I just watched the “Tea Peter” episode of Family Guy from the tenth season. In general, I’m not that happy with the series when it does politics. Like most shows, it tries to have things both ways. Plus, I don’t think I’ve ever fully forgiven the producers for allowing Rush Limbaugh to whitewash his career. This episode was certainly better.
In the episode, Peter is running an illegal business out of his home that police shut down. This makes him angry, so he joins the local Tea Party group. It turns out that it is run by Lois’ billionaire father, just as Brian had predicted. They manage to get the mayor to shut down the government and then everything goes to hell. At the end, Peter gives a speech in which he replaces the government with something even better:
It’s pleasing, because I’m afraid that most Americans (not just conservatives) tend to forget what government actually is. But when it comes to conservatives, they have the market cornered in the business of discontent. They don’t like the way government works (Who does?!) but they want revolution rather than reform. This comes from the fact that they know that their ideas are unpopular. They can’t really work toward changes because “the people” will never agree with them.
My problem with the episode comes in its treatment of the Tea Party members. In general, they do not want to get rid of the government. And sadly, it is a whitewash to suggest that they do. What they want is to keep the government just the way it is and eliminate the programs that help “those people.” I’ve never met a Tea Party member who wanted to cut military, Medicare, or Social Security. Well, that and the national debt make up about 70% of the budget. And they are in favor of most of the remaining 30% too. So all their ranting about budgets is really just vindictiveness against groups that they don’t like.
I’ve been having a discussion about my video on Amy Kremer of Tea Party Express. For years, she has been making speeches and going on television talking about the budget deficit. But after all that time, it seems she has learned nothing of the federal budget. Most especially she doesn’t seem to have noted how it has decreased ever since we got a Democrat in the White House. If she really wanted what she claims, she would be a Democrat. But she isn’t. Because she doesn’t want what she claims. She, like almost all of her peers, wants to take money away from “those people.” And there isn’t a lot of question about exactly who those people are.
The Family Guy episode was inaccurate in another way. It aired on 13 May 2012. But it showed big crowds at a Tea Party rally. In 2012?! By that time, it would have been 8 protesters and 30 people from various news organizations.
I just found this great clip of Amy Kremer on CNN last year. She doesn’t know what’s she’s talking about. And the funny thing is that the question she gets about the $5 trillion Romney tax cut is one that I’ve seen her struggle with a few times. She just can’t admit that supporting Romney goes against what she claims to be for. And that’s because she isn’t for Romney because he would be better on the debt. She is for him because she knows that he is for the right kind of people and against the wrong kind of people. That’s it. This is what passes for a conservative activist: