Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Short Life and Unlamented Death of the Tea Party

Recently we've been treated to a dustup over the tea party movement's reaction to the NAACP calling them out with a 'put up yer dukes' resolution recently.

One of my libertarian friends questioned me on this over on facebook where i was wasting time instead of working, so, here's my response.

I may just do that and I will refrain from using the word 'teabagger' for now because this is a serious discussion.

The tea party movement, whatever it is or purports to be or aspires to be, has a serious problem if it wishes to put people on platforms in elections and have a hope of winning except in places like Mississippi or Alabama where klandom is alive and well. The problem is the people in the pictures and the videos. In this day and age, it is impossible to get away with this stuff.

Oh, they may win the occasional rejectionist election from nowhere, but in the larger scheme of things it will have no more significance than when Jesse Ventura got elected governor of Minnesota. The common thread there was "Oh. We wanted to send a message to the politicians in St. Paul and that's why we voted for him-we never thought he'd get elected, you see."

The problem as I see it is that the tea party movement is at another defining moment in its populist history.

It either has leadership and purports to be a legitimate political movement and they disavow the racist elements that they have been playing footsie with, or, as some of the alleged leaders say when backed into a corner "Well, no. We're not a party or an organized movement, just a state of mind or maybe that there angst that Goethe feller is allus yappin' about. Yeah, that's it, angst."

Unfortunately you cannot have it both ways-either it means something and goes mainstream or it means nothing in the grand scheme of things.

I am of the view that it is the latter because tigers don't change their stripes and leopards don't change their spots. The people in the pictures and the videos give the lie to the denials of what passes for leadership, and they are the engine of the vicious and hateful energy that makes the tea party movement what it has become.

In the historical context, the tea party movement is no different than the antisemitic, anticatholic, anti irish, antioriental rage that doomed all the Nativist movements- the Know-nothings, the populists of the 1890s, the klan, and the white citizens' councils. That rage is also the stain on the reputation of Democrats that is left over from the Dixiecrats-which, unfortunately, the Republicans have inherited along with Dixie. Well, bad luck to them all, and they are welcome to that wasteland.

As a Democrat and a Yankee to the bone, I of course will raise a glass to all who aspire to grab this wolf by the ears and classify all this under the rubric of 'confusion to our enemies'.

From here we can see their true colors shinin' through, as the song goes. I really do hope that Sarah Palin runs for president-that oughtta set them all back fifty years or more.

And of course, the whole sorry episode makes the tea party movement look extremely silly and evasive when it alleges that the people in the pictures and the videos do not exist.

Which is fine by me.


At 8:22 PM, Anonymous Dogmeat said...

I must thank the Tea Party for electing Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown since he voted for the Financial Reform Bill and help the President of the United States with another legislative victory, thank you Tea Party.

The problem is this. Tea Party candidates will win a number of these congressional races because local districts are often safely partisan in nature. They can make their wild, unfounded claims, crazy accusations, etc., and win. That means not only are we likely to see an increase in Republican seats in both houses, we're likely to see more antics, more insanity, more stupidity. At the same time they're going to do everything they can to derail Obama's policies which will likely mean high unemployment, a moribund economy, and more compromises on policy positions that make no one happy.

That could literally mean that if the Republicans put up a legitimate candidate in 2012, they could win. Such a result is bad enough, but the likely response for the Democrats is to move further to the "middle" to placate voters. As we've seen over the last decade, the "middle" in American politics is basically on the verge of being an 80s Republican. Increasingly that means we'll have a political landscape of a conservative party and ratfuck insane parties. The former, given it's track record, slowly moving to the right, the latter, given it's track record, loudly screaming "socialism, communism, fascism!!!"

If we continue on this course, privatization will be socialism.

At 5:59 AM, Blogger Robert Luedeman, attorney at law said...

Dogmeat, yer a man after my own heart. Hope you liked the piece.

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Robert Luedeman, attorney at law said...

It turns out we had nothing to worry about yer honner-they shot themselves in the butt. Again.


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