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Rob Kailey is a working schmuck with no ties or affiliations to any governmental or political organizations, save those of sympathy.

A Tea Party for Redcoats

by: Jay Stevens

Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 12:50:51 PM MST


Rick Santelli's "Chicago Tea Rant" is the buzz of the righties lately. Michelle Malkin seems especially keen to turn the comments into a "movement" -- although it's kind of weird thinking of building a grassroots movement around a television pundit and room full of stock traders.

Naturally, others have been here already. Some of the better quotes:

Sirota:

Check out this clip from CNBC, where the network's correspondent, Rick Santelli, is literally on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange surrounded by multimillionaire traders railing on the Obama administration for trying to help struggling homeowners, and berating people who are getting foreclosed on as "losers." Santelli is praised as a supposed "revolutionary" and the mob of financial elites around him is whooping and hollering, pretending to be a populist mob of regular Joes...

Hullabaloo's dday:

The revolution has begun. These workaday stock traders are going to take back this country for the laissez-faire capitalists who are entitled to it.

Steve Benen:

No wonder some of the less sensible among us fell in love with Santelli's faux-populism. It's the precisely the kind of class warfare Republicans have always dreamed of -- the wealthy whining incessantly about struggling families getting to keep their homes.

Obama press secretary, Robert Gibbs:

I've watched Mr. Santelli on cable the past 24 hours or so. I'm not entirely sure where Mr. Santelli lives or in what house he lives but the American people are struggling every day to meet their mortgages, stay in their jobs, pay their bills, send their kids to school....I think we left a few months ago the adage that if it was good for a derivatives trader that it was good for Main Street. I think the verdict is in on that...

John Cole:

Yes, there is a simmering discontent and anger out there, and clearly the Republicans are going to try to tap into it, but the problem for Santelli and his crowd is that the anger is not directed at the people who are losing their homes, but at the people Santelli spends every day rubbing shoulders with at the trendy Chicago restaurants the brokers go to these days.

The audacity of Santelli's "revolt" is that a mere 75 billion is being spent to help struggling families repackage loans- a pittance in the terms of the gargantuan amount of money being thrown at the banks, the Wall Street wizards, and the rest of the rocket scientists who are the root of this problem....

Santelli, who is kind of the CNBC version of a right-wing Cafferty, better be careful where he leads his mob with their chants of "Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité," because before he knows it, he could be looking down on the mob not as a leader but from his new position mounted at the end of a pike.

That's been the most pervasive slant of the "Tea Party" rant, a cry of disgust that the very same people who got us into this mess are now donning "ordinary joe" garb and leading a "revolt" of the clueless and the wealthy! While this may actually be true, I think Kevin Drum's a little more accurate on how Santelli's revolt might resonate:

It's not fair to say that these folks only get upset when it's homeowners being bailed out. After all, there's been plenty of righteous fury over the bank bailouts too. But there's definitely a different sense to this: it's closer, more personal. Wall Street being bailed out is one thing: it's infuriating, but in the end you just shrug your shoulders and figure this is the way the world works. But homeowners? Your neighbors? The guy who installed fancy granite countertops and a new wet bar and then mocked you for carefully husbanding your money instead of living the good life? He's going to get bailed out? WTF?

This has always been the soft underbelly of bailing out homeowners. It's a good idea both on broad economic grounds and on social justice grounds, but the fact is that there's no way to make it 100% fair. There are going to be some people who get government help who don't deserve it. And some of those people aren't going to be bankers a thousand miles away, they're going to be people you personally know and loathe. And that's hard to take.

H*ll, Santelli's basically just respinning "The Ant and the Grasshopper." While a crude distortion, to say the least, of the current housing crisis, it resonates on a primal level, and it taps human nature. It's easier and more common to hate your neighber than it is to hate an institution.

Stop me if you've heard this one before, but Santelli's revolt reminds me of an old Russian joke about the farmer who's neighbor owned a beautiful, fat, and productive milk cow, where he had none. One day he found a lamp, rubbed it, and discovered a genie inside, who gave the farmer a wish for freeing him.

"See that cow over there, in my neighbor's farm?" said the farmer.

