Dump the Tea, Already!


Maybe pouring it would prompt the Democrats to stir it up

John Kerry flew into Logan Airport this morning, drawing more attention, of course, than the hijackers Mohammed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari did when their flight from Portland, Maine, landed at Logan at 6:50 a.m. on September 11, 2001, and they prepared to board Flight 11. (See the Center for Cooperative Research’s chillingly detailed and heavily sourced account here.)

Kerry’s arrival at the FleetCenter via water taxi was accompanied by a relentless soundtrack that was sure to bore at least 80 percent of the crowd at the harbor during any given 2:50 time period. Besides, the candidate doesn’t walk fast enough to have merited Bob Seger‘s “Travelin’ Man.” More appropriate would have been the Love Boat theme, whose lyric “promises something for everyone . . .”

What Kerry could have done was stay at the harbor and throw some damn tea into it. It worked once before.

The issues, of course, haven’t really changed—unfair taxation with little or no representation, outrageous military spending to support a colonial power, that sort of thing. Check out the “Prelude to Revolution” timeline at the History Place, particularly the early 1770s. In 1773, the Tea Act created a monopoly and an onerous tax, so on December 16 of that year, some Bostonians boarded ships in their harbor and dumped 342 containers of the precious stuff.

What followed, of course, were the Sugar Act, the Stamp Act, and more than 200 years of mostly ridiculous and outrageous other acts. Please, though, go beyond those basics and read Howard Zinn‘s take on how the American colonies’ privileged class co-opted and tamed the populist spirit of those times and used it to create a new set of bosses the same as the old set of bosses.

Look, you’re in Boston, walking the streets of rebels past, and Zinn lives only a few miles away in the suburbs. If you don’t know how he feels about the Bush Crusades, read this. Or read excerpts from Zinn’s monumental A People’s History of the United States. You feel me? Put your beer down and think about what the other Sam Adams decided to do more than 230 years ago. That tea party was a hell of a lot more dynamic than the tea the Democratic Party is holding this week.