Who is Behind the Tea Party?

JESSICA DESVARIEUX: Welcome to The Real News
Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. The government, the federal government, has
shut down, and we essentially have mass media portraying the Tea Party versus the more,
quote-unquote, pragmatic Republicans being the reason behind this big shutdown. Now joining us to discuss all this is Paul
Street. He is an author and journalist. And we are continuing our conversation about the
government shutdown. Thanks for joining us, Paul. So, Paul, let’s pick up from where we left
off. Can you just break down for us this divide between the capitalist elite? Who is actually
funding the Tea Party? And what is their agenda? And who is on the other side of that, funding
the, quote-unquote, more pragmatic Republican side? PAUL STREET: Well, you know, the Tea Party
phenomenon has always had a lot of money from oil and from more traditional nationally oriented
corporations. Military investors, oil and petroleum, small- or medium-size manufacturing
always sort of tended to be in the vanguard of the Tea Party phenomenon. The big elite interests behind both of the
parties, the ones with the most money, are more multinational and they tend to be more
tied to Wall Street, and they think more in global terms than in terms of the overall
health of the national economy. A lot of these elite interests, the very top sort of multinational
financial corporate elites on the Republican side, were willing to bring these sort of
shock troops, this sort of frothing base funded by the Koch brothers and the rest into being
in order to smash labor, in order to smash the welfare state, in order to go after Social
Security, and basically [incompr.] to undo the last remnants of a social and welfare
state, of the Great Society, of the New Deal, and so on, that’s fine, you know, willing
to sort of bring these people into being as sort of proto-fascists, proto-fascistic shock
troop. But at a certain point they go too far, and now they’re stepping back and being
almost sort of horrified by this Frankenstein that they brought into creation. I mean, basically
you sort of–it’s like the old the John Birch Society of the late ’50s and the 1960s now
has its own television network and its own talk radio network and this whole huge, vast,
well-funded foundation network. And those folks, those far-right shock troops, are,
you know, stand your ground. They are ready to go all the way to the wall and don’t seem
to [incompr.] to shut this government down in ways that only financial interests just
don’t find functional and in fact find dysfunctional. I think this shutdown right now that we’re
in, there have been 15 of these in American history, and they tend to be fairly sort.
And, of course, not the entire–the entire federal government hasn’t been shut down,
so-called nonessential services. It’ll probably be a fix of some kind in the not-so-distant
future. What I think really horrifies elite interests
is the notion that the right, in its ideologically, culturally driven paranoid obsession with
supposedly socialist Obamacare, will refuse to allow the raising of the debt ceiling.
And I think that’s when things really get serious, because then you’re talking about
the undoing of America’s status as the investment location of last resort for multinational
capital, and you’re talking about undoing the favored status of Treasury bills, and
you really start attacking financial institutions. And so, you know, the capitalist elite is
sort of caught in the conundrum, on the contradictions of its own cultivation of these horrific elements,
these paranoid elements who now threaten to bring down the whole house in ways that the
elites never had in mind and they’ve never wanted. And so you hear these sort of horrified
comments from people like McCain. DESVARIEUX: Okay. Then people like McCain,
they’re being backed by a lot of Wall Street interests. Is that sort of the other faction
that we’re seeing? What do they want? STREET: They want continuation and deepening
of tax cuts. They want a rollback of welfare state. Many of them are not pleased with increased
taxations on the elite to pay for so-called Obamacare. They tend to come from elements
of the financial elite that are not interested in environmental regulation or [incompr.]
who work to undermine anything about the deepening environmental catastrophe compared to climate,
what related to climate change, anthropogenic global warming, and so forth. But they don’t
want to undermine the full faith in the credit of the United States and to downgrade its
bonds and to make it a territory where holders of surplus capital in the Middle East or in
China or in Europe are reluctant to invest anymore and to stash their savings and to
really undermine the globally favored status of American capital. They’re going too–that’s
when they’re going too far. And so you’re are seeing class divisions of a sort within
the GOP. Much of their base don’t think about those things, don’t care about their things,
particularly those sort of white rural working-class folks who have been worked into and egged
on to a froth against so-called supposedly socialist Obamacare. DESVARIEUX: And let’s talk about that group
of people that you mention. You know, there’s this age-old question is: why do people vote
for those who don’t serve their interests, for example, like you said, the working-class
American? Why do they vote Republican, a party that is clearly against the interests of labor?
What do you see being behind that? STREET: Well, you know, we should not give
the Democrats a free pass on this, the Democrats themselves. It isn’t just the Republican Party.
It isn’t just the Tea Party and it isn’t just the Republican Party that have been moving
to the right. The Democratic Party has been moving well to the right and moving off of
Joe Sixpack lunchbox issues for more than 30 years. And the Obama administration has
been a monument to the captivity of both parties, to what Ed Herman calls the unelected dictatorship
of capital. It’s done very little in the way of backing up any of its campaign promises
to working-class people. Card check, labor law reform, so-called Employee Free Choice
Act, it did almost nothing for it. The minimum wage continues to linger well below anything
close to remotely adequate living standards. Most of the population actually wanted real
health care reform, Canadian style single-payer insurance, and has for many years. It did
not want this massive bailout and continuation and rollover of the leading Wall Street financial
institutions that just got bigger and bigger. So there’s this great big vacuum for working-class
anger that the Democratic Party in its move to the right, which has a lot pragmatically
to do with who pays for campaigns and what campaigns cost these days, that the right
has been able to move into and cultivate anger. You know, people are very angry [incompr.]
they ought to be. Four hundred people of–the 400 richest people in the country own more
than half of the wealth in this country. And Democrats don’t seem to be very good about
telling them about the processes that are producing that kind of incredibly unequal
outcome. The Republicans are very good at cultivating anger, even working-class anger.
They don’t tell people who’s really screwing them over. They don’t really talk about capitalism
and how it’s sort of involved in the upper distribution of wealth and income and so on,
tell them about that, but it’s very good at displacing popular anger and putting it on
against immigrants, against terrorists in the Middle East, against Muslims, against
African Americans, against minorities, against gays, and really diverting people’s issues.
And so you have these kind of culture wars in the political system with the Upper West
Side in New York and the lakefront liberals in Chicago and the Campustowns being pro-abortion
and pro gay rights, and yet nobody’s actually talking about Goldman Sachs and one’s really
talking about class and no one’s talking about how 1 percent of the population, you know,
owns more than a third of the wealth in the country. And so the Democrats kind of give
that up and the Republicans tend to take that over. And I think one of the things that definitely
drove the Republicans to take this insane gambit, which I think is going to work to
their disadvantage, just like the shutdown in the 1990s did, was a calculation, among
other things, that Obamacare is not particularly popular among much of the population, because
it’s not particularly progressive, because it’s bewildering. It’s 900 pages and very
difficult for many people to understand. And I think this was part of the flawed sort of
calculations. I can understand that calculation [incompr.] that led the GOP to think that
they could get away with this, ’cause the Democrats passed this very centrist and corporate
health care bill, not really what for decades American–most American–majority working-class
Americans said they wanted, which was single-payer. DESVARIEUX: Okay. Well, thank you so much
for joining us, Paul. STREET: You bet. DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on
The Real News Network.

About the author


  1. It is really easy to see why the UK political elite hang on to the shirttails of the US ruling elite in pursuit of sustaining the illusion of empire.

    Class divide is as real on either side of the Atlantic.

    Shame on America – leaders of democracy, land of the enslaved.

  2. Obama comes out and defends the Affordable Care Act touting it as a progressive piece of legislation emblematic of a change in politics reflective of the interests of the body politic writ large when it's the opposite; the bill was written by the Heritage Foundation, a RENOWNED right-wing think tank, and the insurance industry. Nothing markedly changes save YOUR FORCED TO BUY A PRODUCT FROM A FOR PROFIT CORPORATION UNDER PENALTY OF LAW THEREBY ENRICHING THE CUSTOMER BASE OF THESE CORPORATIONS.

  3. What I love most about socialists which judging from your comment I think you are is that they preach understanding for everyone but save their vitriol for anyone who even slightly disagrees with them. Why does this channel do a spot on who the Democratic party is supported by and I'll bet you they are one and the same. So for this poster I would say to any one who believes in LEFT/RIGHT is a dumb as a fence post and will continue to support their own demise while claiming to be enlightened

  4. This is some of the worst "reporting" I have seen in a long time. Where are the facts? Who is funding the tea party? Where does he get these statistics? They aren't facts – just feelings. Who is funding Harry Reid? Insurance companies and Goldman Sachs. Tea Party is the most grassroots funded political movement in Washington. A fact.

  5. Tea Party are dis satisfied neo cons …they attempt to beat their psychopathic anti-this and that rhetoric, and go have a microwave meal… I am for the second amendment, I fear these people as much as liberals, and republicrats…as evil as it sounds I do not think poor people should die if they cannot afford healthcare…and I am sure there are those that think death is fitting for those who are at the bottom…kill them you say…okay you pull the trigger…

  6. Funny. the idea of Social Security came from the National Socialist party or the Nazi's, and was part of the New Deal. Bernard Baruch who was a force in the New Deal was very interested in the ideas coming from Fascist Italy. so it would help if this stupid f#$k who is speaking understood even a little history. You will find Herbert Hoover didn't win support of the wealthy of America because he refused to go along with the ideas being pushed by the very wealthy of -socialism- absolute power

  7. I saw no trolling in his post. Perhaps your toes being stepped on and your own paradigm being rattled is what has you at odds with him and with the Tea Party.
    "man should look for what is and not what he thinks should be" – Albert Einstein
    “They must find it difficult, those who have taken authority as truth, rather than truth as authority.” – Gerald Massey

  8. TRNN really became a propaganda network, their last tree video are just bashing republicans…
    Who do they think financed Obama's campaign, who finance the liberals ?
    I'm a left winger from Québec, I would always be for public healthcare but Obama Care is an abomination.

  9. I agree with you. It seems both democrats (had ties to KKK in 50's) and republicans and the ignorant masses in all race groups are dangerous. In the future, after America falls from environmental damage, nuclear war, economic poverty brought on by capitalism, communist, fascist, welfare state dems and reps, people will look back and wonder how stupid we were. We have to find positive successful alternatives.

  10. It not socialism by far, but ironically people in the Tea Party call him one. Americans already pay 2x as much for medical care but are not receiving the services for it. Explain as a Canadian, how Obamacare is an abomination?

  11. Jonah Goldberg wrote, "Liberal Fascism" about how a lot of liberal policies were influenced by Nazis. The welfare system resembles what went on during the American and Islamic slave plantations, yet libertarian uphold that Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were idols of virtue, yet they owned slaves and were against democracy. They only wanted a republic (were only slave white owning landowners could vote not the mob masses nor slaves nor women, etc) I never vote for either party

  12. Ironically, the same one beating up on the poor are the same ones who want women to be forced to have children and they claim they are "Christian"

  13. Well all your medical fees are ten times higer than they should be. So how can the state provide medical care if they dont start by stoping this mafia and forcing them to make reasonable fees.
    Also to be eligible for this insurance you need to be a full time employee, so most of the employers will simply cut hours. How does losing ten hours a week and still not having free medical care will help the poor in a recession ?
    Obama care will do more wrong than good.

  14. I agree. Human evil is more complex than the leftwing/right wing tea party liberal conservative hypocritcal talk. Only idiots would be extreme by blaming one race or party for all the evils in the world. It also shows psychopathic tendencies and unwillingness to take blame for your own parties failure and your own fault for supporting either party that have horrible policies. I think humans love to enslave and abuse others and use religion, atheism, "ism" just to hurt others

  15. Unfortunately, it is the same in the UK, and the worse part, most ordinary people vote themselves into slavery, then wonder why, the so-call political elite become/are so morally corrupt!

    It is time, ordinary people started to think outside the box, out of their comfort zone, and fight back!

