people were ‘up in arms’that the economy was in ruins because of something called ‘derivatives’.

Way back in the winter of 2009 Fox News was rallying their troops to combat the health care plan at those famous town hall meetings and negatively spinning anything that came out of the White House. ‘The Sly Fox’ was also going after ACORN in a big way, while trying to frame the financial crisis as a Fannie and Freddie ‘poor people are to blame’ narrative. This suits the suits, who get scared when the light is shone on them and their world. Think cockroach…but creepier.

And into the spotlight scurries John O’Hara, who has continued to be active in the media, mostly locally in Chicago but some national spots mostly on Fox. The 2010 rally in Washington was a bust, but many people turned out for vague anti-spending or anti-big-government rallies. It seems that the astro-turf that O’Hara and others have used to try and co-opt real people’s anger towards the government is not sticking so well. And it starts with the Santelli Rant.

That is why O’Hara’s ‘Daily Show’ interview is so important, in it you will see O’Hara distort the famous ‘Santelli Rant’ in order to develop a false back story for his subsequent promotion of the Tax Day 2009 Chicago Tea Party protests. The rant is distorted to frame Santelli’s anger as directed at the Banks and Wall Street when he was specifically and vehemently yelling about a bill that was designed to bail out homeowners who he accused of being irresponsible. Rick Santelli, CNBC Chicago Snake Oil Salesman.

Here is the famous’Santelli Rant’. Are he and his cohorts “a pretty good cross-section of America” as he puts it?

The quote that stands out here for me is, “Do we really want to subsidize the losers mortgages?”

That to me is the gist of it. In Santelli and CNBC’s world of stock brokers and cable news pundits who like to refer to themselves as “that good cross section of America”, well if you fall for their hype, and CNBC is the capitalist pusher of pushers…then you are on your own.

While I buy the nebulous theory of ‘personal responsibility’ for the most part, when you are talking about Main Street Banks pushing mortgages to people they knew would not be able to afford it, then you are talking about hiding the risk and dumping the damage on alot of decent hardworking people who aren’t aware that they are being set up to fail.

And that is just what Wall Street did. Big banks gladly got into the derivatives scheme and these portfolios were bet on to fail. That is what a derivative is, a banal attempt to cheat. The bank employee may not have been aware of what was happening, but the executives sure did. But according to Santelli we should, “reward people who would carry the water instead of drink the water.” You know, like those hardworking people who are busy moving money around on Wall Street and pumping up the volume on places like CNBC, they are carrying the water. The hardworking people who were sold mortgages they could not afford because of the Wall Street derivative scheme, they are just freeloaders to him.

Santelli emphatically talks about how dirty Washington is without a peep about all of the corporate and Wall Street money that is corrupting it. And the founding fathers that he mentions, Franklin and Jefferson were a very sophisticated lot who would easily have seen through this sideshow man.

But Santelli is the guy that O’Hara wants to point to as an American Hero, as some patriotic bellringer. And according to Santelli’s distorted view, Franklin et al, was just a capitalist who had little interest in the common good. Benjamin was all about manipulating the American people into making billions for corporations. Franklin wrote Poor Richard’s Almanac to manipulate the poor and working class, not to help them, in Santelli’s world. I think he is confusing history with gangsta rap, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby!”

Now if we compare the ‘Santelli Rant’ video with what Mr. O’Hara said about it on the Daily Show, there is a serious disconnect on Ohara’s part. Here is O’Hara spreading it thick to make sure the Astro-turf sticks. He is really good. Think Jimmy Stewart meets Karl Rove.

“I got involved in February of last year, after that ah..famous Santelli on air rant about you know he got up on the Chicago Board of Trade and started talking about the moral hazards of..of.a..bailing out irresponsible corporations. And..lot of folks, and he…he,called for a Tea Party, and alot of folks said hey why if we really get one of these together. And a couple of friends and I got on the phone and we were going to be in DC, and about a week later.”

O’Hara is implying that Santelli called for a ‘Tea Party’ in response to bailing out the banks, but in reality Santelli was ranting about the bailout of the irresponsible homeowners, not the banks. It was aligned to fan the Fannie and Freddie flames into a smoke storm so the corporate ninjas could disappear in the night. These people and organizations are playing a shell game with us, using the media which they partly control. And it does seem like a game to them, almost as if they are having fun. Damn those corporate ninjas!

