TNC had an great post pointing out the rank amateurism of the teabaggers. He compared their angry, unhinged protests to the civil rights movement, where every move was carefully planned to portray “solemn restraint”.
A more contemporary comparison is the gay rights movement. In addition to protests, they’re working the mass media, placing tremendous pressure on homophobic school boards and communities by putting sympathetic teenagers on network TV.
I wrote about one case in Mississippi last week. Here’s another one in Georgia. This time, the boy involved will appear on the Ellen show, after some classmates organized a protest against his participation at prom. He seems like a great kid — too bad his dad, a high school math teacher who won “Teacher of the Year”, kicked him out of the house.
Like other minority groups who have experienced the real pain of having their rights violated, and who have been kept down for generations, gays plot each of their moves carefully, because they know how much is at stake.
Faux minorities, who have never experienced a day of hate and denigration, not to mention generations of discrimination, throw “give it to me now” tantrums, and they need to be fed and bussed in to do it.
Are you suggesting that, instead of Tea Baggers, we start calling them Saltines?
The sense of entitlement among the teabaggers is staggering. They are all in favor of socialism, but only so long as the benefits are limited to those of Aryan blood.
The Bearded Blogger
Rightwingers are RPGers who use the real world as their platform.
Well, that plus the glee we derive from a well-plotted revenge.
There were some kooky anarchist parts of the Act-Up movement that was counterproductive.
Also the violent self-centered anarchist section that comprised part of the WTO Seattle protest are similar to the teabaggers.
OT but this sly bit in a FT article about Obama is hilarious-
“Others, perhaps only sketchily aware of Adolf Hitler’s career, which is not remembered for efforts to extend healthcare to the uninsured, continue to toss around words such as “Gestapo” and “fascist”. John Boehner, the House Republican leader, saw the passage of what by normal standards should be seen as a centrist bill as “Armageddon”. Meanwhile, according to a Harris poll this week, 24 per cent of Republicans think Mr Obama “may be the anti-Christ”.
@Chris: Link, please.
@Mike Kay: That ACT UP stuff is old – gays have learned and adapted.
I agree that the anarchists are tantrum throwers, too, and just as ineffective as the teabaggers will be.
The Bearded Blogger
@Chris: Yeah, some people say that about Bush, or Reagan, but theyare a fringe element of the left. Anyway, see my comment at #2
Of course you never saw Democratic congresspeople or presidential candidates talking about how WTO protesters were what America great.
Short Bus Bully
“Tantrums” is indeed the correct word, rather than “Protests.” And as the father of three under the age of six, I hope that the rest of the adults in the room will give the Teabagger Tantrums all the attention and respect they deserve.
Obviously the MSM is not included in that “adult” tag…
The Bearded Blogger
@mistermix: not coincidentally, baggers are anarchists too… anarchism/libertarianism is the political philosophy equivalent of an egocentric tantrum
@MikeJ: of course, the corporate media rigs he game.
ACT-UP was more concerned about AIDS funding, not overall gay rights (though there was probably some overlap in the popular mind.)
The group of gays that more closely resembled the Teabaggers were Queer Nation, which tried to apply ACT-UP tactics directly toward attaining gay rights, but got nowhere. They were regarded by most as too shrill and hypersensitive.
Disappeared into moderation..BJ evidently doesnt like FT links
03/26 edition article name “America: The recovery position”
The Bearded Blogger
@beltane: Sometimes, Tom Tancredo seems inches away from saying “Hitler got everything right except the chosen race…”
I did a search for “America: the recovery position” (without quotes) and it’s the first item on the page:
I don’t care, I want it now!
Teabagger throws tantrum (TTT).
that happens to me too, and when it does, I use tinyurl
Gosh, that poor kid. His math teacher dad kicks him out of the house? Where do you go from there? Sigh. People are really crazy.
And then there’s the Republican Party.
Act Up had actual grievances; especially those regarding the price of AZT, which at the time was the only drug available, and the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients in general. They did succeed in getting the price of AZT reduced by several thousand dollars as a result of their protests.
This is spot on.
I find it hard to believe how angry these people are, and all the time. You’d think it would be brutal on your body and soul to be so damned angry all the time. I wouldn’t want to live that way, I can tell you that.
And the weird thing to me is that this isn’t new. I mean, now with one of those people running the country, they’re even more fired up, and all the more so since he wasn’t even born in the United States, or–I have it on good authority–even on Earth; but they’ve been raging for the last 20 years, even when Bush held the presidency and the Republicans held Congress.
I recall back in the days of the Bush administration, when the Republicans were doing pretty much anything they wanted, and liberals were speaking up, but nobody much was really listening, and needless to say, the wingnuts were just incensed that anybody was questioning anything they said or thought or believed; and somebody, I think it was The Editors, over at The Poorman, said something along the lines of “Just what, exactly are these people [wingnuts] so pissed off about?”