  16. Let's disregard partisan ideological quarrels, Americans should be infuriated by the ineffectiveness of our political system. Be it Democrat or Republican, we must come to realize that career politicians draft legislation on behalf of the entire populous; of which they themselves share neither benefit or detriment. Yet, members of congress will still receive payment, as their services are considered "essential." We the people are left to face the brunt and the shortcomings of our govt. inaction!

  17. Exactly, the ultra-rich elite are excellent about creating class-interest traitors. It is bewildering to me how low and middle class persons spout diatribes that really represent the interests of the monied elite. This is not just shooting your own foot, it is chopping off your own head!

  18. Only tea baggers get over zealous amount of media time over progressive protest. Like the arrest of the CUNY 5 whom where beaten on video by police for a peaceful demonstration requesting the demilitarization of CUNY and the involvement of Petraes as faculty.

  19. sounds like dems and repubs are one in the same! there are no parties just the eft and right moving us towards serfdom

  20. Thanks for this, Jessica and Paul. One thing: I would have had him specify what multi-nationals are supporting the Tea Party instead of a generalization. I do appreciate him calling out the Democratic party, too, for moving ever rightward and talking about how the Republican party is great at picking up rural voters by fomenting hatred against marginalized groups dissatisfaction with their spot in life instead of paying attention to the men behind the curtain.

  21. From now on you will distinguish that this republic has municipal, State, and Federal roles. Succinctly put, kiss my ass.

  22. Local, State, Municipal, State, Federal.
    Police, Water & Power, education, roads, sewage are all locally and state ran. Peoples of the country have flexibility in how they run these services as they pay for them.
    Dumbshit, you don't "buy" brains.

  23. Yes, if a local town wants a private fire department or security it is up to them. When a larger city deems it possible to have services funded by tax payers it is their right to do so.
    The Federal role in government is strictly defined. So yes, kiss my ass.

  24. The only thing that can help US health care is total collapse.

    "Lawmakers" announced today that they would forego their salaries during the government shut-down.

    This is not a very big sacrifice since salaries aren't the reason they are in Washington to begin with.

  25. The elite funded the tea party and now it's coming back to bite them in the ass… poetic justice at its finest 🙂

  26. There IS no Tea Party. They were all rejected / expelled to get fakers in who are just normal Republican retards.
    I can't believe other retards are STILL falling for it.

  27. no, the power elite funded the REMOVAL of the actual tea party people, just like occupy wall street protesters, so that only their anti-teaparty anti-ows types were in place as puppets.
    You can't seriously believe tards like Palin or Bachman are TEA PARTY, could you? May as well assume a rapist should run a women's shelter.

  28. if you go back far enough you'll find roads started with private funding & work, government merely used laws to stop people from doing that. At the same time they rapidly increased costs OF doing it. You probably pay 35% to 200% more for each road than if you just did it yourself.
    And yes, I absolutely plan to get 0 from tax-funded retirement. I merely see the truth: they are broke so that is the only outcome possible.

  29. All these six pack buffoons who think farting is a talent have to be rounded up and shipped to Novaya Zemlya

  30. geesh folks not being so new agie but if earth is a masters degree and we are all simply energy as spirit living in human form what gives seriously…keep it simple well try to.it's been all about for centuries to keep people in seperations by rascism creating seperation a false illussion, economic latter of a false llussion, keep people fighting by false reiligions (yes at their core essense but co-opted false teachings) to fight for their own god. guru wake up drop the dogma be your brilliance

  31. Practically everything Paul says in this interview is true yet I fear it will fall mostly on deaf ears. From an European political spectrum the Democratic Party is more right wing then most right wing parties in Europe. That in itself is saying something. In my opinion the U.S. culture of hyper-capitalism is going to rip itself apart seeing how even several right wing parties are divided and at each others throat.

  32. Seriously? You get away with bigotry here because people only spot it when you go after skin color. Regardless, you are a bigot.

    Your comment didn't even say anything… it was insecurity and ignorance wrapped up in sniveling complaint that amounts to, "Why don't those stupid heads let us repeat our ideas to each other without challenge?"

    God forbid someone not agree with you, and have the audacity to type it in your "safe space".


