Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:00 am, in From the USW International President
In the early days, the iconic image of D.C.-hating Tea Partiers was a sign reading: “Keep your government hands off my Medicare.” Occasionally their protest placards added a little profanity to that directive. Right now, though, Tea Partiers should be cursing their Republican bedfellows.
While privately laughing at a group that would demand the government keep its hands off of a government program, Republicans propped up Tea Partiers, with corporate-backed groups like Americans for the Prosperous giving them untold millions in funding.
Tea Partiers, in return, took up the Republican attack on the Affordable Care Act, seeking to deny health care for 50 million uninsured Americans while insisting no one touch their health insurance – Medicare. Last week, though, the GOP threw Tea Partiers under the bus. And the guy who shoved first was Tea Party darling Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who proposed in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that House Republicans forget about defunding the Affordable Care Act and cut Medicare instead.
Soon after President Obama was first elected, a ragtag bunch of protesters, egged on by rabid right-wing talk show hosts, took to public squares with Gadsten Flags and signs protesting the Wall Street bailout, government in general and any attempt to cut Medicare or Social Security. Conservative, libertarian and business groups seized this opportunity, providing the supposedly grassroots groups with massive financial backing. (more…)