"You want one just like it?" asked the genie.

"No," said the farmer, "I want you to kill it."

And that's the way it goes, that's the way the conservative machine has operated over the last 30 years, by driving political wedges between neighbors and turning them on one another while they spirit away  progressive reforms that protect the very people they rile up.

Jay Stevens :: A Tea Party for Redcoats
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Another applicable story (0.00 / 0)
It might be time for some folks to review the tale of the prodigal son, in the gospel of Luke.  There are two points to the story, the first being the most obvious a parable of God's forgiveness.  The important part to this discussion is the back-story of the resentment displayed by the good son, the one who did not stray.

Doing the good and right thing is it's own reward.  Resenting others because they are offered help only calls into question whether you were doing the right thing at all.


Except in that case (0.00 / 0)
It was a father (and the father's money) that was at issue.

In this case, we're forced into propping up strangers and their poor decisions.

- Keeping the Left honest since 2001


[ Parent ]
Re: A Tea Party for Redcoats (1.00 / 1)
although it's kind of weird thinking of building a grassroots movement around a television pundit and room full of stock traders.

Do you even know what you're talking about here? Santelli was a trader for a number of years and now is one of the smartest minds in business journalism. Those "multimillionaire traders" surrounding Santelli, leave it to Sirota (and those wishing to give a rim job to the progressive movement) to continue the oh-so popular class-warfare meme, are literally average working Joe's who punch the clock and hope for some overtime now and again. But what the hec, let these "multimillionaire traders" he happy they're going to see $13 more per week in their pay check as part of Obama's economic stimulus plan...at least they actually contribute something to society as a whole...though I'm sure blogging has it's perks as well.


I wouldn't call what Santelli was doing (0.00 / 0)
on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile "business journalism." It was anything but journalism. It was partisan, ideological demagoguery. Even if you believe he is one of the  "smartest minds", that doesn't mean that his brand of "smarts" is good for the country. Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Hank Paulson were some of the "smartest minds."

No, Wulfar has it exactly right. The hypocrisy of the right, after hiding behind their faux-christian parody, is revealing its anti-christian principles in its contempt for their neighbors.

Fortunately, Santelli's charades are made for cable news, and intended to get a few moments of attention in the daily news cycle. His, and other right-wing misplace outrage is just the death knell of the republican rump as it further buries itself in political irrelevancy.

Santelli has traded in his journalistic creds to become a cheerleader for the failed politics and economics of the past. Good riddance.


[ Parent ]
Precisely (0.00 / 0)
You're comment, rich is precisely the classist trope that Jay was pointing to.  According to you, these traders are somehow more productive than bloggers (the vast majority of whom also contribute to the economy in a variety of ways..)

Do you even know what you're (Jay) talking about here?

Well let's us see.

Santelli was a trader for a number of years and now is one of the smartest minds in (TV) business journalism.

He just ranted his opinion on air.  Is that journalism?  Hardly.  That's editorial.  So he's now a television pundit, exactly as Jay said he was.  Jay 1, Rich 0.

Those "multimillionaire traders" surrounding Santelli, ...  are literally average working Joe's who punch the clock and hope for some overtime now and again.

Your quote attributes to Jay something he never wrote.  Out of context fallacious attribution is a penalty point.  Jay 1, Rich -1.

But what the hec (sic), let these "multimillionaire traders" he happy they're going to see $13 more per week in their pay check as part of Obama's economic stimulus plan

Again, completely out of context to the discussion of mortgage bailout.  Jay 1, Rich -2.

at least they actually contribute something to society as a whole

Complete failure to expose what 'they' contribute to society with disregard to the fact that they have helped enable our current economic malaise.  Another penalty point for classist Ad Hominem allusion.  Jay 2, Rich -3.  

though I'm sure blogging has it's perks as well.

Failure to define perk.  Point to Jay.  Jay 3, Rich -3.

Sorry, pal.  It looks for all the world like Jay just whipped your ass by 6 points.  Game over.


[ Parent ]
re: Precisely (0.00 / 1)
He just ranted his opinion on air.  Is that journalism?  Hardly.  That's editorial.  So he's now a television pundit, exactly as Jay said he was.  Jay 1, Rich 0.

