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On behalf of the Tea Party

I am the official columnist of the Tea Party. Of course, the Tea Party being the Tea Party, it will deny that I am its official columnist, which is proof enough, if you think about it, that I am the official columnist. I cannot really say so myself, so if you call me to confirm what I have just written, I will demure, prevaricate and possibly hand you off to my spokesman, who, being a spokesman and not just a man, will lie. Still, I am the official columnist. This I affirm and deny.

I can tell you the Tea Party official positions, although the Tea Party has no official positions. In fact, we are sworn opponents of official positions, although we do have them in an unofficial sort of way. We are opposed to big government, large government, huge government and government bigger than a bread box. We are also opposed to bread boxes, although I don’t know why.

I can tell you also that we feel passionately about the 10th Amendment. Others, I know, get worked up about the First Amendment -- free speech and freedom of the press (hiss, boo) and all of that. For others, it’s the Fifth Amendment and that claptrap about self incrimination (we feel that if you do the crime, you should do the time). And still others get emotional about the 14th amendment and all that stuff about citizenship. Okay, okay, but slavery is not an issue anymore. Hello?

For us, it’s the 10th Amendment. This is the one regarding state’s rights and people’s rights and how the constitution says that whatever powers not granted to the Federal government are “reserved to the States… or to the people.” I mean, what could be clearer? You see anything in the Constitution about bailing out GM or saving Citibank? You see anything about TARPs or carbon footprints? (Did Washington leave a carbon footprint in the snows of Valley Forge?) Back to basics, we say -- although we say none of this officially.

The Republicans want to claim us, but “Back off GOP,” we say. “Don’t Tread on Me!” Some of us also say “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too” although no one knows why. If someone claims to be our leader, we shoot him down. If some Republican says he’s one of us, he’d better be one of us. We almost won that upstate New York district. We put together Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts. We got Bristol Palin to take a vow of celibacy. We got behind New Orleans in last night’s game. We are everywhere. I am you and you are you and I am the official columnist in a very unofficial way.

No comment.

By Richard Cohen  | January 25, 2010; 9:35 AM ET
Categories:  Cohen  | Tags:  Richard Cohen  
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Comments

Richard, you embarrass yourself in such a column. Like the petite, beguiling skater who bears your last name and keeps coming back to haunt us with her prowess on the ice, so you too, put ink to paper (or is it now electrons to screen?) and banter about with nothing substantive. Your cloak of invisibility hides nothing.

Posted by: shangps | January 25, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Very funny!

You'll be rolling with laughter after the 2010 elections!

Not.

Posted by: jgfox39 | January 25, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Funny, Mr. Cohen, You nailed their incoherence quite adroitly.

Posted by: drindl | January 25, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen,

You used to write better columns.

I'm sure there's plenty of nuts in the Tea Party movement. Yet, for some, me included, it strikes us as outrageous that the government can bailout people who are already rich--Wall Street. It's no business of our government to bailout AIG, etc...or help/take ownership in General Motors.

Our government does almost nothing about all the people who come to the country illegally. Can any person anywhere just place themselves here and expect to become a citizen through amnesty? It's flat out outrageous that illegals aren't identified and deported. Our govenment has gotten way off track. And that, as far as I can tell, is the main reason for the Tea Party.

Posted by: SportingGoods | January 25, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"Our govenment has gotten way off track. And that, as far as I can tell, is the main reason for the Tea Party."

Oh sure. That, and the presence of the black guy in the White House.

The bailouts started under Bush. The illegals problem is not new. Yet there was no sign of teabaggers until Obama took office, despite the bleats from the teabaggers that they are "independents."

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 25, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Well, I am not too shocked by this column. Denigrating the people who believe the Nation is way off course seems to bring joy of the so-called "progressives." People do not like the manner in which, for example, the health care reform literally brought the government to a stand still, the back room deals that stink to the high heavens and the imperial swagger of the current administration intent on ramming their agenda down our throats. For Cohen the Tea Party Movement is a source of humor, for the rest of us, protest is an American value not a punchline.

