Today has been a very frustrating series of anger-inducing news articles and opinion pieces.  As per the usual in Washington, you are either a redneck, gun-toting conservative or an effete latte-swilling liberal with no room in between.  If you have something to say that does not fall into either of those broad stereotypes, just give up now.  It makes the Patri Friedman criticism of politics and “folk activism” that much more attractive.  How can you possibly ever make a difference in the current political structure and climate?

So what has frustrated me the most?  How about this garbage by Paul Begala on CNN.  It’s so enraging to me.  Here are some quick points:

1. “The government asks so little.”  In what world is 40-50% “so little?”

2. I don’t know who started this “tea party as fake activism” meme, but I’d like them to provide some proof.  Are they asserting that these people are paid to be there?  If not, what are they saying?

3. Begala’s implication is that people who don’t like paying taxes and say so are unpatriotic.  STFU Paul.  This is just as bad as the right-wing “questioning the war is unpatriotic” nonsense we had to endure for almost 8 years.  You should know better, but clearly you don’t.  And the veterans reference at the end is just shameless.  If Begala wants to claim “turnabout is fair play” for the Bush years, I might give him a pass, but I would also claim the right to call him a hypocrite.

4. Does Paul Begala believe that every dime of taxes is worth spending?  Why is he so offended by an expressed concern of the size and power of government?

5. These people at the Tax Protests are not law-breakers, Paul.  There are expressing their opinion.  I would wager that the great majority of them (98-99%) actually paid their taxes before hitting the street today.

But let’s turn it all around, now:

6. What little credibility FoxNews had with me is now gone.  Sure, report on the protests.  But don’t give me that “Fair and Balanced” nonsense and then turn your studio into a cheering section.

7. As with all enthusiastic protesters, I would coach them to stay on message, keep the inevitable crazies away from the microphone, and maintain some level of realism.

8. Spend less time talking about how much the “left” hates you.

9. Things like “end the income tax” and “back to the gold standard” are not realistic.  Just stop it.  Critique the policies, not the system.

10. As long as you keep applauding and giving the angry thumbs up to things like this, you are doomed: