Tag Archives: Tea Party

Interesting Times


“Buying and Selling is an Art, whereby people endeavour to cheat one another of the Land…….and true Religion is, To let every one enjoy it.” Gerrard Winstanley A New-yeers Gift for the Parliament and Armie 1650

(I’d be a Bernie Sanders Democrat if Bernie was a member of the Democratic Party. So, I’m a Winstanley Democrat, because the triangulation of George Fox, Eugene Debs and Thomas Paine somehow incarnated by Winstanley in the late 17th century is about right.)

Charles S. Pierce: In the year of our Lord 2010, the voters of the United States elected the worst Congress in the history of the Republic. There have been Congresses more dilatory. There have been Congresses more irresponsible, though not many of them. There have been lazier Congresses, more vicious Congresses, and Congresses less capable of seeing forests for trees. But there has never been in a single Congress — or, more precisely, in a single House of the Congress — a more lethal combination of political ambition, political stupidity, and political vainglory than exists in this one, which has arranged to shut down the federal government because it disapproves of a law passed by a previous Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court, a law that does nothing more than extend the possibility of health insurance to the millions of Americans who do not presently have it, a law based on a proposal from a conservative think-tank and taken out on the test track in Massachusetts by a Republican governor who also happens to have been the party’s 2012 nominee for president of the United States. (Charles S. Pierce blogs at Esquire, in a devastating manner about politics–so I don’t have to do so myself, as much.)


President Barack Obama:”They’ve shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans.”

I find Conservatism in its Reaganesque revision to be abject and might as well throw into the compactor the Tea Party and Libertarianism* and everything to do with the whiny ethos of the “Makers;’ itself a position of bathos first scribbled out in post-Burkean form in the, alas, enduring circular banalities of Ayn Rand.

In the last week I wandered through comment threads expressly etched to pry apart the paradox of Ted Cruz’s high IQ and ivy league credentials and his having before the Supreme Court. (Clarence Thomas!!!)

(But I wasn’t doing so to contribute or be a voyeur. I did so because the problem posed by a public personage triggering a public inquiry about his or her ‘intelligence’ provides a great portal through which to witness the sweep of folk sociology and folk psychology as-practice in discussion about the nature of intelligence. This particular topic happens to interest me a great deal.)

Cruz apparently was indoctrinated into his father’s belief system as a teenager and has used his great mind for purposes other than shifting away a half iota or more from that 25+ year old teenage belief system. Speaking to David Gregory this weekend, Senator Cruz made a number of comments that indicate he has forgotten, or is unaware of very large, important chunks of the U.S. Constitution. Oh, well, I guess that part of his reputation is undeserved and is now in the toilet!

(Meanwhile, Cruz’s father reminds us all, Obama is a Muslim!)

Still, I can inhabit the devil’s advocate enough to understand that as far as ‘getting one’s way,’ politics is a hard ball game played by more than a few crusty white men and, so, right at the beginning of the day, many such men understand that, for example, ‘the Constitution isn’t a suicide pact,’ and ‘one’s deepest beliefs shouldn’t be sacrificed in the a pyre fueled by the anti-royalist dreams of the founding fathers.’ At the end of the day, for those men, taking an entire economy of the USA hostage for the sake of rolling back the healthcare of many African-Americans is just a day’s labor in the second Civil War.

Although it does take a mountain of chutzpah to then blame the hostage’s family for killing the hostage, after the kidnappers’ insane demands weren’t met. 

It is a historical fact that at times corporate collectivists and plutocrats both ensnare populist resentment, and, re-deploy it for purposes dreamed up in 1% fan club think tanks. But, if, like Paul Ryan, you deeply adhere to the entwined ideas that it is (#1) government that makes it impossible for the one percenters to (#2) exhale and fill the sails of the fleet of swamped middle class dinghies, then you, I’m afraid are stupid about economics, as is Paul Ryan. and, just as evidently, as are the entirety of Tea Party reactionaries, Ron/Rand Paultards, and the other hand children to the upper echelon of the corporate and financial classes–you know, the one’s who think “Tea Party” on their way to their offshore bank’s web site, and guffaw, ‘what suckers!.’

GOP is said now to be run by their nihilistic wing. Better: they’re being run by a mob of autistic teenagers.

absurd capitalism

Falsification of Libertarianism: I enjoy both liberty and freedom today in portions that exceed anything that would be possible were you to give the world over to any persons and to any ideology supposed to be libertarian. This is true despite any argument you could devise to try to prove my statement of fact to be not true.  (And, I mean: little ol’ me is free.)

