Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Turning Back the Clock

Matt Taibbi pens the opposition's guide to the Tea Party, and it is one hell of an article. It follows Rand Paul's descent from outsider libertarian icon to insider Republican in both terms of support and platform.

But its main point is an examination of the Tea Party mindset. Now, I know my conservative friends don't want to hear this, but what is written describes with stunning accuracy the things I hear from many of the folks on talk radio, Facebook or at social gatherings when they see my skin color, baseball cap and collared shirt and think I'm part of their club. What he describes are not real conservative thought processes, though they are marketed as such politically.

By doing so, he inadvertently enunciates my main problem with the Tea Party specifically, and the overall GOP narratives since at least 2000, on page 2:

Everyone who disagrees with them is a radical leftist who hates America.

It would be inaccurate to say the Tea Partiers are racists. What they are, in truth, are narcissists. They're completely blind to how offensive the very nature of their rhetoric is to the rest of the country. I'm an ordinary middle-aged guy who pays taxes and lives in the suburbs with his wife and dog — and I'm a radical communist? I don't love my country? I'm a redcoat? Fuck you! These are the kinds of thoughts that go through your head as you listen to Tea Partiers expound at awesome length upon their cultural victimhood, surrounded as they are by America-haters like you and me or, in the case of foreign-born president Barack Obama, people who are literally not Americans in the way they are.

It's not like the Tea Partiers hate black people. It's just that they're shockingly willing to believe the appalling horseshit fantasy about how white people in the age of Obama are some kind of oppressed minority. That may not be racism, but it is incredibly, earth-shatteringly stupid.

And you can try to say this is some sort of fringe or "gotcha" journalism where Taibbi goes after the most ludicrous quotes just to make the story, but the GOP has established their mainstream bonafides of this way of thinking. You can view this hyperbolic part of the Republican mission statement here, if you're having trouble believing me.

There is only one place this administration leads us to a socialist, fascist America. It is the same place this nation has come to where we are today from some idyllic past where everyone was free and prosperous and life was simpler for everyone. That place is the Land of Make Believe.

(HT's: Jeffrey's Facebook, and The Daily Dish)



DADvocate said...

LOL. This guy has no more of an idea than you do. Of course, when you start with a conclusion, what do you expect?

DADvocate said...

Words from one of my favorite teachers:

"If I cling to my [religion/belief] with all its superstitions, beliefs, dogmas, traditions and all that nonsense and something new appears in front of me, or a new challenge arises, I can only respond from the old. Therefore I see that the response of the old is not the way to find out. Right? So I will not depend on thought, whether it is the thought of the most erudite person, or on my own thought.So I put away please do it as we are talking completely, the use of thought to find out. Can one do it? It sounds easy, but actually, can one do it? Which means that there is here a totally new challenge; I look at it with fresh eyes, with clarity. And thought however reasoned, astute, clear, does not bring clarity."

Just another guy looking at things through old worn out eyes and all his massive pre-conceptions and never seeing anything new.

patsbrother said...

I tried to read this. But then it dawned on me. You're just a radical leftist who hates America. I can't read this as your Kenyan anti-colonialist mindset--your citizen-of-the-word cynicism, your America's-just-okay blithness, your really annoying smugness--might rub off, and then I'd become another Other. So I couldn't.

Don't hate. Hater.

DADvocate said...

BTW - You should have included this article on the white brain. That way you would have more totally biased, completely unscientific, inferred logic on you side.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

I just linked to a video released by Newt Gingrich where he calls people like me radical anti-American socialists looking to overturn basic American values.

I just provided a link to an article that sums up the majority of my personal experiences with the vast majority of so-called conservatives and Republicans that I have interacted with in the last 10 years. This includes friends and family, and mine is an overwhelmingly conservative to right-wing sample.

I have kept a running record of my opinions on such commentary online, in public view, since 2005. There are literally hundreds, of links to additional examples of this sort of behavior.

So you'll have to pardon me if "these aren't the droids you're looking for" isn't quite the response I expected.

jeffrey said...

I think there is a lesson in this article, even for those who proclaim themselves to be libertarian Tea Party sympathizers and that lesson is in Taibbi's tracing of Rand Paul's essential phoniness. (Call it a "sell out" if you must, although I think that gives Paul too much credit for having a soul to sell in the first place but that's just me.)

The Tea Party today is being pitched in the media as this great threat to the GOP; in reality, the Tea Party is the GOP. What few elements of the movement aren't yet under the control of the Republican Party soon will be, and even if a few genuine Tea Party candidates sneak through, it's only a matter of time before the uprising as a whole gets castrated, just like every grass-roots movement does in this country. Its leaders will be bought off and sucked into the two-party bureaucracy, where its platform will be whittled down until the only things left are those that the GOP's campaign contributors want anyway: top-bracket tax breaks, free trade and financial deregulation.

The point is there are fundamental disconnect between the needs and sentiments of the vast majority of Americans and the actual interests their government in effect serves.

Taibbi's thesis isn't so much that Tea Partiers will enact dangerous policies when they take power. It's that no popular political movement is going to take power at all. (Especially one as nebulous and ill-defined as the Tea Party) It's just the latest exercise in purposing popular discontent toward the furthering interests of the permanent oligarchy.

The bad news is that the Tea Party's political outrage is being appropriated, with thanks, by the Goldmans and the BPs of the world. The good news, if you want to look at it that way, is that those interests mostly have us by the balls anyway, no matter who wins on Election Day. That's the reality; the rest of this is just noise. It's just that it's a lot of noise, and there's no telling when it's ever going to end.

Same sad story. Over and over.