Chamomile Tea Party Posters

Boing Boing reader Jeff says, "I'm so sick of the rancor and party politics in Washington, so I created a series of posters under the moniker of the 'Chamomile Tea Party,' advocating for putting the country first and parties last. The posters are based on WWII-era propaganda posters."


  1. Nice. Where do I enlist?

    One question though… what’s the deal with that thing in the top left. I mean I like it. I just have no freaking clue what it is.

    At first I thought “1940’s era flux capacitor”. Now I’m not so sure.

    1. I think that’s the telephone wires / box in the upper left. It’s sparking with excitement because of WWII dude’s call to congress.

      To resolve the partisan issue: Democrats need to stop being so wimpy, and republicans need to stop being so batshit crazy. The Tea “party” just needs to stop being.

    2. That thing in the upper left of the poster is an arcing electrical box. The man is doing the right thing and reporting the safety hazard. Most working men, at least the older ones, remember these kind of workplace posters and yes, they do resemble earlier war propaganda.

  2. Um we can be a little more explicit than the problem being all-round partisanship: the problem is specifically Republicans blocking every attempt to save the economy so it continues to go to shit, so they can point to the lousy economy in November and say “see, Democrats did this”. And they will get away with it, because the fact that this is what is happening will not get enough traction in the kind of media that most potential voters consume.

    The other thing that happens, especially in the Senate, is that Democrats weaken every bit of potentially stimulating legislation and every bit of regulation, to try to get enough votes–they have 50 votes easily, but it’s very hard to get 60. And why do they continually need 60? Because the Republicans FILIBUSTER. How long since you read that word in a newspaper? So the story is always “Democrats fail to pass…” instead of “Republicans filibuster the motion to vote on…”. No wonder people continue to think the inaction is the fault of both parties–the two paries are playing by completely different rules.

    1. Jon is dead on correct, & anyone who doesn’t believe it needs to read a book. There is no liberal agenda to socialize the nation and redistribute wealth. The supposed Obamacare passed, but I’m still uninsured, as are millions of others. The GOP needs to be destroyed, and the party system permanently eliminated. The only way to do this is for people to rage against the right machine. Don’t just vote out every incumbent, vote out the GOP pricks who are FLAT OUT LYING to every American & using fear to keep us down.
      Not saying every Democrat is good, but I’ve not seen any of the same lies and libel from that side. Judge them on their merits, and replace them with candidates who have integrity. Don’t vote for the fear monger who tells you he hates taxes.

    2. Yes, it’s absolutely amazing how powerful the filibuster has become since it was invented back in January of 2007.

  3. No offense, but this is claptrap. “Country first” was precisely McCain’s slogan. I’m not saying the creator of the poster is a covert Republican (far from it), but that blaming a vague entity like “partisan bickering” solves nothing. If you want something that goes further than a slogan, you have to take aim at specifics. Right, Left, Extreme, Moderate—these are all empty terms. As McCain has shown repeatedly, politicians can easily move from one label to another.
    Without getting partisan, in the current fucked-up political situation, one side is much less moderate than the other. One side is absolutely unwilling to compromise, or accept the compromises offered by the other side (which of course is not perfect either). Blaming partisan politics completely ignores the nature of the problem, allowing the worse side to continue in its recalcitrance since it appears no less an evil than the other. (And where the sides are unpartisan, against the will of the people, as with support of anti-civil-liberties measures, well, that’s not so great either). The claim that we should “vote moderate” carries no content. What is moderate when right and left are free to continually move further right or left?
    I think it’s really only by moving away from this kind of empty, universally-applicable, relativist, sloganeering and instead focusing on the right- or wrongness of specific ideas on their merits that we can have an effective government. Partisanship is not the problem unless it turns into blind ideology; the problem is that people treat the parties as equal, unwilling to examine the content of their ideas and judge their fitness.

    The posters are very nice-looking though.

  4. What jon_anon said @2. There is a problem, and high-broderism/a pox on all their houses/can’t we all just get along ain’t going to fix it.

  5. Every time a politico says “bipartisan”, I hear “ha ha, peasant, you only have two nearly identical choices, and the real reason we hate each other is because we also have nearly absolute power and we have to convince you the world will end if the other guy gets it.”

  6. His mistake is the cable-news mistake of representing arguing as the problem. The problem is that some people are arguing for absolutely preposterous crap.

    And who is he planning to vote in when he votes someone “out”? Doesn’t seem like much thought has gone into that.

    1. And who is he planning to vote in when he votes someone “out”? Doesn’t seem like much thought has gone into that.

      Arguments like this make my teeth curl, because they usually stem from one of two positions: either “You can’t vote for anyone but the Two Parties”, or “If you can’t fix it, shut up”.

      Tossing out the entire Congress and Senate and starting again with people who aren’t entrenched in the current system might be a good idea. The current system appears to be pretty damn broken. At this point, I’m thinking even “randomly chosen citizens over the age of 30 living in the voting district” would be an improvement.

