I underestimated the Tea Party.
I really did. Once upon a time I thought, “Oh, hey, look, a gaggle of angry folks forged in the fires of a down economy and stirred up by passionate dipshit politicians. Ha ha ha, look at those silly misspelled protest signs! Oh, they think Obama is Kenyan Hitler, that’s so adorable. Hey, Bible misquotes! It’s like Tea Party Bingo up in this motherfucker.”
But time has permitted me a new perspective:
The Tea Party is actually pretty genius.
I mean, selfish as shit. Possibly possessing a few virulent strains of actual human evil. But really: genius! Like, if they weren’t such assholes, I might respect what they’re doing.”
Because what they’re doing is running a magic show full of illusions and tricks. They’re orchestrating a long-form confidence game, eyes on a distant prize.
Their bread and butter is not the political process but rather the illusion of one.
It’s all chicanery and legerdemain. Performed in service to what may be a creepy agenda. That agenda? To dismantle the power of the government and to reward private interests — not just in the systemic, “I want to bolster capitalism” sense, but to literally reward corporations and the very wealthy people who run them. Oh — and at your expense.
One. Big. Con.
The kind that might make David Mamet soak his britches.
Consider, for example, Ted Cruz’ filibuster — or, sorry, his “filibuster,” because it fucking wasn’t actually a fucking filibuster. Oh, sure. He called it that. The news calls it that. But it wasn’t. It was a really long speech organized and agreed upon by Harry Reid, meant to end at a preordained time and without having any effect at all. It let him prattle on, energizing his base, preaching from the pulpit, giving the illusion of having a practical and sustained effect when really he was just appeasing donors and speaking to his audience. He holds up a turd painted pink tucked in a hot dog bun and says, “Eat this delicious hot dog.”
And we all take a big shitty bite.
Consider, for example, how they claim to be a grassroots organization supporting the interest of the common American, but don’t really like to talk about who’s bankrolling all this shit (Rupert Murdoch, Koch Brothers, Dick Armey), all “big business” proponents who are happy to dismantle any and every safety net and regulation that keeps the actual common Americans from falling into a dark, hopeless pit.
You want a really great example? Consider the Philadelphia School District.
A whole school district, entirely or largely shuttered.
Think about that.
Now, think about how this sort of thing happens.
Pennsylvania elected, for some mysterious fucking reason, a Tea Partier as governor, Tom Corbett. (My opinions of Corbett are best understood as a series of angry vomiting sounds and rage-fueled poop noises.)
Corbett cuts a billion dollars out of state education. (This year’s budget is a little kinder, adding $50-some million to the pot, but that’s stuffing Band-Aids into a sucking chest wound what with massive shortfalls and deficits. It’s just enough to keep the schools open this year.)
You gut education and then say, “Hey, jeez, education isn’t looking too good? It’s like these teachers can’t teach! The system is failing!” Well, of course it is, jerkhead. You just stole the oxygen from the room and then are yelling about how folks are too weak to breathe.
So, with education gutted and 100% more ineffective than it was before…
PA invests money into a consulting group to examine how to make the school district more efficient; as a result the school district decides the best way forward is to allocate nearly a billion dollars toward a flush of charter schools — schools that are publicly funded but unregulated and privately operated and, oh, in Philadelphia, now mired in a series of scandals.
So, already we’ve taken money reserved for government operation of schools and thrown support in for private schooling entities.
Fine, except for the fact those must hurt by this are the underprivileged — meaning, lower-income, frequently African-American or minority students. (Here’s an interesting post as to why charter schools are bad for the urban poor of Philly and Pittsburgh.)
There exists, of course, a correlation between poor education and increased crime.
So, you reduce educational offerings, you increase crime.
Increased crime means increased prisoners.
Increased prisoners of the “non-white, urban” variety — people who almost universally vote Democrat. People who, once inside the prison system as having committed a felony…
…can no longer vote.
Like I said: pretty genius.
(This will be doubly genius if Pennsylvania starts to eventually do the Tea Party lean toward privatized prisons. Haven’t gone that way yet, far as I can tell.)
Point is, all this is a dog-and-pony show, a smoke-and-mirrors display to get you to Think One Thing so in order to accomplish Another Thing Entirely.
Which leads us to what may be a government shut-down.
Over the deficit.
Oh, wait, no — it’s not really about the deficit.
It’s about Obamacare.
But it’s also not really about Obamacare, either — because the ACA is actually based off of a conservative plan. They lie, screaming about government-run health care and death panels and other ludicrous myths about health care reform, all a series of easily-debunked lies uttered in order to continue supporting a Byzantine, obfuscatory system of piss-poor health care that presently fills the coffers of insurance companies who thrive off of our ignorance and confusion. (Translation: insurance lobbyists want to make sure that the insurance companies continue to get paid as much as they can, because that’s frequently how Giant-Ass Companies work. Which is fine, as long as our politicians are interested in helping individual Americans more than they are Giant-Ass Company Profits.)
And so they aim to shut down the government.
And possibly damage the economy in the process.
All to cry foul over health care reform that passed through the entire Democratic process without fail. It passed all three branches of government. And yet, this group of sore losers wants you to think they’re supporting the common American whose grandmother will be put on some death panel pogrom list where Obama personally shoots them in the back of the head.
The real rub is, what it does is show us — and the world — that our government is broken.
And that’s what the Tea Party wanted all along.
They operate from within — like cancer cells (or terrorist cells?) — undermining the very thing they claim to work for. They don’t want a functional government. Government big or small is the enemy. (A “post-democracy?”) The GOP tends to be more moderate in their view of government, but therein lies another genius illusion of the Tea Party, which is that they’re Republican. Spoiler alert: they’re not. They’ve just embedded themselves in that party like a tick under the skin because that’s how they ride their way into power. (And moderate Republicans are starting to figure this out, I think. Like someone who realizes far too late they invited a vampire to dinner and now he’s in the house and he’s eating all the pets oops oh well sorry.)
All a series of illusions.
Trickery to make you think they’re working for you.
A con game run on the common American.
Never mind that the common American is the one who gets hurt by a shutdown. Who gets fucked over by a damaged economy and unregulated, rampant corporate interests. The one who gets screwed by lost education and who gets thrown into a bloating prison system as a result.
The Tea Partiers wear our clothes and they sound like patriots, but they don’t give a weasel’s dick-whiskers about this country or the majority of the people in it.
They’re sexist. They’re racist. They care nothing for the young or most of the old.
They are the party of the Old White Dude Who Wants To Do What He Wants, So Fuck You.
They want to ride this horse until it breaks down and dies.
They’ll sell America to the first buyer.
They’re not the hostages.
*takes a nap*
(Final note: I’m gonna leave the comments open, but should they get hairy, I’m closing ’em down. I’ll likely not have time to respond to comments. I wanted to rant, and so, I ranted. I’m busy enough where I probably shouldn’t have even carved out the time to write this post, much less get mired in discussions about it. Also to clarify, I’m not anti-GOP, nor do I think the Democrats are the shining party of goodness here to save the day on a galloping golden steed. I tend to vote pretty moderate — leaning toward moderate politicians of both parties — and I have my back up about the NSA and drone-strikes and all kinds of other shit Obama approves on a daily, but this rant rose up after reading about the potential shutdown.)