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Tea for Two. And Two for Tea.

April 15, 2009


Today’s “grassrootsTea Parties are going on across the country.  After eight years of standing idly by while Bush spent our savings like a sailor on shore leave, today’s the day they decide that they’re mad as hell, and they’re not gonna take it anymore!

It reeks of desperation.

If this is the best that today’s Conservative Party can come up with, then they’re in worse shape than I thought.

Taibbi agrees.

This must be a terrible time to be a right-winger. A vicious paradox has been thrust upon the once-ascendant conservatives. On the one hand they are out of power, and so must necessarily rail against the Obama administration. On the other hand they have to vilify, as dangerous anticapitalist activity, the grass-roots protests against the Geithner bailouts and the excess of companies like AIG. That leaves them with no recourse but to dream up wholesale lunacies along the lines of Glenn Beck’s recent “Fascism With a Happy Face” rants, which link the protesting “populists” and the Obama adminstration somehow and imagine them as one single nefarious, connected, ongoing effort to install a totalitarian regime.

This is not a simple rhetorical accomplishment. It requires serious mental gymnastics to describe the Obama administration — particularly the Obama administration of recent weeks, which has given away billions to Wall Street and bent over backwards to avoid nationalization and pursue a policy that  preserves the private for-profit status of the bailed-out banks — as a militaristic dictatorship of anti-wealth, anti-private property forces. You have to somehow explain the Geithner/Paulson decisions to hand over trillions of taxpayer dollars to the rich bankers as the formal policy expression of progressive rage against the rich. Not easy. In order to pull off this argument, in fact, you have to grease the wheels with a lot of apocalyptic language and imagery, invoking as Beck did massive pictures of Stalin and Orwell and Mussolini (side by side with shots of Geithner, Obama and Bernanke), scenes of workers storming the Winter Palace interspersed with anti-AIG protests, etc. — and then maybe you have to add a crazy new twist, like switching from complaints of “socialism” to warnings of “fascism.” Rhetorically, this is the equivalent of trying to paint a picture by hurling huge handfuls of paint at the canvas. It’s desperate, last-ditch-ish behavior.

One Comment leave one →
  1. onceproudamerican permalink
    November 9, 2009 6:30 pm

    What you are witnessing is the folks who still can read, and understand the Constitution standing up to be counted. Forty years of the Federal government ruining our educational instutions has left us with a nation of illiterate under-thirty somethings who prefer to argue feelings than what it is that the federal government was instituted to do.

    Take a look at Art. I Sec. VIII, if it isn’t there then the Feds cannot do it.

    What part of ‘Congress shall make NO LAW’ don’t folks understand?

    The sad truth is that most of you and most Congressional representatives have not or CAN not read the Constitution.

    We will have a government that respects the limitations placed on it by our founding documents, OR we WILL have a civil war.

    Take your pick!

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