Monday, April 18, 2011

The Party's Over

I wanted to take a second to briefly follow-up Saturday's post that highlighted racism within the Republican/Tea Party. It sparked a heated debate both via e-mail and over at my Facebook page.

Listen, no one's making the accusation that all members of the GOP, or even members of the Tea Party, are racist. Far from it. But I've said it before and I think it bears repeating that the Tea Party as a political movement absolutely has its roots in a certain amount of racism and xenophobia -- and it's not something that can be squelched by the argument that there are a couple of Tea Party darlings who happen to be black (Allen West, Herman Cain). The fact is that the Tea Party came to be only after Barack Obama became president; no one made the decision that he or she had had enough and needed to join with like-minded individuals to "fight back" against government waste and overreach until the person supposedly behind it wasn't the traditional, aging white Christian male who had occupied the White House since the thing was built. George W. Bush presided over the most egregious increase in governmental authority and the most awesome waste of taxpayer dollars in memory, and yet it wasn't until the guy in power represented the changing, now-multicultural face of America that anyone decided they'd had enough.

As a movement and at face value, the Tea Party has no issue with blacks or Hispanics or anyone else; what it represents, though, is a stand against an America that now no longer keeps minorities "in their place." Basically, if you're black and buy into the far-right mentality, which once again as an entity states that old white guys should be in charge because they represent the "real America," then you're okay; but God help you if you're multicultural and see the world from a perspective that can't be summed up in a catchy phrase that fits neatly on a bumper sticker, because you're illegitimate.

Add to that the fact that the GOP has been hijacked by the lowest common denominator among those who classify themselves as conservative and you've got a recipe for the polar opposite of progress. What you have is a bunch of people straining to hold onto a reality that simply doesn't exist anymore. The brand of politics the GOP now embraces as a rule has drifted so far from the hyper-intellectualism once championed by people like William F. Buckley that it's almost impossible to reconcile what we're currently witnessing with the storied history of conservatism in America.

Really, think about this for a moment: Public Policy Polling currently has Donald Trump running well above the rest of the possible Republican contenders in the upcoming White House race. Trump, a self-obsessed reality TV star with a checkered past and three bankruptcies under his belt, is potentially -- should he not be pulling everyone's chain in an effort to increase the Q-score of his brand -- the GOP nominee for president. The same poll finds that 23% of Republican voters say they won't vote for someone who believes that Barack Obama is an American citizen.

This is what the Republicans, via the Tea Party and its irrepressible and unfocused rage, have become. This is the global punchline a once-great political party has morphed into.

And to those on the left, center-left, or independent who claim to be so disappointed in Barack Obama's performance as president that they're willing to support an ineffectual third-party candidate or simply sit out the 2012 election altogether as a show of protest -- think about the potential cost of doing so. Please, think good and hard about it.


leilers said...

You talk sense. No wonder you upset people.

The Bacon said...

23% of Republicans support Trump ( a birther), but according to a 2007 Zogby poll, 42% of Democrats believe Bush either caused 9-11 directly or knew about it and allowed it to happen. Now, which group should I stand with??!?!

Personally, I'm voting for Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho so we can just get it over with.

Benoit from Ottawa said...

"George W. Bush presided over the most egregious increase in governmental authority and the most awesome waste of taxpayer dollars in memory, and yet it wasn't until the guy in power represented the changing, now-multicultural face of America that anyone decided they'd had enough."

Thanks for voicing that. Even if just in my own (Canadian) mind, that consideration has been bugging me mightily for a long time.

Pithy articlet, as usual.

Chez said...

It's sheer stupidity to believe that George W. Bush had a hand in 9/11, barring any actual evidence to the contrary. As I said a couple of days ago re: the Palin-Trig conspiracy theory -- a couple of curiosities and the mere appearance of impropriety doesn't equal proof.

Steve said...

Zogby poll commissioned by 9/11 truthers. And still not as high as the percentage of Fox viewers that thought Saddam was behind it.

Mart said...

Wanted to add the big money boys, Chamber of Commerce, Koch's, Fox etc. were the money behind the "organic" tea party movement. Hell, Fox alone gifted hundreds of millions in free advertising and the totally awesome Glenn Beck rally.

Be interesting to see how the big boys handle the beast they created. Read where Paul Ryan's glorious budget was being voted on. His plan basically transfers middle class and poor money to Wall Street. So the Dems, for once clever, start changing votes to "present" as there were enough votes going to an alternate tea plan that it could win. The alternate tea plan stripped money from the poor and middle class but did not transfer it to Wall Street. Apparently Ryan had to scream "SHUT IT DOWN" to halt the vote before a couple Dems switched to "Yes-tea" and his plan lost, and the bagger's version won. More of this please.

Anonymous said...

And now the "apology" -

"I'm sorry if my email offended anyone. I simply found it amusing regarding the character of Obama and all the questions surrounding his origin of birth. In no way did I even consider the fact he's half black when I sent out the email. In fact, the thought never entered my mind until one or two other people tried to make this about race. We all know a double standard applies regarding this president. I received plenty of emails about George Bush that I didn't particularly like yet there was no 'cry' in the media about them. One only has to go to Youtube or Google Images to see a plethora or lampooning videos and pictures of Obama, Bush and other politicians. That being said, I will NOT resign my central committee position over this matter that the average person knows and agrees is much to do about nothing. Again, for those select few who might be truly offended by viewing a copy of an email I sent to a select list of friends and acquaintances, unlike the liberal left when they do the same, I offer my sincere apologies to you--the email was not meant for you. For any of my friends or acquaintances who were the recipients of my email and were truly offended, please call me so I may offer a sincere verbal apology to you."

The Bacon said...


By disagreeing with me, you're kinda proving my point.

The whole world is full of fucking idiots, and we are all doomed if we don't introduce some natural predators into our habitat.

Steve said...

I'm not "disagreeing." Just pointing out that quoting an old poll comissioned by a fringe group from a lousy pollster to validate their cause is kind of a cheap move. And, of course, you can reliably find that a significant percentage of the population is either crazy or stupid or both in just about any poll. So I agree with you there.

ntx said...

Mart, what the heck vote are you talking about? That's certainly not how Ryan's budget resolution went down last week.

Mart said...

NTX: This was the vote on the more crazy republican spending bill, not the winning Ryan bill that passed with all but 4 GOP Yes's and all Dem No's.

ntx said...

Ah, thanks for the link, Mart. That Steny Hoyer, he's a gamer!