I might not have gotten the quote word for word, but I never forgot the thought. American conservatives are now people you can define pretty much as just being angry about not getting their way on everything. That’s about all there is to them by now. When they lose, they’re angry that they lost. When they win, they’re angry that they didn’t win as lopsidedly as they believe they should have won, or that the people they beat aren’t kissing their asses or leaving the country.
I think that Lincoln got it right at the Cooper Union, talking about slaveholders in 1859 or 1860 or whichever year it was. And it holds today with conservatives. It isn’t enough to say, “All right, you believe what you believe, and it isn’t what I believe, but that’s all right. We don’t have to see eye to eye on everything.” They don’t want just the right to speak and think as they want, they want the right to live somewhere where no one else has the right to speak or think otherwise.
When they come out as racists, they get angry that the rest of us recoil. They think we should be cheering them on, for “standing up” and “speaking truth to power”. We should admire them for their guts and wisdom. Anything less is a violation of their rights.
I don’t know how you deal with people who see one of their unalienable rights as the right to take other people’s rights away. There have always been such people, I guess, but they are really whipped up now, and they’re feeling like people in power are listening to them, and it’s heady stuff, and I don’t know how we as a society can stop this frenzy. I don’t know if I’d have said this a year ago, but I now believe one or more congressmen will end up dead before this is over. I think this might well be the most dangerous time this country has gone through in its history, aside from the ratification of the Constitution and the Civil War. I just hope we come out of this a working country.
This is a comment in the WPO:
This tells me three things…One, one group of teabaggers believes they will loose their government-sponsored benefits; two, those that are stupid and believe rightwing propaganda, and never, ever question the validity of that propaganda; and three, racists…
Possibly, but I think you could get rid of the racists at least and still have a pretty big crowd. The problem is that all you’re left with are people who get all their news from Fox and talk radio. You’re simply not going to have a lot of smart people in that bunch.
I just figured out that being in moderation puragatory is a good excuse to drink another glass of wine….
Yeah, I was going to say (and will anyway) …becauce some of us can be fiendishly diabolical and often just plain smarter than our detractors.
Now one small thing mistermix
So you don’t have to……
Pure, distilled ressentiment.
An inferiority complex masquerading as a political philosophy.
Shorter Yuval Levin–
“if we dont repeal Obamacare immediately the “conservative” movement is dead.”
Entitlements can never be cut once once they are established.
November is seven months months away.
Seven months for people to see the sky isn’t falling and to get some benefits….and for Obama to reform the bankstahs and start on Obamnesty.
I would get dragged to enviro-protests, by my proto-hippie mom, and have to watch her lecture the dreadlocked clowns around us on manners and attire, and of course they came down on her like a sack of rocks for daring to question their induhviduality and creative freedom and blah blah, which anyone could have told her they would. But yeah. If you’re going to protest, wear what you’d wear to a funeral. Shit is serious, or it isn’t.
The NYTimes has a story pointing out that many TeaBaggers have time to protest since they’re unemployed and/or on social security or medicare.
And it wonders if the TeaBag movement will survive an economic upturn.
Oompa loompa doompa-dee-do
I’ve got another puzzle for you
Oompa loompa doompa-da-dee
If you are wise you will listen to me
What do you get when you act like a brat
Shriek about commies like a poor stepped-on cat?
Blaming the government’s the name of the game
Keep acting like you have no shame
Fifteen minutes on FOX News
Teabag protests, they go too far
Waving their guns and calling for war
If you have a brain and a clue
Then this song is not directed at you!
The Coates column has it right.
I don’t see the point of arguing over the fact that every movement, including the civil rights movement, had some fringe elements that caused problems by staying stuck on the ‘outrageous’ setting all the time.
The important point is that after you subtract the extremists and clowns, what do you have left?
In terms of realistic policy alternatives, I think the teabaggers have very little. It’s not just racism, it’s also theocracracy, HS sophomore Ayn Rand-fanatic simple minded libertarianism, Know Nothingism, retarded anti-intellectualism, and just butt dumb ignorance. Take all that stuff, each strain of which mentioned above, is so undiluted and pure as turn off most sensible independents and moderate Democratic voters, that I think it must flame out soon, either into some kind of violent incident that causes a backlash, or pure gross hilarity.
What is left after you subtact out all that? Some uninformed scared middle class white folks, who show themselves to be ignorant and clueless once you get them to talk. I can sympathize with them to some extent, but cannot see how such impotent resentful angry sadsacks can inspire any large group. And that, as far as I can see, is MOST sympathetic element of the teabaggers.
How great is it that the URL for your first link includes:
but the title of the actual article is:
So they couldn’t even fulfill their remit and come up with all 8 names – and then they were too incompetent to get the full title on their post.
Edit: now that I’ve started reading the actual piece, it’s interesting that the rather bitter author completely fails to understand an ironic Klein comment about people invoking irrelevant parts of the Nazi record and falsely claims that Klein verbally assaulted the mortal remains of the late Saint Russert, using a twitter post Ezra made about a year before Russert’s untimely death and even more undeserved sanctification. And that’s just the second paragraph.