If that's the case then I suppose the mainstream media in it's entirety could simply be dismissed with the wave of Wulfgar's magic wand as part of the punditocracy.

Your quote attributes to Jay something he never wrote.  Out of context fallacious attribution is a penalty point.  Jay 1, Rich -1.

I indicated Sirota wrote that, but it's certainly a line of thought others have picked up and are running with. Make this about Santelli and "multimillion dollar traders" and you win. You know, at some point you're going to have to ditch the cloak of a frustrated college forensics student...

Again, completely out of context to the discussion of mortgage bailout.  Jay 1, Rich -2.

Check back in a year, hec, I'll double down and give you two, and we'll see how the stimulus and mortgage bailout has helped...or hurt, the economy as a whole.

Complete failure to expose what 'they' contribute to society with disregard to the fact that they have helped enable our current economic malaise.  Another penalty point for classist Ad Hominem allusion.  Jay 2, Rich -3.  

So, by simply working as paper jockey's on a trading floor they've "helped enable our current economic malaise?" I suppose the UAW auto worker in Detriot, or elsewhere, has also helped contribute to the same malaise by building a piece of crap car no one wanted to buy...or by opting in to the 30 and out rule to retire at age 48 with full benefits and a life long pension...therefore bankrupting the very company they work for.

Failure to define perk.  Point to Jay.  Jay 3, Rich -3.

Perk...sitting in your living room in Erie, PA, unemployed, but dreaming of the ways others can support you in your hobby.



[ Parent ]
Have at you then, kitten (0.00 / 0)
If that's the case then I suppose the mainstream media in it's entirety could simply be dismissed with the wave of Wulfgar's magic wand as part of the punditocracy.

I referred to a very specific case, as you did originally.  Now, you make a general claim and shed responsibility for it.  That's weak.  Minus another point to Rich.

I indicated Sirota wrote that,

No, you didn't.  Though you took after Sirota for attracting sycophants, you attributed the quote to Jay.  A blatant lie is another penalty point. You're going down faster by the minute.

You know, at some point you're going to have to ditch the cloak of a frustrated college forensics student...

Nonsensical.  I'm not in college and you are simply wrong.  It takes no forensics to discern that. Minus another to Rich.

Check back in a year, hec, I'll double down and give you two, and we'll see how the stimulus and mortgage bailout has helped...or hurt, the economy as a whole.

We'll see.  But that doesn't change the fact that you equated the economic stimulus with an as yet un-passed mortgage bail out.  You are still losing, Rich.

So, by simply working as paper jockey's(sic) on a trading floor they've "helped enable our current economic malaise?"

Traders are simply paper jockeys.  That's a bold-faced lie, but good to know.  I'll even give you a point for such insane mis-characterization.  That still leaves you well behind.

I suppose the UAW auto worker in Detriot, or elsewhere, has also helped contribute to the same malaise by building a piece of crap car no one wanted to buy

Hmm, 'I was only following orders'. I thought we settled that at Nuremberg.  Autoworkers build cars.  Traders trade.  One has gotten us into a financial market crisis, and the other built cars.  Santelli went off the deep end about ... which exactly?  Oh yeah, those trader folks who have to pay for their mistakes.

Perk...sitting in your living room in Erie, PA, unemployed, but dreaming of the ways others can support you in your hobby.

Repeated Ad Hominem.  Minus another point.

Rich, you are losing badly.  You are wrong on every level.  You are attacking personally people whom you have no effect or control over, and you are defending the very people who want us to pay for their mistakes.  You might want to give it up at this point.


[ Parent ]
I'm unemployed? (0.00 / 0)
Is there something you know that I don't?

[ Parent ]
Let's remove the gross ignorance from this conversation (0.00 / 0)
Sirota - and everyone else who thinks the crowd behind Santelli are rich.

Rick Santelli, is literally on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange surrounded by multimillionaire traders...

