In Captain America issue 602, the patriotic hero is investigating a right-wing anti-government militia group called “the Watchdogs.” Hoping to infiltrate the group, Captain America and his African-American sidekick, The Falcon, observe an all-white anti-tax protest from a rooftop. The Falcon tells Captain America, “I don’t exactly see a black man from Harlem fitting in with a bunch of angry white folks.” Captain America explains “that his plan entails sending The Falcon in among the group posing as an IRS agent under the thinking that a black government official will most certainly spark their anger.” The signs the protesters are carrying are “almost identical to those seen today in Tea Party rallies”
Marvel apologized, but I’m not sure why. Their impression of the tea party is one the tea baggers themselves created. There are various portions of racism, eliminationism, xenophobia mixed with a tremendous ignorance of how our government works. Its generous to say they are like kids having a temper tantrum. They do not care that democratically held election have consequences – they should still be in charge anyway. Its is a little overly simplistic to say the tea bagger Right is anti-government. They are very much pro Big Right-wing Government. The tea baggers are not all ten year olds, they are chronologically speaking, adults. They were largely silent for the decade that proto-tea baggers such as George, Dick and Newt ran and enlarged the federal government’s size and power.
After all, the reason the winger crowd can’t find a way to be coherently angry right now is because this country has no healthy avenues for genuine populist outrage. It never has. The setup always goes the other way: when the excesses of business interests and their political proteges in Washington leave the regular guy broke and screwed, the response is always for the lower and middle classes to split down the middle and find reasons to get pissed off not at their greedy bosses but at each other. That’s why even people like [Glenn] Beck’s audience, who I’d wager are mostly lower-income people, can’t imagine themselves protesting against the Wall Street barons who in actuality are the ones who fucked them over. . . .
Actual rich people can’t ever be the target. It’s a classic peasant mentality: going into fits of groveling and bowing whenever the master’s carriage rides by, then fuming against the Turks in Crimea or the Jews in the Pale or whoever after spending fifteen hard hours in the fields. You know you’re a peasant when you worship the very people who are right now, this minute, conning you and taking your shit. Whatever the master does, you’re on board.
That about says it. The tea partiers might mention AIG bonuses or be right about being screwed over, but who are they angry at. African-Americans, Latinos, low waged working class ( the poor), Muslims, women, gays. None of those people as a group are responsible for the mess the country is in. Many of us on the liberal spectrum wanted President Obama to seize the large financial institutions – like Saint Ronnie did the S&Ls – and break then up into smaller banks and holding companies. Yet Obama simply rebuilt the structural framework that will/is doing well and will continue to reap windfall profits while riding the backs of the average American’s labor. Most of America does not know what tea baggers stand for because the movement is so contradictory and eliminationsit; the tea baggers themselves have made it impossible to be perceived as truly populists – they exclude most of the population from joining via the eliminationist hate mongering and they continue to jump when their corporate masters say jump.
Some more signage from the tea baggers here. Marvel could have chosen a much more compelling and honest sign to portray the tea baggers.