Skip to content

Boston Tea Party Irony

Yesterday (in honor of tax day), there was a Tea Party protest against taxes on the Boston Commons. But as usual, I’m only interested in the (obvious) irony and humor.

Like how the Tea Partiers were protesting on the commons (as in communist), a place paid for by taxpayer dollars. Or that Tea Party protests often cost quite a bit of taxpayer money.

But my favorite bit of irony comes from The Boston Globe. Valerie and Rob Shirk drove themselves and their ten (home-schooled) children 2 1/2 hours to take part in the protest. Says Valerie Shirk:

The problem in this country is that too many people are looking for handouts. I agree with the signs that say, “Share my father’s work ethic — not his paycheck.” We have to do something about the whole welfare mentality in this country.’

Ironically, despite being against Obama’s health care reform, the Shirks rely on federal Medicaid for their family’s health care. When asked about this, she replied that she did not want to stop having children, and that her husband’s income was not enough to cover the family with private insurance. “I know there’s a dichotomy because of what we get from the state. But I just look at each of my children as a blessing.”

I don’t want you to think that I only make fun of the Tea Partiers, so here’s Jon Stewart making fun of the media coverage of the Tea Party movement:

Finally, Buzzfeed has photos of people who showed up with fake protest signs to make fun of the tea baggers. I leave you with just one of them:

UPDATE: The NY Times did a poll to try to figure out what tea partiers want. It turns out, apparently even they don’t know:

When talking about the Tea Party movement, the largest number of respondents said that the movement’s goal should be reducing the size of government, more than cutting the budget deficit or lowering taxes.

And nearly three-quarters of those who favor smaller government said they would prefer it even if it meant spending on domestic programs would be cut.

But in follow-up interviews, Tea Party supporters said they did not want to cut Medicare or Social Security — the biggest domestic programs, suggesting instead a focus on “waste.”

Some defended being on Social Security while fighting big government by saying that since they had paid into the system, they deserved the benefits.

Others could not explain the contradiction.

“That’s a conundrum, isn’t it?” asked Jodine White, 62, of Rocklin, Calif. “I don’t know what to say. Maybe I don’t want smaller government. I guess I want smaller government and my Social Security.” She added, “I didn’t look at it from the perspective of losing things I need. I think I’ve changed my mind.”

UPDATE 2: Andrew Sullivan has a very good analysis of the tea party movement and his reaction to it.



  1. Sammy wrote:

    AYFKM?? “We have to do something about welfare..” from a woman who admits all 10 of her children are on Medicaid because they can’t afford private insurance?? Lady, first off that isn’t a “dichotomy”, that’s hypocrisy. And second, you are a complete fool being used by the far right wing for some messed up agenda.

    Friday, April 16, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Permalink
  2. Chris wrote:

    Ironically, (geez, we’re drowning in irony these days) tea party protestors should be happy that the media pay so much attention to the colorful or loud characters begging for attention. Because if more reporters took the time to actually interview the average attendee, the results would be even more embarrasing.

    Friday, April 16, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Permalink
  3. Iron Knee wrote:

    There’s a simple explanation — it isn’t a government handout if *I* get some of it! (see the update in the main post)

    Friday, April 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Permalink
  4. Chuck Makela wrote:

    What can I say? The Shirks are jerks. Valerie and Rob continue to pump out kids at taxpayers expense, but yet they’re against anything resembling socialism or big government. I suggest Rob checks out that Tea he’s been smoking and tell Valerie to keep her legs crossed so she can figure out what Party she’s attending. The real scary part about this whole thing is that these people seem to be cloning…obviously Palin offspring.

    Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 9:35 am | Permalink
  5. I have a suggestion for Val and Rob.
    It’s called birth control and this method is approved by the Catholic Church.
    When thinking about sex put a dime between your knees and keep it there Problem solved!!!

    Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Permalink
  6. starluna wrote:

    I was in D.C. for a conference last weekend. My taxi driver asked me what I thought about the Tea Party people. I said that I didn’t think they had coherent policy recommendations and that they are simply angry but cannot really point to what they are angry about. He was apparently a Tea Party sympathizer and took umbrage. My favorite part of the conversation was when he argued that there are many people who don’t pay taxes and the rich are paying all of the taxes. When I pointed out that if this was an issue, he may want to be concerned that Exxon-Mobile did not pay a dime in federal taxes despite the billions in profit made. His response: “Well, they should be letting them drill in ANWR.”

    It was almost too easy.

    Monday, April 19, 2010 at 9:23 am | Permalink
  7. Medicaid Backlash wrote:

    Limo Divers Protest Medicare Mediciad Reform Cuts, It’s rumored this issue could become part of the Tea Party movement. AmeriChoice Health also rumored to take a position on this issue. Recirculate those tax dollars? Help keep limo drivers working, benefits flowing and overpaid tax dollars remain in abuse. as well as other Federal agency’s encourage you to report any fraudulent activities, yet, the same government agency’s were notified the way this company does business yet did nothing. Three years ago they were reported to these Federal agency’s and as of todays date not only were they allowed to continue doing business but were never charged once. Protected vendor status sure, politics sure, limited government budgets sure, Federal and State officals looking the other way sure, and rather then stop these activities a strong desire not to rock the boat previals. Even with the vast changes in the laws, budgets,a hands off policy remains, you tell me what’s wrong with this picture?

    The Government created this monster and now they don’t know what to do about it, like shooting yourself in your own foot etc. Tons of money to advance their national growth, it’s market positions, tons of money for political donations, tons of money to send 75 millIon back to its home office from New York state alone, tons of money to suppot National TV shows, tons of money to pay hugh State fines, tons of money to hire the very best law firms, tons of money to pay for bribes and kickbacks, tons of money for hugh salary’s and bonuses, all done on the back of the American tax payor, you see this company receives all it’s money from the Federal government. Should your tax dollars be held to a higher standard? Should our government agency’s responsible for there review and be held to that same standard? Should the IRS audit their corruption? Why has this company not been charged? How long can the buck be passed here in more ways then one?

    Hey, it’s your tax dollars don’t complain now.. then don’t complain later on…

    ps… I know times are tough for a lot us, but it would be great to have a free limo to go to the Doctors, Pharmacy, Movies, Grocery shopping, and given free tickets for the movies. Offered soda, pop corn and hotdogs, as well as have them receive free coupons for Grocery items…Kind of makes you wish qualified for Medicare and Mediciad right?

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 11:25 am | Permalink