Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Rude Pundit and Matt Taibbi are all over town saying the same basic thing but saying it oh so very well. The Tea Bagging party is another one of the opiates of the masses. Here's the Rude Pundit saying it a bit more pungently:

Ah, fuck this. Fuck the puns and the mocking. It's just too fucking depressing. Somewhere, Karl Marx is laughing his bearded ass off. Because what is this but classic exploitation of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie? It's a bunch of rich fucks, beginning with that tool Rick Santelli on CNBC and ending with the slavering profitmongers at Fox "news," making the poor idiots, who are desperate from fear of or actual job loss and heath insurance loss and home loss, do their bidding. Look at the people attending. More... Bedraggled Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin wannabes, clinging to the image of those who create the illusion of the working class without the work or the class. Ignorance is such bliss, man.

This movement's gonna die a horribly gruesome death. It really is just the last hideous gasps of a kind of right wing populism that's got nothing to do with actual populism and everything to do with a desperate scrabbling to preserve the status quo for the wealthy. It's ideological endgame, motherfuckers, and the checkmate ain't gonna be pretty.
But you know, once you've diagnosed the problem its pretty clear that something needs to be done about it. Just making fun of people, or rolling your eyes, or observing (rightly) "'twas ever thus" is not useful.

If Religion is both a "haven in a heartless world" and a kind of chain then atheism's the cure. For the Dark Ages we needed an Enlightenment. And for the End Times Tea Bagging side show freaks, well, we need a serious intervention. If the NRA, the White Supremacist Movement, the Anti-Gay Crowd, Glen Beck and all the others are the problem, we need a solution. Its not enough to say "this is the last gasp" of this movement. Because its not. I don't agree with our new catchphrase "the arc of history bends towards justice" or any of that other guff. The ark of history is taking on water at a tremendous clip and we'd better start bailing.

The first thing we need to do is realize that half the people who show up at these things are *really hurting* and we need to figure out how to be the people who solve their problems. Then they won't have to show up and stamp their feet and wave their badly lettered signs. They can go back to work, or caring for their sick relatives, or knitting, or whatever they would actually rather be doing. The second thing we need to do is to make it clear that we are the people who are going to solve their problems--we, the liberals, the dems, the gays, the jews, the blacks, the teachers, etc... As g-d makes us repeat during the Seder we "and no other." And the third thing we need to do is to point and wave and piss on the remaining 15 percent of the country who are completely and irredeemably insane. But the one thing we can't do is just rely on making fun of these tea baggin' losers. They have no sense of humor. They have no sense of shame. And they are very, very, frightened. And fear is a dangerous thing when combined with a pathetic level of gullibility.