Keep in mind a lot of these Tea Partyers are folks who have been stirred into action by the same outlets that give them a distorted view of what anti-war and anti-gay protests were like.
Go to RedState or Flopping Aces and search to see how they represent “Code Pink” or any anti-war effort.
Then look at the Tea Party protest, they are copying a distorted template of how protest actually works.
Well I agree practically with everything you said but I do want to play Devil’s advocate for the portion of the Teabaggers that are being drawn from the Appalachian section of the US. That has always been a staggeringly poor under- resourced part of the country, for centuries. Poor whites were economically at the bottom rung, which is the source of a lot of the racism directed at their economic competitors, poor blacks.
A lot of the teabaggers are everything you said – spoiled deluded people. However, I think there is a certain section of teabaggers who, although white, have never quite experienced white privelege in the same way middle class America has. These people are mad because they are the sons, grandsons,greatgrandsons etc of people who have been powerless. I don’t know how we reach this portion of the teabaggers- their resentment is bred into the bone.
He compared their angry, unhinged protests to the civil rights movement, where every move was carefully planned to portray “solemn restraint”.
“Strange Fruit” is a song performed most famously by Billie Holiday. It condemned American racism, particularly the lynching of African Americans that had occurred chiefly in the South but also in all other regions of the United States.
What is the worst thing that has happened in ANY tea baggers life? Their job got shipped overseas? They got passed over for a promotion? Seriously – they want their country back? Well sorry biotches – the man from the country club done bought and paid for it – and he ain’t gonna give it back to you. Welcome to the Corporate States of America.
From the NYT:
“Basil Kelley, 55, drove 1,100 miles from Aurora, Ore. “We are here because we have got to get off the couch, we got to take this country back, back to the Constitution,” Mr. Kelley said. “For the first time in my life I am seeing Congress act in the exact opposite way that people are asking.”
First time in his life, evah! The story also says there were several thousand people at the rally, so I expect the Baggers numbers to be somewhere around 50,000.
Provide them with healthcare?
I think people foreign and domestic are learning that if you are a retard, you vote GOP, and everybody else votes Dem.
I see daylight. Moments ago the man of this household came into my computer room spouting angrily over hearing Don Lemon on CNN say “both sides are promoting violence”. “Since when have the Democrats promoted the violence I heard today?”
I think and hope the Republicans have lost another registered Republican. I wish there was a way to find out how many have left their party over this madness and hatred.
The only way I can imagine a GOP comeback is if they can make enough hay about the deficit.
Course, voting in the GOP to take care of your deficit is a bit like inviting Dexter Morgan to help with your Rehabilitate a Criminal Initiative.
I’m not sure there is anything to the Tea Party other than racism. Now, we all know they are not particularly coherent, but the NYT article this morning was pretty amazing for the inconsistency of their positions. From my reading, this article rules out any explanation for the TTT Party other than one big racist dog whistle.
It’s THIS government they don’t trust. Is there any explanation other than BLACKITY BLACK? This article doesn’t say it, but I think it rules out any other reason.
EDIT: FYWP. Can’t get the blockquotes to behave. But you can get the idea.
Oh dear. Now that I’ve gotten past their slandering of ezra klein, I see that the second person named as being “smarter than me” is glenn reynolds. Frankly, that’s just an insult. Or maybe they’re accurately describing the people they expect to read a piece in The Daily tucker?
In fairness, the author doesn’t attempt to defend including reynolds. And the next few pieces (on nate silver and on matt yglesias) are not only bitter screeds, but the latter in particular contains at least one error (yglesias has spent very little of his life in a New England city, having lived mostly in New York and in DC) and a main section that is impressively self-refuting.
And then there’s the best bit: after promising 8 people in the URL, and 6 in the title, the top two spots don’t actually go to existing specific people. Meaning only four are named, and one of those is reynolds, about whom nothing is written.
What a hack.
P.S. I have carefully uncapitalized all names in this comment because the nitwitted author of the piece you linked chose to do the same for some inscrutable reason.
In terms giving the opposition a righteous asskicking, Cooper Union (1860) probably remains the best speech in American political history. Sam Waterson gave a rendition, at Cooper Union, a few years ago and it was brilliant.
edit: Waterston’s Performance: http://www.booktv.org/Watch/4554/Sam+Waterston+Delivers+Abraham+Lincolns+Cooper+Union+Speech.aspx
And you’re right. He had them pegged.
“The question recurs, what will satisfy them? Simply this: We must not only let them alone, but we must somehow, convince them that we do let them alone. This, we know by experience, is no easy task. We have been so trying to convince them from the very beginning of our organization, but with no success. In all our platforms and speeches we have constantly protested our purpose to let them alone; but this has had no tendency to convince them. Alike unavailing to convince them, is the fact that they have never detected a man of us in any attempt to disturb them.”
“These natural, and apparently adequate means all failing, what will convince them? This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly – done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated – we must place ourselves avowedly with them. Senator Douglas’ new sedition law must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in presses, in pulpits, or in private. We must arrest and return their fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure. We must pull down our Free State constitutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected from all taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to believe that all their troubles proceed from us.”
Brick Oven Bill
Sun Tzu teaches us:
1. The Teabagger is of vital importance to the State.
2. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.
3. The Teabagger, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one’s deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.
4. These are:
(1) The Moral Law;
(4) The Commander;
(5) Method and discipline.
This is different than ACORN, Sun Tzu perhaps would have extrapolated, as those guys seem happy with a few free cigarettes.
I don’t see ACT-UP as tantruming, or not just tantruming. They were rude and loud, but they had coherent, consistent goals. Like the suffragettes chaining themselves to fences – they might have annoyed people and irritated the well-behaved lobbying branch of their movement, but there is more to them than screeching and foot stomping.
I think the Teabag Tantrum crowd will put the nail in the coffin of Republican presidential hopes within two to three months.
In that time, immigration reform will hit the floor. When it does, I think we’ll discover we ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.
And THAT will ensure that for at least a decade the only voters the GOP gets are white voters — and barely over half of them. Since white voters will only be about 70% of the total vote in 2012 (they were 74% in 2008, and it’s been a steady decline since 1968), well,
60% of 70% is 42% which is NOT a majority of the vote. It’s really that simple.
If they can refrain from going off about immigration reform they’ll keep a proportion of non-whites just as they have before. It gets closer then, though I still think the R’s can’t win in 2012.
But I really don’t think they can refrain. They’re anarchists. Bomb-throwers. Pure ID on display.
@Brick Oven Bill: You are aware Sun Tzu was not a white man, correct?
Brick Oven Bill
Chinese have higher average IQs than Europeans Seebach. By like ten (10) points. Sun Tzu was pretty sharp. He wrote a good book.
@Brick Oven Bill: It’s posts like these that remind me BoB is a spoof, not a troll.
Brick Oven Bill smackdown. I loves it. Just needs one thing.
@Brick Oven Bill: I’m not sure then why we don’t want our crafty, though inscrutable, Chinese Overlords to run the world for us, eh?
I agree with this, but I think the difference between this group and gays/blacks is that the latter were actively denied rights and often the subject of hate crimes. The group you single out just never got what they perceive to be their piece of the pie.
Even if they could get over the anger and resentment, political protests are probably the wrong way for them to go about bettering their position.
Just look at the party ID numbers. Independents continue to grow, and the number of registered GOPers continues to drop towards 20%.
@gbear well that would seem practical but a lot of them seem to BE on Medicare,disability,VA insurance. I think what would help is old school WPA jobs. Put industries down there- something that, with training, could provide a steady income for a high school graduate.
Bill E Pilgrim
@Loneoak: The other important explanation is Fox News.
It being basically a full-time propaganda effort in favor of the Republican party, just one that’s disguised as an independent purely commercial venture. (I don’t think even they pretend that there’s journalism involved, do they? I think “we’re out to make money” is what they claim in opposition to the charge that they’re just a GOP PR outfit).
One of their on-screen personalities is openly credited with creating this particular version of white supremacy-based agitation, and we saw Fox producers unabashedly staging “protests” on camera, as if turning on applause signs in a studio.
There’s Dick Armey and other organized groups also but without Fox I doubt we’d have heard much about any “movement”.
So it’s a dedicated propaganda arm of one of the political parties that’s extremely well-funded by a billionaire, headed by a right-wing Nixon operative, and somehow allowed to operate as if an independent and unbiased commercial venture. And their party is out of power. Of course we’re going to hear that “protests are sweeping the nation”.
Repeating myself here but remember the puritans didn’t come to america to escape intolerance they came here to practice it. Wingers are just the remnants, with bull(shit) horns.
I agree, and disagree. If you listen carefully, many teabaggers are people afraid of loosing their benefits — especially medicare…others have become fearful because of the impact of rightwing propaganda, ie. death panels…Many have little understanding of how those guiding them have benefitted from government-sponsored benefits — Michelle, Sarah, and others…They don’t question…They just accept. Add in the religious right — and all the anti-God rhetoric, plus the racism — you have a group of people exhibiting everything antithetical to sound political discourse….What to me is most problematic is not that these people exist — as they always have existed — but, rather the media is given them both visibility and legitimacy.
some other guy
I caught the first 10 minutes of one of the broadcast network’s newscasts and it was all Sarah Palin and Teabagger. They may not be large, well organized, or even coherent, but apparently they’re newsworthy.
I find it incredible frustrating because, really, it’s not hard to get a few thousands people to show up somewhere when you’ve got local and nationally syndicated talk radio hosts, not to mention a 24-hour “news” network, constantly pimping the events. And these events are usually organized and funded by a Republican front group like FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity. But, of course, the “liberal” media treats them like a real “grassroots” movement.
I mean, the whole thing is nothing but a big scam intended to dupe those conservatives who became disillusioned with the GOP during the waning years of the Bush administration into rejoining the flock. The goal is to 1) scare the crap out of them by painting Obama as the second coming of Hitler, and 2) to fool them into believing that Republican party is actually listening to them and “reforming” itself (reflected in their blindly opposing anything and everything Obama and the Dems propose).
@mistermix-again I loved the tnc post and agree with you pretty much absolutely- but I do think historically it is not a PERCEPTION that they didn’t get a piece of the pie- it is the truth. I recall that is was exposing the 18 century conditions of rural Appalachians that really provided impetus to the Great Society programs.
Again I want to stress that I agree with you and TNC but I have always been interested in the causes of racial tension between competing economic groups- how do you diffuse that tension between groups that have limited access to power.
I understand what you are saying but I really, really hope that you are wrong in your prediction that a Representative or two is likely to be killed.
And you probably hope that you are wrong, too.
@Brick Oven Bill:
“The Teabagger, then, is governed by five constant factors — moral law.”
Sorry, but there is nothing “moral” about the teabaggers. If there was, we would have seen their presence during the Bush years — ie., protests against torture and illegal detention….Listening to teabaggers, most are afraid of loosing government-sponsored benefits that they receive. I have yet to see a teabagger take issue with the government-sponsored benefits of those helping to organize them, and who regularly appear at their rallies — Sarah, Michelle, etc.
You know who else plotted his moves carefully? Hitler.
Over at TNR, Chait notices that a 71 year old Iowa woman who complained about HCR in the Wall Street Journal turns out to have taken over $300,000 in Federal farm subsidies since 1995.
@Bill E Pilgrim:
The Onion says it best.
Sure, Fox is a propaganda wing of the TTT Party, but that doesn’t explain much–rather it’s descriptive of how the enterprise works. People still need a reason to believe propaganda, they still need a purpose. The reason and purpose of these jackasses appears, to me, to be exclusively racist/nativist. Or, at the very least, the only consistent beliefs they have are racist/nativist.
@Fitzwili:You’re right-reality, not perception.
Bill E Pilgrim
@Fitzwili: The difficulty there of course is trying to make any claim that it’s because of being white that you didn’t get your due, when the majority of those who got the biggest pieces of the pie were white also.
So then that further divides things into “elites” who may be white like you but different, and who want to give pieces to people of other colors before giving you yours, in your view. And the divisions, meanwhile, just multiply.
Bill E Pilgrim
@Loneoak: Oh don’t misunderstand, I think FOX knows exactly what the buttons are and how to push them. Expertly.
As far as “that doesn’t explain much”, sure it does, it explains why we’re hearing so much about it, for one thing. Racism has existed for ages, but it’s become egged on, stirred up, amplified, organized, and so on, and looking at the media involved goes a long way toward explaining that.
One of my tags related to posting about Teabaggers has been for a while, “It Ain’t White Boy Day.”
These people are ridiculous, and they are stupid across the board, I mean, any grassroots movement should be able to police their own, or at least have one damned college grad on “Moran Patrol”. The Kos post DougJ linked to below has a bevy of pics from Wingnut Woodstock, and lo and behold there is a sign that spells gubmint, “Goverment”.
Brick Oven Bill
Bill E. Pilgrim.
Sigh. You are so 1990s.
White Privilege is another religion. The Society of Blacks in Higher Education, a group not as carefully shrouded in the discipline of secrecy as Sun Tzu kept his forces, teaches us that, when indexed for intellect, blacks are paid 500% the compensation of whites.
Third table down on the right.
Rahm needs to have a shower talk with these guys.
“Monsters, John! Monsters from the id!”
Thank you for the information.
I wondered since I registered Democrat this past winter. I was a Republican for about 14 years.
@some other guy:
You are so right about the pimping media. Sarah was all over it today.
some other guy
I really can’t understand why the media follows her every move like it matters. She’s not a serious contender for the 2012 nomination. She’s disliked by a majority of Americans. Not even a majority of *Republicans* say they would like to see her as president in 2012 or even think that she’s qualified for the job.
@ Bill E. Pilgim
oh yes- I agree about that phenomenon causing more resentment and a desire to lash themselves to a power structure that emphasis wealth and status. I think it is important to parse the differences between the teabaggers- they all seem angry and illogical- but the reasons for their angry illogic vary wildly. I dont think any of them will respond to reason or facts. I am wondering if they will respond to job programs.
Bill E Pilgrim
@Brick Oven Bill: The telltale Rahm obsession tells me once and for all that not only are you a spoof, but a local one.
I know no other blog as Rahm-focused as this one. I’m guessing JC, in fact now.
I watched the Sarah Palin stumps for McCain speech over at Wonkette and I thought of nothing so much as “Second Tier Dinner Theater” or those “Hollywood Stars” who ended their careers on Hollywood Squares. She seemed tired, hurried, indifferent, and casual about her political comments, while McCain stood there looking like the dad who has hired the second rate entertainment for his kid’s birthday party but hopes the kids don’t realize how crappy the clown is.
Interesting comments on Appalachia, but there are progressives in Appalachia. What is different about progressives and moderates from regions like Apalachia, and those that go teabagger?
Racism, either out of bigotry or ignorance is the only explanation that I can see.
I looked for an old post from Yglesias reporting a survey of what government programs conservatives want to cut.
Only one got over 50% (foreign aid, which would make almost exactly zero difference in government spending) and only one got near 50% from below (welfare).
None of the big ticket items got nearly as high as 50%, such as social security, highways, public education. I think the difference is that the money in these other actually big ticket programs did not go to certain other types of undeserving people.
The survey also showed how nincompoop ignorant and unrealistic these people are.
I also found a post from Yglesias on ethnocentric attitudes and support for different public programs that makes a similar point.
I would not want to judge an individual teabagger, or accuse one of conscious racism. But I think a lot of it is racism, conscious or unconscious. Like a lot of white ethnics I know, who always have a couple of beloved black or Hispanic ‘best friends’ (and I do not doubt them) but always find something terribly wrong with any prominent black or Hispanic political leader or movement.
If getting the shaft from government services, and seeing the tax man carry away one’s hard earned money and giving to to some one else, and seeing one’s prospects dim, in itself, creates teabaggers and conservatives, how do you explain the lack of conservatism in the young? One factor I am sure is that the current youth saw the GOP in charge while much of this was done to them, but I think that they are also less racially bigoted than previous generations, and this is a big part of it too.
Out of curiosity, did anyone here manage to catch “Food Revolution” with Jamie Oliver on ABC last night? (We caught up with it tonight.)
Premise is simple: British chef goes to the most overweight town in the most overweight state the most overweight Country in the world (Hi, Mom!). He tries to get them to eat healthier, fresh foods.
Immeditately I said to the Mrs.: “Two things are going to happen: The townspeople will be exposed for how little they know about basic nutrition, and the will resent the hell out of having that fact brought up.”
I could not have been more on target. The kids couldn’t identify a potato on sight. And the local newspaper and radio station started a smear campaign against the chef.
There’s a mentality to these places that really resents any outside forces coming in to tell them how to do things. Even if the ways they are doing things is objectively, empirically wrong, they clutch to the “traditional” way of doing things (even when that’s the “traditional” Happy Meal at Burger King), and reject outside interference out-of-hand.
It’s an old strain of the American character, been around forever.
It also comprises a good chunk of the teapartiers.
Wonderful…one of the best descriptions ever…And, what is truly painful is watching Ms. Sarah read her notes, while talking nonsense….I mean really. My cats can talk nonsense without notecards…
some other guy
Now that she lacks a huge team of top notch, highly paid speechwriters to put words in her mouth it’s no surprise she sounds like a hack.
And [gasp] is that an eeeevil teleprompter I see?
Brick Oven Bill
Happy Meals are to be found at McDonalds kdaug. It is to Burger King that one must go to get a $1.00 quarter pound double cheese burger, the best value out there.
Tonight is pizza night though, and my fingertip was just severed while chopping an onion.
We will see how this duct tape works.
But this is precisely the difference in the goals of the Tea Party movement. These folks don’t want to be socially acceptable. They view any ostensible conservative who is too ‘acceptable’ to the other side as untrustworthy and a likely traitor (see Frum, David). They don’t want the mass media on their side — in their eyes, the mass media is the enemy. Normal civil rights groups want to change the views of society at large. The Tea Partiers want to REJECT society at large. To them, it is incurably corrupt.
The problems you are describing with their movement are a feature, not a bug.
I just think it is a mistake to regard the Tea Party as having a coherent, unifying ideology or governing principle.
Social Security recipients talking about not wanting government to provide handouts, populists opponents of Wall Street demanding unfettered capitalism, disciples of Ayn Rand embracing warrantless wiretapping…
There isn’t a clearly thought out platform- it is resentment, an incoherent rage. Honestly, I can’t come up with any explanation other than white tribal fear and anxiety over Obama, who I think represents the leading edge of an America in which they will play a minority role.
@Brick Oven Bill: I made roast chicken with traditional stuffing. Also mushrooms and zucchini. Took a lot of knife work. Not a single knick. Your knife-fu bites.
@Brick Oven Bill:
I submit to your impeccable epicurean credentials, BoB.
Brick Oven Bill
The Teabagger never cooks while sober Yutsano. The sun sets, to release us from the day’s labor. We then seek refreshment, and fresh healthy food.
Be very afraid.
@Bill E Pilgrim:
Hmm. Now that you mention it, those DIY brick oven photos from the old BoB site do have a background that vaguely resembles West Virginia…
We don’t organize diddly. We’re doing everything at once, and the media coverage creates a narrative arc that makes it seem planned.
But in truth, we have become the If You Fire Often Enough, There WILL Be Skeet in Your Sights movement.
I worry about what happens when this year’s crop of fresh blood (energized by Prop 8, kids of all ages, if you’re keeping score at home) figures out that we can only win if we keep reloading.
Most of them seem to be working under the delusion that there is a method, when really all we have is lots and lots and lots of action, some percentage of which is effective in moving the story ahead.
I explained over at Coates’ place that as a third-gen activist, I know this is typical of functional social movements. My grandma, who would be 100 tomorrow if she were alive, told me tales of watching her mama picket for suffrage and it sounded like a hot mess of internal politics, who’s going to be the star, and all the other problems we have to push through. My dad went through being purged from VN Vets Against the War because he wasn’t radical enough; he preferred going to church basements in his Class As to explain what the hell was really going on over there. My mom was thrown overboard during the ‘whitey get out’ purge at SNCC.
Everything we’re doing is exactly what we need to be doing, and it’s working, because we have no other option but to keep throwing things at the wall–but there is not nor has there been an organizational consciousness coordinating it all.
Wile E. Quixote
The always excellent Austin Lounge Lizards wrote the perfect song to describe the anger of the teabaggers, Teenage Immigrant Welfare Mothers on Drugs
You know, Texas is a state that is just chock full of dichotomies. On the one hand the state produces wingnuts such as Rick Perry, Chuck Norris, The Texas Board of Education, George W. Bush and a fucktarded cast of millions and on the other you have a state that produces great musicians such as the Austin Lounge Lizards, Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys, Little Jack Melody and His Young Turks and many, many others. What gives?
Wile E. Quixote
@Bill E Pilgrim:
Yeah, have you noticed how there’s no longer a link to BOB’s blog? Either he was embarrassed by the lack of culinary and construction skills that his pictures of pizzas, potatoes on a cheap black leather couch and the concrete turd with a chimney that he called a brick oven revealed and doesn’t link any more. Or someone is “spoofing” him.
Wile E. Quixote
And here I was thinking that it was just because they were so fabulous.
BOB has sounded overly drugged out and somnolent. Kind of like a rabid cranky independent conservative that got all tuckered out and settling for the absurdly poetic with a dash of the soft-touch about him.
So, no question, Cole doing the BOB spoofs lately.
@Brick Oven Bill:
OH. MY. GOD. Best BOB evar.
Well.. I dunno, I think the formal gay rights movement is fairly highly structured. There’s HRC and then there’s the state orgs like EQCA or Maine Equality or whatever, and all the state orgs work very closely and trade employees and such. And if you ever work with those guys they are OBSESSIVE about how any and all mass action looks to the outside world.
Then you’ve got this new crop of more blog-driven, confrontational gay rights orgs, which mostly exist as a reaction to the establishment orgs being so timid (No On 8 famously didn’t feature any gay people in their advertisements because they focus grouped and found that looking at a gay person made someone more likely to vote against gay marriage… which, y’know, when you reach that point you’ve sort of moved beyond trying to manage perceptions and into the range of surrendering to the thing it’s supposed to be your job to change). But even these groups are pretty structured, you look at, I dunno, who’s running GetEQUAL or whatever and it’s all a bunch of people who have been organizing for years and are on a first name basis with the HRC set, these groups are more a split-off faction out of an existing movement than they are something new. And I do notice these groups are willing to act a bit less polite but every step they take in that direction is a huge deal, every time they take a step toward that territory I see it accompanied by long heated debates about how far is too far and what is counterproductive.
As far as ACT-UP goes, I’m kind of inclined to excuse whatever those guys did because first off I wasn’t there, and second off, you know, PEOPLE WERE LITERALLY DYING.
The teabagger business is just Southern US politics writ large. Whether it was the old yellow dog Democrats or the new Republicans, the electoral strategy was the same: pit poor whites against poor blacks. “You may not have it very good, but at least you are better off than the blacks!”
Courtesy of the Republican Party economic policies over the past 30 years a larger segment of the public has been pushed into the economic margins and are insecure and scared. And, Look, the president is black! You aren’t even better off than the blacks anymore!
Now how are you going to make them feel good about their condition so that they will vote for you? Deny reality. Why the president is Hitler/Stalin/not a citizen/commie/pinko/soshulust. Everything he’s doing is destroying our freedom (to feel superior because we are white). Let’s start a revolution! In fact, let’s just go back to Revolutionary times when slavery was still legal.
Everytime I see people from these rallies that’s what I see: a bunch of rednecks looking for someone to tell them that as poor, ignorant, scared and insecure as they are, they still have the right to feel superior — real Americans as opposed to those fake Americans — because of the color of their skin.
These attendees think they’re part of some spontaneous groundswell of discontent, not being directed by puppeteers seeking profit. Which makes me think none of them have ever stopped to consider why it is that ALL of their events–every one–takes a staged, stationary form.
When the Left demonstrates, we march and holler and raise a ruckus. When the Tea Partiers raise their pinkies, they do it while hitting their marks for the cameras. They’re extras in a very disturbing farce, and they don’t even realize they’re actors. And when they get home and see themselves on the teevee, they think they accomplished something special.
Fox should at least pay them scale.
@Wile E. Quixote:
Don’t forget Molly Ivans, Jim Hightower, and Ann Richards.
What gives? Hard to describe.
Lived here my whole life, first ~20 in Dallas, currently on the next ~20+ in Austin. It is what it is.
Houston and Dallas have more Christian fundamentalists, strip malls and mega-churches, Neiman-Marcus’ and tollroads, though they are wildly divergent communities (huge Vietnamese and Indian constituencies in each).
Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio, more of an openly Hispanic/hippie/student influence. Think bong-hits, books and burritos, big fans of bike trails and breakfast tacos.
Hell the local slogan is “Keep Austin Weird”.
It is kind of an interesting dynamic, but also depressing at times – the stereotypes are not without their merits, particularly in some of the more “industry-related” towns and cities.
@kdaug: I visited a friend in Dallas a couple of times and really enjoyed it. I liked the small gay district just north(?) of downtown.
What I found to be the weirdest thing in Dallas was the older guys who put on heavily starched shirts to go out for the night.
@Brick Oven Bill: Ahhh BoB. Unless you’re an arachnid the chances of me being afraid of you are pretty close to nil.
Wile E. Quixote
I should mention that I was born in Dallas. I’m a Baylor Baby Bear, fortunately my parents escaped over the wall in 1966 in a hot air balloon that my mother made by sewing together stolen confederate flags and klan robes. Or maybe it was a 65 Olds Cutlass. My Texas relatives are a dichotomy as well. I have the really cool relatives and the relatives who go to the church where they don’t fuck standing up because it might lead to dancing.
As for poor whites, I’m not sure how many of them make up the Tea Party movement. A couple of weeks ago I read a breakdown of those that self-identify as Tea Partiers and one item that jumped out at me was the claim that they are wealthier than the average American. This week there was yet another poll on this topic and it didn’t mention this — so I don’t know how valid this is. But that NYT article about how many of them are currently unemployed made me think it might be true — at least when they still had jobs.
Frankly a lot of these people seem aggrieved about life itself. To them it’s always other people who get the desirable things — whether it’s success or wealth or love or very simply attention. All the demagogues in history have counted on a certain percentage of the population possessing that underground core of anger — all they have to do is take the lid off.
Racism, Fear of the Other, sure those forces are in play.
But another enormous component of teabaggers’ ressentiment is anti-intellectual and classism.
Obama is a public intellectual who eats arugula and is well read and highly educated.
The article I linked above is suppose to be a mocking satire….but it is quite clumsy and crudely drawn (ie, the different numbers for “smart people” in the title, link, and actual text) and the rage shows through.
They “love” Ezra Klein but……”he tweeted that the late Tim Russert should be “f—ked with a spicy acid-tipped dick.”
On Nate Silver–
“For all his hiding behind the apparent impartiality of big numbers, Silver occasionally lets his leftist impulses run amok”….apparently only when debunking Malkin Math in counting teabagger rally attendence.
I confess I get dont the Ace of Spades or Reynolds “jokes” a’tall.
What passes for conservative “humor” is nearly always opaque to me.
The dogwhistle message here isnt racism…it is… those snooty elites and intellectuals think they are better than you!!!!! lynch them!!!!
The Daily Caller is a crude attempt to capture the standard of coolth from Obama.
The Daily Caller writers have forgotten….you simply can’t get to Cooltown on the Conservative Express……it apparently only goes to Crazytown.
Another reason the Daily Caller writers Fail at satire is they cant hold back their butthurt rage and resentment.
Anger isn’t ever cool.
JMC in the ATL
Man, Texas is a weird hodge-podge of dichotomies, but I love it (in particular the 35 corridor from SA up to Austin and the Hill Country). I spent the first 30 years in New England, and there were all sorts of little culture shocks when I first arrived. But as soon as I left in 2007, I missed it. All of those little shocks had become coded as signs of “home.”
I’m working on moving back, and I’m the happiest I’ve been since I left.
Great line. I’ll be stealing that, thankewverymuch.
I like to think the teabaggers are just the last spasm of unhinged ideology withering in the annihilating blast of merciless reality. But then one of my seemingly sane and pleasant neighbors in my working-class, economically depressed town in Massachusetts will start ranting about those dirty immigrants churning out gazillions of babies, stealing all the jobs, dealing drugs and living on welfare, and I realize it’s never going to end. It just keeps popping back up like herpes.
I guess humans just need to have someone to hate and blame, and it’s empowering to hate and blame those who are in fact more powerless than you. It gives you hope that the Enemy can eventually be defeated.
The Republicans need to get right with God! First the Republicans wanted to give Obama his Waterloo defeat over healthcare but instead they gave themselves their own Waterloo defeat by not participating in the debate of ideas and by becoming the party of obstructionist. Waterloo defeat refers of course to the defeat at Waterloo put an end to Napoleon’s rule as Emperor of the French and was the culminating battle of the Waterloo Campaign and Napoleon’s last. Republicans get right with God or get ready for future losses and Rush Limbaugh I real hope you enjoy your new home Costa Rica!
Answer to your question is yes, its in their nature, just like it was for republican Senator Larry Craig (ID) and republican Senator Roy Ashburn (CA) to act out their nature.