      We’ve sort of reached the same situation in Canada with our Parliment, and in Ottawa with our municipal government. At least both Parliment and the city council are entertainingly crazy… not entertaining enough to make up for the money they’re making off with, but that’s SOME value for money.

  7. I’m sorry, the problem here lies almost entirely with the GOP. The leadership of the Republican Party has explicitly said their goal is to obstruct everything the Obama administration and the Democratic majority put forth.

    Everything. That means EVERYTHING.

    They’ll let unemployment run out for millions, they’ll apologize to BP, they’ll criticize the President for playing golf on the weekends, they’ll force a filibuster on every bill just to do it.

    If Barack Obama and Harry Reid proposed tax cuts for the rich the GOP would find some way to call them socialists for it.

    I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican, but the ugliness of the past 2 years has been coming almost entirely from the Right. The myth of “two sides to every fight” is one I’m very tired of.

    As Harlan Ellison says: “You’re not entitled to an opinion, you’re entitled to an informed opinion.” which is something the GOP has been lacking for ages.

  8. When party politics take precedence over the well-being of the country, there’s a problem. When party leaders pressure representatives to vote *with* the party, no matter what, that’s a problem. Walking home from work on Friday I listened to an NPR report on the Kagan vote for SCOTUS. When I heard that probably every Republican would vote against her, that’s when I came up with this idea.

    Yes, I would agree, the Republicans have obstructed just about every move to set this country back on its feet (but the Democratic Party is no angel either). Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not a pie-in-the-sky “let’s all work together” sort of guy. But the gridlock on moving this country forward is putting us in peril. And other countries are moving ahead of us in scientific research, education, and the humanities. I’m for finding a way to retain healthy debate without the rhetoric.

    1. The general sense of the replies here seems to be:

      “Democrats…you are not nearly partisan enough!! Step up the firepower, take no prisoners!!”

      “Republicans…Stop being partisan!!! Shut up and get in step with what the Democrats want!!

      Just wonderin’ if that was the response you were expectin’….

      1. Notary Sojac, I’ve got to admit, I’m not sure what I expected as I was making these. As an artist and former art teacher, I can say that one of the interesting things about the net’s hive mind is you can be assured you will get a critique. Many of the comments here are about the issue itself, rather than the posters. That’s great and intended.

  9. “I’m for finding a way to retain healthy debate without the rhetoric.”
    But these posters *are* nothing but rhetoric!

  10. I have pointed out to whomever will listen that it is a mistake to respond to GOP intransigence as if it were legitimate argumentation. But it’s hard to posterize, “Republicans: Stop being partisan pricks; Democrats: Stop letting these pricks get away with this crap!”

    This remains a continued problem for folks who would like to undo some of the evils done to our nation by the GOP. Newt and Karl and Bill and Ann all make great hay by simplified, reductionist, polarized thought, and the generally anti-intellectual sentiment of a frighteningly large segment of the semi-literate majority gladly laps up the endless river of GOP propaganda.

    Throwing these delightful posters into the mix will, I believe, do much more good than harm. After all, look how many folks have stepped up and responded with, “Uh, dude, it’s the GOP that have polarized the scene in the first place; put that blame squarely on _their_ doorstep”.

    1. The people who recognize the real reason for the polarity aren’t the ones who need the message. And the posters’ pox-on-both-their-houses approach only contributes to keeping the waters muddied.

  11. Whenever the parties do manage to put aside their petty differences and cooperate on an issue, I always end up wishing they were still squabbling.

  12. This is some wonderful graphic design wrapped around some all too common political naiveté.

    Partisan dischord is one of the best things in America today!

    You know when America showed complete unity? Oh, say, around September 11th, passing the Patriot Act with only one dissenting vote and jumping into Afghanistan with both feet.

    Generally, if EVERYONE gets together on something, you know it’s really, really bad.

    The Democrats are thoroughly economically ignorant, and generally their proposals are best not enacted. They all bow down to the thoroughly discredited Keynesian philosophy, which has been demonstrated not to work and can seem even to the layman to be quite dangerous (every two bit mobster knows, that if you want to control somebody? Get them in debt!)

    While the Republicans are a bunch of fascist thugs.

    I say, keep up the gridlock! And keep up the fine design :)

    1. To borrow on the old real estate adage: the three most important words in the early 20th century are context, context, and context. Political discord is good. But when it stops any progress at all it’s not good. And that’s the case right now. Extreme polarity is not good for the country. Extremists have a tendency to see things in overly simplistic black and white. What we need is a respect for a variegated set of grays. Debate and discourse is good. But automatic responses based on party are not.

  13. meh. (I love to meh). New boss same as the old boss: The electorate is uneducated and easily fooled. Politicians as a whole are self-serving whores. . .Show Me the Change!

    bread and circuses are as unto Mickey-Ds and Facebook

    The People are still sleeping. But when the pitchforks and torches come out. . .beware! ;)

  14. Keynesian philosophy thoroughly discredited? Maybe in the pages of the WSJ. Not in the real world.

  15. He lost me with that “vote moderate” crap. We do NOT need the average of the Republican and Democratic parties: we need a third party that has not been totally bought and paid for by commercial interests, as both of those options have been. The Republicans are losers for believing they’re any different from the Democrats, and the Democrats are loses for believing the same. What kind of government do we have when two groups who believe essentially the same thing can’t work together? Dump them all, every last one of them.

  16. Here’s the bottom line folks: if the Dems and Repubs are so far apart they can’t work together, the public loses. By “Vote Moderate” I mean, vote for people who will be willing to actually enter into a dialogue with others, compromise, and honestly work for solutions in Congress so we can get things done. I don’t mean everyone has to be middle of the road. Extremists, on the other hand, aren’t really interested in talking with anyone who doesn’t believe just like they do.

  17. The element of Keynesian economics that says: “spend when in a recession” has been endorsed by most liberals and a few conservatives. It is as you say definitely alive in the real world.

    The corresponding element of Keynesianism that says: “cut expenses and run a surplus when in a boom” seems to have been forgotten by damn near everybody.

  18. Notary—-Republicans did not invent the filibuster, but when the Democrats took control in 2006, the Republicans quickly set a new historical record for most filibusters, in only half a session.

    As per your second point—actually, most commenters are noting that Democrats are making lots of concessions and the Republicans are not making any at all. The health care bill included lots of conservative ideas, and involved scrapping many (better) Democratic ones. Cap-and-trade is a conservative idea in itself (as is the finally approved health care plan), and yet when the Dems embraced it, it suddenly was considered radical.

    We’re not complaining that Republicans won’t march in lockstep with Democrats; the problem is they won’t even agree with ideas they’ve previously espoused (for this, see especially McCain). Moreover, they won’t even accept in principle the very idea of compromise.

    My problem with the Democrats is not entirely that they aren’t partisan enough; it’s that they aren’t at least making clear how much they’re conceding. Obama’s entire political philosophy is based on compromise, which can be annoying, but if he’s going to handle things that way, I wish he would at least make it clear to the public when he’s relenting and why.

  19. See this is exactly the problem…the second post wasn’t

    “I see that this is an issue and yes this is tearing the country apart with finger pointing and the inability to see all points of view”

    it was

    “Its the republicans fault!”

    How are we supposed to do anything when the two people of the major political parties sit there finger pointing and attempting to screw each other over constantly in an effort to make the other party look bad in the eyes of the general public…unbelievable, stop covering your eyes and screaming at someone who is right leaning simply because they don’t agree with your point of view…

    This is why this country is screwed, everyone wants to blame everyone else.

  20. Actually, I think this is an excellent start.
    Think about it, before a teacher comes over to administer serious whoop-ass, a verbal warning is issued.
    A campaign that gets voters focused on the deliberate obfuscation that is wasting our country’s money and time (and economy!) while warning the politicians that they are being watched by voters with an attention span longer than a sugar-tweaked 6 year old is a GOOD IDEA!!
    If we sit around and bitch and moan that we have to tear down the whole system before we can do anything, NOTHING will ever get done.
    Keep up the great work, Jeff! Where can I get one??

    1. zootboing, you can get the posters on my Flickr site as linked in the original post. After someone asked when the t-shirts would be available I created a CafePress storefront with four of the five images on any number of swag. ;-)

  21. Change in moderation is stagnation.

    The only thing killing this country is GOP obstructionism and Democratic lack of intestinal fortitude.

    A better poster series would advocate Revolution.

    1. But “Revolution” would more than likely be construed as ‘terrorism’… and then the government would get involved…

      just sayin’

  22. Who’s to decide what’s “best for the country”? I think freedom is best and someone else thinks central planning is best. How do you resolve that? Call your congressman?

    1. “How do you resolve that?”

      That’s precisely my point, laukarlueng. Right now there is so much animosity between party leadership very little is getting resolved (or done for that matter). We are at a virtual standstill. I’d like to see Congresspeople elected who are committed to getting beyond party politics. May sound Pollyannaish, but right now we have partisanship at its worst.

  23. The two primary problems with U.S. politics are the Democratic and Republican parties.

    That doesn’t mean that there aren’t other problems whose nature will come to light when we get over the first two, but right now, they’re in the way.

    It doesn’t help that the Democratic party of 2010 is somewhere to the right of the 1956 Republicans.

    The Communist Party of Russia eventually bankrupted itself because when that one party got too powerful, it got drunk on that power and perished. From this we learned that no one party should be too powerful.

    I think we should start to figure out that no two parties should be too powerful either.

    From there, how ’bout we skip ahead to “no seven billion parties should be too powerful”?

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