More Stuff to Talk About

Sharron Angle gets government-run health care.

CBO: Extending the Bush tax cuts will hurt the economy and reduce incomes.

Must read — Matt Taibbi’s takedown of the Tea Party movement. Spot on. Excerpts:

A hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment. If there exists a better snapshot of everything the Tea Party represents, I can’t imagine it.

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.

A loose definition of the Tea Party might be millions of pissed-off white people sent chasing after Mexicans on Medicaid by the handful of banks and investment firms who advertise on Fox and CNBC.

After nearly a year of talking with Tea Party members from Nevada to New Jersey, I can count on one hand the key elements I expect to hear in nearly every interview. One: Every single one of them was that exceptional Republican who did protest the spending in the Bush years, and not one of them is the hypocrite who only took to the streets when a black Democratic president launched an emergency stimulus program. (“Not me — I was protesting!” is a common exclamation.) Two: Each and every one of them is the only person in America who has ever read the Constitution or watched Schoolhouse Rock. (Here they have guidance from Armey, who explains that the problem with “people who do not cherish America the way we do” is that “they did not read the Federalist Papers.”) Three: They are all furious at the implication that race is a factor in their political views — despite the fact that they blame the financial crisis on poor black homeowners, spend months on end engrossed by reports about how the New Black Panthers want to kill “cracker babies,” support politicians who think the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was an overreach of government power, tried to enact South African-style immigration laws in Arizona and obsess over Charlie Rangel, ACORN and Barack Obama’s birth certificate. Four: In fact, some of their best friends are black! (Reporters in Kentucky invented a game called “White Male Liberty Patriot Bingo,” checking off a box every time a Tea Partier mentions a black friend.) And five: 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 want desperately to believe in the one-size-fits-all, no-government theology of Rand Paul because it’s so easy to understand. At times, their desire to withdraw from the brutally complex global economic system that is an irrevocable fact of our modern life and get back to a simpler world that no longer exists is so intense, it breaks your heart.

This, then, is the future of the Republican Party: Angry white voters hovering over their cash-stuffed mattresses with their kerosene lanterns, peering through the blinds at the oncoming hordes of suburban soccer moms they’ve mistaken for death-panel bureaucrats bent on exterminating anyone who isn’t an illegal alien or a Kenyan anti-colonialist.

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.

9 thoughts on “More Stuff to Talk About

  1. Just wow. Taibbi has a way of scooping any story, well ahead of the crowd, boiling it down to its essence, and then presenting it in his own Millennial brand of gonzo journalism (whether you like his work or not). These particular excerpts nail some thoughts that’ve been rattling around in my mind for some time.

    I’ve never understood why these people get so prickly about race, when their racism is so overwhelmingly evident.

    Before there was a Tea Party, I knew a number of people over the years – random datapoints – who exhibited many of the characteristics described above. Their heads were, to varying degrees, fully or partially up their asses, not exactly in touch with 20th century reality. The genius of the braintrust behind the VRWC, is to organize these random nutcases into a more or less coherent mass to shill for the powers that be. Just give them some patriotic-sounding mumbo jumbo and they’ll follow like sheep.

  2. Taibbi’s article is pretty good, thanks for the link Maha. Taibbi basically calls out the teabaggers for being nothing more than re-invented republicants though he does portray them as an actual political party which continues to puzzle me. Why does everyone in the media give the teabaggers “party” stature? They are not a real political party, every so called “tea-party” candidate is a fucking republican, they all have an R next to their name on the ballot. I mean the only people running as a write in or an independent are former GOPer’s that have been beat out by the teabaggers. I realize that it’s good for big media business to have the tea-party (the media needs change) but you’d think at least one journalist would expose the lie once and for all, Taibbi comes close but he doesn’t close the door. I though his best characterization of the dimwitted teabaggers was: “At root, the Tea Party is nothing more than a them-versus-us thing. They know who they are, and they know who we are (“radical leftists” is the term they prefer), and they’re coming for us on Election Day”. That’s really all the teabaggers are, a win at all cost details be dammed, the left will do well to avoid falling into the same trap.

  3. And five: Everyone who disagrees with them is a radical leftist who hates America.

    Matthew 12:30 Anyone who is not with me, is against me. Anyone who does not work with me is working against me.

    This is the most damaging sentence in the bible. Probably the most damaging on earth. It has certainly wreaked destruction in the US.

  4. uncledad – Indeed, why DOES everyone give the teabaggers “party” stature. That’s flummoxed me for months.

    Again I find myself out-of-the-loop from my peers since I’m one of those elderly whites yet am at the absolute opposite end of the political, social and economic spectra from them. (In fact, I’m one of those they’re pissed at.)

    The only thing I can figure is the source of their obvious anger is fear, but of what? They’ve been ‘set up’ for the rest of their lives thanks to social security/medicare and secured property worth far more than they ever paid for it. Do they fear losing it? If so, they’re supporting the wrong party.

    None of this makes any sense to me. (Of course, I suspect this was the same bunch that went ballistic when in the ’60’s young men started growing their hair long and, horrors of horrors, started growing beards. That was irrational. I think I’ve hit on a an ‘answer’, supporters of the Tea Party are merely irrational.)

  5. “uncledad – Indeed, why DOES everyone give the teabaggers “party” stature. That’s flummoxed me for months. ”

    Why’d they give that dope preacher in Florida who wanted to heat his Winnebago with a Koran a forum? They don’t call it “Faux News” for nothing!

  6. Indeed, why DOES everyone give the teabaggers “party” stature.

    Because they are an auxiliary of the Repugs!

  7. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Mahablog » More Stuff to Talk About --

Comments are closed.