Sun Tzu, Arnie, and the rise of the Tea Party
by The Wrinkle
Most people have heard of the quote by Sun Tzu in the Art of War, “My enemy’s enemy is my friend”. During the week the Wrinkle came across an interesting quote he hadn’t heard before, “Love your enemies, as your friends may turn out to be bastards”.
Which isn’t a bad introduction into the love/hate relationship America seems to have with many in the world, global politics’, and the rise of the Tea Party in the US.
It’s good to see Sarah Palin has carried on the “mis-spoke” tradition of George W, confusing North and South Korea when discussing America’s allies in a recent interview about the tension on the Korean peninsula. Sarah Palin’s presidential ambitions are well known, and the key to her success or otherwise may will come down to support in California.
So why not have Arnie as a running mate? Fast forward a few years and here you have Arnie and Sarah in the White House.
Arnie: "Those Koreans are getting a bit pesky again, unfortunately I think we need to use a N bomb and show these guys who is boss".
Sarah: "Good idea, Arnie, I’ll approve it and send a note to the Joint Chiefs now. Er, remind me again, was that North or South Korea?".
Thankfully due to a legal technicality, Arnie can’t run for the White House as he’s a naturalised American (there has to be a joke in there somewhere). However our friend Sarah is making good progress in her bid, and before everyone starts to say it will never happen, just remember the Australian Labour Party put Mark Latham in charge and the US is in way, way worse shape than Australia ever was.
Which really brings me to the main point of this week's blog, The Koch brothers, no they aren’t gangland identities (although some of those in the green camp may beg to differ) they rank just behind Bill Gates and Warren Buffet in the US with a combined net worth of USD35 billion. You don’t get much further to the right then these guys and it’s estimated that they have given more than $100 million to right wing causes in the US.
They are a “big oil” player and are also involved in a raft of other industries in the US. The Wrinkle isn’t going to delve into the argument of big business vs the environment et-al. What I would like to highlight, however, is how they effectively created the Tea Party on the quiet and propelled it into the force it has become in the US.
The full story is here, compliments of the New Yorker, http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer
This is an extensive background piece, but the little known “gem” is that in 2004 the Koch brothers created the “Americans for Prosperity Foundation” this in turn (primarily through its advocacy wing) started setting up, training, and supporting the grassroot activists (firstly in Texas) and then throughout the US that morphed into the Tea Party.
So if you wondered how the Tea Party seemed to come out of nowhere and grow so fast, look no further than the Koch Brothers, the backroom bankrollers, this was a very slick commercial style operation.
Again to finish with Sun Tzu, “Keep your enemies close to you”.
Have a great week. As discussed last week the Wrinkle will move into fortnightly mode for a while, but as I’m away next week I thought I’d slip this one in before I leave.
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