Tomorrow, apparently, many Republicans who don't understand contemporary slang are planning to spend the day teabagging. I'll leave the double entendres for Rachel Maddow and Ana Marie Cox. The real point is, these people are planning to collect tea bags to send to President Obama, in protest.
In protest, though, of what?
The Boston Tea Party we all learned about in grade school was in protest of taxation without representation. We have a representative government now. Those people in Congress, good or bad, Gabrielle Giffords or Michelle Bachman, were elected to represent us. So are they protesting their own elected representatives in Congress?
Most of the ire seems to be directed at President Obama, though. Why? He hasn't raised anybody's taxes. The only bit of tax policy he has enacted so far has been a tax cut for 95% of Americans. A couple of years off, he'll let Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire on schedule, which will be a tax increase--to a top rate about 10% lower than it was under their hero, President Reagan.
Other than that tax cut for most of us, the taxes that the tea partiers are protesting were established by George W. Bush and a Republican Congress. There would have been plenty of reason to protest that gang, but they're out of office now, for the most part.
Are they really protesting the stimulus? Maybe they're in favor of the GOP's proposed spending freeze. Because that's a good way to perk up an economy in which the crux of the problem is that no one is spending any money. Anyone who thinks a spending freeze will do anything except turn a recession into a depression hasn't studied economics, or history, or spent more than ten seconds considering reality.
So really, it's like Paul Krugman says: this whole thing is nonsense, a few right wingers and Fox News stirring up the know-nothings who still pay attention to them, in order to boost Fox's ratings for the day and to make those behind it feel important, when history and America have passed them by.
If anything worthwhile comes of it, it'll be a temporary profit center for the tea industry. If you want to share in it, buy Lipton stock, quick! But then sell on Friday morning.