First, obviously very few people know how the market works.  This was before the open and the guys that were behind Santelli were anything thing but "multimillionaire traders."  At that time of day the guys at the desk are trade checkers, out-trade clerks, trading assistants, and maybe a few floor brokers.  Most of these guys, and I probably know 100 of them, are - as they would say in Chicago - regular guys.  Guys who make maybe $50K a year in a pressure cooker business.  In fact, very few of the people on the floor are wealthy.  The rich guys sit behind desks in high-rise office buildings.  Very few people on the floor are trading on their own accounts with the exception of the specialists - and I doubt that there were any there at the time Santelli went off. So, Wulfgar you're wrong too and you need to know the difference between a commodities trader and a floor trader.  But hey, I've only been on the CME floor about a 100 times.  Before you go calling things lies you should know WTF you're talking about.

John Cole

the people Santelli spends every day rubbing shoulders with at the trendy Chicago restaurants the brokers go to these days.

How the fuck does he know?

Jay Stevens

That's been the most pervasive slant of the "Tea Party" rant, a cry of disgust that the very same people who got us into this mess...

How, exactly, did the people at the Chicago Merc get us into this mess.  Do you even know what they trade there? They trade commodities futures so farmers can lock in prices and take risk out of their businesses.  They trade currency FX (Forward exchange rates) so exporters and importers can lock in sales dollars by removing unexpected variances in currency fluctuations.  They trade futures on stocks and stock options to provide a hedge for large institutions such as the California Public Employees Retirement System.  The trade interest rates swaps so holders of things like municipal bonds can lock in interest rates.  

What they don't trade is anything that has to do with the crap that we're in today.  They don;t trade MBOs, CDOs, SIVs, CDSs, or any of the crap that we consider toxic assets. None, not one!

Wulfgar


Complete failure to expose what 'they' contribute to society with disregard to the fact that they have helped enable our current economic malaise.

First, I've already addressed the fact that they didn't have anything to do with the current situation (hint: look up "investment banking".)  But you think that things like taking risk out of state pensions, defining risk in international trade, helping farmers and food processors lock in input and output prices doesn't contribute to society?  Doing such things adds liquidity and removes uncertainty in the operation of the economy.  If you want to throw stones the least you can do is define the right target.

And in my final defense of Santelli, since I watch the guy every day and have for years, he was against TARP I from the outset.  He thinks the stockholders of the big banks - and the bond holders - need to take the hit first - before the taxpayers and we need to get into an orderly liquidation of all these firms that have fucked things up so much.  And he makes the point that bailing out homeowners is really bailing out the banks in the final analysis.  The other point he makes is that there is a whole new generation of people that by keeping an artificially high price level of residential real estate, won't be able to buy homes. so as we're looking to save people that made mistakes we're locking out people who deserve a chance at home ownership. Save one neighbor - screw another. It's just bad policy.

You all can criticize him for his market oriented philosophy but you all agree with him that the people that caused this SNAFU should be the ones who pay for it first.  



Oh Boo Hoos (0.00 / 0)
First, I've already addressed the fact that they didn't have anything to do with the current situation

Yes, they did, Dave.  Vastly more than the autoworkers that Rich attempted to blame. Kindly keep context in mind before you insult those who argue from said context.  Speaking out gross ignorance from a point of understanding ... as it were.  


[ Parent ]
Tell me how (0.00 / 0)
It's pretty easy to make assertions - even though the context in which I make that comment related to others who have blamed the CME workers on the current crises. Put up.


[ Parent ]
no doubt... (0.00 / 0)
You all can criticize him for his market oriented philosophy but you all agree with him that the people that caused this SNAFU should be the ones who pay for it first.

Agreed. BTW, I was torn about posting Nate Silver's similar correction of Sirota's rhetoric about the traders...still the symbolism is potent, especially in context of how the right is running with the outburst.

I do disagree with Santelli's philosophy, because the housing crisis doesn't seem as simple as he makes it out to be...do all of the mortgage payers he "represents" deserve to have their property values plummet because of foreclosures in the neighborhoods? And given the way in which mortgages were sold and buyers often defrauded along the way, can we limit this a problem of the "market"?

Agreed it's all a clusterf*ck, tho, and the people responsible should be held accountable.


[ Parent ]
Santelli's no redcoat (0.00 / 0)
My own rather lengthy reply is here: http://www.campaignforliberty....

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