Sunday, March 21, 2010

There Will Be Blood

I'll try to make this quick.

Chances are by now you've heard that at a tea bagger rally yesterday on Capitol Hill, angry protesters chanted "nigger" at Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who happens to be an icon of the civil rights movement. They also spat on another black congressman, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri; one person was arrested for it but Cleaver has declined to press charges. And CNN reported that several people shouted "faggot" at Barney Frank of Massachusetts. In the end, Capitol police were forced to escort the lawmakers into the Capitol.

Oh yeah, and all of this follows a brick thrown through the window of Rep. Louise Slaughter's office in Niagara Falls, after she suggested using a procedural technicality to push the health care bill through Congress.

I may as well get it out of the way and defuse the automatic response from the right to anyone who goes through the trouble of pointing out how ignorant, irresponsible and flat-out repugnant this kind of behavior is: No, of course not every tea bagger is a batshit crazy racist. But I've said it before (as has Cesca, perfectly) and there's just no way around it: The movement has a very large racial component to it -- not simply racist but xenophobic. All this outrage stems from the sheer terror that these almost uniformly white assholes feel as the country they've always believed they're entitled to slips further and further out of their control; America, like it or not, is now not simply a multi-cultural nation, but one in which the various minorities that have made it up almost since the beginning are represented at the highest levels of power. These idiots spitting and hurling epithets and shouting obscenities are the last gasp of a fading era -- its final, ugly death spasms.

But that doesn't mean that when they get tired of yelling -- when they truly come to believe that they've been beaten back -- they'll simply go home and cry in their beers. I've said this almost since this tea bagger insanity started and definitely since people began screaming about "revolution" and bringing guns to presidential events, and since "Oath Keeper" groups formed to defend against the supposed rise of a socialist police state that in reality is nothing more than a paranoid funhouse mirror fantasy: There's going to be violence. These lunatics aren't going to go quietly. I promise you, there are some for whom shouting about how "we want out country back" won't be enough. They've concocted a bulletproof belief system -- one that can't be argued with, that's immune to things like logic and reason -- and that belief system is a matter of life and death to them.

Once again, not everyone participating in these rallies is a bomb waiting to go off; the tea baggers have always had some legitimate complaints that deserve to be addressed. But racism and xenophobia as an overarching impetus for this movement -- why people are willing to take to the streets in outrage now as opposed to when George W. Bush was spending billions, bailing out banks and engaging in governmental civil rights violations -- well, that can't be easily swept under the rug and ignored.

Over the past week, between mocking the sick and shouting blatantly racist and homophobic rhetoric, we've seen the true face of much of the tea bagger movement revealed -- and it's only happening because these peoples' last, desperate hours are upon them when it comes to the health care battle. They've got nothing to lose at this point -- no reason to hide behind bullshit excuses and misdirection anymore.

But the battle for the very soul of America, which these clowns truly believe they're fighting and are on the correct side of, is far from over. Think of the kind of unbounded fury that it takes to scream "nigger" or "faggot" at anyone, let alone a U.S. lawmaker. Now ask yourself this question: Will the people filled with that much rage just lay down and accept defeat when they've spent months being stirred to the point of irresponsible and dangerous madness?

And can those who've been doing the stirring -- or who've quietly benefited from it -- really get away with reacting with shock at the actions of the monster they've helped create?


Anonymous said...

This was the response I saw on a newspaper talkback this morning -


"Well since every R on the morning shows has "revealed" their contempt for the couple of lib plants who crossed the wide lines, perhaps we can pivot and talk about a US Re using the term "teabagger" on the House floor? I was watching CSPAN when Tim Ryan of Ohio started yelling about "teabaggers."

What in the HELL are these scummy libs doing to the dignity of my country??? Where is the outrage???

Everything about this - from the people pushing it to the policy they're pushing to the process they're using is filthy and disgusting."


I responded that when "teabagger" is used in conjunction with a lynching, then maybe you can get upset about it being thrown out on the house floor.

Anonymous said...

The thing that fascinates me in all this is the notion that "because WE aren't the type to gather and protest, this is a unique time in history." I've actually seen conservatives write these glowing pieces about how these protesters are unprecedented in that they have jobs!

It's cute how they think that they are so special, the very act of getting on a bus and going to DC for the day is enough that the entire Republic should bend to their will immediately. Because they aren't like those "anti-war hippies or uppity negroes." DId you see the piece by Bruce Bartlett in Forbes laying out how little these morons know about their core issue?