  33. '"To be a socialist(you remember) is to submit the I to the thou; socialism is sacrificing the individual to the whole" Joseph Gobbels I am sure a college educated person such as yourself knows this. '' "The individual should come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation, The unity of a nations spirit and will are worth for more than the freedom of the spirit and will of the individual" Adolf Hitler "We need to stop worrying about the rights

  34. of the individual and start worrying about what is best for society" Hillary Clinton " In America we have this strong bias toward individual action. But individual actions individual dreams are not sufficient. We must unite in COLLECTIVE ACTION build COLLECTIVE INSTITUTIONS and organizations" B Obama This I am sure warms your little socialist scumbag heart and you should he happy to stand with Hitler Stalin Mao Khmer Rouge No Korea and the balance of all the other evil in the world.

  35. Why would I read your profile. I read your words and know what you are; man woman it does not matter. but it gives you room for using big words like sexist or racist or any thing else that acorn of a brain you have can throw up instead of debating the topic. Typical of all socialists call someone a name change the direction of a debate so they do not have to defend their position with logic and reason, Insults are all a little person has and all you will ever have

  36. I'm centre right from Ontario, and I am surprised how much more some canadains know about the ACA than americans

  37. Does Real News carry water for the Left? I don't listen to it much so I don't know. The guy sounds like an ivy tower academic with no real sense of how the world works…like maybe the Tea Party folks are reacting to higher and higher taxes while we fund wars around the world? Nah, that can't be it.

  38. Blabbering
    Don't understand that guy
    R- party 8s about continuing raping of the poor
    They have so many factions
    KKK, right wing, reganites,they all come from out of GOP
    Who needs obama care ???
    Poor people, proverty black folks
    The anti union & labor party

  39. You could also blame Jefferson or John Stuart Mill or Ayn Rand or Andrew Jackson or the US Constitution, which is libertarian in philosophy.

  40. Both Party's sucks. but when listing all the democrats failings he seamed more nervous. Why? As bad as the republicans are, the democrats have done more damage to America than the republicans. No liberal wants to admit it.

  41. Uhoh. More of the evilleee Koch Bros hysteria from the hypocritical and jealous Marxist left all the while ignoring Left wing billionaire George Soros who funds many left wing groups.

  42. You conveniently left out the 18 enumerated powers provide for the common Defense and general Welfare that the goverment is suppose to spend under genius. Basically the FEDS just can't spend money on whatever they want to spend on. I know you didn't want to hear the facts but there is it. Nice try though.

  43. Ah, wasn't slavery upheld by the Federal government and then amendment anti slavery in the Constitution? Also didn't you're Progressive hero FDR intern Japanese citizens into concentration camps?

  44. Even with hundreds of discussions by the founders about the scope of the general welfare clause, you interpret it in a different manner.

    The constitution is a document of enumerated rights. It restrains the federal government and does almost nothing to restrain the states.

    If the "general welfare" clause meant that the Fed could do anything they felt could help the country, it is made meaningless by construction. No other clause or limit in the document means anything at that point.

  45. And it doesn't say Guns are allowed for the maintenance of a militia.

    The Federalist papers, the Founders and the Supreme Court in 2008 and 2010 say you are wrong.

  46. Libertarians aren't against the state, government and taxes… that's anarchists.

    Taxes may be collected as long as they are pretty equal. No special favors should be given to "special industries" for exemption or penalty, and I think most LibT's would be fine with that.

  47. You really don't understand libertarians. If you assume that libertarians are cruel or short sighted, you cannot understand the philosophy.

    Libertarians believe that a free market with very specific intelligent regulations and low taxes will raise the lower class out of perpetual serfdom.

    SOME LIBERTARIANS believe that, if you don't work, you don't eat… but in my experience they are few and far between.

  48. Consider the Libertarian Platform
    Pro-Choice – Also Liberal
    Against big business monopolies – Also Liberal
    Free Speech – Liberal
    Anti-War – Liberal
    Anti-Drug War – Liberal
    Anti-Mandatory Minimum Sentences – Liberal
    Pro-Immigration – Liberal
    Anti-Slavery and Anti-Debt prison – Liberal
    Anti-Bailout – Liberal

    And if they believed that centralized politically administered social programs worked, they'd be with you on that, too.