Posted by: djudge1 | January 25, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I usually try and avoid personal attacks against columists, however much I disagree with their writings. But wow, you are an idiot. I've heard of phoning it in, but did you even try with this one?

Posted by: Bailers | January 25, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Typically sophomoric column, complete with all the staples of elitist, left-wing, ad hominem argument: condescension, sarcasm, ridicule, diminishment, false analogy and dismissal. And don't forget "bigoted," as per my old Webster's definition: "utterly intolerant of any creed, belief or opinion that differs from one's own."

Posted by: jidcat | January 25, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

jidcat wrote: "And don't forget "bigoted," as per my old Webster's definition: "utterly intolerant of any creed, belief or opinion that differs from one's own."
Bingo! Defines the Teabag.., uh, Tea Party exactly!
If you guys were honest you'd celebrate Obama's recent action to address Bank abuses and be up in arms about the Supreme Court ruling. Instead, not a peep. Just say it; the Country will not be on the right track until we get that "Negro" out of the White house and replace him with a good Southern White man.

Posted by: GabsDaD | January 25, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I no longer believe recent and frequent claims of elitism to be unfounded. Cohen's post is beyond clueless. His mocking shows he sees something in the Tea Party movement worth destroying.

The very fractured nature of the movement, as described by this column, leads me to conclude it is much more grass roots than I had previously suspected. The particpants may not be lock step with each other on goals, priorities, and motivations but they apparently share common anger concerning the direction of the country.

Why does Cohen insist upon denigrating democracy and diversity with columns like this. Perhaps the WP should consider hiring a columnist who praises diversity of thought rather than attack it.

Posted by: RedGreenBlue | January 25, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Oh, the teabaggers are more complicated than that.
For certain, there is a heavy dose of racism.
For certain, there is a big ol' dollop of conservative sore loserism.
Without question, it's a home for the people who think fluoride is a mind control drug in drinking water.
Finally, there are a few people who were upset when Bush and the Republicans busted the budget. Involved us in foolish foreign entanglements and hired incompetent political flunkies to grow the government but up until the racists and the conservatives and the Birchers got all steamed up, there was nobody to march with.
Now they've got friends.
So in effect, the teabagger movement is like a snickers bar. It's made up of a lot of different stuff, chocolate, nugget, carmel, but the only thing that really stands out about it is the nuts.

Posted by: dijetlo | January 25, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey liberal hypocrits.

Your hero was one of the biggest defenders of States rigths. Thats right you Hypocrits, Thonas jefferson was one of the origioanl defenders of States rights. But becaseu you are liberals.
1). I don't expect you to know ANYTHING other then the one line quotes you always find on google.
2). your liars and hypocrtis that do everythign to rewrite history to what ever is your fancy at the current time.

Me, I'm a conservitive. I HATE STATE RIGHTS.

State's are idiots. Bigger idiots then what is in washington at the time. They havent' a clue. We would be in a true civil war right now if we had followed the teachings of, thats right. Your heoro: Thomas Jefferson.

But wait, we would have nuked California by now. Made it a glowing hole in the earth. Crap, I take it back. i want stronger state rights. This way we can drive EVERY SINGLE LIBERAL in california into the sea to never be seen again. And to die horible deaths.

Liberals
your idiots
your liars
and your hypocrits

Posted by: LiberalBasher | January 25, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

One more note liberal hypocrits.

Thomas Jefferson was a true tradionalist when it came to the constituion. If it wasn't in writting, he felt that wasn't the goverments right.

But like YOU scum bags, he found out real life was harder then ideals. He broke his own writtings mroe then once.

Hell, just look at the Louisiana Purchase. Congress NEVER gave him the authority to spend that much money. He over stepped his powers as President. You lieing scum bags woiuld have impeached this man if he was a republican. Again, my point. Liberals are hypocrits and liars.

Posted by: LiberalBasher | January 25, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

dijetio, I liked Cohen's column until I read your comment, which I like a whole lot better. VERY funny, especially because it's very true, in my humble opinion. Thanks for a good laugh and something I will repeat to my friends. We will all be laughing.

