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Not really. “Rebellion” would involve doing something active against the government and it’s interests, and that isn’t what’s happening. What the Tea Parties represent is something much better: American’s excercising their right to disagree with their government. Rather than rebellion, this is some wonderful mainstream Americanism.

The Tea Partiers have a definite point. They have chosen an unfortunate name, as their particular gripe has about zero to do with the historical Boston Tea Party, but that’s marketing and as such is beyond the realm of accuracy. They also have an unfortunate and disturbing tendency toward shrill hysteria and just plain bad taste. All the signs depicting President Obama as Hitler or as a witch doctor are not doing anything to play down their image as a bunch of uneducated rednecks.

But their point is well taken. The government can’t spend its way out of an economic crisis. And as badly as this country needs sweeping and radical health care reform, it’s doubtful that can be achieved through “savings” such reform will bring to the current system. When it comes to putting forward good ideas both of the Big Two parties are infamously incompetent. They have to balance actual solutions against all that lobbyist money they have already spent. And they have to somehow stay in office. So the game is to keep the money while giving the appearance of actually doing something.

Then there are the downright dirty tricks. This was the case when the Bush administration spent nearly a trillion dollars bailing-out failing companies just weeks before leaving office. Not only was this a freebie to corporate supporters, but it was an obvious ploy to deepen the economic problems the incoming administration would inherit. As if the Bush folks hadn’t already driven the deficit to historic highs. So it was more than a little surprising when the Obama administration championed the same bizarre policy, throwing away hundreds of billions more on propping-up obviously corrupt and incompetent management communities in the manufacturing and financial sectors. It’s as if they thought we weren’t screwed enough.

Everyone should support the Tea Partiers right to gather and express their opinions, no matter how crudely they go about it. As long as they don’t break any laws and are peaceable in their actions, and they pay for their own security and clean-up (something that is questionable in the D.C. mega-Party case), they should be considered an example of what American politics and freedom of expression are all about. The fact that they have a good point is just icing on the cake.

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