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.
Which will close down in the next two years.
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.)
199 responses to “The Tea Party Smoke-And-Mirrors Ponyfucker Express Magic Show”
WOW – Wow – wow – wow. The echo chamber in here is cuh-RAZY! RAZY – Razy – razy.
Those not supporting ObamaCare? They’re evil. And acting out all on their own. No 2 sides to every story for Mr. Wendig. Smart in some ways – not so much when it comes to advancing the level of political discourse.
If House Republicans aren’t acting in a vacuum, if it “takes two”, then what have Democrats done? How many amendments has Harry Reid allowed to come to the floor for ObamaCare? How many Republicans did Nancy Pelosi lock out of meeting rooms when she and Mr. Obama strong-armed every Democrats to support this 19,000 page disaster? Lastly, I wonder what you’d be saying if Republicans did the above to Democrats? Y’see – that right there, that’s called bias. And when you loop it together with a vitriolic rant, you get Mr. Wendig’s contribution to the problem.
You’re not a dumb ass, Mr. Wendig, because we disagree, No. You’re a dumb ass because your political paradigm has only, exactly one avenue of expression: Confrontation.
It’s the Wendig way or your evil. Why does Congress have such bitter disagreements? Must be only because of all the hate from those racist, sexist Tea Partiers. Yeah. Must be. Couldn’t be any of the hate coming from liberal Democrats calling Tea Party members racist. Couldn’t be. It’s almost like – oh, I dunno – you’re expressing a knee jerk response without even a basic analysis of the opposition. Knee jerk? Liberal? Huh? I never gave a thought to that stereotype before, but – unlike how you prove your claim about that “racist” Tea Party, you actually prove the stereotype with your rant.
Anyway – yer a small-minded dumb ass. Wha? That isn’t constructive? Huh? Given your rant, I woulda thought insults the way to advance a position with you. Well… I’d point out – i dunno… a substantiated rationale that might shed light on both sides of the argument, but you aren’t interested in a substantive debate. So so sure you *know* the answer & that those who don’t agree with you aren’t worthy of debate – only of being labeled evil.
Long story short, Chuck? You’re part of the problem. You are the liberal Tea Partier you should so detest. And I wish both you and the Tea Party would shut. The. Fuck. Up.
Here’s the thing, Bill — may I call you “Bill?” Because much as you think you’re posting anonymously, I have your IP address and I know you’ve posted before under the name of Bill, so I’m just going to go with that.
You’re the same guy who wrote here:
“If you think that the large percentage of women who are literary agents – just grabbing an example from the ether here – doesn’t have deliterious effect on men, you are thinking with the male-guilt portion of your brain and you should cut off your testes and hurl them with what remains of your manhood against a tree like the druids of old used to do.”
I’m pretty that qualifies as “small-minded,” Bill.
I was going to offer a somewhat real response to your comment, but given some of your other comments here at the blog, I’m no longer inclined to do so.
What I will say is, you can keep me out of your life very easily, which is by not reading this blog.
And, further, by not commenting on this blog.
Here’s the thing though: Chuck’s just this writer-guy, right? It’s not his job to ‘advance the level of political discourse’. The politicians whose jobs that is are doing a substantially worse job and they get paid for it. This is Chuck’s lawn and he’s shouting enraged comments across it, presumably to keep from reaching for his shotgun. You invited yourself over and then told him to shut the fuck up in his own house? I think someone owes someone an apology.
I am so sorry.
When you hear “privatize” you should think “looting what we paid for with taxes and giving it free to a political crony.”
This is a coordinated attack to make us think that government doesn’t work, and needs to be sold for a pittance to the ruling class. Like the post office- it works, if you don’t make it pay its pension plan for 75 years into the future. But they want to gut it and sell it, so they must destroy it.
Schools do work, if you pay for them, and don’t force kids to train to take test after test.
And Social Security isn’t broken, it doesn’t increase the debt, but they want Wall Street to have those trillions so they can cause a crash and evaporate our wealth into offshore bank accounts.
We love reading dystopia. Living in it, not so much.
At least SF has prepared us for our future of indentured servitude, because that is their goal, for anyone without inherited wealth to be in debt from birth to grave.
“This is a coordinated attack to make us think that government doesn’t work, and needs to be sold for a pittance to the ruling class. Like the post office- it works, if you don’t make it pay its pension plan for 75 years into the future. But they want to gut it and sell it, so they must destroy it.”
I highly recommended The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein for a history of what we’re seeing now.
Don’t even get me started on the Post Office!
Handling the mail is one of the basic functions of our government, and one of the few that actually turns a profit. So just WHY is the GOP out to get it?
Two reasons, as far as I can tell.
1) The Postal Worker’s union is one of the last large unions in the country- and we all KNOW how the GOP feel about unions, right?
Just like vulture capitalists in the 80s & 90s, the plan is to load the USPS up with ‘debt’ and then dismantle it and sell it off to UPS and FedEx. Then we can all pay $6 to mail a letter that will take 6-8 business days to arrive instead of ¢48 with a 2-3 day arrival (including Saturday).
In my opinion this goes beyond sedition into treasonous territory. Selling out the public and harming the ‘greater good’ of government for your own personal gain sounds pretty treasonous to me.
Times are hard in Britain. Our government and its policies aren’t pretty. But I think most of us here – and in many countries in Europe – sit and watch what’s going on in the US with a kind of horror. It’s a bit like watching some bizarre terrifying version of The Hunger Games play out. With guns. Lots and lots of guns. And, of course, no global warming. Absolutely.
I just got back from Europe last week. If there is one invariable truth I have learned talking with people from all over this planet, it’s that politics are fouled up just about EVERYWHERE. The U.S. just gets the most attention because we happen to be the “superpower” at the moment. At some point that will change, but for now we get to be the butt of the joke. Anyways, that was the impression that I got when talking to non-Yanks on this latest trip.
Really, really working hard on how to extend my visa. Home has gone nuts in my absence.