Posted by: cms1 | January 25, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Lets get this straight....

The Tea Party "official position" is that the government should not have bailed out AIG and other banks, should not have helped GM and Chrysler, should not have reduced the over-all interest rate or done a stimulus.

So...the Tea Party is/was for unempolyment of 25%, a total collapse of the financial system, a steep increase in forclosures, the stagnation of the economy becuase there would be no money to lend, a new Great Depression, etc., etc. all so we can live with "government off our back?"

Hey, I hate Wall Street as much as the other guy (it pisses me off that the markets plunge daring Obama not to limit the size of the banks), but they had us by the perverbial male anotomy parts. What we need now is not less government but smart government to ensure the same situation doesn't happen again.

Posted by: smith6 | January 25, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Cohen -- you are whistling past the graveyard.

Posted by: pmendez | January 25, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Why did I just waste 2 minutes on this idiocy?

Posted by: wisemen | January 25, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

like bono and al gore,
you are given a voice,
and with mind empty,
you rattle on'
hoping for some divine inspiration.
some point of view,
beyond the white house press releases;
tomorrow,
how about you trash fox news.
Gibbs' may call you and talk
dirty, it will make your day'
as you have made mine.
thank you linus'

Posted by: simonsays1 | January 25, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I've been wondering exactly who was the official spokesman for the Tea Party movement, and also exactly what the movement stands for. I'm still wondering, but would like to pose this question: Do Tea Partiers believe in climate change and that we can create jobs by looking for new sources of engergy? Would they then be called the GREEN TEA party?

Posted by: Brensarg | January 25, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that liberal columnists can't write a post or a column that doesn't include some snarky reference to the Palins, mere et filles? They have absolutely nothing to do with the premise of this blog so why? Do you think it sells more electrons or gets more eyes?

It's nothing but a cheap shot and since it's about the daughter, it's both cheap and nasty.

Shame on you Cohen. You used to be better.

Posted by: bandmom22 | January 25, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen: Until you show us your birth certificate, and your grades from any college courses, we cannot of course allow you into the Tea Baggers. Say what you want, but we think you are an illegal alien, and therefore not eligible to be a Bagger.

Posted by: alamo2 | January 25, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Good article Mr Cohen. The Tea Baggers are a joke with a very distorted and selective view of events. It is quite obvious to anyone with more than a handful of brain cells as to what they are really about.

Posted by: JKJ88 | January 25, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I can hear your barney frank "slur" as you try to demean American patriots and citizens... who are only trying to voice their concerns.

You must be of the socialist or marxist crowd since you obviously hate Americans who try to tell their run-amok government to cool it.

New Jersey, Virginia, and Mass. all have a little Tea Party in them... have your fun now barney franks cohen.

Posted by: GregBoo | January 25, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

While it's easy to make fun of the Tea Baggers, Matt Taibbi is funnier as he just interviews one of them and reports their confused mindset. Our educational system has failed.

Posted by: Puller58 | January 25, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

What is the purpose of this drivel, Cohen? I've been reading your stuff for years, often with great interest and respect. This is garbage. Pointless. Did you get beat up at a Tea Party? Were you drunk when you wrote this? Does someone have a gun to your head and this was your veiled cry for help? Or, as I fear the most, have you completely bought into the Democratic Party's bloc of lies, the Obama Kool-Aid? You've read the writings of Himler and Goebels--I know that for a fact; but that means you also know that even though they tell you the lies so often that they eventually become accepted as "truth," they're still lies? You know that, right? Pull yourself together, sober up, or break free from whatever bonds that are keeping your intellect subdued....

Posted by: Greenwaver | January 25, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Richard,you nailed it but with a mocking tone. I am sorry for you ,being a professional and all. We are no man and everyman. We are here and there. We have created a force to be reckoned with. You can't touch us-freedom to speak-yours and ours-don't hate us for it.

Posted by: cmtfarms | January 25, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Our educational system has failed.