    A disagreement. Government Social Programs WASTE too much.

  49. You are on a quest to win an argument… but the difference is very, very, very basic.

    I think they are lying. I can prove they've lied before. I can point out several motives. For a bunch of Simps, the Media has made global warming a crisis, and the IPCC's own report shows a modest 3 degree rise over the next hundred years.

    We are a year or two away from fusion energy. Zero pollution. Complete fossil fuel transition… That will save us, if there was a problem.

  50. I'm not a libertarian.

    I believe that the people should be able to tax for the purposes of providing a social safety net.

    I believe that regulation of industry is crucial to a well functioning society.

    I believe that checks should be put into place to prevent the obscene accumulation of wealth.

    I'm more inline with the libertarians on one VERY key issue. Do not trust power. International corporations have poisoned the well. It's time to dig a new well.

  51. I gave the words of people who called themselves socialist and you are still stuck on believing that The National Socialist Party were not socialists. I was like you but the difference between us is when I actually researched this topic I had many incorrect assumptions that were put their by school the corporate controlled media and socialists college professors Read any book by Antony Sutton research professor from Hoover Institute or Prof Carroll Quigley they are pure facts not propaganda

  52. "Where is the balance in this real news ?"
    Show me the time in the history the economy prospered because of the gov. stop spending.
    If you do, then I'll show you the time economy prospered because the gov. spend a lot of money to hire people.
    Show off your knowledge of the history.
    Go ahead.

  53. Socialized healthcare in Europe was started by the USA for Europe after the second war…Do you think the Amero will be their solution to this fallout of corruption and greed?Sell us a North Amerikan Union Canada US and Mexico?

  54. This is an interesting example of how limited facts are used to assert authority & truncate arguments with Red Herrings… The gist of this video is to mildly assert that ObamaCare is unpopular, when it actually is popular to mid & lower income Americans (the one's who really need it)…

  55. The National Socialist Party sounds pretty socialist to me, but what it really was about came from Guido Von List who Ariosophy my cementing volkisch Aryan ideology together with Theosophy by way of Wodan and the old Gods of Northern Europe" anyone who understands National Socialism only as a political movement knpws nothing about it. It is even more then religion, it is the will to a new creation of man" Adolf Hitler.On October 2 1918 the sportswriter Karl Harrer a Thulist witnessed a

  56. machinist Anton Drexler ,address a public meeting at Munich's Wagner Hall. Within the month, Harrer at the behest of the Thule Society, co-founded with Drexler the Political Workers Circle the organizational nucleus of the Nazi Party.The goals Drexler expounded at the 1st meeting show what would become the familiar social rhetoric of Nazi Germany. The German Workers Party would work for ending divisive Marxist class war for making the upper class aware of its responsibility to the workers

  57. for elevating skilled workers into the middle class and expanding the middle class at the expense of big capitalism. Drexler suggested German National Socialist Party as the groups name. You see dumb ass I paid attention to what was going on but not in school where sheep like u and little pinky go to learn but to the library of congress different Phd thesis'Anyway these guys probably sound pretty good to someone like you you know socialists which will always lead to totalitarian gov't.

  58. "Private property" as conceived under liberalistic economic order was a reversal of the true concept of property. German socialism had to overcome this "private" property. All property is common property. The owner is bound by the people and the Reich to the responsible management of his goods. His legal position is only justified when he satisfies this responsibility to the community. (Ernst Huber, Nazi party spokesman; National Socialism, (Hamburg, 1939))

  59. The evil TEA party bereaves in: limited government, US sovereignty and Constitutional originalism. Compare this to the socialist/fascist principles of Germany circa 1939 (and President Obama today) posted below. Do you really prefer the progressive (fascist/socialist/democrat) idea of collectivism or the individualism of the TEA Party.

  60. BTW for the sake of full disclosure Old Paul Street is an anti-constitutionalist of Stalinist communist beliefs so if you expect honest evaluation from him is you are put of luck.

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