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May your gold perish with you

Glenn Beck has something major to do with another ambitious and tilted web portal, The Blaze*. Here’s a capture of today’s page. The ridiculous headline tops a truly funny/nutty video about some members, evidently, of the ‘professoriat.’

I’m okay with those who wish to protect the non-political nature of The Restoring Honor (umm, to America) protest ritual on Saturday. Why? Because even though politics was obviously and self-evidently implicit in, and concretely an aspect of, the event’s sub-text, by setting this to the side I can regard more fully that the event was about purportedly framed by a call to vivify both religion and patriotism.

Or, vivify some version of Christianity. You know: the new-fangled Beckian Christianity, an offshoot stripped of its social gospel and re-sanctified–I presume–to be a harsh Libertarian foundationalism; and one centered on personal responsibility and other stuff found nowhere at the center of a decent, magnanimous, moral old school Christianity.

Social justice is a very bad thing? …as the bumper sticker has it: Who would Jesus Bomb today?

newleftmedia @youtube

Two videos from the event, here for your viewing pleasure, should cause you to wonder about selective editing and the ease with which ignorance can be evoked. It is the case that at any gathering numbering ten or more people, it is likely child’s play to get someone to unwittingly embarrass their self, if he or she is asked about politics or religion.

However, I still would be open to a coherent presentation of the Tea Party case. I have spent more than a few hours looking for as much, and, probably because I’m modestly overly aware of stuff like philosophy and history, I have yet to find any cogent explication. Really, my bar isn’t set very high. And, this documentation doesn’t have to be convincing, it just has to be reasonable and reasonably intelligent. I’ll keep searching.

Slate V. Video

I certainly agree with the slathering Tea Party about one bare fact: the financial industry should have been held accountable for their grotesque, morally reprehensible, gambling. But, amazingly, now it seems the Tea Party is on the cusp of being co-opted by, in effect, the Club For Growth, Koch Brothers, and their ilk!

This is apparently where the Tea Party is headed: into the arms of the collectivist moneychangers, the very ones who happily took the tax dollar and rewarded themselves handsomely for allowing themselves to be bailed out. Why the Tea Party doesn’t get, as far as I know, that this synergy weds them with the other co-dependent side of the problem they’re so angered about, is a question which remains to be answered.

Of course, many have pointed out the Tea Party isn’t really a new wave at all. This may turn out to be true. Certainly their Constitutional and economic complaints have, over the last month or so, become terribly infected by the usual suspects, and to a degree by: racial, ethnic, and religious bigotry, Birtherism, and conspiracy-theory driven paranoia.

Their eliminativist leanings are ludicrous. Still, when 40% of Republicans think it possible that Obama has come to bring Shariah to the Republic, we’re witnessing something which has grown beyond the old Conservative/Liberal fault lines. For one thing, it seems this movement is very labile and able to shape shift between advocating against a Marxist Manchurian candidate, and, advocating against a Jihadi counter-crusader. All in all, the enemy posed is of an exceptionally large scale: Islam! Communism! All those other kinds of Christians! Brown and darker skin!

I’ll wait patiently for the video featuring the Tea Party smart set. Let me know if you find anything. As for Beck embracing the legacy of Martin Luther King, to me, Beck’s thrust seems much more in the direction of Martin Luther.

He said to them, “Beware! Keep yourselves from covetousness, for a man’s life doesn’t consist of the abundance of the things which he possesses.” (Luke 12:15)

But those who are determined to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful lusts, such as drown men in ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some have been led astray from the faith in their greed, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (I Timothy 6:9-10)

He found in the temple those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, and the changers of money sitting. He made a whip of cords, and threw all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew their tables. To those who sold the doves, he said, “Take these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a marketplace!” (John 2:14-16)

Glenn Beck vs. Christ the Liberator – Reverend James Martin, S.J.

*The site will be run by Scott Baker, who helped launch the conservative Breitbart TV website. Politico reports that the site already has what appear to be paid sponsors – gold-based investment service Goldline. It’s also carrying an ad for a book by former GOP House Majority Leader Dick Armey. They have also hired Jon Seidl from the American Spectator and Meredith Jessup from Town Hall as reporters for “The Blaze.”

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