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Chris Matthews of MSNBC has aired his political documentary covering the trend of radical right-wing extremism taking hold in the U.S.
I think it worth the watch.
“Political novice” is the description Matthews uses for most tea party activists, and I would have to agree. It is rather clear to me, within the confines of my experiences with the tea party, that these people are not lacking in passion but they are extremely lacking in logical framework.
Being a person who has taken an interest in studying political theory I find that I could make a better and more sourced argument in favor of the ultra-libertarian sentiments they promote, I’d just much rather not give them any free talking points. But the strongest trend I have noticed is this complete inability or unwillingness to clarify facts from opinions.
It’s just within my very nature to try to put myself in the others shoes, and because of this I can see were many of them have perfectly valid concerns. But it is the nature of how they go about expressing their concerns. With everything from “Take my country back!” to “Get your government hands off my Medicare!” to “Show me the birth certificate!” to (did you see this nonsense?) “He has a Connecticut Social Security card!” to draw from in terms of not just red hot punditry rhetoric but actual completely insane / stupid positions from actual people. Whom appear to be actually serious with us when they are talking…
The Label of ‘Teabagger’:
I won’t mince words and sit behind my battle lines: the term ‘teabaggers’ when used to discuss the ‘tea party’ is a political slur. It’s a negative label used in a negative way. It is true the ‘tea party’ has used the ‘tea bag’ reference in their rallies and at least one of them online talks about “teabaggin’ since ’09!” But I won’t dodge. Everytime I say ‘baggers or teabaggers I mean it. Just like they mean it when they call progressives “socialists” and “Marxists.” I see the label of ‘teabbager’ as being born out of exactly the kind of McCarhyist language we could hear all day on conservative media. Calling something or someone something it’s not is much like telling clever lies: it just inspires some people to try to lie to beat down the lies and others to just throw up hands in disgust.
Woman interviewed in Matthews video: “[Republicans] need to put up candidates that actually represent conservatism.”
No, the ‘tea party’ need to define what they think ‘conservatism’ actually means to them.
I have long viewed the tea party as misguided grassroots efforts being proped up by an overly attentive news media in their rallies, and in the organizers it is a mixture of astro-turfing and nationalist militant paranoid fervor based primarily on racism against the first black president.
Barney Frank addressed this issue of the “tea party deficit hawks” in his health care town hall that got a good deal of media attention for the frivolous exchange about “Nazi policies” and “dinning room table[s].”
If one is claiming to understand the problematic trends of rising deficit against rising inflation in the U.S. then you were opposed to Iraqi and Afghan occupations for exactly this reason. Not to mention the lack of any ‘tea party’ protests over TARP bailout spending. Not one ‘tea party’ protest on Washington, not as long as Bush was in office.
Another argument they often make about the “size of government” being the source of their frustration, is also lacking a logical framework of any sort. Not that they would make the argument, but that that again if you are talking about expansion of government power that again was the Republican Bush II. And just like the deficit issue, almost all of them admit they only ever came to politics / political activism after January 2009.
A final hurdle that all these ‘tea party’ promoters and activists still fail to explain: Why if they are such strict Constitutional scholars do they not see the multiple layers of constitutional infringements in the recent AZ SB 1070 bill? If their worry be “tyranny” then surely “show me your papers” should have them tossing their ‘tea parties’ on Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s lawn by now?
Why are tumble weeds blowing by the ‘tea party HQ’ on this one? I mean I can see where maybe some get all confused on the W. unconstitutionality issues, just because you have masters of deceptions and lies like Karl Rove on the case to do combat with to get the facts. But these jokers writing this SB 1070 and some of the after-thoughts of discrimination at FAIR have no such war-hounds working their case. They can be picked off with a pocket constitution and about fifteen minutes worth of reading.
From the very beginning I saw the ‘tea party’ movement as just the anti-Obama movement and while it has grown I believe it has only grown to be come the anti-Progressive / anti-Democratic movement. When both their so-called ideological leaders like Bachmann, Palin, Beck, King, etc. and their just everyday inspired folks of their movement cannot come to these simple logical failings in what they spout forth to us a clear level of a lack of intellectual curiosity is boldly revealed on their part. I’ll never believe the Founders intended people to abuse the First Amendment by promoting ignorance over knowledge. And that, is precisely the message outlets like Fox News and the ‘tea party’ are sending out every day.