Posted by: Puller58

Cheer up Puller, I think the one uniting feature of the 'bagger legions is that they were all home schooled...
----------------------------
cms1: You made my day, thanks.

Posted by: dijetlo | January 25, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Hardly ever read Cohen, but enjoyed this one. Thanks.

Posted by: martymar123 | January 25, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Richard, Richard, Richard. It's not really that silly. Americans who are just totally and completely fed up with our out-of-control politicians aren't concerned about defining "Tea party". It's just citizens who have read our Constitution and know that politicians are defying it. Why don't you appoint yourself "Czar". That's popular these days.

Posted by: allamer1 | January 25, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

The teabaggers are unlikely to read the Washington Post. They are, for the most part, ill educated rubes who serve as "useful idiots" for republicans seeking votes. They would certainly be incapable of governing anything of significance.

Posted by: orange3 | January 25, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Well Cohen... let me get this straight.
-- The Constitution says you can't protest high taxes.
-- But is says it is a Constitutional right to have an abortion.

hummmm... hummm... lemmesee... 2+2 = 5, no that's not right...uh, all conservatives must shut up...no that's a little high handed (heh heh...true but what about the image)... hummmm ... how to spin this, gotta think, gotta think..

Posted by: wjc1va | January 25, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

What a dope. The Tea Party movement is the most significant truly independent political movement in generations. The best poor Richard can do is sorry half baked humor.

Posted by: jy151310 | January 25, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

the effectiveness or worthiness of the movement is moot and frankly a tired conversation.
The fact that it has stimulated such visceral reactions out of so many people makes it significant.
It can written off as a meaningless scatter of angry populists; but i severely doubt history will write it off so quickly as this column and many of the comments have.

Posted by: cperk88 | January 25, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

"I am the official columnist of the Tea Party."

Now that explains a lot.

Posted by: gary4books | January 26, 2010 5:39 AM | Report abuse

What a great parody of a clueless liberal...oh, wait

Posted by: ringo2 | January 26, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Richard Cohen may be the official spokesperson for the Washington, D.C. teabaggers, but we know he doesn't speak for teabaggers here in Florida because he didn't say, "I don't hate Obama because he's black, but because..."

BTW, I'm thinking of holding a tea bag gathering of my own where we will watch the John Waters film, Pecker, in which the word "teabagging" was first used outside the confines of the gay BSDM community.

We may also hand out some old Lyndon LaRouche literature and watch a few old anti-civil rights speeches that hammer on "states' rights" as a justification for racist laws and behaviors.

Would you care to join us as our keynote speaker, Mr. Cohen? We would be proud to have you. We will videotape your speech and post it on YouTube, which will help make you the *real* teabag spokesperson instead of just another MSM poseur making fun of a movement that has deeper roots in American culture than most of its member seem to realize.

Thank you,

Robin 'Roblimo' Miller
Bradenton Florida USA

Posted by: roblimo | January 26, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

For the Tea Party connoisseurs out there, if you haven't yet tried it, might I suggest hemlock...

Posted by: Byrd3 | January 26, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Cohen is not humorous, accurate or relevant on his tea party piece. What he does though is take the straight Party line against any position that does not genuflect to the current Oval office spin. So like press secretary Gibbs he attempts to deflect serious criticism by demeaning it. Mr Cohen and Mr. Gibbs, continue to do this - blatantly and badly as you do - and you will find your cherished Congressional majority relegated to an advisory rather than leadership position in November. And 2 years after that the rejection of your President as well, sooner if that were constitutionally possible. That is where they belong because sarcasm is no substitute for intelligence.

Posted by: mostberg | January 27, 2010 1:13 AM | Report abuse

OMG! Appallingly inane, tedious, and fat-witted. Does this man actually fancy himself amusing? I suspect brain damage.

Posted by: robmccarthy | January 27, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Forgot to add that the Tea Bag "movement" (yet another finagle from our corporate masters) is quite simply idiocy on steroids.
Cohen and the "baggers" deserve each other.

Posted by: robmccarthy | January 27, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

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