Santelli talks about how corrupt Washington is without mentioning the lobbying efforts of Wall Street which led to the overturning of the 1933 Glass/Stegal Act, which led to banks getting involved in the derivatives market. It is complicated enough to confuse the average American, and the punditry are adept at manipulating the truth with a smile. They are paid very well. They need it for all their beauty treatments.

To corparatist, false libertarians like Santelli and O’Hara, using words or phrases that always seem to be slanted in corporate favor is a telling sign that they are professionals. For instance, Santelli used the word ‘Washington’ several times to describe the heart of the problem. Now, ‘Washington’ seems to me to be the perfect term to name the problem while taking the spotlight off of Wall Street. He never mentions Wall Street, or lobbying, but only ‘Washington’ is used, at least twice, as if Wall St didn’t own Washington, or at least greatly influence it. Gheitner, Paulson, Summers, these are all Wall Street guys who are in Washington to control it.

Using ‘Washington’ over and over conveniently hides the fact that Wall Street and corporate America are behind the corruption. Lobbyists outnumber congress 20-1, in Washington, but Santelli and O’Hara don’t like to talk about that too much. Yes, most people do know that ‘Washington’ is bought and sold by ‘Wall Street’, but the pundits strategy is to frame the debate in the right way, to help change the overall paradigm, slant it towards ‘corporatism’, where the only thing that matters is the bottom line.

These media massages push the argument towards the corporate agenda, while manipulating the public consciousness and debate to be more corporate friendly. For instance, the arguments for ‘individual responsibility’ are very persuasive, the concept is part of the socio/political landscape of American frontierism and heroism. ‘Patriotism’, ‘free markets’ and others are buzz words used to push the public to support things that they don’t really want. Think Iraq. Or Martha Stewart.

While there is of course much public anger at the government, the new Tea Party Movement which O’Hara is a big part of, is much more of a Republican right-wing sponsored and corporate funded front than a backwoods barbecue. They co-opted the anti-government anger and anti-Wall Street bailout backlash. But hopefully the backlash will backwash…are we tired of being Bushwacked and whitewashed.

They are hitching their corporate wagon to a populist star. While made to look like it is was about America and the “founding fathers”, it is more likely than not that the Santelli rant itself was a staged event. Probably part of a plan that was orchestrated by the Brunswick Group in tandem with Dick Armey’s ‘FreedomWorks’.

The term ‘Freedomworks’, gives you a clue to how they run their operation. Yes, ‘freedom works’, ‘freedom is good’, but also ‘freedom works’, as in to be free is to work. It is a double entendre which implies an American work ethic that the conservatives like to exploit over and over. It aligns with their so called values system. The more you work, the more freedoms you deserve.

Somehow the oligarchs found a way to convince the working people of America and much of the world, that wealth and beauty and fame are the end all be all to a healthy and vibrant society. The elites have used media and mis-education to promote their greedy and plastic model of living to a bewildered and befuddled populace. These modern day conservatives are adept at merging this with a fundamental view of Christianity where the Old Testament seems to usurp the New.

Jim Wilkinson and his Brunswick Group were the organization behind the selling of the Iraq War back in 2002. Things went so well of course that they were hired to work for Wall Street to do a make-over. Lipstick on a pig. Wall Street was concerned about it’s public image, “Damn that Gordon Gecko!”, and it needed to help stem the tide of public anger and alter public opinion in their favor. Wilkinson brushes the sand and egg off his face and keeps going.


https://jasondylan.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/man-who-headed-the-phony-iraq-war-campaign-is-now-doing-the-same-for-wall-street/

Back to John O’Hara though. His folksy stammering thing really amused me. After all this kid is 25 years old. Did he learn this stuff on a farm in a small town? Did he feed chickens, or is he just chicken shit? As it turns out, he went to Chicago and London schools and seems to be connected to FreedomWorks. Mr. O’Hara has quite an impressive resume for such a young man. He has been making the TV pundit round for a year now, defending and rallying the ‘New Tea Party’ movement that he claims was inspired to begin when,

CNBC business reporter Rick Santelli ranted from the Chicago Stock Exchange floor about the Bank bailout and called for a “tea party” in Chicago.” Uh-huh. Why shouldn’t we believe this hung over frat boy?