Jim said...

In one short year I've gone from feeling elated and inspired by what I saw as our country reaching an unprecedented level of tolerance and forward-thinking pragmatism in the election of Barack Obama to being disappointed and ashamed as so many citizens, including those who would appear to be far from the teabagger lunatic fringe express their xenophobia and racism in the most fearful, primitive and downright bizarre ways. If these clowns really were the ones charged with protecting our country from any kind of "evil", you might as well just hand the keys over to bin Laden because we wouldn't have a hope in hell.

Che Grovera said...

I'm pretty sure it was here that I saw a comment equating our broken politics with those of Thailand -- a very interesting comparison, to be sure. The thing is, there are far fewer guns -- and much more grace -- in the hands of the Thai people...

Peter L. Winkler said...

The downside is that some innocent people will be victimized by violent t'baggers. The upside is that the minority of t'bers willing to resort to violence will be tried and removed from society and perhaps that will deter the rest from emulating them.

Ref said...

I'd like to hear what "legitimate" complaints these morons have. is it that Obama is a communist, a fascist, or a foreign plant? Is it that they "want their country back?" What complaints do they have that the Obama administration is responsible for or has had a chance to address?

Darren said...

"Think of the kind of unbounded fury that it takes to scream "nigger" or "faggot" at anyone, let alone a U.S. lawmaker. "

Sorry, but you're wrong here. This isn't anger ginned up to an unusual fever pitch. This is simply the way these people think and speak on a daily basis. Yelling the N word and the F word come as easily to them as dropping F-bombs. When you wake up every morning as a racist or homophobe, it doesn't take white hot passion to show your true colors in public.

Tommy Nauw said...

Thanks for paying attention to this stuff for me and all your readers. I have to admit that I can't do it myself any longer. When I see this kind of bullshit in the news I get angry, sad, disappointed and disillusioned.

To see it through the lens of your writing makes it much easier. Mostly I just get angry at the situation.

I feel like if we can get through this the back of the lunatic conservative movement may finally break. Then we'll have to hope there's enough reasonable younger people out there to pick up the issues with a fresh respect for the process.

Al said...

As with any prosecution the victim does not "press charges" - the DA determines the merits of the case and decides whether to prosecute or not. That said, if a high profile (or critical to the case) victim refuses to assist in the investigation / case the DA may well opt not to pursue it.

Granted any old victim would not have the influence of a sitting Congressional representative, but the concept that a victim has sole discretion on legal matters is off the mark. I'd LOVE to see the DA pursue criminal assault charges on the spitter at least.

Can you imagine the utter hysteria if a Code Pink protestor had done the same? F*cking hypocritical tea bagging pieces of crap.

JavaElemental said...

Hello -- long time lurker, just peeking out to comment. I really enjoy your blog. Great writing, great articles.

I think you've really hit the nail on the head with this post. I've been appalled over the last year, watching the way the hateful, racist rhetoric started peeking out in Republicans and Tea Partiers, watching it nourished and whipped into a boiling rage by right-wing media sources, culminating in the behavior we saw yesterday out of the protesters. I'll be shocked if violence isn't the result.

Although, I do wonder if right-wingers quite realize what kind of a monster they might have created in the Tea Party, by fomenting such fear and hatred. The problem with raising a mob and getting it whipped into a frenzy is that, once you've got it there, you can't really control it anymore.

I'd like to think that that Republicans and neocons weren't explicitly aiming for the violent response, and I wonder what they'll do and say about it when it does happen.

Milton said...

"not everyone participating in these rallies is a bomb waiting to go off; the tea baggers have always had some legitimate complaints that deserve to be addressed"...??? WTF??? which legitimate complaints are you talking about? the one about Obama's nationality? the one about the US becoming a socialist state? the one about health care? or the one about Obama being a "nigger"?
NO!!! these assholes have never had a reasonable "legimate" complaint"! and now they are just (even more) pissed off that the democrat majority passed a bill regardless of their attempts to refute it. EVEN THOUGH IT WILL BE BENEFICIAL TO THEM!!! their is no excuse for these morons! and if there was any justice in the world they would be the ones who would get fucked by health insurance companies... thanks to this bill that probably won't happen.

