It's been one of those weeks. I am torn as to how to interpret recent political events. On the one hand the latent threats of violence and intimidation that underlies the actions and speech of the Tea Party crowd is enough to make any clear-thinking person seriously alarmed about the direction the lunatic fringe of American politics seems to be headed. On the other hand, these people are just so damned funny! We're talking Ambivalence City here! Part of me wishes them to go away and the other part would mourn their loss if they ever did. Let's face it: These assholes are the best thing to happen to progressive politics in this country since Eleanor Roosevelt.
"Don't retreat. RELOAD!" -Sarah Palin
You see what I'm talking about? They're a hoot!....sort of. On the more ominous side are the latest threats against the lives of Senator Patty Murray and Congressman John Lewis - both Democrats. Back in the day, it was frustrating being a Progressive in this silly country. Now it's starting to get downright dangerous. One GOP operative the other day suggested that Democrats should be afraid to leave their houses. Isn't that sweet? And as I predicted would happen on this site not two months ago, the Republican party, which initially embraced the Tea Partiers, is now desperately trying to distance themselves from this nutty movement. Try as they might, though, they can't - but it sure is a funny thing to behold! The "party of Abraham Lincoln" and the so-called "Tea Party" are now inexorably linked in the public's mind. This is going to hurt them badly come Election Day. Intelligent Americans are becoming disgusted with the mindless extremism. Isn't life wonderful?
Take Michele Bachmann.....Please. She recently suggested that the whole purpose of the census was so the government will know where the best places to set up internment camps will be. I realize that this silly woman has the IQ of your average hummingbird, but surely she must know that that statement is complete and utter bullshit. What does that tell you about her? It tells me more than I need to know. If there has been a more despicable demagogue in my lifetime, I am not aware of it. In October of 2008, in an appearance on the Chris Matthews program, she stated (with a straight face, I swear) that all Democratic members of the House and Senate should be investigated for their "anti-Americanism". I'm not makin' this stuff up, folks. It makes one wonder if she's ever given the Constitution even a passing glance.
Note to the People of Minnesota: You gave us Bob Dylan, Judy Garland, Garrison Keillor and Eugene McCarthy. Is this half-witted, hideous twit the best you can do? Seriously.
The question needs to be posed but, thus far, few are willing to pose it: When and where will the first act of extreme violence be carried out? Don't kid yourselves that it won't happen. It will happen and soon. The encouragement by these "responsible" legislators and commentators virtually guarantees as much. For months they have been egging on their mindless masses and it's only a matter of time before one of them goes over the edge.
Am I being just a tad paranoid? You be the judge. Just last week Sean Hannity was addressing an auditorium filled with right wing zombies at the Reagan Library in California. When he referred to the gathering as "Tim McVeigh wannabes", instead of being greeted with uncomfortable silence he was applauded! Count on it - people are going to get killed. That great American patriot Ronald Reagan, in his inaugural address nearly thirty years ago, told his clueless, fellow countrymen and women that government wasn't the answer, government want the problem. That has been the mantra for these assholes ever since. Keep repeating the mantra:
GOVERNMENT IS BAD!
GOVERNMENT IS BAD!
GOVERNMENT IS BAD!
Keep it up! Eventually you'll believe it. Ask yourself this question: At a time when our population has exceeded the quarter-of-a-billion mark, is it really a particularly good idea to shrink the size of the government? Call me an old fussbudget, but it would seem to me that if two-hundred and fifty-million people need anything, it is efficient governance. One-hundred years ago, there was an organization of crackpots who were bent on doing away with all government. One of them was even able to murder a president of the United States (William McKinley). Back then they were called "Anarchists". Today we call them "Conservatives". The more things change, the more they stay the same. Go figure.
The propaganda campaign on the part of the American plutocracy has truly been impressive. As of this writing we still live in a democracy (technically speaking, that is). They still need a majority on Election Day in order to seize the reigns of power. In an effort to do this they have somehow managed to convince a fairly large segment of the population that the economic mess we now find ourselves in is the fault of the president of the United states and a cabal of Liberal politicians that don't even exist any longer. The recklessness of the Bush years - lowering taxes (particularly on the wealthy) while fighting two separate wars; handing over our debt to China - never even happened. The fact that the economy is slowly but surely improving is irrelevant to them. This Socialist president and his Liberal allies, within Congress and without, are out to destroy the United States of America. I learned a long time ago never to underestimate the stupidity of the American people. A people would would twice cheerfully send a incurious jackass like George W. Bush to the White House are capable of just about anything. Isn't life strange?
Here is the sad truth that EVERYBODY is ignoring....
We are standing on the edge of an economic cataclysm and there is only one way out. It will involve taxes - a decade or more of serious taxation. The politicians won't tell you that but that is the way it is, folks. Unlike the last forty years, however, there is no reason why the poor and middle class should have to bear the burden of getting us out of the the hole that the uber rich dug us into. Once upon a time the existed a class of people who were SO CRAZY FILTHY RICH that they lived in a ninety percent bracket. In other words, they kept ten percent of their income, handing over the rest to the federal government. It wasn't as much of a sacrifice as you might think. They still had more money than they knew what to do with - they only had ninety percent less of it. That situation has not existed in this country for a long time. But it will exist again - count on it. Our very economic survival depends on us "soaking the rich" if you will. The last thirty years was their party and you and I were not invited. It's time for them to pay the piper - not us. That is not revolutionary thinking on my part. That is what is known as good old fashioned common sense.
Knowing all this as I do, it is a laugh riot for me watching these Tea Party knuckleheads at any given event. They have been brainwashed by the plutocracy into doing their bidding. And remember, contrary to what their leaders would have you believe, this movement was not "grass roots". It was created, promoted and, in some cases, financed by Rupert Murdich's corporation. Watching them protest the "evil Liberals" and knowing that the median income of these fools is probably around $35,000 per year is enough to send me into gales of uncontrollable laughter. I'd really miss them if they were gone. Honestly I would.
We sure do live in interesting times. I remember when I was a kid thinking that Watergate was mountaintop of weird politics. It wasn't even close. Strange days indeed.
Tom Degan is a 51-year-old video artist who in 2006 became so thoroughly disgusted at the state of America's national political dialogue, he decided to take time off to become a freaking civics teacher.