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February 8, 2011

The Inaugural Issue of The Tea Party Review

I heard some of you could use an Egypt break. (The Bag’s all in, isn’t it?) Well, here you go, in a big way, with the infamous red pen. It’s our closer read of the inaugural Tea Party Review (just in time for CPAC!!) along with Gawker’s sorta gentle first pass.

  • Enoch Root

    Hey, look! It’s a member of the American working class! Here he can be seen wrapping himself in a flag in a wheat field. He’s doing this because he’s out of work and has nothing better to do. His government handout will end in a few weeks. His health care is non-existent. He’s stuck in the midwest without a way to support himself. So he’s in a wheat field dancing around with a flag.

    He thinks that he represents America, and in many ways he does. The out of work, no health care part. He thinks that people who will further reduce his government benefits and will make it easier for insurance companies to destroy his life are really his friends. In this regard, he’s out on the fringes of both politics and reason.

    Which is to say, he likes Sarah Palin because even though she’s probably not a very good politician, at least he understands her. He doesn’t understand whatever liberals are talking about when they tell him he’s voting against his own self-interest. What the heck does that mean? He wants lower taxes and liberty; voting Republican is supposed to give that to him.


    • karen h

      O look! The Tea Party just co-opted Depression-era WPA imagery. Must be a fad. Interesting how Chrysler did the same thing with their Eminem Super Bowl commercial. Good thing they’re a hapless bunch of inconsistent pseudo Birchers, or this country would be in even more trouble.

    • boomerangst

      “He wants lower taxes and liberty; voting Republican is supposed to give that to him. Right?”

      It’s scary how many average Americans believe this lie.

    • jmac

      He votes Republican (against his self-interest) because he doesn’t want anyone lower than him on the economic scale to get a break. He works hard for a living and doesn’t like handouts to anyone below him.

      He’s paranoid government might make him eat his broccoli and arugula, as soon as he figures out what arugula is.

      He doesn’t read a newspaper. His mind is as set as George W. Bush’s was on the economy and foreign affairs – set in his teen years with no place to grow. Locked in place.

  • Laurel K

    Cap looks like something those commies would wear. Where is the all American baseball cap?

    • Vvoter

      Good eye Laurel K. These commie hats are stylish right now. Our cover boy is wearing one as a (this is too easy) tip-of-the-hat to that latent desire for cultural relevancy hidden deep in the social conservative psyche.

      As evidence, I offer this photo of Sarah Palin setting (following?) the trend.

      Oh, and and this one

  • Stella

    What – no beauty queen? They’ll need a promise of some hot pictures inside to get the non-readers to shell out $6.95 for this mag.

  • Robert Hariman

    As far as I can tell from the article titles on the right side of the cover, health care reform is here to stay, the readership is well-educated and often Black, civil war is an option but not advisable, and the Left still doesn’t get it. Poor Left, they’re probably trying to figure out how the article content matches up with the cover boy. Hint: maybe it’s a gay thing.

  • penalcolony

    Looks cribbed from TV ads for pickup trucks.

  • AJ

    These comments are fantastic.

    • Michael Shaw

      I second.

  • Vvoter

    As usual, Shaw’s red pen is thorough. I would add one more arrow, though, to what I like to call the Conservative Steely Eye (CSE). You know, it’s that far away squint that conservatives like to do when they’re envisioning / embodying all those quintessential American qualities like resolve, vision, wisdom, courage, trustworthiness, etc, etc.

    Here are some of my favorite examples of the Conservative Steely Eye…

    Karl Rove

    Bill O’Reilly (one of my favorite CSE’s).

    Tim Pawlenty

    George W. Bush

    And of course, Ronald Reagan

    There are others out there, but you get the picture.

  • Stanley Wiggs

    Jeepers! It looks like there is a storm a brewin’.

  • bartcopfan

    Agreed, insightful red pen and comments. I’d just note that while at first glance it appears to be a wheat field, on closer inspection, it’s more like prairie grass, not grain.

  • peter Hollander

    Sorry– Couldn’t resist. (accepting, of course, that it’s a moot point with “these” people).


    Flag Etiquette


    The Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to the flag, also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. They are:

    The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.

    The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.

    The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard

    The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.

    The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.

    The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
    When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.

    The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.

    When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

    • Tom White

      Oh, so the flag can be burned then!

    • Michael

      That flag etiquette was something burned into my consciousness by my West Point grandfather, and I think I can speak for his old-style Republican spirit when I say that the lavish flag inflation of, say, GW Bush etc falls somewhere between tasteless and offensive. A pathology on the body politic. The use of the flag in this image starts from there and shoots off. What exactly is this man doing out in the long grass with that flag? With a storm coming? No clear explanation, no logic, and it is exactly that lack of an explanation…or, to put it another way, that lack of any reasonable occasion for such a display…that points to another pathology, a use of a potent image without any coherent or self-consistent setting. That lack of coherence pretty well characterizes this whole image. A shotgun approach to targeting a public?

      But one correction, if I may, Michael: that size flag is, or used to be, a generation ago, a quite routine size. If you were going to put one up at all, then you had a reasonable sized flagpole, and anything smaller would look silly. A real George Bush size flag would have smothered the guy.

  • Nina

    It’s got a little bit of a romance novel aesthetic going. Dreamy kind of dude with a two day stubble, one of those sensitive types, feeling it all at the end of the day. Quite the opposite from the Tea Party’s killer shark women. These covers are going to be fascinating. Thanks Michael.

  • gmoke

    He’s leaning left, the flag and the wheat stalks are leaning right. Everything looks a little off balance and why is the grain stalk taller than the flag? Shot from down below looking up in admiration?

  • Glenn May

    Either all that talk about tea partiers being more affluent (and older) was a bunch of hooey, or the backers of this rag have made a big mistake. If TPers are better off, they ain’t gonna like Billy Bob and his hat. If on the other hand the previous stereotype of the TPers as rednecks was right after all, I’m not sure if reading journals is their thing.
    As a side note, I wonder if the “Review” part of the title raised any red fla, er sorry, red, white and blue flags over at a slightly more hoity-toity right-wing review.

  • Seenitbefore

    Looks like he’s humping the flag. Perfect teabagger illustration.

  • Fearguth

    “Hey, where do you want me to put this
    flag-covered coffin?”

  • g

    Why is he taking the flag out in a wheat field in a windstorm?

    What’s he doing, using the flag to separate the wheat from the chaff?

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