Milton said...

by the way... for someone who takes the media so seriously, and who thinks that CNN and MSNBC should be more criterious about what they put out to the public... so should you! to say that tea baggers have "legitimate complaints" is a total cop out! NO they don't! you, Chez, of all people, does not have to give these morons any credibility. just name them for what they are: right wing religious extremist racist homophobic xenophobic motherfucking assholes!!! don't be afraid, we'll all support you!

Ref said...

Java, they'll have their pawns like Dick Armey try to re-direct the mob. They're already out there trying to soft-pedal the damage by admitting the racist and homophobic screeching was "inappropriate." By using that term, they can equate screaming "Nigger" at John Lewis and "faggot" at Barney Frank with any leftie who's ever muttered that the Bush administration owed a lot to Josef Goebbels for inspiration. The TP's need to be described as "shameful", "disgusting", or maybe "Un-American."

Chez said...

Ya done, Milt?

Look, man, I understand where you're coming from -- but I'm not equivocating here in an attempt to not appear vehemently partisan. The supposed stated goal of the tea party movement -- that face-value reason it ostensibly exists -- has always been legit: namely that clowns in both parties have sold this country out to special interests and fat-cats and we wind up footing the bill. The notion that our government bailed out Wall Street and continues to let the people who clusterfucked the economy get away with murder while the taxpayers pay for their excesses is something everybody should be pissed about. The problem arises when you consider the timing. Where the hell were all these angry protesters when Bush over-spent, extended the reach of government to the point of trampling on civil liberties, and worked with Paulson to hand Wall Street a huge check culled from our money? That's when you realize that there's something else lurking beneath the outrage the tea baggers seem to suddenly feel.

Ref said...

Sure, I see your point, Chez. I think most of us are against the selling out of our economy to the wealthy few. However, most of us didn't wait until we had a brown and RELATIVELY progressive president to get really upset about it.

By the way, whatever happened to those "free speech zones" so beloved of the Bushies?

djesno said...

i've been told that there are many new ways to disperse violent and reactionary or potentially riotous crowds in the arsenals of military and law enforcement. independent of that thought, the late morton downey was known for calling liberals something on the order of, "pablum pukers" as though all liberals did was regurgitate the bullshit the media fed them. the worm has, apparently, turned. it is now the "conservatives" who are "pablum pukers" and they aren't even conservatives. they're tribalists cowering in fear and vitriol at the loss of perceived status of their tribe. their tribe hasn't lost status, it's just diminished in feduciary value just like every other tribe has. that hasn't deterred their ability to assess blame (in a tribal rather than rational manner). we're all aware of the teabaggers and what they stand for: tribalism. there is racism involved, but it's mostly a "my piece of the pie" tribalist bent that i see (not that there aren't nazi-level racists and bigots in their midst and even in their leadership). it's unfortunate that the most reactionary of these pablum-puking xenophobes are the most vociferous. however, these vociferous cockstains remain unchallenged as the leaders of the "movement" and until true libertarian-minded patriots unseat them from their GOP-financed throne there they will stay. there's plenty to be pissed off about in this economy and in this country, but the tea-baggers wouldn't really know what it is they need to be pissed off about unless they heard it from sean hannity or rush limbaugh. they're THE VERY DEFINITION of "pablum-pukers". how the hell is it that they're so full of themselves they don't realise it? fuck 'em. none of the upper-middle class bottom feeders making up this movement can afford to "go galt" so they get whipped up into a frenzy and cup each others nutsacks about planting watermelons at the white house. it's embarrassing and shameful to americans who care about their country as much as they care about their piece of it. my feeling is that the next time they deign to assemble en masse they are repelled by the BARF CANNON (a divice of my own invention). i'm sure the BARF CANNON will go down in history as one of the greatest all-time crowd- and riotous-mob dispersal inventions of all time. fifteen seconds (i've determined) of glenn beck's radio program is equal to 437 metric tons of medium-quality zoo-grade vomit. a whole hour could drench an entire county. i know that this may sound radical, especially when considering that so many people listen to this crap on a regular basis anyway, but when you convert lingo-ideological spew into actual physical biohazard, people might actually realize what they're being drenched with. give these "people" a physical representation of the vacuous phlegm from which they take their ideas, and then be kind enough to throw the towel of reason at them.....then again, maybe the BARF CANNON is not workable in the real world. i dunno. it would be a great name for a horrible band, though!