Another good quote from mister Dan O’Shea:
“With all the shutdown talk, do remember that the insurance exchanges that are at the heart of Obamacare open today. If you are un- or underinsured, investigate your options and sign up. Gee, do you think that maybe the timing of this whole government shutdown drama might be meant to divert public attention from the opening of a program that might help them and the fact that the announced premiums are actually pretty reasonable?”
More smoke and mirrors — they say one thing, but they have other aims.
I don’t consider this a rant. I consider it a sermon.
As I read through the comments, I was struck by how a certain contingent of Americans has been so convinced by the rhetoric of the right that they speak against their own best interests. The argument goes, “If I were rich, I wouldn’t want to have to pay for xxx.’ Not once do they seem to stop and think that the rich don’t give them equal consideration. The rich, those heads of corporations who are essentially bribing their way into unregulated capitalistic circumstances, moving their paid work (job creators?!) to non-US labor forces, and hiding their money in offshore accounts, aren’t saying ‘well, if I were poor’ or ‘if I were middle-class, I wouldn’t want x.’ They’re not looking out for us. Why should we look out for them?
I’ll spend an extra $20 on your books, Chuck. Don’t worry about that one guy.
I am a Libertarian! The smaller the govt the better!!
I say privatize EVERYTHING hermano! OMG! Public education is a JOKE! Privatize it! There is WAY TOO much technology for everyday people to teach their own children.. Time for innovation in education!
Where you have govt you have corruption! Look at Detroit, yes blame govt, look at US deficit, blame govt, etc. Govt causes more problems than it solves..
We don’t have a right to other people’s money period! Like: healthcare, Obama phones, welfare, etc.. The best way to fight poverty = stop having children and get a fucking job! Stop sleeping ten hours a day, go get some skillz that killz! Hunger will make anyone go get a job!
How much is the current federal budget? Almost 4 TRILLION dollars!! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?? And govt is working!! LMFAO!!
GOVT IS A CANCER!!
Politicians are unnecessary middlemen/women..
My mother gave birth to NO SLAVES!! I was born with no responsibility for anyone but me and mine!! And if I choose to help I will, I shouldn’t be FORCED to help..
Socialism doesn’t work! We are Americans, i.e. CAPITALIST PIGS!!
We work and don’t accept welfare!
I haven’t voted in 20 years! Nobody deserved my vote!
I will be voting for TED CRUZ/RAND PAUL in 2016! And any other person who wants to shrink the govt!
We need to take a chainsaw to the juggernaut that is the federal govt!
Let the govt shutdown.. life goes on
99.9% is not needed..O__o
Your performance art is growing tiring.
INTO THE SPAM OUBLIETTE WITH YOU.
This seriously needs a GIF of Jennifer Connelly (with a Troll-face photoshopped on, of course) falling into the oubliette. Internets: get on that.
+1000 for the use of ‘oubliette”
“By royal appointment, another fine oubliette from the ancient and honorable guild of Murderous Device Fabricators. To view our full line of goods, visit our Mechanicsburg showroom in your next life.”
This is a parody, right? Very amusing. What, no? Oh, dear.
“There is WAY TOO much technology for everyday people to teach their own children.. ” 40% + of Philadelphians have no Internet access.
No parody here.. just a sick dependency on big govt.
You must ask … “Why doesn’t 40% have access?” It is too easy to have internet access. In most areas of US, it can cost less than a dollar a day. Don’t buy cigarettes(I don’t smoke) or get tattoos (I have tats) or don’t go have drinks (I drink)… Get educated, get more work experience – then have children. Hell, have 10 kids! But you and ONLY you pay for them.
If you privatize education.. the market will step up.
Stop giving bad behavior a pass!
College-aged DudeBroTarians are adorbs.
Um I don’t want to state the obvious but most people don’t have internet because its god damn expensive. Its over 2 dollars a day in this country. In most other countries internet and phone costs a fraction of what we pay, for example I spent 3 months working in London in the spring, I paid 8 pounds a month for a phone with unlimited minutes and texts, and 12 pounds for internet in the home, and then there were internet hotspots for free all over the city. So for 20 pounds I covered all my internet and phone needs with better service and faster speeds. Why, you might ask? Because its government regulated you fucking dipshit. I pay 60 for internet and another 80 for the privilege of having a phone. Please do us all a favor and live in Uganda, and tell me don’t love your fucking government.
Here is something obvious: There is free internet at the public library. Internet doesn’t have to be expensive. We have free lending libraries all over America. Not every country has lending libraries.
Here’s another obvious something:
Library budgets are being slashed left and right. Many are closing down.
Here’s the thing, when you claim that the way to help people is through social services like the library, we have to make sure those things are funded, which is part of what I’m actually talking about here. Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps works IF the education is there, IF health care is there, IF libraries are open.
ah Sean, so young and so fucking dumb. The Libertarians only hate FEDERAL government and FEDERAL regulation. They are “states rights” all the way. These are people who still call the Civil War the War of Northern Agression and all that talk about “self reliance” is laid on a bedrock of bigotry, patriarchy, and old white guy male privilege. They aren’t social liberals they are people who chant “go die” when someone asks what a person with no insurance and no money should do if they become sick or injured. Read some history.
THAT GOVERNMENT IS BEST WHICH GOVERNS LEAST
YEAH! JUST LOOK AT SOMALIA, FOR EXAMPLE!
Somalia is a Libertarian paradise, complete with all the lawlessness and warlords that come free with a useless government!
Jokes are usually funnier when you don’t explain them. 🙂
Yep, make all those roads toll-only, because only people who can afford it should drive. Or travel, since public transit seems to be government subsidized, too. How else are we gonna keep ’em down on the farm? And of course, we need to shut down the CDC, because if people don’t know about plagues, they will keep not getting their children immunized, and it will most certainly solve our population problems. Saaayyy…I’m beginning to get it!
“And all that high and mighty scenery willl be leveled to the ground, boys,/By a buncha those mindless strip-mines on the land.” –C.W. McCall, “There Won’t Be No Country Music” (“There won’t be no rock n’ roll;/When they take away our Country, they’ll take away our soul.”)
I’m scared for you and all Americans if this is what’s happening now, Chuck. Scared because it looks horribly like the demon seeds of the harvest we in the UK have been reaping since The Coalition stormed in like the Imperials a couple of years ago.
There was a time when religion was the tool of choice for those in power to keep the masses under control; tell ’em God Won’t Like It and they’ll all do as they’re told. That one doesn’t work anymore, so the new (and way more sinister) weapon, it seems, is Spin. Get the big media moguls on your side (The Rupert Murdochs et al) and tell the people what you want them to think. Oh, and get a stranglehold on state education too, so that you can ram a cap on just how intelligent you can safely allow people to become.
I’m not sure where the governing procedures in the US differ from the UK – would/could you ever have a situation like the Coalition we have over here? I wouldn’t wish that on you for sure; that’d be the Tea Party’s ultimate way to break in through the back door. Reading through the other comments here it looks scarily like they’re reading from the same instruction manuals as our shower over here. Please, people of America – DO NOT look to our government for what to do to get out of this recession. ‘Cause all they’re doing right now is right royally effing anyone who’s not on a six-figure income.
Yeah, but, Wendy, let’s count our blessings. At least we don’t go round shooting each other all the time. And we recycle. 🙂
As an American, I LOLed at this. Then cried.
Add a giant, heaving sigh in between and that’s me, too.
Hey! We recycle.
At least, we think we recycle. For quite some time in my town, we all did our separating things in to nice little color coded bags, and then the trucks came round and threw everything into the same bin and headed to landfill.
You clearly haven’t wept over the children at my kids’ elementary school who walk past the recycling bin to put their Gatorade bottles in the regular trash because their parents have told them it’s all a leftist plot to waste their hard-earned cash.
Stunningly good post.
So, well, just, thank you.
I generally ignore politics as much as possible. Basically, because I’ve come to the point of not believing/trusting anything, any of them say or try to do. I will say though, that there is certainly an element of our government and society in general that believes the capitalist notion: wealth begets wealth. This idea that those who can make the money should be encouraged and allowed to create as much wealth as possible because it basically pulls everyone else up along with them, ignores a central tenet of our culture, and that is that people are greedy. People who make money (serious money) don’t generally do so with the notion of bettering the world around them. Oh, they’ll put their two cents in to look good, donate to worthy causes, but money is generally made to do one thing, make more money.I would lay odds that there is enough wealth out there to provide for stable, adequate living conditions for every single person in this country. The Tea Party is actually right in one regard I think, and that is the fact that we are certainly capable of providing for every citizen in this country without the aid of government. They are wrong however, in believing that those with the capacity to do such, actually ever will.It’s not built into the psyche of our culture. And THAT is probably the biggest problem we face.
This. I really wish concepts like noblesse oblige and the Gospel of Wealth would come back into fashion.
The problem is that the people who ascribed to the gospel of wealth and noblesse oblige basically only assuaged their guilt at having so much while so many had so little.
It took major societal movements from the bottom up and government regulation of capital to create the middle class and improve conditions for the working class.
“People who make money (serious money) don’t generally do so with the notion of bettering the world around them.”
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
I made this comment at FB, so I thought I’d add it in here, too:
“False equivalence is a dangerous proposition — where we say, “Oh, hey, Everybody Here Is At Fault.” Because what happens then is, nothing gets done, you sit back confident it’s just a nest full of rats and snakes and that’s exactly what the malefactors want you to do.
Here’s the deal: the government shut down is the fault of ONE GROUP, and that group is the Tea Party plus any of the weak-spined GOP cronies who don’t want to upset the monster they invited into the room.
The shutdown isn’t about the deficit or any budget. It’s about the ACA — which passed all the hurdles and rigors of the Democratic process, and the Tea Party folks don’t much care for that. So they’ve chosen to flip over the whole game board because they didn’t get their way — all the while saying that, “The Democrats are not willing to compromise.”
That word, compromise, is just another illusion, and for them it translates to, “The Democrats will not undo the Democratic process to let us win. And if we can’t win, we’re gonna stick a gun to the head of the American people until you decide otherwise.” That is their idea of “compromise.”
The Democrats have a lot of demons at their door and have made a lot of mistakes and done some shady shit, too. But this heinous fuckery isn’t on their shoulders. No more false equivalence.”
The budget was the tool they used to bring about the shutdown. The GOP is just shouting loudest about the ACA because they think that will justify their intransigence to their base.
They think that if they are perceived as “fighting the good fight” against Obamacare, maybe this moronic move will not cost them the House next year.
The hard-right/Tealiban Rs have been planning this shutdown for 6 months. They had that long to go to what should have been a routine conference committee to reconcile the House and Senate budget resolutions and repeatedly refused to do so. Then Rand Paul has the gall to ask on the Sunday talk shows “Why hasn’t this gone to committee?” when he was one of the ones that refused to let it.
They never intended to pass this budget.
And that photo they are circulating of Republicans sitting at a conference table where the Democrat chairs are empty. Totally staged. They waited until literally the 11th hour (an hour before the shutdown was official) to send the eight hardest of the hard right old white dudes to say that *now* they would like to negotiate. Their idea of negotiation being extortion.
all the leaders of those towns are democrats, hmmm.
For years (decades?), the elected leaders of Chicago, New York City, and Philadelphia have been democrats. And yet, the Tea Party is to blame for the lack of money and the schools and pert near everything else. Hmmm indeed.
The post references Philadelphia, though I admit the graphic shouts out two other cities.
In the case of Philly, Nutter has to lobby to get more money for the schools. And who he has to lobby is Corbett.
Cities are not autonomous. States control education, and the most badass of mayors still has to beg the governor (and in some cases the feds) for cash and send its tax money out of its own borders. And state districts have been gerrymandered into shapes that resemble something out of Lovecraft for the purpose of consolidating power. Not one of the cities you list is even the capital of its state — just the most famous city, respectively.
Furthermore, each of the listed cites garners considerable and vocal resentment from the rest of its respective state, partly because the fame of that city overshadows the rest of the state, and partly because of all the minorities that congregate there (don’t kid yourselves).
What happened to this country?? There was a time where is was embarrassing to accept “charity” from the government.. Now we promote it!! WTF??
This country is becoming wussified.. so sad
It’s so hard to know what to believe anymore.
I agree with everything you said, Chuck. I look at these comments so virulently opposed to what you said, and I think, “How could anyone really think that? Where on earth are they getting their information?” And then, I stopped to think of where I got my information. Where does anyone get their information?
Everything seems to contradict everything else. Which, I’m sure, is the politicans’ plan. All of this smoke and mirrors. How are the average americans supposed to know what to believe? Democrats say the shutdown is not their fault. Republicans say the shutdown is not their fault. Everyone says, “The other guy is to blame.” Obviously, someone is lying, but how is the average American supposed to know who it is?
Thanks, Chuck. My head was about to explode from anger and frustration about what’s going on. I was getting ready to write a blog post but now I can just tweet this.
As a ‘loony socialist Brit with god-awful teeth’ I’m not sure I have the right to be commenting here, but what the hell…
First up, love the rant, just love it. We need more of this sort of thing, people (on both sides of the Atlantic) need to wake-the-fuck-up (language used advisedly – being polite just doesn’t seem to get through to anyone anymore)
We certainly need more of this over here, where posh-suited gits babble poisonous nonsense about ‘the big society’ and ‘evidence-driven politics’ in the hope they’ll drown out the sound of their snouts in the trough.
So, rant on, it’s not only enjoyable, but very necessary. It makes me sad, though, sad and scared.
It’s scary that the “If I believe it hard enough it must be true, and any supposed evidence to the contrary is just government lies and propaganda” approach seems to be gaining sufficient traction that people are actually getting elected on the strength of it over there.
Scarier still that, having wormed their way into positions of power, these maniacs not only don’t seem to care that the rest of the world is looking on and going ‘WTF? You actually VOTED for these bozos?’, but take it as a perverse badge of pride.
It’s kind of hard to tell from here, but I suspect you’re right to assign some cunning to the TPs, they seem to have considerable skill at tapping into the groundswells of discontent, really pushing peoples’ buttons. Can’t see how else they got elected. Not so sure this is evidence of a master plan, though. To me this looks like the skill of the old snake-oil salesman. His only goal being to get the money out of your pocket and into his, then be over the state line long before you realise your head hurts like hell and your remaining hair is falling out in clumps.
‘Follow the money’, as they say…rightly, in my opinion, ‘cos it’s hard for the thoughtful to avoid the conclusion that Big Money has won so comprehensively that we might as well all just be forming an orderly line, bending over, clutching our ankles and politely waiting our turn to be right-royally arse-fucked. Really.
It’s really beginning to look as though all the hard-won social and political reforms of the twentieth century are being eroded away to the extent that we’re rapidly sliding back to a positively nineteenth century condition of wage-slavery and brute, unfettered capitalism, but with the added twist that many of us have been suckered into signing up for mortgages and all the rest of the consumerist dream. Once the horrible truth has sunk in – that many of us are ‘stakeholders’ (pauses to gag over the necessity of using such a vile word, apologies to all) now, and thus believe we have so much more to loose – it’s too late. Just join the line, bend over…
Scariest of all is the way dissension has been de-legitemized over the past couple of decades. We take to the streets in our hundreds and thousands, occupy left, right and centre, sign innumerable internet petitions, laud wiki-leaks and other crusaders for shaming the secret keepers….and it seems to make not a whit of difference, at least not in the west. Whilst the internet has (thankfully) made it a lot harder to keep secrets, and we have the tools freely at our disposal to become well informed and articulate, it has also revealed the massive reservoirs of stupidity and prejudice out there as well. It’s going to be a long haul draining Lake Cretin, and we all need to tip up with whatever cups and buckets we can muster.
I still can’t believe the streets weren’t running with the blood of bankers in 2008, given the sheer scale of the greed-crazed screw-up and the breath-taking arrogance and lack of remorse displayed by those who’ve cheerfully pissed away our future for their own, obscenely considerable, personal gain. Thereby creating the conditions for crazyness like the Tea Party to thrive.
Perhaps the scale of the tragedy – and it is a tragedy, in the sense that a) it was avoidable and b)we give no discernible signs of having learnt anything from it – is such that it renders sensible comment pointless. The fact that it’s seeming increasingly unlikely that anyone will serve jail-time in the UK certainly makes me so enraged and despairing that all I can do is gag and splutter.
As a youngster I read a lot of Hunter S. Thopmson, and I’m now starting to wonder if his savage (and brilliant) prose hasn’t actually warped my mind…reason being, a horrible suspicion is gradually stealing over me, that he might have been right all along. A truly terrifying thought; that we, the mass of more-or-less right-thinking, more-or-less law-abiding, more-or-less caring people will always get fucked by the system in the end. Not because said system has been hijacked by the venal and corrupt, but because, in the end, it’s just built into the way the system works.
Nothing like a positive outlook, eh? Still, chin up, musn’t grumble, right?
Hell no! It’s up to all of us to grumble as loud and long as we can, any chance we have, ‘cos if we don’t we deserve the shit-storm that’s coming…so rant on, middle fingers proudly extended, rant on!
Putting my soap-box away and slinking off, with thanks to Chuck for his great blog and to any of you that are still reading…..
That was completely wonderful! Thank you. I’ve made a comment but you’ve said the bulk of it so I don’t have to! 😉
Thanks for the kind words. Guess the best we can all hope for is to be proved wrong. I could live with that…not holding my breath, mind you.
Brilliant! I don’t read your blog for political commentary, but I’m so glad you ranted about these leeches. I hope you’ve managed to open some eyes, or at least make people think.
I just found this excellent site https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/ and ordered the poster for hanging where my children can see it and read it every day, hopefully while listening to the news. I wish they had a button for sending one to a needy politician or journalist. I guess it isn’t reasonable to expect anyone (except Comedy Central) to interrupt sound bytes every ten seconds to shout out “false cause, try again.”
The thing we must all remember is that whoever you are or however smart you think you are, it’s still incredibly easy to be taken in by politicians. We shouldn’t be surprised, each speech is a carefully constructed illusion designed at great expense to manipulate the populace.
We all need to be vigilant. Keep informed from a variety of reputable sources and assume that all politicians are withholding the truth for their own purposes.
That is all.
Here. Here. They’ve been telling us to eat cake for some time. At what point will we pull out the guillotines?
As for the guillotines, read a Tale of Two Cities and some books about the Rule of Law and see if you think bringing them out is still a good idea.
[…] everybody I know what bad news the Tea Party is or has been for years, but Chuck Wendig’s already covered that far better than I ever could. In the end, though, it’s not about blame. It shouldn’t be […]
Best. Ragenalysis. Ever.
The bill passed both houses, was signed into law by our President, tested in and upheld by the Supreme Court.
Now the GOP hold us all hostage with a government shutdown to defund the law.
At what point does their behaviour become sedition? Sabotaging the entire government to get what YOU want has to be close, right?
Sedition: Conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state. 2. Insurrection; rebellion.
I think it’s already sedition.
I want to bitch too, I’m just not sure where to start. Instead I’ll say thanks Chuck, and to the many others who commented.
Sometimes, it’s nice knowing you’re not the crazy one. I knew that already, but sheesh.
Whoever said something about “compromise” with Obamacare. Why should anyone compromise when the kinds of amendments they make to it are refusing to cover women’s health/birth control because of religious reasons into the bill? Which they just did, again?! That’s only one of the examples.
I’m also continuously confused at why everyone is so up in arms about Obamacare when it’s the same system Massachusetts has.
Oh wait, that’s because Obama pushed for it.
I get terrified at where our country is going. I wonder sometimes if people were this idiotic twenty years ago, or if I’m just paying more attention now that I’m older.
I never liked the idea of such a huge health care plan that so many say I will be forced to pay for whether I want OT or not. You say it is the same one as so and so, but I highly doubt your version of same and my version are exactly alike. As for it being because Oboma came up with it, and the whole “you’re an idiot if you don’t like him” bit, how does this make you any more intelligent? Thinking such all encompassing things about an entire large group of people is the kind of thing you fanatical Oboma fans claim you hate.
You’re not an idiot if you don’t like him. You’re an idiot if the only reason you are opposing the bill is because you don’t like him, and the reasons that a lot of people don’t like him aren’t because of his politics. I also was not speaking to an overarching group of people. And who isn’t going to want health insurance? Honestly? Especially if (as it’s starting to show) it’s going to make it cheaper for people, and help a lot of people who currently can’t get it. I’d rather be required to pay however much a month for health insurance than pay $30,000 for an ER visit or illness or accident and be in debt for the rest of my life because I couldn’t get insurance. Just my two cents, though.
I can’t afford another monthly bill. I am betting a lot of folks are in that same boat. And as for not liking Obama, my reasons are not the usual suspects thrown at anyone who says they don’t like him. His views oppose my own. I’m conservative, he isnt. That pretty much sums it up. What is dumb and idiotic is calling me a racist for the above. I could care less what color or gender he is. Sick of all the usual stereotypes being heaped onto people by people who claim to hate stereo types.
It isn’t a huge health plan. It’s a bunch of regular ol’ competitive health plans. Obama put in place a marketplace, not a health plan.
And this plan of Obama’s is actually a conservative plan. It used to be a Mitt Romney gig, actually.
I confess I don’t know what all is in it. It is hard to know what to think really with so much opposing information/opinions out there. I also admit that I haven’t taken the time nor do I have the interest in trying to read through the actual lawyer speak that is in it. Whatever it is, I just hope it’s worth all the trouble.
The opposition, in a nutshell.
To be fair, I doubt a lot of people on either side of the political spectrum have read it. Just like with most laws that get passed.
The Tea Baggers are stupid, ignorant know-nothings. And proud of it. By almost any demographic criteria, they’re the bottom of the barrel. I can only hope that an enormous backlash against them and their Congressional minions develops which will cripple and eviscerate their so-called “cause.” Permanently.
This accomplished by stupid suicidal lemmings who ‘represent’ less than 15% of this country in Republican gerrymandered districts. Utterly sick of stupid–and evidently, they’re reproducing like the rodents they are. Oh, that’s right–NO on women’s choice, NO on healthcare, NO on education, NO on Hurricane Sandy relief–except when their districts blow up fertilizer plants or end up buried in mudslides and flooding from the Global Climate Change that isn’t happening. Yes, my own mini-rant.
We scratch our heads at people who don’t want universal health care.
Yes your taxes are higher. But everybody gets free healthcare. Not having the whole population get healthcare is like someone taking care of their whole body, except for their little toe. They don’t value their little toe. What is it good for? It takes up space and energy and gives nothing in return. But if the little toe isn’t well, it can bring down the whole body. You can have gangrene of a society too.
Education; a country’s success in a global economy depends on the education of their citizens. Unless it’s practicing the feudal system. In that case, a few lucky serfs are fed, clothed, educated and hospitalized by their individual barons.
Women’s rights. 50% of the population having the right to education and control over their body. Always a plus in a civilized country.
Governments that govern. Without governments collecting taxes and fixing infrastructure, people eventually end up walking around in the mud.
The Tea Party. People need to think about their society as a whole; what is good for everyone, not just the occasional billionaire.
Your taxes aren’t even all that much higher. In fact, I believe we’re at parity in many cases. I’m a New Yorker, and I worked it out with a Toronto native fairly recently, using my tax return: once my federal, state, and city taxes were tallied, we were both paying about 30 percent in tax. And MY health care and retirement were an additional deduction from my paycheck; altogether I was only taking home about half my gross pay. (From a white-collar job.) We’re being fleeced like [expletive]s, and we don’t even KNOW it.
I really wish you guys would leave abortion out of this topic. You see it as respecting the woman’s body, others see it as respecting the baby’s body. Are you guys here to simply rant with no expected productive outcome or do you guys want to produce a result? It seems with all the insults that what most people here are really doing is talking to themselves.
The one thing this well-written rant is missing is that not only was the education budget slashed in PA, and privateers are taking over schools, but the governor and his cronies are pushing “virtual schools” instead. What a great idea! No buildings needed, no buses, no expensive “specials” like art and music. Unfortunately, these charter schools (yes, they’re considered charters) have a demonstrably terrible track record — at least for the past three years. See for example, http://credo.stanford.edu/reports/PA%20State%20Report_20110404_FINAL.pdf
I marvel at the privatization of public schools, and how a public trust like education can be trusted to profit-making corporations. To me, it seems to be all part of the slow drift into thinking that the “American Way” is only related to making money off of something by doing it on the cheap and ruining it in the process. It’s been a very alarming thing to watch this erosion of community and civic action. I guess that’s considered “socialism” now?
I agree the Tea Party is helping to kill the United States. The rights of the average person is slowly becoming a dark pit. In twenty to fifty years the United States as we now how it may no longer exist. It will be a one party corporate rule.
wow, almost makes sense…you must’ve all gone to these schools and learned social reform from union teachers – or are we all unfortunate white folks full of piss, vinegar, and guilt? what kind of republic would you like to live in? how much should us working folk be taxed so you might stay home and blog about how bad us working folk are? you say tea party, i say freedom. you say capitalist, i say freedom. you say smoke and mirrors, i say look in one and put the bong away for an hour or so a day. you say follow the money, i say obama’s wealth has increased about 700% since he was hand picked for politics. you say wealthy, i say liberal leadership.
Wow, that was really fucking stupid. No, we’re not all “unfortunate white folks full of piss, vinegar, and guilt,” whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. I personally would like to live in a republic that’s an actual republic. You know, one run by the people where the government does what the people want instead of passing law after law that puts money in their own pockets and keeps them in control for as long as possible. I would like to live in a country where the self-employed, the poor, and minorities are actually protected by the government rather than thrown under the buss so that these rich white dudes can line their pockets a little more. How is Chuck saying that working folk are bad? The working classes are the ones who are hurt most by the tea party’s bullshit. It’s not a coincidence that most minorities and working class citizens align themselves with the Democratic party.
Wow? This was like giant cosmic game of chicken where neither side swerved at the last minute. Only thing is that it was the American people who suffered in the collision and not sour fucks driving. Now they are insisting we the people clean up the mess while they saddle up for another go at it.
Politics is a public service, unfortunately, now that we have career politicians in many countries, it seems to be developing into more of a self service – and not forgetting their friends of course – game. They are also hugely out of touch. My Grandad was an accountant and he worked in London, every day he caught the train, usually at the same time. He usually sat in the same seat in the same carriage and the fellow who always sat opposite him was Harold Macmillan. With no minders, no entourage and no smarmy assistants. He was just a bloke going to work, who happened to be a Government Minister. Later, as Prime Minister, he spent most of his time at number 10 but when he kept his own home and when he was there, even as Prime Minister, he still went to London on the train like everyone else.
Can you imagine any of today’s politicians doing that now? OK, so actually I kind of can imagine Angela Merkle using public transport but no-one else.
Wouldn’t it be cool if Obama rode the subway, or David Cameron travelled on National Express…. the fact is, modern politicians are career politicians and they have no idea of normal. If it wasn’t so sad it’d be funny.
You took the words right out of my mouth. Thank you for this post.
This is a wonderful post. I just wish I could hear you speak it. If you can’t, I know of a person who’s a semi-pro wrestler who does angry commentary on Dementia Radio on Sundays, and could do a great job of it. In fact, I’ll recommend it to that person right now; save him from writing one. I’ll suggest that he send you the audio so you can syndicate it.
Do me a favor, Chuck.
When you talk about the democratic process, please lower-case it.
Please help create and maintain a distinction between the democratic process and the Democratic party.
Yeah, I know, it seems like the Democrats are the only ones who actually believe in the democratic process, but let’s not muddy the waters.
And your post made my blood run cold. I hadn’t seen it from that extreme a perspective before.
Thought: if there were no government for the corporate lobbyists to bribe, then laws that protect corporate interests don’t get passed or enforced.
This is bad how?
I’m not trolling, and I’m not attacking either side of this argument. I don’t take sides. I would just like to point out another way of looking at the whole capitalism vs. the state argument. Because from my perspective, so many of the evils committed by large private interests are only possible because they use their financial leverage to coerce the government into doing their dirty work, e.g. putting people in prisons for breaking laws their lobbyists helped to pass. But if the government laws / law enforcement wasn’t there in the first place…
Something to think about. Idealistic perhaps, and probably will never happen in my life time, but interesting nonetheless.
Why don’t you move to Somalia and see how well their no government policy is working out for them.
Thanks for your clear-headed, rational defense. I’m happy to learn just how deeply you think through issues when attacking others who are merely attempting to promote reasoned conversation.
I agree with everything you say. I also agree with some of the comments that are “opposite” your view. The trouble is that they are “micro”, relating to individual situations. Don’t have too many kids? Don’t smoke if you can’t afford food? Don’t (put in whatever anti-welfare comment you want here)? What’s not to agree with those things? But how do you explain that while 95% of the country is getting poorer, the top 5% are getting richer and richer? Tell me who this government, and who this Congress, is working for and HAS been working for over the course of my voting lifetime? They’re working for the wealthy, to make them more wealthy, through whatever means they can come up with. War? Sure. We pay, but they collect the profits from the expenditures. Health care? Sure. It isn’t doctors who are getting rich off people’s misfortunes, it’s CEOs of hospitals and insurance companies. “Libertarian” is an attractive philosophy to me, too. The trouble is, it requires a level playing field. We don’t have one, and the Tea Party is working to make sure that it tilts even further in the direction of the wealthy.
I agree with you so much, I bought a book!
Libertarianism is a nice ideal to strive for, but it would never work in the real world. Libertarians want police who are little more than referees rather than actual law-enforcers and a useless, weakling government. We already know what happens when there is no solid government in place from both our own history (the Articles of Confederation) and what’s currently happening in places like Somalia. This country would quickly fall apart if it were left in the hands of the citizens because people are greedy assholes. Libertarians tend to forget that when they go on about their happy little government-free utopias. The government is not some big, evil, Lovecraftian monster sitting atop a mountain and thinking up new ways of torturing us. It CAN work. We’ve seen it work before. The problem is that only a small portion of the population is actually represented in Congress, and that portion is old, rich white dudes. They’re the only ones who can manage to get elected and they only care about people like themselves.
Oh, I agree. I just meant that the ideas behind the libertarian philosophy are attractive in an academic sense. You have gone right to the heart of the problem. Government tries to placate the masses while working overtime to make the rich even richer – to make sure more of middle class assets move away from the middle class and toward the rich.
You’re words are truly beautiful, Chuck. I really love this country because I know it can be awesome, but holy shit is this government messed up. It’s not even anything wrong with the system, it’s that we have a bunch of selfish idiots in power who only care about themselves and people like them. Ah, well, at least I still have my dual citizenship. I guess I could always fly on over to Mother–aw, fuck Putin’s still alive. Well, shit.
I think another blog roll captures my sentiments best… (http://www.urbanbaby.com/topics/49492873)
You Americans are so naive–you have so many naive, and simple, ways
»And you are, how you say, ooh la la. [ REPLY | MORE ]
»lol [ REPLY | MORE ]
»yes dahhhling [ REPLY | MORE ]
»well the war on the terror is certainly a joke. [ REPLY | MORE ]
»bugger off ya bloody cheese hater [ REPLY | MORE ]
»you, you non-americans. we laugh at you. ha! ha, ha! and your non american, silly, silly ways [ REPLY | MORE ]
»i fart in your general direction [ REPLY | MORE ]
»jinx! [ REPLY | MORE ]
»damn your stinky foreign bunghole emanations [ REPLY | MORE ]
»lol I love Monty P. [ REPLY | MORE ]
»I bet you smell bad [ REPLY | MORE ]
»not that I disagree, but you clearly have judgmental ways [ REPLY | MORE ]
»Gwenyth? [ REPLY | MORE ]
»I fart in your general direction [ REPLY | MORE ]
»the ways of your tedious foreign country are as turds in a toilet bowl. so there. [ REPLY | MORE ]
»And oh you foreigners with your excessive comma usage! You are so funny too! [ REPLY | MORE ]
»I hate to break it to all the repliers, but OP is American! [ REPLY | MORE ]
»OP: How did you know that?? I’m enjoying all of the responses… [ REPLY | MORE ]
»because I’m foreign, and I don’t think any foreigner would use that kind of phrase, it’s American-sounding! [ REPLY | MORE ]
»It’s from an old Steve Martin routine, acting like a Frenchman. [ REPLY | MORE ]
»Ok, makes sense! Love Steve Martin. But yes, very him. [ REPLY | MORE ]
»your mother smells of elderberries [ REPLY | MORE ]
»You non-Americans are so… foreign. [ REPLY | MORE ],
Now for my best thinking on the the shutdown… It’s an ugly baby, but its our baby!
On the other hand, how hard is it for a moderate, late-blooming-boomer-Gringo go about getting a visa for Ecuador. I hear Cuenca is like the Swiss Alps of the Andes. I am told they take dollars or was it endorsed Social Security checks. Universal healthcare is only 60 dollars a month with 30 dollar co-pays and the doctor will spend an hour with you each visit because you are an Interesting American. Ecuadorians pay with chickens. Or was that Quito? Well somewhere in Peru. I know read if in one of the spama gram emails from International Living this week. Well I am four Yuenlings-to-the-wind, wondering how many more it will take for the shutdown to end and we can move on to the next manufactured attention gathering criss. Come to think of it. I’m tired of beer. Aguardiente or bust!
Oh, and I also find all the comments about white people to be seriously racist. I happen to be a poor “white” guy, though science has shown that classifying ourselves by the color of our skin is ignorant, a fact that people choose to ignore when it suits their purpose. I, being raised in West Virginia, in a poor family….. oh hell, why do I bother? Basically, stop it with the “white” bullshit.
One more thing, when I say stop it with the color labeling, let me clarify how I really feel about all this. We are all human beings; capable of good and bad just like the next human being. You want to blame someone based on them being rich, fine, because, hey, they are human, and rich humans tend towards nasty behavior frequently. But… you are all fooling yourselves if you think a human with some darker skin, lighter skin, green skin, dotted, whatever… would behave so much better than that pale-pink one.
I’m all for helping the poor. Just putting that out there.
yes, the tea party is sooo terrible! Imagine, NOT wanting to give up everything you earned and worked for so poor and illegal immigrants can live a better life. Sorry I’m so stingy liberals!
Unless you’re the CEO of Wal Mart, the tea party doesn’t give a crap about you either. So have fun with that.
Well damn. Did I just waste 40 years trying to follow the teachings of a bloke called Jesus, who told people to give up all they had, look after the poor and be nice to hated people like Samaritans because they might not be the devils the elite were telling you they are?
That is a beautiful point you make, Judy. Jesus was a pure lover of peace and caring for the least of us. Like he said, pretty much, the way we treat the less fortunate is representative of the way we treat him. That’s my biggest problem with the party I usually support, republicans. I’m on my iPhone hear so forgive my poor grammar. Anyway, I don’t like the bit about how we shouldn’t help the poor and others in need. As a conservative, however, what other choices do I really have than to go with them? I grow so tired of this endless bickering. I wish things were more clear. Everyone seems to believe so strongly that those who oppose them are evil. Maybe the truth is that both republicans and democrats are the true pony show, and both are the problem. In other words, our entire political system smells like a festering corpse.
HMMM. Frank every T-Per rally I ever saw was pasty angry mostly old WHITE people(who undoubtably receive social security checks from the government they HATE). Every time you scrape to the bottom of the pile with them it’s “don’t give my hard earned money to those lazy undeserving brown people”. (or as you put it ‘poor people and illegal immigrants” thanks for illustrating my point.)
Government has the potential to be great. There are a multitude of programs federally funded that help many people. We the people elect our government. When government is not working as it should. Vote them out. I dont understand how obama was reelected. I dont know anyone who voted for him.
Universal Healthcare has been in other countries a long time. It could be another great thing if properly implemented. Americans should not be forced to procure insurance. It is supposed to be a free country with free choices. I find it strange how our government was able to form a plan without the aid of doctors and nurses. Doctors and nurses (with trickle down effect to all who work in healthcare) have been hit hard over many years by medicaid and medicare cuts. At this time, they have to be creative just to do testing to patients. Patients arent covered for transport to doctor’s appointments, not covered for the medications they need, etc. Nurses and Doctors are taking pay cuts. Nurses have been laid off! Never thought I would ever see that. Frivolous lawsuits jack up costs at hospitals. Malpractice insurance rates increased. Drugs are passing FDA screening that harm patients.
As far as the rich giving to the poor, we all know thats not really going to happen. Taxes should be fairly distributed as it was supposed to be. With a percentage scale for income. Tax loopholes should be eliminated. Illegal immigrants should become legal citizens and pay their share of taxes. We shouldnt turn them away and deport them. This country was founded on immigration and the pursuit of a better life.
Education is terribly lacking in our schools. Our future leaders will not be able to lead with substandard education. It seems education is not a primary goal of our country. Not just government. Many parents have not met their child’s teacher. Parents dont know what their children are learning. Schools are teaching children to pass test set forth by state/government regulations just to achieve funding. Arts are leaving schools. Creativity lost. Critical thinking lost. Teachers are trying to compensate for our children staying after school, unpaid to promote more activities. Children are packed into small classrooms, sometimes with a ratio of 50-1. They are falling through the cracks.
We the people are allowing all this. We blog, we complain, but we elect the same officials that have failed us time and time again. Its as if we have all gone crazy. Continuing to do the same things and expecting different results.
That’s a valid point.
Allow me to offer a counter point:
Without any kind of higher/independent authority, what’s to stop said large private interests from making similar or worse abuses? You mention using lobbyists to push for laws that would imprison people who oppose them. However, with a smaller/weaker government, what’s to stop them from just having these people murdered outright?
This all part of the Social Contract – we give up certain rights (i.e. killing people we don’t like) for certain protections (i.e. not getting killed by someone who doesn’t like us). Yes, it’s far from perfect, but is the alternative really all that appealing?
The Tea Party, as far as I can tell, is not actually a party but rather a movement designed to rile up certain segments of the population in an emotional fashion. As a classical liberal I had hope for the tea party, but alas it turned out to be no different than the republicans and democrats. Political discourse in this country is a see-saw struggle where competing fears try to seat more heavily in the minds of the public. When one set of fears gains the fatter ass for a brief period the “victorious” party will assume they have an absolute mandate to force their policies upon the nation at large. Then there is an inevitable shift away from the horrors unleashed by politicians who believe their rules are righteous and necessary, and those whose policies spawned the horrors are left to wonder how it is that so many people could be tricked by the other side.
This “rant” as you call it is typical of the current political discourse on both sides. Your post ticks all the boxes of a how-to engage in modern political discussion:
1. Fail to make a cursory attempt to explain the opposing viewpoint in a rational way. Check.
2. Lack either the self-awareness or intellectual honesty, possibly both, to recognize the failure above. Proceed to imply that there is actually no rational basis of the opposing viewpoint. Check.
3. Focus further argument on the motivations of the opponent. Make emotionally charged accusations as if they are fact. Imply or openly state that opponent is evil or void of morals. Check.
4. Bring up issues that have been cherry picked so that they appear to provide support to your position. Fail to bring up issues that undercut your position. Avoid in-depth analysis at all costs. Make conclusions. Check.
6. Sit back and smile with those who already agreed with your conclusions. Pat each other on the back for the genius of the political commentary. Rile each other up. Check.
7. Shake your head at those poor simpletons that disagree. You knew they’d show up and reveal their nefarious agendas. They never diappoint in that capacity. Wonder “why the fuck don’t they take the time to actually educate themselves?” Check.
Perhaps this isn’t just typical of the current political discourse but of political discourse in the past and will be typical of the political discourse of the future. The US is the longest continuous form of government, but rants like this dominate both political parties and make me think the life of any government is bound to be nasty, brutish, and short.
I ran across an interview with a Tea Party National Organizer too. She started off with an interesting talking point but then it just got so pitiful that even the Big Liberal Media PBS host tries to help her out, but can’t save her: http://hereandnow.wbur.org (Friday the 4th, Tea Party Organizer. Listen until 4:00 and be prepared to catch your jaw as it bounces off the table)
I have to admit I’m confused (but, then again, I’m English, not American). You see, I thought the Tea Party was some kind of off-the-wall minority subset of the Republican Party. Here in England we thought they were a bit of a joke. After all, their mouthpiece was one Sarah Palin who came across so stupid that it was amazing that she was let out without a minder. Seriously, I really cannot understand how anyone with even the slightest degree of brain could believe the stuff she said. And yet, here you are, America in lockdown due to these people.
It’s time to do to yourselves what America likes to do in every other country where your government has issues. Send in the troops. Round up these trouble makers. Guantanamo Bay is emptying, so you have somewhere to put them. Lock them away. Then have the decisive vote. The people of America can get on with life. After all, they are as much of an enemy of America as any one else. Aren’t they?
[…] The Tea Party Smoke-And-Mirrors Ponyfucker Express Magic Show — Chuck Wendig with a magnificent rant. […]