And the rant happened around the same time that the Fannie and Freddie homeowner fiasco was all over the news, and the Main Stream Media talking points were revolving around ACORN and it’s evils. To Fox, bake sales are communist.

Santelli seems to be channeling this anger, but for O’Hara and his cohorts in the right-wing noise machine this is the best they could do. Mr. O’Hara is groomed to be the heir to the Carl Rove Machiavellian everyday man. Good for him.

I checked out his website, http://johnmohara.com/ , and he has a bunch of Fox appearances of course, but the Newsmax video has to be the best. It is pure chicanery, but I suppose everyone lies on his resume. And if I were a right wing think tank I would groom him to go on the Daily Show and say things like, “Social security is bankrupt. It is essentially a Ponzi scheme.” This guy is bank.

O’Hara started out making appearances on the local Chicago news scene as part of the conservative think tank, The Heartland Institute. His main objective seemed to be getting viewers to align against a union, or tax increases. He speaks against nothing that would upset the corporate status quo. He likes to frame his narrative to look as if he is pro-middle class, when they all seem to be corporate points of view.

As it turns out the Heartland Institute, which is a conservative think tank in Chicago was behind the April 15th, 2009 Tea Party in Chicago. The Tea Party in 2009 was a politically staged event originally intended to launch a Chicago big wig’s campaign for governor. It was in concert with launching Dan Proft’s gubernatorial bid, but the Young Republicans were having a Tea Party of their own on the same day, with a ship and tea and everything. In the end Proft did not speak, but it all went down as an orchestrated event that wanted to hide it’s Republican ties. O’Hara was a big part of it of course, and his ‘friend’ at another right-wing think tank as well.

After all we are in the post-post-modern age now. We have Colbert, who supposedly not only appeals to ‘jaded hipsters’ but to conservatives as well, who see his character not as a parody of a Bill O’Reilly blowhard, but as a conservative who is just having fun, who is just entertaining. Serious cognitive dissonance.

I think conservatives like that Colbert wins all the time. Even if he is talking crazy, he is louder and funnier than the guests and though it’s absurd, it is all about winning. And this is the right wing strategy, to use absurdity to it’s advantage because winning is everything. Non true-believers are not privy to the truth, the truth that comes when you conduct foreign policy according to Revelations and conduct your private life like a Jaycee on crack.

The internets has allowed people who care enough to do their own research and want to connect with others and get to the bare bones to choose sides. Like making a gumbo. It is harder to hide the truth now, and this is why things are getting more and more absurd.

Obama won because people wanted positivity instead of negativity. People choose common sense and pragmatism almost every time when confronted with harsh realities. Hyperbole though wins every time when it is left unchecked. It appeals to fear and our worst qualities related to patriotism and socio-biological tendencies. So, now that the fear-mongers, who happen to be exaggerated on the Republican side of the aisle, find that the only way to win is with ‘absurdity’, we are going to see more unreal news.

After all, the whole media paradigm is skewed. The right portray the media as ‘left-wing’ when it is clearly not. To the right, The New York Times is liberal, New York is liberal town. Rudy Guliani and Mayor Bloomberg are liberals. Obama is a leftist when he talks about healthcare even though 70% of the population want Universal Healthcare, so he is actually to the right of them.

But the media frames it as a spy vs. spy cartoon.

The media is set up like a court of law, but there is no real verdict. Both sides represent their own interests for the most part, not many real progressives are even allowed in the MSM. You are left with a demented political version of ‘good cop, bad cop’ and the Republicans are willing to play the bad cop, so they get the juicier and more villainous role. But both sides are culpable.

So, in the post-Orwellian, post-post-modern age of disinformation and truth for sale and the propaganda machine in full throttle and threatening to take over the people’s last real form of expression-the internets, we are left with the emptiness of pageantry, the hyperbole of false drama and the cover up and obfuscation of all that is sacred. It is happening all over in this increasingly chaotic world, and I guess we will all wait for 2012 to see what happens. It is barely two years away and will be taking over the zeitgeist of the American political landscape very soon. You thought Y2K was big? Religion, New Age, Political Theater of epic proportions will run amok if allowed.

PEACE

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: