Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The problem with the tea parties

What began as a grass roots initiative in true libertarian form has become a partisan pundit hump fest. What looked to be a breath of fresh air in the ascent of new, non-traditional third party politics was quickly devoured by right wing ideologues and, naturally as the sun sets in the west, left wing flame throwers piled on.

Oh their message is reminiscent of the noble, early efforts; fair taxation, a government of the people, by the people, etc. However, the tea party's new custodian's bring some baggage. The now infamous rants of some imbecile suggesting we burn the books, "The ones in college, those, those brainwashing books," at an event sponsored by Glenn Beck. Or the populist, anti-rich melody of John Rich serenading a Hannity tea party crowd on the evil yankees of Wall Street being responsible for the demise of Detroit's automakers (which I watched live and so you'll have to hunt down those lyrical moments on your own.) Apparently waning interest in massive SUV's and unsustainable, union driven wage and healthcare demands make for less romantic country songs.

Once the coup was accomplished and the tedious blowhards stepped to the helm, the leftwing firebreathers held forth with their own salvo. Two infamous examples:

The pathetic bit of "journalism" espoused by CNN reporter Susan Roesgen, who may well have Shepard Fairey's "Hope" tattooed on the small of her back. Her indictment of Fox News for it's political impartiality is a clear case of pot, kettle, black.

The racist rant of Jeneane Garofalo on the Lord of Vanity's tedious effort at "news analysis" recently and the simpering of the host, which exceeded that of a bad case of salmonella in it's nauseating quality. In Garofalo's world (a world in which one suffering from advanced stage neurosyphilis might find themselves) any who disagree with the President's stimulus package hate black people.

The problem with the tea parties is that they've been boosted by the status quo on both sides of the traditional partisan extreme. Any revolutionary magic they held has been eviscerated by political hackery and partisan static. The third party message has been hijacked by little more than shallow, partisan, populist combat between the two parties that libertarian's view as the root of America's manifold political maladies. Now "owned" by right wing punditry and shat upon by their left wing counterparts the tea party has become a caricature. And that's a damn shame because it'd be nice to finally see the American people divided from traditional partisanship in mass dissent demanding genuine change.


Dan tdaxp said...

Good post. I generally agree.

The one point I would ad is that the failure of Detroit is looking increasingly political. Firms with more personal and financial connectiosn to politicians (AIG, Goldman Sachs, Citi, etc), will continue to operate into the indefinite future.

EB said...

"Amen" to your points here as well as Dan's.

An actual libertarian movement would best be unfolded in one city/region with all the resources of the movement poured into its success in taking control of government institutions there. Perhaps success there could lead to a movement in the State legislature that could then be replicated along local issues in a neighboring state.

For the life of me, I have no idea why this has not happened yet. Apparently everyone thinks you have to run for President to make a difference, or this is all a consequence of the maverick syndrome of rich outsiders feeding their egos by wasting a lot of money (Ross Perot).

Jay@Soob said...

Dan, I've been following and appreciating your posts on Geitner and the ham fisted fashion in which this administration is dealing w/ the economic crisis.

Eddie, interesting points. I think Texas, at least in rhetorical terms, is making this attempt.